william.scherk

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Everything posted by william.scherk

  1. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    It wasn't as bad as I thought. It was much worse. Here's the sampling, with added stormy seashore -- since he doesn't use his green-screen blue-screen to any effect: Ish. I'm not from Newfoundland ... where the insular dialect spoken is a thing of wonder; out of a Newfie mouth, you will indeed hear 'Ah boot.' The so-called Maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia) also have accent-dialectical differences from other regions**. The pure Nova Scotia accent is a glory to behold. "On Saerday night I wint to da bairn pairty at my faether's faerm." "Oooh, didya filp da caer?" My favourite linguistics term is "Voiceless Glottal Plosive." ______________________ ** the French dialect of the Acadians is a fabulous outlier as well. It almost completely stumps those who know only standard Metropolitan French.
  2. One of the items I fish out of the general Russia Russia Russia hoopla is geopolitical strategy. In other words, setting aside the unproven allegations of the Trump-Russia 'collusion' grab-bag, and putting to one side the actual details of the "Russia hack" of the 2016 US presidential election -- leaving the residual "what is this administration's larger strategy with regard to Russia, its hopes and fears, its ambitions." This is no easy task. The election campaign revealed just a few rules of thumb that a Trump administration would use in a new relationship. Each of us will have an impression of just what President Trump hopes to achieve in relation to Russia between now and 2020. For me, having studied utterances of Michael Flynn and the many Russia/Putin statements from the president, it is to "get along," to cooperate where it serves American interests, and perhaps to let Russia back in from the cold by removing sanctions where appropriate. In an sense, it is a desire to move the 'deep state' off its suspicious foundations in order to make a better partnership with the Eurasian nuclear power. (the 'deep state' I envision as the intersection of established policy [of the executive branch, including national security agencies] and law [from the legislature]; it is the entrenched state of affairs, the 'ship of state' -- a vehicle of praxis built up over time. The 'deep state' of course takes its orders not from a shadowy cartel, but from department policy as written, intelligence findings as transmitted, and law. Law as in the welter of official acts and regulations, eg, Magnitsky-related sanctions. The 'deep state' vehicle can be refitted and given new missions, but this takes time, time to install new commanders with clear mission statements, time to legislate and decree a change in direction, speed, goal and targets) Having established their own briefs on facts and values, strategy and intelligence, law and practice, OLers might like me might have asked themselves the same set of questions -- not of the American 'vehicle' commanded by President Trump, but of the Russian ship of state. What Russia wants. -- that boring introduction done, here is a well-written analysis of Russian imperatives: Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work? NB: at 4200 words the article is not light reading. But I suspect readers will be better able to answer the question "What is a proper Russia policy for the USA?" One person whose opinions I wish we could consult right now is the founder of Objectivism. Having a cold eye on the Soviet Union, a cold eye for any unfree state, a cold eye for dictatorships, Ayn Rand would likely be able to add moral clarity to the 'debates' about Russia Russia Russia. A couple of folks here have contended that Rand would be enamored of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong. [Spelling and grammar plotzes fixed Jan 10, 2018]
  3. Sessions, leaks, security, Manafort and 'false news.'

    Picking up the thread on Manafort and McMaster ... Manafort's business partner and senior Trump campaign official Rick Gates is reportedly about to take a plea deal with the federal prosecutor. "What does this mean?!" hoopla seems to lurch between 'fuck all' and 'the sky is falling,' which means we have to bring in the experts. But I don't have any. Here is a snatch of programming from Infowars. Roger Stone was once a business partner of Manafort. In this snatch, Stone takes aim at another former Trump employee, the fabled Steve Bannon. It was widely reported that Bannon spent 20 hours with special counsel staff answering questions that he previously refused to answer before the committees of benghazi. Photos of him leaving the federal offices suggest he either got something off his chest, or that CNN is adept at photoshopping. I will let Stone's insider gen lead the speculation ... you have to skip ahead of the usual misreporting some minutes to get Stoned.
