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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 10 Reasons China will have trouble fighting a modern war on: December 17, 2016, 03:40:38 AM

Although the article raises many valid points, China is planning on short, sharp wars and intends to use asymmetrical 4th gen warfare. They will not fight in a way that allows us to use our strengths. When the Gulf war resulted in our very lopsided victory, China totally changed it's gameplan and set to modernizing it's military.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China seizes US underwater drone in South China Sea on: December 16, 2016, 12:55:01 PM

China has a month to do whatever.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FB's Ministry of Truth on: December 16, 2016, 10:57:24 AM

Boycott Fakebook!
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 16, 2016, 09:59:09 AM
The Left would seek to take credit perhaps, but if we deport these people/children it will be political suicide.  Much of the sanctimoniousness of the sanctuary city folks comes from visions of these children being deported, families broken up etc.


Gosh, you mean the dems won't vote for us? Howabout we go back to the rule of law? The Mexicans that got the free food, housing and education on our dime can go back to their beloved Mexico and make it great again not quite such a corrupt sh*t hole. Evey family where someone commits a crime can be broken up, or should we stop sending people to prison?



155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drain the Intelligence Swamp! on: December 15, 2016, 09:51:47 AM
Drain the Intelligence Swamp!
By G. Murphy Donovan

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared on Public Television shortly before the presidential election for an extended interview with Charlie Rose. Mister Rose, like many of his peers these days, swings between hard news at dusk and bimbo chat at dawn. Indeed, Charlie is the very model of a Beltway double-dipper, a celebrity groupie who feeds at public and commercial troughs, PBS and CBS.

On any given day, Rose might be seen giggling with celebrities in the morning and then lofting softballs to political touts in the evening. The Council on Foreign Relations was the venue for the recent Clapper show. “Impartial, non-profit” think tanks are often used to provide the appropriate gravitas to administration spin. The Clapper performance, just before the November election, seemed to be of a piece with several other Intelligence officials who campaigned against Donald Trump.

And the Clapper interview, like many administration dog-and-pony shows, was not about transparency or openness or even information per se. In another day, any public chat with an Intelligence official might have been relegated to the desinformatsiya file. Today, Intelligence officials like Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan play other, and some might say sinister, if not partisan roles.

Whether the subject is Islamism, Vladimir Putin, or fake news; the name of the game at the moment is overtly political. Call it spin control.       

Clapper’s appearance on Public Television was a subtle version of partisan Intelligence spin. Michael Morell, former acting director of CIA and Michael Hayden, former director of NSA have been on the anti-Trump stump since the 2016 campaign began. Recall that Hayden (aka Elmer Fudd) presided over the worst warning failure in American history and that Morell was a principal in the Benghazi fiasco.

Clapper suggests that the world of Intelligence is binary, a world of secrets and mysteries.  Secrets are the knowable unknowns and mysteries are the secrets that might never be known, or at least not until disaster strikes. The Saudi kamikaze air force takes a bow here.

Alas, the “wilderness” of mirrors has other dimensions that Clapper didn’t mention. The third dimension of Intelligence “knowns” is those that are engineered for budget or policy reasons. The Putin bogeyman or the Russian phantasm might be examples.

The fourth dimension of Intelligence is things that are known, yet so toxic that they are minimized, ignored, or dismissed. The Shia and Sunni Islamist threats are the premier examples of fourth dimension threats where books are regularly cooked to a fare-thee-well.

A fifth dimension is public relations, facts or fictions that might be spun to some institutional or regime advantage. Leon Trotsky, and later Goebbels, would have called the “fifth” dimension of Intelligence indoctrination or propaganda. If “fake news” is a problem in America, the US Intelligence Community could be its poster child.

Intelligence is a perennial lamb to the policy lion; indeed the Executive Branch is shepherd to the 16-agency Intelligence flock. The institutional product of Intelligence today is not objective or impartial truth so much as a version of reality helpful to politicians.

Truth in analysis, especially, is an avatar of truth in politics and journalism. Candor is inversely proportionate to the discomfort or pain truth might inflict. Bad news is never good news in politics.

Policy does not relish contradictions, either. If a spook or analyst raises too many problems, he becomes the problem. The tragic case of FBI agent/analyst John O’Neill is instructive. State Department knives made short work of O’Neill (see Barbara Bodine) and any aggressive pursuit of the USS Cole malefactors. Ironically, O’Neill subsequently died at ground zero during the Saudi 9/11 suicide attack.

Yemen is still burning. Libya and Benghazi are just echoes of the Aden Harbor fiasco, humiliations when inept cookie pushers called the shots.

Clapper also failed to tell Charlie Rose that Intelligence is both defense and offense. Collection and analysis are defensive functions. Espionage and propaganda are offensive functions. Of the four, three are immoral if not illegal; if not at home, then somewhere.

Intelligence officers, operational or analytical, are accomplished liars. It’s what they do. It’s what they get paid to do. Jim Clapper, John Brennan, Michael Morell, and Michael Hayden are no exceptions.

And propaganda, in all countries, has domestic and foreign consumers. When Jim Clapper talks to CPB about “speaking truth to power,” truth and power have very narrow definitions. Truth is usually whatever confirms that which a policymaker already believes. Power is a politician with enough juice to give an agent or analyst another line of work.

Some spooks never get to come in from the cold.

Indeed, to understand any public pronouncements from the refractive world of Intelligence, the listener must know a little about the speaker and a lot about what isn’t said.

James Clapper is an example, known to select apostles simply as “JC.” Clapper comes from the nerd cloister in the Intelligence Community. He has a technology and collection background.  Unlike, John Brennan at CIA, Clapper probably cares little about operations, espionage, or analysis. Worldview matters nonetheless.

John Brennan

Small wonder then that the DNI believes that the “cyber” threat ranks number one among Intelligence concerns. Moscow ranks second in the threat pantheon, followed by a litany of what JC likes to call “nefarious characters;” the Chinese, North Koreans, and a host undifferentiated culprits like terrorists, extremists, and criminals. The “environment” is also big on the nefarious list according to Clapper. The DNI is happy to indict the Russians and climate; but words like Islam, Mohammed, Muslim, Islamist, or Islamofascism seldom cross his lips.

To be fair, Intelligence is largely an echo of all things politically correct. Religious cults that chop off heads, abuse women, or molest children in the name of a “great” religion might transcend deplorable. However, when such heinous crimes are admitted in the name of Islam, Mohamed becomes an unmentionable.  It’s a little like discussing Hitler without mentioning Germans or discussing Quisling without mentioning Norwegians.

In any case, if the kinetic threat is to be ignored, it helps to have default or surrogate threats, especially if you’re justifying a deficit DOD budget. Vladimir Putin takes a bow here.

Of all the things that 16 intelligence agencies do, threat analysis is probably the shabbiest product. Indeed, intelligence “analysis” is a deductive, not an inductive process. Analysis seldom begins with a blank slate. The drill begins with existing policy and all the embedded assumptions that politics brings to the table. To be a successful intelligence or national security analyst today, two assumptions are etched in stone.

Russians are bad. Muslims are good.

Simplistic as it sounds, any analysis that contradicts these team Obama bedrock policy maxims today is a dead letter. Putin and the Kremlin are the tar and feathers of modern American politics for both sides of the political aisle. A casual observer only has to look at Russophobic smear tactics in the 2016 presidential campaign to appreciate these phenomena. In contrast, at least five barbaric Muslim small wars proceeded apace during the campaign season with hardly a policy tweet or a ripple above the fold.

Indeed, Clapper endorses “long war” speculations, administration euphemisms for jihad that suggest that terror and Muslim small wars will be a permanent feature of American futures.   

There is some comfort to be had with Jim Clapper compared to Michael Morell, Michael Hayden, and John Brennan. Recall that Brennan was the CIA chef who originally cooked the Islamic books while at the White House.   

Mike Hayden presided over 9/11, the worst Intelligence failure in American history.  He was promoted after the Saudi attack on 9/11. And recall that Morell was the ephemeral CIA director who presided over the Libya/Benghazi fiasco. Brennan now runs CIA. Hayden and Morell are prominent media front-runners for the political left and “Clinton Inc.”

If Intelligence meddling in American elections and politics is a fact, it’s a Washington, not a Moscow fact.

The tone for any administration is set at the top. The president-elect needs to send an unambiguous message to the righteous Right and the radical Left midst the national security elites, the same message that he so successfully communicated to voters. The name of the game is change, especially, one might suggest, for Intelligence and military policy and praxis.

It seems that General Mike Flynn will be on the "A" team, as national security advisor. Flynn is the kind of veteran who could make a difference in the Intelligence, military, and national security arenas.

Mister Trump doesn't need legislation or even a "100 days" to reorient the focus and direction of abysmal foreign/military/Intelligence policy vectors. He just needs to build a new and candid national security crew, a new leadership culture.

Trump supporters should welcome the so-called “bi-partisan” investigation of Kremlin meddling in US elections. In the process, such an inquiry might vet any CIA as well as FSB tampering. Indeed, taxpayers would surely appreciate an airing of all those black operations that underwrite failed regime changes and “humanitarian” intervention fiascos.

Withal, a lynch mob of senators led by extremist wing nuts like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer, is hardly impartial. All three were toxic critics of Trump the candidate as they are now hostile to Trump the president-elect.

Regime change and election tampering now seem to be a domestic conspiracies.

If you threw a rock from the Mall in Washington in any direction, that stone couldn’t fly for thirty miles without hitting a liberal bureaucrat. The federal work force is not Trump country. The District of Columbia and Maryland/Virginia bedroom communities voted monolithically for the Clinton left. Beltway apparatchiks, including the Intelligence Community and contractors, are the “crooked” establishment that Trump ran against.

Any inquiry led by Trump haters in the Senate or the IC has little to do with Putin and everything to do with discrediting the “wisdom of crowds,” the 2016 presidential election, the Electoral College, and Donald Trump.

So let the Intelligence Community bloodlettings begin anyway. Truth and sunshine are the best antiseptics, sure to provoke lethal blowback and more than a measure of poetic justice. Trump is a street fighter who relishes a good donnybrook.

The unofficial signal for change on any captain's halyard is a flag with a broom. The message is crystal clear.

All hands on deck for a "clean sweep!"

G. Murphy Donovan was the former Director of Research and Russian (nee Soviet) studies at USAF Intelligence when James Clapper was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/drain_the_intelligence_swamp_.html
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The DNC Hack on: December 15, 2016, 09:25:13 AM
http://weaponsman.com/?p=37499


Cyber: the DNC Hack
   

The DNC maintains a creepily-lighted shrine with their locked Watergate file cabinet and their unsecured, formerly internet-connected server. Not the same thing, genius.

There’s been a lot of noise about the Russians and the DNC hack — mostly, it’s Democrats and the press (but we repeat ourselves) trying to delegitimize the incoming administration, and mostly, it’s been conducted through the F-6 sources of press reports with anonymous sole sources, like the Washington Post report that the Post and its political fellow travelers call “the CIA report,” while actually it’s a sole anonymous source telling the Post what the CIA supposedly said. (The Post, you may remember, used a [probably nonexistent] sole anonymous source, without plausible access to tell the story of “Jessica Lynch, Amazon woman.” The author of that piece, Dana Priest, has never admitted fabricating the story but never produced a source, either, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Priest fabricated the story. She has never been held accountable).

An interesting dynamic happened in 2015. The FBI warned both parties that they were under attack. According to then-RNC head Reince Priebus on Meet The Democratic Press, the RNC then invited the FBI to work with its own geeks to secure the RNC servers, and the Republicans were not hacked.

According to the Times, the Democrats dumped the FBI call to a low-ranking, unskilled contractor — then they left him on his own to handle it. They left their server unsecure. Result, compromise.

    When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

    His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

    Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks.

OK, so what did he do, like a good DC Millennial? You got it, he googled, and then resumed slacking off.

    His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.

No, serious slacking off.

    By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

“Like, how do I, like, know you’re a like real FBI agent, doooood? Thats what I tell girls in bars myself.”  Again, this loser is supposedly their cyber-D contractor. You know how to find out if somebody’s really from FBI? Ask for a meeting at the Field Office. Hey, even if you’re a plush-bottomed cyber Weeble unwilling to leave your Aeron chair, you can ask them to send you something from fbi.gov, and then check the headers to see if the address is forged. (If you don’t know how to forge a header and how to spot a forged header, you have no business within grenade range of a mail server).

From there, the Times story collapses into, mostly, the same unsourced stuff in the Post stories. If these guys make something up and repeat it to each other, they call that “corroboration.” That’s not how intelligence works.

It does come back to the tale of the incompetent Tamene and his incompetent 30-something supervisor, Andrew Brown. Tamene ran some over the counter tools — the DNC was not running an IDS, Intrusion Detection System — and thereafter decided that the FBI guy was a phony, lacking Tamene’s great wealth of knowledge, and wrote a couple of CYA memos, and quit taking calls.

    Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.

    In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

There are some Democrats quoted by name, generally about the bad feelz that resulted when their misconduct, lying, or biting the hands that fed them got aired in public.

    For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as punditsdiscussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”

    “It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”

Well, you should probably either work for people you can say positive things about, or take care to stifle your impulses to criticize your lords and masters. Because anything put in writing is at the mercy of anyone who finds it. And anything put on an unsecured server — and from Hawkins’s phone call, the DNC knew they were unsecure, and they kept writing the sort of two-faced stuff they’re now angry about seeing in print.

