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08 July 2017

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AriusArmenian

Is this article serious?

The Twisted Genius

Did you read it?

Phil Cattar

Test

Freudenschade

TTG,

It is refreshing to get a technically based analysis of Russia's attempt to influence our election, rather than the dreary and wrongheaded political ones.

Kutte

You have got a point. Once people realize the world is not black and white, but rather black and dark black, they become sort of obsessed and end up defending unconditionaly those who have been attacked wrongly. Be careful what you wish for. Be careful who you defend one might also say. The Russians may not be quite as evil as depicted, but they are of course very hard nosed in pursuing their own interests.

kao_hsien_chih

TTG,

I think there are two problems going on with the "Russian hacking" meme, one serious and the other silly.

The serious is what you point to, that through employment of technological means, Russians are engaged in attempts to manipulate domestic politics of other countries, including United States. Yet, the seriousness of this challenge is easily overblown: use of all manner of new communication technologies, radio, television, films, printing press, etc., for various social and political agendas is as old as humanity itself. We, ourselves, have been engaged in exactly this sort of exercise for a long time ourselves. Whether the computer-centric forms of propaganda, centered around a mixture of hacking and data-mining techniques, is necessarily all that effective, I am a bit skeptical. Having been involved in the use of some of these technologies myself in various settings, including election campaigning, I think their powers, although considerable, are rather seriously overblown (although it is admittedly a relative statement) that can only supplement rather than substitute the actual situation.

This, in turn, sets up what I think is the misguided abuse of the "Russian hacking" meme. The stories have not been simply that Russians have been hacking computers of US political operations, including the DNC, possibly with the intent of influencing US politics--which, I think is entirely normal and natural, even if unpleasant (that is, to have foreign powers intrude on our deomstic politics), but that the Russians have somehow delivered the election illegitimately to Trump. Thus, the story is not that "Russians and their agents infiltrated DNC computers," but that "Russians hacked our democracy." The latter is just plain wrong and hysterical on top of that. I don't think Russians have the kind of resources or even basic understanding of American politics to pull off such a feat. They may have preferred that Trump win, may have done a few things here and there, and lo and behold, Trump won. Would Trump have won without alleged (even if likely) Russian activities? I think that is a near certainty ("near" inserted only for technical reasons). This, however, is not what "Russian hacking" innuendos point to.

So, I think the "Russian hacking" is a serious story, but something that needs to be placed in its proper context. Yes, they have a political agenda. They probably are engaged in some form of dirty tricks to influence political outcomes here. Yes, these need to be taken seriously. The problem is that, once the problem gets taken out of context and is reduced to political talking points, we are reduced to two equally absurd choices: either Trump is an illegitimate Russian stooge or accusations against Trump are baseless pack of lies. The likely "truth," that Russians are doing something but it is probable that it is immaterial to the election outcomes, at least not yet (and if they are material, that'd mean that we'd be in such a mess even without their interference anyways), is crowded out of serious discourse. I think this is the worst of all possible outcomes.

VietnamVet

TTG

It is a given that there is signal interception and decryption. There is ongoing analysis and interpretation. Yet, the USA has got itself in eight incomprehensible wars since Desert Storm that could never be won and as a direct result the Atlantic Alliance ls in a slow motion collapse. I was a participant in the computerization of technocrats that eliminated typing pools and started the generation of meta-data. Yes, Google traffic maps work. But, it is a huge leap to say that Russia identified and generated the meme that Hillary Clinton is a sick corrupt war lover. At its worse, WikiLeaks resulted in Americans learning the truth about the DNC. In fact Americans are being bombarded with Globalist media propaganda 24/7. It is avoiding the blame for the 2016 Democrats election disaster that is the basis for the scapegoating of Russia. I do not believe that Russian meddling was the reason why a number of correspondents here voted for Donald Trump.

Jack

TTG, Sir

Thank you for providing the other side. This is what makes SST so great. A model that the MSM ought to emulate instead of the usual hysterical propaganda they publish.

You have convinced me that the Russians did indeed use social media channels to target those predisposed with the appropriate messaging. So did Trump's campaign. They spent a fifth of Hillary's much more well funded campaign, so they had to be much more efficient in their approach. Their social media operations out of San Antonio put together with the help of Peter Thiel clearly did a good job.

