Friday, July 20, 2018

Greasy Supremely Arrogant Replacement Negroe Smugly Assumes Russia Was "Ours" To Loot

WaPo |  President Trump’s news conference Monday in Helsinki was the most embarrassing performance by an American president I can think of. And his preposterous efforts to talk his way out of his troubles made him seem even more absurd. But what has been obscured by this disastrous and humiliating display is the other strain in Trump’s Russia narrative. As he recently tweeted, “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity.” This notion is now firmly lodged in Trump’s mind and informs his view of Russia and Putin. And it is an issue worth taking seriously.

The idea that Washington “lost” Russia has been around since the mid-1990s. I know because I was one of the people who made that case. In a New York Times Magazine article in 1998, I argued that “central to any transformation of the post-Cold-War world was the transformation of Russia. As with Germany and Japan in 1945, an enduring peace required that Moscow be integrated into the Western world. Otherwise a politically and economically troubled great power . . . would remain bitter and resentful about the post-Cold-War order.”

This never happened, I argued, because Washington was not ambitious enough in the aid it offered. Nor was it understanding enough of Russia’s security concerns — in the Balkans, for example, where the United States launched military interventions that ran roughshod over Russian sensibilities.

Perhaps most crucially, by the mid-2000s, steadily rising oil prices had resulted in a doubling of Russia’s per capita gross domestic product, and cash was flowing into the Kremlin’s coffers. A newly enriched Russia looked at its region with a much more assertive and ambitious gaze. And Putin, sitting atop the “vertical of power” he had created, began a serious effort to restore Russian influence and undermine the West and its democratic values. What has followed — the interventions in Georgia and Ukraine, the alliance with President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the cyberattacks against Western countries — has all been in service of that strategy.

So yes, the West might have missed an opportunity to transform Russia in the early ’90s. We will never know whether it would have been successful. But what we do know is that there were darker forces growing in Russia from the beginning, that those forces took over the country almost two decades ago and that Russia has chosen to become the principal foe of America and the American-created world order.

Why Would Victims of Globalization Be Loyal And Patriotic Servants Of Globalism?

nakedcapitalism |  The term “economic shock therapy” is based on an analogy with electroshock therapy for mental patients. One important analysis of it comes from Naomi Klein, who became famous explaining in 2000 the system of fashion production through subsidiaries that don’t adhere to the safety rules taken so seriously in Western countries (some of you may recall the scandal of Benetton and Rana Plaza, where more than a thousand workers at a Bangladesh factory producing Benetton (and other) clothes were crushed under a collapsing building).

Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force. Sometimes relocating from one nation to another is not possible, but if you can bring the job market of other countries here in the form of a low-cost mass of people competing for employment, then why bother?

The Doctrine in Practice
Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports.

The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower (by 60-70% on average) than in Western European countries.
We see further evidence of damage to the European middle class daily, from France where the (at least verbally) pro-globalization Macron is cutting social welfare to attract foreign investment, to Germany where many ordinary workers are seriously exploited. And so on through the UK and Italy.

Political Reactions
The migrant phenomenon is a perfect counterpoint to a threadbare middle class, given its role as a success story within the narrative of globalization.

Economic migrants are eager to obtain wealth on the level of the Western middle class – and this is of course a legitimate desire. However, to climb the social ladder, they are willing to do anything: from accepting low albeit legal salaries to picking tomatoes illegally (as Alessandro Gassman, son of the famous actor, reminded us).

The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians,” explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues:
This mirage has fallen under the blows it has received from the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War. Foreign trade, easy credit (with the American real estate bubble of 2008 as a direct consequence), peace missions in Libya (carried out by pro-globalization French and English actors, with one motive being in my opinion the diversion of energy resources away from [the Italian] ENI) were supposed to have created a miracle; they have in reality created a climate of global instability.
Italy is of course not untouched by this phenomenon. It’s easy enough to give an explanation for the Five Stars getting votes from part of the southern electorate that is financially in trouble and might hope for some sort of subsidy, but the North? The choice of voting center right (with a majority leaning toward Lega) can be explained in only one way – the herd (the middle class) has tried to rise up.
I asked him, “So in your opinion, is globalization in stasis? Or is it radically changing?”
He replied:
I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants.
This is an important element in the success of Lega: it is a force that has managed to understand clearly the exhaustion of the impoverished middle class, and that has proposed a way out, or has at least elaborated a vision opposing the rose-colored glasses of globalization.
In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus.

