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Two democracies at work: How Ecuador and the U.S. deal with political conflict

Cuenca under siege.

By Rob Bell

The streets are almost deserted today in many parts of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city with six hundred thousand inhabitants. Schools are closed. Most stores are closed. Roads in and out of the city are blocked by protestors. Supermarket shelves are almost empty as supplies cannot get in.

In Cuenca’s central historic district, heavily armed military police have closed the streets around Calderon Park, the old church, and nearby government buildings. Protestors, along with curious passersby, peer past the barricades and line of military police holding plastic riot shields to see what, if anything, is going on. Further south, a line of marchers waving Ecuadorian flags and blowing whistles make their displeasures known. Many of the historic district’s cobblestone streets are now black, the result of numerous detonated percussion bombs. More protests throughout the country, centering on Quito the capital, are expected.

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As an American tourist, I am simultaneously following the news in both Ecuador and the United States. The comparison is revealing. In both nations, democracy is in action, but taking very different forms.

A police armored vehicle at the corner of Sucre and Borrero. In Great Britain, it’s called the “Screech Mobile” because of its LRAD sound system.

Led by students and transit workers, Ecuadorians in the tens of thousands are out in the streets day after day, night after night, protesting what they consider injustice by government. Particularly affected is the capital, Quito. But there has been damage in the millions caused by rioting in much smaller cities including Riobamba and Ambato. In stark contrast, despite almost three years of criminal and treasonous activity by the U.S. Trump Administration, no-one has marched on Washington, DC, much less Baltimore or Philadelphia. There are no road blocks by protestors on the interstates. No tear gas. No percussion bombs.

Protesters in the street.

Here in Ecuador, there is widespread active support for the nationwide protest, which started when President Lenin Moreno made a unilateral decision to end 40 years of fuel subsidies, instantly doubling the price of diesel and raising the cost of gasoline by 25-percent. In a nation where the average wage is $2.13 an hour, any increase in the price of anything hurts. Raising the price of fuel impacts the cost of just about everything, falling particularly heavily on the poor who can least afford it.

The response was immediate. Thousands of people ran into the street to protest, dodging tear gas, rubber bullets and percussion bombs to make their displeasure heard. Over 570 arrests have been made, and there are reports of three deaths. Fifty military personnel were briefly held by protestors before being released. President Moreno quickly declared a form of martial law and fled to a government palace in Guayaquil on the southern coast, which is more easily defended.

A nervous shop-keeper keeps watch.

Back in the United States, other than angry tweets and Facebook posts, there has been no widespread rebellion in the streets over America’s atrocities, including separating babies from their mothers at the border, targeting Latinos and Muslims, reducing gay rights, thousands of outright lies by the president, the administration’s tax reduction for the rich and big corporations at the expense of taxpayers, repeated violation of our constitution’s emoluments clause to enrich the president and his family, an ill conceived tariff war destroying American farmers while raising prices for imported goods, a relentless, treasonous abuse of power, and now the devastating unilateral decision to abandon our allies, the Kurds in Syria.

Americans have so far not felt motivated to take to the streets to protest any of this. And despite a slow moving impeachment process, none of those subpoenaed to testify in Congress who have refused to cooperate have been arrested, or even fined. In fact, many of them are still on American talk shows spouting their “talking points.” While the President of Ecuador is in hiding, the president of the USA is free, and rambling on television.

A motorcycle cop gives his regards to protesters.

As I write, a military helicopter flies low circles above. A sign of troubled times in a country resisting oppression. A stark contrast to what’s happening in the dis-United States of America where no popular protest exists.
_________________

Photos by Rob Bell

Rob Bell was a television news journalist in New York City for many years. His website, Experience-Ecuador.com, includes videos and still photography from beautiful Ecuador. Video of October 3 Cuenca rioting can also be viewed on this page. Rob sold his home in New Jersey and moved to Ecuador in July to be with his fiance, Kttalinha, an Ecuadorian resident who was wrongly deported upon entry by U.S. Customs earlier this year on trumped up charges of working in the United States without declaring income. Her valid visa was revoked for five years. You can learn more about Rob and Katty’s experiences by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/ f/justice-for-kttalinha. 

207 thoughts on “Two democracies at work: How Ecuador and the U.S. deal with political conflict

  1. There has been no rebellion in the streets of America (U.S.A. and Canada) because we bend over and let them do whatever they want to us. We have no spine or will.

    1. You have to get out more often and stop cherry picking your own version of the world. It will make your audience stare at you with real concern.

      Such protests, especially from Canada’s indigenous peoples and minorities of all stripes , are part of the Canada’s history TO THIS DAY. Don’t you remember the declaration of martial law in the separatiste days? I take it as a healthy sign that the Canadian peoples are not afraid of their governments, their military or the elected leaders. Their police try to blend in, allowing the demonstration to happen.

      However, I agree with you on the USA. The spirit that founded the country has completley disappeared from all factions. Too many years of oligarch-instigated violent resistance to any form of protest has curtailed and shaped those events there. Kent State has not been forgotten, it has merely become acceptable and the universal US template. Everyone is terrified.

      There is a feeling of disconnection between the people and their government. America fought against England (twice) and itself horrifically while Canada became peacefully independent from the same England without a drop of blood being shed. No wonder that Canadians have a very different attitude about government than Americans do.

      The odd thing about Ecuadorians is that they use the South American template for democratic expression. This is a template largely created to offset being a indigenous minority in a conqueror-dominated world. But the protestors in Ecuador are (unusual for SA) in the majority!! They control the results of the ballot boxes. They have no need to act as a violent minority.

      1. Yes. When you vote in a leader you should let him/her cause whatever destruction he wants. After all, you voted for him. Isn’t that what Democracy is all about? Moreno has every right to undo, in 2 1/2 yr., all the good that Correa did during eleven years.

    2. …we bend over and let them do whatever they want…

      …including causing death, misery and destruction for millions and millions of innocent men, women and children all over the world.

        1. You might not dismiss it so flippantly as “drama” if you lived in one of the many countries where the US has so magnanimously dropped its thousands of bombs and armed its proxy “allies.”

          Have you ever thought what it would be like if you lived in Sanaa, Aleppo, Fallujah or any of hundreds of other cities across the Middle East, Maghreb or Levant where US led or assisted massacres have occurred?

            1. disq, Did you know that distrust-of-government is the salient part of the America? It’s odd. After all, in a democracy, why not simply choose (or try to) at leasta FORM of government one trusts? Historians and government specialist feel the distrust stems from the way the country was created, with a revolution against the original government, England. And the Tea Party traces how resistant the population is/was to taxes. These things have continued to exist until today.