Bear in mind that no fewer than five New York Times reporters were exposed in Wikileaks, coordinating their stories with the DNC or the Clinton campaign; and one non-Times hack, Glenn Thrush of Politico, who repeatedly gave Democrats the chance to shape his reporting, was hired as a Times hack as of this week. That’s what they’re looking for — partisan subservience. They seem to believe they have a right to collude, lie and slant their stories, and the people who exposed them (even if they’re Russians) are the only villains. Had the US lost the Cold War, every one of those would be licking the boots of their masters in the Soviet Ministry of Propaganda. If they didn’t aim higher than boots. (Hell, those who were old enough to be around pre-1991 probably spent the 70s and 80s doing it already).
Update

A British associate of Julian Assange says that it was not a hack, it was two separate insider leaks. Reported at ZeroHedge:

    Update: David Swanson interviewed [Briton Craig] Murray today, and obtained  additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were twoAmerican leakers … one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.

The US Intelligence services consider Assange to be under Russian control, so it’s anybody’s guess whether Murray’s statement is a Russian smokescreen, or absolute truth, and whether or not the leaker(s) exist. The effort to find them itself has risks — an organization can be rendered ineffective completely by a mole hunt. Where does security consciousness end, and paranoia begin? And don’t even paranoids have real enemies.

For your consideration: Russian cyber operators are laughing their asses off at the USA right now — whether or not they had anything to do with the hack, it’s a win for them.
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 15 Racist Classroom Presentations That Will Make You Never Want to Send Your Kid on: December 14, 2016, 09:34:01 AM
http://ijr.com/2016/12/753840-15-racist-classroom-presentations-that-will-make-you-never-want-to-send-your-kids-to-college/

158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shades of the Cold War: How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to on: December 14, 2016, 09:27:27 AM
http://www.salon.com/2016/07/25/shades_of_the_cold_war_how_the_dnc_fabricated_a_russian_hacker_conspiracy_to_deflect_blame_for_its_email_scandal/

Monday, Jul 25, 2016 03:14 PM PDT

 Shades of the Cold War: How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal
Leaked revelations of the DNC's latest misconduct bear a disturbing resemblance to Cold War red-baiting
Patrick Lawrence

   

Topics: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC 2016, DNC email hack, Donald Trump, Elections 2016, Hillary Clinton, Working Ahead News, Elections News, Politics News
Shades of the Cold War: How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal
Hillary Clinton; Vladimir Putin (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Now wait a minute, all you upper-case “D” Democrats. A flood light suddenly shines on your party apparatus, revealing its grossly corrupt machinations to fix the primary process and sink the Sanders campaign, and within a day you are on about the evil Russians having hacked into your computers to sabotage our elections — on behalf of Donald Trump, no less?

Is this a joke? Are you kidding? Is nothing beneath your dignity? Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters? My answers to these, in order: yes, but the kind one cannot laugh at; no, we’re not kidding; no, we will do anything, and yes, we have no regard whatsoever for Americans so long as we can connive them out of their votes every four years.

Clowns. Subversives. Do you know who you remind me of? I will tell you: Nixon, in his famously red-baiting campaign — a disgusting episode — against the right-thinking Helen Gahagan Douglas during his first run for the Senate, in 1950. Your political tricks are as transparent and anti-democratic as his, it is perfectly fair to say.

I confess to a heated reaction to events since last Friday among the Democrats, specifically in the Democratic National Committee. I should briefly explain these for the benefit of readers who have better things to do than watch the ever more insulting farce foisted upon us as legitimate political procedure.

The Sanders people have long charged that the DNC has had its fingers on the scale, as one of them put it the other day, in favor of Hillary Clinton’s nomination. The prints were everywhere — many those of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has repeatedly been accused of anti-Sanders bias. Schultz, do not forget, co-chaired Clinton’s 2008 campaign against Barack Obama. That would be enough to disqualify her as the DNC’s chair in any society that takes ethics seriously, but it is not enough in our great country. Chairwoman she has been for the past five years.

Last Friday WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 DNC email messages providing abundant proof that Sanders and his staff were right all along. The worst of these, involving senior DNC officers, proposed Nixon-esque smears having to do with everything from ineptitude within the Sanders campaign to Sanders as a Jew in name only and an atheist by conviction.

Wasserman fell from grace on Monday. Other than this, Democrats from President Obama to Clinton and numerous others atop the party’s power structure have had nothing to say, as in nothing, about this unforgivable breach.They have, rather, been full of praise for Wasserman Schultz. Brad Marshall, the D.N.C.’s chief financial officer, now tries to deny that his Jew-baiting remark referred to Sanders. Good luck, Brad: Bernie is the only Jew in the room.

The caker came on Sunday, when Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and (covering all bases) CNN’s “State of the Union” to assert that the D.N.C.’s mail was hacked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” He knows this — knows it in a matter of 24 hours — because “experts” — experts he will never name — have told him so.

Here is Mook on the CNN program. Listen carefully:

    What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.

Is that what disturbs you, Robby? Interesting. Unsubstantiated hocus-pocus, not the implications of these events for the integrity of Democratic nominations and the American political process? The latter is the more pressing topic, Robby. You are far too long on anonymous experts for my taste, Robby. And what kind of expert, now that I think of it, is able to report to you as to the intentions of Russian hackers — assuming for a sec that this concocted narrative has substance?

Making lemonade out of a lemon, the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess — and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave).

Preposterous, readers. Join me, please, in having absolutely none of it. There is no “Russian actor” at the bottom of this swamp, to put my position bluntly. You will never, ever be offered persuasive evidence otherwise.

Reluctantly, I credit the Clinton campaign and the DNC with reading American paranoia well enough such that they may make this junk stick. In a clear sign the entire crowd-control machine is up and running, The New York Times had a long, unprofessional piece about Russian culprits in its Monday editions. It followed Mook’s lead faithfully: not one properly supported fact, not one identified “expert,” and more conditional verbs than you’ve had hot dinners — everything cast as “could,” “might,” “appears,” “would,” “seems,” “may.” Nothing, once again, as to the very serious implications of this affair for the American political process.


Now comes the law. The FBI just announced that it will investigate — no, not the DNC’s fraudulent practices (which surely breach statutes), but “those who pose a threat in cyberspace.” The House Intelligence Committee simultaneously promised to do (and leave undone) the same. This was announced, please note, by the ranking Democrat on the Republican-controlled committee.

Bearing many memories of the Cold War’s psychological warp — and if you are too young to remember, count your blessings — it is the invocation of the Russians that sends me over the edge. My bones grow weary at the thought of living through a 21st century variant. Halifax, anyone?

Here we come to a weird reversal of roles.

We must take the last few days’ events as a signal of what Clinton’s policy toward Russia will look like should she prevail in November. I warned in this space after the NATO summit in Warsaw earlier this month that Cold War II had just begun. Turning her party’s latest disgrace into an occasion for another round of Russophobia is mere preface, but in it you can read her commitment to the new crusade.

Trump, to make this work, must be blamed for his willingness to negotiate with Moscow. This is now among his sins. Got that? Anyone who says he will talk to the Russians has transgressed the American code. Does this not make Trump the Helen Gahagan Douglas of the piece? Does this not make Hillary Clinton more than a touch Nixonian?

I am developing nitrogen bends from watching the American political spectacle. One can hardly tell up from down. Which way for a breath of air?

Patrick Lawrence is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale, 2013). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Take this seriously! on: December 13, 2016, 09:16:36 PM
http://libertyhangout.org/2016/12/breaking-cia-confirms-russian-government-killed-harambe/

BREAKING: CIA Confirms Russian Government Killed Harambe
December 12, 2016 Justin Moldow 3 Comments donald trump, Harambe, Russia, Vladimir Putin

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in killing Harambe the gorilla, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and others, including Harambe’s own caretaker, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost the nearby Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s profits.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one zoo over the other,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

The Obama administration has been debating for months how to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions, with White House officials concerned about escalating tensions with Moscow and being accused of trying to boost Columbus Zoo’s revenues.

The Trump transition team dismissed the findings in a short statement issued Friday evening. “These are the same people that said Cecil the Lion had teeth of mass destruction. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make Columbus Zoo Great Again,’ ” the statement read.

Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russia.

“I don’t believe they interfered” in the killing of Harambe, he told Time magazine this week. The killing, he said, “could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Former Army Intel Officer: CIA Director John Brennan Is Playing Political Games on: December 13, 2016, 09:11:24 PM
Former Army Intel Officer: CIA Director John Brennan Is Playing Political Games

Jonah Bennett
National Security/Politics Reporter
8:03 PM 12/12/2016


Retired Army intelligence officer Tony Shaffer alleged Monday that CIA Director John Brennan is playing political games via a secret CIA assessment stating Russia interfered with the election to support GOP President-elect Donald Trump.

Speaking to WMAL radio Monday, Shaffer claimed that the secret CIA assessment, obtained by The Washington Post and described in an article last Friday, is a product of Brennan’s loyalty to President Barack Obama, The Washington Examiner reports.

“This is purely political, and I believe that John Brennan is a political animal,” Shaffer said. He added he has been talking with former CIA officials about the report. “Everything they are telling me is Brennan is doing this out of loyalty to President Obama.”

“It’s about undermining Trump, that’s what it is,” Shaffer said. “It’s called information operations, information warfare, and that’s what I believe is going on.”

In an interview Sunday, former CIA Director Michael Morell also backed the secret CIA assessment of Kremlin-backed interference in the election, claiming the Russian plot was the “political equivalent to 9/11.”  The Russians weren’t just involved in the Democratic National Committee hack and the breach of former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, but have been much more broadly involved in trying to influence the outcome of the election, according to Morell.     

In August, Morell endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president and stated that “Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

While the FBI has stated the CIA’s assessment could be true, there isn’t enough evidence — at least to satisfy the FBI, which generally has stricter standards, as it’s often involved in gathering evidence later leading to criminal prosecution. A U.S. official told USA Today, however, that there have been some differences in ascribing weight to various motives.

Some sources told NPR that the CIA may not want to share sources or methods used in coming to the conclusions it has, which may be another reason for the disagreements.

Since the picture is still murky, three Senate committees have been tasked with getting to the bottom of foreign meddling claims in a bipartisan manner.

The Obama administration, too, has requested a review of influence attempts. This review must be completed by Jan. 20, before Trump takes over the White House.

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

Send tips to jonah@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/12/former-army-intel-officer-cia-director-john-brennan-is-playing-political-games/
161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin, you magnificent bastard! on: December 13, 2016, 09:02:47 PM
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/12/records-many-votes-detroits-precincts/95363314/

Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts
Joel Kurth and Jonathan Oosting , The Detroit News 1:31 p.m. EST December 13, 2016


State Elections Director Chris Thomas explains a state audit of 20 precincts in Detroit where ballot boxes contained fewer votes than counted in the election poll book. Chad Livengood, The Detroit News



Voting machines in more than one-third of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they should have during last month’s presidential election, according to Wayne County records prepared at the request of The Detroit News.

Detailed reports from the office of Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett show optical scanners at 248 of the city’s 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books. Voting irregularities in Detroit have spurred plans for an audit by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office, Elections Director Chris Thomas said Monday.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 13, 2016, 08:30:33 PM
What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.”


**What if they were able to get a Chancellor of Germany elected that would import masses of muslims that would rape and pillage the German people? I know, it's a crazy thought, but what if ??**
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Intelligence Officials Are Disputing CIA’s Claims About Russian Hacking on: December 13, 2016, 09:50:05 AM
More Intelligence Officials Are Disputing CIA’s Claims About Russian Hacking

CHUCK ROSS
Reporter
10:30 PM 12/12/2016

The CIA’s assessment that Russian hackers intervened during the presidential election specifically to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton relies on a “thin reed” of evidence, an official with the U.S. intelligence community says.

The official, who is with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), is one of three sources who told Reuters that the CIA’s assessment, which was reported over the weekend, is flawed.

The DNI sources told Reuters that the intelligence community does not quibble with the CIA’s conclusion that Russia engaged in a major cyber attack operation against the U.S. But they say that there is not enough evidence to say that the attacks were specifically designed to help elect Trump president rather than to merely insert chaos into the election.

“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” one of the three officials told Reuters. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”

Federal authorities have said for months that they believe Russia is behind cyber attacks that have largely been directed at Democrats and the Clinton campaign. Many of the hacked documents, including those from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were provided to and published by WikiLeaks.

The CIA arrived at its conclusion “based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked,” one of the officials told Reuters.

“(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” the official added.

The DNI officials aren’t the first to question the CIA determination.

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that an FBI counterintelligence official disagreed with the CIA’s conclusions during a briefing with Republican and Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence last week.

Despite the FBI’s refusal to accept the CIA theory, Podesta issued a statement on Monday calling on DNI director James Clapper to provide an intelligence briefing to a group of Electoral College electors before their Dec. 19 vote for president.

“We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American,” wrote Podesta.

