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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Priebus flexes muscle in Trump Tower on: December 19, 2016, 08:26:00 PM
"... Priebus’s proximity to Trump has given many Republicans on Capitol Hill and around Washington reassurances as an unpredictable political newcomer prepares to be sworn in as commander in chief."

 "unpredictable political newcomer prepares to be sworn in as commander in chief" **How was Obama described in 2008?
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: Our Cyber Options with Russia on: December 19, 2016, 08:15:20 PM

“Is there something we can do to them, that they would see, they would realize 98 percent that we did it, but that wouldn’t be so obvious that they would then have to respond for their own honor?” David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Mr. Obama, asked on Friday, at a conference here sponsored by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

**Perhaps we can wait for Putin to get snared by an extramarital relationship that results in the mishandling of classified materials? If only the Belfer Center invited a subject matter expert on that to this conference...

“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you,” he said. “But it is also important to us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way. Some of it, we will do publicly. Some of it we will do in a way that they know, but not everybody will.”

203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: How an Overseas Putin Fan pushed pro-Trump propaganda to Americans on: December 19, 2016, 08:00:41 PM
Yes, it was the Russian's propaganda, not the wikileaks emails confirming the DNC-MSM collusion for all to see and Grannie Corruption McNeuropathology as a candidate that lost the election to Trump. Damn you, Putin!!  rolleyes

Obviously in that this is Pravda on the Hudson, caveat lector

How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans

Dowson, a far-right political activist, ran a constellation of websites out of the United Kingdom. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press

The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”

Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.

But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.

Patriot News — whose postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States — is among a constellation of websites run out of the United Kingdom that are linked to James Dowson, a far-right political activist who advocated Britain’s exit from the European Union and is a fan of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. A vocal proponent of Christian nationalist, anti-immigrant movements in Europe, Mr. Dowson, 52, has spoken at a conference of far-right leaders in Russia and makes no secret of his hope that Mr. Trump will usher in an era of rapprochement with Mr. Putin.

Recent Comments
Bill Casey 17 hours ago

My mother, who is 72 years old and grew up in a time when you could trust what you read, joined Facebook this year. She was hesitant to vote...
Boston Comments 19 hours ago

Gawd, I can barely grasp at words after reading this superb piece of reportage. I'm old enough to remember the McCarthy era -- and although...
J T 19 hours ago

Why am I not surprised this former "church minister in Northern Ireland," whose religious justifications for his actions are repeatedly...

His dabbling in the American presidential election adds an ideological element that has been largely missing from the still-emerging landscape of websites and Facebook pages that bombarded American voters with misinformation and propaganda. Far from the much-reported Macedonian teenagers running fake news factories solely for profit, Mr. Dowson made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”
An image from one of Mr. Dowson’s websites. He said his mission was to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites.”

“Together, people like us helped change the course of history,” one message said, adding in another: “Every single one of you who forwarded even just one of our posts on social media contributed to the stunning victory for Trump, America and God.”

In a recent email interview from Belgrade, where he has met with Serbian nationalists, Mr. Dowson explained how his decision to establish an American social media presence was similar to the move into European markets by Breitbart News, the conservative provocateur media operation run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist.

“Simple truth is that after 40 years of the right having no voice because the media was owned by the enemy, we were FORCED to become incredibly good at alternative media in a way the left simply can’t grasp or handle,” Mr. Dowson said. “Bottom line is: BREXIT, TRUMP and much more to follow.”

While it is easy to overstate the influence of fringe elements whose overall numbers remain very small, the explosion of fake news and propaganda sites and their possible impact on the presidential election have ignited alarm across the American political spectrum. A recent study found that most people who read fabricated stories on Facebook — such as a widely circulated hoax about Pope Francis endorsing Mr. Trump — were inclined to believe them.

Then there is the added element of Russian meddling. The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Moscow put its thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump through the release of hacked Democratic emails, which provided fodder for many of the most pernicious false attacks on Mrs. Clinton on social media.

Some of those attacks found a home on Russian websites such as the one for Katehon, a right-wing Christian think tank aligned with Mr. Putin. Katehon recirculated anti-Clinton conspiracies under headlines like “Bloody Hillary: 5 Mysterious Murders Linked to Clinton.”

Another Russian site that urged support for Mr. Trump, called “Just Trump It,” is linked to the International Russian Conservative Forum, an annual gathering of far-right leaders in St. Petersburg that has featured Mr. Dowson, among others, as a speaker. The site, which seems mostly aimed at selling Trump T-shirts, was registered to an individual at a Russian company that trademarked a logo used to certify that merchandise was not made with migrant labor.