              It contrasts sharply to Canada, that occupies the same continent and has a very similar background, except that it had a pleasant “split” from the mother country rather than a violent one. Canadians do not trust politicians but we do trust government, by and large.

              The odd thing is that with the American distrust of government, there are so few restrictions or deep monitoring of campaign financing and management. The US allows a HUGE edge for the rich. It is as if the US electorate decided that for-profit business knows best and they passed over what control they had to it. In Canada, that would mean jail time. That is part of what I mean when I say that the US has legalized corruption rather than eliminating it or even fighting it.

                1. You are odd. The UK and US governments, with their extreme variation on capitalism, have always controlled and directed the governments of the day to do their bidding. The examples of that are legion. US/UK businesses are not interested in lives, their are interested in profits. Death is merely a cost of doing business.

                  Admittedly, Trump is a break from the norm. He is lousy for business. He allows innocents to be slaughtered for no reason at all. Want to be a Kurd today?

          1. Feddie, you need to get a puppy. (Man, I am so happy that I don’t see the world through your dark eyes.)

            1. Some people are content to stumble through life with blinders on, oblivious to the plight of others. Ever read The Ugly American, Acbig1?

              Oh, BTW, my eyes are not dark.

              Nor do I see the world darkly.

              1. Well, let’s put your claim to the test shall we? Here’s what you can do to prove that you aren’t what you claim others to be:
                I want you to send a single reply to me, using these exact words:
                “Donald J Trump is the President of the United States” for all readers to see. No attached commentary or opinion. Just that simple statement in quotations. So if you are different than the “Some people” that you so negatively described, now is your time to prove it. My bet, you CAN’T DO IT.
                Reason: Because you are are no different than the people you criticize. And we all know there is a special name for that, that begins with “h”.

                1. Your logical fallacy is tu quoque. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/tu-quoque

                  Sorry Acbig1 but even a first grader couldn’t miss the gigantic red herring you just attempted to proffer.

                  My comment to which you were replying dealt with your proud and unapologetic lack of compassion or empathy for the death and lifelong misery that millions upon millions of innocent men, women and children have suffered at the hands of United States.

                  That indisputable and cruel reality has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not I affirm Joe Blow, Mortimer Schnerd, Herman Veeblefetzer or anyone else as President of the United States.

                  Nice try Acbig1 but only a fool would fall for such tactics.

                  1. Ahh Feddie. YOU COULDN’T DO IT, COULD YA? Didn’t I say as much? A simple statement of fact, and you couldn’t bring yourself to admit it. You proved my point as anticipated. So now you see how easy it is to bring liberals in front of the mirror so they can see exactly what they are. Factual information is never important to liberals because it won’t agree with their narrative. I’m smiling “huge” right now, Feddie, because you couldn’t accept a simple fact, and I told you so. It’s called “WINNING”. And then you thought you could spin, twist, and turn, to make your lame reply sound valid. Not! So come on, Feddie, put your big boy pants on and give it another go. Say these (and only these) simple words, and prove me wrong:
                    “Donald J Trump is the President of the United States”

                    1. Tu quoque redux just piled higher and deeper.
                      But keep trying, Acbig1…it’s cheap entertainment to watch your contortions.

        2. Acbig! Have you talked to any ever-faithful-to-the-US Kurds today? Seems they are going through “the death, misery and destruction” that Fedup speaks of. Do you think any nation on the planet can trust America..or for the foreseeable future? If your systems made Trump president, inevitably it will throw up someone even worse.

          1. Your reply is exactly why I call you “Mr. Armageddon”. You are so shallow. Turkey and the Kurds have been battling each other since before Trump was born, and will continue long after his death. But even then you will still blame him. Get some perspective, Globie. And call me in the morning.

            1. Your reply is exactly why I call you “Mr. Armageddon”

              Darn! Did Globetrotter steal my title when I wasn’t looking (through my dark eyes)?

              1. Sorry Fedup. Ac uses many “swear words” for anyone who refuses to agree with him. DEMs, liberals, lefties, commies,. Remember when we used to shriek at schoolyard enemies that their “mothers wore army boots” or “that our father could beat up their father”. Same stuff.

                1. “swear words”??? What are you talking about? Give me one swear word that I used. Step up! If you are going to accuse me, bring the proof. But you can’t do that can you?
                  Half of my replies are censored, so I can’t imagine being allowed to use a “swear word”.

            2. Got it. Turkey has been battling the Kurds (a ethnic cleansing thing) for centuries. As you point out, everyone knows. The Kurds are also the most loyal allies America has ever had in that troubled area of the world. Kurds have died for Americans, in the fight against ISIS. What you are saying, knowing all this, is that America had every justification to abandon the Kurds to their deaths at the hands of the Turks. Frankly, if any Kurds survive the US betrayal, they will hate Americans long after the passing of everyone here.
              This is how most American allies feel about the US in trade, in alliances, in joint support initiatives.

              1. Globie- Stop embarrassing yourself. You need to chill. This situation will straighten itself out. Stop walking to the cliff every time you find an excuse to hate Trump. Try being a “patriot” for a change. Your stuff is getting old and tired.

  2. Apples and oranges, dumb comparison at best. Propane and fuel prices affect every individual in Ecuador, the issues you list in the US affect only certain segments, and often those segments do protest albeit usually peacefully.

    The US is a country of 300 million, EC 16 million. In EC it does not take too many people in the streets to get noticed, and when they carry swords, rocks and spears and block roads they get noticed even faster. It hurts innocent people and and is criminal activity. It could hurt you (lack of medicine, food, propane, garbage piling up disease, medical care) Is the author justifying this ? In the US, hopefully we using voting for change not violence.

    A few weeks ago there was a major (peaceful) protest regarding the environment, the streets were filled, saw it with my own eyes.

    Please stop comparing EC and the US.

    1. When thousands in the Pro-LIfe Movement gather in D.C. there is total Media eclipse. When twenty feminists shout “It’s my body” it is pasted all over the news. So, it doesn’t matter who protests and for what. What matters is what the Media wants us to think.

      1. Is there anything else that you want to force people to do with their lives and bodies to please you?
        Additionally, you failed to answer the key question. What measures do you suggest to force women to carry from the time they discover they are pregnant to birth and beyond? Chains? Intravenous feeding? Threats of grave pain?

        1. If you don’t want the results, consider contraception or abstinence. Don’t bother bringing up rape as a defense since only a very small percentage of abortions are done due to rape.

          1. AH! Ray! Maybe you will answer the questions that LadyLee refuses to. How do you plan to impose your will upon pregnant ladies? Incarceration? Immobilize them with chains? And yes, you are right. Women can get pregnant without a rape. Very good. They have been doing so for at least a few years.

