The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Homage to Catalonia: the Conspiracy Factory

    This week we were met with scenes of police removing protesters in Barcelona, with outcries of heavy-handidness by Madrid. Absent the cries of police brutality was any suggestion of how police should handle the unwanted job of removing thousands of protesters, and what is an acceptable level of force - critical to me, as I'd meditated for 2 weeks on horrid images of US police wailing on and pounding a black man's head into the pavement for two minutes, along with unneeded body slams say of a skinny girl in a tight skirt.

    More important, I didn't hear any discussion of what I'd been hearing for weeks - that Putin's bots had turned to fomenting dissension and turmoil in Catalonia, hoping for a final split that would give the EU another crisis to leave it on the ropes. This is impressive,as the story of how Russia manipulated the US election keeps snowballing as one unlikely scenario after another gets divulged.

    The outcome of Catalonia's unapproved referendum will be predictable - the people who will show up will be overly in favor of secession even as the majority may be iffy, and the supposed police overreaction will be presented as proof that Catalonians need independence *now*, fait accompli. Meanwhile Putin must be sniggering in his kofje - not a complaint in sight.

    The latest on the Michigan and Wisconsin elections is another shock rendered powerless as per Overton.  With Manafort basically ordering Trump to go to the seemingly unwinnable Michigan and Russia/Trump campaign microtargeting not just groups of voters but individuals, based not just on data stolen from Facebook but with Facebook's assistance as well, gives the makings of a good conspiracy novel. But it's just one piece of a much larger effort, and we simply have trouble piecing this together with the way life used to be, so we leave them as separate. Not only can't we connect the dots - we can't connect two highly incongruous photos.

    Thus people will continue to say Hillary should have gone to Michigan to campaign more, even as we know the content of this barrage of microtargeting was Hillary-as-Muslim-illegal immigrant-supporting destroyer of everything American including the fictitious stance of taking away our guns - in short, completely different from the "where are our jobs?" concerns that supposedly caused the upset. What was she supposed to do, talk about jobs and health care when the Facebook and Twitter onslaught is talking ISIS in Kalamazoo?

    I posted a link about just this scenario in Twin Peaks, Idaho, where 2 underage probably white kids molested an underaged girl, and local gossip and social media turned the tale into Syrian immigrants who don't exist around there, while the embargoed story (they were juveniles, after all) grew wings.

    The Kabuki show isn't new - Drudge and Rush and Fox and the rest have been feeding blatantly false tales into the background noise for decades, but the delivery mechanism has gone past "just turn it off" or "those guys, they'll believe anything" to a universal footprint, "we'll come and find you".

    We don't accept the absurdity in our position, the Sisyphean climb we encounter with every interaction. We don't extrapolate the knowledge that we've been fighting off Republicans for months trying to kill Obamacare *without an alternative plan*, in a way *that would kill and hurt thousands to millions* - and yet this has not significantly eroded the president or his party's popularity. Yet we keep waiting for one larger-than-life candidate to unify our progressive message and emotions, somehow we'll lead them Pied Piper-like off to the mountain of good community living. Yet in the Grimms' tale they weren't Children of the Korn, already following another piper. Somehow the rats are our target audience, but we mustn't call them "rats".

    20 years ago I was complaining that broadcasters were putting most new resources into a medium that reaches 1/1000th the audience of airwaves. 20 years later, it's the opposite - few are turning on the news, but everyone's online getting pop-up and sidebar ads and other influencing content to keep our internet bubbles continually surrounding us. Once we let a few of our preferences slip out, it's a honing and amplifying process that makes our data complete.

    The current legal battle brewing in UK to describe how that data was stolen and abused is informative, but you don't need an in-depth analysis to see how it works - just go click on some blender ads on, then watch blender ads follow you around for the next week or two. Or ever notice that only a few friends on Facebook show up in your prompts? Some algorithm has decided that those are the friends, the content, the data that you're most susceptible, will either reclick more or has been paid to promote. Sure, you can ignore the ads or click through to the rest of your friends, but will you?