Some analysts see danger signs in the nexus of Russian interests and far-right agitators in Europe and the United States. Social media can amplify even the most obscure voices, giving them a stage from which to broadcast a distorted message to credulous audiences.

“These messages seep into the mainstream,” said Alina Polyakova, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs institute in Washington. “They may have been extreme or fringe at one point in time, but they have been incredibly influential in shaping people’s views about key geopolitical events in a very specific direction.”

Russia is particularly adept at playing this game, Ms. Polyakova said. “Moscow specifically encourages and facilitates” the spreading of propaganda through proxies, she said, as well as through events like the Russian conservative forum, which showcases views and narratives favored by the Putin government.

At the inaugural forum in March 2015, Mr. Dowson praised Mr. Putin as a strong defender of traditional values, while belittling President Obama and the United States itself as “feminized men.” In the email interview, Mr. Dowson said he was not supported by Russia in any way, and he accused critics of trying to tar conservatives as dupes of Moscow.
Mr. Dowson spoke in 2015 at the International Russian Conservative Forum, a gathering of far-right leaders in St. Petersburg. Credit Ruslan Shamukov/TASS, via Newscom

“I look on this rebirth of McCarthy-type anti-Russian hysteria by the LEFT as a hilarious reaction born out of the left’s inability to realize THEY elected Trump, not me, not the Russians, not even the right,” he said via email.

A colorful if somewhat enigmatic figure in Britain — The Times of London recently described him as “the invisible man of Britain’s far right” — Mr. Dowson, at first blush, would not be an obvious mouthpiece for Russia.

Formerly a church minister in Northern Ireland and the father of nine, he became involved in anti-abortion campaigns, joined the British National Party in the mid-2000s and, later, founded Britain First, a stridently anti-immigrant group opposed to what it called a creeping Islamic threat to traditional British values. He publicly split with the group in 2014 after some of its leaders started invading mosques and threatening Muslims, which he criticized as un-Christian and counterproductive.

While involved with Britain First, Mr. Dowson made deft use of social media and websites to promote its work and convey the impression of a mass following. A British watchdog group called Hope Not Hate, which has tracked Mr. Dowson’s online activities, concluded that he has “a rather canny knack for building up protest groups and movements on the basis that it was your Christian duty to follow his work.”

Mr. Dowson claims to have reached millions of Americans across all of his online platforms in the run-up to the November presidential election, a number that could not be verified, in part, because he would not confirm all of his sites. Online visits to Patriot News did not come close to that, although when combined with several other sites that appear to be connected to Mr. Dowson, the total number edges above a million; most viewers were in Britain.
Got a confidential news tip?

The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists.

Whatever the precise numbers, there is little question that postings on the sites and Facebook pages linked to him were viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times. Many of the postings appear to be lifted from other conspiracy websites, repackaged and launched back into the social media maelstrom. Another site that trafficked heavily in pro-Trump news was run by Knights Templar International, a militant religious group that Mr. Dowson is involved in, which has recently supported anti-immigrant militias patrolling border areas in Bulgaria and Hungary.

For Mr. Dowson, such activities are in keeping with his philosophy that traditional Christian values are under siege because of feckless leadership by America and European powers. The success of Mr. Trump, he said, is the logical result of voters’ rejection of the weakness of global elites.

Mr. Dowson has long been optimistic about the effectiveness of social media. During the 2015 conservative forum in Russia, he spoke presciently about the looming online battle for the attention of American voters.

“We have the ability to take a video from today and put it in half of every single household in the United States of America, where these people can for the first time learn the truth, because their own media tell lies, they tell lies about Russia,” Mr. Dowson said then.

“We have to use popular culture to reach into the living rooms of the youth of America, of Britain, France, Germany, and bring them in,” he said. “Then we can get them the message.”

Follow Mike McIntire on Twitter.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Let them go! Time for the national divorce on: December 19, 2016, 07:55:51 PM
Just in time for the Trump-Putin alliance?

You are looking for linear thinking from the left?
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: December 19, 2016, 07:54:16 PM
shocked shocked shocked

I'm shocked, absolutely shocked!

I could have sworn that we were told that these were professional journalists who shouldn't be questioned.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China’s Capture of U.S. Underwater Drone Violates Law of the Sea on: December 19, 2016, 07:52:43 PM

Someone should call the Global Police and report this violation of international law!

207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: December 19, 2016, 07:45:58 PM
Anyone ever heard of Charlie Sykes before this coverage in the New Duranty Times? I have not. Oh look, he's writing a book! What a coincidence!

