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11 November 2017

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rjj

..."We are carefully primed and entrained ....."

No, we are agents and choose denial/credulity. Perfidy is too unsettling.

Annem

A "DEEP DIVE" LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS THAT HAVE DEVELOPED AND HAWKED THE RUSSIA NARRATIVE, INCLUDING THEIR ORIGINS IN THE "INFORMATION" SPHERE, CAN BE FOUND IN THIS TWO PART SERIES BY Max BLUMENTHAL as part of the Grey zone project on Alternet.

They are https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/terror-cranks-sold-america-Russia-panic and https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/terror-cranks-sold-america-Russia-panic

In short, these are no amateurs, but people who have made their careers providing this sort of disinformation.

Norbert M Salamon

your point is correct, Colonel, for discounting California vote, in the other 49 states Mr. Trump was victorious by over 1.5 million votes

confusedponderer

Joe100,
re: "Given the sloppy/poor security of SOS Clinton's email system, how likely is it that the Russian security services (and probably those of several other countries) would have accessed all of HRC's emaiIs?"

Even if the stuff was leaked or dropped by strange events or peculiar people to Wikileaks the Russians would be silly if they didn't went after it, and likely they'd be rather delighted that they didn't have to hack or steal anything or bribe someone.

It should be for grownups not come as a surprise that Russia is interested in details of US politics and US policy before a federal election.

Anyone who is surprised about that will likely fall out of the sweet heaven of his happy dreams when hearing that the US is doing that sort of listening to 'friends' and 'allies', not to mention rivals and/or enemies, generously and all the time.

Listening, hacking and stealing are things that nations do when they have serious interest, and so Russia and the US do it.

If the DNC and stupidity helps the Russians by being sloppy and poor on security, then there is no point at all in blaming Russia and it's Über-Arch-Devil Putin.

One who is sloppy and poor on security invites 'visits'. It's his own damn fault. Weaknesses and sloppery are liklely to be exploited. That written, it is generally uncommon that people who get gifts pay for them. Gifts are being taken for free.

Likely, if the Russians were as poor and sloppy as the DNC the CIA and NSA wouldn't hesitate for a second to go after the stuff they are interrested in. Likely they'd be rather delighted that they didn't have to hack or steal anything or bribe someone.

I guess you'll get my point.

The Twisted Genius

Joe100,

That all of HRC's emails could have been stolen from her accounts is quite possible. And who knows what's in those emails. It's also a near certainty almost all emails passing through or stored on the State Department unclassified system have been accessed by Russia and quite possibly China and others. The last attack on the State Department systems by Russians was in 2015 for almost a full year. They fought back hard to stay in those systems before being finally eradicated. Another incident we never heard about was the exposure of the RNC voter database. This was 1.1 terabytes of personal information on close to 200 million voters stored on totally unsecured cloud servers. We don't know if this exposure was due to some stupendous error or a deliberate plan. We don't know who accessed that wide open data.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that in a representative system of the government, in particular those that have endured long, it is impossible politically to level with the electorate. They have a very thin ear for unpleasant or unpalatable assertions by their representatives. Churchill's "blood, sweat, and tears" speech was an exception that proved this point.

Babak Makkinejad

Hope is not energy. The Energy/Information that you posit is a new name for the ancient metaphysical distinction between Extension and Thought.
Time, however, cannot be reduced to either one.

Christian Chuba

Since I would put this topic under 'Information War' the following is actually related ...
https://apnews.com/f132794ad69b42f78ca3e39727432d2f/US-Air-Force-official:-Missile-targeting-Saudis-was-Iranian

"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran manufactured the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital and remnants of it bore “Iranian markings,” the top U.S. Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday, backing the kingdom’s earlier allegations... [ Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian] “To me, that connects the dots to Iran.”"

This is one of those times where I'd give a press attendee $100, had they asked asked Lt Gen. Harrigan if U.S. investigators saw the 'Iranian markings' or if he was just repeating what the Saudis told him and he was being used to give them more credibility. Oh well, that was the press corps of 40yrs ago that would have done that.


David Habakkuk

TTG,

A problem with the concept of ‘reflexive control’ is that, historically, Russian claims have been accepted which turned out to be disinformation – but also, claims which were discounted as disinformation have turned out to be largely, or on occasion wholly, true.

The phrase ‘reflexive control’ was not used in the ‘Thirties, but this was very much what the supporters of ‘appeasement’ believed the Soviets were exercising over those who thought that the most serious threat came from Nazi Germany, and the notion that one could have an effective strategy of ‘containment’ without including the Soviet Union was naive.

One of the leading ‘useful idiots’ who put forward the view the ‘appeasers’ regarded with contempt was the ‘Chicago Daily News’ Berlin Correspondent, Edgar Ansel Mowrer, whose polemic ‘Germany Puts the Clock Back’ had immense influence in Britain. Another significant ‘useful idiot’ was the economic historian Michael Postan, an anti-communist Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, who was an important mentor to my father when he was a young research fellow at Cambridge. Both Mowrer and Postan were strongly anti-communist, as was my father.

