Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Executive decision. The odd hat tip in the DH direction is acceptable and probably unavoidable. But if it becomes a tangent I'll set up a thread in DH.

    B62 Purg Host
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    And now Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. My son in law is in the Aluminum business so he will see benefits But even he is asking at what cost? Farmers are worried other nations will impose tariffs on our grain. Automobile prices will jump. The EU is threatening retaliation. Let the tariff wars begin.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Trump wants to impose a substantial tariff on steel and aluminum. You know, the thing that lots of domestic manufacturers use to make their own products?

    If they have to pay more for the steel/aluminum, that cost will drive up the prices of their goods (making them less attractive both domestically AND internationally). Trump persists in believing that driving up the price of domestic goods is somehow a good thing. Does he really not understand that imposing tariffs on foreign goods just means that Americans will have to pay more? More importantly, does his faithful Blue Collar base not understand that his policies will drive them to the poor house?

    I had originally linked to a Wall Street Journal editorial discussing how bad (on almost every level) this idea is. But, while I was able to read the article once, after I linked it and tested the link a pay wall came up. So I deleted the link. But the editorial is (or will be) in the March 2, 2018 print edition and is titled "Trump's Tariff Folly"...which gives you an idea where the WSJ Editorial Staff comes down on this.

    Here are some quotes:
    Mr. Trump seems not to understand that steel-using industries in the U.S. employ some 6.5 million Americans, while steel makers employ about 140,000. Transportation industries, including aircraft and autos, account for about 40% of domestic steel consumption, followed by packaging with 20% and building construction with 15%. All will have to pay higher prices, making them less competitive globally and in the U.S.
    Another angle is the rationale Trump is using to justify breaking a trade agreement:
    Then there’s the diplomatic damage, made worse by Mr. Trump’s use of Section 232 to claim a threat to national security. In the process Mr. Trump is declaring a unilateral exception to U.S. trade agreements that other countries won’t forget and will surely emulate.

    The national security threat from foreign steel is preposterous because China supplies only 2.2% of U.S. imports and Russia 8.7%. But the tariffs will whack that menace to world peace known as Canada, which supplies 16%. South Korea, which Mr. Trump needs for his strategy against North Korea, supplies 10%, Brazil 13% and Mexico 9%.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    And now Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. My son in law is in the Aluminum business so he will see benefits But even he is asking at what cost? Farmers are worried other nations will impose tariffs on our grain. Automobile prices will jump. The EU is threatening retaliation. Let the tariff wars begin.

    Tariff wars are bad for Australia, but if the rest of the world wants to stop buying US grain, I'm sure our farmers will be very sorry for their US cousins on the land, but grateful for the extra cash. Agriculture is one of the few areas where US and Australian interests do not coincide. My hazy recollection from before globalisation was that Australian farmers tended to prefer the more liberal on trade Republicans to those nasty tariff-loving Democrats.
  • You and I appear to be in the same camp (pro life evangelicals) even though we've come to very different conclusions, so would have a common starting point

    Well, Cliff, actually I'm a pro-life Catholic, so we may have very different starting points. Though I appreciate you trying to find common ground. I'm sure we agree on a lot more than we disagree on.

    However, as I said in my response to Barnabas62 above, as a Catholic, the "life" issues are kind of non-negotiable for me when it comes to voting. And I realized other Catholics don't agree with me. Again, that's fine. Catholics - and Christians - and people of good will and with the best of intentions can have very different ideas. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Well, yes, that actually puts us even closer in line, since the "consistent life" ethics I described are really drawn from Catholic life ethics-- as you noted in your post just before the one quoted above. So, again, I'd really be interested in your response to my points-- for exactly that point that we are coming from the same starting point-- a consistent life ethic-- one that, iow, favors the Democratic positions on a number of life issues-- health care, poverty, capital punishment, etc. As I noted above (and Croecos did even more cleverly), the GOP seems very clearly to be pro-life in name only, with absolutely zero intention to do anything to overturn Roe or eliminate abortions-- whereas the DNC at the very least has a documented history of reducing abortions. That may not be the ultimate goal you or I long for- but it's a lot closer than the 0 for 0 record of the GOP.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    Trump wants to impose a substantial tariff on steel and aluminum. You know, the thing that lots of domestic manufacturers use to make their own products?