Over time, we’d the media succeeded in delegitimizing the media altogether — all the normal guideposts were down, the referees discredited. **Fixed it for him
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Turkey, Georgia, Caucasus, Central Asia on: December 19, 2016, 07:39:58 PM
Apparently the assassin shouted ""Aloha Snack bar" which means he was not a Muslim rolleyes cheesy cheesy

Islam is a religion of peace. If a muslim says or acts otherwise, it is to be ignored and hidden.

MARC:  Accidentally I inserted the following here instead of in my own post-- sorry.

OTOH it should be noted that it seems quite clear that Russia has and is committing terrible war crimes in Syria and off the top of my head I would say that a fair case can be made that the ambassador was a fair target for a fair grievance.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Professional journalists at CNN! on: December 19, 2016, 09:48:48 AM

DNC staffers wrote questions for CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer when he interviewed  Trump, new batch of 8,000 WikiLeaks emails reveals

210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Calexit "Embassy" open in Moscow on: December 19, 2016, 09:39:02 AM

 A campaign calling for the independence of California from the United States has opened an “embassy” in Moscow.

The movement, Yes California, is hoping for a “Calexit” break from the US. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Louis Marinelli, leader of the movement, said the embassy will not deal with diplomatic issues, but will act as more of a cultural center that will educate Russians about California's history, boost trade ties and promote tourism.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Terrifying Aftermath of Hillary’s Election Victory on: December 19, 2016, 09:33:39 AM
The Terrifying Aftermath of Hillary’s Election Victory
Kurt Schlichter

Posted: Dec 19, 2016 12:01 AM

In the midst of our joyous celebrations, and as we savor the delicious schadenfreude left in the wake of Hillary’s humiliating rejection by normal Americans, it’s easy to forget that there is a much darker timeline where things could have gone very differently . . . (Hat Tip: John L. Pitts; Mickey White)

The first few weeks after President-elect Clinton won the election set the tone for what she expected would be the next eight years, and that tone was neither gracious nor inclusive. She wasted no time in flaunting her 306 electoral votes and the Democrats’ 52 seat Senate majority. “America has decisively rejected the hate embodied by Donald Trump and his deplorable supporters,” Hillary bellowed, as she gripped the podium unsteadily, still woozy from her 80 proof election night “party.”

She went on: “I have a massive mandate to impose fundamental change and usher in a new America! And let me warn those who would seek to stop us – you do so at your peril!”

Her supporters were even less restrained. As Joan Walsh of Salon crowed: “The message to backward, uneducated, angry cis white males in Jesusland is that you’re not needed and you’re not wanted. You don’t even get in the room, much less a seat at the table!”

Complaints by Trump supporters of voting irregularities in places like Detroit were dismissed by Clinton as “ridiculous whining by losers. All these claims of voter fraud, foreign influence and ‘fake news’ are just pathetic excuses by the side the voters rejected.” She called the complaints of a “rigged election,” the pleas to the electors, and the recounts “attacks on our Constitution’s democracy (sic) and the kind of thing only a bitter, rejected failure would engage in. The losing candidate ought to be embarrassed by this pathetic performance.” The media eagerly joined in savaging anyone who did not absolutely and unequivocally accept the legitimacy of the new President-elect.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was delighted with the opportunities presented by Democrats holding all three branches of government. “With her overwhelming mandate, the Republicans need to understand that their obstructionism won’t be tolerated. The Reid Rule was an important reform that allows a President to have his, her, or xer’s nominees confirmed despite a filibuster. We will certainly use it to confirm President Clinton’s Supreme Court nominee, and to pass critical legislation like single payer. The filibuster is outmoded and it should never, ever, under any circumstances, be used to obstruct a new president from making appointments and pushing through key priorities!”

Incoming House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi remarked that, “The House is ready to work with the new President to ensure the values of enlightened places like Washington and San Francisco will no longer be obstructed by the cis-het male troglodytes who refuse to acknowledge their legacy of evil. This is why my first act will be to introduce the National Restroom Equality Act to ensure that backwards people can no longer avoid confronting the reality of gender fluidity when going to the bathroom.”

She added, “And now that Elizabeth Warren is heading to the Supreme Court, the gun nuts are in for a rude awakening. We are no longer going to tolerate the epidemic of mass murders committed by conservative Christian NRA members. I will be introducing legislation to outlaw dangerous weapons like automatic assault shooting rifles and killer pistol guns that fire 100 bullets a second with their 200 bullet clips.” Gun sales hit five million in November 2016 as the New York Times howled that “Gun confiscation is a moral necessity!”

Hillary even had some Republican support. “I just adore Ms. Clinton and she can count on my loyalty and help,” said a smiling Lindsay Graham. “The key to a successful Republican opposition is cooperation and flexibility in our positions. I’m particularly excited about my new comprehensive immigration reform bill to bring these poor, innocent undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the voting booth!”