    The beauty in the Russian campaign is it's not trying to get everyone to move one way - it's just moving them away from the cheese they don't want you to eat. So if you're on the left, need to get you moving lefter; if you're on the right, get you moving righter; if you're near ground zero, just make you doubt yourself and depress you and otherwise just wreak little bits of confusion to make it all too complicated - maybe you just drop out.

    So was that Catalonian referendum and protests and police response a groundswell of natural human sentiment, or an orchestrated parody of itself, a modern kabuki theater with known prompts and known responses, BF Skinner & Pavlovian tactics on mass scale? Well, the answer is both - you can't easily get people to deny themselves unless they're horridly drugged. But you can give them false positives to reinforce both mistaken and reasonable beliefs, and let them push themselves to a new corner.

    Doesn't work on everyone necessarily, but this is a game of odds - just have to have enough numbers. Out of millions of votes cast in Michigan, they just had to make a few 10's of thousands - say 1 out of 40 to either get out and vote against their own best interests or stay home. In Catalonia, they just needed a few videos of a few hundred protesters and the police dragging them out - they could have offered protesters martinis and shoeshines and there would have been headlines of police brutality and Madrid fascism - it was pre-written. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, maybe a bit of both - can we tell? Are we even looking?

    I got the news re: the Vegas shooting, and a few things spurred my suspicions - the "shooter's" brother says he wasn't a gun guy at all (so how did this inventive capacity to pull of a modernized Day of the Jackal come about?) and the guy was conveniently dead when police showed up. He was largely a loner (with missing wife), so no one much to confirm with so our imaginations can run wild. And hey, his father was a con (though not murderer) - bonus points!!!

    In 1999 a funny string of apartment bombings in Moscow seemed to confirm that all Chechnyans, maybe even all immigrants were terrorists - and launched the political career of a little-known FSB agent, Vlad Putin, to take the growingly unpopular and alcholic Yeltsin's place. Lately a funny string of deaths of well-known, but not particularly endeared to Putin, Russian personalities leads to some similar conclusions. The merging of Russian and American worldviews and politics and social media interference and oligarchy cronyism isn't something to take calmly and passively, even though we're programmed to dismiss conspiracies as just mere fantasies.

    People do conspire, they do undermine, they do distort the truth and manipulate people, and they even kill or cause the death and suffering of others - through malicious inactions, neglect, or simply rolling over those in the way of their goals. We've been mythologized into believing we're somehow exceptional, immune to these base causes or that we always pull up at the right time, but our history gives countless examples where we didn't.

    Homage to Catalonia is Orwell's take on the Spanish Civil War (which even he got a bit wrong), a European tragedy that predicted and led to WWII, a split between two rapacious factions with insatiable own world views, which is somewhere we're at, a bloody virtual civil war that's taken casualties this week with hundreds (not "16") in Puerto Rico and Las Vegas and elsewhere, though our side has yet to be as persistent and focused on what's important, while the other side's been quite determined and extensive in its wide reach if not the coherency of its message - a coherency that we now know doesn't need to exist except in naïve Poli Sci classes and DNC planning sessions. Instead we're more influenced by Orwell's doublethink and prolefeed and upsub.

    Each day confirms the worst, that things are way beyond our control, that we're finally grasping a year or two after the fact that the robbers cleaned out everything in the most improbable manner, though in this day and age, analytics allows improbability to be much more likely. And our slow awakening means this tragedy isn't near over - we're slowly glancing over the signs of a huge crime spree still trying to get some consensus that there wasn't a crime. Worse, like in The Departed, we don't even know who among the investigative team is part of and in collusion with the original spree. Administration? Congress? Political Party? FBI? Media? Russia? Political opposition? all indicted to some extent. As is the public at large. More people are worried about kneeling for the anthem than police beatings in the street or a calamity and growing number of preventable deaths in Puerto Rico. We have somehow been captured by an ideology and a method of control that keeps us predictably plodding forward slower than the forces that control and inspire and enrage and fool us.