Not Even Valodya Is Allowed To Directly Criticize Those Who Rule...,

thejewishvoice |  Speaking to a group of US ambassadors, Putin referred to a group of “powerful” people who can “force-feed people their stories that would be hard to digest”,
“We see that there are forces in the United States that put their own group and narrow partisan interests above the national ones,” Mr. Putin said. “Our renowned satirists once wrote very well about such people: ‘Pathetic, paltry people.’ But this is not so in this particular case: These people are not pathetic and not paltry. On the contrary, they are quite powerful and strong if they can, excuse my crudeness, force-feed millions of their people various stories that are hard to digest in normal logic.”
Going off script and speaking personally, I’d like to say a few words,” the Russian president said. “We see that there are forces in the US which are prepared at the drop of a hat to sacrifice Russian-American relations for the sake of their internal political ambitions in America,” he said.
“They are prepared to sacrifice the interests of their own businesses” and “the interests of their allies in Europe and the Middle East,” as well as “their own national security,”
Putin said. Putin suggested that decades old issues can not be solved with one short Summit between the US and Russia ansd that is was important step for him to talk to Trump directly. “The path to positive changes has all the same begun,” Putin said, according to Reuters. “It’s important that a full-scale meeting has finally taken place allowing us to talk directly.”

Trump also tweeted similar sentiments.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

We Are Collectively Aware Of The Parasite But Too Cowardly To Kill It...,

Edge |  I'm thinking about collective awareness, which I think of as the models we use to collectively process information about the world, to understand the world and ourselves. It's worth distinguishing our collective awareness at three levels. The first level is our models of the environment, the second level is our models of how we affect the environment, and the third level is our models of how we think about our collective effect on ourselves.

Understanding the environment is something we've been doing better and better for many centuries now. Celestial mechanics allows us to understand the solar system. It means that if we spot an asteroid, we can calculate its trajectory and determine whether it's going to hit the Earth, and if it is, send a rocket to it and deflect it.

Another example of collective awareness at level one is weather prediction. It's an amazing success story. Since 1980, weather prediction has steadily improved, so that every ten years the accuracy of weather prediction gets better by a day, meaning that if this continues, ten years from now the accuracy for a two-day weather forecast will be the same as that of a one-day weather forecast now. This means that the accuracy of weather prediction has gotten dramatically better. We spend $5 billon a year to make weather predictions and we get $30 billion a year back in terms of economic benefit.

The best example of collective consciousness at level two is climate change. Climate change is in the news, it's controversial, etc., but most scientists believe that the models of climate change are telling us something that we need to pay serious attention to. The mere fact that we're even thinking about it is remarkable, because climate change is something whose real effects are going to be felt fifty to 100 years from now. We're making a strong prediction about what we're doing to the Earth and what's going to happen. It's not surprising that there's some controversy about exactly what the outcome is, but we intelligent people know it's really serious. We are going to be increasingly redirecting our efforts to deal with it through time.

The hardest problem is collective awareness at level three—understanding our own effects on ourselves. This is because we're complicated animals. The social sciences try to solve this problem, but they have not been successful in the dramatic way that the physical and natural sciences have. This doesn’t mean the job is impossible, however.

Meanwhile, Profit-Seeking Bankster Parasites Busy Eyeballing What Sustainably Remains....,

eurasiareview |  Indigenous Peoples have ownership, use and management rights over at least a quarter of the world’s land surface according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Sustainability.

The 38 million square kilometers (14.6 million square miles) are spread across 87 countries or politically distinct areas and overlap with about 40 percent of all terrestrial protected areas.

The results of the study provides strong evidence that recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their traditional lands and waters is not only an ethical obligation it is essential to meeting local and global conservation goals. The authors say that more collaborative partnerships between Indigenous Peoples and governments would yield significant benefits for conservation of ecologically valuable landscapes, ecosystems, and genetic diversity for future generations.

“Understanding the extent of lands over which Indigenous Peoples retain traditional connection is critical for several conservation and climate agreements,” said Professor Stephen Garnett from Charles Darwin University in Australia who led the international consortium that developed the maps. “Not until we pulled together the best available published information on Indigenous lands did we really appreciate the extraordinary scale of Indigenous Peoples’ ongoing influence,” he said.

There are at least 370 million people who define themselves as Indigenous, are descended from populations who inhabited a country before the time of conquest or colonization, and who retain at least some of their own social, economic, cultural and political practices. The proportion of countries with indigenous people is highest in Africa and lowest in Europe-West Asia.

Ass-Clowns Jaw Jacking With Civil Race War Pending...,

Newsweek |  The architects of South Africa’s transition to democracy in the 1990s envisioned a much different outcome: The post-apartheid constitution says the government must help citizens get better access to land. The African National Congress, which has been in power since 1994, now wants to transfer 30 percent of the country’s agricultural land from white to black ownership. In addition to buying it from white owners and redistributing to black ones, the ANC runs programs to help people claim territory and firm up the rights of those whose tenure is insecure.

But apartheid’s legacy has been difficult to dislodge, and many think land reform has been a disaster. To date, only 9 percent of commercial farmland has been transferred to black owners through claims and redistribution. The backlog to settle existing claims is 35 years; for new ones, there’s a wait of well over a century. Many large agricultural reform projects have failed; success stories like Msimanga’s are the exception. “You can move as many hectares of land as you want, but if you don’t get them to be productive, then society’s problems will remain,” says Wandile Sihlobo, an agricultural economist for South Africa’s Agricultural Business Chamber.