Bernie Sanders, asked about legislative priorities in the new Senate, explained, “I think I have lost my shoe. It’s a brown shoe and I thought it was on my foot, but it seems to be gone and I think I have lost my shoe. Do you have my shoe?”

Hillary announced an ambitious agenda for her first 100 days. There was the new law designed to circumvent Citizen’s United; Hillary fully expected her 5-4 liberal Supreme Court to uphold the provision imposing a two-year prison sentence on those making movies critical of progressive politicians. Similarly, Hillary was confident that the new high court would find another exception to the First Amendment to uphold the “Stop Hate Speech Act.” In conjunction with her “Fairness Doctrine” executive order, it promised to eliminate the unregulated cacophony of disruptive voices on radio, cable and on the internet in favor of a reasonable, gatekept consensus. It would also prevent people from writing books that spread dissent.

Then there was the fracking and oil drilling ban; the Saudis who had helped fund her campaign were delighted that America would turn its back on its hard-won energy independence. Noting that this would devastate Texas and other red states, John Podesta wrote, “That will show those yokels they best get in the Clinton Caboose next time.” This comment was revealed in an email obtained by a precocious 16 year-old from Idaho who got access to Podesta’s new AOL account by tricking him into hitting a link in a phishing email with the subject line “What Mary Ann From Gilligan’s Island Looks Like Now Will Take Your Breath Away!”

Hillary got busy making other key appointments. The EPA was filled with climate change “realists” who had faithfully updated their dire predictions of doom each year as the previous year’s dire predictions of doom failed to come true. The new IRS commissioner promised to continue to deny tax-exempt status to troublesome dissidents, and to go further and withdraw the tax deductions from churches and synagogues that refused to sanctify gay marriage. Mosques, however, got a pass.

Hillary’s immigration czar, one of the six “trans, questioning and/or genderfreak” individuals she promised to appoint to key Administration jobs, was very concerned about there being far too few Muslims in America. Xe promised to increase immigration from the Middle East ten-fold. Coincidentally, exit polls had showed that Muslims voted 80% Democrat. As for other immigration enforcement, Hillary ordered ICE to “stand down” and stop all deportations: “The idea that this country can deny citizenship-challenged people their right to be here is part of America’s shameful racist legacy!”

Hillary also announced that she had named Bill Clinton ambassador to Papua-New Guinea.

The media was excited too. “This just reaffirms our relevance,” said Brian Stetler of CNN. “And it shows how important it is for the media to reject so-called objectivity and embrace a new truth-telling style of journalism where we explain things to those citizens who do not live in large, coastal cities and are therefore not wise enough to understand the world without our patient guidance.” Thomas Freidman urged that “We need to move beyond the so-called concern for the ‘rights’ of our ignorant, bigoted conservative minority and move forward aggressively with progressive change, like our friends in China would.” A congratulatory call to Hillary by the President of Taiwan was sent to voicemail.

In a New York Times interview headlined “President Clinton’s Grace and Poise Shines a Bright Light of Justice Upon an Ecstatic Nation,” Hillary talked about those Americans who failed the moral test of supporting her: “The sad fact is that many millions of Americans are sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobia, transphobic, homophobic, and … wait, did I already say ‘homophobic?’ I did? Okay, then cut out that second ‘homophobic.’” The Times complied.

She continued: “We will reward our friends and punish our enemies – domestically. I will govern for the benefit of the people who make up the future, not the irredeemable people who make up the past. They need to understand that they are at the back of the line now, that they must adapt for the good of the whole and accept their new status. This means changing their notions of religion, giving up their guns, and realizing that their so-called rights are subject to the needs of the many. They lost, we won, and now they must stop talking and start listening.”

But the Other Americans, as the media began calling them, weren’t ready to do that. On the 101st day after her inauguration, Governor Greg Abbot called the White House to request a meeting with the new President about “an important subject.” White House Chief of Staff Huma Abedin directed that no one return his call. “Texas can wait,” she said, provoking a raucous chorus of laughter among the Ivy League grads staffing the West Wing.

However, Texas and the other red states couldn’t wait. And when they announced their intention to #RedExit the United States, Hillary was furious. But with all the guns in the red states, and most of the military being from them as well, there was little she could do other than shriek and hit the Crown Royal harder than usual.

She decided to seize the initiative, telling the nation, “We’re kicking them out!” But that plan went poorly as well. So when she finally left office, the country split apart and the economic crisis deepening as the blue states discovered that climate change karma can’t generate power and that you can’t eat diversity, Hillary wondered if she had been wrong in starting her term with a ruthless attack on nearly half the population. That thought passed quickly. “No, it’s the fault of those racists and sexists. Yeah, that’s it. It was all the racists’ and sexists’ fault. And probably the Russians.”