    Last Trip with Mary Jane? Let's hope not.



    I don't know, I'm becoming very skeptical about the real effect of Russian bots on outside politics. Remember back when everybody thought that social media was the driving force behing organizing the Arab Spring and then it turned out that it was less a force for organizing than it was for telling the West about what was going on?  Could be the same thing here.  I feel like we're talking about microtargeted Russian Facebook ads when the real problem is dumb, white American voters.

    Like, I see that the Russian ads targeted Wisconsin and my first thought is that maybe the Russian ads were smarter than Clinton's campaign and that the latter was the real problem.

    No matter what you think of the legitimacy of the Catalonia referendum, a sizable portion of the population there does want to secede. Is it a majority?  It's probably darned close to 50% if not more.  Whatever Russian meddling has taken place in Catalonia had nothing to do with the Spanish government's quixotic decision send riot police to beat up old people at polling places.

    How about they actually hacked the ballot box - any more excuses then? So tired/bored with the ennui. They fucking own us.

    The problem in this case is Russian bots targeting dumb American voters, not an either or. The problem with Arab Spring was we had no policy nor structure to encourage democracy the way Soros et al abetted the transition from the fall of the wall.

    The problem with Arab Spring was we had no policy nor structure to encourage democracy the way Soros et al abetted the transition from the fall of the wall.

    But but but democracy, is messy, conspiratiorial in a way, Wikpedia on El-Sisi election:

    Cult of personality

    [....] Cupcakes, chocolate and necklaces bearing the "CC" initials were created, restaurants in Egypt named sandwiches after him, blogs shared his pictures, and columns, op-eds, television shows and interviews discussed the "new idol of the Nile valley" in the Egyptian mainstream media.[49][50][51][52] On 6 December 2013, el-Sisi was named "Time Person of the Year" in Time magazine's annual reader poll.[53] The accompanying article noted "Sisi's success reflected the genuine popularity of a man who led what was essentially a military coup in July against the democratically elected government of then President Mohammed Morsi."[54]  [.....]

    Kamel Gemilak states to have collected 26 million signatures asking Sisi to run for president.[68] On 21 January 2014, Kamel Gemilak organised a mass conference call in Cairo International Stadium to call on el-Sisi to run for president.[69] On 6 February 2014, the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah claimed that el-Sisi would run for president, saying that he had to meet the wishes of the Egyptian people for him to run.[70][71] El-Sisi confirmed on 26 March 2014 that he would run for president in the presidential election.[2] Shortly after his announcement, popular hashtags were started for and against el-Sisi's presidential bid.[72][73] The presidential election, which took place between 26 and 28 May 2014, saw el-Sisi win 96 percent of votes counted;[4] it was held without the participation of the controversial Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom & Justice Party, which had won every prior post-Mubarak electoral contest.

    I dare say that if the legality of the Muslim Brotherhood's party was actually based on voting, they would have gotten a 96% vote in favor of outlawing them.  Why? Agitprop against them, which they stupidly abetted by their actions and history. How literate are the mass of Egyptian voters? Are you sure you think democracy is a good thing? Re: former SSR's. Are you happy about the current government in say, Poland, think the voters have chosen wisely for themselves?

    It's not ennui, though my last post was full of it, as a desire to get to the root causes.

    For example, you say:

    "The problem with Arab Spring was we had no policy nor structure to encourage democracy the way Soros et al abetted the transition from the fall of the wall."

    But I brought up the Arab Spring in a different context.  When it happened, the media jumped on it as a "socal media" revolution. As in, "social media made these uprisings possilbe."  But it turned out, very soon after, that this still widely accepted narrative was wrong.  Social media only seemed integral to the organization and execution of the Arab Spring because most of us outside of the countries affected learned about it, first, second or third hand, through social media.  The same thing could be true of Russian election interference here or in Spain.  Our perception of it might be magnified by our ability to see it on Facebook and Twitter.

