william.scherk

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 enamoured of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong.

Message added by william.scherk

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

william.scherk

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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]



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41 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

This is intriguing:

William,

You are finally starting to understand.

That book by Jonah Sachs was where I first got really, really interested in story and propaganda. In fact, I named The Story Wars of Hot Political Issues thread here on OL as a hidden homage to Sachs (although we are polar opposites on politics).

Speaking of which, I just looked at that first page and, my God. How many broken links to videos and other stuff! I only started that thread in 2013. It seems like the lefties were not amused when they kept crowing how smart they were (this was the Obama years after all) and the other side came along, learned the techniques the lefties so glibly showed off, taught, and bragged about, and started using them.

I'm not saying all these broken links were due to OL's influence, although I bet that OL thread had some input. 

Anyway, I'm going to see about fixing some of that stuff.

More stuff to do... sigh... But I gotta do it. Later I want to use that thread as the framework--or start of a framework--for a book.

Michael

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In like Flynn, out like Gulen ...

On 12/4/2018 at 6:21 PM, william.scherk said:

For the incurious, here is a link to avoid: Mueller Recommends No Jail for Flynn Because of His Help

The purported 'Witch Hunt' has consulted the Malificarum and laid charges against two former Michael Flynn coven-mates cum business partners ...

The aim of their witchery was to get a US resident -- 'cleric' Fethulah Gulen -- rendered unto Turkish justice.  If you haven't much background on Fethulah Gulen and his crimes against Turkey, the last link here is your best bet for a quick sponge-up of pertinent details:

Quote
i27.jpgshare.png Rachel Weiner / Washington Post:
Michael Flynn's business partner charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey  —  A business partner of Michael Flynn is being charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy for attempting to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States.
RELATED:
i31.jpgshare.png U.S. Department of Justice:
Two Men Charged with Conspiracy and Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government  —  An indictment was unsealed today charging Bijan Rafiekian, aka Bijan Kian, 66, of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, of Istanbul, and a Turkish national, with conspiracy …

 

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6 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

If you haven't much background on Fethulah Gulen and his crimes against Turkey, the last link here is your best bet for a quick sponge-up of pertinent details

William,

No it isn't. That link goes to NBC News. And NBC News has been on a propaganda campaign against President Trump for over two years.

I don't know what the "best bet" would be, but going to a place with no credibility whatsoever except as a propaganda outfit is not it.

Michael

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Michael Flynn will not be sentenced today.  

Quote

Judge blasts Flynn: "Arguably you sold your country out"

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Judge Sullivan harshly admonished Michael Flynn for acting as unregistered agent while serving as the national security adviser, leaving open the possibility of jail time for Flynn.

“All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out."

Sullivan says he could impose a sentence of incarceration.

"I am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense," Sullivan said, straining his voice and taking a brief pause. "Yes, your honor," Flynn said, though he was not asked a question.

My guess is no jail time.  Flynn has been commended for the extent of his cooperation.

[Updated:  the judge in the case has delayed sentencing until March]

Edited by william.scherk

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Ken White opines in the Atlantic. His points are fairly sharp -- you don't win a federal case on Twitter.

Quote

[...] Nobody wants to be charged with a federal crime, but if you must, you want the deal Flynn got. He was the first to cooperate in the Special Counsel investigation in December 2017, and got the first cooperator’s prize: a plea to a single count of lying to the FBI, an offense usually resulting in a sentence of probation. He worked hard to earn the trust and even respect of the Special Counsel’s Office, submitting to 19 interviews that were “particularly valuable” because he was the first in the door, and likely inducing others to plead guilty through his cooperation. Mueller’s team recommended that he get probation, a permissible sentence under the applicable United States Sentencing Guidelines. The prosecutor recommended the same. Every defendant’s ideal sentence was his to lose.

And he lost it. He now has until March to win it back.

Flynn and his lawyers faced the same problem that has bedeviled Trump and Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti and Paul Manafort and several other figures in this circus we call life after 2016: a muscular public relations strategy is often a terrible litigation strategy. Time and again, these players have heard their public statements quoted back at them in court to undermine their legal positions. But Flynn’s error was even more grievous – he incorporated media spin into a sentencing brief.

[...]

Federal judges demand sincere acceptance of responsibility from people pleading guilty, especially when they’re cooperating with the government, and especially when they’re asking for a lenient sentence. Flynn’s sentencing arguments effectively told Sullivan that Flynn saw himself as a victim, rather than a contrite wrongdoer. Sullivan seized ominously on that issue from the start of the hearing, interrogating Flynn’s attorneys about how their argument could be consistent with acceptance of responsibility. Eventually he forced Flynn and his attorneys to concede that they were not arguing that Flynn was entrapped or that his rights were violated, and made Flynn repeat several times that he had pled guilty because he was, in fact, guilty.  Flynn was surprised, but criminal defense attorneys weren’t: That’s what happens when you deflect blame at your own sentencing.

Flynn’s tactical error was compounded by unfortunate timing. On Monday, federal prosecutors in Virginia indicted two Flynn associates for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act; and the indictment clearly demonstrated Flynn’s central role in the crime. Sullivan pounced on this fact. He implied that Flynn, by being allowed to plead to the single false statement charge, has already escaped more punishment than he should.