The slow pace of change has made land one of the most polarizing issues in South Africa today. With national elections looming in 2019, the small but influential Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition group has tapped into popular frustration over the ANC’s failure to address the problem. The party has been pushing the government to seize white-owned property without paying landowners, as former President Robert Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, which borders South Africa to the north. Critics of Mugabe’s policy point to the period of economic collapse that followed: Food production dropped, due in part to a lack of equipment and training, and unemployment soared as thousands of evicted white Zimbabwean employers left the country.

The ANC, whose popularity plummeted under the controversial tenure of former President Jacob Zuma, declared in December it would use “land expropriation without compensation,” as the process is known, to speed up reform. The party promised to do it without compromising the economy, food security or jobs. President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma this year, has repeatedly said the taking of land from the indigenous people was South Africa’s “original sin,” and that its return to its rightful owners will unlock the country’s economic potential.

In February, Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution to pursue the expropriation policy and appointed a committee to investigate whether the constitution needs to be amended to do it. The committee is due to report back on its findings later this year, before the 2019 elections.
Unsurprisingly, the prospect of state-sanctioned land seizures has spooked white landowners in South Africa. Media coverage of “land invasions” has increased across the country, where black South Africans have moved onto unused, privately owned property and claimed the right to live there. 

“Once it becomes a free-for-all, how are you going to stop millions of people from lawlessness?” says Louise Rossouw, former regional chairperson of the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa in Eastern Cape province. “It’s crazy. People are already starting to talk of civil war. ”
The ANC has tried to stamp out fears that South Africa’s economy is going to crash like Zimbabwe’s. It has emphasized that unused land would be targeted first, but party leaders have also doubled down on their original pledge. “For people who think that the issue of land in South Africa will be swept under the carpet, I say, ‘Wake up, my friend,’” Ramaphosa recently said in Parliament. “Our people want the land.”

Peace With Russia? Hollywood Made A Blueprint For That Azz....,

wikipedia |  President Kennedy had read Seven Days in May shortly after its publication and believed the scenario as described could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer in his director's commentary, production of the film received encouragement and assistance from Kennedy through White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed to Frankenheimer Kennedy's wish that the film be produced and that, although the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would arrange to be visiting Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.[7]
The story is set in the early 1970s, ten years in the future at the time of the film's 1964 release, and the Cold War is still a problem (in the 1962 book, the setting was May 1974 after a stalemated war in Iran). U.S. President Jordan Lyman has recently signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, and the subsequent ratification by the U.S. Senate has produced a wave of dissatisfaction, especially among Lyman's opposition and the military, who believe the Soviets cannot be trusted.
A Pentagon insider, United States Marine Corps Colonel "Jiggs" Casey (the Director of the Joint Staff), stumbles on evidence that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by the charismatic Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, intend to stage a coup d'etat to remove Lyman and his cabinet in seven days. Under the plan a secret Army unit known as ECOMCON (Emergency COMmunications CONtrol) will seize control of the country's telephone, radio, and television networks, while Congress is prevented from implementing the treaty. Although personally opposed to Lyman's policies, Casey is appalled by the plot and alerts Lyman, who gathers a circle of trusted advisors to investigate: Secret Service White House Detail Chief Art Corwin, Treasury Secretary Christopher Todd, advisor Paul Girard, and Senator Raymond Clark of Georgia.
Casey uses the pretense of a social visit to General Scott's former mistress to ferret out potential secrets that can be used against Scott, in the form of indiscreet letters. Meanwhile, the alcoholic Clark is sent to Fort Bliss near El Paso, Texas, to locate the secret base, and Girard leaves for the Mediterranean to obtain a confession from Vice Admiral Barnswell, who declined to participate in the coup. Girard gets the confession in writing, but is killed when his return flight crashes, while Clark is taken captive when he reaches the secret base. However, Clark convinces the base's deputy commander, Colonel Henderson, a friend of Casey's and not party to the coup, to help him escape. They reach Washington, DC, but Henderson is abducted during a moment apart from Clark.
Lyman calls Scott to the White House to demand that he and the other plotters resign. Scott initially denies the existence of the plot, but then tacitly admits to it while denouncing the treaty. Lyman argues that a coup in America would prompt the Soviets to make a preemptive strike. Scott maintains that the American people are behind him. Lyman is on the verge of confronting Scott with the letters obtained from Scott's mistress when he decides against it and allows Scott to leave.
Scott meets the other three Joint Chiefs, demanding they stay in line and reminding them that Lyman does not seem to have concrete evidence of their plot. Somewhat reassured, the others agree to continue the plan to appear on television and radio simultaneously on the next day to denounce Lyman. However, Lyman first holds a press conference, at which he demands the men's resignations. As he is speaking, Barnswell's hand-written confession, recovered from the plane crash, is handed to him. Copies are given to Scott and the other plotters, who have no choice but to call off the coup. The film ends with an address by Lyman to American people on the country's future.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trump Russia A Manufactured and Weaponized Religion Virus

theburningplatform |  Anyone not clueless or pathologically self-deceived realizes if Trump had acknowledged, during the Helsinki press conference with Putin, any meddling in accordance to the contrived findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation – the mainstream media would have insinuated what they have all along:  That Trump, colluded with Russia to win the election.