            1. It is not for me to say “how”. But, since you asked, I will ask you, “What do you do with murderers?”

            2. I have no power to impose my will upon anyone. That is not my responsibility. This is a column were people express their values for what it is worth. That is called free speech. There is only one judge that holds us accountable. His name is Jesus & we will all answer to Him when we pass from this world.
              I know a few ladies who have had abortions & they all suffer from regret for their actions. They made that choice weather legal or illegal in their situation & only they will have to live with that decision, although it affects their baby’s father, their family, & friends. I personally believe that we are worse off because of the loss of all those lives which could have made important contributions to our society. It is a moral decision you must make depending upon how you value human life. Choose wisely.

  3. Other than the tariffs, which are economically ignorant, most of your complaints about what’s going on in the US are wildly overblown.

    The “rich,” for example, pay a disproportionately large share of US federal income taxes. This is clearly shown by official tax records.

    Normal retail transactions are not violations of the emoluments clause.

    The action in Syria may be questionable, or even unwise, but Turkey is a member of NATO and the Kurds aren’t, so talk of “allies” is a little more complicated than you make it sound.

    Not sure which reduced gay rights you’re talking about.

    We’re you this outraged when Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress but faced no repercussions?

      1. You’re big on hyperbole but small on evidence. How about some kind of factual response rather than bald assertions of your opinion?

      2. Of course they aren’t. Whoever said that? Criminals are, also, no lesser human beings than non-criminals. Everyone is a potential criminal. You are talking about homosexuals as if they are a different species of human being.

      1. Er… Please read what I wrote: US federal income taxes. Nothing in your link disputes this.

        The top 1% pays over 37% in federal income tax revenue on less than 20% of the income.

        The top 10% pays about 70% of federal incomes taxes on about 47% of the income.

        If you want to make some different argument than the one I’ve made, have at it, but don’t try to refute what I said with irrelevant evidence. It’s textbook apples and oranges.

      2. Excellent article… thanks for posting. For any who might be interested, the title of the article is:

        US billionaires pay lower tax rate than working class for first time in history
        Richest 400 families paid tax at rate 1.2 per cent less than bottom half of American households

        FWIW on a related note, latest stats show that the richest !% of Americans have a combined net worth of more than $30 trillion while the bottom 50% have a negative net worth (IOW, more debt than assets).

        As Herb Stein famously quipped, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

        1. Which doesn’t change the fact that the richest 400 families pay far more federal income tax — and federal income tax was the subject mentioned in the column and in my response — than the bottom half. Especially given that the bottom half pays almost zero federal income tax.

          Property taxes, sales taxes, etc. aren’t federal and what other taxes are federal — fuel taxes, etc. — are based on the amount consumed, not income.

            1. Why is a sales tax fair when the government (the recipient of said tax) contributed nothing in the production of the item that was sold?

        2. Tax rate vs gross taxes paid. Which one is more relevant? When you buy a car, do you primarily focus on the price or what percent of your salary is it? When the guy selling you the car does he sell it for a fixed amount or a percentage of your salary ( the government is the outlier as they are into a percentage stuff while most other transactions are the gross amount

          1. You’re preaching to the choir. I’ve been an advocate for elimination of income/payroll taxes and replacement with a national sales tax for decades.

            1. Naw. Regressive..forcing the poorest to pay the most to support the nation.

              How about a progressive sales tax..where you pay a progressively higher proportion of sales tax the more you spend? Six of one, half dozen of the other.

              1. There are many ways to make a NRST (national retail sales tax) proportionately fair. I could write several million word treatises on the subject since I spent many years in DC speaking with our elected lowlights there about it…but I’ll spare you the boredom. Suffice to say that an NRST can very easily be made far more equitable than the income tax. In reality, both are really consumption taxes; however, the income tax comes at it backasswards. More importantly, an NRST is border adjustable and would tremendously benefit domestic exporters.

  4. The working class have the lowest unemployment on record, more take home in over a decade and are $5000 wealthier (govt stat) than just two years ago – when you are fatter and more secure in your paycheck you tend to let a lot of shizzle fly

      1. Agreed. The U.S. has been a house of cards for years and soon they start falling. I think the debt if 400% larger than Ecuador’s.

        1. If the US is such a horrible repressive place with evil, racist people and leaders why are millions risking, life and limb and being raped and murdered to get in?

          1. It couldn’t possibly be that the US has intentionally created an even worse hellhole for them in their own countries ever since the 1950’s, could it?

            Of course not.

            1. Actually Fed, US-created hells go much farther back than that. Have you ever read how the Panama canal came into existence? Have you heard of the 1500 Ecuadorians machine gunned-down in Guayaquil at the behest of US interests? The list is endless. Remember, ANYTHING that holds even a hope of a profit is morally correct for America. One doesn’t have to hate America to see the unilateral suffering caused.

          2. I am delighted to be in Ecuador after a life/time in the USA …
            Ain,t never going back,
            Never ever ever …

      2. As it most certainly will. The sugar feed of trumps deficit financed tax cuts have their ultimate effect, he will be revealed more and more for the charlatan he has always been.

          1. All hail, Saviour Trump, sent by God to save America (oops, I mean Israel). Ah, the blindness and ignorance of the gente!

    1. You might find these stats interesting:

      CBO: Income Inequality Continues to Rise https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2018/04/cbo-income-inequality-continues-to-rise?utm_source=link&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=related

      and

      Income and Wealth in the United States: An Overview of Recent Data https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2019/10/income-and-wealth-in-the-united-states-an-overview-of-data?utm_source=link&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=related

      With absolutely no reference to you personally but only to your source, the old dictum “Figures lie and liars figure” comes to mind…

      1. Income inequality isn’t inherently bad.

        Further, if one person makes $20K and one person makes $1M and the first person’s income increases 100% to $40K and the latter’s increases 10% to $1.1M, the first person is unquestionably much better off than before even with a higher income equality.

          1. Year One income inequality: $980,000.
            Year Two income inequality: $1,060.000.

            Which income inequality is larger, using your elementary math skills?

            1. If you can’t see the glaring, bigger-than-Dallas fault in your assumption then I’m afraid I can’t help you.

              1. That’s a complete cop out.

                Income disparity increased, yet the person earning less is unquestionably better off.

                That you don’t have a more intellectually honest response than “if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you” demonstrates the emptiness of your position.

                1. Okay. Three examples…

                  1. Joe is making $20K/yr. Antoine is making $1MM/yr. They each get a 50% raise. Joe’s standard of living improves dramatically and he is unquestionably better off than before but so is Antoine. Meanwhile, the income disparity has widened from $980K to $1470K.

