Monday, June 05, 2017

Little Blue Heron


12 comments:

  1. Great stuff! This is going to frost Trump's cookies SO GOOD--it could drive him right over the edge!

    EU to bypass Trump administration after Paris climate agreement pullout [Click] "Less than 24 hours after the US president announced his decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement and strike a new, less ambitious deal with the rest of the world, Brussels declared its outright refusal to engage in such talks.

    EU officials will instead cut out the White House to deal directly with the US states and major corporations, many of whom have already pledged to live by the terms forged in Paris."

    --Alan

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    1. Totally weird--here it is 1224 hrs and Trump seems not to have responded to this. I figured he would be burning up the Twitterverse, hair (or some other body part) on fire. I suppose it is possible that he is so distracted by other matters (e.g. "this Russsia thing) that it doesn't enter his consciousness as something significant. Pretty far gone.

      --Alan

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    2. It's not clear how the EU or Paris signatories in general can officially work with US states and business leaders. This is a national government thing. That US states, business leaders, and individuals will continue to support anti-climate change action is a given, of course.

      It was likewise always a given that there would be no renegotiation. Indeed, it's not clear what Trump might have wanted to renegotiate. The Obama administration's climate change targets were non-binding and Trump could have unilaterally changed them without pulling out of the pact. The only thing pulling out of the agreement did was to further Trump's agenda of reducing US involvement and leadership in world affairs.

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    3. Of course there can be no question of official cooperation on the same basis as nation states; but that doesn't rule out some other basis. Consider the routine trade missions of individual states, and as another instance the CO2 emissions consortium set up years ago (under Gov. Schwartzenegger as memory serves me) among California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (I think Idaho joined recently). The thing that particularly interests me is actors going around the US President. Presidents have been acquiring more and more power from the time of Herbert Hoover, and now Trump is abandoning that power. I don't think we are likely to go back to the pre-Hoover sort of powerful cabinet offices, but a less supine Congress and significant private-sector actors are certainly plausible. The Trump "administration" failure to staff (among other agencies) the Department of State created a vacuum that will naturally be filled. All very interesting; I have been racking my brains to come up with a similar example in recent history, as yet to no avail.

      --Alan

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    4. Interesting observation. Reducing the federal government's power is Trump's goal, of course. But I don't think it has occurred to him that these newly empowered non-federal groups may take off in exactly the opposite direction to what he anticipated.

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    5. It's a new New World Order. The nearest I can come to an example in recent history is the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, or more specifically, the Episcopal Church in the USA. That is, when their head honcho made a declaration Pope: "girls cannot serve at the altar" or Archbishop of Canterbury: "the ordination of women is forbidden", a significant number of priests and bishops went forward anyway. Over time, the practice became largely accepted.

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    6. Yes, those are interesting analogies, listener. It occurs to me that perhaps one should seek analogies among weakening nation states or empires, like the Ottoman or Autro-Hungarian empires, to mention but two. Or not. Setting aside the conventional US imperial adventures of the 19th and very early 20th Centuries, the US empire that arguably commenced with either WWI or WWII is [was] very strange, but an empire nonetheless. Typically, empires expand to the point where they can expand no more and become weak at the periphery, which exacerbates central weaknesses. Hmmmm....that will bear some pondering.

      --Alan

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  2. Replies
    1. I didn't follow the Republican primaries closely enough to comment about what was going on there. But in the general election, there is reason to believe that his victory rested on a crucial shift of white working-class people from Obama to Trump. This is, of course, very different from saying that they represented a majority of Trump voters, which is the proposition the article tries to argue against.

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  3. Alan, thanks for the Robert E Lee article. Man really was a bad actor, eh? Guess I'd bought into the gentling down version. Glad he's going going gone. About time, looks like.

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    1. It was rather illuminating for me, too. Lee was said to be one of the best field engineers in the Army. I don't think I would pan him for strategic failings, because those could be laid at the doorstep of Jefferson Davis. Among the Civil War generals I find most interesting are Grant (whom Lee considered the greatest general in history), Sherman, and Thomas--who alone among the Civil War generals never made a mistake.

      --Alan

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