The focus by the media and the Democrats on the DNC and Posta email hacking does not hold water in that they only disclosed the truth. That is something we should all welcome. To know what those in high places actually do and say and how it contradicts their public personas. That's why I am a fan of Snowden and Wikileaks. People who made huge personal sacrifices to inform the public of malfeasance. And why I have only disdain for people like Clapper and Brennan. And why I'm highly skeptical of anything that comes out of our IC, or FBI investigations and naturally anything published in our media. Old Microbiologist's first hand account of the anthrax investigation is a good example here.

Where I may disagree with you is on the election outcome. I believe many parties tried to influence our election, just like we have done in other countries internal affairs for decades. This is part and parcel of the Spy vs Spy game that is played. Both campaigns had access to the same tools. The ideas behind "reflexive control" are known and as you note marketing and advertising make use of it already. Just because Trump's campaign took advantage and Hillary's didn't does not mean that Hillary would have won but for the Russians. Trump focused his relatively meager resources well. Trump knew he couldn't compete with Hillary's ad budget and her "ground game". He knew it was pointless wasting resources in NY and California. He knew he won the primary due to his anti-establishment rhetoric and his stance on jobs, immigration and the corruption in DC. He reinforced that winning primary campaign with a superb social media campaign based on the ideas of reflexive control. Bottom line, he ran a superior campaign and the result showed. I'm sure you will agree however that this was not a hierarchically planned campaign but one that evolved and experimented despite organizational chaos. IMO, Hillary's biggest weakness was lack of voter enthusiasm. That's why I believe that Sanders could very well have defeated Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The Democrats blew it because of their party establishment. They don't tolerate mavericks.

The election result was an unexpected shock to the establishment and they turned around with an ugly campaign to delegitimize Trump. IMO, all that has accomplished is further polarize an already polarized nation. Many despise him. The Borg is after him. And he's fighting back the way he knows. We may not like his tweets, his demeanor and his style. But that's what it is. The next election will bring new tools and new approaches. Who takes advantage and who falls short? In any case we are a divided country with IMO a virulent systemic bias.

Walker

TTG, this link from your "Russian Concept of Reflexive Control" SST article alludes to "Useful idiots . . . deployed to promote all of this material to unknowing audiences".

This echoes language used in the Washington Post article about sites allegedly under the control or influence of Russia.

The list alluded to by the Post article includes sites like Consortiumnews.com, Antiwar.com, Counterpunch.org, and LewRockwell.com. I first encountered these sites 15 years ago while trying hard to find alternative views to the overwhelming media consensus favoring the Iraq invasion. Far from being vectors of disinformation, these sites provided some truth in the face of a waterfall of lies from our own government.

Russia probably is using web sites to spread propaganda, much of it not very convincing. Isn't it also plausible that the US smears sites with independent points of view as Russian-influenced?

The Twisted Genius

VietnamVet,

I get your point that IO is necessarily a subtle thing which can only affect outcomes around the edges, say only in 49-51 situations. That was the point made by Gordon Greenhall in his video I linked to.

Sam Peralta

"I do not believe that Russian meddling was the reason why a number of correspondents here voted for Donald Trump."

VV, I concur.

Sharac

Firstly i would have to agree that Russians do what they have to in their opinion to gather/process as much info or intel as possible. I would also wholeheartedly agree that they might even try to influence the "minds" of US people to vote for candidate they would deem more suitable or less dangerous.

What i find fundamentally wrong in your reasoning is that assuming they do all what you wrote and do it in the way you wrote with 100% success wouldn't it also be reasonable to expect then that they know perfectly well that POTUS in for a while now without P and is just a OTUS without real power. Another fundamentally wrong assumption IMO is that notion that being a (moral) professional at one point in your life will guarantee to be such also in a future and US system is notorious for just that ex military/professionals turning into private sector where they are running various senior positions or being liaisons between public sector/private companies, this is especially cancerous in financial industry but also very true for defence sector.

The last thing i also find (or would if i were US citizen voting for Trump - which i would given the choices and if being forced to) extremely insulting that you assume that even if they tried meddling they were successful and that election result is somehow in any meaningful term a byproduct of Russian meddling and not overwhelming (territorial especially) victory not so much for Trump but for an anti-establishment sentiment a big regular Joe fuck you to Washington elites. For me that is the real victory behind US election that people have simply (probably for the last time without weapons) said we fucking hate you and this is your last opportunity to change the course or else...