That is what they want people to believe.

Except Trump didn’t, initially, play according to their rules. Instead, he brought up the missing DNC server again to a collective gasp from a worldwide audience.

And that was why we witnessed the outright panic of Deep State tools and their drones in the Corporate Mainstream Media Bubble; all of whom have created an alternate reality.

Although Trump has now said he misspoke and acknowledges the Russian meddling, all of the other information is still available out there for anyone to see.  However, Orwellian Propaganda and a Perceived Phony Parallel Universe will likely make it impossible for a talented reality TV star to ever sway the people who voted for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

libertyblitzkrieg |  Some people hate Trump so intensely they’re willing to take the word of a professional liar and manipulator as scripture. In fact, Brennan is so uniquely skilled at the dark art of deception, Trevor Timm, executive direction of the Freedom of the Press foundation described him in the following manner in a must read 2014 article: “this is the type of spy who apologizes even though he’s not sorry, who lies because he doesn’t like to tell the truth.” The article also refers to him as “the most talented liar in Washington.” This is the sort of hero the phony “resistance” is rallying around. No thank you.

It wasn’t just Brennan, of course. The mental disorder colloquially known as Trump Derangement Syndrome is widely distributed throughout society at this point. Baseless accusations of treason were thrown around casually by all sorts of TDS sufferers, including sitting members of Congress. To see the extent of the disease, take a look at the show put on by Democratic Congressman from Washington state, Rep. Adam Smith.
Via The Hill:
“At every turn of his trip to Europe, President Trump has followed a script that parallels Moscow’s plan to weaken and divide America’s allies and partners and undermine democratic values. There is an extensive factual record suggesting that President Trump’s campaign and the Russians conspired to influence our election for President Trump,” Smith, a top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an official statement.
“Now Trump is trying to cover it up. There is no sugar coating this. It is hard to see President Trump siding with Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence community and our criminal investigators as anything other than treason.”
Those are some serious accusations. He must surely have a strong argument to support such proclamations, right? Wrong. Turns out it was all show, pure politics.

Calling someone a traitor for stating obvious facts that threaten the hysteria you’re trying to cultivate is a prime example of how this whole thing has turned into some creepy D.C. establishment religion. If these people have such a solid case and the facts are on their side, there’s no need to resort to such demented craziness. It does nothing other than promote societal insanity and push the unconvinced away.

It’s because of stuff like this that we’re no longer able to have a real conversation about anything in this contry (many Trump cheerleaders employ the same tactics) . This is a deadly thing for any society and will be explored in Part 2.

Mueller and Rosenstein Illegally Sought To Control Foreign Policy

thegarrisoncenter |  Friday the 13th is presumably always someone’s unlucky day. Just whose may not be obvious at the time, but I suspect that  “Russiagate” special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein already regret picking Friday, July 13 to announce the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers on charges relating to an embarrassing 2016 leak of Democratic National Committee emails. They should.

Legally, the indictments are of almost no value. Those indicted will never be extradited to the US for trial, and the case that an external “hack” — as opposed to an internal DNC leak — even occurred is weak at best, if for no other reason than that the DNC denied the FBI access to its servers, instead commissioning a private “cybersecurity analysis” to reach the conclusion it wanted reached before hectoring government investigators to join that conclusion.

Diplomatically, on the other hand, the indictments and the timing of the announcement were a veritable pipe bomb, thrown into preparations for a scheduled Helsinki summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

House Republicans, already incensed with Rosenstein over his attempts to stonewall their probe into the Democratic Party’s use of the FBI as a proprietary political hit squad, are planning a renewed effort to impeach him. If he goes down, Mueller likely does as well. And at this point, it would take a heck of an actor to argue with a straight face that the effort is unjustified.

Their timing was clearly intentional. Their intent was transparently political. Mueller and Rosenstein were attempting to hijack the Trump-Putin summit for the purpose of depriving Trump of any possible “wins” that might come out of it.

They secured and and announced the indictments “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”

Decades of "Mainstream" Fraud and Failure Without Consequences

CEPR |  Carlos Lozada, the non-fiction book critic for the Washington Post, promised "an honest investigation" of whether truth can survive the Trump administration in the lead article in the paper's Sunday Outlook section. He delivers considerably less.

Most importantly and incredibly, Lozada never considers the possibility that respect for traditional purveyors of "truth" has been badly weakened by the fact that they have failed to do so in many important ways in recent years. Furthermore, they have used their elite status (prized university positions and access to major media outlets) to deride those who challenged them as being unthinking illiterates.