The move was sparked by a letter sent by 10 electors, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, calling on Clapper to provide the briefing.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/12/more-intelligence-officials-are-disputing-cias-claims-about-russian-hacking/
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reuters: ODNI isn’t completely buying CIA take on Russia hacking motives, either on: December 13, 2016, 09:21:27 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2016/12/13/reuters-odni-isnt-completely-buying-cia-take-on-russia-hacking-motives-either/

Reuters: ODNI isn’t completely buying CIA take on Russia hacking motives, either
POSTED AT 8:01 AM ON DECEMBER 13, 2016 BY ED MORRISSEY

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Hacking occurred? Check. Russians involved? Check. An operation by the Russian government to elect Donald Trump? Er … not so fast. After leaks that the CIA believes that the Russians deliberately set out to crown Trump set off days of angry demands and accusations, Reuters reports that the highest levels of the intelligence structure don’t share that view. Instead, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence appears to side with the FBI — that the CIA hasn’t produced evidence of motive for the hacks:

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named. …

The CIA conclusion was a “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked,” one of the three officials said on Monday.

“(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” the official added.
Reince Priebus emphatically denies that Republicans got hacked at all. As RNC chair, one would assume he’d know if it happened, but as Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, he’d certainly have some interest in denying it now, too. Senator John McCain alluded to that when insisting on a Senate investigation, saying that just “because Mr. Priebus says that doesn’t mean it’s true.” True, but considering that this appears to be the entire fulcrum of the CIA’s analysis, perhaps that should be the first point either corroborated or debunked in the upcoming hearings.

This doesn’t make a lot of sense anyway. First off, as Gabriel Malor points out, the hacks in question started well before anyone thought Trump would win the nomination, let alone the general election:

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
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 Gabriel Malor @gabrielmalor
An issue here is the DNC hacks started before Trump won the primary. One of them LONG before.
12:41 PM - 12 Dec 2016
  133 133 Retweets   116 116 likes
18h
 Gabriel Malor @gabrielmalor
An issue here is the DNC hacks started before Trump won the primary. One of them LONG before. pic.twitter.com/L2GD99YCmL
 Follow
 Gabriel Malor @gabrielmalor
That image is from the independent report DNC commissioned about the hacks.
12:41 PM - 12 Dec 2016
  4 4 Retweets   14 14 likes
To believe that the entire exercise was designed to elect Trump, one would have to see evidence that Russians were hacking Trump’s Republican rivals in the primaries. No such attacks have ever been noted, although some of them would certainly prefer that explanation than the reality of how they lost to Trump. Several of them attacked Trump for his attitude toward Putin, so if these candidates saw hacking attempts from Russia coming at them, it seems almost unbelievable that they would have remained quiet about it. A DNC hack would be a really indirect way of electing any Republican, let alone Trump.

Perhaps one can express this in the negative — that the Russians wanted to keep Hillary Clinton from getting elected rather than wanting to boost Trump. But does that make any sense? Hillary was going to keep Barack Obama’s foreign policy largely in place, under which Putin and Russia had managed to do pretty much what they wanted in the Middle East and in eastern Europe. Perhaps Trump’s foreign-policy comments made him more attractive, but those didn’t start coming out until well after the Russians began penetrating the DNC in summer 2015. Hillary was the Secretary of State that offered up the “reset button” to Sergei Lavrov, and Obama was promising Dmitry Medvedev “more flexibility” after the 2012 election while Hillary was still at Foggy Bottom. Hillary was the architect of Obama’s incoherent “Arab Spring” response, which opened the door to Russian military adventurism in Syria and an overt military alliance with Iran. Hillary and the Obama administration barely even mentioned Russia as a threat until Trump gained traction in the primaries.

Let’s also remember what was going on at State under Hillary’s management. Russians took control of a significant portion of American uranium in the Uranium One deal, approved on Hillary’s watch while her husband Bill took in $500,000 from the Russian bankers involved. That was also accompanied by over two million dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Putin seemed to find the Clintons pretty easy partners, as long as he could launder cash to them through speeches and the foundation.

Finally, if Putin really wanted to torpedo Hillary Clinton, they had one sure and direct way of accomplishing it: the secret e-mail server. If the DNC and (allegedly) the RNC got penetrated by Russian intelligence in order to manipulate American elections and governance, does anyone have any doubt at all that Meemaw’s home-spun e-mail server (Now Wiped With Cloths!) remained inviolate? Once Hillary and her lawyers deleted over 32,000 e-mails that were supposedly “personal,” the FSB or whichever agency was involved could have leaked those all day long. They could have begun leaking them in 2014, when Hillary clearly was putting the band back together for a White House run and the existence of the server wasn’t yet publicly known. Do we really believe that the Russians penetrated non-governmental systems like the DNC, RNC (allegedly), and the Center for American Progress but totally missed the Secretary of State’s unprotected communications over four years? Come on, man.

The Wall Street Journal isn’t convinced by the CIA’s logic, or their track record:

Somewhere in the Kremlin Vladimir Putin must be laughing. The Russian strongman almost certainly sought to undermine public confidence in American democracy this year, and as the Obama Administration leaves town it is playing into his hands.

That’s the real story behind the weekend reports that U.S. intelligence services have concluded that Russia intervened to assist Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The stories are attributed to “senior administration” officials who won’t go on the record but assert murky details that are impossible to verify without seeing the evidence. …

If the CIA really does have “high confidence” about Mr. Putin’s motives, this would also be the first time in recent history. These are the same seers who missed the Russian invasion of Crimea, missed the incursion into southern Ukraine, and missed Mr. Putin’s foray into Syria. The intelligence community also claimed “high confidence” in 2008 for its judgment that Iran had suspended its nuclear-weapons program. That judgment conveniently shut down any further Bush Administration action against Iran. But a year later, in the Obama Administration, our highly confident spooks disclosed Iran’s secret Fordo underground facility.
Hopefully the Congressional investigations to come will shed much more light on the hacks. If the Russians used the hacks to fuel Wikileaks and attempt to manipulate voters, we have to respond to that and make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. But the evidence for that conclusion had better be based on more evidence than what we’re seeing so far — evidence so weak that even the ODNI isn’t buying it from their own CIA.
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If Putin wanted to influence... on: December 12, 2016, 11:25:32 PM


https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/putininfluence.jpg

166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Everyone I don't like... on: December 12, 2016, 09:21:34 PM


https://westernrifleshooters.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/everyone-i-dont-like-is-a-russian.jpg

167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dubious donations (gangster government edition) on: December 12, 2016, 08:59:28 PM
*Anyone remember the good old days, when anyone who protested Obama getting donations from overseas was raaaaaaaacist? It's only a scandal when dems lose elections.*


http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/dubious-donations-gangster-government-edition.php

Posted on May 3, 2012 by Scott Johnson in 2012 Presidential Election, Obama Administration Scandals
Dubious donations (gangster government edition)

We have published a series of posts on Obama’s “dubious donations” — i.e., the Obama campaign’s invitation of fraudulent and illegal giving through the disabling of basic credit card/debit card verification devices. I wrote about the Obama campaign fundraising operation in the October 2008 New York Post column “Dubious donations.” The Post subhead observed: “Bam’s Web site invites fraud.”

The Washington Post reported on the matter two days later in the story “Obama accepting untraceable donations,” by Matthew Mosk. Mosk quoted Obama campaign officials on their practices. According to them, everything was copacetic.

It having worked so well the first time around, and it having aroused so little interest among the mainstream media, Obama is doing it again. So we have reported in the series of posts beginning with “Dubious donations (2012 edition).” There is a story here, but you’d never know it if you get your news from the mainstream media.

In his Washington Examiner column today, also posted here at NRO, Michael Barone picks up where we left off:

    It has been reported that the Obama campaign this year, as in 2008, has disabled or chosen not to use AVS in screening contributions made by credit card.

    That doesn’t sound very important. But it’s evidence of a modus operandi that strikes me as thuggish.

    AVS stands for Address Verification System. It’s the software that checks whether the name of the cardholder matches his or her address.

    If a campaign doesn’t use AVS, it can wind up accepting contributions from phony names or accepting contributions from foreigners, both of which are illegal.

    The 2008 Obama campaign pocketed money from “John Galt, 1957 Ayn Rand Lane, Galts Gulch CO 99999” and $174,000 from a woman in Missouri who told reporters she had given nothing and had never been billed. Presumably she would have noticed an extra charge of $174,000.

Barone continues:

    The Obama campaign is evidently happy to pocket the money. After all, this is the president who, according to political scientist Brendan Doherty, has appeared at more fundraisers in three and a half years than his six predecessors did in 35 years.

    Obama has been to at least two fundraisers just in my apartment building. I often see police and Secret Service blocking traffic for a block around Washington’s posh Jefferson Hotel at 16th and M streets.

    Obama talks a good game on transparency and openness, but he’s ready to flout the law by avoiding AVS and to break his high-minded campaign promises.

    In the 2008 campaign cycle, he promised to take public financing for the general election. He broke that promise when it became apparent he could raise far more money on his own.

    During much of this cycle, he’s been criticizing Republican super-PACs as a perversion of the political process. But when he saw that Republicans might be able to raise as much money as Democrats, he broke that promise too and authorized Cabinet members to appear at fundraisers for the super-PAC headed by his former deputy press secretary.

    Democrats outraised Republicans in 2004 and 2008. Evidently Obama considers it grossly unfair that they might not do so this year. That’s not how things work in Chicago.

Barone being Barone, he assimilates Obama’s dubious donations to a larger theme. The theme is that of Obama’s Chicago-style politics. Barone himself dubbed it “Gangster Government” in a May 2009 column that I can’t find online at the moment.

He concludes today’s column with a return to the dubious donations: “Other campaigns have not disabled their AVS systems. But then their candidates are not from Chicago. Obama likes to talk about the need for civility. He just doesn’t like to practice it.”

UPDATE: Reader Jeryl Bier of Speak With Authority forwards the link to the May 2009 Examiner column in which Barone first identified the Obama administration’s practice of “Gangster Government.”
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The great Russia-hacked-the-election con on: December 12, 2016, 08:46:24 PM
Am I to understand that the conservatives on this forum are willing to excuse Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election? If I am reading this correctly, consider me stunned.

Do you have any evidence to back up the assertion, Bigdog?


December 11, 2016
The great Russia-hacked-the-election con
By Thomas Lifson

Most of the American media are “reporting” that President Obama ordered an investigation of “Russian hacking of our election,” and that the intelligence community “confirms” that it happened. Yet there is not yet any evidence that Russia hacked the election or was responsible for the DNC email hacks. None.

When self-interested people and their media allies proclaim something is true, and form a chorus that drowns out any other views, I always suspect a con. It is so easy for the Left, since it controls education and the media, to sell any tale it wishes, from global warming to Michelle Obama as a glamorous fashion icon. Most people will simply fall in line because it is too much trouble and risky to dispute what is regarded as a received truth by the power elite.

Glenn Greenwald debunks the media rush to proclaim fact-free conclusions as if they were certainties.

    THE WASHINGTON POST late Friday night published an explosive story that, in many ways, is classic American journalism of the worst sort: The key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.

    These unnamed sources told the Post that “the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.” The anonymous officials also claim that “intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails” from both the DNC and John Podesta’s email account. Critically, none of the actual evidence for these claims is disclosed; indeed, the CIA’s “secret assessment” itself remains concealed.

    A second leak from last night, this one given to the New York Times, cites other anonymous officials as asserting that “the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.” But that NYT story says that “it is also far from clear that Russia’s original intent was to support Mr. Trump, and many intelligence officials — and former officials in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign — believe that the primary motive of the Russians was to simply disrupt the campaign and undercut confidence in the integrity of the vote.”

Why it’s just as settled as the science that told us we wouldn’t be seeing any more snow, right about 2016 or so.  The Post did manage to allow that there might be a teeny-weeny bit of doubt about entirely unimportant details, though:

    Deep down in its article, the Post notes — rather critically — that “there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.” Most importantly, the Post adds that “intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin ‘directing’ the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks.”

Where is the skepticism? The Russian hacking scenario is an excuse for the Democrats to explain away their loss without blaming themselves or their candidate, and it serves to delegitimize the next president – a bad thing for the country.

My own suspicion is that an insider at the DNC leaked the emails. There is as much evidence for the public to see supporting that assertion as there is for the claim that the Russians did it.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/12/the_great_russiahackedtheelection_con_.html
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Democrats' Nauseating Putin Hypocrisy on: December 12, 2016, 08:38:01 PM
https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2016/12/11/the-democrats-nauseating-putin-hypocrisy/?singlepage=true

The Democrats' Nauseating Putin Hypocrisy
By Roger L Simon December 11, 2016


The degree to which the Democrats have changed their tune on Vladimir Putin almost on a proverbial dime is either black comic or nauseating or both, depending on how you want to look at it. Whatever it is, it is a extremely obvious example of how party politics is conducted in our era (possibly always).

If your side does it, it's diplomatic genius bound to yield peace in our time. If the other side does the exact same thing, it's a horrendous mistake bordering on treason likely to cause a national calamity, if not global Armageddon.

If there were any decent, even semi-even-handed political science departments left in our country (okay, maybe there are one or two), what we might call the Democrats' "Great Putin Flip Flop" would be a textbook case for classroom discussion.