PS: I won't even go into whole US foreign policy and various domestic and foreign NGOs trying to brainwash not only US citizens but basically entire planet so any US analyst or person bitching about hacking or "mind control" is simply a big bigot applying double standards and not worth having a civilized discussion with...

Sam Peralta

KHC

"... the story is not that "Russians and their agents infiltrated DNC computers," but that "Russians hacked our democracy." The latter is just plain wrong and hysterical on top of that."

Yes, that is an excellent observation. The hyperbole that our "democracy" was hacked is plain ridiculous.

What it shows is the nature of the campaign to delegitimize the election outcome. Remember the campaign to get the electoral college to reverse the voters decision. No thought was ever placed into the implications - from the Constitution to centuries of agreed practice. It was sheer derangement. Then we had top intelligence officials like Brennan and Clapper using their insider positions to launder leaks to create a campaign by innuendo and in the process disclosing highly sensitive national intelligence secrets like our ability to intercept and decrypt Russian secure communications.

This will all come back to bite another time even worse.

Bill H

Various things were said about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, things that came from the computers of those parties. The parties never denied the truth of those things, never denied that they said and/or did those things, they merely cried foul that the truth about those things had been released by the Russians. And so the media is not upset about the things that were revealed; they are, instead, outraged that the Russians revealed the truth.

I have no problem with the Russians revealing the truth, but apparently the vast majority of the American public prefers that the wrongdoing of Democrats remains secret and considers the Russians evil for revealing it.

shepherd

I just wanted to concur with TTG. I'm familiar with the tools, methods, and investigation. Publius Tacitus's focus on Crowdstrike ignores much, and it's not really that big a deal anyway.

Digital marketers over the last decade or so have developed highly sophisticated tools to manipulate segments of public opinion. The most powerful ones are psychometric. They rely on personality traits and emotion, and glean them by analyzing digital activity, including what you post on blogs like this. You may not realize this, but we can see everything you do, analyze it in real time, and come to highly accurate conclusions about what motivates you. Then we can target you with specific messaging that motivates you to action, even though you think this is all your own thinking. This all happens programmatically at scale. And it is shockingly effective.

You may not think of Trump as sophisticated, but in this realm, his campaign was very much so. He used a firm called Cambridge Analytica to target Facebook users via the OCEAN personality profile to great effect. You may not want to know this, but if your Facebook feed was filled with Trump campaign messages during the runup to the election, you had probably been identified by Cambridge Analytica as a person who gets pissed off easily. Tell me I'm wrong.

The next time you see some ad or piece of content that strikes fear in you, enrages you, or confirms you hatred of another, realize that you are possibly being played.

ToivoS

If Binney has already revealed NSA capabilities then surely the rest of the world knows it as well. So why doesn't the NSA provide the results of the tracking analysis? One would think the small price in perhaps revealing some secrets not yet known to the Russians would be worth it given the magnitude of the charges being made against the US president. I have to agree with Binney -- if that information has not been released it is probably because it doesn't exist.

In the early stages of this story I simply assumed it was the case that the Russians were responsible. However, the absence of any evidence to support that assumption seems very possibly because it is not true.

Sam Peralta

TTG

Jordan Greenhall's talk of decentralization vs centralization reminds me about the arguments in tech about centralized vs distributed computing. The model he describes has been used in tech innovation particularly consumer-focused for at least a decade. The idea is rapid innovation cycles where the product is not perfect. This enables rapid feedback to know quickly what succeeds and what does not. Instagram was written by couple people over 6 weeks. Now half a billion people use it. Its all about fail fast.

The open source concept is similar. Put it out there and get others to build upon it and strengthen it or not use it at all. Its like Baidu putting out the source code for its Autonomous Driving technology. Maybe it will be the Android for AVs but maybe not. The point is that no one knows a priori how successful it will be.

So analogous to this, micro-targeted information and misinformation could be pushed out but no one really knows how effective it will be. Similar to why does a particular picture go viral on Instagram or video on YouTube. Many times re-inforcement mechanisms need to be in place. Since many people now consume information from so many varied sources I don't think there is an easy mechanism to generate momentum for any desired meme or information. The other point is that due to the rapidity of information update, retention is lost.

Mathiasalexander

The purpose of the row about how the e-mails got out is as a distraction from the actual content of the e-mails.

