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07 February 2016

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Paul Escobar

To all,

Plausible? It seems Bernie & Donald would be most affected.

http://openlettertodonaldtrump.com/

Excerpt: "It is the ELECTION VENDORS, hired by each county, that have the “motive, means, and opportunity” to alter elections via their software. (These dangers are exposed in the excellent HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy.) Those who control the software can possibly switch tens of thousands of votes in the blink of an eye, silently, invisibly — with no checks and balances on election day. In these states, such as in NH where 80% of the vote is “counted” on these secret software programs, no candidate, no citizen, no local press person is allowed to see or inspect any real ballots on election day."

Tyler

Holy crap that debate last night.

Fat Man Christie body shotted Boy Rubio in the first few minutes and didn't let him off the mat. Say what you will, but he perfectly exposed that Rubio was exactly what people said he was: A paid for shill who only knows how to repeat lines he's been fed.

Trump alpha'd hard, calling out Cruz from the get go, shushing Yeb! and then calling the AUDIENCE a bunch of paid for hacks. The man is a beast!

I read this crybaby cuckservative article in The Economist, where they shed tears over how MEAN Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of Chechnya, is to the paid for Western opposition in the country:

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21690046-alarming-world-ramzan-kadyrov-putins-chechen-enforcer

"Mr Kadyrov has been ratcheting up the invective for a while. Last month he called liberals “vile jackals” who should be treated as “enemies of the people”. "

In my opinion, if there's one immigrant who should be given a job, its this guy. He should be Secretary of DHS under Trump.

LeaNder

Ok, I would like to repeat a question.

Unfortunately I do not log into Pat's blog, which would allow me to trace responses.

In any case, there was a link to a purely economic assessment on Turkey. The author, apparently in investment in the larger field, considered it his best article ever, at least at that point in time, as I recall.

Yes, I forget details and and more importantly his name, anyone around here remembers him? Or recalls, he linked to the article?

And yes, I am lazy, it only remains on my mind due to a minor detail concerning Kurdish Sufism.

******
In other words, I would also appreciate any type of information concerning Sufism in Turkey more generally, and a possible split between "Turkish" and "Kurdish" variants.

Barish

So I am currently reading "The Rape of Mesopotamia" from 2009 by one Lawrence Rothfield, which covers the pillaging of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad during the 2003 invasion as well as the free-for-all that was in effect on and around archaeological sites in the country at that time as well as thereafter.

It makes for sobering reading all things told, and in passing also points to the literally headless approach as far as pre- and post-war planning and administration by the occupation force is concerned.
One nugget in particular is the evaluation of Coalition conduct when it comes to cultural sites protection in comparison not only to Hussein's forces in Kuwait, but also when compared to certain revolutionary movements in the past, p. 2:

"Iraqis did not need to hear about the museum's trashing on television to know that law and order had disappeared. The news would only confirm just how insecure their country had become with the arrival of its liberators. For the rest of the world, however, the museum's looting raised serious questions about the commitment of Iraq's liberators to the values of civilization. America's enemies had done better in similar situations: Russian communist revolutionaries had secured the Hermitage; the Iranian revolutionaries in 1979 had recognized that the fall of the shah's regime created an atmosphere of chaos that posed a threat to Tehran's museums and sent students with guns to guard them; even Saddam, on the first day of the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990, had posted guards in front of the Kuwait National Museum to prevent looting. Yet somehow the United States and its allies had failed to take similar steps."

All around a great read thus far, nearly finished. The author also points out the fact that terrorists - IRA, Lebanese Civil War factions, one of the Qaida-crew that took part in the 9/11 attacks even - have made a point of financing themselves through selling illegally procured cultural goods on the black market for decades. And, of course, he touches upon the ideological dimension of iconoclasm against cultural sites, albeit that is not a key focus of the book: the deliberate blowing up of the Shiite Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra in February 2006 by the Islamic State of Iraq...

rjj

more than plausible, it has essentially been SOP since the turn of the century. It was marketed as a way of avoiding problems like that nasty business with the chads.

Origin

Paul, All, and especially to the friends of Donald Trump.

Ever since Diebold introduced its totally hackable and unverifiable voting machines, our democracy and freedoms have been at risk. As the vulnerabilities of the system have become more and more apparent and public, instead of fixing the systems, the state and local governments have passed more and more laws that hide the process from all investigation and inquiry.

To quickly peruse the massive literature on the problem from many, many outlets and sources, just search "black box voting"

To the friends of Trump, get him to offer a reward for proof of voting machine fraud. Even if he loses the election, he has the money to help fix the problem with an appropriate reward for information.

Trump should make an offer to pay $1,000,000 to each of the first five people who bring forth information that the voting software has been hacked or modified to change election results. I would like the reward to be larger, but because of the real possibility of proof of many, many events, the payoff on a reward in excess of $1,000,000 might be huge. The award should go to the FIRST five to encourage people to come forward sooner lest some other informant would win the race for the disclosure. Perhaps a $10,000,000 reward should go to someone who discloses proof a fix of a presidential, congressional, or governor's race.

My guess is that the local election officials know how to switch votes and may be selling local races counted on black box voting machines. If even one race can be proven to have been hacked using the machines or the tabulators, then we might be able to restore some light on the veracity of the votes.

There is a history of such rewards working to rout out political facts.

http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=62861

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/media011399.htm

rjj

"A paid for shill who only knows how to repeat lines he's been fed."

voters don't hold that in itself against candidates.