    If they have to pay more for the steel/aluminum, that cost will drive up the prices of their goods (making them less attractive both domestically AND internationally). Trump persists in believing that driving up the price of domestic goods is somehow a good thing. Does he really not understand that imposing tariffs on foreign goods just means that Americans will have to pay more? More importantly, does his faithful Blue Collar base not understand that his policies will drive them to the poor house?

    Trying to figure out why Trump is "really" doing something is an exercise in futility, but there is some speculation that this is mostly about appealing to working-class voters in the Rust Belt. There's a special election a week from Tuesday for the U.S. House seat representing Pennsylvania's 18th district, a longtime Republican stronghold that is suddenly and unexpectedly looking competitive. It's possible Trump is just tired of Republicans losing special elections because he thinks it makes him look weak (and everything is always about him).

    Paul Krugman has a slightly different take.
    It's starting to look as if I (and almost everyone else) misjudged the state of trade policy. US industry is deeply embedded in international value chains, which means that big business hates the idea of a trade war, which would disrupt its investments, and I thought that big money would talk even in the Trump White House, especially when the national security people would take their side. What I wasn't factoring in was that scandals and dysfunction would drive out all the adults, even the self-interested, greedy, but not stupid or shortsighted adults. But that's what seems to have happened. What's left is the toddler-in-chief, who's feeling beleaguered and wants to lash out. Basically we may be about to have a trade war because Rob Porter beats his wives, Hope Hicks actually said something true, and Jared Kushner has lost his security clearance over 666 5th Avenue.

    I've edited that only to the extent of making a Twitter chain into a meaningfully punctuated paragraph (and adding some bolding at the end).
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Yep. He’s throwing his dummy out of the pram :triumph:
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Tariff wars are bad for Australia, but if the rest of the world wants to stop buying US grain, I'm sure our farmers will be very sorry for their US cousins on the land, but grateful for the extra cash.

    I heard on this morning's news that China is considering limiting its imports of sorghum from the US. They played a clip of Stephen Colbert saying something like "Oh, no, not sorghum. Anything but!" The stupid news anchors pretended not to know (or maybe they really didn't know) what sorghum is. One even joked that it's "the gum dentists recommend to patients who chew gum."

    Or course the Fartletter-in-Chief doesn't care if prices go up. He can buy anything he wants, even the loyalty of certain foreign heads of government.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    hosting/
    the Fartletter-in-Chief

    Your ire is understandable but please note that we are actively discouraging name-calling with a view to keeping this discussion serious and trying to avoid it escalating unnecessarily.

    For creative presidential insults, please avail yourselves fully of the appropriate Hell thread.

    Thank you.

    /hosting

    [fixed misattributed quote]
  • edited March 2018
    I'm reading this with relative awe and a sick feeling. Had no idea that there was a really, really a view of democracy which boils down to one issue and one issue alone (abortion). I interpret the explanations of the #metoo, dislike for other candidates etc as proffered additionally as ways of excusing and justifying the unjustifiable. But in our family pictures I have photos of relatives wearing brown uniforms and swastika armbands from before my father's family left Berlin in 1938. I get my sickness is both current and bred in my bones, out of fear, though wonder about loathing and if it is a Christian virtue in some contexts. If there's a heaven and hell, some people's heaven must be my hell. No wonder allegedly Christian nations have made war on each other in history.

    The depth of the canyon feels bottomless between myself and voters who consider one issue to be the only one, and those who consider that it is a requirement for democracy to work is that people educate themselves about the range of issues, and make responsible choices based on proper consideration of all of the issues, which we are told was held out as important for democracy by your Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps educating oneself in the time of tweets and snapchats is passé, and echo chambers of like-minded extremist views are what passes for knowledge now. This trump is an extremist.