Let me explain how the ‘reflexive control’ was supposed to to work. The strategy imputed to Stalin was to use empty promises of Soviet assistance to inveigle ‘useful idiots’ like Mowrer, Postan, and my father into putting irresistible pressure on prudent statesmen like Chamberlain into confronting German ‘revisionist’ claims over Czechoslovakia.

The actual Soviet purpose, according to a widespread view – endorsed in particular by MI6, who claimed to have ‘covert intelligence’ to support it (shades of Christopher Steele) – was not to cope with a common threat (shades of Putin’s claims about jihadism being a threat alike to Russia and the West.)

Rather, it was to conjure patently bogus claims that Germany wanted to do more than bring ethnic Germans into the ‘Reich’ to inveigle the Western powers into a war with Germany, in which the Soviets could exploit their lack of a direct land border with Czechoslovakia to play ‘tertius gaudens’, and be left with easy opportunities to spread communism and Russian power.

It often amazes me that people do not see how like Hillary Clinton is to Neville Chamberlain.

Just as the predictable result of the policies of the Clintons has been to push Russia into the arms of China, so the predictable result of Chamberlain’s was to push her into the arms of Germany. At this point Postan, who was running Russian affairs in the Ministry of Economic Warfare, attempted to explain to people that Stalin’s policy was dominated by fear of Germany, that although this meant that he was ‘appeasing’ Hitler for the present, future cooperation might be possible and one should do nothing to prejudice the possibility.

And he was one of the very few people, before the ‘Ultra’ intelligence made this plain, very late in the day, accurately assessed that the plans for ‘Operation Barbarossa’ were not simply an exercise in ‘coercive diplomacy’, but the prelude to an attack. (Yes, the likes of Christopher Steele really were clueless then, and our clueless now.)

As it happened, his warnings had little impact. With regard to what almost happened because this ‘useful idiot’ was not heeded, I would recommend a report from November 2015 in the ‘National Interest’ by Michael Peck, entitled ‘Operation Pike: How a Crazy Plan to Bomb Russia Almost Lost World War II.’

(See http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/operation-pike-how-crazy-plan-bomb-russia-almost-lost-world-14402?page=show .)

As to my own career as a ‘useful idiot’ – ironically, I found some crucial background appeared not long ago on the net.

At the time when the first indications of what became the ‘new thinking’ appeared in the Soviet Union, I took no notice. As is now clear, its origins lay in a nexus in which the research institutes associated with the Academy of Sciences were crucial, but also included elements of the security services, some journalists, and people in the General Staff. Some key figures had been part of the circle around Andropov, when he headed the KGB.

These ideas first appeared in British arguments when a young academic called Stephen Shenfield was detailed to act as guide, interpreter and assistant to the journalist Fyodor Burlatsky, who had been close to Andropov, when he visited Birmingham University in 1982 or 1983. A result of this was that, from early 1984, Shenfield and associates began publishing materials from Colonel Viktor Girshfield, then working at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, which were expressing interest in Western-style concepts of ‘sufficient defence.’

Of course, it was widely assumed in the West that this was an exercise in ‘reflexive control.’

(For the Girshfeld articles, see http://stephenshenfield.net/archives/research-jrl/92-special-issue-no-26-november-2004-the-girshfeld-file .)

At that time, I was a very conventional kind of British ‘Cold War liberal.’ I simply ignored Shenfield’s work, largely because he was involved with CND, and I distrusted them for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that they were, in general, socialists – if not indeed, Marxists.

At that time, a fourth television channel, which did not produce its own programmes but commissioned them from outside, had just been set up. Quite a few of us left the securities of established companies, and set up as independents. In 1986, a colleague and I got a commission to make a 90-minute special on security. Accepting the conventional wisdom that generational change in the Soviet Union was unlikely to produce any kind of radical change in security posture, we focused on the transatlantic relationship.

Among our studio participants was Richard Perle, on a satellite link from Washington, and among those presenting filmed items for discussion was Lawrence Freedman. Later, the former would be a leading architect of the Iraq invasion, and the latter play a non-trivial role in facilitating it.

The reputation of Freedman had been made with a study of ‘The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy’, first published in 1981. In the course of researching our programme, however, I came across an article published in 1985 entitled ‘Deterrence: The Problem – Not the Solution.’ I doubt I would have bothered to read it, had I not seen that its author, Michael MccGwire, was a former head of the Soviet naval section of our Defence Intelligence Staff.

When I mentioned his name to Freedman, the response was dismissive: something along the lines of ‘retired spooks go the other way.’ As this happened, this turned out to be nonsense.

The conviction shared by MccGwire and his then Brookings Institution colleague Ambassador Raymond Garthoff that a great deal of what the Soviets about their military strategy was not ‘reflexive control’ went back to the work both men had done in the ‘Fifties. This had, among other things, led to the realisation that early Cold War estimates of Soviet capabilities were grossly inflated, and Soviet intentions misconstrued.