Sullivan’s anger was palpable.  He openly expressed what he termed “disgust” for Flynn’s actions and asserted “arguably, you sold your country out.” He noted that Flynn lied both to the FBI and to members of the Trump administration. In an intemperate moment for which he later apologized, he asked if Flynn had committed treason. Flynn had not — nobody thought he had — but it’s a bad sign when your judge used the T-word at your false statements sentencing hearing. If Flynn’s lawyers had not agreed to postpone the sentencing, it’s probable Sullivan would have given him time in jail.

[...]

I will post here one document that I missed noting -- this is the "302" ...

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9 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Ken White opines in the Atlantic...

"...a muscular public relations strategy is often a terrible litigation strategy. Time and again, these players have heard their public statements quoted back at them in court to undermine their legal positions..."

Well, it worked just fine for Obama when his crew was taking positions before the Supreme Court which were contrary to Obama's repeatedly hyped lies about Obamacare while lpitching it to the nation. I guess that it all comes down to individual judges' feelings.

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My bet is still on no jail time, possible probation.

3 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

The judge may throw out the conviction based on Mueller misconduct.

I am not quite seeing what you are seeing, Brant. Which particular 'Mueller misconduct' do you posit as it pertains to Flynn? In Flynn's lawyer's sentencing memorandum the notion was raised that the FBI interview at his White House office was unfair to him.  The judge demanded that redacted FBI records filed post-interview be made public (the so-called 302s). [PDF

Mueller responded to the Flynn memo. [PDF]

The defense and Flynn responded to the judge's questions about his plea agreement, which responses undercut the notion in their sentencing report.

Quote

Flynn attorney Robert Kelner asked Sullivan not to penalize Flynn for the sentencing memo arguments, saying they were mostly intended to differentiate Flynn from other defendants in Mueller's investigation who'd received prison sentences for lying. Though Sullivan said none of the other defendants was a White House official, Kelner suggested none had been as co-operative.

"He made the decision publicly and clearly and completely and utterly to co-operate with this investigation, knowing that because of his high rank, that was going to send a signal to every other potential co-operator and witness in this investigation," he added.

After a prosecutor raised the prospect of Flynn's continued co-operation with other investigations in the future, Sullivan warned Flynn that he might not get full credit for his assistance to the government if he were sentenced as scheduled.

Sullivan gave a visibly shaken Flynn a chance to discuss delaying the hearing with his lawyers. The court briefly recessed.

When they returned, Kelner requested a postponement so that Flynn could keep co-operating. Kelner said he expected Flynn would have to testify in a related trial in Virginia involving Flynn's former business associates, and the defence wanted to "eke out the last modicum of co-operation" so he could get credit.

Flynn's lawyers were instructed to submit a status report by March 13.

We'll see what happens in March. Bear in mind that the judge can eye all that we do not see under redaction; his words suggest that he accepts the Flynn plea and will hold him to it.

Quote

Flynn is still cooperating with prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia in an investigation into Turkish lobbying, according to Kelner, and will “likely” have to testify in that case. Flynn’s former associates Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin were indicted in the Eastern District on Monday as part of a conspiracy they allegedly concocted with Flynn in 2016 to “covertly and unlawfully” influence U.S. public opinion as it relates to the exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Sullivan said that while he can’t guarantee that Flynn will receive a lighter sentence after his cooperation is fully over, it would at least allow the court to take everything into consideration with regard to Flynn’s assistance to prosecutors. “I can’t consider the full extent of your cooperation in this case,” Sullivan said, noting that Flynn’s crime of lying about his conversations with the Kislyak was “very serious” and resulted in top White House officials—including the vice president and press secretary—lying to the public. “You can’t minimize that,” he said. “If you want to postpone this, that’s fine with me.”

 

Edited by william.scherk

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William,

Just as the United States is being broken up Red and Blue you and Carol are being exc we exluded from OL. Sin loi!

For America it's a disaster. For OL it's boredom.

It's all the left's fault.

Your fault.

--Brant

hers too

me too --it doesn't matter who is on what side of the divide, what matters is the divide; now it's war

OK is about ideas--or was--but now we are at war; not sure I'm up to it

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Quote

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.

It's a crapshoot, maybe.

 

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There has got to be more to this story war. One chapter heading does not seem to match the other. But then what do I know about Russian Motives?

 

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OMG.

The Daily Beast just said OANN likes Russia because it's an all white country that hates Muslims

And that OANN is fake news to boot.

Someone should warn President Trump.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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Here's a video that is typical of why left can't stand OANN and is now on a kick to say it is biased, racist, misogynistic, frothing at the mouth, nuts, dangerous, etc.

How dare they attack a leftie narrative with facts?

:)

(Apropos, if the left wants to win that particular issue, it should probably choose a narrative that includes the massive number of women who are pro-life rather than sanctimoniously speak in public in the name of All Women fighting against The Evil Male while pretending pro-life women don't exist or are too stupid to worry about. This is not an ideological comment, either. It's simple logic and math. Pro-life women vote and do politics. Lots of 'em. Duh... :) )

Michael

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