    :heartbreak: for democracy. The only comforting thing to know as that a majority of your voters didn't vote for this dangerous man. Though I'm told that while his vice president is more controlled as in personal behaviour but probably more extremist and dangerous in views. Which creates fear for the impeachment.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Methinks the kind Purgatory Host may be mistaken about the identity of aforesuggested presidential insulter, for the Shipmatian post linked to appears not to contain the expression in question. It might seem, however, that such designation could possibly have originated, in this circumstance, from a kind and long-serving Administrator of this very esteemed, renowned and Renewed Boat.

    As this is Purgatory, I hope I may be permitted to amend previous en-slashed statement. Many thanks indeed for your kind attention, which is truly appreciated.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited March 2018
    You're right, Wesley J. It was Amanda B Reckondwyth. Apologies on Eutychus' behalf to Simon Toad. Amanda B Reckondwyth, you are a naughty Administrator. It was you wot did it.

    And if you object, there is a nice new Styx thread discussing Trump name-calling! Our timing is perfect .....

    Barnabas62
    Purgatory Host
  • The thing about Trump which everyone needs to know:

    Pay zero attention to what he says. Look closely at what he actually does.

    It is clear that he will say any and every thing. He will say one thing today (increasing gun checks is good!) and another thing tomorrow (gun checks are BAD!). But the key thing is to focus on his actions (or lack thereof).

    With regards to gun control, it is clear that he is not intending to DO anything. If Congress happens to pass anything, he will (of course) claim credit. If Congress fails to pass anything (and especially if there is another mass shooting), he will simply say "I wanted something to happen but Congress failed."

    Other than create the environment where he and his billionaire buddies can get even richer, Trump is actually not going to DO anything about anything. He will SAY a lot. And anything Congress achieves he will claim credit for. But he isn't going to DO anything.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    I've actually been a member here for a long time; my membership just got lost during the forum change.

    Off-topic point of info, since this keeps coming up in various places: Everyone had to re-register on the new fora, as importing membership data was a non-starter.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Ruth's tangent

    Yes, there is evidence in the old Styx as well.
  • Oh Paul Krugman, clinging to the media fantasy that there was ever a reasonable adult in the room once Trump took over.

    I don't know why anyone is shocked by this move. He ran as a protectionist. He's always maintained that his superior deal making abilities would allow him to force deals that favored the US down the throats of other countries. It doesn't need to be so complicated- he's doing it because it's what he said he wanted to do all along.

    Not to worry, though, he assured the country in a tweet this morning that "trade wars are good, and easy to win."
  • Now, this is interesting...

    President Trump Asked Chief Of Staff To Remove Ivanka And Jared Kushner – Report (Yahoo).

    Various two-facedness and flip-flopping, so it's anybody's guess what will happen.

    :confused:
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    edited March 2018
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Amanda B Reckondwyth, you are a naughty Administrator. . . . And if you object. . . .
    I'm not really an Administrator. I have administrative rights so that I can manage Mystery Worship properly. (I have been known to be rather naughty now and then, though.)

    Object? Never!
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Accepted (with a smile).
  • Well I am very disappointed that Eutychus has already amended their post to remove the slander against me. I have missed my chance to come over all injured before yelling "Oh! the 'umanity!"

    I wonder if Trump is also going to amend his will :wink:
  • Mulling over further "I'm Catholic/Christian and he's anti abortion so I voted for him". I'd like to hear more about this. How do you think he's doing with other issues that are important to Christians? I found this by Pope Francis which might start something about fake news: Message of His Holiness... World Communication Day 24 January 2018
    The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32).
    Fake news and journalism for peace

    It might be interesting to discuss views on other issues to see how they are compatible(?)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Mulling over further "I'm Catholic/Christian and he's anti abortion so I voted for him". I'd like to hear more about this.

    There is now a thread in Dead Horses examining opposition to legal abortion as the sole determining factor in voting. If you'd like to hear more about that particular tangent there's now a place for it.
  • edited March 2018
    No. I specifically do not want to discuss anything whatsoever about abortion. Rather I want to hear how his other policies and ideas are justifiable as Christian and Catholic. Things like tax and economic policies, foreign relations, immigration. Things like that. Unless these things are completely unimportant to those who vote there. Which I doubt.
  • Unless these things are completely unimportant to those who vote there. Which I doubt.