But, of course, the timeline didn’t go that way, did it?
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: A Syrian refugee family in Canada on: December 19, 2016, 09:25:04 AM
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Clinton Archipelago on: December 18, 2016, 03:37:36 PM

Her appeal became more selective. Now, if we could remove the illegal alien and dead votes from the map...
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary’s Hipster Army Prepares For The Second Civil War on: December 18, 2016, 03:10:09 PM

Hillary’s Hipster Army Prepares For The Second Civil War

“And to President Clinton,” President Abbot said into the camera, “I ask that you stop your threats of war and allow the Free States of America to separate in peace, and let our two nations remain brothers instead of enemies. Goodnight, and God bless all Americans.”

“Arrrgh!” shrieked Hillary, heaving her tumbler at the Oval Office big screen. The empty glass missed, hitting a bust of Saul Alinsky on the mantle. It smashed into a cloud of shards and ice; She certainly didn’t let any of her Macallan Lalique whisky go to waste.

Her entourage cringed – they hadn’t seen Her so mad since She made a surprise visit to Chappaqua and found a wrinkly Bill eating a Big Mac in the bubbling hot tub with a 19 year-old blonde CW actress, Chelsea’s bustiest bridesmaid, and that chick who carried a mattress around because of patriarchy.

“They think they’re going to secede, huh? Well, call my generals, because this means war!”

Now, the two dozen conservative states that had seceded a week ago had done it quickly, peacefully and reluctantly. After Hillary’s hand-picked Supreme Court majority started upholding her flurry of executive orders – she didn’t bother with legislation anymore – there seemed no other choice. First, it was the newly discovered “right to environmental justice” that required a ban on fracking and the imposition of climate change regulations that threatened to bankrupt middle-America. Next, it announced a right to state-funded abortions at any time until the baby leaves the hospital. Then there was the discovery of exceptions to the First Amendment that allowed Her to ban critiques of Planned Parenthood (“There is no right to advocate anti-woman ideas!”), demands for stricter immigration laws (“There is no right to advocate against anti-undocumented workers!”), and criticism of Hillary Herself (“This dissent is unpatriotic!”).

But the boulder that broke the camel’s back was Hillary’s unilateral ban on the private ownership of guns (“We must protect the children! I mean, ones that have been born. And left the hospital. Those children only. Not others.”). The governors of the primarily Southern and Midwestern states of what would become the Free States secretly met, planned, and acted. The big issue was securing the military installations on seceding soil; there was no siege of Fort Sumter this time. Most of the commanders of those bases, and most of their troops, hailed from the Free States. They joined the new nation’s military, which served under the same Constitution (though interpreted accordingly to its text, not liberal necessity) and under the same flag (though with about half as many stars).

The new Joint Chiefs trembled at the situation room table as Hillary screamed at them. “Why the hell are we spending all this money on you!” she howled. Actually, that was untrue – most military units were classified as “Unfit for Combat Operations” due to the budget cuts necessary to fund Hillary’s entitlement programs.

“Madame President, it’s not that simple,” said the new Army Chief of Staff, who had been appointed because of her courage in becoming the military’s first transgender general officer. Back during the wars, when she was still called “Mike,” she had avoided deployment as head of the Army’s diversity initiative.

“Seems pretty simple to me,” Hillary retorted, pausing to take a hard swig from her “water” bottle. “You gather some Army guys together AND GO GET ME MY COUNTRY BACK!”

The generals left quickly, none of them willing to explain to the President that when half the country went away, 75% of the military went away to go with it. And those who remained were hardly the cream of the crop.

Lieutenant Colonel Myron Putney had been a self-described “Army strategist” who served among the herd of majors on the staffs of various divisions around the Army. He considered his personal liberalism a mark of distinction from the knuckledraggers he worked with and looked down upon; while they were out in the field leading mere soldiers, he was wielding real influence drafting position papers.

Now those Neanderthals were mostly gone, and he was finally in command of an infantry battalion. He had held a company command job once, but that lasted only two months before that unsophisticated ape Colonel Reisman relieved him, saying “I’m only saving your sorry fourth point of contact by pulling you out of command because I don’t want to have to do the paperwork when your troops frag you.”

Lieutenant Colonel Putney – he had been a major with no hope of promotion just the day before – surveyed his new unit, mostly filled with new recruits from northern cities and universities who volunteered after a massive mainstream media propaganda campaign. Many were women who, on average, could do more push-ups than the males.