Let's start at the beginning, March 2009, but a few weeks after the first inauguration of Barack Obama, when a smiling Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the red "reset" button, signaling the arrival of a supposed era of peace between the two countries.  The new administration was greeted with hosannas for their great symbolism from their loyal claque at the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, et al., who were oblivious, needless to say, that the word "peregruzka" printed in Cyrillic on the button, thought to mean "reset" in Russian by the linguistic geniuses in our State Department, was actually the word for "overload."
Sponsored

No wonder Lavrov has such a quizzical look on his face in the all the photos. (Imagine what the reaction of the press would have been had Trump's putative secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, done something similar. Media lynch mob?) Much more important, however,  was the extreme ignorance of the Russian character, from the Czars through Lenin and Stalin and on into the present, evinced by such a naive, almost childish, "reset." Throughout the East, of which Russia has always been a signal part despite intermittent yearnings for the West, a powerful leader has always been the center of national and tribal life.  Silly, symbolic gestures like “reset” buttons are seen as weakness, not compromises or attempts at global comity. They are something to exploit.

Obama, Russia, the Election, and a Visitor From Mars

Barack Obama, however, went on undeterred. The U.S. president, in South Korea in March 2012 for a nuclear security summit, was caught on open mic with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev confidentially informing the Russian president, as if Medvedev would be so stupid as not to know, that  "after my election, I will have more flexibility." Obama wanted that news conveyed to Medvedev's boss Putin so the true Russian president would give Obama some "space." Only Barack clearly didn't realize Vladmir was a capo di tutti capi and would behave like one -- not, say, a Republican senator from a swing state who could be swayed with a "chummy presidential phone call."

We all know how it turned out.  Putin read Obama well. Within a couple of years Russia had retaken the Crimea, destabilized Ukraine, and, making matters so bad that even the namby-pamby John Kerry has admitted it was a mistake, Obama's red line on Assad's use of chemical weapons had been crossed with our president doing absolutely nothing about it, allegedly in order not to offend dear Vlad, who was making him "promises."  The Russian air force was reputedly going to help us extinguish ISIS  -- or what Obama for reasons unknown insists on calling ISIL -- but ended up somehow misfiring and hitting our quasi-allies in the field, helping rend them at this point virtually non-existent, while Assad is now marching into Aleppo and has Syria, forever a Russian client, practically all to his despotic self again.

And then there's the little matter of Iran, also a client of Russia when Putin wants it to be, financing as much mayhem as it can from Iraq to Yemen and beyond (they are believed to have camps in Venezuela), arming the terrorist thugs of Hezbollah, all with unbelievable sums of money donated by Obama for an inexplicable and unwelcome nuclear deal hardly a single American understands and about which Vladimir Putin knows far more than any member of the U.S. Congress (which never had a chance to vote on it anyway).

Has any American president done more for Russia for less reason?  (At least FDR united with Stalin to defeat Hitler.)

Obviously not, although the same media claque (aka court eunuchs) aren't even mentioning this as they all go into a full-tilt attempt, with CIA help, to malign Donald Trump as the next American president selected (but not apparently elected) by the hackers of the Russian Republic.


Bolton: DNC Hack May Have Been a 'False Flag' Operation

Do I believe Trump actually was the Russians' preference? That would be mighty optimistic on their part. How could they do better than Obama, considering the last eight years?  And why not just as well elect a weakened Hillary? My guess is, if (big if) they were the instigators of the hacking of the embarrassingly cyber-incompetent DNC  (what is wrong with these people -- it's 2016), they were equal-opportunity hackers, anxious to create confusion and finger-pointing (they succeed with that), rather than specific results that would be hard to control.

This would be consistent with Russian/Soviet behavior over generations.  For those who have not read it, one of the best places to understand this is Disinformation, a remarkable book by sometime PJ Media contributor Ion Pacepa, one of the highest-ranking defectors from the East.  (He once ran Romanian intelligence under Ceausescu.) Mandatory reading on a similar topic is Whittaker Chambers' extraordinary memoir Witness, with its stories of the Soviet infiltration of our government way back to the 1920s.

The question we should all be asking about the CIA's sudden revelation of online tampering with our election by the Russians is how come it took our intelligence agencies so long to figure this out?  That's assuming it's all not a "false flag" operation, as John Bolton is alleging. (I wouldn't bet against him.)  Nevertheless, why are we so permeable to anyone and everyone? Why did John Podesta fall for a phishing scheme most fourteen-year olds would have avoided? What's wrong with our cyber-defenses? Didn't we invent the Internet? Al Gore, where are you?

Well, we know.

But let me ask one last question whose answer should be evident to any sentient being not a member of the editorial board of The New York Times. Who do you think would better understand and deal with Vladimir Putin -- Barack Obama or Donald Trump?

Yes, the KGB  and its successors know the difference between a community organizer and a CEO.  Don't we all?
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 12, 2016, 03:20:48 PM
Am I to understand that the conservatives on this forum are willing to excuse Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election? If I am reading this correctly, consider me stunned.



I don't think you are reading this correctly.
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: December 12, 2016, 01:43:35 PM
Just one question.  Why isn't this all good for globalization?

Deals with our enemy Communist China is touted as great because it binds us into common interests.  It increases our "conversations".  But suddenly this is some sort of threat.

Where and what are the distinctions?

Suddenly the left has gone all neo-McCarthy-ist. I guess the 80's finally called them.

I am so old, I can remember when the left rolled their eyes at election tampering.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Small investors joining China's outflow of money on: December 12, 2016, 01:37:33 PM

Could be some really opportunities in this.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Other Israel on: December 10, 2016, 07:48:40 PM
The Other Israel
By Bruce Walker

Israel, through no fault of its own, is a pariah nation almost completely surrounded by larger nations that do not even recognize the existence of the State of Israel.  Iran routinely refers to Israel as the "Little Satan," and European nations typically take overtly anti-Israeli policies to curry favor with Islam.  Yet Israel is not alone in being disparaged for no reason other than that it is small and its enemies are large.

Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a free land that has political and civil values precisely like what we ought to want the rest of the world to have.  Freedom House has only two nations in Asia stretching from Sinai to Sakhalin listed as "Free," Japan and Taiwan, which has a freer press than even Israel or South Korea.  The contrast between Taiwan and most nations in Asia is as stark as the contrast between Israel and the nations surrounding it in west Asia and north Africa.


Freedom House gives Taiwan the "1" rating (the highest rating) for political rights and "2" for civil rights, exactly the same rating as Israel.  China, by contrast, is listed as "unfree," the worst category, and it has a "7" rating (the lowest rating) for political rights and a "6" (the second lowest rating) for civil rights.

Taiwan is a prosperous land, despite the absence of natural resources.  The island's per capita GDP is $47,000 per year – higher than Germany or France or Canada – and just as Taiwan is as free and democratic as Israel, Taiwan is as prosperous as Israel, despite, like Israel, having no real wealth except the diligence and intelligence of its people.

The per capita income in China is that is 30% of the per capita income in Taiwan.  The per capita income of Jordan and Egypt, to pick two peaceful nations as close to Israel as China is to Taiwan, is 30% of the per capita income of Israel.  Indeed, Taiwan has a high per capita income than any nation in Asia – including Japan and South Korea – except Singapore.

Taiwan has no fewer than five political parties with seats in its national legislature and ten parties with seats in municipal or county government.   Tsai Ing-wen, elected like Trump earlier this year, was the first woman to be elected president of the Taiwan, and real feminists (there aren't any, of course) would be thrilled that Trump talked to her when Obama and Hillary did not.

Our attitude toward Taiwan reeks of the same sort of sick double standard we are used to seeing in how nations that ought to know better deal with Israel.  Both states represent the answer to virtually all our national security and diplomatic problems.  Indeed, Taiwan and Israel are, in a practical sense, our two best allies in the world.

But there is another reason to celebrate rather than timidly skirt around the success of Taiwan and Israel.  The transformation of the rest of Asia and Africa into countries that embrace civil rights, democracy, peaceful prosperity, and friendly relations with all who will be friendly in return is the precise solution to the problems of the world.

If the rest of west Asia and Africa had the levels of freedom and liberty and prosperity that exist in Israel, our problem with global terrorism would largely vanish as the liberated peoples in these lands found better use for their sons and daughters than as suicide bombers.  If the Pacific Basin from the shores of Asia to the coast of Latin America had the levels of freedom and liberty and prosperity that exist in Taiwan, the flood of illegal aliens across our southern border would slow to a tickle as these people found in their native lands a good place to live.

President Trump ought to continue what he seems to have started: not shrinking from our true and most logical friends in the world, Taiwan and Israel, but rather publicly recognizing the truth that these nations are models, not pariahs, and that despite daunting obstacles and enemies, both of these nations work in the way we wish all other nations worked.

Israel, through no fault of its own, is a pariah nation almost completely surrounded by larger nations that do not even recognize the existence of the State of Israel.  Iran routinely refers to Israel as the "Little Satan," and European nations typically take overtly anti-Israeli policies to curry favor with Islam.  Yet Israel is not alone in being disparaged for no reason other than that it is small and its enemies are large.

Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a free land that has political and civil values precisely like what we ought to want the rest of the world to have.  Freedom House has only two nations in Asia stretching from Sinai to Sakhalin listed as "Free," Japan and Taiwan, which has a freer press than even Israel or South Korea.  The contrast between Taiwan and most nations in Asia is as stark as the contrast between Israel and the nations surrounding it in west Asia and north Africa.

Freedom House gives Taiwan the "1" rating (the highest rating) for political rights and "2" for civil rights, exactly the same rating as Israel.  China, by contrast, is listed as "unfree," the worst category, and it has a "7" rating (the lowest rating) for political rights and a "6" (the second lowest rating) for civil rights.

Taiwan is a prosperous land, despite the absence of natural resources.  The island's per capita GDP is $47,000 per year – higher than Germany or France or Canada – and just as Taiwan is as free and democratic as Israel, Taiwan is as prosperous as Israel, despite, like Israel, having no real wealth except the diligence and intelligence of its people.

The per capita income in China is that is 30% of the per capita income in Taiwan.  The per capita income of Jordan and Egypt, to pick two peaceful nations as close to Israel as China is to Taiwan, is 30% of the per capita income of Israel.  Indeed, Taiwan has a high per capita income than any nation in Asia – including Japan and South Korea – except Singapore.

Taiwan has no fewer than five political parties with seats in its national legislature and ten parties with seats in municipal or county government.   Tsai Ing-wen, elected like Trump earlier this year, was the first woman to be elected president of the Taiwan, and real feminists (there aren't any, of course) would be thrilled that Trump talked to her when Obama and Hillary did not.

Our attitude toward Taiwan reeks of the same sort of sick double standard we are used to seeing in how nations that ought to know better deal with Israel.  Both states represent the answer to virtually all our national security and diplomatic problems.  Indeed, Taiwan and Israel are, in a practical sense, our two best allies in the world.

But there is another reason to celebrate rather than timidly skirt around the success of Taiwan and Israel.  The transformation of the rest of Asia and Africa into countries that embrace civil rights, democracy, peaceful prosperity, and friendly relations with all who will be friendly in return is the precise solution to the problems of the world.

If the rest of west Asia and Africa had the levels of freedom and liberty and prosperity that exist in Israel, our problem with global terrorism would largely vanish as the liberated peoples in these lands found better use for their sons and daughters than as suicide bombers.  If the Pacific Basin from the shores of Asia to the coast of Latin America had the levels of freedom and liberty and prosperity that exist in Taiwan, the flood of illegal aliens across our southern border would slow to a tickle as these people found in their native lands a good place to live.

President Trump ought to continue what he seems to have started: not shrinking from our true and most logical friends in the world, Taiwan and Israel, but rather publicly recognizing the truth that these nations are models, not pariahs, and that despite daunting obstacles and enemies, both of these nations work in the way we wish all other nations worked.



Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/the_other_israel.html
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / SPLC Report buried Trump-related ‘hate crimes’ against white kids on: December 09, 2016, 09:34:51 AM
http://nypost.com/2016/12/05/report-buried-trump-related-hate-crimes-against-white-kids/

Report buried Trump-related ‘hate crimes’ against white kids
By Paul Sperry December 5, 2016 | 1:55pm | Updated
Modal Trigger Report buried Trump-related ‘hate crimes’ against white kids


At least 2,000 educators around the country reported racist slurs and other derogatory language leveled against white students in the first days after Donald Trump was elected president. But the group that surveyed the teachers didn’t publish the results in its report on Trump-related “hate crimes.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center partnered with the American Federation of Teachers, which formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, to circulate the questionnaire among its 1.6 million mostly Democratic members. The survey was sent out to K-12 teachers and administrators who subscribe to its “Teaching Tolerance” newsletter.

The SPLC’s widely cited report — “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools” — reported that 40 percent of the more than 10,000 educators who responded to the survey “have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.”

The takeaway was that Trump-supporting white kids have been harassing minorities at the nation’s schools. And SPLC’s schools report, along with a broader report on alleged Trump-inspired hate crimes — “Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election” — sparked breathless coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post and other major media.

The reports also triggered a statement Friday from the US Commission on Civil Rights, which expressed “deep concern” that “prejudice has reared its ugly head in public elementary and secondary schools.” The panel called for more federal funding to prosecute “hate crimes.”



But the SPLC didn’t present the whole story. The Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit self-censored results from a key question it asked educators — whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “I have heard derogatory language or slurs about white students.”