Kutte

"These concepts are already understood in the marketing and advertising world. The Russians and select members of the Trump circle also understand this revolution."
I think Trump understands them too. I think Trump knows exactly what he is doing, he just does not tell anyone what his real aims are. The "new" concept is programming people and whispering things into their ears, so they don't realize they are being manipulated. They have to be de-programmed eventually.

ISL

TTG,

Perhaps I miss the point, but I always expect countries / societies / people to have interests and present them in the best light. What does Shawn Spencer do for a living? AIPAC? Obama during Brexit (which I think backfired)? My lawyer?

Listening to NPR always raises my blood pressure because they assume their listeners have no memory (we have always been at war with EastAsia) and only cover half the story to create an incorrect impression - even when the issue is basic physics (radioactives from Fukushima). I suppose NPR is applying reflexive control to the (liberal elite) of the US.

I find that overseas news and alternative news is far less a waste of my time as they assume the listener has a brain - our lame-stream media seems more preoccupied on some pop star's underwear choice, a missing China flight, an empty Trump podium, etc., ad nauseum.

IMO this is all a red herring. Psyops against the US are a waste of resources - the public has approximately 0% effect on all political decisions (based on a few studies). If one wants to affect US politics, Foreign Policy, etc., bribery (oops, I mean campaign contributions) is the only way to go. Corporations are people with free speech rights. Dark dollars are speech. Bundle those dollars up. AIPAC is the master others try to emulate.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/181667-explainer-can-foreign-companies-make-political-donations/

Did the Russians create our corrupt election system? Nope. When wealth gets too concentrated, its just what happens. What is the point of being a billionaire if you cant buy politicians - the most profitable investment possible. This is not something new in US history, either.

Peter AU

"I shake my head at the constant demands for proof."

Not only the people of the US, but countries aligned with the US, have all too often gone off and destroyed other countries for the boy who cried wolf.

Some months after MH17, I began cheering for the red team.
Several times between MH17 and the US presidential election, US/Russia relations, because of US official rhetoric, were at a stage where many worried that it could quickly escalate to nuclear war. From statements by Putin, and his answers to some journalists questions, this was a worry for not just bloggers/alternative media but an existential threat to the very existence of Russia. Not just their interests, but their existence
Russian leadership would have been remiss in not trying to mitigate that threat.

In reading your posts on the subject TTG, it seems Russia has acted to try and mitigate the threat. There were quite a number of leaks/hacks throughout the US election campaign. Many people in US and around the world would have good motivation to expose what was exposed throughout the campaign, but if Russia was responsible for all of it, I guess the operation would have been code named - "Look, the emperor is naked"
Fancy Bears.. Shadow Brokers... US gets Russia banned from Rio Olympics, some US athletes acting with arrogance.. exceptional people not unlike the supremacy of the Aryans and 1936 Berlin olympics. WADA medical records then available to the public. The Russian tennis player banned.. forget her name, but we get to see Serena Williams medical. Quite a cocktail of steroids she takes for various allergies.
US bragging about its cyber warfare capabilities and how no other nation comes close. CIA tools put up on the open internet to the highest bidder.
It is interesting watching spooks play their games.

But I look at 9/11 and Saudi involvement - mostly Saudi nationals as perps, Saudi financing... then much of MENA destroyed in the war on terra, Saudi still close ally.... licence for US to kill anyone anywhere...

For me, MH17... not good to see Australians sacrificed for US geo-political ambitions...worse still to see that not one oz politician makes waves about it.
US IC community holds balance of power in five eyes governments.

I see the reaction here of Americans, re NK, that possibly one city could be destroyed. As it should be. First duty of any government/intel/military should be to protect their people. (caveat - typical US reaction - use a hammer because every problem is a nail)

I look at the operation Northwoods documents and wonder how many similar documents will never be declassified because they were put into operation.

Demands for proof...

If the US government had the integrity of pl, yourself TTG, and other authors who's articles are posted at this site, US may have had the same respect Russian Federation is gaining in the world.


Lemur

Even if there is some substance to the Russian hacking charge, the fury of the establishment elite stems from outrage an external actor penetrated their sphere of propaganda. When the elites talk about 'our democracy' (aka ARE DEMOKRASI), they really do mean 'our democracy.' It's theirs. They own it. Your opinion, or more precisely, the range of possible opinions available to you, are a commodity they purchased a long time ago. And the Kremlin (if TGG is right) is trying to take their stuff (you)!

