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byronius's Journal
byronius's Journal
January 5, 2019

Soooooooo -- Puppet. Puppet indeed. Pure puppet.

Whatever Russia wants, we should do the opposite. Just as a general guideline.

January 3, 2019

Trump announces for 2020.

Wayyyyyyy too coherent. But still relevant.
December 27, 2018

Explained: The Russian effort to help Donald Trump.

Mark Sumner on Kos

In 2013, Donald Trump went to Russia. He may, or may not, have had an experience in a Moscow hotel room while he was there. But even if that didn’t happen, something else surely did.

Trump: I was with the top level people, both oligarchs and generals and top-of-the-government people. I can't go further than that, but I will tell you I met the top people.

Whatever happened, it seems to be around this same point that Russia decided to see if it could make Donald Trump the next president of the United States. That effort centered around turning the same tools it had used to attack the nascent democratic governments of former Soviet states into a systematic campaign that spread disinformation, stole real information, and pried open America along fault lines of race and culture. Russia’s commitment to Trump meant devoting the full-time attention of hundreds of intelligence operatives, over a period of years. It included social media accounts that were carefully nursed along for over two years, until they weren’t just part of the landscape on both left and right, but were actually in positions of influence, and even leadership, in both communities. The effort that Russia launched following Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow spanned continents and included social media, traditional media, false news sites, cyber espionage, clandestine meetings, and boots-on-the-ground organizing.

But that wasn’t the start of the story.

Americans have two stories they tell one another. For Democrats, a president should be Josiah Bartlett—thoughtful, decisive, and intensely moral—willing to make personal chances and throw away all political calculus when it comes to doing the right thing. For Republicans, a president is James Marshall, confident and cool as he takes on terrorists with his own fists and saves his family, and not incidentally the world, by never backing down.

But Russia doesn’t believe in either of those stories. For Russia, the United States is a country dominated by three features, racism, violence and greed. In supporting Trump, Russia acted on those beliefs.

A great analysis, worth a full read.
December 5, 2018

Tariff Man's newest comic book adventure.

Emphasis on 'comic'.
November 29, 2018

Soooooo -- about this Jeffrey Epstein article in the Miami Herald.

That specifically doesn't mention Trump except for his connection to Alexander Acosta.

But it does mention the case is sealed and all co-conspirators are forgiven and forgotten as part of the obviously-crooked deal now-Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta made with Epstein.

And then I'm remembering Epstein being mentioned in the Jerry Sandusky case as well, and suggestions of a larger conspiracy of wealthy men acquiring children for rape from Sandusky -- usually aboard private planes.

And then I'm remembering the young woman threatened into withdrawing her lawsuit against Trump for raping her and her 13 year old friend alongside Epstein.

And then I'm thinking -- group of extremely wealthy men using power and connections to seal rape cases and threaten victims and destroy their lives -- and maybe if they're having rape parties together there might also be some co-dependent financial transactions going on, because people have to be paid off and paid for threatening and sealing cases, and all of that money has to be laundered somehow, right?

And I'm thinking -- why is the Miami Herald dredging this horrific case of injustice up years later at the very moment the Trump is experiencing Peak Shitstorm?

Who could possible unseal a legally-sealed state case? Who would have reason and the ability to go digging around in something like that tangential to money laundering and payoffs of state officials and District Attorneys who are now the Secretary of Labor?

And I'm suddenly remembering that little bit of info about Special Prosecutors having the ability to go anywhere and look at anything relevant to their charge.

Mueller doesn't leak. But -- maybe someone thought the public might appreciate being reminded of an old sealed case that everyone's sort of forgotten about that the Miami Herald says mentions unnamed co-conspirators who might have been involved in the rape of children, and maybe the Miami Herald got a little bit of heads-up about something coming down the pipeline. The story doesn't make any connections, but it implies them just between the lines.

Rings like a goddamned bell for me.

November 28, 2018

I wonder how big the Blue Wave would have been sans gerrymandering, suppression, and election fraud.

Much larger, that's for sure, but I'd love to see a cogent analysis of it.

If I were a member of a political party that cheated as strategy, I'd be ashamed. If the Democratic Party routinely gamed the system to retain power I'd speak out and stand up against it.

Because I'm an American first.

November 19, 2018

Reading 'Postwar' -- I never realized the depth of damage Margaret Thatcher did.

They're still digging out.

