The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:47 pm

[McManus]Do you feel that the fact that you and I have enjoyed the rewards of literacy, that we are more protected against television than a child?
[McLuhan]Yes, I think you get a certain immunity, just as you get a certain immunity from booze by literacy. The literate man can carry his liquor; the tribal man cannot. That is why in the Moslem world or in the native world is booze is impossible; it is the demon rum. However, literacy also makes us very accessible to ideas and propaganda. The literate man is the natural sucker for propaganda. You cannot propagandize a native. You can sell him rum and trinkets but you cannot sell him ideas. Therefore, propaganda is our Achilles’ heel. It is our weak point. We will buy anything if it fairly hard sell to it.

TV Ontario 1977
The Mike McManus Show
Host: Mike McManus
Guest: Marshall McLuhan

http://www.marshallmcluhanspeaks.com/in ... -identity/
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Russiagate RIP?

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:09 am

.

So good. So unlikely to make the difference. But so good. Depressing too, given the correct assessment of the consequences: escalated New Cold War, new nuclear arms race -- and he doesn't mention it, but total distraction from the actual reasons for the 2016 result, the disastrous domestic election manipulation and the brute force of money in politics.

https://www.thenation.com/article/russi ... erference/

www.thenation.com
With Just Days to the Midterms, Russiagate Is MIA

By Aaron Maté
October 29, 2018

The upcoming midterms are widely seen as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency, but its defining issue to date is notably MIA. “Campaign ads and debates are mostly avoiding the Russia investigation,” Politico reports, “in favor of other issues important to voters…like the economy, health care and taxes.” One study of political ads over a four-week period through mid-October found that 0.1 percent of ads aired in congressional races mentioned Russia; there were zero mentions of Russia in ads for Senate races.

On one level, it is unsurprising that the election has been focused on issues that impact voters’ lives, rather than the byzantine bureaucratic drama that has consumed Washington and elite media since Trump’s election. But after months of fearmongering about a sweeping Russian interference effort and a compromised, complicit president, perhaps we are also seeing the penny start to drop: Russiagate, for all its hype, has not gone as advertised.

Take the supposed Russian threat to the midterms. For months, intelligence officials and prominent media outlets have bombarded us with warnings about “a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States” (Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats), a threat so dire that we might as well dub the vote the “The Moscow Midterms” (FiveThirtyEight) and acknowledge that “we’re defenseless against Russian sabotage in the midterm elections,” (Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin). The New York Times informed readers in July that Coats had likened “the persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today…to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” “The warning lights are blinking red again,” he said.

While it is always possible that new evidence of interference will emerge, so far, the Russian danger has had an underwhelming denouement. Russia’s alleged midterm sabotage to date has been disclosed in a newly unsealed criminal complaint against an employee of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian troll farm previously indicted for using fake accounts to spread divisive content on social media. The defendant, Elena Khusyaynova, is not even directly accused of online manipulation. Instead, she is singled out for being the chief accountant for “Project Lakhta,” an IRA initiative that targeted audiences in Russia and around the world, including the United States. The only actions directly ascribed to Khusyaynova concern her “meticulous record-keeping and management” of IRA funds.

As with the initial indictment of 13 IRA employees in February, prosecutors accuse IRA trolls of using social media “to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” including in the upcoming midterms. But reading the fine print, it is difficult to see how that purported aim can be taken seriously. In the first six months of 2018, Khusyaynova submitted expenditures of $60,000 for advertisements on Facebook and $6,000 on Instagram. The only advertising-related activity that gets detailed in the complaint is an alleged IRA employee’s offering to give organizers of an anti-Trump protest $80 for a Facebook ad. (It’s unclear if the proposal was accepted). The IRA’s alleged social-media accounts impersonated both liberal and conservative personas. The complaint shows six images that were posted by Russian trolls to Facebook; the most impactful of the bunch appears to be a thinly disguised anti-Muslim ad that attracted 104 comments.

Some of this content is overtly racist and bigoted; other posts are banal. All are so juvenile or inconsequential that it is difficult to see how they could have vastly greater influence than the millions of other pieces of political clickbait littering the Internet. The IRA’s social-media imprint seems to have as much impact now as it did during the 2016 election. Back then, the IRA spent a reported on $100,000 on Facebook ads, with most of those ads having nothing to do with the election, and more than half of that total spent after the election.