    Then you underestimate the monomaniacality of the American Evangelical voter.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    No. I specifically do not want to discuss anything whatsoever about abortion. Rather I want to hear how his other policies and ideas are justifiable as Christian and Catholic. Things like tax and economic policies, foreign relations, immigration. Things like that. Unless these things are completely unimportant to those who vote there. Which I doubt.

    Not so much unimportant as considered to be the same thing as criminalizing abortion. Supporting a candidate who will appoint "pro-life* judges" means supporting candidates who will appoint judges who are pro-corporate, anti-worker, and willing to turn back the Civil Rights Movement.
    “We demand judges who will criminalize abortion!”

    “How about judges who will demolish voting rights and overturn all limits on corporate power?”

    “Yes, that.”

    How long does that pattern have to continue before we’re allowed to talk about what it obviously, undeniably means?

    I think this falls under the category of "watch what they do, not what they say".


    *Offer expires at birth.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    And now Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. My son in law is in the Aluminum business so he will see benefits But even he is asking at what cost? Farmers are worried other nations will impose tariffs on our grain. Automobile prices will jump. The EU is threatening retaliation. Let the tariff wars begin.

    Tariff wars are bad for Australia, but if the rest of the world wants to stop buying US grain, I'm sure our farmers will be very sorry for their US cousins on the land, but grateful for the extra cash. Agriculture is one of the few areas where US and Australian interests do not coincide. My hazy recollection from before globalisation was that Australian farmers tended to prefer the more liberal on trade Republicans to those nasty tariff-loving Democrats./qoute]

    Which is true. Mexico has already shifted its grain purchases from the United States to Argentina and Australia.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    You are forgiven. I have also been a stumbler!

    Thank you, Barnabas.

  • T has reportedly said that it's great that the president (?) of China is seeking the office for life--and maybe the US will have that someday.
    :boggle: :angry:

    I know T's shown many signs of wanting to be a dictator, despot, strong-man leader. I'd occasionally wondered if he was thinking of something like this. But to actually *say* it...

    Please pray for us!

    :vomit:
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Yeah I saw that too. I no longer think Trump wants to be a dictator or President for Life. Like the love child of Muhammad Ali and Rodney Dangerfield, he just feels that he is the greatest, and people don't give him enough respect. I think he has a tin ear though for saying things that he thinks are funny because they seem ridiculous to him. 'How could anyone think I was serious', I can hear him saying to a minion, 'Don't they know I'm the good guy?'
  • Simon--

    AIUI he's serious AND thinks he's the good guy. I think he said something about the latter, some time back. Plus:

    "'This is not going to end well': Trump's friends and allies are worried he's spiraling out of control — and they say this time is different." (Business Insider.)
    :paranoid:

    This next article may give you some insights--sections 2 and 14 especially. It's not particularly well written, IMHO, but it has links to articles that are.

    "The Most Fascinating Things You Never Knew About Donald Trump’s Childhood (Cheat Sheet)."

  • comic response: Shh, I'm trying to sleep!

    I'm gaming and reading right now GK, but I'll get onto those articles.
  • I've read them. I don't think either goes to show that Trump wants to be President for Life. The second is gutter journalism, in my opinion. It belongs in a dirt sheet like The National Enquirer, short enough to read on the dunny and plenty of pictures. The first is a typical slightly breathless opinion piece, typical of a great deal of journalism about Trump. If you write 'nothing very significant happened this week', you are not going to gather many clicks. If you write 'everything that happened this week is extremely complex and interconnected but basically the President of the United States is losing his shit' people who don't like Trump will probably want to read your article.