Because of the “Inclusive Army’s” new regulations, there were a lot of unusual hairstyles and beard choices in the formation. One neckbearded guy, who had been inspired to join the war effort by The Daily Show (again hosted by Jon Stewart, but now showing on NBC in primetime), raised his soft hand.

“Yes, Private?”

“Uh, how long is this training today cuz I have a thing tonight I totally have to go to? It’s this open mic reading where we take the ideas we’ve been journaling and share them, accompanied by a squeezebox and a lute. Mine’s about how being male-identified makes me sad.”

“Uh,” replied the colonel. Another hand went up. “Yes?”

“Yeah, I was at lunch today and there was totally, like, no vegan alternative. Plus nothing seemed artisanal or locally sourced, and I felt my dietary needs were being marginalized.”

“Look, we are going to fight these southern racists, so we need to do some weapons training!” the commander shouted.

Another hand: “I don’t really believe in guns. Plus, this seems like kind of a patriarchal power structure here. I don’t see a lot of hearing of the voices of womyn, or trans and questioning people.”

Throughout the Old America, the military struggled to build combat units for the campaign to retake the Free States. Hillary adamantly refused to impose a draft and the initial wave of volunteers quickly soured on the experience when they found out it was going to be hard.

“Wait, they’re going to shoot at us?” one private asked LTC Putney. “They can’t do that. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

“Right! And we’re the ones who are going to stop them.”

“No, I mean someone should stop them because it’s illegal. Maybe the police or something?”

“No, we’re going to do that. We’re the ones who will stop them. Us.”

“I don’t get it. What?”

A month later, LTC Putney’s battalion (scraped together from the remainders of five battalions) was on the border of Tennessee, preparing to invade the Free States. He was proud of the unit’s progress, especially after that unpleasantness involving a drunk female’s regret over a romantic encounter that led to a five-day pause in tactical training to address the pervasive rape culture within Hillary’s army. And then the general called him and directed him to go under a flag of truce as his representative to meet with the other side.

Putney was stunned to see his counterpart was the very same colonel who had relieved him years before, now chief of staff of a division in the Free States Army. “Sheesh, you?” sneered Colonel Reisman. “I should have known you’d be involved in that clusterfark.”

Puffing himself up to his maximum height, 5’9”, Putney replied: “I’m here to inform you that you are guilty of treason and on behalf of the President of the United States, I demand your surrender!”

“Listen up, Half Step,” replied Colonel Reisman. “I’ve had 19 Delta scouts watching that circus you call an army for the last month. You have no intel, you have no logistics, and you have no artillery that can get rounds to its guns, much less put them on target. You aren’t even a soup sandwich. You’re barely a piss biscuit.”

“I…,” Putney began.

“Stop talking. It’s been fun and games up to now, but this freak show stops here. We’re going to shake hands and everyone is going away happy back to Fort Living Room. See, across this line is our home. I have three heavy brigade combat teams ready to counterattack the second we see hostile intent. I have three supporting brigades of artillery, including MLRS, sited in on your axis of advance. You guys turn around, go back to your dorm rooms and coffee houses, and it’s all good. But you come into our home with guns with intent to do violence and we will teach you and your little task force of whiny little hipsters, femboys, and commies what killing really is. Do you read me? Now get the hell out of my sight.”

And so, the Second Civil War never happened. When a particularly brave reporter later asked a wobbly Hillary Clinton about why she failed to save the Union as Abraham Lincoln had done, she muttered something about “sexist questions” and how “all lives matter” before staggering away from the podium and back into the bowels of the White House.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Putin with his Akita on: December 18, 2016, 02:58:55 PM

I forget, what kind of dog does Obama have?  Do we have any pictures or footage of the two of them together?

Looks more like a pitbull to me.

Couldn't find a more recent picture of Obama and his dog for some reason...
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's weakness, fecklessness and China on: December 18, 2016, 01:36:29 PM

Muted U.S. Response to China’s Seizure of Drone Worries Asian Allies

BEIJING — Only a day before a small Chinese boat sidled up to a United States Navy research vessel in waters off the Philippines and audaciously seized an underwater drone from American sailors, the commander of United States military operations in the region told an audience in Australia that America had a winning military formula.

“Capability times resolve times signaling equals deterrence,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. told a blue-chip crowd of diplomats and analysts at the prestigious Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, the leading city in America’s closest ally in the region.

**And what is missing in that formula today?**

In the eyes of America’s friends in Asia, the brazen maneuver to launch an operation against an American Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea about 50 miles from the Philippines, another close American ally, has raised questions about one of the admiral’s crucial words. It was also seen by some as a taunt to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has challenged the One China policy on Taiwan and has vowed to deal forcefully with Beijing in trade and other issues.