                  2. Same guys, same starting annual earnings. Both get a $10,000 raise. Both are better off but income disparity is unchanged.

                  3. Same guys, same starting annual earnings. Joe gets a 100% raise. Antoine gets a 200% raise. Both are better off and the income disparity widens.

                  Either hold the percentage increase constant or the absolute value of the increase constant. Otherwise you’ve just made up a bunch of numbers to backfit your a!ready pre-determined premise.

                  Your argument is specious, arbitrary, contrived and not “intellectually honest.”

                  But by far the greatest fault in your example is in the assumption that a single example of two individuals is applicable to a population of more than 330 million people. The problem with ever-increasing income inequality and the transfer/concentration of finite wealth into fewer and fewer hands is a sociological one involving huge demographic cohorts and is not reducible to a one off comparison.

                  1. It is actually simple, if you go from 20 k to 30 k greatm if you care about somebody that makes more you are a jealous type with no life.

                    1. I’m not the least bit jealous of anyone. I’m quite content with my status; however, I am deeply concerned about the future of my kids and grandkids.

                      When the concentration of wealth gets too far out of balance, that’s when bad things start to occur, especially when that condition has been artificially propped up on a mountain of debt, a labyrinthine tax code, and a completely idiotic fiscal/ economic/ monetary policy. And don’t even get me started on our foreign policy…

                      The problem may appear simple to you but the solution certainly isn’t.

                    2. Again, you simply state a conclusion, but don’t defend it.

                      Why don’t you actually defend your claim, rather than simply restating it?

                      Two of your examples showed Joe with a better life and much better marginal utility, but you claim that’s still not good for him. Why?

                      If Joe goes from $20K to $40K his life is improved much, much more than Antoine’s going from $1,000,000 to $1,020,000. Yet you assert that those two scenarios are detrimental to Joe. Why do you believe this is?

                    3. You contend that I have stated that the marginal utility of Joe’s increased income makes him no better off. No, actually your accusation is an even greater complete and utter distortion of what I said

                      (Deguello) [Y]ou assert that those two scenarios are detrimental to Joe

                      Here are just a couple of germane excerpts from examples that I gave previously:

                      (FedUpExpat) Joe’s standard of living improves dramatically and he is unquestionably better off than before… and

                      Both are better off…

                      I challenge you to cite one example where I said anything remotely like “those two scenarios are detrimental to Joe.”

                      I’ll wait patiently.

                      You accuse me of restating my claim rather than defending it. Unless you want to argue that what I contended is false, i.e.

                      When the concentration of wealth gets too far out of balance, that’s when bad things start to occur, especially when that condition has been artificially propped up on a mountain of debt, a labyrinthine tax code, and a completely idiotic fiscal/ economic/ monetary policy.

                      then try some other line of argument, counselor. I think I’ve supported and defended my position far beyond what should be required. If you want to argue the converse and prove me wrong, try defending your own position without employing logical fallacies.

                      You conveniently ignore the major thrust of my critique of your position, i.e.

                      But by far the greatest fault in your example is in the assumption that a single example of two individuals is applicable to a population of more than 330 million people. The problem with ever-increasing income inequality and the transfer/concentration of finite wealth into fewer and fewer hands is a sociological one involving huge demographic cohorts and is not reducible to a one off comparison.

                      I’ll be happy to joust back and forth ad libitum when you successfully make the case that widening income disparity is a good thing for society. But until then, it’s not worth wasting my time in this exchange.

                    4. I stated no such thing. I said the OPPOSITE. Joe’s marginal utility is much greater than Antoine’s. If you can’t get that simple thing straight, the rest is just a waste of time, as is your continued refusal to defend your conclusion rather than restating it over and over.

                    5. {Deguello} I stated no such thing.

                      Take some of own advice and try reading for comprehension for a change. The quotes I cited were excerpts from prior posts in which you (once again, mistakenly) either intentionally or sloppily completely misread what I said and conveniently forgot what you had said.

                      My “conclusion”–as you put it– is that ever increasing income disparity and the transfer/concentration of a nation’s wealth into fewer and fewer hands will ultimately cause societal disruption. That should be readily apparent but if you really need me to “defend” this assertion, please let me know. I’ll describe a simple visual demonstration that even a three year-old could understand.

                      Go back and read my post that begins “You contend that…” again.

                      Read it very s-l-o-w-l-y.

                      Then come back and either retract what you have written or just STFU.

                    6. Just a subtle reminder

                      I challenge you to cite one example where I said anything remotely like “those two scenarios are detrimental to Joe.”

                      I’ll wait patiently.

                      Zzzzz

                    7. You must not have read my comments or the objective studies I cited that originally started this tangential discussion

                  2. Your reading comprehension is poor. To review, I wrote “
                    Income inequality isn’t inherently bad.” I didn’t write that all scenarios are good.

                    In your first example, if Joe is unquestionably better off, why do you care about the income disparity? Why can’t you just be happy that Joe is better off. Further, I’d recommend that you do some reading on marginal utility. It’s almost certainly the case that Joe’s additional income improves his life more than Antoine’s improves his.

                    In your third example, again, Joe is better off even with more income inequality. Again, given marginal utility of dollars, Joe’s life almost certainly improves more than Antoine’s even though Antoine gets even more money.

                    It’s silly to hold percentages or absolutes constant because there’s no mechanism by which everyone gets comparable increases. The numbers I used indicate that there are scenarios under which income disparity increases, yet the person making less money is still better off. Two of your examples show this, as well. You’re proving my point and don’t even seem to realize it. Why do you care about Antoine if Joe’s life is improved? Do you want to punish Antoine for something?

                    I’d further recommend that you do some reading on begging the question. You assume that income inequality is problematic; you don’t prove it. You’re not making an argument; you’re stating a conclusion. Prove that income inequality is a problem even in light of better standards of living for the lower paid people. Offending your sensibilities isn’t proof.

                    1. Wow. Projection much?

                      This exchange has wandered so far afield of the original topic as to be totally ridiculous.

                      Let’s recap and see if we can retrace where this went off the rails…

                      Frank Doyle posted the following

                      The working class have the lowest unemployment on record, more take home in over a decade and are $5000 wealthier (govt stat) than just two years ago

                      I replied to his comment by citing two objective, unbiased studies analyzing statistical data showing that income and wealth disparity was growing in the United States.

                      You replied to my post by stating that

                      Income inequality isn’t inherently bad

                      and begging the question by offering an irrelevant example.