  4. Six fun (sad/awful/false/infuriating) stories emerged from the swamp in the last couple of days. Peter Taylor noted elsewhere on the site some vows made by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions on the issue of "leaks." Some of the usual suspects have pretended that this is a "Threat" against the noble profession of prostitution journalism. The strongest or least-false coverage of this issue from that point of view may be from font of evul Politico ... in a story called Jeff Sessions' Attack on the Media Is Worse Than You Think. Of course, Objectivist analysis might find that the threat is more than necessary, and that it will encourage a proper "chilling effect." Less clear is the notion of "Lie Detectors" (in the White House). Polygraphs are a useful investigative tool, but not accepted by US courts on the whole. Less intrusive than a lie detector is the power to subpoena ... but see the story for all the convolutions. (one stand-out point was that it is relatively rare for journalist-itutes to be prosecuted or held in contempt for refusing to reveal sources [think Judith Miller]; the Politico story points out that the four arrested cited-but-not-cited by Sessions were not recipients but those who had purloined secret and often highly-classified 'spy' entrails from the DC borg.) ********************************* The second story circulating is that Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC. This may or may not be true -- even though everyone and the dog has been biting on the "news." I do not know if this would become public in the normal course of justice. The third story is that President Trump is a lazy do-nothing, who spends far too much time at his golf clubs ... instantiated in a nasty Newsweek cover. The fourth story is related to the Mueller grand jury suggestion ... this excerpt is from the brief Slate article "U.S. Reportedly Intercepted Suspected Russian Agents' Chatter That Manafort Asked for Their Help With Clinton: There are obviously multiple investigative balls in the air, and the public focus has shifted of late to Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, who certainly have had longer and more lasting influence on Donald Trump, but keep an eye on Paul Manafort, his Russia connections are deep and dodgy. Update, Aug. 4, 2017: Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, issued this statement on the latest round of accusations: “Paul Manafort did not collude with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 election or to hack the DNC. Other than that comment, we aren't going to respond to anonymous officials illegally peddling second hand conspiracy theories. But the Justice Department, and the courts if necessary, should hold someone to account for the flood of unlawful government leaks targeting Mr. Manafort." Manafort was the first somewhat hinky part of the Trump campaign and influence apparat to appear in posts here on OL, back a year and more ago. It's not surprising that Mueller would request documents and testimony from the Manafort axis. It isn't that he was a tool of Russia or an obvious go-between, but that he could have been a major conduit for the wink-wink quid pro quo that the crazy Russia conspiracists are certain is going to be found. Did Mr Manafort wink-nudge the Trump attitude that 'we take help from where it comes, given that politics is a dirty dirty game'? I mean, isn't the essential question reduced to who promised what in return? I take the tentative position that Trump's stated positions on Russia during the campaign and since being in office are obvious. So it will be exceedingly hard to show him 'promising' things on the down low, since he did it on the stump. Then, if he was inclined to reduce sanctions bite on Russia and to warm things up between the superpower and the also-ran, it was open and public. Which requires that underlings and satellites were going to be the ones dealing with the details of wink-wink, nudge-nudge. If you are a Menshist, or not. (the more hysterical of the Russia hoopla employees and hobbyists are those who think every rumour is true, every leak informs the big picture. So the Flynn Effect [very pro-Russia relax] and other fizz from the week means Russian "information warfare" was coordinated. Which is alarmist nonsense, right?) ************************************* The fifth story is about vacation-time, but in this instance taken by the manly President of Russia. Here's a sample: The sixth story is as usual performed by two casts, in two theatres. In the permutations, a Cernovich wing in the White House leaks out a broad range of accusations against Trump's National Security Adviser Lt. General HR McMaster -- that he is a tool of Soros/Rothschilds/Saudis, an enemy of Israel, and ever-so Swamp-Like that his hideous influence must be extirpated from Cabinet. Two guys come shambling up the alley. First guy looks like Steve Bannon, the second guy looks like McMaster, and