According to Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch, posts generated by suspected Russian accounts between 2015 and 2017 represented “a tiny fraction of the overall [News Feed] content on Facebook.… about four-thousandths of one percent (0.004%) of content in News Feed, or approximately 1 out of 23,000 pieces of content.” The widely cited figure that “material generated by the Kremlin had reached a hundred and twenty-six million American Facebook users,” (The New Yorker) is in fact a creative take on Facebook’s own speculation. “Our best estimate,” Stretch testified to Congress in October 2017, “is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA] stories at some time during the two year period.” So the 126 million figure is an “estimate” of how many people “may have been served” one piece of IRA content—most unrelated to the 2016 election—in their Facebook feeds over two years. Over on Twitter, a new analysis by the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab finds that “Russia’s troll operation primarily targeted Russian speakers,” posting “significantly more in Russian than in English.”

Unsurprisingly, none of this has slowed the histrionics. The unsealed complaint against the Russian troll-farm accountant prompted Mother Jones to declare that “Russia is Now Attacking the Midterm Elections,” and NPR to warn audiences of “How Russia Runs Its Disinformation Effort Against The 2018 Midterms.” The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff, called the new activity a sign that “Russian disinformation efforts are ongoing and sophisticated, and they are intent on dividing us and weakening our society and political system.” But given what we actually know about Russian disinformation, its most significant impact appears to be as fodder for ongoing efforts intent on convincing Americans that unsophisticated social-media trolling could somehow divide and weaken their society.

The alarm about Russian social-media trolls has been complemented by warnings that Russia could penetrate state voting systems, as it allegedly did to 21 states before the 2016 elections. But as journalist Gareth Porter notes, the 21-states figure was based on a preliminary assessment that itself was based on yet another guess. As senior DHS officials explained to Congress, “21 states were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors,” and even that assessment was “not a definitive source in identifying individual activity attributed to Russian government cyber actors.” Several states subsequently disputed that they were “targeted” at all, and another senior DHS official described “the majority of the activity” as “simple scanning…a regular activity across the Web. I would not characterize that as an attack.”

Whatever it was, the only public evidence for claims that Russian government cyber actors targeted US voting systems is a leaked National Security Agency document reported by The Intercept in June 2017. It accused Russian military intelligence of impersonating a voting software company and sending malware-laden e-mails—a widespread hacking tactic known as spear-fishing—to more than 100 state and local jurisdictions. The Intercept acknowledged that the NSA document “does not show the underlying ‘raw’ intelligence,”—i.e., the evidence—”on which the analysis is based.” But The Intercept failed to note that the document doesn’t even accuse the Russian government with certainty. The NSA’s “analysis” that the spear-phishing came from Russian military intelligence is not an attribution based on “Confirmed Information,” the document disclaims, but instead on “Analysis Judgement” (sic) and the even less convincing “Contextual Information.” The hackers were also not so inconspicuous: Their fake VR Systems e-mails were sent from a Gmail account: “vrelections@gmail.com.”

The underwhelming nature of Russia’s alleged cyber-operations also dovetails with the heretofore-empty quest to uncover whether Trump and members of his circle are criminal accomplices. As noted in a sweeping, 10,000-word New York Times piece aimed at “Unraveling the Russia Story So Far,” “no public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump’s] campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.”

In the place of evidence, the oddest theories have somehow become fodder for enlightened discussion. This past summer, the possibility that Trump has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987 was the subject of an extensive piece by New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, complete with an obligatory conspiracy map and the even more obligatory coverage on MSNBC. A recent lead story in The New Yorker investigated the rumor that the Trump campaign used a computer server to secretly communicate with Russia before the 2016 election. The FBI has previously looked into the claim and dismissed it, but there others on the case: The New Yorker’s story is based on the suspicions of a group of anonymous computer scientists who deem themselves to be “self-appointed guardians of the Internet.”

Their theory is that DNS traffic between a Trump marketing server and Russia’s Alfa Bank is a sign of “a covert communication channel.” The piece contains caveats familiar to the Russiagate canon: The available data prevent researchers “from going beyond speculation,” and no one “could be certain of what Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization were doing.” What is perhaps most remarkable about the story is its acknowledgment that the Trump Organization did not even control its own server. Instead, the server that it would have used to secretly chat with Russian conspirators was managed by Pennsylvania marketing firm Listrak, “which mostly helped deliver mass-marketing emails: blasts of messages advertising spa treatments, Las Vegas weekends, and other enticements.”