This dynamic is most clear in the trade policy pursued by the United States over the last four decades. This policy had the predicted and actual effect of eliminating the jobs of millions of manufacturing workers and reducing the pay of tens of millions of workers with less than a college education. The people who suffered the negative effects of these policies were treated as stupid no-nothings and wrongly told that their suffering was due to automation or was an inevitable product of globalization. 

These claims are what those of us still living in the world of truth know as "lies," but you will never see anyone allowed to make these points in the Washington Post. After all, its readers can't be allowed to see such thoughts. (Yes, I am once again plugging my [free] book Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.)

This was far from the only major failure of the purveyors of truth. The economic crisis caused by the collapse of the housing bubble cost millions of workers their jobs and/or houses. While this collapse was 100 percent predictable for anyone with a basic knowledge of economics, with almost no exceptions, our elite economists failed to see it coming and ridiculed those who warned of the catastrophe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Congratulations to President Trump for an Excellent Summit with Putin

  • Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona tweeted that the president's press conference was "shameful", adding that he never thought he'd see a day when the president "would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression."
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that there's "no question" Russia interfered in the U.S. elections, citing the findings of U.S. intelligence community and separate Congressional committee investigations.
  • Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the meeting a "missed opportunity to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections."
  • Former CIA Director John Brennan meanwhile took a much harsher route, tweeting that the president's performance in Helsinki was "nothing short of treasonous."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, said in a statement that Mr. Trump's blame of the U.S. for the deterioration of relations with Russia was "bizarre and flat-out wrong."
  • On the Democratic side, Sen. Bob Mendez of New Jersey called the meeting "disturbing, shameful, jaw-dropping and disgraceful." "I am running out of words to describe how despicable it is to see an American President capitulate to a dictator," he told reporters on Capitol Hill.
  • Sen. Mark Warner, Vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called the president's blame on the U.S. for Russian interference, a "complete disgrace."
  • House minority leader Nancy Pelosi called it a "sad day for America." She added that Mr. Trump's "weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the President, personally, financially or politically."
  • Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, meanwhile said the president's refusal to acknlowledge that Putin had a role int he U.S. elections "should alarm us all." "The president's unwillingness to stand up to him and defend our nation is unacceptable and embarrassing," Nelson added.

Why We Cain't See The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes?

consortiumnews |  Why is the U.S. mainstream media so frightened of a documentary that debunks the beloved story of how “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky uncovered massive Russian government corruption and died as a result? If the documentary is as flawed as its critics claim, why won’t they let it be shown to the American public, then lay out its supposed errors, and use it as a case study of how such fakery works?

Instead we – in the land of the free, home of the brave – are protected from seeing this documentary produced by filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov who was known as a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but who in this instance found the West’s widely accepted Magnitsky storyline to be a fraud.

Instead, last week, Senate Judiciary Committee members sat in rapt attention as hedge-fund operator William Browder wowed them with a reprise of his Magnitsky tale and suggested that people who have challenged the narrative and those who dared air the documentary one time at Washington’s Newseum last year should be prosecuted for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).

It appears that Official Washington’s anti-Russia hysteria has reached such proportions that old-time notions about hearing both sides of a story or testing out truth in the marketplace of ideas must be cast aside. The new political/media paradigm is to shield the American people from information that contradicts the prevailing narratives, all the better to get them to line up behind Those Who Know Best.

Nekrasov’s powerful deconstruction of the Magnitsky myth – and the film’s subsequent blacklisting throughout the “free world” – recall other instances in which the West’s propaganda lines don’t stand up to scrutiny, so censorship and ad hominem attacks become the weapons of choice to defend “perception management” narratives in geopolitical hot spots such as Iraq (2002-03), Libya (2011), Syria (2011 to the present), and Ukraine (2013 to the present).

But the Magnitsky myth has a special place as the seminal fabrication of the dangerous New Cold War between the nuclear-armed West and nuclear-armed Russia.

In the United States, Russia-bashing in The New York Times and other “liberal media” also has merged with the visceral hatred of President Trump, causing all normal journalistic standards to be jettisoned.

Browder Another Ahmed Chalabi Type Swindler/Hustler

Telegraph |  Bill Browder has described himself as "Putin's No 1 enemy". Now the Russian president had added weight to that claim by singling out the British investor at his controversial summit with Donald Trump on Monday. 

The UK-based financier appeared to be part of what the US president called an "incredible offer" by Vladimir Putin to assist American investigators in their prosecution of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking crimes during the 2016 presidential election season.

"He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people," Mr Trump told reporters during a news conference in Helsinki following his joint summit with Mr Putin.

The special counsel investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin charged a dozen Russian military intelligence officers on Friday with hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then releasing the stolen communications online as part of a sweeping conspiracy to meddle in the election.