the guy with McMaster is brown and in a turban**. Which one would you ask out on a date/for help? Which one is leaking to the Washington Post, or -- as this week -- to Cernovich-Breitbart-Gateway Pundit? I think there is a mini-war of ideas in the White House, which slops over into a war of words and Grand Hoopla Theatre in the mediatic multiplex. But what do I know. I am that guy who wrote "Why Donald Trump lost the election." Incidentally, as a bonus seventh story -- did you know that obsessive humans do such things as rigorously analyze Twitter accounts that peddle the Kremlin lines of attack? Yes you did, but did you know that PR and political attack campaigns have a particular 'footprint' or pattern? Of course you did, so it won't be a surprise that there is a website that tracks real-time information-warfare memes and their flows in Kremlin-friendly orbit. If you squint and pretend to be Louise Mensch, yesterday's peak trends like the Cernovich Leaks from the angry West Wingers about McMaster were coordinated with a robust 'managed news' campaign directed by the drunk guy in the alley. See if you can find your favourites bot link or alt-news site here. I add a screenshot of the crazy site, but first an intro from the feverish topic ends of Twitter. __________________________ * I am picturing Harjit Sajjan, who rarely togs out in his Commander outfit, but still. Who doesn't feel safer when a turbaned Sikh gets on the bus? I would think Bannon was a drunk, and McMaster probably a loud talker. Which makes me think how many more generals should join the Trump cabinet and administrative apparatus.
  5. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    I also had fun with Tarl Warwick, who is not a lawyer like Cernovich, but who has self-published enough to also be an author. You may know him better under his nom-de-youtube Styxhexenhammer666 ... In this video I extracted the main Russia points made in his latest appearance, A Reaction to Robert Muellers 13 Russian Indictments (AKA Underwhelming Farce). I laid his pithy Russia-Myooler passages against an extract of hand gestures ... two minutes and thirty-one seconds. His first fact fail comes at 0:26. Warwick is not the only one unable to pronounce the special counsel's name. Roger Stone also says Myooler. Which is neither here nor there. Readers familiar with the timeline of the 'discovery' of the Internet Research Agency will recall something of the many articles first appearing in the fall of last year that looked under the hood. Here below is a new-to-me Youtuber, Tim Pool, who showed up in my 'suggested for you' highlights. He has a steady demeanour, and a bit more production chops than have David Seaman**, Tarl, or the perpetually-unwashed Cernovich. According to a couple of online bios, he got his start with Vice and Fusion ... In this video I have extracted Pool's opinions on Russian propaganda arms RT America and Sputnik. I note he is a sometime guest on Sputnik media and did some reporting on its functions. In the video he is ostensibly reacting to then-hoopla indicating that the FBI had been looking closely at Sputnik ... give him a chance. Three minutes of your life. The short video is extracted from PROPAGANDA, TRIBALISM, AND BEN SHAPIRO AT BERKELEY, which was posted to Youtube on September 14, 2018. See also his RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA SUPPORTED BLACK LIVES MATTER, published on Sep 28, 2017. Show notes said, "Russian propaganda supported black lives matter in at least one ad, the ad also may have been threatening to some groups. The ad targeted Baltimore and Ferguson." Today is 'venture out of your information silo' day. ** One of Seaman's many grievances is with Youtube. He accuses it of personal throttling, censorship, targeting and yesterday shared a picture of a black helicopter 'parked' in the sky near his apartment balcony. Today he returns to a theme demon, Susan Wojcicki, whom he calls "Catshit Face" and who he apparently believes is personally directing Youtube harassment via death of a thousand small cuts. Apparently, Google-Youtube has a new system of ratifying payment agreements with monetizers (I myself have so far accrued 0.01 US dollars). A whole class of Youtubers like me will -- in March -- be unable to monetize; perhaps as part of implementing its new framework, longtime account-holders like David would confirm their payment agreements by use of a 'key' sent in the mail. Unfortunately, Google did not know he moved to Colorado, and a demand to enter the confirmation 'key' could not be obeyed, as mail was not re-directed from his old address. So, of course, to the buffet of grievance was added "the final straw" a couple of days ago ... it is not clear what David's next move will be. I get notifications to join his zany livecasts and view his uploads ... but this is one I am going to skip till Easter ... there is only so much head-bobbing self-referential ranting a silo technician can take.