She had a vision -- a Friedrich Hayek-inspired fever-dream that would end in the wealthy prospering mightily while millions of working-class men and women suffered degradation, humiliation and death. Some 3.76 million British workers were thrown onto the slashed safety-net never to work again. Britain became hollowed-out, industry fled, schools and neighborhoods descended into squalor, misery took hold of the middle class and squeezed the life out of the nation.

But she never altered course, her admirers noted. She clung to that discredited, damaging philosophy in spite of all fact. Crying children and suicidal teenagers and despairing adults meant nothing next to the brilliance of the Idea.

Tony Judt's book is powerful. I'm learning a great deal, and one of the things he does so well is to translate complex economic movements into human terms. He makes one think -- what the hell are we doing here anyway? How many suffering humans have to be fed to the fires of the Idea before we stop theorizing that Mammon should come first?

I never understood how damaging Thatcher was until now. I understand how damaging Reagan was -- and now I understand the nature of the Idea better -- fancy language wrapped around concepts that benefit only the sociopaths while casually tossing generations into the fire.

'Conservative economic philosophy' is merely the Divine Right Of Kings for the modern age. That's all it is. And it spreads as much misery as it did in the Olden Days.

November 15, 2018

It's possible that Cesar Sayoc saved a lot of lives.

He failed to kill anyone, but he tightened up everyone's understanding of where Trump want to take us, and what his supporters are willing to do. The mail will be more closely watched. Security is going to get beefed up for notable targets.

It could have been one of the more competent American Nazis. They do exist, even if it seems oxymoronic. Maybe one of them was working on something more coherent but has postponed the scheme.

Small favors. Lucky breaks. Fortuitous wake-up calls.

Whatever it takes.

November 12, 2018

Weaponized misinformation in the parking lot.

Had a startling conversation with a young man I've know for three years now -- he's a lab tech in the marijuana testing lab across the street, an intelligent guy who just graduated from UC Davis with a hard science degree.

We've talked politics before -- he leans left but hangs out with a lot of libertarians and often echoes that view. But he's always seemed honest and thoughtful, and we usually end up in hour-long conversations that are pretty interesting.

Last night, however -- he passed on three news stories he'd picked up. First: he admitted to voting for two Republican DA's because he didn't like the fact that George Soros funded Black Lives Matter, because George Soros was a traitor to his own people and helped the Nazis hunt down Jews. Second: There was a second shooter on the ground at the Las Vegas shooting, and the fact that Nancy Pelosi called at 5AM about the shooting is evidence that it was a Democrat-planned false flag operation.

Third: Tucker Carlson was attacked at his home by fourty Antifa operatives who spray painted the home and threatened his wife.

I immediately called bullshit, but he insisted it was all 'mainstream news', and pulled up a NYT story about a 'second person of interest' in the shooting. I pointed out that the story said absolutely nothing about a 'second shooter', but he insisted it was all breaking mainstream news. Earnest, honest, insistence that it was factual.

I went back inside and looked up the first two stories on Snopes, which very effectively debunks both but also presents the original source of the stories -- guess what I found?

The source for the first was Infowars, Dinesh D'Souza, and white supremacy websites. Absolutely, utterly debunked.

The second was started by two shady websites with Russian ties -- and Infowars.

The third is brand new and primarily pushed by Tucker Carlson -- but there's a police report, and video, and nothing like what they claim happened happened.

I find it disheartening that an intelligent and purportedly well-educated young man would fall for this crap. I intend to engage with him, but holy cow --

We're at war, and weaponized misinformation is the new nuclear weapon. Startling to get a taste close up.

Dangerous times.

November 10, 2018

America For Dummies.

1) All human beings are created equal, and therefore all human beings have equal rights.
2) Things get better when we all work together for the common good.
3) One guy or a few guys having all the money and power is a Really Bad Idea.
4) We should all keep trying to grow and become better people.
5) Sometimes it is the people no one expects anything of that do the things no one expects. Therefore, access to high quality education for the poorest and most marginalized among us is a really good idea that has and will make us strong as Americans and as a species.
6) We lead the world by example.
7) If something is bad for children, or frightening to children, or harmful to children in any way, it is Obviously Bad.
8) Mental illness is a Real Thing, and should be worked on.
9) We Help.
10) Nazis or anything remotely related to Nazism or torture or control through fear or dominance philosophy is Obviously Bad.


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Member since: Wed Feb 23, 2005, 03:32 PM
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