                      Here’s where we got severely off track due to my inartfully worded response. I should have just bluntly said

                      Congratulations. You’ve managed to score a logical fallacy two-fer by using a red herring argument *and* begging the question, both in one short response. So do you really believe that a widening income and wealth gap involving the entire nation– not just two individuals as in your example — is a good thing?

                      and not said anything at all about math. But that’s where the conversation got derailed and where it looks like I must have offended your sensibilities.

                      So first, let me plead guilty to an inartfully worded reply. Yes, the math in your example is correct. But that was neither the point of my comment to Mr. Doyle nor the point of my comment to you.

                      So let me try to get the discussion back on track by asking the simple question I should have in response to your red herring reply, to wit, do you really believe that a widening wealth/income gap and the transfer/concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands on a national basis is a good thing?

                  1. My SO reads CuencaHighLife on my computer with Google already logged in. If you think upvotes are relevant, rather than the arguments being made, that’s on you.

    2. “when you are fatter and more secure in your paycheck you tend to let a lot of shizzle fly.”

      Not if you have an ounce of integrity.

    3. Frank, you certainly cannot rely the measures of economic performance that you are being fed. The USA crafts such measures in a way to look good when it is, in fact, bad. They do not tell you of the millions who have given up looking for worthwhile employment and, by doing so, boost the employment figures. They do not point out that, in real terms, the buying power of the average American has not increased (beyond a pittance) in decades, while everything needed to live with dignity has skyrocketed during the same period. The infrastructure is deteriorating. The list of sad things keeps going up.

  5. Despite the current turmoil, I believe Ecuador has a brighter future than the U.S. The U.S. is in decline and in decay although I don’t blame it on Trump. Many presidents and many citizens have contributed to the downward spiral which seems to be picking up speed.

    1. That was very astute Lester. Trump is merely a sad symtom of the US malaise which began before the Revolution and has become steadily worse. There was a brief brilliant time between WW2 and Reagan, when the economy still had the Great Depression and war time controls…but that is way gone now.

  6. While I don’t agree with all of Mr. Bell’s talking points (particularly the assertion that we are abandoning our Kurdish allies), I totally agree with his assessment of the difference between Ecuadorians and US citizens when it comes to their willingness to make their displeasure with their government known.

    If the response by BOTH political parties to the 2008 fiscal calamity didn’t evoke mass protests and millions of angry citizens marching in the streets, then nothing ever will. Orwell’s prolefeed and Juvenal’s panem et circenses (bread and circuses) perfectly describe the sad state of affairs in the US. As long as Joe Lunchbucket has his six pack of beer in the fridge and Monday Night Football on the TV he’ll remain docile and pliable, gulping down whatever state propaganda the irresponsible parroting lapdog media feeds him.

    Despite all the inconvenience and hardship the current paro brings to Ecuador, I much prefer the spirit of Ecuadorians to the somnambulance of Americans.

      1. Surely you are aware that the US created, transported, armed and funded al Qaeda/ al Nusra/ Daesh/ ISIL/ ISIS (or whatever you want to call them) rebels in our foolish and ham-handed attempt to remove Assad from office, aren’t you?

        And that the US trans-shipped more than 440 tons of weapons from Benghazi/Libya through Turkey into Syria to equip our new-found al Qaeda “allies”?

        That we helped train them in Turkey before transporting them into Syria?

        That our so-called allies the Kurds forced Yazidis, Christians, Assyrians and other non-Kurdish ethnic/religious populations in northeast Syria to give up their weapons to the Kurds, pledging that they would protect them in the case of any threats but instead turned tail and ran as soon as ISIL showed up on their doorstep?

        That Turkey is also our ally who allows us to park a pantload of nuclear-armed missiles, listening posts, military aircraft of all types and thousands of US soldiers scattered in various locations across their country?

        That the Kurds are “allies” only so far as they keep the caca stirred up in northeast Syria, Iraq and Iran?

        That there are multiple factions of Kurds in that region scattered throughout Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria? That their sole purpose in fighting is not to help the US in any way whatsoever but rather to carve out an independent Kurdish nation in that region?

        Stop drinking the KoolAid that US media sprays at you with a fire hose and dig a little deeper for the truth.

        And always, always, always follow the money.

    1. If you don’t call giving Turkey a green light to slaughter the Kurds, who stood by us in battle in our quest to eliminate ISIS, abandonment what the hell DO you call it?

      1. So which of our many transitory allies in that region should we should we desert and which should we fight? Our NATO ally is Turkey, our proxy ally is/was ISIS and our on-again/off-again friends were the Kurds.

        The Kurds could have easily obtained protection if the US simply allowed them to ally with the SDF like they attempted to do a year ago… but our oh-so-swift Secretary of State Mike-I-used-to-teach-our-guys-to-lie-cheat-and-steal-Pompeo put the kibosh on that.

        The only metric the US uses to determine its built-on-quicksand-loyalties (after conferring with our good buddies Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel) is which team is more anti-Assad or more anti-Iran today?

        But they hate us for our freedom, don’t you know?

        Keep gorging on the Prolefeed, Ken.

        1. Sorry, Jacko, but you don’t get to answer my question with questions of your own. That’s not how it works. At least I was taught that back in Doug Danay’s 7th grade English class.

          Truncated reply: in a choice between Erdogan and the Kurds, I go with the Kurds 100% of the time. I’m sure that is the same choice that thinking people with morals and integrity will make as well.

            1. Read it. Thank you. My firm takeaway is that trump is totally inept and is way over his head in all of this as he is in most things. That would be fine if he was even capable of taking direction from advisors that could lead him, but of course, trump himself has told the world that he is a stable genius and knows more than “The Generals”. Let’s even say that this situation would be “less bad” if trump was capable of following a steady course——— any course———- but there, too, he is incapable as he vacillates from one caprice to another.

              I’m as anti-war as anyone, yet there has to be pragmatic considerations when trying to exit from any conflict, whether it was one you started or one you inherited. I stand firmly by the notion that you simply don’t abandon your allies——– the Kurds———- no matter what label you care to use for them. To that end, Margolis’ rationalization regarding those labels vis a vis who the various factions choose to call terrorists is no more than a distraction.

                1. I would support the result if I could overlook the timing and the process. I cannot.

                  I have always been angered by the neocons that scream jingoistically, “Support our Troops!” They wave flags, wear lapel pins, have bumper stickers and even make donations to organizations that support those troops when they return battered (or dead) from war. Those people are full of shit. If they truly supported our troops, they wouldn’t be voting into power those that send these children to fight foreign wars.

                  Sure, I’m happy that a thousand U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Syria. But the orange menace has announced that he will be sending 1,500 new troops to Saudi Arabia to protect the oil fields of a dictator (yes, damnit, bin Salman is a dictator) who brutally kills and dismembers people and who claims innocence and trump pretends to believe him.