    300,000 russian Twitter accts suspended.

    And I call bullshit on Catalonia. In 1992 "czechs/slovaks wanted to break up" - so they did. Turns out only 1/3 actually did want it, in either part. Oops. If Catalonians really want to leave Spain, hold a real legal fucking referendum, not a Putin hijack. Show us the numbers, not some whiny videos. I fucking lived in Barcelona, I used to read the Catalonian papers every day, I sympathize with the post-Franco hangover and the disgruntlements with the past, the search for self-dentity, yadda yadda.But still, hold a fucking legal referendum - this is the EU, not Bizarostan.

    If it were only bots, I'd agree, but there's more going on. The Russians aren't smarter about American politics than American political consultants, and they don't invest nearly as much money as American big-pocket donors. The difference is that the Russians have no accountability. If the Kochs or Merciers were to buy libelous Facebook ads or pay hackers to steal data, they'd risk lawsuits and prosecution. Even unsavory actions that aren't technically illegal can tarnish their cause.

    But American law can't reach Russia, and their shady tactics don't reflect on the beneficiaries (unless the beneficiaries are proven to conspire with them). So the perceived benefits of fomenting political chaos in the West outweigh the risks. That gives them power that law-abiding(ish) domestic players lack.

    Including stole Facebook and hacked other data, and even if not would have overrun campaign legal limits in various areas, especially donations. All those cute little warnings about accepting cookies? Who accepted this? And yes, libel laws would have been invoked against any US entity.

    Russia spent less than $250K on Twitter ads and another $100K on Facebook. I kinda doubt this had any effect on the outcome of last year's election when Hillary Clinton and her allies spent close to $1 billion and Trump and his allies spent about $600 million. It's true that Russia is less accountable but on the other hand, nobody's alleging that the ads were dishonest. As I understand it, they mostly showcased the hacked emails. Regarding Catalonia, Newsweek reported last week:

    Ahead of the planned vote Sunday, which Spain's government has banned, the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFR) at the Atlantic Council has assessed claims of Russian interference outlined in a story in Spain’s El Pais newspaper, and found some evidence to support a role for the Russian propaganda machine in playing up the tensions in the region.

    Okay. This isn't exactly regime change based on false premises or droning weddings and killing police officers now is it?

    100's of millions of reads, Hal - . Russian disinfo was a success. We keep treating Facebook or Twitter's denials and begrudging lowballs as the fact of the matter, and every time we dig in we find much more there. So why do we keep running with their fake facts as facts?

    "Albright found that the content had been “shared” 340 million times. That’s from a tiny sliver of the 470 accounts that have been made public. Even if those sites were unusually effective compared to the 464 others, Albright’s findings still suggest a total reach well into the billions of “shares” on Facebook."

    "Found some evidence" in early days translates to "we expect once we know it'll be much much worse". This is forensics, not real-time reporting.

    Thanks PP. On their face, the numbers cited in WaPo definitely look ominous. But, I remain skeptical. I am skeptical that a few hundred posts "reached" billions of people. I am even more skeptical that a critical number of voters gave those posts more than a passing glance if they even did that. Ultimately, I believe they were just a tiny little bit more background noise in a campaign full of background noise.

    In the end, you and I finger mostly different culprits in the great 2016 Presidential caper. Still, I think we do agree that A) one sinister factor that helped Trump win is voter suppression, B) the Comey letter definitely hurt, and C) vote counting shenanigans may have artificially inflated Trump's numbers in some states.

    He's not saying a few hundred or thousand posts reached billions of people. He's saying hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of posts were touched and shared/retweeted by these guys, whether own work or other inflammatory posts/material.