The outlandish speculation is a part of a wider trend that has fueled the Russiagate story from the start. This fixation has also meant that vital, even existential issues, are thrown to the side, including major developments that contradict its underlying collusion narrative. Over the weekend, Trump announced that the United States will pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, a bedrock of international security. The move prompted outrage from Russia and warnings of “the most severe crisis in nuclear arms control since the 1980s,” (Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute), including the threat of a new nuclear arms race. The move is widely credited to National Security Adviser John Bolton, who, as I warned in The Nation in April, sees the Russiagate moment as “a not-to-be-missed opportunity” to advance a hawkish neoconservative agenda, including the dismantling of arms-control treaties that he began under George W. Bush.

Despite this dangerous move, none of the prominent voices who have accused Trump of being soft on Russia, speculated whether he is a Kremlin operative, is vulnerable to Russian blackmail, or is even taking orders directly from Putin, have stepped forward to revisit their collusion theory. Worse, some are doubling down. Decrying Trump’s failure to confront the Kremlin in the wake of the Russian troll farm accountant’s indictment, Representative Schiff told MSNBC that Putin must think to himself, “This weak U.S. President will never confront me—he doesn’t have the guts to confront me.”

As diplomats and arms-control experts confront Trump’s abrogation of a vital nuclear treaty, Schiff and other prominent Russiagate exponents are notably silent. The reasons seem clear: Ever since the 2016 election, the figureheads of Trump’s political and media opposition have invested in a supposition that Trump is in cahoots with Russia and encouraged him to be confrontational as a means of disproving it. They have de-incentivized and disempowered themselves to stand up to Trump when he confronts Russia in one of the most reckless ways that he could. For all the dire warnings about Russian trolls and hackers over the past two years, it is those sounding the alarms who have fueled a much worse threat.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:49 am

From last weekend's NY Times Book Review piece entitled Five Novelists Imagine Trump's Next Chapter. In this short story, a writer imagines the assassination of a sitting president by a Russian operative with the assistance of his secret service detail.

HOW IT ENDS
By Zoë Sharp

The Russian landed at Dulles after 48 hours of traveling. Of necessity, he came from Moscow by a circuitous route. A long way with a very specific task. There would be no return flight.

In the airport bars, the TVs were tuned to different news channels but the story was the same. First the president’s campaign manager, then his lawyer, a Republican congressman, former aides, family members. Those who weren’t indicted were subpoenaed. House arrest had become fashionable.

The Town Car sent by the hotel had a flat-screen for his entertainment on the 45-minute drive into D.C. The channel once snidely referred to as “state TV” now delighted in showing long shots through the White House railings of men in uniforms removing boxes of incriminating paperwork. The president himself was not in residence. He was holed up on home ground.

The walk across the hotel lobby included a brush with a businessman intent on his cellphone. The Russian did not touch the inside pocket of his coat, into which his new identity had been adroitly slipped, until he reached the desk and produced it.

The clerk was slow to respond. His attention was on the TV in the bar.

“They’re saying the Russkies put him up to it,” the clerk said, handing over his room key. “And I voted for the guy!”

The Russian shrugged. “Fake news. …”

But the clerk did not look believing.

He spent a day in his suite, watching the slow grind toward impeachment.

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Around 11 p.m., his contact arrived. The man had been in deep cover for decades. In his briefcase was a bottle of Stolichnaya and a 9-millimeter Makarov semiautomatic pistol.

“There is no other way?” It was intended as a statement. It emerged as a question.

The contact shook his head. “When it comes out that he was handpicked at the highest possible level, our great nation will be the laughingstock of the world,” he said. “He must be silenced.”

They drank vodka until the early hours. The contact left for the airport. The Russian drank on alone. Throughout his career, he would have spent these hours going over the plan, the escape route. This time, there was no escape route — only honor. And death.

At 7 a.m., he showered. The bar of soap had the hotel name stamped into both sides. He made sure to wash his ass with it. Then he shaved and ate a last room-service breakfast. He dressed in the porter’s uniform that had been obtained for him, tucking the Makarov into the back of his waistband.

When it was time, he went downstairs, took his place in the lobby before the entourage appeared. The hotel staff had been lined up to see their boss, the president, go by. A few of them applauded. Most did not.