    When Trump basically supported the Nazi's in Charlottesville, I was pretty scared. I know I'm in Australia and how could I possibly react as validly as an American, but if there is a fascist takeover of the United States I will hopefully be sheltering at least 20 people assuming they are able to flee in time. I don't want that, nobody wants that, and most importantly it will hamper the capacity of the very wealthy in the United States to make money from their globalised businesses. Revolution, war, disruption on the home front is terrible for business. As I heard someone on the radio say yesterday, war destroys people's capital. Heavyweight executive types are not going to let that happen, and why would Trump himself, the property tycoon, do it? War, revolution and disruption on the home front is for destroying other people's assets, not yours.

    But I reckon I read Trump wrong at the time of Charlottesville. I reckon he's just a right-winger with allot of the old Terrier stand-up in him. He hates being criticised and when he is he doubles down. Remember when Trump won, and the media was saying he was really surprised and didn't want the job? That was the 'he's got no idea' attack. Well, apparently now he's growing to like the job and wants it for ever? I don't FINK so.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    I enjoyed this recent Guardian article.

    Particularly this quote
    As Professor Allen Frances, the man who wrote the official definition of narcissistic personality disorder, points out: “He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder. Mr Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy ... His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting.”

    Beat him up at the ballot box, organise to do that, and don't pin your hopes on Article 25 or Robert Mueller.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    But I reckon I read Trump wrong at the time of Charlottesville. I reckon he's just a right-winger with allot of the old Terrier stand-up in him. He hates being criticised and when he is he doubles down. Remember when Trump won, and the media was saying he was really surprised and didn't want the job? That was the 'he's got no idea' attack. Well, apparently now he's growing to like the job and wants it for ever? I don't FINK so.

    Psychologizing Trump is a mug's game, but for what it's worth here's Steve Bannon's take, as relayed via Michael Wolff (author of the Trump tell-all, Fire and Fury):
    Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.

    There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    So there's a long-form article in the New Yorker about Christopher Steele. Lots of interesting stuff there, enough to make it "read the whole thing" interesting to those interested in such topics, but one of the two sections that seems to have gotten everyone's attention is this:
    One subject that Steele is believed to have discussed with Mueller’s investigators is a memo that he wrote in late November, 2016, after his contract with Fusion had ended. This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as “a senior Russian official.” The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy — and an incoming President.

    Okay, so this is just one guy ("a senior Russian official") sharing rumors from the Kremlin rumor mill. There's no reason to believe that Rex Tillerson is just some stooge willing to go easy on the Russian government, is there?

    What's that you say, New York Times?
    State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling. It Has Spent $0.

    As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.

    As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

    <snip>

    Mr. Tillerson has voiced skepticism that the United States is even capable of doing anything to counter the Russian threat.

    “If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Mr. Tillerson said in an interview last month with Fox News. “And we can take steps we can take, but this is something that once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.”

    I know it's a lot of circumstantial evidence, but it builds up. At a certain point trying to avoid jumping to a conclusion becomes deliberately jumping away from a conclusion.
  • I don't trust Wolff. He reminds me of a friend, who I love, but who will not let the truth get in the way of a good story. Hang on, that's me too. Perhaps I should say that I don't trust liars because I'm one of them.

    I very much take your point about the dangers of analyzing Trump.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    This is too funny.

    Sixth paragraph from the top

    Given what I understand to be Metaxas' background, I can be charitable and assume that he knew which parable he meant, and just got his wires momentarily crossed. But still. Did no one else at the publishing company catch that?
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian.
    If this is true, it beggars belief.

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian.
    If this is true, it beggars belief.

    Some decades back, a presidential administration decided (in its infinite wisdom) to fire a bunch of gay men...who happened to be translators for the State dept. I think this was during the term of either Bush 41 or Bill Clinton. And when we desperately needed translators for Middle Eastern languages, during various wars, they weren't there. I'm not sure if those positions were ever re-filled.

    I wonder if the lack of Russian translators is related?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Stetson's point is hilarious! Symptomatic of the Christian illiteracy of the politicised apologetics for Trump. How could they have missed that?




  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Stetson's point is hilarious! Symptomatic of the Christian illiteracy of the politicised apologetics for Trump. How could they have missed that?
    Don't spoil my fun. My copy is due to be delivered today...
  • Telling story GK.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian.
    If this is true, it beggars belief.

