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downzy last won the day on August 1 2018

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About downzy

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  • Birthday 04/12/1980

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    Toronto, Canada
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    Politics, photography, snowboarding, golf, weight lifting, current events, television, running.

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  1. US Politics/Elections Thread

    In any other time the President would be impeached for this. In this day and age, I'm not so sure. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/trump-perjury-michael-cohen-compromised-russia-mueller.html What makes the Cohen lies even worse—and yes, far worse than Watergate—is that it exposed any U.S. officials who were involved in orchestrating his false testimony subject to blackmail by Russia. As Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney and professor at the University of Michigan Law School, wrote at Just Security, “in the context of counterintelligence investigations, lies can also compromise national security. … A foreign adversary like Russia can use lies as leverage over government officials to coerce them into complying with its demands or else face exposure of the lies.”
  2. British Politics

    Exactly. Which is why few democracies operate with direct votes. The framers of the US constitution understood the dangers of giving the populace direct control over policy, hence they, like almost every operable democracy in the world, opted for a representative democracy where the country's supposed best and brightest could weigh the will of the people with what they thought was best. It's why U.S. elections are staggered every two years and different legislators serve different term lengths. Canadian and UK politics work on a parliamentary system but the representational dynamic is still present and important. If legislators defy the electorate and their decisions do not pan out, then voters have the opportunity to vote in different representatives. That's how the system is suppose to work. I wouldn't have much of an issue had Britain had everything in place and left soon after the vote. But things have changed. It is wholly irresponsible and contrary to the burdens and responsibilities of current British MPs to continue marching towards leaving the EU regardless of whatever a flash referendum said held two years ago. The same would apply if Britain had decided to stay and current UK membership to the EU now substantially damaged the country.
  3. British Politics

    The job of MPs are meant to weigh the will of the voters against what they truly believe is best for the country. Again, there's nothing legally binding MPs from following through on the referendum poll. If voters disagree with their choice of not to support leaving the EU, then they can vote those MPs out the next election and vote in MPs who campaign on leaving the EU.
  4. US Politics/Elections Thread

    It's why Trump only holds rallies with his lemmings for supporters and sits down only with Fox News. He's the epitome of a weak leader too afraid to face criticism or have anything he believes in question in person. He's the loudest chickenshit around.
  5. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    Here in Canada the first movie is on Netflix. Maybe check a streaming service if you subscribe.
  6. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    WHAAATTT??? You'll kick yourself for not watching them sooner. I've got both in 4K and they're my favourite two action films after Mad Max: Fury Road.
  7. British Politics

    That's true. But that's kind of the point. If the choice is between stay and a no deal Brexit, shouldn't that be brought to the voters to decide? Do I think that's likely? Probably not. In all likelihood they'll push back the breakup date to give each side another kick at the can of negotiating a deal but also setting up the logistical nightmare should another deadline approach without a deal in place. I've read plans that would convert the highways around Dover into parking lots that would handle the backup of shipments across the channel. Both the EU and the UK would drastically need to ramp up their customs infrastructure and there's no way that happens in the next two months. Both sides banked on a deal and it doesn't look like one is likely before the deadline. The basis is the fact that many people vote to leave on the assumption that they'd still have access to the European market. If that assumption goes away, how many truly want to leave? Peanuts compared to the costs of a hard Brexit. I do think referendums are important, but they shouldn't act as handcuffs. Things change. Some things play out while others do not. It doesn't matter one bit that the stay side used silly hyperbole like "once in a generation." Cameron was the idiot who thought calling a referendum to shut up people like Farage and Johnson was a smart play (even after almost losing the Scottish independence vote a few years earlier with the same tactic). Had the stay side one, I wouldn't begrudge Britain for re-evaluating their EU membership a year or two later if such a relationship was materially and overwhelmingly causing harm. Assume a continental war broke out that obligated Britain to get involved in something they didn't want it to. Should they be forced to stay simply because some nitwit a few years earlier called the referendum a once in a lifetime vote? Absolutely not. The government pledged to enact the results of the referendum, but that's not their highest priority as representatives of the people. They highest calling is to do what's right for the country. Blindly following an initial plan that would devastate the country is not responsible governance. Assuming no deal can be had, legislators primary responsibility is to look out for their constituents and not honour a referendum that was decided on assumptions that didn't pan out. As I said, hold another referendum now that the ground has shifted. If a majority still want to take the plunge, so be it. That's fair. Coal miners in the U.S. still think Trump's bringing coal back. Sometimes people don't want to hear truth. They just want someone to blame and foreign bureaucrats make for easy targets.
  8. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    Thanks. I meant to start a thread for this movie the last couple of days and kept forgetting. Easily my most anticipated movie for 2019. Loved the first two and can't wait to see how the wrap up the story. Also, love the movie poster:
  9. British Politics