                  At very best———– and this situation doesn’t come close to being good at all———– our current move in Syria is a Pyrrhic victory.

                2. What do you think now that the very stable genius has announced his plan to leave those troops in Syria and sanction Turkey, to boot?

                  1. My understanding is that His Royal Orangeness is still withdrawing US forces from northern Syria along the Turkish border and redeploying them elsewhere in the Middle East.

                    Not exactly what anyone could properly describe as bringing the troops home or putting an end to our seemingly endless wars.

                    And the sanctions on Turkey? Big whoop.

                    If you’re really interested in this topic, pull up this podcast and listen to some unvarnished truth about the Kurds, Syria, Turkey and the US: https://tomwoods.com/ep-1510-syria-trump-and-the-kurds-scott-horton-tells-the-story/

                    And then, if you really want to get deeper into the woods, take a look at the book that they mention at the end of the podcast: https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Palestine-Sheldon-Richman/dp/1733647325

                    It’s a thoroughly documented, thoughtful, and well-written analysis that explains so much about the Middle East quagmire and why it exists.

                    1. The situation is fluid and that is greatly exacerbated by the vicisitudes of the very unstable fool that is the Commander in Chief. When I wrote my comment, he had just announced that the 1,000 troops he was withdrawing from north-east Syria would remain in Syria. This was done due to the outcry of his republican cohorts. He then went on to change that plan to the one you write of here. Let’s wait until later to see what he actually does.

                      You are right about his proposed sanctions on Turkey. Far from having his claimed effect of “shutting down the Turkish economy”, they were only done for the cosmetics of doing something to preempt a bi-partisan move in the House and Senate that would be veto proof and that would actually have teeth. I have a feeling I don’t have to explain the context of that to you in light of his penchant for kowtowing to repressive dictators.

                      My fervent hope is that his house of cards continues to self destruct and we are rid of him as soon as possible. Sadly, some of the damage he has wrought may be permanent. How will allies ever trust us after all this?

                1. I have been a Ron Paul fan since before he knew he was a Libertarian. I subscribe to his youtube channel.

  7. I do not like conspiracy theorizing. However, the incredibly ham-fisted handling of the ending of fuel subsidies makes me wonder….

    There are only two reasons this could have happened;.

    1. The current government is stupid in the extreme and totally out of touch with the nation’s electorate. OR
    2. They wanted to prove something to the IMF. And perhaps achieve more future bargaining space with them.

  8. You invalidated every argument in your article when you started off with….”three years of criminal and treasonous activity by the U.S. Trump Administration.” Liberal journalists don’t need proof…just accusation.

    1. I don’t follow US news, but didn’t the Mueller testimony state that crimes were committed and if he was not president he would be charged with a crime (obstruction), but due to his department releasing advice saying the sitting president cannot be charged Mueller couldn’t go ahead with it, but state without that advice he would have?

      1. No, the report did not state that.

        It did state, “… this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime…”

            1. How pathetic can you be? You give me a link to an ABA article that confirms what I have repeatedly said. No collusion PROVEN and Mueller clearly presented proof of Obstruction, which he COULDN’T bring charges for due to his adherence of an OLC memo that says a sitting president can’t be indicted.

              Watch what happens to trump when he’s either impeached and convicted, or voted out of office. He’ll be charged with multiple felonies.

              1. “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.”

                People relying on this report as proof are misguided.

                There’s no way in hell Trump will be convicted by the Senate and it’s pretty questionable whether the House will even impeach him. As for being charged with felonies after he leaves office, good luck.

                1. Proof positive that you can’t reason with people that have imbibed copious quantities of trump kool-aid.

      1. That’s not really how it works. It’s your responsibility to support your claim of crimes and treasonous activity, preferably with references to Constitutional language or federal statutory law, along with the evidence which you believe satisfies each element of the crime in question.

        That said…

        The Mueller report stated, “…this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime.”

        1. Clearly, you have either not read the Mueller report (esp. part 2) or you are cherry picking your quotes. The report also said that it didn’t exonerate trump as well, but if you actually read the report you will know that if firmly established that trump obstructed justice in 10 documented cases. Of course, trump’s shill, Barr, lied about his characterization of the entire report and lazy people never took the time to read the report, so I wouldn’t expect you to be capable of doing anything other than parroting trumpco talking points.

          1. Actually, the report didn’t firmly establish any such thing. My language was a direct quote from the report, so unless you consider the Mueller report a Trump talking point, you’re gravely mistaken. Again.

            Yes, the report said it didn’t exonerate Trump. Here’s the thing: prosecutors and special counsels don’t exonerate. It isn’t their job.

            But, since you imply that you’ve read the report, it should be no problem for you to cite the language from the report where Mueller states that it was firmly established that Trump obstructed justice. Why haven’t you done that?

            1. You have just proven that you didn’t read the full Mueller report. Quoting cherry picked snippets is so trumpian, but for those of us who have actually read the full report, your words are disingenuous and ring hollow.

              Here is a link to the full Mueller report in pdf form. If you take the time to at least read the second section. Until you do so, we have nothing further to discuss as we aren’t dealing with same base of facts. Facts are the currency I deal in, not trumpian talking points.

              https://dataviz.nbcnews.com/projects/20190415-mueller-report-embed/assets/full-mueller-report.pdf

              1. I’ve read it multiple times.

                Here’s a link which includes the relevant language.

                When the report says “this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” it’s not cherry picking, it’s the conclusion.

                Still, if you had the examples you claim, you’d have posted them, I presume.

                  1. “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.”

                    None are proven. They are possible indictments. Look up indicting a ham sandwich.”

                    It’s not proof. There may be proof, but is hasn’t been proven.

              2. “…we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct…”

                It’s not difficult. Perhaps — perhaps — there we acts which could lead to indictment, or even conviction, but the report does not say that.

                1. It didn’t draw conclusions and Mueller explained his reasons for that which he clearly explained to the world in his 9 minute address to the nation after Barr misled the nation with his false characterization of the entire report. The report itself clearly showed 10 counts of Obstruction of Justice which any objective reader could see if they had really read the report.

                  I have a strong feeling you know all this and are just being deliberately obtuse because you’re a troll.

                  1. It showed, in the light most favorable to your position, 10 possibilities. Possibilities of indictment, maybe. None of which proves the misconduct claimed.

            2. Go read the Mueller report (as you obviously haven’t). Until then, you have no basis for discussion and upvoting your own posts doesn’t give them any more validity than your vapid words.

                1. You may fool others with one cherry picked quote out of context, but only those that want to be fooled won’t see through it and you. In other words, only trumpistas will buy your utter nonsense.