    Some decades back, a presidential administration decided (in its infinite wisdom) to fire a bunch of gay men...who happened to be translators for the State dept. I think this was during the term of either Bush 41 or Bill Clinton. And when we desperately needed translators for Middle Eastern languages, during various wars, they weren't there. I'm not sure if those positions were ever re-filled.

    I wonder if the lack of Russian translators is related?

    According to NBC News: Between 1998 and 2004, the military discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers, according to Department of Defense data obtained by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military under a Freedom of Information Act request.

    But the translation capacity of the US government and military has been very problematic for many years. They have only intermittently relied on native speakers and are reluctant (an understatement! I have met specialists who were denied clearance on pretty specious grounds) to give them necessary clearances, so they have focussed on training anglophones. I have met a few of them over time and while they are bright and dedicated young people, acquisition of (e.g.) in language labs is not the same as acquisition through extended residence in the country (which can cause clearance issues) or home acquisition. I have heard rumours that the US government likes to poach Mormons who have served as missionaries in the relevant countries, but I do not know if this be an urban legend or not.

    I do know of one example in the US trade authority where none of those involved in a particular negotiation spoke the language, so they outsourced almost all of the paper work to consultants. One of the principal officers confessed to me that none of the US negotiators had read the other-language text which they signed.

    I have read articles on how British students are less and less likely to learn another language, but US students are even less inclined to do so (and I should confess that Canadian students, aside from the learning of French, are even more shameful in their language-acquisition capacity).
  • My professional interpreter self doesn't even know where to start, or indeed how to even.
  • As part of his morning tweet storm, the President took time to call the reports of chaos in the White House “fake news,” before going on to say that “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection).”

    Yeah, nothing builds moral and signals solid leadership like the boss hinting first thing in the morning that some unnamed party is totally going to get shit-canned later in the week.
  • On the topic of language and policy, I recall a talk given by Niall Ferguson (whom I don't especially like - for a different thread) in which he said that at Yale(?) in the early 2000s there were only six(?) students specialising in Arabic. This was in the context of the will and ability to run an empire. The British (at least, according to Ferguson) were much more willing to learn the lingo and go off to far flung corners of the planet (whether those far flung corners wanted them or not). His argument was that Americans enjoy the benefits of imperium, but not so much the work that it requires.

    As an anglophone Canadian, I am still consistently surprised and appalled by how badly we speak French, if at all. I grant that I was lucky (location, very good teachers, all native speakers), but after ca. 10 years of French in school, one should be able to have a simple conversation. Sometimes the pervasiveness of English is a disadvantage.

    Interesting note about Mormon recruitment. I have also been told that they're over-represented in the porn industry. (Again, for a different thread.)

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Augustine wrote:

    I have heard rumours that the US government likes to poach Mormons who have served as missionaries in the relevant countries, but I do not know if this be an urban legend or not.

    I've read in a number of sources that Mormons have a relatively substantial presence in the FBI, which mostly works domestically, and hence in English, though a second-language could be useful for that as well.

    I'm not sure about the CIA. Historically, they have a reputation for being a bunch of East Coast anglophiles, and fairly hard-drinking(the teetotal Director Turner was apparently unpopular for that reason, among others), so I don't imagine mountain-state abstainers fitting in there particularly well. I did read somewhere that Mormon missionaries overseas are sometimes suspected of being CIA agents, though that might just be the locals making assumptions about any American walking around with a briefcase and a nicely-pressed suit.

  • Utah is actually a pioneer in offering public primary schools where all lessons are taught in a foreign language, because there are so many former missionaries living there who recognize the value of learning a language through immersion, and also because it will probably help the kids down the line who chose to go on mission.

    We have some friends who live in SLC who are not LDS, but they are taking full advantage of one of these programs with their two girls.
  • I have an utterly incredible story about Arabic translators and Canada/US security cooperation, but I cannot commit it to the realm of pixels. Should any shipmate meet with me IRL and buy me a drink, I will be happy to pass it on, and blame my indiscretion on the quality of the single malt consumed.
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