  6. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    Here below is Gorilla Mindset author, lawyer and Twitter powerhouse Mike Cernovich. In this video I have had some fun with editing, though not I hope to distort his conclusions about the indictments published yesterday. He starts off by noting he has read the full text. I invite readers here to do that also, lest they be what Mike rails against ... His main points are classed in three parts: what is good about the indictments, what is bad, and what is terrifying for all good members of the good people party. He also makes a prediction. In essence he concludes that the indictments put Americans in danger of being prosecuted by Russia. That could be. It also could be that Russia will double-down on active measures slash information warfare ... Notable is that Cernovich and the right-wing fog machine have no questions for the President. No expectations. If Trump wants to get ahead of Mueller and Co, Russia may be expecting him to do something/nothing ... as noted earlier, the sanctions bill that attracted massive bipartisan support has not been enforced by the White House. Yet. From Cernovich's Youtube channel: Mueller grand jury indicts 13 Russian nationals. What does it mean? Let us know if you are 'terrified' about the indictments' ramifications ...
  7. Conspiracy theories and Conspiracy theorists

    Full text of indictment document from the Special Counsel
  8. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    The President's words in this statement are interesting. So, what kind of prep does he have in mind with regard to this fall's elections?
  9. I want to recommend a book I just started reading last night: "Suspicious Minds," by Rob Brotherton. As is usual, I read first the chapter that stuck out -- Chapter 5, The Paranoid Fringe. It takes a useful critical look at the seminal article by Richard Hofstadter -- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" -- and also runs to ground a plausible origin of 'tinfoil hats.' The book is written in a wry conversational tone, and is not on the surface a ''scholarly" read thick with endless footnotes, but it also contains a very useful reference list by page number -- as well as a full index at the back. (My copy is from our local library, but I am going to order it from Amazon so I always have it on hand as a reference book.) Here is an excerpt from the first page that might whet OLer's appetite for more ... In a fit of recursion, I include this bit of commentary from earlier this month. It suggests that I am bound by ingrained prejudice/s, which may or may not be true ... yet leaves the door open to further friendly discussion. -- for those who like to check out reviews before purchasing or borrowing from a library, here's a selection -- which I thought remarkable. Remarkable in the sense of "how many reviews do not mention Donald Trump?" New York Times review by Adrian Chen Inside Higher Education review by Scott McLemee Brief Scientific American review by Maria Temming -- for the benefit of Dear Leader, I found the book is available at his local library too!
  10. "Inside Robert Mueller's Army"

    DO SOMETHING! -- the Stormy Daniels whoop-up, the shooting in Lakeland, the Playboy model affair ruckus, all is swept down the field by a fresh gout of Grand Hoopla. Memeorandum.com** selects outlets from both conventionally left and conventionally right; I have highlighted a few 'right-ish' outlets and authors below. I respect Chuck Ross's reporting on Daily Caller, and appreciate his hard-nosed (if click-baity) skepticism about the entire Mueller show on Twitter. Daily Caller has an uncertain relationship to Trump, as do some of the other sites highlighted, including (Ben Shapiro's) Daily Wire -- but at least one can guess which kinds of talking points FoxNews will take in its newsertainment coverage, once that kicks in later today. The leftmost outlets are typically drunk on sensation and dot-connecting and "what it all means." The one interesting story of the lot for the White House may be the Rick Gates whoopup. "Sources say" he is close to a plea deal with the special counsel. Meanwhile, Indictments galore! Ruskies to a man ... ** The site allows you to segment out a moment in time, a snapshot of the site. This allows you to see the development of mainstream stories that carry the 'bombshell' tag. Eg, the URL for the bits above is https://www.memeorandum.com/180216/h1535 -- if you try an earlier snapshot (https://www.memeorandum.com/180216/h1530) all the Mueller indictment histrionics was absent ...
