Sunday, June 30, 2019

3 times

At least three times in my life has a Republican presidential candidate conspired with a foreign power in order to attain the office of the Presidency and succeeded.
At least twice, the previous Democratic administrations had been aware but decided to not bring the case to law enforcement or to the American people for fear that the press would consider it "politicizing" or fear of burning intelligence assets.

  • In 1968 Anna Chennault, conspired with the South Vietnamese government to scuttle the Paris peace talks, assuring Saigon that Nixon would give them a much better deal if he became President. It was a clear violation of the Logan act, which Johnson called treason. Chennault was directed by Nixon to contact Saigon and keep the Paris peace process from continuing. 
  • In 1980, the Reagan team clearly executed an agreement with Tehran to keep the American hostages until after he won the election, preventing Carter from getting an October Surprise. Yeah, the Gary Sick allegations turned out to be nonsense, but let's get real -- the hostages were turned over 20 minutes after Reagan was inaugurated and then, for some reason, the Reagan Administration decided to participate in the Iran-Contra Affair
  • And now, Trump/Putin.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Who would have thought it would be any sort of radical statement to write an anti-rape essay? Well, these are the times we live in I guess. So here is my diatribe against rape.


I was watching the brilliant Hannah Gadsby and she was saying that the awful predators -- from Weinstein to Trump to Kavanaugh -- were not the exceptions but rather the rule.
I don't agree. And this is why.

Statistically they are the exceptions. Indeed, by knowing their names we are all but guaranteed to know they must be exceptions. (We don't tend to have lists of specific people in mind when we're talking about things which are typical.)
That doesn't mean there aren't a lot of them, many more than just the "top ten" of terrible men you can think of, but it does mean (and yes, I realize what this sounds like) it isn't most men. Not 51% of them.  Sure, there are way too many of them, but they don't even make up a majority of men. And that's very important. Because the bigger concern is: what do the non-rapey men do?

Clearly, not enough.

The sex creep, the rapist, the bully: they all want all of us to think what they're doing is "normal."
When a woman gets groped in midtown and screams and the creep tries to run away and two bystanders catch him, what does he do as he's sitting there waiting for the cops? He tries to talk his way out of it. The perp tries to talk to the men who caught him. He chuckles, saying "Hey man, everybody does it."
Now that gets him a kick in the head.
Because here's the thing, they know they're outnumbered. So they want to gaslight everyone -- women and men -- into thinking this is normal boys will be boys this is normal If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex this is normal. 
Jackson Katz

Kavanaugh knows he's sexually assaulted women. And he wants you to think it happens by everybody all the time. He wants to normalize assault on women.

But the problem he has there is that actually, most men are against it. Most men don't rape people. Some, like his weird friend, actually awkwardly stopped him from raping Ford by jumping on Kavanaugh.

To be sure, Mike Judge didn't directly address Kavanaugh and tell him what he was doing was wrong, so he took what he thought was the socially-acceptable path of drunk white boys and jumped on top of his friend to stop him from raping a 15-year-old girl. (And this is not to say Judge did not at other times partake in raping women and girls who had passed out from drugs slipped into their drinks, but he did at least stop one rapists once.)


So no, Hannah Gadsby, I agree with pretty much everything you say, but this behavior of men? It's not the rule. These jerks are the exception. They just really really want us to all believe what they're doing is the "normal" thing. They want to live in a world where all women are walking targets, and the only way to do that is to convince most men that's what all the other men do.

But it's not what they do. The exception is the rapists.

The rule is how they get away with it. They make a fuss about how "manly" it is to rape girls. (And the sheer number of women who blame other women for getting raped is simply unsettling in an existential manner.) Between those two pro-rape forces (the men who rape and the women who defend the rapists), it becomes harder to get what we might call "good" men to stand up and say "No."

Harder. But not impossible. So you know what?