The president didn’t seem to notice. He waved, in his desultory fashion. The Secret Service agents clustered around him, ushered him toward the armored limo idling outside at the curb.

The Russian waited until they were a few steps past before he drew the gun. He sighted on the center of the president’s back, and squeezed the trigger.

The Makarov misfired.

The Secret Service agent at the president’s shoulder heard the click, spun into a crouch. He registered the scene instantly, drawing his own weapon with razor-edge reflexes.

The Russian tasted failure. He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost.

It did not come.

He opened his eyes. The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first.

“Here,” the agent said politely. “Use mine. …”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/book ... apter.html
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:17 am

.

Wow, this slash-fiction murder fantasy is so amazingly irresponsible and counter-productive. How does the author sleep with it, seriously? Almost as if designed to make the right-wing believe in the Violent Left or the coming Antifa Revolution.

Anyway, back to ME! YAY!!!

.

APOLOGY TO MY READERS

After gathering the following facts, I must beg you all to forgive me for repeated use of a potentially offensive phrase.

2016 spending on U.S. digital advertising: ~$72 billion ($72,000,000,000).

2016 spending on U.S. television advertising: ~$71 billion ($71,000,000,000).

Estimated total spending on U.S. presidential election in 2016, including candidate campaigns and dark-money: ~$2.4 billion ($2,400,000,000).*

Spending on Facebook advertising by company called IRA, Petrograd, in 2015-2017: ~$100,000.

Estimated IRA spending for Facebook ads before the 2016 U.S. election, assuming it was one-half: ~$50,000.

Note: The last represents the item that the U.S. corporate media has called "Russian election meddling," and is often blamed for the victory of Trump and unprecedented "divisiveness" in American society. Employees of IRA have been indicted by the Mueller investigation in abstentia, on charges that they sought to manipulate the U.S. election as foreign agents.

Total posts on Facebook by IRA in 2015-2017: ~80,000.

Total posts delivered by Facebook to its American accounts in 2015-2017: ~33 trillion (33,000,000,000,000).

(See source in comments.)

Ratio of 33 trillion to 80,000: 413 million to one (413,000,000:1).

Personal estimate of total posts by me on Facebook in 2015-2017: ~2,000. (God what a fool. I realize these were not ads, so my "reach" was insignificant compared to the IRA's.)

And thus my apology:

Clearly, my frequent use of the potentially offensive phrase, "a fart in a shitstorm," to describe the Petrograd company's click-bait operation during the U.S. election - as well as its similarly sized activities on Twitter, relative to the total volume of traffic there - may have been exaggerated.

That depends on the volume of the fart (numerator) as well as of the shit-storm (denominator).

There is one more missing statistic that would also make for a relevant comparison, but has not been investigated recently by American authorities, or comprehensively estimated by academics:

Spending and actions to interfere in U.S. elections and policy illegally by foreign states, state agencies, and interests from countries other than Russia, including but not limited to Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, other Gulf states, Britain, China, Poland, Germany, France, other EU states, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, Canada, South Korea, and anti-government groups from Venezuela and Iran: ???

Scattered reports and possibly deceptive common-sense observation would suggest that several of these have long exceeded the alleged influence operations of Russia by a substantial factor, but without setting off alarms comparable to the post-Trump Russia panic.

Finally, we will avoid the issue of U.S. state and corporate influence on elections in Russia and other countries, which of course goes back more than a century and has undermined democracy and wreaked havoc with societies hundreds of times. This proves the hypocrisy of the Russia Panic, and in some minds justifies foreign interference in U.S. elections, but I do not believe the latter to be so. It is an appropriate subject for a follow-up.

To many of my dear friends:

I sincerely hope your Mueller-hero is about to nail the mobster-fascist principals of Trump & Co. on their actual, decades-long, semi-public record of money laundering, tax evasion, financial fraud, multiple business frauds, soliciting and accepting emoluments while in office, and who knows what other crimes may have come up in the investigative process.

But also, that you will recover from your Russiagate fantasies soon enough to join in the fight against the real-world rise of All-American fascism, which threatens us all but so far has threatened immigrants, refugees, African Americans, and poor people most of all, as well as, recently, the Jewish community. (It's also a fascist international, but in the U.S. it is American-to-Russian at an estimated ratio of 413 million to one.)