Asked last week to provide the data, SPLC initially said it was having a hard time getting the information “from the researchers.” Pressed, SPLC spokeswoman Kirsten Bokenkamp finally revealed that “about 20 percent answered affirmatively to that question.”

Bokenkamp did not provide an explanation for the absence of such a substantial metric — at least 2,000 bias-related incidents against white students — from the report, which focuses instead on “anti-immigrant sentiment,” “anti-Muslim sentiment” and “slurs about students of color” related to the election.

“They left that result out because it would not fit their ideological narrative,” former Education Department civil rights attorney Hans Bader said. “It was deemed an inconvenient truth.”

Suppressing reports of crimes against Trump supporters gives a one-sided and misleading view of post-election discord.
Founded in 1971, SPLC claims to be a nonpartisan civil rights law firm. But it receives funding from leftist groups, including ones controlled by billionaire George Soros. And a review of Federal Election Commission records reveals that its board members have contributed more than $13,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

Bader says SPLC has an agenda to derail the Trump administration before it starts.

“These flawed SPLC reports will be cited by left-wing special interests to try to block the confirmation of moderate and conservative people to posts such as attorney general by falsely making it look like America’s schools and streets are pervaded by bigotry,” Bader said.

Last week, SPLC held a press conference in Washington to demand Trump “reconsider” his picks for White House advisers and attorney general, and “disavow” his immigration policies.

“His own words have sparked the barrage of hate that we are seeing,” SPLC President Richard Cohen maintained. “He has been singing the white supremacist song since he came down the escalator in his tower and announced his candidacy.”

Cohen tied Trump to a number of hate crimes, which he warns will only “spike” once he’s inaugurated. He noted his center recorded 867 alleged anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-black hate crimes in the 10 days following Trump’s Nov. 8 win.

But the SPLC acknowledges that it has not independently verified any of the claims. It collected most of them on its website, many anonymously.

The group won’t use its $315 million in assets to investigate the “hate crimes,” or at least help alleged victims file police reports or provide them counseling or other assistance, but it has offered “sympathy.”

“We wrote back to every submission that provided an email address to express sympathy and encourage them to report the incident to local authorities,” Bokenkamp said.

Bader pointed out that most of the anti-minority “hate crimes” and “hate incidents” cited by SPLC do not legally constitute hate crimes, and many involve constitutionally protected speech.

“It is simply ridiculous that SPLC treats ‘build the wall’ as hate rhetoric,” he said. The center counted people mentioning “build the wall” as 467 incidents of hate.

“Alas, these days the SPLC is mainly a fundraising machine,” said Gail Heriot, a US Commission on Civil Rights member who voted against Friday’s resolution. “The more it can persuade its donors that hate groups have penetrated every nook and cranny of American society, the more money it can raise. Now it wants us to believe that the election has unleashed unprecedented waves of hatred and violence among schoolchildren. Let’s stop and take a deep breath before we assume that’s true. The SPLC has no credibility with anyone — on the left or the right — who is familiar with its methods.”

While there no doubt are legitimate reports of hate crimes against minorities — and even one is too many — hyping such incidents recklessly fans the flames of anxiety among such communities. And suppressing reports of crimes against Trump supporters gives a one-sided and misleading view of post-election discord.

Paul Sperry is a former Washington bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily and the author of “Infiltration.”
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beijing takes aim at Macau currency flight on: December 08, 2016, 08:31:34 PM
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/2053045/beijing-takes-aim-macau-gaming-industry-cut-currency-flight

Beijing takes aim at Macau gaming industry to cut currency flight
Move to slash in half the amount China UnionPay bank card holders can withdraw from ATMs in enclave expected to take effect Saturday

Beijing is about to turn its guns back on the gaming industry in its battle against the multi-billion-yuan outflow of capital from its economy as Macau prepares to slash in half the amount of cash China UnionPay bank card holders can withdraw from ATM machines in the city.
The move to cut the daily withdrawal limit from 10,000 to 5,000 patacas is expected to take effect from Saturday and follows the discovery that as much as 10 billion patacas in China UnionPay ATM withdrawals were made in one month alone.
It also comes amid so far unanswered claims that the customer voucher scheme run by Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore – which apparently allows China UnionPay card users to buy gaming chips in breach of China’s strict currency controls – has seen billions of yuan flow out of the mainland.
The Monetary Authority of Macau’s ATM withdrawal cut is understood to be a reaction to attempts by illicit money movers to circumvent Beijing’s move at the beginning of this year to cap at 100,000 yuan (HK$112,600) the annual amount that UnionPay card holders could withdraw.


China backflips on currency policy with controls to stem yuan’s outflow

The Monetary Authority declined to answer questions from the Post.
A Macau finance industry insider told the Post: “What has happened is that individuals are turning up at ATM machines with stacks of cards from individual account holders and are withdrawing 10,000 a time.
Macau prepares to slash in half the amount of cash China UnionPay bank card holders can withdraw from ATM machines in the city. Photo: REUTERS
“The authorities have decided it is time to act and Beijing is backing the move.’’
Two years ago, Beijing put the squeeze on the multi-billion yuan flow of illicit cash through Macau by imposing a crackdown on the use of UnionPay point of service machines, which were being used to disguise overseas transactions as local mainland ones.
It also cracked down on the practice of pawnshops paying cash for products such as jewellery and watches bought with UnionPay cards to subvert currency controls.
The pressure appears to have had a possible knock-on effect in other casino jurisdictions like Singapore.
Macau to become a centre for yuan settlement, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang confirms

An investigation by the Post has uncovered claims that a voucher scheme operated by Marina Bay Sands casino resort in the Lion City could be an attempt to get around China’s currency controls. The scheme allows certain customers using UnionPay cards to exchange vouchers for casino chips in apparent contravention of the terms and conditions of use of the UnionPay cards.
By press time Thursday night, Marina Bay Sands – which had defended the practice – Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority and China UnionPay had not responded to questions from the Post about the scheme.
Gamblers are using more complex methods to circumvent Beijing's attempts to stop mainland money being gambled in Macau
Macau political commentator Sonny Lo said: “At the end of the day, national security is at stake for Beijing when it comes to the integrity of their currency and its outflow in massive amounts. This is what is behind these increasing moves by Beijing to stem capital outflow.”

The latest moves follow a fall in China’s foreign ­exchange reserves in November despite Beijing’s attempts to close the door on ­capital outflows.
The larger-than-expected decline in the world’s biggest stockpile of foreign exchange exposed the flaws in Beijing’s current ­approach of selling state reserves to support the yuan and was likely to force the authorities to take a stricter line on outbound investment and payments, analysts said.
The reserves shrank by US$69.1 billion last month to US$3.052 trillion, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China. The mainland has lost nearly US$1 trillion worth of reserves since the figure peaked in June 2014.
Documents obtained earlier by the Post show capital outflow controls are already in force involving forex clearance for outbound investment of more than US$5 million, plus stricter reviews in place over very large deals. Both outbound investment and these mega deals are set to limit the speed and size of capital flow.

Additional reporting by Gary Cheung and Wendy Wu
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China War and Thucydides Trap on: December 08, 2016, 08:08:22 PM

It is very interesting and I will comment after digesting it.
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Posted elsewhere-Socialism and National Socialism on: December 08, 2016, 07:35:39 PM
I am sorry if I somehow communicated that the democrat party wasn't anti-semetic. The American left is very anti semetic. Don't believe me?

Exhibit A:
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/416367/lets-talk-about-obamas-blatantly-anti-semitic-associates-victor-davis-hanson

The president’s call to “punish our enemies” was a direct call to Latinos to turn out en masse on the basis of collective ethnic fears and resentments. Politicians as diverse Joe Biden and Loretta Sanchez have all tried out racist tropes to gin up their bases — involving various warnings about scary white would-be slave-holders and clannish Southeast Asians. But if Williams is sincerely worried that racialism may be endangering bipartisan support for Israel at home, especially among minorities, and if he sees the problem largely through the lens of being “a black man,” then he might not look to the stars but just as eagerly review a long history of patently anti-Semitic statements from black public figures and celebrities who have counseled the president and are frequent visitors to the White House (well beyond fringe figures like a Leonard Jeffries or Louis Farrakhan), and who have nothing to do with either Bibi Netanyahu or John Boehner: Jesse Jackson? (“Hymies” and “hymie-town.”) Al Sharpton? (“Diamond merchants” and “if Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin on their yarmulkes and come over to my house.”) Reverend Jeremiah Wright? (“Them Jews ain’t going to let him [Barack Obama] talk to me.”) When Cynthia McKinney lost her congressional election, whom did her father blame? The “J-E-W-S.”

http://www.mrctv.org/blog/al-sharptons-race-baiting-early-years



http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704588404575123404191464126

Mr. Sharpton is an unlikely White House partner, given his racially polarizing history and efforts by Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign team to steer clear of the civil-rights leader.

But Mr. Sharpton could help ensure that blacks remain energized for November's elections—an important task in a year that finds the Democratic base to be less enthusiastic about voting than are Republicans.

**Ginning up racial hatred has been a standard tactic for the dems since the dems formed the Klu Klux Klan as the party's armed wing.**

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIZml10S1hk

#Invalid YouTube Link#

http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2011/09/01/obama-hitler-and-exploding-the-biggest-lie-in-history/

Obama, Hitler, And Exploding The Biggest Lie In History
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, G...
Image via Wikipedia

“The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” John T. Flynn

Numerous commentators have raised alarming comparisons between America’s recent economic foibles and Argentina’s fall “from breadbasket to basket case.” The U.S. pursues a similar path with her economy increasingly ensnared under the growing nexus of government control. Resources are redistributed for vote-buying welfare schemes, patronage style earmarks, and graft by unelected bureaucrats, quid pro quo with unions, issue groups and legions of lobbyists.

In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

Later, Marxists from the Frankfurt School popularized this prevailing sentiment. Theodor Adorno in The Authoritarian Personality devised the “F” scale to demean conservatives as latent fascists. The label “fascist” has subsequently meant anyone liberals seek to ostracize or discredit.

Fascism is an amorphous ideology mobilizing an entire nation (Mussolini, Franco and Peron) or race (Hitler) for a common purpose. Leaders of industry, science, education, the arts and politics combine to shepherd society in an all encompassing quest. Hitler’s premise was a pure Aryan Germany capable of dominating Europe.

While he feinted right, Hitler and Stalin were natural bedfellows. Hitler mimicked Lenin’s path to totalitarian tyranny, parlaying crises into power. Nazis despised Marxists not over ideology, but because they had betrayed Germany in World War I and Nazis found it unconscionable that German communists yielded fealty to Slavs in Moscow.

The National Socialist German Workers Party staged elaborate marches with uniformed workers calling one another “comrade” while toting tools the way soldiers shoulder rifles. The bright red Nazi flag symbolized socialism in a “classless, casteless” Germany (white represents Aryanism). Fascist central planning was not egalitarian, but it divvied up economic rewards very similarly to communism: party membership and partnering with the state.

Where communists generally focused on class, Nazis fixated on race. Communists view life through the prism of a perpetual workers’ revolution. National Socialists used race as a metaphor to justify their nation’s engagement in an existential struggle.

As many have observed, substituting “Jews” for “capitalists” exposes strikingly similar thinking. But communists frequently hated Jews too and Hitler also abhorred capitalists, or “plutocrats” in Nazi speak. From afar, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany each reeked of plutocratic oligarchy. Both were false utilitarian Utopias that in practice merely empowered dictators.

The National Socialist German Workers Party is only Right if you are hopelessly Left. Or, ascribe to Marxist eschatology perceiving that history marches relentlessly towards the final implementation of socialist Utopia. Marx predicted state capitalism as the last desperate redoubt against the inevitable rise of the proletariat. The Soviets thus saw Nazis as segues to communism.

Interestingly, almost everywhere Marxism triumphed: Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc., all skipped the capitalist phase Marx thought pivotal. Instead, they slid straight from pre-industrial feudal conditions into communism; which essentially entailed reversion back to feudalism supplanting the traditional aristocracy with party cronyism – before dissolving into corrupted variants of state capitalism economically similar to fascism.

As usual, Marx got it backwards.

It’s also ironic that even as orthodox Marxism collapsed due to economic paralysis, cultural Marxism predicated on race, sex and identity politics thrives in “Capitalist” America. The multiculturalists substituted race where the Soviets and Maoists saw only class. America’s civic crusade has become political correctness, aka cultural Marxism, preoccupied with race. Socialism wheels around again.

While political correctness as manifest in the West is very anti-Nazi and those opposing multiculturalism primarily populate the Right, it’s false to confuse fascism with conservatism. Coupling negatives is not necessarily positive. Because the Nazis would likely detest something that conservatives also dislike indicates little harmony. Ohio State hates Michigan. Notre Dame does too, but Irish fans rarely root for the Buckeyes.

America’s most fascistic elements are ultra leftwing organizations like La Raza or the Congressional Black Caucus. These racial nationalists seek gain not through merit, but through the attainment of government privileges. What’s the difference between segregation and affirmative action? They are identical phenomena harnessing state auspices to impose racialist dogma.

The Nation of Islam and other Afrocentric movements, like the Nazis, even celebrate their own perverse racist mythology. Are Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright conservatives? Is Obama?