  11. "Inside Robert Mueller's Army"

    The work history of the folks in the Robert Mueller team is reported on by the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff. For those unspooked by a relatively quiet news front on the special counsel's activities, and for those who are curious about credible/non-credible implications of the activities. And maybe for those who use "Muh Russia" unironically ... (& for those who may have forgotten the details of the inquiry's frame of reference: the Rosenstein order establishing his authority) The DB article's subheadline slug: To probe alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, the special counsel has essentially built his own miniature Justice Department. Meet the experts he’s recruited. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion (emphasis added):
  12. Fake News

    False Reporting from Alex Jones
  13. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    Disagreement! From Mick West at Metabunk: Content from external source
  14. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    It's Upside Down Reason Day at Objectivist Living, at least for one member. Objectivism, anyone? ¿ʍouʞ I op ʇɐɥʍ ʇnq ˙ɐᴉouɐɹɐd ƃuᴉʌɐɹ ǝʞᴉl sɯǝǝs ʇᴉ ǝɔuɐlƃ ʇsɹᴉɟ ʇ∀ ˙ǝɹǝɥ ʇuǝɯnƃɹɐ ɹnoʎ puɐdxǝ oʇ ʎɹʇ uɐɔ noʎ ǝqʎɐɯ '(ǝʌoqɐ) noʎ ƃuᴉssǝɹppɐ ʎlʇɔǝɹᴉp ǝlᴉɟ ƐԀW ǝɥʇ oʇ puodsǝɹ oʇ ɥsᴉʍ ʇ,uop noʎ ɟI ˙uoſ 'ʎʇᴉlɐǝɹ uo dᴉɹƃ ɹnoʎ ʇsol ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ʇɔǝdsns I
  15. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    Le Heavy Sigh. Snatched from the jaws of Google:
  16. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    There are no obvious answers to this, I guess. Regarding cyber intrusions and diminishing prestige ... Here is stalwart defender of values, Jack Posobiec, giving his opinion on "what Russia wants" -- in light of the grim clowns shtick. Oddly, or not-so-oddly, his opinions parallel some of mine to a close degree. From a more lengthy Youtube version of a Periscope videocast a couple of days back ... "Russian information operation revealed #4DWarfare."
  17. Fake News

    Link to ReasonTV Youtube page.
  18. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    The lamentable death toll in Parkland Florida is dominating US news coverage today, as it did yesterday. Also dominating demi-media and the various hoopla vendors (link to massive page of items at Memeorandum.com). In my continuing education about our Suspicious Minds, I checked with my favourite conspiracy theorist of the week, Jordan Sather. He has -- surprise surprise -- concluded that the shooting was a so-called "false flag." A good time to repost that consumer's caution from WNYC? Look out for "Milkshake Ladies" ... and other unnamed, unidentified sources such as featured in the Vimeo video referenced by Jordan. A small excerpt from Memeoradum.com this moment:
  19. Fake News

    Q: "How is the Cruz kid a "white man"?"
  20. Fake News

    "Trump's Fake News: Deep Breaths and Fact-Checking Might Just Save America"
  21. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    What consequences? No official link. So, there's that.
  22. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    While I am almost near the subject ... American military forces kill Russian/Russian-allied military forces. Is this meaningful, or is it according to the law of unintended consequences? Not that these alternatives are exhaustive or mutually-exclusive.