If you are not the antifa type, but more of a Democratic GOTV person -- good work last week, by the way -- here's a professional tip: Do go ahead and march this week to protect the Mueller investigation. It's always important to protect rule-of-law.

And breathlessly await the House committee subpoenas. I certainly will.

But what you want to be fighting for, once the new Congress convenes, is to get the House to pass a Medicare-for-All bill, so that the GOP and Trump (if he is still around) can kill it in the most public way possible.

Also, never shut up about the need to end modern election rigging (by the GOP), as you have witnessed how it works this past week.

That is how you might create the election you want to see in 2020. And, perhaps, witness the passage of Medicare-for-All in 2021.

But, you know, do what you gotta do. And forgive me!

Love, n

---

* - does not include in-kind gifts of hundreds of free hours of air-time by U.S. news networks to the candidacy of Donald Trump.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby peartreed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:23 pm

There’s no need to apologize, Jack. Especially if your tongue is firmly in your cheeky smile.

For me, the dangerous gullibility isn’t about the impact of Russian interference in the elections. It’s about the gullibility of Trump and his sycophants seeing Putin as a pal. The token contribution of Russian intel operatives in exposing Clinton emails and compromising Trump and his cohorts in election strategy pales in comparison to Trump’s ongoing admiration and emulation of powerful oligarch dictators.

Trump’s pre-existing megalomania demands complete loyalty, subservience and worship from his subordinates, but his narcissism also needs a role model to inspire his command performance on the world stage. As the ultimate actor needing the continuous fix of endless adulation from his audience, he has also become the biggest fanboy of fierce fascist fame – and he bows obsequiously and obediently to it. Witness Putin wrapping him around his finger. North Korea’s Kim Jung Un completely sucking him in. China chomping at the bit to host him with pageantry and hordes of peasants in formations shouting hurrahs. He eats it up and then eats out of the hand of the leaders for letting him luxuriate in awe.
The problem is that Trump’s inner child never evolved past blind hero worship - from the mirror on out.


Russia doesn't need to mess with the elections when they already control the candidate and lead him around by his nose for notoriety.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:12 pm

.

So, since the evidence of Russian election rigging is laughable, your case shifts to remote psychological insights into Trump's mind, where you find that he is a mad Putin fan-boy, so madly-madly mad in love so that he is just as captured as if the Kremlin had actual kompromat. Is that about right?

Only one problem with this movie buddies theory. (It's more like the plot from Single White Female, with Trump in the Bridget Fonda role.) Non-telepathic evidence says otherwise. Sanctions were escalated again just last week. Trump campaigned on a higher war-machine budget and he got it passed, near-unanimously. U.S. is refusing to join Syria talks. When Trump lost or booted McMaster, he brought in Bolton, Russia hawk since the nineteenth century. They are straining to get a new war with Iran, the ally of Russia. The U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty of 1987, possibly the single most dangerous move yet. Everyone's working on their next-generation nuclear weapons. In short, this is one case wherein I don't care what is happening in Trump's alleged mind, I don't need to speculate on that. The regime conforms with the New Cold War hysteria.

.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:36 pm

JackRiddler » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:12 pm wrote:.

Only one problem with this movie buddies theory. (It's more like the plot from Single White Female, with Trump in the Bridget Fonda role.) Non-telepathic evidence says otherwise. Sanctions were escalated again just last week. Trump campaigned on a higher war-machine budget and he got it passed, near-unanimously. U.S. is refusing to join Syria talks. When Trump lost or booted McMaster, he brought in Bolton, Russia hawk since the nineteenth century. They are straining to get a new war with Iran, the ally of Russia. The U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty of 1987, possibly the single most dangerous move yet. Everyone's working on their next-generation nuclear weapons. In short, this is one case wherein I don't care what is happening in Trump's alleged mind, I don't need to speculate on that. The regime conforms with the New Cold War hysteria.

.


Thank you, Jack.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:45 pm

Another reason the Russia stuff is so useful is because even if you think it is silly you still must engage with it. What a waste of everything.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:00 pm

.

Actually, you don't. Each of us has every capacity to tune out the white noise. Some of us have done just that, which explains the relatively barren population of this board over the last ~couple years, as it's clear the fairy tale narratives have become just as pervasive here as in network news channels (with few exceptions).

Altogether unsurprising that some continue to subscribe to the pap (and in certain instances -- as displayed above -- conjure fanciful tales in an effort to perpetuate fictional narratives).