Racism does not exclusively plague the Right. Many American bigots manned the Left: ex-Klansman Hugo Black had an extremely left wing Supreme Court record, George Wallace was a New Deal style liberal – he just wanted welfare and social programs controlled by states. Communists always persecute minorities whenever in power.

The Nazis’ anti-Semitism derived indirectly from Karl Marx, who despite Jewish ancestry was deeply anti-Semitic. Bankers and other capitalists were disproportionately Jewish. Elsewhere, Jews played prominent roles. Before falling under Hitler’s sway, Mussolini’s inner circle was overly Jewish. Peron was the first leader to let Jews hold public office in Argentina. Franco, a Marana, welcomed Jews back into Spain for the first time since 1492 and famously thwarted Hitler by harboring Jewish refugees.

Very little of Hitler’s domestic activity was even remotely right wing. Europe views Left and Right differently, but here, free markets, limited constitutional government, family, church and tradition are the bedrocks of conservatism. The Nazis had a planned economy; eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government; considered church and family as competitors; and disavowed tradition wishing to restore Germany’s pre-Christian roots.

Despite Democrats’ pretensions every election, patriotism is clearly a conservative trait so Nazi foreign policy could be vaguely right wing, but how did Hitler’s aggression differ from Stalin’s? The peace movement evidenced liberals being duped as “useful idiots” more than pacifistic purity. Note the Left’s insistence on neutrality during the Hitler/Stalin pact and their urgent switch to militarism once Germany attacked.

After assuming power, Nazis strongly advocated “law and order.” Previously, they were antagonistic thugs, which mirrored the communists’ ascension. The Nazis outlawed unions perceiving them as competitors for labor’s loyalties, i.e. for precisely the same reason workers’ paradises like Communist China and Soviet Russia disallowed unions. To Nazis, the state sustained workers’ needs.

Even issues revealing similarity to American conservatism could also describe Stalin, Mao and many communists. This is not to suggest liberals and fascists are indistinguishable, but a fair assessment clearly shows if any similarities appear with American politics they reside more on the Left than Right.

On many issues the Nazis align quite agreeably with liberals. The Nazis enforced strict gun control, which made their agenda possible and highlights the necessity of an armed populace.

The Nazis separated church and state to marginalize religion’s influence. Hitler despised biblical morality and bourgeois (middle class) values. Crosses were ripped from the public square in favor of swastikas. Prayer in school was abolished and worship confined to churches. Church youth groups were forcibly absorbed into the Hitler Youth.

Hitler extolled public education, even banning private schools and instituting “a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program” controlled by Berlin. Similar to liberals’ cradle to career ideal, the Nazis established state administered early childhood development programs; “The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding.”

Foreshadowing Michelle Obama, “The State is to care for elevating national health.” Nanny State intrusions reflect that persons are not sovereign, but belong to the state. Hitler even sought to outlaw meat after the war; blaming Germany’s health problems on the capitalist (i.e. Jewish) food industry. The Nazis idealized public service and smothered private charity with public programs.

Hitler’s election platform included “an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.” Nazi propaganda proclaimed, “No one shall go hungry! No one shall be cold!” Germany had universal healthcare and demanded that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood.” Obama would relish such a “jobs” program.

Nazi Germany was the fullest culmination of Margaret Sanger’s eugenic vision. She was the founder of Planned Parenthood, which changed its name from the American Birth Control Society after the holocaust surfaced. Although Nazi eugenics clearly differed from liberals’ abortion arguments today, that wasn’t necessarily true for their progressive forbears.

Germany was first to enact environmentalist economic policies promoting sustainable development and regulating pollution. The Nazis bought into Rousseau’s romanticized primitive man fantasies. Living “authentically” in environs unspoiled by capitalist industry was almost as cherished as pure Aryan lineage.

National Socialist economics were socialist, obviously, imposing top-down economic planning and social engineering. It was predicated on volkisch populism combining a Malthusian struggle for existence with a fetish for the “organic.” Like most socialists, wealth was thought static and “the common good supersede[d] the private good” in a Darwinist search for “applied biology” to boost greater Germany.

The Nazis distrusted markets and abused property rights, even advocating “confiscation of war profits” and “nationalization of associated industries.” Their platform demanded, “Communalization of the great warehouses” (department stores) and presaging modern set aside quotas on account of race or politics, “utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State.”

Nazi Germany progressively dominated her economy. Although many businesses were nominally private, the state determined what was produced in what quantities and at what prices. First, they unleashed massive inflation to finance their prolific spending on public works, welfare and military rearmament. They then enforced price and wage controls to mask currency debasement’s harmful impact. This spawned shortages as it must, so Berlin imposed rationing. When that failed, Albert Speer assumed complete power over production schedules, distribution channels and allowable profits.

Working for personal ends instead of the collective was as criminal in Nazi Germany as Soviet Russia. Norman Thomas, quadrennial Socialist Party presidential candidate, saw the correlation clearly, “both the communist and fascist revolutions definitely abolished laissez-faire capitalism in favor of one or another kind and degree of state capitalism. . . In no way was Hitler the tool of big business. He was its lenient master. So was Mussolini except that he was weaker.”

Mussolini recognized, “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics.” Keynes saw the similarities too, admitting his theories, “can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than . . . a large degree of laissez-faire.” Hitler built the autobahn, FDR the TVA. Propaganda notwithstanding, neither rejuvenated their economies.

FDR admired Mussolini because “the trains ran on time” and Stalin’s five year plans, but was jealous of Hitler whose economic tinkering appeared more successful than the New Deal. America wasn’t ready for FDR’s blatantly fascist Blue Eagle business model and the Supreme Court overturned several other socialist designs. The greatest dissimilarity between FDR and fascists was he enjoyed less success transforming society because the Constitution obstructed him.

Even using Republicans as proxies, there was little remotely conservative about fascism. Hitler and Mussolini were probably to the right of our left-leaning media and education establishments, but labeling Tea Partiers as fascists doesn’t indict the Right. It indicts those declaring so as radically Left.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Let them go! Time for the national divorce on: December 06, 2016, 09:02:48 PM
http://ntknetwork.com/disgruntled-democrats-want-a-constitutional-convention-to-leave-the-union/

Leave!
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude) on: December 06, 2016, 02:28:29 PM
It takes a special kind of stupid to bond with those who hate you and look at those most inclined to protect you as your enemy.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: December 06, 2016, 09:47:16 AM
What costs more? Treating type II Diabetes or HIV infection?
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Life of Julia on: December 06, 2016, 09:26:05 AM
Can't really say goodbye to the Glibness without asking ... who the hell is Julia and why am I paying for her whole life?

https://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/escape-from-the-life-of-julia/
http://humanevents.com/2012/05/03/who-the-hell-is-julia-and-why-am-i-paying-for-her-whole-life/

Some people work for a living, others vote for a living. The dems love to create government dependency as it's vote farming. Buy votes with other people's money!
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH makes the Coffee Party argument on: December 06, 2016, 09:19:22 AM

The coasts should try flexing their muscles. They can get really hungry and really cold real quick. No food or energy shipped in from the flyover states can clarify things. Perhaps we should just give it a try.
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: December 06, 2016, 08:02:20 AM
BTW, apparently last week the Chinese flew nuclear capable planes around Taiwan.

I am assuming the Obama administration sprung into action at this provocative act towards a country we are obligated to defend.

Perhaps a red line was drawn?
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Don't hold your breath... on: December 05, 2016, 10:37:52 PM

Donald J. Trump Verified account
‏@realDonaldTrump

If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sweet irony in Fidel's funeral on: December 05, 2016, 09:51:29 PM

But socialism is scientific! Andrez??
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: December 05, 2016, 09:49:05 PM
I love how China has been slapping Obama in the face with their dicks and the US MSM has done zero coverage of it, and now suddenly Trump taking a phone call from Taiwan is the end of the fcuking world.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: December 05, 2016, 08:44:42 PM
"I couldn't be less interested in the corrupt left's pearl clutching over theoretical ethical issues with Trump as they ignore actual bodies from the ignored scandals of Obama."

It's okay for the msm to go nuts over him but what Trump can't do is let his approval levels slip to George Bush's ending levels. If 29% stick with him and the rest turn against him, nothing will get done.  

The Trump business is a conflict, they feed off of favors from foreign governments and it isn't easy to divest or distance himself from it.  But not solving that affects the Supreme Court, healthcare, tax reform, etc. IMHO.  I hope he has a good plan.


The MSM is a spent force. Bush sat quietly as he was drug through the mud by the leftist hate machine. Trump has no such qualms in firing back immediately through social media. The MSM/academia now has all the credibility of a Anthony Wiener speech on self control and morality.

No one cares what they have to say. If Trump were to walk on water, the MSM would scream "Trump aquaphobic! Al-right Homophobic, Islamophobic and now Aquaphobic!!!111!!!!!!
Women, minorities, LGTBBQ hardest hit!!!!1!!!1!!!!!!!!

 rolleyes



188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A parting gift for America from the Qualified Jeh Johnson! on: December 05, 2016, 09:42:17 AM
http://weaponsman.com/?p=37177

The OSU Attacker Gets Reinforcements

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that's just the beginning.
2,500 more of these are on the way. And that’s just the beginning.

While the eyes of most interested in national security are on the excellent appointment of USMC Gen. James Mattis — and it’s worth it just to see the egg on hack reporter Colin Clark’s face for a bullshit report based on an “anonymous source” who probably didn’t exist, or whom he misrepresented — a more serious national security event just happened.

The lame duck “security” establishment is rushing “refugees” from jihad exporting nations to the United States — and the State Department is treating their names, points of origin, and destinations as classified information.

You know, like they didn’t do with their actual classified information, which is why a mountain of it is on Wikileaks, and whatever isn’t there is on servers in the Lubyanka. Fox:

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. State Department has classified details on refugees to be resettled in America via a secret deal made with Australia. The bi-lateral agreement, which Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a “one-off,” involves 2,465 people currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who will now be transferred onto U.S. soil.

“This is a backroom deal, wheeling and dealing with another country’s refugee problem,” Center for Immigration Studies fellow Don Barnett told FoxNews.com. “I don’t believe for a moment it’s a one-time deal. That’s for public consumption.”
Congress has asked Jeh Johnson (nominally Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) about the jihadi influx, and his response has been to stonewall. The security of jihadis is a greater concern of his than the security of this nation.

The 2,465 mohammed-worshippers were vetted by Australia and deemed (1) not admissible as refugees and (2) not admissible at any rate due to terrorism ties or histories, or complete absence of any documented history, suggesting that some of them are ringers using cover names.

Officials, however, did confirm countries of origin to be Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, as well as some deemed “stateless.”
Every single one of those nations is a net producer and exporter of terrorists, although Sri Lanka terrorism seems to be in remission at the moment. Still, the principal reason a refugee would free Sri Lanka is due to connection to the crushed Tamil separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The stateless are people who have been expelled from their home nations, primarily because their loyalty is elsewhere, for example, to a transnational pseudo-religious terrorist movement.

While this is hitting the mainstream media (well, some of the mainstream media) cold, Refugee Resettlement Watch was on it last month, before it actually happened. (She’s also got pictures of those fine “refugees” burning their camp down in a fit of inchoate anger in 2013).

In two related stories at the New York Times, one revels in the collapse of the immigration courts under lawyers’ obstruction and over a half-million backed-up deportation cases, and another tries to tell the story of the OSU jihadi, but can’t figure out why he did it.

It’s the Islam, stupid. We don’t need, and we can’t afford, even one more Somali. The Times says the attack was no big deal because the 11 people slashed by the attacker (and the one hit by police friendly fire) are not going to die. If the rest of these people did what the “assimilated, happy” “refugee” did in Columbus, then 27,115 people will be hospitalized with serious wounds. It’s not like we have any shortage of murderous refugees, violent immigrants and criminal alien mayhem already.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Great government healthcare! on: December 05, 2016, 09:27:01 AM

http://abc7chicago.com/news/va-hospital-dentist-may-have-exposed-veterans-to-hiv-hepatitis/1636473/

Perhaps Obama will fix the VA in the next week or two...
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: December 05, 2016, 09:08:09 AM

http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/02/served-james-mattis-heres-learned/

I Served With James Mattis. Here’s What I Learned From Him
To Marines, Gen. James Mattis is the finest of our tribal elders. The rest of the world, very soon, will know how truly gifted he is.
Stanton S. Coerr By Stanton S. Coerr
DECEMBER 2, 2016
This article is slightly amended and reprinted, with permission, from The Strategy Bridge.

America knows Gen. James Mattis as a character, Mad Dog Mattis, the font of funny quotes and Chuck Norris-caliber memes. Those of us who served with him know that he is a caring, erudite, warfighting general. We also know that there is a reason he uses the call-sign Chaos: he is a lifelong student of his profession, a devotee of maneuver warfare and Sun Tzu, the sort of guy who wants to win without fighting—to cause chaos among those he would oppose.


To Marines, he is the finest of our tribal elders. The rest of the world, very soon, will know how truly gifted he is. Our friends and allies will be happy he is our new secretary of war; our enemies will soon wish he weren’t.

I worked for Mattis three times: when he was a colonel, a major general, and a lieutenant general. I very much want to work for him again. Here is why.