    Albright's work showed 19 million *interactions* from the subset he examined. The vote difference in Michigan was 11,000, the vote difference in Wisconsin was 23,000. So a net effectiveness of just 2 out of 1000 *interactions* (not just views in your Facebook feed) could have shifted those 2 states.

    Again, all of this is in combination with *other* bot activity & hacking, and *other* vote suppression, and *other* fake news events and *other* ways the were pushing to shape this election. There is likely no single magic bullet (besides Comey) that explains the loss completely, but together, they're a pretty damning aggregate.

    the frame should not be the reach of the 3,000 ads that Facebook handed over to Congress and that were bought by a single Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency. Instead, the frame should be the reach of all the activity of the Russian-controlled accounts — each post, each “like,” each comment and also all of the ads. Looked at this way, the picture shifts dramatically. It is bigger — much bigger — but also somewhat different and more subtle than generally portrayed.

    For six of the sites that have been made public — Blacktivists, United Muslims of America, Being Patriotic, Heart of Texas, Secured Borders and LGBT United — Albright found that the content had been “shared” 340 million times. That’s from a tiny sliver of the 470 accounts that have been made public. Even if those sites were unusually effective compared to the 464 others, Albright’s findings still suggest a total reach well into the billions of “shares” on Facebook.

    The terminology is important here. For the purposes of these metrics, a “share” is essentially how often a post may have made its way into somebody’s Facebook “news feed” — without determining whether any of these users actually read the post. Another metric, called “interactions,” counts something narrower but more important -- the number of times individual users acted on what they had read by sharing a post with their Facebook “friends,” hitting the "like" button, making a comment or posting an emoji symbol.

    That measurement for those six accounts, Albright's research showed, was 19.1 million. That means that more people had direct “interactions” with regular posts from just six accounts than saw the ads from all 470 pages and accounts that Facebook has identified as controlled by the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg, called the Internet Research Agency.

    The authors of the WaPo article are saying that the Russian effort was a form of voter suppression in that it encouraged not voting at all. It is hard to measure nothingness.

    Suppression? Disturbance.

    Yes, the effort to insert themselves into so many different conversations not directly tied to a result is a disturbance. The scope of work involved with such deception is as frightening as any particular outcome it produces.

    In terms of dystopian parallels, it is more Fahrenheit 451 than Manchurian Candidate.

    Speaking of forensics, Google just googled it.
    The stain spreads ever larger.

    WaPo also had this piece of reporting yesterday from Shusary, Russia: The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down

    including a picture of the queen bee troll hunter:

    Caption Lyudmila Savchuk in her apartment in St. Petersburg, in 2015. “I wanted to take down this factory of lies,” she says. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

    I was reluctant to label her a female superhero because she looks so exhausted.


    If it were only bots, I'd agree, but there's more going on. The Russians aren't smarter about American politics than American political consultants, and they don't invest nearly as much money as American big-pocket donors. The difference is that the Russians have no accountability.

    I agree.  Though this is true of all non-American actors in US elections.  Aren't there always?  I mean, we've been meddling in the elections of other countries since way before Facebook and Twitter...

    Leave out the Catalonia paragraph (because I am not that informed, I've been ignoring it) and I am 100% with your comment, Michael.

    Look we've got a certain member here at Dagblog who will not let go of feeling that the Russian agitprop sites are a worthwhile read as an alternative to American media. No matter how much ridicule he endures from the rest of us, he continues to promote their p.o.v. on certain issues, feels this plays an important role on challenging American media status quo. I don't think a one of us others would say he is unqualified to vote due to undue influence.

    We've got to get used to information being global now and a lot more of it will be garbage. How can one stop other countries from influencing? One can't! We never stopped trying to influence since we left George Washington's farewell address warning not to meddle behind.