It inspires a bit of awe, observing those that continue to offer insightful/attempts at objective commentary in spite of it.

I remain -- in turns -- amused and frustrated at these antics whenever I muster the interest to glance at this board.


/returns to sporadic lurk mode.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:06 pm

If I have to engage it, I would enjoy reading a smart focused comparison between Russiagate Putin-puppetmaster material and anti-semitic Israeli-puppetmaster ZOG motifs to learn something about the very popular and almost inalienable "paranoid style" and all those wacky intimations of remote control which seem to periodically recur in only slightly new skins at both "ends" of the political spectrum. And, for good measure, to then take into consideration those political voices whose thought is absent of such fantasies.

Image
Image
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:45 pm

liminalOyster » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:06 pm wrote:If I have to engage it, I would enjoy reading a smart focused comparison between Russiagate Putin-puppetmaster material and anti-semitic Israeli-puppetmaster ZOG motifs to learn something about the very popular and almost inalienable "paranoid style" and all those wacky intimations of remote control which seem to periodically recur in only slightly new skins at both "ends" of the political spectrum. And, for good measure, to then take into consideration those political voices whose thought is absent of such fantasies.


That's a hell of an idea. You so rarely have such complete parallels running simultaneously. Putin and Soros as spiders in the respective global webs, all leads back to them. Hell, in the extreme versions, both ran #BLM! Confession: Notwithstanding the #BLM thing, I am usually more forgiving, not of those making the Putin version (CIA and MI6, basically) but of those falling for it. I mean, it's so reasonable to want Trump to disappear, and when no less an authority than the TV NEWS ITSELF gives this illusion of an instant out, a lot of good people fall for it. It's a kind of Trump Derangement Syndrome, sure, but for most it's coming from a good place. By comparison I am unforgiving of people who dig, dig, dig compulsively to find the mastermind-elite behind the world's ills and land at Soros but not the 1,400 other billionaires, at "globalism" but not capitalism, at "educated liberal elites" but not the owners of the mode of production, at "Jews" but not rich people. As this one is not hegemonic, most of its adherents CAN read, have to search for the ideas, and yet land on this.

.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby peartreed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Telepathic attunement alone would be a paranormal perk any possessed prophet would envy, a talent worth all the psychiatric prowess of the published pundits already profiling Trump in biographical books that have burdened the bestseller lists. In other words, zero.

All we have left is our own observations and interpretations of input.

With that we can also turn to biographers like Michael D’Antonio, Michael Wolff, Tony Schwartz, Robert Slater, David Cay Johnston, Bob Woodward and a veritable array of CNN authors, celebrity reporters and correspondents who have researched, analyzed and written about his every idiosyncrasy since the tattletale tabloids profiled his ribald romp up through greed, glitter and gossip to his present precarious presidency.

And we can follow the news from several sources.

A common personality profile emerges from it all. We can ignore it, like his bedazzled base of admirers, advocates, acolytes and ignoramuses, or use it to anticipate his predictably unhinged antics.

Fortunately, he has had a series of handlers and babysitters sequentially serving as advisors and yes-men helping to steer his impulses, emotions and need for attention into slightly modified actions just short of disaster. Cohn, Kushner, Priebus, Porter, Bannon, McMaster, Tillerson, Kelly, Mattis, Pompeo and Giuliani have taken tentative turns guiding the clown car. His political policies and pronouncements are adjusted by their scary input and that of others having the daring audacity to try and contain his ineptitude. His occasional return to former international positions and policy templates is tentative.

The global trail of his trade and tariff tirades is a broken path of destruction, his damage to relations with other democracies and their leaders is damning and his blustering buffoonery is embarrassing.

Still, left unchecked and unsupervised behind the curtains with corrupt dictators, Trump remains a patsy, a prisoner of his own ego with its aspiration to be included in the aura of autonomous power.

The greatest cold war legacy and present danger is the reliance of world peace on an impulsive idiot as US president.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:03 pm

.