While Mr Trump did not elaborate on the Russian leader's "incredible offer," Mr Putin himself suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller could ask Russian law enforcement agencies to interrogate the suspects. He said US officials could request to be present at such questioning in line with a 1999 agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.

However, there was a catch: Russia would expect the US to return the favour and cooperate with interrogations of people “who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia”. Mr Putin highlighted the case of Mr Browder.

"No journalist had asked about me," Mr Browder wrote in Time. "He just brought me up out of the blue ...To my mind, this can only mean that he is seriously rattled."

The American-born Jewish businessman, who has held British citizenship for the past two decades, was last year sentenced by a Russian court to nine years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.

More pertinently, he was also the driving force behind The Magnitsky Act, a 2012 US law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses. It was named after Sergei Magnitsky, his lawyer whose investigations in 2008 uncovered a web of alleged tax fraud and corruption involving 23 companies and $230 million. He later died in Russian custody.

Bill Browder: The Tax-Evading Fugitive From Justice Behind The New Cold War

strategic-culture |  One has to ask why there is a crisis in US-Russia relations since Washington and Moscow have much more in common than not, to include confronting international terrorism, stabilizing Syria and other parts of the world that are in turmoil, and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In spite of all that, the US and Russia are currently locked in a tit-for-tat unfriendly relationship somewhat reminiscent of the Cold War. 

Apart from search for a scapegoat to explain the Hillary Clinton defeat, how did it happen? Israel Shamir, a keen observer of the American-Russian relationship, and celebrated American journalist Robert Parry both think that one man deserves much of the credit for the new Cold War and that man is William Browder, a hedge fund operator who made his fortune in the corrupt 1990s world of Russian commodities trading. 

Browder is also symptomatic of why the United States government is so poorly informed about international developments as he is the source of much of the Congressional “expert testimony” contributing to the current impasse. He has somehow emerged as a trusted source in spite of the fact that he has self-interest in cultivating a certain outcome. Also ignored is his renunciation of American citizenship in 1998, reportedly to avoid taxes. He is now a British citizen. 

Browder is notoriously the man behind the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which exploited Congressional willingness to demonize Russia and has done so much to poison relations between Washington and Moscow. The Act sanctioned individual Russian officials, which Moscow has rightly seen as unwarranted interference in the operation of its judicial system. 

Browder, a media favorite who self-promotes as “Putin’s enemy #1,” portrays himself as a selfless human rights advocate, but is he? He has used his fortune to threaten lawsuits for anyone who challenges his version of events, effectively silencing many critics. He claims that his accountant Sergei Magnitsky was a crusading "lawyer" who discovered a $230 million tax-fraud scheme that involved the Browder business interest Hermitage Capital but was, in fact, engineered by corrupt Russian police officers who arrested Magnitsky and enabled his death in a Russian jail. 

Many have been skeptical of the Browder narrative, suspecting that the fraud was in fact concocted by Browder and his accountant Magnitsky. A Russian court recently supported that alternative narrative, ruling in late December that Browder had deliberately bankrupted his company and engaged in tax evasion. He was sentenced to nine years prison in absentia. 

Browder is again in the news recently in connection with testimony related to Russiagate. On December 16th Senator Diane Feinstein of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript of the testimony provided by Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS. According to James Carden, Browder was mentioned 50 times, but the repeated citations apparently did not merit inclusion in media coverage of the story by the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico.

Monday, July 16, 2018

.45 Repudiates Deez TOXIC Heaux In The 9.9% Deep State...,

Toxic Femininity

quillette |  Calling good men toxic does everyone a deep disservice. Everyone except those who seek empowerment through victim narratives.

For the record: I am not suggesting that actual victims do not exist, nor that they do not deserve full emotional, physical, legal, medical, and other support. I also do not want to minimize the fact that most women, perhaps even all, have experienced unpleasantness from a subset of men. But not all women are victims. And even among those women who have truly suffered at the hands of men, many—most, I would hazard to guess—do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’
All of which leads us directly to a topic not much discussed: toxic femininity.

Sex and gender roles have been formed over hundreds of thousands of years in human evolution, indeed, over hundreds of millions of years in our animal lineage. Aspects of those roles are in rapid flux, but ancient truths still exist. Historical appetites and desires persist. Straight men will look at beautiful women, especially if those women are a) young and hot and b) actively displaying. Display invites attention.

Hotness-amplifying femininity puts on a full display, advertising fertility and urgent sexuality. It invites male attention by, for instance, revealing flesh, or by painting on signals of sexual receptivity. This, I would argue, is inviting trouble. No, I did not just say that she was asking for it. I did, however, just say that she was displaying herself, and of course she was going to get looked at.

The amplification of hotness is not, in and of itself, toxic, although personally, I don’t respect it, and never have. Hotness fades, wisdom grows— wise young women will invest accordingly. Femininity becomes toxic when it cries foul, chastising men for responding to a provocative display.