    To even think that Zuckerberg should be the world's censor on what is real news and fake is absurd. Or even that Google's Gingras has complete control of what those algorithms do.  What I think we should be really frightened about: the code for those algorithms and for nearly everything else in this brave new world is a frigging spaghetti mess, so much for wisdom of the crowd.  Bots, Russian and otherwise, working fine now, could go wack any day now, along with everything else. (Don't rush out and buy one of those smart refrigerators that works with your cell phone yet. Even without a hurricane, it might be no good.  I'm so glad I have a 2003 Ford Focus with roll up windows and a teeny tiny basic diagnostic computer focused on engine performance only.)

    To even think that Zuckerberg should be the world's censor on what is real news and fake is absurd.

    ...and dangerous.

    What the heck is a conspiracy theory anyways? I mean the kind that logical people would be dismissive about, as in "idiot conspiracy theorists." I strongly feel that I am one of those people, but I can't give a definition, I am like Potter Stewart on pornography: I know it when I see it. It's when the person can't deal with chaotic reality, there is cognitive dissonance and one must give things that happen more sense and form, that there is no chaos, that everything is intended and someone is guiding the actions of low life humans.

    I thought of this not from your post but when I saw this Harvey Lee Oswald Part II headline @ NYTimes this morning; No, There Was Not More Than One Gunman in the Las Vegas Shooting Paddock the Lone Wolf can't be true because: it was a country music festival, country music people love gun culture, Paddock was known to like country music, Paddock liked guns and gamblin' and the roving life. Somebody/something else involved, somebody brainwashed him...

    A "conspiracy theory" generally posits that a group of insiders are responsible for or know the truth about a major event (usually a tragedy) but conspire to keep it from the people. So, one conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination is that the CIA and the Mafia conspired to assassinate Kennedy. Another is that the Warren Commission uncovered this truth but didn't reveal it.

    Like the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 has given rise to several conspiracy theories. Here are two: 1) Cheney, Rummy, and Bushie actually planned it. 2) Cheney, Rummy, and Bushie knew about it in advance but did nothing to prevent it. Although the term is used pejoratively to stifle discussion, there is no reason to believe that conspiracy theories must be false.

    We start baking in right and wrong info within minutes in the rush to be first,  and it can be hard to roll back. Think how we work - an event 2 hours ago, re read something an hour ago, and now if someone writes something different, we viscerally want to defend our source - "oh no, they said in the Times or Bloomberg..." It should be obvious with an unfolding event that we'll find out more and first theories or "facts" are open to be revised, as Susan Rice expressed clearly the day after Benghazi. One of my inklings was a hunch based on a comment that seems to be wrong. Another still may or may not be right - I don't think we've honed in on what drove this guy per se. But I am worried that someone can formulaicly set up a familiar setting we're used to, and we can't see other alternatives - oh, this was disgruntled whie lone wolf #2, and hey, he admired/resented his father." Maybe, maybe not - I'm not a reporter - I'm allowed to wait and see rather than meet a 6pm deadline with a conclusion.

    AA, the philosopher Karl Popper coined the term in 1945 in reaction to the Nazis. In his book, The Open Society and Its Enemies, he defined "the conspiracy theory of society" as follows:

    It is the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about. This view of the aims of the social sciences arises, of course, from the mistaken theory that, whatever happens in society—especially happenings such as war, unemployment, poverty, shortages, which people as a rule dislike—is the result of direct design by some powerful individuals and groups.

    Though he used the phrase slightly differently from the way we do today, as a way of seeing the world rather than a specific explanation of some event, I think it still captures the essence that you're looking for.

    As an aside, George Soros, the subject of many, many conspiracy theories, was a student of Popper's. His Open Society Institute seeks to implement and promote the ideas of his old mentor. Ironies abound.

    I worked for Soros and OSI. My boss or sponsor was responsible for most of the projects. The idea was simply to get as many projects going as possible with little money in the shortest time. There was little ideology. I had concerns about dealing so much with old leftovers from old regimes, but moving fast, there was no choice. Some new blood, some old, whatever worked quick quick quick. Meanwhile America wanted to take its peace dividend. Soros filled a huge gap.