  23. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    I'd hoped you would look into and comment on the kind of disinformation exemplified by the Syria Sarin hoopla noted above. The tactic certainly worked to edge the Russian Narrative closer to mainstream acceptance in America. That the intel agencies are hopelessly confused, that ISIS-ish rebels in Syria are responsible for all the Sarin use documented by the OPCW and the UN investigations. The "Dems," as a blob, can seem a hideous and corrupt political actor, bloodless and instransigeant. That the blob has convinced itself that Trump himself is tainted by Russia I can agree with. There are a few independent researchers (meaning non-affiliated groups of ad-hoc diggers and doubters and skeptics) who have and will have dug deep into the particulars of the influence campaigns you remark upon. If you like, I can assemble a primer on that kind of stuff, minus the Louise Mensch-ish outliers and kooks who abound. Yeah. But you and I aren't doing that. I mean, by my example of the Syrian Sarin file, I can contend that influence campaigns have particular effects. I do know a fair bit about this issue, so that is why I go on boringly on about it. It creeps me out that the 'false-flag' 'hoax' brigades do so well in discrediting rational inquiry such that the 'woken' population accepts without question the "Mattis Admits" line. The success of Russian-Syrian misinformation is depressing to me. Does that throw an election? Not at all. I guess I must expand my remit here. The grossest generalization is that Russia helped swing the election for Trump. The least gross generalization for me is that it pays rational dividends to be aware as much as possible just what "active measures" Russia employs in disrupting the Western alliance members. This puts into sharp relief a rather comic vision of "a few mesmerizing posts and memes" on the transmission belts of social media, at least as concerns the blob Narrative and the blob Dems. What about an informed person like me, who gets depressed at the penetration of falsity and deception (eg, Sarin) into the American opinion-o-news-sphere? If media today has an influence, if social media has an influence, if social media led influence campaigns ramify false premises and corrupt erstwhile "independent woke investigators" in the demi-media -- how could one possibly measure effects, ramifications and so on? A good set of queries ... I try to answer or investigate individual claims and the arguments within which they are embedded. My interests sort of converge in Syria. The cult of Assad has taken root in the alt-right 'woken' fringes. it is disquieting ... At some point, perhaps, I became a controlled zombie puppet of the Soros-Reptilian-Unwoke Cabal -- which is what the kooks I encounter on Twitter tend to assume about anyone not bought into the false-flaggery crap in re Sarin. You wouldn't believe what kinds of satanic memberships are presumed by some of Eliot''s most lit critics. Including such leftist stalwarts as Max Blumenthal, who ends up slagging Eliot and associated Syrian claims and groups ... on Sean Hannity. Yes, RT alumni and Sarin truther Max Leftmost Party Blumenthal on FoxNews. Anyhow, active measures. Cyber-intrusions into state election machinery. Disinformation on bloat, disruption of and weakening confidence in US institutions, diminishing prestige of its brand. November on the horizon, and six grim clowns suggest the Ruskie has his eye on doing more of the same (mesmerizing). I have a couple of fleas in my ear, I expect. In a slightly larger context, Trump has his own 'committees of benghazi' dogging him -- as it pertains to his enunciated Russia policy, he is constrained. That may be a defect in the US system -- that the chief executive is stymied in his plans for a major re-set of relations -- or it may be a built-in check and balance. I see a disjunct between what the Trump-appointed Grim Clowns say and what the President says. I do hope the benghazis come to a conclusion that unconstrains Trump's policy vision. A president is given the power to change policy. He should be given the opportunity to do so. If there is a big re-set on the horizon, however, it may be just out of reach until 2021. Depending on whether Congress lurches slightly left this fall and how much benghazi-committee bullshit drags on. For the woken, a report like this one by the BBC yesterday will be trashed as NATO 'narrative' ... that Sarin is always and only used in false flag attacks. Ergo, this is notice of a false flag. Syria war: suspected Sarin attack on rebel-held Saraqib – BBC Newsnight