One: July 1994
I checked into Third Battalion, Seventh Marines in Twentynine Palms, California in 1994. It was 125 degrees in July in the high desert; everyone was in the field. This was a hard place, for hard men training for the hardest of jobs.

Then-Colonel Mattis, the Seventh Marines regimental commander, called for me to come see him. I was not only just a brand-new captain, but an aviator in an infantry regiment. I was a minor light in the Seventh Marines firmament: I was not in any measure a key player.

I arrived early, as a captain does when reporting to a colonel, and waited in his anteroom. There, I convinced myself what this would be: a quick handshake, a stern few sentences on what I was to do while there, and then a slap on the back with a “Go get ‘em, Tiger!” as he turned to the next task at hand. This was a busy guy. Five minutes, tops.

Colonel Mattis called for me. He stood to greet me, and offered to get coffee for me. He put a hand on my shoulder; gave me, over my protestations, his own seat behind his desk; and pulled up a chair to the side. He actually took his phone off the hook—something I had thought was just a figure of speech—closed his office door, and spent more than an hour knee-to-knee with me.

Mattis laid out his warfighting philosophy, vision, goals, and expectations. He told me how he saw us fighting and where, and how he was getting us ready to do just that. He laid out history, culture, religion, and politics, and he saw very clearly not only where we would fight, but how Seventh Marines, a desert battalion, fit into that fight.

Many years later, when Seventh Marines got into that fight, he was proven precisely right. It would not be the last time.

Two: February 2003
Major Gen. Mattis was commanding general of First Marine Division, in charge of the riflemen who were going to bear the brunt of President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war. He was small, wiry, and feisty, energy cooking off of him, the sort of guy who walks into a room of Alpha males and is instantly the leader. Mattis was a lifelong bachelor married to the Marine Corps, with a reputation as an ass-kicking, ferocious leader, an officer who took shit from no man and would do anything for his Marines.

Mattis had led First Battalion, Seventh Marines as part of Task Force Ripper during Desert Storm, and had cemented his reputation as a man on the way up. This reputation, well-earned even then, was solidified when he took Task Force 58, pulled together from two Marine Expeditionary Unit afloat, 400 miles over Pakistan and into Afghanistan late in 2001 to retaliate on behalf of us all against al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11. He was a blunt, smart warfighter, just the sort of man our bulldog savior, Gen. Al Gray, had started pulling up the ladder behind him when he was commandant in the late 1980s.


I felt very confident with these two major generals—Mattis of the infantry and Amos of the air wing—in charge. And I felt even more confident as I looked around the room.

The metal folding chairs held hundreds of men. Pilots were in tan flight suits, pistols hanging on their chests in shoulder holsters. Infantry officers sat farther back; these were battalion fire support coordinators, seasoned majors who commanded a rifle battalion’s weapons company (heavy guns, 81 mm mortars, rockets, and TOW missiles) and were therefore the key men in a battalion’s fire support planning.

These guys were firsts among equals, and were almost always the best and often most senior of the young officers in a battalion. Most had with him his battalion air officer, an aviator serving with a rifle battalion (as I had with 3/7 under Col. Mattis) responsible for coordinating air strikes with the infantry’s scheme of maneuver and the indirect fire of both mortars and artillery.

The senior aviators, squadron and group commanders, sat near the front, with their counterpart battalion and regimental infantry commanders. Lieutenant colonels and colonels sat in front, captains and majors filling in the rear: hair atop heads grew noticeably more sparse the further forward you looked. Heads shined, and jaws firmly set. Showtime.

The discussions began with an intel brief. The first bad guys we were going to come across, and those we were therefore most concerned about, were the Iraqi 51st Mechanized Division. They were not the Republican Guard, but had a reputation as having some tough fighters who could shoot straight. The word was that officers were taking all civilian clothes from their men and having them burned, to prevent the conscripts from stripping off their uniforms and fleeing the war, trying to blend back into the civilian population.

On our side, they were expecting Seventh Marines to be ready to go on 10 March, Fifth Marines ready to go on 20 March, and First Marines ready to go in a month: 1 March. A-day and G-Day would go simultaneously. My ears perked up at this. No pre-invasion bombing? I was expecting the air war to start up any day, to soften the bad guys up for at least month as we did the first time we kicked this Iraqi Army’s ass in 1991.

No air war? Wow. The briefer didn’t come out and say “You grunts are screwed,” but rather used intelspeak: “We anticipate at this time that there will be no formalized shaping of the battlefield.” Rules of engagement would be fairly relaxed: kill people if they need killin’. Maps were flashed up, showing the initial Battlespace Coordination Line (BCL): we were given permission to kill anything beyond that line. This was going to be a huge, high-stakes shooting gallery.


Logistics was going to be an issue. It was a long way to Baghdad from there, and there were a hell of a lot of guys massing on the border. When Mattis took the boys into Afghanistan, it took 0.5 short tons (a “short ton” is 2,000 pounds even, versus a “ton,” which is closer to 2,200 pounds) per Marine deployed. They were expecting that it would be five times that effort—2.5 short tons per Marine—to get a guy to Baghdad. I remembered that Gen. Krulak, our commandant in the late 1990s, had made his reputation as a logistics wizard in Desert Storm.

Good officers study military history, great officers study logistics. Mattis was a great officer.
Good officers study military history, great officers study logistics. Mattis was a great officer. His “Log Light” configuration for the division was meant to get people north fast, and not try to shoot our way through every little town on the way. As only he could do, he described it thus: “If you can’t eat it, shoot it, or wear it, don’t bring it.”

Mattis stood. As always, he spoke without notes, having long ago memorized everything.

“Gentlemen, this is going to be the most air-centric division in the history of warfare. Don’t you worry about the lack of shaping; if we need to kill something, it is going to get killed. I would storm the gates of Hell if Third Marine Air Wing was overhead.”

He looked toward the back of the cavernous room, and spoke loud, clear, and confident, hands on his hips.

“There is one way to have a short but exciting conversation with me,” he continued, “and that is to move too slow. Gentlemen, this is not a marathon, this is a sprint. In about a month, I am going to go forward of our Marines up to the border between Iraq and Kuwait. And when I get there, one of two things is going to happen. Either the commander of the Fifty-First Mechanized Division is going to surrender his army in the field to me, or he and all his guys are going to die.”

Nothing much else needed to be said after that.

Three: March 2003
Early in the afternoon, every British and American officer loaded up and headed across the desert to the marvelously named Camp Matilda, one of the Marine Corps base camps farther north towards Iraq. This was my first foray out into the open desert, and it was a National Geographic special come to life.

Camels ambled along next to the road or stood and stared stupidly at the cars whizzing by mere feet away. I assumed they would be herded by men in flowing robes on camels, like in “Lawrence of Arabia.” The men indeed wore robes and flowing headdresses, but herded their beasts in pickup trucks. Wealthier Kuwaitis zoomed by in red-checked caftans driving the ubiquitous Mercedes sedan.

Without referencing a single piece of paper, he discussed what each unit would do and in what sequence, and outlined his end state for each phase of the early war.
First Marine Division was holding their first ROC Drill, the rehearsal of concept of what we were about to do. I had never seen a walk-through like this before. Marines had spent days building an enormous reproduction of southern Iraq in a bowl formed by a huge, semicircular sand dune. Each road, each river, each canal, each oil field was built to scale and even in proper color (water was blue dye poured into a sand ditch, and so on.)

Each Marine unit wore football jerseys in different colors, and with proper numbers. First Battalion, Fifth Marines, known as one-five, wore blue jerseys with “15” on the back, and other units were similarly identified. Principal staff from those units stood on the “border” drawn in the sand. About 300 officers stood and sat on the dune above. It was the perfect way to visualize what was about to happen.

General Mattis stood up and took a handheld microphone. Without referencing a single piece of paper, he discussed what each unit would do and in what sequence, and outlined his end state for each phase of the early war. He spoke for nearly 30 minutes, and his complete mastery of every nuance of the battle forthcoming was truly impressive.

A narrator then took over and picked up the narrative, the rest of the first week of the early war in sequence. As he described each movement, the officers from that unit walked to the proper place on their terrain model, and by the end of an hour the colored jerseys were spread over nearly a football field’s worth of sand. What a show.

At the end of the drill, questions were answered and then Mattis dismissed everyone. No messing around with this guy. Mike Murdoch, one of the British company commanders, leaned over to me, his eyes wide. “Mate, are all your generals that good?”

I looked at him.

“No. He is the best we have.”

As everyone rose to leave, Mattis fired one last directive over the microphone: “You’ve got about 30 days.”

Stanton S. Coerr was a Marine officer and is a veteran of the war in Iraq. He holds degrees from Duke, Harvard, and the Naval War College, and now lives and works in Washington DC.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Great government healthcare! on: December 05, 2016, 08:59:49 AM
https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/12/04/va-scandal-4-quit-after-ok-veteran-dies-with-maggots-in-wound/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/7-times-barack-obama-promised-to-reform-the-va?utm_term=.br3g8nYWX#.ccx8EdZp7
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: December 05, 2016, 07:52:04 AM
As we both know, pretty fg minimalist.

OTOH we do not need to imitate their hypocrisy.   Correctly we made a big point about "pay to play" and should do so if it appears here.

I couldn't be less interested in the corrupt left's pearl clutching over theoretical ethical issues with Trump as the ignore actual bodies from the ignored scandals of Obama.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: The Trump family: Business since Birth on: December 04, 2016, 04:45:16 PM
Yes, this is the NY Times and as such is likely to include snarky misdirects, but there is a real issue here and if we are not to fall to prey to situational ethics we need to acknowledge this IMHO.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/04/us/politics/trump-family-ivanka-donald-jr.html?emc=edit_ta_20161204&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0

How's their coverage of the Clinton Foundation?
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Unfunded liabilities on: December 04, 2016, 10:46:37 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/02/95-million-american-workers-not-in-us-labor-force.html


What 'are so many of them doing?' 95 million not in US labor force
Jeff Cox   | @JeffCoxCNBCcom
Friday, 2 Dec 2016 | 12:58 PM ETCNBC.com


The November jobs report looked pretty good on the surface except for one number that popped off the page: 95 million.

That's the number of Americans now counted as not in the labor force, a historic high that has confounded economists and policymakers. The total — 95.06 million to be more exact — has been rising consistently but surged by a gaudy 446,000 last month.

The jump occurred as the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs and the headline unemployment rate dropped sharply.

Explaining the consistent increase in those leaving the labor force is complicated, with factors divided between an aging and rapidly retiring workforce, a skills gap that leaves job openings unfilled, and the nettlesome problem of too many people who find it's just easier to collect welfare and other transfer payments rather than go back to work.

"WTF are so many of them doing?" Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note after the nonfarm payrolls report. Boockvar used a crude online expression that nicely sums up the continued frustration with America's shrinking labor force.

In a subsequent interview, he acknowledged the issue is many pronged and poses a long-term obstacle for economic growth.

"It's a combination. There's no question a lot of them are retirees," Boockvar said. "No one wants to say, 'I want to get fired and sit on my butt.' But when people do lose their jobs, they're not being incentivized enough to go back to work compared to the benefits they get by not being at work."

Indeed, the U.S. saw an explosion in benefits during the Great Recession that has receded only mildly during the recovery.

For example, the level of those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — has remained elevated even with an economic expansion that is nearly 7 ½ years old. SNAP recipients totaled 33.5 million in 2009, the year the recession ended. In 2016, the number is at 45.3 million. The government shelled out $74 billion in benefits last year, about double the level of 2008.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion/

Jan 17, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
You Think The Deficit Is Bad? Federal Unfunded Liabilities Exceed $127 Trillion


Guest commentary curated by Forbes Opinion. Avik Roy, Opinion Editor.



By Vance Ginn

Although the battle over a two-year budget deal and the national debt limit in Washington, D.C. has received the lion’s share of media attention recently , the bigger, more ominous threat facing taxpayers are unfunded liabilities—the difference between the net present value of expected future government spending and the net present value of projected future tax revenue, particularly those associated with Social Security and Medicare.

While federal unfunded liabilities are important, state-level unfunded pension liabilities also pose serious obstacles. In Texas, the recent 2013 Employees Retirement System (ERS) Valuation Report outlines the funding shortages this pension system faces and there is some indication it may be unable to pay beneficiaries by 2052.

The federal unfunded liabilities are catastrophic for future taxpayers and economic growth. At usdebtclock.org, federal unfunded liabilities are estimated at near $127 trillion, which is roughly $1.1 million per taxpayer and nearly double 2012’s total world output.

With about 134,000 active members in Texas’ ERS at the end of fiscal year 2013, the total unfunded liability was $7.2 billion—or $54,000 per active member. Despite the much smaller future net debt obligations in ERS compared with federal programs, there are similarities how we got here.

Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns’ book entitled The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know About America's Future argue federal unfunded liabilities are primarily from a generational accounting problem, in which the dependency ratio of retirees to taxpayers is declining from an aging population.
Recommended by Forbes

The authors’ state, “today there are about 4 payees for every 1 beneficiary, but by the year 2030 there will only be 2 payees for every 1 beneficiary. Simple arithmetic will note that this is not sustainable over the long run.”