**It was "seen by some", in the NYT breakroom, as a taunt to Trump, to anyone else, it is seen as China once again grabbing Obama by the p*ssy.**

“The weak link is the resolve, and the Chinese are testing that, as well as baiting Trump,” said Euan Graham, the director of international security at the Lowy Institute. “Capability, yes. Signaling, yes, with sending F-22 fighter jets to Australia. But the very muted response means the equation falls down on resolve.”

**Until Trump is sworn in as President, he has no power to do anything to address China's acts. Can anyone get Obama on the phone from the Golf Course?**

Across Asia, diplomats and analysts said they were perplexed at the inability of the Obama administration to devise a strong response to China’s challenge. It did not even dispatch an American destroyer to the spot near Subic Bay, a former American Navy base that is still frequented by American ships, some noted.

**You know who isn't surprised? The Chinese! Know who else? Anyone paying attention the last eight f*cking years.**

After discussions at the National Security Council on how to deal with the issue, the Obama administration sent a démarche to China demanding the return of the drone. On Saturday, China said it would comply with the request but did not indicate when or how the equipment would be sent back.


The end result, analysts said, is that China will be emboldened by having carried out an act that amounted to hybrid warfare, falling just short of provoking conflict, and suffering few noticeable consequences.

“Allies and observers will find it hard not to conclude this represents another diminishment of American authority in the region,” said Douglas H. Paal, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

**Not an accident.**

Significantly, the Chinese grabbed the drone not only in international waters but outside even the “nine-dash line” that China uses as a marker for its claims in the South China Sea. In so doing, analysts said, Beijing was making the point that the entire sea was its preserve, even though it is entirely legal for the United States to conduct military operations in waters within 200 miles of the Philippines, an area known as an exclusive economic zone.

**Under Obama's watch, China went from "peaceful rise", to the Honey Badger of Asia. Fundamentally transformed!**

In the last dozen years, China has steadily showed off its growing military prowess to the countries around the South China Sea, which carries trillions of dollars of world trade and which China values for its strategic access to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

As China has built up its navy and its submarine fleet in the last decade, it has also emphasized what it calls its “inherent” right to dominate the regional seas, and to challenge the presence of the United States, its allies and partners in Asia.

The drone episode, which occurred on Thursday and was first broadcast by CNN despite efforts by the Obama administration to settle it quietly, was of a different nature and just as disquieting as past confrontations with China that involved bigger ships and more dangerous maneuvers, analysts said.

In 2001, soon after President George W. Bush came to office, an American spy aircraft, an EP-3, was forced to land on Hainan Island after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet. The Chinese stripped the plane of its assets and returned it broken down to its parts and packed in boxes.

In 2009, two months after President Obama took office, Chinese vessels swarmed a United States Navy reconnaissance ship, the Impeccable, in what the Pentagon said were dangerous and unprofessional maneuvers.

This time, China chose a more unconventional method to challenge the United States and hastened the timetable, challenging a president-elect rather than a newly installed president as it has in the past.

**Again, no. If Obama could be bothered with this while on his last multi-million dollar taxpayer funded vacation, I am sure he would pat the author on the head for this tongue-bath.**

The drone itself, known as an unmanned underwater vehicle, was not a particularly important piece of equipment. Such drones are deployed to gather military oceanographic data and are available over the counter for about $150,000, the Pentagon said. Data from the drone would no doubt be used to help track China’s growing submarine fleet, naval experts said.

More important than the equipment was the principle of freedom of navigation in international waters, and whether China was in the process of imposing its own rules in the South China Sea — more than 800 miles away from its coastline, said Alexander Vuving, a specialist on Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii.

“This is China showing that it is in the process of setting the rules in the South China Sea, imposing its own view in the South China Sea and saying the South China Sea should be its own backyard,” Mr. Vuving said.

“If China can get away with this incident with impunity,” he added, “this will send a chilling message to countries in the region.”

Some leaders, like President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, will feel validated in a pivot away from the United States toward China, Mr. Vuving said. “Others, like the Vietnamese, will have to seriously rethink their regional outlook.”

Vietnam — always fearful of China, its neighbor to the north, but also careful not to alienate Beijing — has tried in the last few years to draw closer to the United States, while still maintaining a careful distance.

In 2011, as China became more assertive in the South China Sea, Vietnam accused China of instructing three high-speed patrol boats to cut the cables of a Vietnamese oil and gas survey ship.

The authoritarian Vietnamese government was so furious that it allowed anti-Chinese demonstrations in Hanoi.