Sorry, peartreed, you're not actually defending your thesis with all that. It's all beside the point. Sure, Trump is a highly studied and observed critter, and we can all figure out a lot about him, especially since he often monologues his own train of thought uncontrollably in public, often even to the point of decompensation. We all know this already. My critique of your "telepathy" was a lot more specific than that:

On the one hand you seem to agree that Russian "election meddling" as well as presumed "kompromat" on Trump are negligible to non-existent. On the other, your main claim is that Trump is such a Putin puppet anyway because he loves the Putinesque Alpha-Macho Authoritarian thing and wants to be in the sole-ruler club with Vlad and Rodrigo and the gang. Now his true feelings for Putin are something too specific for you to know easily, regardless of how all-too-well we all have the privilege of knowing this motherfucker as though he was in our immediate orbit, which he effectively is. But that, again, is beside the point:[/]

My actual counter to you was to [i]reject your premise as contrary to the actual evidence, thus obviating your effort to explain it
. Trump is not a Putin puppet, and the repetition of this idea by a few corporate media outlets and the Russiagaters does not make it so. I know he is not a Putin puppet, not because I psychologized him, but because I can see the evidence of his decisions and regime policy, which goes counter to such a belief. The Trump regime participates in the general U.S. government hostility to Russia and promotion of the New Cold War tropes, with the only exception being in regard to Trump's own role.

Again, what you are trying to evade here:

JackRiddler wrote:Sanctions [on Russia, not just Iran] were escalated again just last week. Trump campaigned on a higher war-machine budget and he got it passed, near-unanimously. U.S. is refusing to join Syria talks [and promising to occupy 1/3 of Syria indefinitely]. When Trump lost or booted McMaster, he brought in Bolton, a Russia hawk since the nineteenth century. They are straining to get a new war with Iran, the ally of Russia. The U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty of 1987, possibly the single most dangerous move yet. Everyone's working on their next-generation nuclear weapons. In short, this is one case wherein I don't care what is happening in Trump's alleged mind, I don't need to speculate on that. The regime conforms with the New Cold War hysteria.


Especially the choice of Bolton and the insane decision to leave the arms treaty were not forced by any outside pressure of the "Russiagate" scandal. Nor do they make sense as deep-state moves. These were the motherfucker's own ideas. Psychologically, it might be that he values appearing to swing a bigger dick more than he desires Vlad's company.

The Russiagaters met this evident contradiction to their narrative with the camouflage trope. Putin wanted it somehow, or else Trump only did it to throw us off the trail. This was predictable, since this how they always respond to contradictory evidence. Everything that happens can only reinforce their closed-loop thesis.

But you, peartreed, you can still escape. ;-)

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The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Elvis » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:03 am

peartreed wrote:A common personality profile emerges from it all.


Peartreed, your lengthy reply really veers off topic; the subject of the thread is explicitly not Donald Trump's personality.

OP may correct me, but the topic is the rhetorical escalation of "The Russian Conspiracy" as an explanation for the ills of the world, its implications for the future, and the motivations of its exponents.

Let's all keep that in mind, thanks! :thumbsup
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby peartreed » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:04 am

Sorry, Elvis, but the conspiratorial cobweb of controversial Russian conspiracy has woven its tangled way throughout the internet web and tied up many threads here despite the purity of moderator motives in disentangling off-topic discussion. Conversation itself often unravels with asides that still stimulate reader interest, opinion and input as that weaves itself into new connections. Feel free to admonish, edit or delete as you see fit here.


Jack, I credit the generals for most of Trump's adherence to former international policies and positions, including maintaining adversarial relations with Russia and its allies. Mattis seems to be the current mastermind trying to maintain control, and Kelly contributes to containment much like McMaster tried to before being turfed. Apparently he annoyed Trump with homework, stats and historical facts charted for a simpleton's grasp. It is rumored that Bolton's bravado impressed Trump more than the walrus moustache that interfered with the look for the role Trump wanted for him. Bolton is apparently now less walrus warmonger than mouse of the house of cards. He helped inspire Trump to bomb Assad's little airfield after the gas attacks, but it was Mattis who ensured no hits on the Russian advisors housed on that base with their families. Isolating Iran further by treaty withdrawals and dismissing previous NATO commitments will no doubt annoy Putin, as well as all our allies, but Trump needs to have a foil on foreign soil just like he needs many a domestic nemesis to target with rants and blame. Iran has promise as a target less likely to trigger WW3.


While your points are valid and your perspective sound, I still contend the administration's animosity towards Russia is mostly from desperate inner workings trying to maintain a balance of power despite Trump's crush on the Kremlin King and his all too eager emulation of that barechested idol.


I'm also following another conspiratorial rumor that Elvis is alive - and weaving threads into a better performance here by his entire admiring audience.
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