Clwydshire

There are a couple of interesting stories about Turkey in the news today. First, a story about conflict in southeastern region with pictures of a bullet riddled mosque in Diyarbakir http://www.juancole.com/2016/02/turkey-descends-into-civil-war-as-conflict-in-southeast-escalates.html
Second a consortium news story "Risking World War III in Syria." https://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/06/risking-world-war-iii-in-syria/ There is one interesting comment to the latter story that notes: "Russia has sent the anti-submarine destroyer “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” to the Syrian coast, which indicates that a military conflict with Turkey is considered as possible. Turkey does have 13 submarines, built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, that pose a threat to Russian surface vessels if a conflict breaks out."

Valissa

Sports diplomacy at it's finest! I had no idea wrestling was so huge in Iran.
Wrestling with Iran - Wrestling is the new ping pong when it comes to U.S.-Iranian relations. http://fpif.org/wrestling-with-iran/

Not sure how practical this is... perhaps some sort of leg armor might help...
Dutch police are training eagles to grab drones from the sky http://mashable.com/2016/02/01/dutch-police-eagles-drones/#APMjLug3xEqw

Yet another comedian quite the college circuit...
Monty Python star John Cleese will no longer perform at university campuses as political correctness kills comedy http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/12136295/Monty-Python-star-John-Cleese-will-no-longer-perform-at-university-campuses-as-political-correctness-kills-comedy.html

Tom

Either you are joking or you are crazy when you refer to the "Western paid" opposition in Russia. How do you know that all these people Kadyrov is threatening are in the pay? Do you thing there can be no legitimate opposition to Putin at all? Do you think Putin is God? Ok I met weird people including one who thought Putin was the reincarnation of the painter Roerich
but this comes close. Maybe you should just accept that Putin - although indeed a shrewd and effective statesman - also tolerates an attorney general who throws perfectly honest businessmen into prison. Then his son gets to won their businesses for free. This is not some fantasy but well proven fact. And just one example of many. It would be amazing if the West had to pay people to generate opposition to Putins rule.

Tom

Thanks Valissa great Iran link- love westling

Liza

For anyone interested in gaining greater insight into Putin, this is a fascinating video on his views on Marxism-Leninism. The video begins with his first ever television interview in 1991, when he was beginning his political career as an aide to the mayor of St. Petersburg. He is very critical of Leninism, referring to it as "pernicious".


http://russia-insider.com/en/history/putins-views-lenin-are-controversial-consistent-video/ri12666

Chris Chuba

If you look at the Olympics, countries like Russia, Iran, the U.S., and I have to give the Turks their due, produce medalists on a regular basis. What sports are popular in Saudi Arabia?

my.comment

haven't seen hacking democracy, so perhaps michael connell is included and you won't find it necessary to read the links below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Connell

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Mike_Connell

ex-PFC Chuck

"Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Josef Stalin

rjj

Putin has
1. a domestic opposition
2. some shady characters in his government
ergo
it is frivolous to claim the west is "sowing the seeds of discord," which has been standard textbook statecraft for more than 2,000 years.

Tom. Tom. [lower voice to minor key] Tohhmmmm ....

Valissa

2 equestrian medals (jumping) and one for athletics (Men's 400 metre hurdles) since 2000. Not big on sports there from what I can tell. No wonder their military has problems performing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabia_at_the_Olympics#Medals_by_sport

danbradburd

Valissa,

In the fall of 1973, my wife and I flew in to Tehran to begin two years of research in Iran. As we waited to pass through customs and immigration, we were passed by a group of men notable for their very thick necks and conspicuous cauliflower ears, and size, ranging from quite small to very large. My wife stared goggle eyed and asked me what was wrong with them. I had wrestled in high school and college, and I was pretty sure that what we were looking at was a really serious wrestling squad. Next day's papers in Tehran all had extensive coverage of the arrival of the Bulgarian national team coming to wrestle the Iranian team. I've never, before or since, seen wrestling get that kind of national coverage.

It is, by the way, a great, great sport.

Tyler

Origin,

Trump will be too busy turning the Trump Tower locations into Trump Fortresses if they steal the election from him.

Valissa

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” –Emma Goldman

"Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country." —Ambrose Bierce

These are 2 of my favorite vote quotes. I went looking for more and noticed something interesting... the quotes that promoted the idea that voting was important and a good thing were mostly politicians or establishment types (and a few idealists).

Tyler

Tom,

You should probably unlace your corset because you sound pretty mad over there. Mad enough to rely on argument via assertion fallacies and not even bother to post a breathless link from Daily Beast/Think Progress about how PUTIN IS HOLOCAUSTING A ZILLION HOMOS A SECOND.

I really don't care what Putin does because it seems to work for Russia. Meanwhile our President decides which wedding party he's going to wipe out via sky assassin over his Monday corn flakes. I hope he tosses another business man in prison. Maybe one who's perfectly honest this time.

Tyler

RJJ,

I don't know if you saw it last night, but it looked pretty atrocious when Rubio-bot was stumbling over his speech and Christie is just mercing him on national TV.

Valissa

We in the USA also have items #1 & 2. The difference is Russia does not "encourage" (financially or status-wise) issue #1 as far as I know. Are Russia's "shady characters" any shadier than in the US? Probably not.

It is my understanding that the US cultivates a Western friendly elite in many countries it wishes to influence. It's a soft power cultural approach that has been and continues to be effective, and goes hand in hand with stronger methods (such as color revolutions). Some of this desire to be like and liked by Western elites (social networking) comes naturally of course, but there are organizations like NED, the CIA, etc that do incentivize these attitudes.

IMO, while Putin and his establishment may exaggerate the influence of the "fifth column" in Russia, it does exist and the US and EU do encourage it.

"all's fair in love and war" and all that...

rjj

uh oh. should have used my {{{ irony brackets }}}

Valissa

LOL...

https://www.offthemark.com/image/data/cartoons/2012-08-31B.gif

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