To understand the magnitude of this problem, the authors note one solution that includes all the following: “raise income taxes by 17 percent, raise payroll taxes by 24 percent, cut federal purchases by 26 percent, and cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by 11 percent.”

In the current political and economic environment, these changes are highly unlikely, but it shows the substantial economic costs associated with these large unfunded liabilities.

State pensions across the country also face this generational accounting problem, whereby an author discusses his research in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled “The Hidden Danger in Public Pension Funds” stating, “The ratio of active public employees to retirees has fallen drastically, according to the State Budget Crisis Task Force. Today it is 1.75 to 1; in 1950, it was 7 to 1. This means that a loss in pension investments has three times the impact on state and local budgets than 40 years ago.”

In addition to an aging population in Texas creating substantial challenges with funding ERS, it is also riddled with a problem many state pension portfolio managers face: low rates of return on risk-free assets, such as a one-year Treasury security that returns less than 1 percent.

As these managers choose riskier investments to gain a higher rate of return, the study cited in the WSJ op-ed notes that the standard deviation of public pension investments to state and local budgets—a good measure of risk—has increased 10-fold from about 2 percent in 1975 to 20 percent today. Along with fewer people contributing to these pensions, riskier investments should be of grave concern to all.

Since the actuarial funded ratio of ERS is 77 percent based on an 8 percent annual rate of return, this rate of return and the risk-taking portfolio managers must use to gain this return are vital. Over the last five years, the fund’s annual return was 6 percent and 7.1 percent over the last ten years. Although the ten-year annual average was close to 8 percent, there is no guarantee this will continue, which could dramatically lower the funded ratio.

Clearly, the generational accounting problem burdening programs at the federal level also burden Texas’ pensions and the more risky assets portfolio managers must invest in are increasing the susceptibility of an even lower funded ratio in the future.

Although there are marginal changes that could be made to fully fund ERS, we at the Texas Public Policy Foundation believe the best long-run approach is to convert it from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, putting the power back in the hands of its members and off the backs of taxpayers.

Many may argue this is not the time for pension reforms; however, President Reagan may have said it best, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Vance Ginn, Ph.D., is a policy analyst for the Center for Fiscal Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. He may be reached at vginn@texaspolicy.com.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Outing Keith Ellison, from Powerline outward on: December 04, 2016, 10:35:56 AM
Please make him the DNC head! Please!

As he spearheaded the takedown of Dan Rather, Scott Johnson of Powerline has researched this and stayed with it until it reached all the new right media and is now reaching the so-called mainstream.  When Ellison was only relevant to 80℅ liberal Minneapolis, no one CAIRed, as head of the whole, failed DNC, people are starting to take note.

And what a 50 year old said in office in 2010 is not a youthful discretion.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/12/ellisonian-gleanings.php
POSTED ON DECEMBER 4, 2016 BY SCOTT JOHNSON IN DEMOCRATS, WHO IS KEITH ELLISON?
ELLISONIAN GLEANINGS
Keith Ellison is trying to plug the leaks that have sprung in his nascent campaign to head the Democratic National Committee. Ellison seeks to plug the leaks with lies and he’s lying as fast as he can talk. Let’s tune on him in action.

Last week the Investigative Project on Terrorism released audio of Ellison speaking during a 2010 political fundraiser, criticizing what he saw as the inappropriate and disproportionate influence Israel carries over American foreign policy. The IPT audio caught Ellison on tape: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million,” said Ellison, D-Minn. “Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?”

This was enough for the Anti-Defamation League to dismount from Ellison’s train. The ADL’s left-wing executive director Jonathan Greenblatt has succumbed to institutional imperatives. Greenblatt has declared Ellison’s comments “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” That’s because, “whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives.”

Jonathan Martin reports in the New York Times that Ellison responded in an open letter to the ADL. Hey, in 2006 it worked for him with the Jewish Community Relations Council in Minneapolis. Why not now?

In his open letter to the ADL Ellison falsely claimed that “the audio released was selectively edited and taken out of context.” He also claimed that he was merely “responding to a question about how Americans with roots in the Middle East could engage in the political process in a more effective way.” And then he chose to attack the IPT, as he has “right-wing blogs” closer to home.

In “”Keith Ellison’s disinformation campaign” the IPT has now posted the complete audio of Ellison’s remarks. It responds: “None of Ellison’s comments are true.” That’s what I’ve been saying now for 10 years.

None of Ellison’s comments in his 2006 letter to the JCRC letter was true either. This time around, however, Ellison lacks the protection of a cow town’s local paper and its devoutly Democratic Jewish power brokers.

On the contrary, one major national Democratic donor and power broker has been paying attention. He’s got Ellison’s number. Speaking on Friday at the gala dinner organized by the Brookings Institution in connection with the Saban Forum, Haim Saban unloaded on Ellison: “If you listen to Keith Ellison today, and you see his statements he’s more of a Zionist than Herzl, and Ben Gurion and Begin combined. It’s amazing, it’s a beautiful thing. If you go back to his positions, his statements, his speeches, the way’s he voted, he’s clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual.”

That signifies. Ron Kampeas covers Saban’s remarks on Ellison at length for the JTA in “Saban says Keith Ellison’s DNC win would bring ‘disaster’ to relationship between Jews and Dems.” Martin notes Saban’s remarks in “Question facing Ellison: Could he lead DNC as part-timer?”

Ellison is lying as fast as he can. In response to national interest the University of Minnesota Daily posted the complete works of “Keith E. Hakim,” Ellison’s four columns advocating the Nation of Islam line in 1989-1990 as a third-year student at the University of Minnesota Law School. In the columns Ellison called for reparations and a separate black nation. Ellison explicated his columns for the hometown crowd on Minnesota Public Radio last week: “Those stories were tongue in cheek when I wrote them. It was over 26 years ago.” I think this falls into the category of nonresponse response: “People are going to try and dig up stuff to undermine my candidacy, but we’ve all been on a life journey and have hopefully learned something over the past quarter century, and I have too.”

This is a variation of Ellison’s claims of ignorance of what he was doing in the Nation of Islam after his graduation from law school while he was on the make in Minneapolis. He put it this way on Medium last week: “In my effort to pursue justice for the African-American community, I neglected to scrutinize the words of those like Khalid Muhammed and Farrakhan who mixed a message of African American empowerment with scapegoating of other communities. These men organize by sowing hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood. I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views, and apologized.”

Does the Democratic National Committee really want to join Ellison on his “life journey”? We shall see.

196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Today's economy on: December 04, 2016, 10:32:24 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/02/95-million-american-workers-not-in-us-labor-force.html


What 'are so many of them doing?' 95 million not in US labor force
Jeff Cox   | @JeffCoxCNBCcom
Friday, 2 Dec 2016 | 12:58 PM ETCNBC.com


The November jobs report looked pretty good on the surface except for one number that popped off the page: 95 million.

That's the number of Americans now counted as not in the labor force, a historic high that has confounded economists and policymakers. The total — 95.06 million to be more exact — has been rising consistently but surged by a gaudy 446,000 last month.

The jump occurred as the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs and the headline unemployment rate dropped sharply.

Explaining the consistent increase in those leaving the labor force is complicated, with factors divided between an aging and rapidly retiring workforce, a skills gap that leaves job openings unfilled, and the nettlesome problem of too many people who find it's just easier to collect welfare and other transfer payments rather than go back to work.

"WTF are so many of them doing?" Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note after the nonfarm payrolls report. Boockvar used a crude online expression that nicely sums up the continued frustration with America's shrinking labor force.

In a subsequent interview, he acknowledged the issue is many pronged and poses a long-term obstacle for economic growth.

"It's a combination. There's no question a lot of them are retirees," Boockvar said. "No one wants to say, 'I want to get fired and sit on my butt.' But when people do lose their jobs, they're not being incentivized enough to go back to work compared to the benefits they get by not being at work."

Indeed, the U.S. saw an explosion in benefits during the Great Recession that has receded only mildly during the recovery.

For example, the level of those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — has remained elevated even with an economic expansion that is nearly 7 ½ years old. SNAP recipients totaled 33.5 million in 2009, the year the recession ended. In 2016, the number is at 45.3 million. The government shelled out $74 billion in benefits last year, about double the level of 2008.
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration, Taiwan call on: December 04, 2016, 10:21:25 AM
Kudos from this poster to the Pres-elect for that long needed move.

Reagan didn't do that as he faced down the bigger Soviet threat but I think would fully support the idea that Taiwan is our ally and the PRC/PLA is a rival or worse.

It was a phone call, not nuclear attack, and it got their attention.

Talk about fake news, the idea that Taiwan doesn't exist and Cuba, N.K., Iran, etc. are US and UK recognized countries is Orwellian and insane.
https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/12/02/return-to-the-first-island-chain/

Return To the First Island Chain
By Richard Fernandez December 2, 2016

An aerial view shows a Taiwan Coast Guard vessel preparing for a search-and-rescue exercise off Taiping island, in the South China Sea , Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, as part of efforts to cement its claim to a key island in the strategically vital waterbody. Eight vessels and three aircraft took part in Tuesday's drill, which simulated a fire aboard a cargo ship that forced crew members to seek safety on Taiping in the Spratly island group. (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)

Donald Trump appears to have sent a message to Beijing: the First Island Chain will be held.  Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines will remain the Westernmost bulwark in the Pacific.  The Hill writes: "Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ying-wen, a conversation that breaks decades of U.S. protocol and risks a clash with China. ... The phone call will almost certainly infuriate Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province."

The First Island Chain, for those unfamiliar with the term, refers to a network of peninsulas and archipelagos which mirror the China coast, and whose possession blocks Beijing from direct access to the broad Pacific.  Japan considers denying the First Island chain to a foe as essential to her defense.  For many years the same string of islanders served as America's strategic frontier in the West.

Recently China has been challenging the US by a series of encroachments.  Trump's actions may signal that he will start to push back.

Readers may recall that the first foreign leader to meet with the president elect was Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.  Since then Trump's policy appears to have taken on a definite shape.

    The call with Taiwan is just the latest Trump discussion with a foreign leader to make headlines.

    Trump's call this week with Pakistan's leader also raised eyebrows after that country's government released a readout that said the president-elect had discussed going to Pakistan — something President Obama did not do while in office.

    And Trump made waves on Friday with a report that he had invited the controversial leader of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House. ...

    Foreign-policy experts say the call could alter U.S.-China relations, regardless of how it was arranged.

    “I would guess that President-elect Trump does not really comprehend how sensitive Beijing is about this issue,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    It’s not clear if Trump’s call was meant to signal a shift in U.S. policy toward Taiwan.

    But even if it is not, it could play into pre-existing concerns the Chinese have about the president-elect’s posture toward their country.

The NYT calls it a possible affront to Beijing. It would not be surprising if China is beginning to suspect that Trump may have identified America's primary global rival as China. Russia would for the first time since 1945 be secondary.  America never wholly abandoned Taiwan.  One of the lesser known -- because low key -- installations on Taiwan was the installation of older Pave Paws Radar. But now things are out in the open.

    It’s very, very valuable to Taiwan. Constructed on the top of a mountain in the country’s north, the Raytheon-built system cost approximately $1.4 billion. Purchasing the system from the United States stretches back to the Clinton administration, with lots of setbacks along the way. Taiwan was so freaked out last year when PAVE PAWS popped up on Apple Maps that it prevailed upon Apple to obscure the image of the system.

    But with little international notice, Taiwan declared its PAVE PAWS operational last month. Air Force Lt. Wu Wan-chiao boasted that Taiwan would now have “more than six minutes’ warning in preparation for any surprise attacks.”

    Chances are, it’s not just benefiting the Taiwanese. “I would expect the U.S. would have made a deal that the U.S. gets satellite surveillance from the Taiwan radar,” Allen Thomson, a former CIA weapons analyst, tells Danger Room. “Most of time it’s sitting there watching satellites, and that’s about it. The U.S. could certainly could use that information.”

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The question must be what form will this rivalry -- if rivalry be -- take? Since we have returned in some degree to the Cold War, the obvious candidate mode is a kind of Cold War with China, with both cooperative and adversarial aspects.

The shocking thing about Trump is the speed with which he may be making these moves. The Left thinks they are the random actions of an idiot, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. However China is unlikely to assume that. They will assume it is guided to some degree by calculation and they would likely be right.

But Trump should sell such momentous shifts to the public: explain what it means, what risks it entails, why it is wise. There will be unavoidable costs. Trump's apparent determination to hold the First Island chain suggest geopolitics will dominate human rights considerations, at least for now.  That may be a worthwhile tradeoff -- or it may not -- but for any policy to last it has to be supported by a significant majority of the voters.

The Democratic Party should stop underestimating Donald Trump.  The good news is that he moves at nongovernment speed.  The bad news is that, due to his outsider status, nobody knows exactly where he is going.  Maybe it's time to find out.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: December 02, 2016, 09:40:33 PM
"He will finally get the recovery he has been predicting the last years. It must be very exciting for him!"

And we will be very glad the apocalypse we have been predicting the last 8 years has not come to be.  evil

None of the fundamentals looming over us have been fixed.
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: December 02, 2016, 09:12:37 AM
Third post

Mad Dog for Sec Def!!!



200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Give thanks for the coming boom on: November 30, 2016, 09:10:28 PM

He will finally get the recovery he has been predicting the last years. It must be very exciting for him!
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