              1. “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.”

                There’s no there, there. The report doesn’t prove anything claimed in the column or the comments.

  9. Rob, Welcome to Ecuador. It is a wonderful country and I am a proud resident. Also, a proud citizen of the USA. I think you missed the point of the protests. They are angry about subsidies on fuel which have been in effect at least 20 years. I understand their anguish but it is time for a reality check. In 2000, the subsidies cost the country $300 million. In 2018 it was up to over $4 billion. The country simply can not afford to continue on this path.

    I also have to disagree with your statements regarding criminal and treasonous activity by the Trump administration. After over two years of Mueller investigations by Trump-haters which found no collusion and the latest nonsense of an impeachment inquiry that the democrats will not even take a vote on, it is clearly a farce and set up. Come on. You are declaring him a criminal and a traitor. REALLY? What crimes did he commit? You are an experienced journalist and I would expect you to present facts but you are expressing your opinions and making statements that are without basis and untrue. (Very main-stream-media, fake news)

    You talk about Trump’s administration separating mothers from babies. When people commit crimes, like illegal entry into the country, there are consequences. If you were arrested in the United States or here in Ecuador, you would be separated from you family. Additionally, many of the children being illegally transported into the US are with people who are not their families. DNA tests have to be done. They are well-cared for. The moms can leave anytime they want and take their babies with them. It would not happen if they entered the country legally. You talk about targeting Latinos and Muslims. No, the authorities are targeting those who enter the country illegally regardless of their race or religion.

    You talk about administration officials subpoenaed to testify. Please get educated on this. Since there has been no vote, there is not a legitimate impeachment procedure. There are no subpoenas going out…just demand letters which do not legally require response. This is all part of the left’s narrative. They should be getting the work of the people done.

    I guess the bottom line is your “Go Fund Me” account looking for donations. Are you the same Rob Bell who has authored so many books and owned a radio show? If so, why ask for donations? If not, it seems writing this column is a great way to advertise your “Go Fund Me” effort.

    1. There are only 2 countries in all of SA that subsidize fuel. Those countries are Venezuela and Ecuador. It’s time to pay the cost of the fuel. If Ecuador borrows money from the IMF it is difficult to rationalize spending 1.4 billion on fuel subsidies. That is just an economic reality. The IMF didn’t loan money for fuel subsidies. Not to say I agree with borrowing from the IMF or selling off gold to be paid back in three years at 3% interest.

    2. > . After over two years of Mueller investigations by Trump-haters which found no collusion

      err Mueller was a republican. The investigation was not carried out by Trump haters at all. You are correct in that it did not find collusion, but it did find obstruction which is also a crime.

      > They are angry about subsidies on fuel which have been in effect at
      least 20 years. I understand their anguish but it is time for a reality
      check. In 2000, the subsidies cost the country $300 million. In 2018
      it was up to over $4 billion. The country simply can not afford to
      continue on this path.

      Not sure where you got your $4billion from, that is false. The government itself has claimed it will be a $billion a year. But the protests are not purely about fuel subsidies (for the transport workers perhaps it was) but there is a lot more going on than that if you speak to the people. If you have a read of the IMFs history in Latin America, you may begin to understand what the people are so unhappy about.

    3. To conduct an impeachment inquiry, the House of Representatives is NOT required by law to take a vote.

      Previously, votes have been taken but there is nothing in the Constitution that mandates the House shall do so.

      Clearly, you don’t know the difference between a subpoena and a ”demand letter”. (I’ve written many Demand Letters).

      Energy Secretary, Rick Perry has been issued a subpoena today – to produce documents. Shall he (or other members in the Trump administration currently under subpoena) fail to comply, he would be held ”in contempt of Congress”. A civil suit conviction would most assuredly follow.

      Also, many children separated from their families at the U.S. border have been misplaced and gone missing. You consider this being ”well cared for”?

      1. And if Congress finds you in contempt, you do not get a gold star that day. And if they really gemathey can vote on impeachment. If a toad in a robe finds you in contempt, he can put you in a cage

      2. Thou dost use facts to refute the lady’s false information. Because it is obvious that facts don’t inform her beliefs, it is probable that facts won’t change them. Good on you for trying, anyway.

    4. There are so many factual and conceptual holes in your post that I couldn’t begin to address them all, but I will take issue with just two things;

      First, it is clear that you haven’t actually read the Mueller report, especially the second section that deals with obstruction of justice. Until you read and refute the 10 items in which that report clearly shows that trump obstructed justice, you can’t claim that trump hasn’t broken the law. Equally important, who do you think that “Individual 1″ is in the indictment of Michael Cohen? Hint, it is Donald J. Trump. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of paying illegal hush money to Stormy Daniels. The fact that there exists a DOJ policy of not indicting sitting presidents, in no way means that trump didn’t commit the crime. Clearly, he did.

      Second, you wrote this: ” Since there has been no vote, there is not a legitimate impeachment procedure.” It is clear from that statement that you are one of those single source news people that has just picked up on the false talking points that trump spreads through Fox News. Your stated notion has been proven false countless times, but you can actually do this one yourself. If you can show me where the constitution requires the House of Representatives to actually vote on an impeachment inquiry before subpoenas can be issued by the House, I’ll donate $100 to your favorite charity.

  10. This anti-Trump Rant by Rob Bell who has made himself judge & jury even although no proof has been provided is simply one more upset Hillary supporter declaring himself all-knowing. Trump was elected to upend the corruption in America’s politics & they are being exposed & are angry. Biden is on video bragging about his success at getting a Ukrainian prosecuter fired for investigating his son. He admits to threating to withhold One Billion dollars of U.S. aid if the prosecturer wasn’t fired that was investigating Hunter Biden. But, Biden is a Democrat so that corruption is permitted. The Dems colluded with foreign governments to remove Trump from office, but, that is accepted because Dems are allowed to do anything to get the desired results. All those angry people were convinced that Mueller would bring down Trump & that provided zero evidence for their cause. Many corrupt politicians are looking at a very short window before they find themselves behind bars. It will be fun to watch the DOJ expose those behind the false FISA requests. Stay tuned for the truth.

      1. The BBC is a tool for the Tory govt, and has been the brunt of ridicule since the halcyon days of Monty Python.

        Al Jazerra, EuroNews, Deutsche Welle, France 24 and RT are all available in English – and better alternatives for world news, than BBC.

        Btw, I enjoyed your article. Keep writing!

      2. They are without merit because you disagree with facts? I have multiple sources for news, unlike your biased viewpoints. You should be ashamed for writing this without posting it as FICTION.

      3. They are without merit because you disagree with facts? I have multiple sources for news, unlike your biased viewpoints. You should be ashamed for writing this without posting it as FICTION.