In 2014, China moved a billion-dollar oil rig to waters close to the Paracel Islands that both Vietnam and China claim, and then blasted a flotilla of Vietnamese ships with water cannon.

Since then, China has hardened its position, sometimes referring to the South China Sea a “core interest” in which there is no room for compromise, though others in the region call it bullying by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.

Under that vision, China would be in control from the waters of Indonesia to Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and up to Japan.

In the East China Sea, China and Japan are at odds over an uninhabited island chain, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. In June, China sent a warship for the first time into the waters around the islands, further escalating tensions.

Japan has been more outspoken than other Asian countries in its support for the Obama administration’s objections to China’s construction of military facilities on seven artificial islands in the South China Sea.

But in Tokyo, the government was watching the outcome of the drone episode with some anxiety. So far, Washington’s restrained response has not been reassuring.

217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 18, 2016, 12:57:40 PM
The true loss for this country is the law abiding we sent away. For example, my wife knew two Chinese STEM PhDs who upon completing their education, wanted to stay here. Of course not. USCIS would not allow them to stay once their education was completed. Meanwhile, we have Mexican sex offenders who can't even fill out sex offender paperwork in Spanish because they can't read/write in any language. I have seen this firsthand.
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 18, 2016, 12:45:39 AM
I suspect the Left would choose somewhat more angelic looking examples for their propaganda, , ,  cheesy

They always do, this is how you reply.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 17, 2016, 01:47:47 PM

"Kid brought illegally to America when he is two.  His first language (as in "the one he speaks best") is English and his Spanish consists of being able to understand his parents without really speaking Spanish.  His schooling is American.  His culture is American.  His friends are American."

220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 17, 2016, 01:40:14 PM
Hypothetical #1:

Kid brought illegally to America when he is two.  His first language (as in "the one he speaks best") is English and his Spanish consists of being able to understand his parents without really speaking Spanish.  His schooling is American.  His culture is American.  His friends are American.  He is now twelve years old. 

How do you think the politics of deporting him are going to go?

**Want to see sad? Watch a toddler getting pat searched to go visit dad in prison. Should we abandon the rule of law for Feeeelz?

#2:  Same facts except he is now in his mid-twenties, working, paying of his college loans, married with a pregnant American wife.

How do you think the politics of deporting him are going to go?

Note:  Quibbling with over how typical this fact pattern is will not change how it will get played.

**Well, we could fight back instead of endlessly rolling over. We could preserve what's left of the rule of law and this country. How many more waves of illegal aliens should we take in as well? How much more money to you want taken from your family to support them? Ask a LEGAL immigrant, like my wife how they feel about the endless catering to illegal aliens while LEGAL immigrants deal with a very costly and difficult process to live in the US in compliance with it's laws.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China War and Thucydides Trap on: December 17, 2016, 12:01:15 PM

It is very interesting and I will comment after digesting it.

China has serious internal stability issues. This fuels China's aggressive behavior in the South China sea. Building China's internal perception of a strong, rising power is what gives the CCP it's legitimacy with the population. Failure to maintain it's legitimacy could be fatal to the current power structure. So, China is motivated to act aggressively, and not back down in a scenario that offers a loss of face for the power structure. Keep in mind that despite all the money China has dumped into upgrading it's military, it spends even more on internal security. The power vacuum of "leading from behind" has further fueled China's aggressiveness. Obama has left Trump a ticking bomb.

222  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.
223  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.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FB's Ministry of Truth on: December 16, 2016, 10:57:24 AM

Boycott Fakebook!
225  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?

226  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:
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The DNC Hack on: December 15, 2016, 09:25:13 AM

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, 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).

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.
228  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

229  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

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
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Take this seriously! on: December 13, 2016, 09:16:36 PM

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.”
231  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.

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232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin, you magnificent bastard! on: December 13, 2016, 09:02:47 PM

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.
233  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 ??**
234  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

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.

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235  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

Reuters: ODNI isn’t completely buying CIA take on Russia hacking motives, either

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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
 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
 Gabriel Malor @gabrielmalor
An issue here is the DNC hacks started before Trump won the primary. One of them LONG before.
 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.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If Putin wanted to influence... on: December 12, 2016, 11:25:32 PM

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

238  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.*

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.”
239  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

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240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Democrats' Nauseating Putin Hypocrisy on: December 12, 2016, 08:38:01 PM

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."

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?
241  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.
242  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.
243  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.
244  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:
245  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

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.”
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beijing takes aim at Macau currency flight on: December 08, 2016, 08:31:34 PM

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
247  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.
248  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:

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.”

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.**

#Invalid YouTube Link#

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.
249  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

250  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.
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