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Space Farce

So, first of all -- I thought everyone was joking about this. 
Okay. Not. 
No joke.
Secondly -- how did Putin approve of this? How would this serve the Russian Federation's interests?
And again, last paragraph -- right there in the article. 
Here's the exciting thing about the incredibly overpriced and behind-schedule F35 fighter. It can't dogfight. It can't fly faster than Chinese or Russian fighters. It is super-duper over budget.
But what's one thing it CAN do?
Pass undetected through Russian Federation airspace. In and out.
You might recall that one of the first things Trump wanted to do when he came in was to cancel the F-35 program. But then Republicans, whose districts had defense contractors, revolted. So the program didn't get cancelled.
Now, the US has known since the 80's and the "Billion Dollar Spy" (a Soviet national who was executed by the KGB for giving secrets to the US government) quite a bit about Soviet air defense capabilities. For a variety of reasons, including geography and the fact they don't have an economy because of the Magnitsky Act, Russia's modern defense system still ain't all that. And the US knows plenty about it, and how to build airplanes that can avoid it.
Putin knows this. Trump knows this. 

So why Space Force? Well you see, it will help take apart the US military's ability to keep the Russian Federation from any (more) funny business in countries which punched out of the Soviet Union just as soon as they could. So how do you weaken the military under a smokescreen of not weakening it?
Space Force.
Space Force will necessarily require cannibalizing the other branches of the armed forces. And it'll start with the Air Force, which will likely be getting the most F35's (and will certainly have the F35's the Russian Federation is most worried about.) The more chaos is sown in the Air Force, the less able it will be to do anything if (say) Russia decides that it's time to force the issue on Ukraine.
So sure, this has little to do with what Putin can do to US sovereignty. This issue here is the Baltic states and Ukraine. Although Trump has done his darndest to dismantle NATO at the behest of Putin, he hasn't been able to damage it as directly as he'd hoped (and as Putin had hoped). "Space Force" is the next best thing -- take apart military capabilities that might affect Putin's aspirations to grow the Russian economy by expanding back into the Baltics and Ukraine.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why Are You a Dupe?

Ever wonder why you fall for every "Hillary is a corrupt pizzagate" nonsense?
Well, as it turns out, you're a dupe of very specific propaganda.
The Medium lays it all out for you, aimed at making you a white supremacist.

But if you're a BernieBro, then perhaps the analogy is more like this breakdown of Gamergate by Innuendo Studios

Dupes and useful idiots are easily manipulated by targeted psyops campaigns. The good news is that understanding how the alt-right and the FSB work is the first step to ridding the world of these scumbags. Good luck out there.

Friday, March 23, 2018

I Was A Tool of Russian Federation Psyops

Dear pandoramachine,
As part of our commitment to transparency, we want you to know that we uncovered and terminated 84 accounts linked to Internet Research Agency or IRA (a group closely tied to the the Russian government) posing as members of the Tumblr community.
The IRA engages in electronic disinformation and propaganda campaigns around the world using phony social media accounts. When we uncovered these accounts, we notified law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted their original posts.
While investigating their activity on Tumblr, we discovered that you either followed one of these accounts linked to the IRA, or liked or reblogged one of their posts:
  • mooseblogtimes
You aren’t in trouble, and don’t need to take any action if you don’t want to. We deleted the accounts but decided to leave up any reblog chains so that you can curate your own Tumblr to reflect your own personal views and perspectives.
Democracy requires transparency and an informed electorate and we take our disclosure responsibility very seriously. We’ll be aggressively watching for disinformation campaigns in the future, take the appropriate action, and make sure you know about it.
— Tumblr

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The 50-caliber Mark

So, I find it kinda weird that the whole "right to bear arms" has essentially an intrinsic limit. Indeed, it would seem the limit is the National Firearms Act of 1934. That act has had a mightily confusing history. There's also the Gun Control Act of 1968.
What is that limit?
The caliber of what is acceptable debate concerning allowable weapons seems to top out at about, well, 50 caliber. Above that one ends up with a "destructive device" which is illegal. New Jersey, which has fairly restrictive laws regarding firearms may be banning 50 caliber guns. Nobody ever gets killed with those things -- they're fairly uncommon. But NJ may be topping out at 49 caliber. (Shotguns are exempted.)

It just seems odd to me that no one really seems to object that their right to bear arms doesn't actually include weapons a militia does in fact use. Like grenade launchers, rocket launchers, that sort of thing.

The entire argument over gun in the US is limited by a shared fiction that "arms" seems to begin and end with guns of certain calibers, that do not have explosive projectiles. So what does this right to bear arms really mean? Who knows?
Well, whatever the courts decide it means is what it means I suppose.