    Independent trade deals usually take years to negotiate. They don't get made overnight. The last trade deal Canada had with Europe (CETA) began in 2008 and wasn't agreed to and signed by member parties until 2014 (and it still hasn't been ratified by all member states, though for all intent and purposes it's in effect). In the mean time trade between England and other nations will get bogged down in tariffs and regulations. Also, think about how England will be scrambling and will be in a much weaker position to set terms of the deal, particularly the first few deals it sets with each country. If anyone thinks a hard Brexit won't be a disaster for the British economy they are deluded. You're missing the point. It doesn't matter how certain regions voted. The fact remains that 52 percent of those voted made a choice that is not going to be possible without major disruption in the short to medium term. The were sold a bill of goods that won't be materializing. It's possible that many of those leave regions of the country might change their vote considering the new realties presented to them. Also, I looked into what kind of reality UK fishers would have following a hard Brexit. There's a case it wouldn't be much better, and possibly worse, should a hard Brexit happen: https://www.ft.com/content/84f51c84-5fe2-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895 It appears that much of the fish that British fishers catch isn't in British waters. Britain would need to negotiate new deals with countries like Ireland and Norway. Otherwise they'll likely deplete domestic stocks that have recovered since the 80s. Britain also exports more fish than it imports, which would likely result in high tariffs on British fish by neighbouring countries, negating some of the positives derived from more domestic control of fishing policies. While there is certainly a healthy amount of Euroskepticism within England, let's not pretend that the refugee crisis stemming from Syria and Northern Africa didn't elevate this issue far above its normal place in British political discourse. Yes, that was the question, but the leave side framed it in a manner that British people will get all of the advantages of leaving and none of the drawbacks. Most were told that Britain would sever its political ties to Europe but keep its economic ties in tact. As I've said, that reality no longer seems to be the case. So the context has changed and hence the decision should be brought to the voters again under no false impressions that the country gets to keep its economic ties to the continent and all the benefits it derives from it. Exactly. Let's continue the path of economic suicide because of the semantics used by a half-wit politician who thought calling a referendum on the matter as a good political move. It's mindbogglingly nuts.
  10. British Politics

    Not really. Referendums have no legal basis. They're simply just a poll. It's why it takes a vote in Parliament to make something law. And as I stated, the nature of the referendum was made on now what appears to be false premises. The choice presented by the pro-leave campaign was to leave but have access to the European market or to stay. With the defeat of May's negotiated soft-Brexit plan, that seems far less likely. Both sides used false arguments to stay. The stay side cooked up job reports that were highly untrue. But it still doesn't change the fact that what faces Britain now isn't the future that was presented in the referendum.
  11. British Politics

    What? We don't know until we leave? We know for absolute certainty that closing off Europe's market to England will disrupt the English economy, with a high likelihood of having severe negative consequences for some time. We don't know how far from the cliff to the water the jump would be, but we do know it's a cliff and the landing is going to hurt regardless. Certainly there are areas in England that will vote to leave regardless, but we don't limit referendums to certain areas of a country that pertain to the entire country. So because your particular county would repeat its vote to stay that should fuck everyone else? I grant that there are a large portion of people that voted to leave for reasons that have nothing to do with the arguments presented by the leave side. But is that a majority? If those arguments are no longer relative or applicable, shouldn't the matter be brought up to another vote? The arguments used by the leave side wasn't for a hard Brexit. The case was made to leave the EU but still have access to the continental market. If the only two options now are hard Brexit or stay, that should be the only premise that matters. Resorting to hyperbole ("one in a lifetime") as a legitimate case for staying the course is absurd.
  12. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Looks like Trump is going to be Trump with respect to the investigation in Russian interference. Appears as though they're pivoting from the position of saying no collusion to "Trump wasn't involved in collusion." https://www.thedailybeast.com/rudy-giuliani-i-never-said-there-was-no-collusion-between-campaign-and-russia?ref=home Basically throwing his campaign staff under the bus to save himself.
  13. British Politics

    Who cares whether it was billed as a "once in a lifetime" thing. Really? Britain should fall on its sword because of a marketing slogan? That's nonsense. While Soul is arguing that people have changed their minds, what matters more to me is that the facts on the ground have changed since 2016. There were many promises and claims made by the pro-leave side that clearly won't pan out. Champions of leaving the EU made claims that leaving the EU wouldn't be leaving the single European market. With a hard Brexit, that's exactly what will happen. There was Boris Johnson's claim that the UK would save £350m a week by leaving the EU. Except that the figure wasn't true and would pale in comparison to the economic costs would be with a hard Brexit. We know now that a hard Brexit wouldn't save the British money and would like penalize them financially due to substantially lower economic growth. Another claim was that Turkey was set to join the EU which would open up the British flood gates from refugees. Turkey's membership into the EU is a long way from happening, if it happens at all. Again, circumstances have changed. Claims by the leave side have proven not to be the case. The question should be put to British voters whether they still wish to leave knowing that many of the arguments made by the leave side are no longer likely and the pain will be real and severe. Had the British parliament accepted May's deal or there was time to negotiate a new deal then fine, carry on. But if the choice now is a hard Brexit or to stay, that decision should be put to the voters.
  14. British Politics