Where we set our boundaries is a question about which reasonable people might disagree, but two bright-lines are widely agreed upon: Every woman has the right not to be touched if she does not wish to be; and coercive quid pro quo, in which sexual favors are demanded for the possibility of career advancement, is unacceptable. But when women doll themselves up in clothes that highlight sexually-selected anatomy, and put on make-up that hints at impending orgasm, it is toxic—yes, toxic—to demand that men do not look, do not approach, do not query.

Young women have vast sexual power. Everyone who is being honest with themselves knows this: Women in their sexual prime who are anywhere near the beauty-norms for their culture have a kind of power that nobody else has. They are also all but certain to lack the wisdom to manage it. Toxic femininity is an abuse of that power, in which hotness is maximized, and victim status is then claimed when straight men don’t treat them as peers.

Creating hunger in men by actively inviting the male gaze, then demanding that men have no such hunger—that is toxic femininity. Subjugating men, emasculating them when they display strength—physical, intellectual, or other—that is toxic femininity. Insisting that men, simply by virtue of being men, are toxic, and then acting surprised as relationships between men and women become more strained—that is toxic femininity. It is a game, the benefits of which go to a few while the costs are shared by all of us.

Food is a Substitute for the Female Body

QZ |  Original recipes in a cozy home kitchen, intimate details about family life and domestic bliss—and painstakingly arranged food that oozes sexual overtones. These are the features of a successful food blog.

Often referred to as “food porn,” the trendy phenomenon highlights the seeming contradiction between femininity and feminism while also allowing women to shape the possibilities for women’s identities in online spaces. In contemporary social culture, women are encouraged to be feminists and pursue professional ambitions while still maintaining their femininity and domesticity. Their chief value in society is to reproduce and feed their families while denying their own appetites. These blogs reflect the digital identities of women who have been required to embody multiple contradictions—and look delectable while doing so.

In the food blogosphere, some of these sexualized conventions include the overabundance of “oozing” food, including runny egg yolks that are captured dribbling over neat vegetable beds, chocolate lava cakes with molten centers that drizzle over porcelain plates, and frosted cakes depicted with glazes dripping down their tall sides. There is also something sexually tinged about many food blogs’ penchant for “cheeky peeks,” a photographic motif that peers inside the hidden layers of elaborately decorated cakes. Examples of this include cakes stuffed with candy, desserts whose batter is painstakingly dyed and assembled to reveal ombre and checkerboard patterns when sliced open, and an array of gravity-defying layer cakes.

Pornographic imagery is built upon women offering their bodies to the male gaze, but food porn recognizes and appreciates the creative and technical skills of the woman behind the camera. In this way, food is used as a substitute for the female body; food bloggers offer intimate domestic details from their kitchens, rather than their bedrooms. Food porn can therefore be seen as a way of recognizing the active and creative capacities of women’s bodies rather than the more passive and objectified positions of traditional erotica.

Food and Dieting Negotiate Hegemonic Masculinities in American Popular Culture

emilycontois |  The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America examines how the food, advertising, and media industries have constructed masculinities through food in the twenty-first-century United States, particularly when attempting to create male consumers for products socially perceived as feminine. Employing the tools of critical discourse analysis to examine food, dieting, and cooking, I consider a diverse array of media texts—including advertising campaigns, marketing trade press, magazines, newspapers, industry reports, restaurants, menus, food criticism, blogs, and social media. Case studies include diet sodas (Coke Zero and Dr. Pepper Ten), yogurts (Oikos Triple Zero and Powerful Yogurt), weight loss programs (primarily Weight Watchers), and food television (namely Food Network star, Guy Fieri).

More than just companies jockeying for market share, these food phenomena “for men” marked a moment of heightened gender anxiety and the rise of a new gender discourse—dude masculinity. Partly created by the food marketing industry, dude masculinity sought to create socially acceptable routes into and through the feminized terrain of food and the body. As a gender discourse, it celebrates the “average guy,” while remaining complicit in hegemonic masculinity’s overall structure of social inequality.

Beyond gender performance, dude masculinity articulates apprehension for how consumption reconfigures notions of citizenship, bodily surveillance, and nationhood. Dude masculinity tells a larger story of the United States’ very recent past, one rooted in perceived social chaos, concerned with terrorism, border control, immigration, same-sex marriage, race relations, new media, and neoliberalism. Despite decades of resistance and progress toward gender equality, these recent social shifts have resulted in the reactionary shoring up of gendered categories, a complex and contradictory sociocultural process that I read through dude masculinity, food, and the body.