    That's really cool. What is OSI up to now? Have they morphed since the 90s?

    I've largely lost track, but sure they've morphed - half the countries are part of the EU now, and much of the basic catching up technology wise is handled, whereas populism and cronyism go on forever. Slovakia, Hungary have continual political problems, but it's the non-East Europe Greece that had the financial meltdown. Standard of living is low in CEE and Balkans, but not so bad as to contribute to the unrest.

    Wait, what? So you were the guy that those assholes were actually trying to off when they started blasting away on the freeway near San Fran?


    Wrong continent, tho survived the LA earthquakes

    Thanks Michael, very much appreciate learning this and yes, his definition is still capturing the essence.

    As far as "I know it when I see it" current examples, Dana Milbank @ WaPo did this great list today which I recommend, especially for those who can't stomach keeping track of winger media: A dispatch from Deep State Command He has clearly been making a list, checking it twice,  on Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and everyone at Breitbart media.

    I particularly like this "Operation Endgame" example from Milbank, as it truly explains nearly everything troubling about our current world. First noting that Jones feels that O.J.'s release from prison in Nevada coming 20 hrs. before the Las Vegas massacre is not a coincidence, he goes on to point out:

    "The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep-state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental-patient cutouts,” Jones reported. At this, a cheer went up at Deep State Command. As always, representatives of the various deep-state entities — intelligence officials; bureaucrats from the Justice Department, Education Department, EPA and NASA; journalists; globalists; Jews; sundry elites; and the Prince of Norway — were on duty. As luck would have it, I was doing my monthly shift that day.

    We weren’t cheering about the deaths, mind you. But such American carnage is unavoidable, given the goal of Operation ENDGAME, our plan to euthanize 80 percent of the world’s population so global elites can live forever using advanced technology.

    Specifically on US/Russia, I was going to post this yesterday from The Hill

    Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges

    But then I second guessed myself seeing that it originates with a Wall St. Journal article that I can't read. And I went to the Vanity Fair site to see if they had similar about the very same segment from their conference, and they didn't, they instead had this:  Preet Bharara Slams Trump—and Suggests Kushner Could Be the Next to Go

    But now in context of your post, I offer up the quotes that The Hill took from the WSJ. In which they were basically warning: don't get your hopes up, because the rules prosecutors follow are important, too.

    And then to add: combined with other Jvanka news sure doesn't seem like Jvanka are going to be doing anything significant for the admin anymore, if they are at the White House at all. And that after seeing all of the recent news, that Jared makes for a good fall guy. Daddy can make sure Ivanka gets another hubbie, remarriage is family tradition.

    I know, I know where's the outrage? Deal with it: there's not enough there. As long as it's public that Russia is trying to interfere, people feel it's covered. And figure we are doing it too, to them and many others. Stuxnet and all.


    And now for something completely different.I was reading Homage when I went to listen to Spender read his Spanish Civil War poems. Rewritten, he included the originals with those revised ,less strident ones. But chiefly I remember one line from a poem about a young Brit Volunteer..Dead.

    "Surely a better target for a kiss".

    Haven't listened to it for ages, but Janis oddly popped into my head after reading your comment, singing freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

    So is dying.

    Holy shit, that's Liv Tyler! to the rest, more to come.

    sites targeting U.S.military peeps from a piece today @ The Hill:

    [....] The Oxford University study found that three websites with Kremlin ties —, and — engaged in “significant and persistent interactions” with the U.S. military community, McClatchy highlighted Monday.

    “We’ve found an entire ecosystem of junk news about national security issues that is deliberately crafted for U.S. veterans and active military personnel,” professor Philip Howard, who led the research in the study, told the newswire.

    “It’s a complex blend of content with a Russian view of the world — wild rumors and conspiracies.” [....]

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