    A New World Order ≠ one world government. I think you fail to understand what most of the people are discussing here. After WW2 there was a new world order. After the collapse of the USSR there was a new world order. It doesn't necessarily denote ceding national sovereignty to a transnational governing body. There are some challenges and problems facing the world that requires the coordination of governance. I would suggest learning more about this matter before making up your mind. It seems most of your knowledge stems from watching YouTube videos.
  15. US Politics/Elections Thread

    With respect to the Mueller investigation and where we're likely heading in the next couple of months, there's been so much noise and daily developments that it's difficult to keep track of it all. This article by Lawrence Martin in the Globe and Mail does a nice job of summarizing some of what gets lost in the news cycle, though it fails to mention some of the bigger-ticket issues like the indictment and guilty pleas of at least four Trump campaign officials (Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos). More and more, it looks like Donald Trump has something big to hide Lawrence Martin https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-more-and-more-it-looks-like-donald-trump-has-something-big-to-hide/ Owing to a government shutdown and a rare snowstorm, downtown Washington has looked empty the past few days. It’s quiet; the mood is sombre. Suspicious minds might even detect an air of foreboding. When asked about President Donald Trump’s travesties, people lower their heads and grumble. Given that the District of Columbia is heavily Democratic, there’s consolation for many in that he is failing. But it’s a matter of pride, their pride as Americans being diminished by this President. A Republican oasis near the White House is the Trump Hotel. I drop in occasionally for a cocktail – Manhattans are a mere US$24! – to get a sense of the Grand Old Party’s mood. It’s often more upbeat than you might expect. Not this week, though: The only smiles were on the faces of the service people, almost all of whom are African-American. Asked about Mr. Trump, one of them responded, “Ain’t gonna survive.” At the bar in the hotel’s enormous atrium, the TV screens were tuned, of course, to Fox News. But even the Fox talking heads spoke in grim tones. Polling numbers showed their hero was getting far more blame for the government shutdown than the Democrats. Worse was the latest news on the story that never goes away: The Russian-collusion drama had reached yet another fever pitch. The word was out, although not verified, that the long-feared report from special counsel Robert Mueller would appear next month. The New York Times and Washington Post were again breaking stories damaging to the President. A less-noticed item was tucked away in a story in Vanity Fair. It said that Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, believed the Mueller report was going to be “horrific.” This was according to a person privy to a Giuliani conversation with a friend. “You’re already hearing people speculate Trump could do a deal and resign,” this source added. Mr. Giuliani wouldn’t comment. The anecdote was second-hand, lacking in corroboration. But the way things are going, it would hardly be a shocker if what he said were true – and Vice-President Mike Pence becomes the new Gerald Ford, elevated after a stunning scandal in the executive branch. The story that had the capital all worked up was an overjacked Times report that the FBI had opened an investigation into whether Mr. Trump was working at the behest of (read: colluding with) the Russians in early 2017. It was already reported that the FBI was probing Mr. Trump for obstruction of justice. It was already reported that it began an investigation into Mr. Trump’s campaign team on Russian collusion in mid-2016. And it was already suspected that the FBI was out to get Mr. Trump given his treatment of the agency. But while hardly surprising, the Times story did raise the level of alarm about the President’s deeds. The Post’s own revelation – that Mr. Trump wanted the contents of his talks with Vladimir Putin kept secret – only made the sirens blare louder. In meetings with the Russian leader at five different locations over the past two years, Mr. Trump had gone so far as to keep even his top advisers in the dark. It’s yet another indicator that Mr. Trump has something big to hide. The Mueller probe has found that at least 16 Trump associates had political contacts with Russians. According to the Moscow Project, a liberal group exploring the GOP’s Kremlin ties, there were 101 contacts with Russian operatives that the Trump team tried to keep under wraps. That Russian interference in the American election was abetted by Mr. Trump and/or members of his team has become more credible than not. The number of times Mr. Trump has done Mr. Putin’s bidding – on Syria, Ukraine, the European Union, at the Helsinki summit and many more – is beyond the pale. The Trump business empire, it need be recalled, has used Russian sources for financing. “We don’t rely on American banks,” Mr. Trump’s third child, Eric, said in 2014. "We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” Just how serious the situation has become can be seen in the fences being put up by the White House to respond to the Mueller report. Mr. Trump’s recently arrived White House counsel Pat Cipollone has hired 17 lawyers. With its broad mandate, the meticulous Mueller probe could wind up nailing Mr. Trump on all fronts. On collusion. On obstruction of justice. On money laundering. If Mr. Giuliani has been telling people the report will be horrific, small wonder.