Previous scholarship has treated these areas of culture separately and considered food and gender largely in terms of femininity, domesticity, and care work. I synthesize feminist studies of media, food, and the body and apply them to masculinities, centering discussions of power. Bridging theory and practice, this dissertation also informs how entities like advertising campaigns, food packaging design, public health programs, and weight loss studies can rewrite gender scripts to promote equality and justice.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What To Make Of Mueller's Hacking Indictment

moonofalabama |  Assessment:
  • It is not by chance that this indictment was published now,  a few days before the first summit between Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin and shortly before the successful soccer world championship in Russia ends. The release intends to sabotage the talks.
  • The indictment describes a wide ranging operation but includes zero proof of anything it alleges.
  • Mueller likely hopes that the indictment will never come in front of a court. The alleged stuff would be extremely difficult to prove. Any decent lawyer would ask how the claimed information was gained and how much of it was based on illegal snooping by the NSA. Something the U.S. would hate to reveal.
  • It is unlikely that there will ever be a trial of these cases. The indicted persons are all Russians in Russia and none of them is likely to be stupid enough to follow an invitation to Las Vegas or to Disney World.
But who knows?

lawfareblog |   Before turning to what the indictment alleges, and what we can learn from it, it’s worth zooming out to an important macro point about the investigation that led to this action: This was the investigation over which the president of the United States fired James Comey as FBI director.

This is the investigation Comey confirmed on March 20, 2017, when he told Congress, “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”

This was also the investigation that multiple congressional committees have spent more than a year seeking to discredit—most recently Thursday, when two House panels hauled the former deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Department, Peter Strzok, a career FBI agent who worked on the Russia probe, up to Capitol Hill for 10 hours of public, televised, abusive conspiracy theorizing. When the president of the United States derides the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt,” and when congressional Republicans scream at FBI agents, this is the investigation they are trying to harass out of existence.

It is, therefore, fitting that this indictment comes less than one day after the astonishing display House Republicans put on in the Strzok hearing. If Mueller had been trying to remind the public of what the investigation is really about and what the stakes are in it, if he had been trying to make a public statement in response to the Strzok hearing, he could not have timed this action better.

The Peter Principle: Top People - Thought Leadership

consortiumnews |  If FBI agent Peter Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.
Strzok was a top FBI counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.  The Attorney General fired McCabe in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to Justice Department investigators.

On Thursday members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees questioned Strzok for eight hours on how he led the investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized emails and Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties with Russia, if any.

Strzok did his best to be sincerely slick.  Even so, he seemed to feel beleaguered — even ambushed — by the questions of Republicans using his own words against him. “Disingenuous” is the word a Republican Congresswoman used to describe his performance.  Nonetheless, he won consistent plaudits from the Democrats. He showed zero regret for the predicament he put himself into, except for regret at his royal screw-up in thinking he and Lisa could “talk about Hillary” (see below) on their FBI cellphones and no one would ever know.  One wag has suggested that Strzok may have been surreptitiously texting, when he should have been listening to the briefing on “Cellphone Security 101.”

In any case, the chickens have now come home to roost.  Most of those chickens, and Strzok’s predicament in general, are demonstrably the result of his own incompetence.  Indeed, Strzok seems the very embodiment of the “Peter Principle.” FBI agents down the line — that is, the non-peter-principle people — are painfully aware of this, and resent the discredit that Strzok and his bosses have brought on the Bureau.  Many are reportedly lining up to testify against what has been going on at the top.

It is always necessary at this point to note that the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and even the Department of Justice were operating, as former FBI Director James Comey later put it, in an environment “where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.”  Most of them expected to be able to stay in their key positions and were confident they would receive plaudits — not indictments — for the liberties that they, the most senior U.S. law enforcement officials, took with the law.  In other words, once the reality that Mrs. Clinton was seen by virtually everyone to be a shoo-in is taken into account, the mind boggles a lot less.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mueller's Harebrained Indictment of Russians Is Pure Political Theater...,

TCTH  |  The indictment is a grand exposition in explaining something without a single citation of factual evidence for how they arrived at the multitude of conclusions.
Consider this takeaway from a left-wing group who love the indictment:
“The indictment is impressive in its detail and the specificity of its allegations. It shows that Mueller has developed extremely good evidence. Where is it coming from?” 
You see, that’s the rub…. there is not a single piece of information explaining how Robert Mueller’s team arrived at their indictment conclusion.   Just lots of conclusions.

Again, I repeat: the FBI was never allowed access to the DCCC, DNC and Clinton Campaign servers?

Obviously, it helps when the listed names on the indictment will never actually be indicted or come before a U.S. court to challenge the assertions.  It’s very convenient for the DOJ to be able to make claims, knowing: A) no-one in media will demand the source evidence; and B) none of the accused will ever show up to be tried.

This announcement, and the indictment itself, is pure propaganda.

The entire narrative is based on a story; and it is a story; that can never be proved.

The biggest “risk” to the deep state is any entity who focuses on the DOJ and FBI abuse of the NSA and FBI database in 2015 and 2016.  They were conducting political opposition research using FISA-702(16)(17) searches of collected information.

Along with FBI compartmented SCIF’s, the DOJ-NSD was the hub for the corrupt officials doing those illegal searches.  This is not in question.  It happened:

It's Written All Over Your Face - You Don't Have To Say A Word...,