        1. Besides Fox News Opinion (not the real news side) Infowars, Breitbart, Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and talk radio in general, what “multiple sources” do you have for news?

  11. How the U.S. deals with political conflict? Remember, the Presidential elections of 1964, 1968, and 1972 (George Wallace) were settled by bullets, not ballots. Rob, welcome to Ecuador from a former NYC/NJ resident.

    1. Yes Hiram. Protests in the USA are very much like Ecuadorian protests, with the addition of unjustified death meted out by police and those who called themselves “conservative” armed with automatic weaponry. Or did I just repeat myself?

  12. Typical liberal point of view, as usual with bias opinion. Try presenting a 360 degree view.
    To well inform not to mislead.
    Thanks,
    JR Delgado
    Manta,Ecuador

    1. Of course its a liberal point of view. CuencaHighLife supports the liberal point of view and we appreciate it. Charge on!

      And the other guys do the same. You know who they are. Right?

    2. Seems like this Newsletter is not just publishing good news as claimed but the total news. It is okay with me but maybe the mission statement should change.

    3. > Try presenting a 360 degree view.

      That a repeatedly bankrupted reality tv star who plays a billionaire on the tv was anointed by God to help out the poor of the country, who has a big brain, is also a stable genius, has the best genes, has a special way of inventing truth, has the ability to communicate on a level that even 2nd graders can understand due to know the best words?

  13. Rob has spent some time hanging out down here in Vilcabamba, and seems like a nice enough guy, generally speaking.

    But seriously, he has to be one of the most TDS-afflicted folks I’ve ever met personally (Trump Derangement Syndrome). All logic, critical-thinking, need for evidence over emotion, and straightforward facts … simply disappear out the nearest window when engaging these types.

    This article (as has been ably pointed out by some, here in the comments) … is effectively just an embarrassing anti-Trump rant … masquerading as some kind of incisive commentary juxtaposing two very different political systems and cultures.

    It is, if nothing else, yet another insight into the enduring toxicity of the filter-bubble such people seem to exist within (as well as the lack of rationality which inevitably ensues, after extended time in such habitats).

    Most disturbing to me however, is that Rob apparently has some kind of background as an “investigative journalist.” Really? If this article is in any way representative of his investigative capacity and/or appetite for truth/reality … one would have to view his back-catalogue with some serious suspicion.

    1. > All logic, critical-thinking, need for evidence over emotion, and
      straightforward facts … simply disappear out the nearest window when
      engaging these types.

      That is quite ironic you should say that, perhaps you also have the TDS, but the complete reverse. The inability to see what is in front of you.

      From a distance, it is clear to see Trump is a bumbling idiot who does not have a clue of what he speaks and just mumbles incoherently making things up. The double standards shown by the right are mindblowing, can you imagine the outrage if the previous president had done 1% of this? Just look at the fury he caused by using mustard, wearing the wrong colored suit, or saluting with a coffee cup in his hand.

    2. Nick, I said I was a television journalist, but I did do investigative reporting thousands of times over the many years I worked in news. Funny that a climate denier like you, who has his shorts bunched tight because he is intimidated by a 16 year old girl, are critical of my background in journalism. You also know very little about the United States, just as I do not opine about politics in Australia. Throw a shrimp on the barbie and chill mate!

      1. You are a TV reporter for what, the Jerry Springer show? Amazing how you are so astute that you could surmise Nick’s climate beliefs based on his post. A 16 year old child brainwashed by her parents who sailed across the Atlantic to save the planet. Six People flew by airplane to the U.S. to sail the boat back to Europe. What a great environmental savings. You must be proud of that. Did you paddle board to Ecuador? Are you greater than our creator God? Climate change believers are nothing but hypocrites.

    3. Clearly, you have no clue what TDS is. It is when a trump supporter claims that the pathological liar, trump, always tells the truth. THAT is trump derangement syndrome.

      1. Be thankful he is more truthful than Biden, Warren (the fake Indian), AOC, Schiff, & the rest of the lying Dems!

        1. You think not? Just check with Rudy Giuliani. He will confirm it for you. Better hurry, though, Rudy will be joining Michael Cohen soon and you won’t have easy access to him.

    4. “Nice Enough Guy”, doesn’t account for being not-too-bright. He trashes the U.S., attacks and ridicules our President, insults Americans, and then has the gall to turn around and ask for money through a Go Fund Me page, so he can get his girlfriend through immigration, so they can….. what…. return to the U.S????? the country that he dislikes so much? I’ve heard several celebrities eschew political discussions in the very real acknowledgement that, by taking a side could alienate half their fan base. This guy attacks conservative Americans, then turns around with hat in hand, asking for money? In New Jersey, where he is from, they call that “ballsy”. We already know that “talented” and “insightful” are not among this guy’s assets. Add “intelligent” to the shortcomings list.

  14. Rob, americans will fight you and the government for their God-Given right to supersize their next order of french-fries if they so choose .

  15. Spoken (written) like a true liberal. Always somebody else’s fault. Always the victim. Always Armageddon.
    Re yours: “In stark contrast, despite almost three years of criminal and treasonous activity by the U.S. Trump Administration, no-one has marched on Washington, DC…”
    Did you ever just stop and consider that the reason could be that things in the U.S. aren’t quite as negative as you would like everyone to believe? Could it be that you are just another “Debbie Downer” liberal?

          1. Let’s point out that these are lower courts…. there is a lot of runway there, lest you be too jubilant only to turn around and you look like the less intellectually endowed, that you are. Let’s just see what happens….patience grasshopper……

          2. Really Charlie. That’s the best you can do? Let me explain to you what “winning” is. It’s when you are duly elected to the highest office in the most powerful country in the world. Charlie, my friend, that’s WINNING.

              1. The bigger question is WHERE will you run and hide after Trump is re-elected. You will run to your favorite safe space and pout like a true liberal. Can’t wait.

  16. The author is a hack, who does nothing more than parrot lefty talking points…. not much original journalism here…….. Somehow, the fact that there have been marches in major U.S. cities (as recently as last night, in Minneapolis), but in Washington D.C. as well, has alluded his keen “monitoring of (U.S.) news” . To acknowledge reality would not comport with his narrative, so he simply doesn’t.

    Of course, this sock puppet couldn’t get through his poorly written article, without making reference to “three years of criminal and treasonous activity by the U.S. Trump Administration”… a general statement, with no mention of specifics. He obviously thinks that if he joins the chorus…. and makes inaccurate , unsubstantiated, and irresponsible statements and allegations often enough, maybe, just maybe, some members of his tiny audience might just start believing him.

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