I think this raises fundamental questions about what it means to be free. Because its becoming increasingly apparent liberal democracy generates a subject incredibly susceptible to manipulation. In other words, the sort of freedom envisaged by Locke, Voltaire, and his ilk form *the very basis of subjugation to factional agendas*. The problem at root is not some Despicable Me style villain (Soros, the Koch Brothers, the Illuminati, the Jews, the banks or whatever floats your conspiratorial boat) 'subverting' democracy. The issue is a systematic flaw which has become wider and wider with the advent of mass communication. Liberal democracy may very well be an evil system precisely because it inveighs against the hierarchy and elitism necessary to secure the common good, and the reality all societies require a 'properly basic' foundation beyond question. By pretending hierarchy and foundationalism are either wrong, unreal, or both; democracy disseminates a narrative which prevents us from ever actually addressing what is necessary for a just society (ie, right order and a system of matriculation which creates the aristocratic types necessary to enforce it)

The criminally overlooked Italian philosopher in The New Science is well worth reading on this matter. He outlines how 'reflection' of the deconstrutive sort (non instrumental reason) is far more savage than the 'barbarism of sense' (our primordial response to the necessities of keeping body and soul together).

'As the popular states became corrupt, so also did philosophies. They descended to scepticism. Learned fools fell to calumniating the truth, thence alone arose a false eloquence, ready to uphold either sides of an opposed case indifferently. Thus it came about that by abuse of eloquence...they [the Romans] caused the commonwealth to fall from the perfect liberty into the perfect tyranny of anarchy or the unchecked liberty of the free peoples...since [when people become so far corrupted they] are already become naturally slaves of their unrestrained passions [this is precisely what liberal democracy promotes], of luxury, effeminacy, avarice, envy, pride, and vanity, and in pursuit of the pleasures of their dissolued life; falling back into all the vices characteristic of the most abject slaves; having become liars, thieves, tricksters, cowards, and pretenders...

But if the peoples are rotting in that ultimate civil disease, and cannot agree on a monarch from within [Trump?], or a conquered and preserved by better nations from without [Russia?], then providence for an extreme ill will have its extreme remedy at hand: for such people, as so many beasts, have fallen into the custom of each man thinking only of his own private interests, and have reached the extreme of delicacy…in which like wild animals they bristle and lash out at the slightest displeasure. Thus no matter how great the throng or press of their bodies they live like wild beasts, in a deep solitude of spirit and will, scarcely any two being able to agree since each follows his own pleasure or caprice [because there is no positive foundation beyond dispute). By reason of all this providence decrees that through obstinate factions and desperate civil wars, they shall turn their cities into forests and the forests into dens and lairs of men. In this way through long centuries of barbarism, rust will consume the misbegotten subtleties of malicious wits that have turned them into beasts, made more inhuman by the barbarism of reflection than first men had been made by the barbarism of sense. For the latter displayed a generous savagery, against which one could defend oneself, or take flight, or be on one’s guard. But the former under a base savagery under soft words and embraces, plot against the life and fortunes of friends and intimates.'

confusedponderer

TTG,
I'd like to clarify just that I am not 'late' but that I merely have been knocked out of the web by having to spend the last year by and large in hospitals after I had an accident last january. So, 'too late' I am, but, fortunately, not 'late'. I remember our co-post and still appreciate our cooperation.

That written, I am already writing stuff again to publish peu à peu, when it is done properly. That, however, takes its time, and I am being distracted by doing 'get healthier stuff' in the rehabilitation and, of course, silly reality stuff like for instance this weekend's G20 madness in Hamburg.

G20 has attracted a large number of lefty 'autonomous' folks, probably not just from Germany, who wanted to protest against, well, ... something, anything: capitalism, not sure about cannibalism, but whatever else.

They showed the sincerity of their effort to dispute and debate by dressing in nice black, masked uniforms, torching some cars and bring with them bricks, fireworks, knives and slingshots to use them - of course in protest against something, anything - i.e. at cops.

Apparently, some such 'autonomous' 'protest' jokers had comitted a series of arson and property damage at railways in the last weeks, 'to disturb G20', 'to harm capitalism', and probably to fight utter boredom too. Well, what's the point? I daresay that lords like Trump or Erdogan give not more than a piss at some german workers missing their trains and getting late to work, if they notice. They themselves have expensive cars and chauffeurs and don't use public transport.

http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/drei-wochen-vor-g20-gipfel-13-brandanschlaege-auf-deutsche-bahn-n-in-einer-nacht-staatsschutz-ermittelt_id_7256787.html

Brilliantly, the local newspaper Kölner Stadtanzeiger headlined a report on the anti G20 riots like this: 'excessive violence characterises Hamburg G20'. Ah yes, so 'excessive violence' is the problem? And that means what? That there is acceptable violence and non acceptable excessive violence? Isn't the violence the problem? And how to make a difference? Burning a car is good violence, but hurting a cop is bad violence? Good grief ... has the author actually been thinking during writing?

With stupidity like that in the news, I am actually positively surprised that Trump and Erdogan, though limited by their capability to control this, behaved more or less.

I heard a speech by Erdogan on the tv, and it surprised me with relative politeness, complete sentences, and some thinking appeared to have flowed into writing the speech. He rather behaved.

As for Trump, I was surprised by US declaring cooperation with Syria and Russia in south Syria. It'll be interesting to see if the US are practially capable to live up to that.

Then, in contrast, I saw Trump sitting through Beethofen's 9th symphony in Hamburg's opera, looking grumpy as if he'd rather be some welsewhere - perhaps on the moon, in a zoo, on a loot or in a circus. Well, he could of course have listened to Shiller's text of 'Ode to Joy':

" All creatures drink joy
At the breasts of nature,
All good, all evil
Follow her trail of roses.
Kisses she gave us, and the vine,
A friend, proven in death.
Pleasure was given to the worm,
And the cherub stands before God.

Chorus
Do you fall down, you millions?
Do you sense the creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy,
Above the stars he must live.


Joy is the name of the strong spring
In eternal nature.
Joy, joy drives the wheels
In the great clock of worlds.
She lures flowers from the buds,
Suns out of the firmament,
She rolls spheres in the spaces
That the seer's telescope does not know.

Chorus
Happy, as his suns fly
Across Heaven's splendid map,
Run, brothers, along your path
Joyfully, as a hero to victory.
"

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:Ode_to_Joy

Ah well, I am already getting distracted ...

b

TTG "And why didn’t the DNC turn their email servers over to the FBI? For one thing, remember that Hillary Clinton was under FBI investigation at the time for her own email troubles. She and the DNC saw no upside to turning over anything that the FBI could use against her in that investigation. "

For one thing, remember that the DNC emails WERE ALREADY PUBLISHED BY WIKILEAKS. They were not a downside for Clinton or the DNC to let the FBI look at the servers.

jonst

The prime area I see 'Russian (or, Russian Inspired) Reflexive Control' as a likely dynamic at work is in the 'subcontacted' spreading of the 'Russians Hacked our Democracy', and/or the "17 Intel Agencies All Agree' memes. Memes that seem to have been--simultaneously--ingested, digested, and spew back out to the American public. And the DNA, at least, resembles, the run up to the Iraq War during W's time.

Not that I put this all beyond Russia. And given their belief that Clinton was a personal and bitter enemy of Putin, and Russia, I would not put a lot beyond the pale, when it comes to Russia. Hell this kind of thing as been coming out of Moscow since Willi Munzenberg back in the 30s..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willi_M%C3%BCnzenberg

My take on all this--i.e. why Trump won, is simply the following: The American Elite and their accountants, lawyers, doctors, therapists, financial advisors, professors who teach their kids, high level bureaucrats who run their Administrative State, and a few other categories that escape me at the moment, have screwed the majority of the American Working Class in the last 40 years. Got said WC's kids in wars we either lost, or remind mired in.

Said Elite ran a candidate who is the veritable Avatar of this group ( That Donald Trump, of all people, was on the other side is simply one of those historical ironies that--inexplicably- pop up and fascinate every so often). And Americans, like, the Brits with Brexit, jumped, literally, at the chance to say "Fuck You" to said elite. Not all Americans said it. Not, perhaps, a majority of Americans, given the twists and quirks of the Electoral system, but enough to win the battlefield. And for the moment that was sufficient.

Any other excuses, Russian Hacks, Reflective Control, Marketing guys in Cambridge using 'secret sauce' batches of 'big data' are, while not made of whole cloth, there IS a lot of 'smoke' everywhere these days, are simply strenuous and strident efforts to make them believe the 'product' they put out there--the last 40 years or so-- is not as bad as it has been judged. I, for one, am here to say it is not as bad as advertised these days, it is worse.

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