It was thirty years ago this month that, having been totally tied up with other matters through the tumultuous events following the Reykjavik summit in October 1986, I looked at what MccGwire and Garthoff were writing about recent developments. On the basis of their earlier analyses, both men were explaining that the conventional wisdom according to which the ‘new thinking’ was an exercise in ‘reflexive control’ was likely to be completely wrong.

At that point, I started looking again at the very detailed accounts Shenfield and his colleagues were providing of what those most involved in the ‘new thinking’ – prominent among them General-Mayor Valentin Larionov and Andrei Kokoshin – were writing, and putting in proposals saying that perhaps we should be going to interview these people.

By that time, however, we were already moving towards a world where even when MI6 and the Foreign Office were patently even more delusional than they had been in the ‘Thirties, the MSM were simply unprepared to take the risks involved in suggesting that the ‘new thinking’ might ber more than an exercise in ‘reflexive control.’ It was only after months of hard – and unpaid – work that I was able to find some interest in a programme called ‘Analysis’ on BBC Radio, and we went on two make two documentaries in February 1989.

I was vividly reminded of those days when, in January last year, the ‘National Security Archive’ published a series of documents entitled ‘The Last Superpower Summits.’ As was vividly apparent at the time, the foreign affairs and intelligence bureaucracies in the United States and Britain were completely clueless about the changes going on in the Soviet Union.

(https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB578-The-Last-Superpower-Summits/ .)

The sadder part of the story is to see an argument that I later realised was going on beneath the surface resolved. At the time I was too ignorant to grasp what was at issue when Larionov talked about a Soviet strategist of the ‘Twenties, Aleksandr Svechin, who he said had been ‘repressed’ under Stalin.

I had a slightly better grasp of what was at issue when he talked about Brzezinski’s 1986 study ‘Game Plan’, and remarked ‘Brzezinski – “nash drug” (our friend) – a Pole.’ What I however did not know was that Larionov was in a rather good position to to know that Brzezinski was talking nonsense, as he had compiled and co-authored the book around which the whole argument about Soviet nuclear strategy revolved – the original 1962 edition of the study ‘Military Strategy’ published under the name of Marshal Sokolovskiy.

But that what I was seeing, I now think, were traces on the surface of an argument going on in the background. On the one hand, there was a ‘narrative’ in which a fundamentally friendly West had been gratuitously alienated, by the Russian embrace of Marxism-Leninism, Stalin’s determination to impose Soviet control over Eastern Europe, the offensive thrust of Soviet contingency planning for war, etc etc.

But then, there was the other view. In this, the sources of Western hostility go far deeper. The kind of fundamental Russophobia which had made Britain almost commit suicide with ‘Operation Pike’ had started a long time before Russia went communist, and would not end if it ceased to be communist. Meanwhile, American policy was also decisively influenced from erstwhile victims of Russian oppression, who would be looking for the opportunity to get their revenge.

Accumulating evidence has made the optimistic ‘narrative’ untenable.

turcopolier

David Habbakuk

Do I understand correctly that you are saying that both the level of malevolent cleverness and the capabilities of the USSR/Russia have been exaggerated all through the Cold War and into the present and have been twisted into the image we have of these through the influence of exiles from Eastern Europe and that Soviet/Russian initiatives have often been what they seemed to be rather than part of the complex world of Karla the superbolshevik? In my own numerous contacts with USSR diplomats and intelligence people in the ME they often seemed to be either patriotic Russians doing their best or faux Marxist-Leninist poseurs hoping for advancement by sucking up to the Party. pl

Gen Dau

Yes indeed. The same problem arose with the Democratic primary in California.

rjj

Russia has been Moriarty-ed??? We need our Moriartys.

WTF is reflexive control??? [peeve. peeve. peeve.] Can't make semantic sense of it. Who coined it? Feels like one of those sparkly, baubly, meretricious bits of jargon that people like throw around. Sounds [seems] a lot like the [subjunctive?] principle underlying such human activities as herding/droving, hunting/trapping/fishing, husband snaring in free marriage-market cultures, computer coding, etc.


kao_hsien_chih

DH,

It is an interesting and insightful analogue lost on those seeking moral declarations that Hillary Clinton was/is strategically analogous to Neville Chamberlain. Thank you for bringing it up. It also illustrates how narrow-minded and bankrupt imagination among the Western elites are that they are blind to such insights.

Ishmael Zechariah

John Merryman,

I am not a big fan of using STEM concepts such as thermodynamics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, etc. for explaining "social science" constructs, economics issues or "information science". As nicely illustrated by the Sokal affair, most in "social sciences" who bandy such terms around do not know whereof they speak. Further, not everyone, especially physicists, accept the equivalence of thermodynamic entropy with information entropy. Links and discussions can be found w any rudimentary search.

You might also note that "time" is not a true variable in thermodynamic formulations. The origins of the "time-asymmetry" in the 2nd law are still subject to debate.

IMO Kipling's "God of Copybook Headings" (http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm ) is of far more value in shining light on this issue than thermodynamics writ small or large.

Ishmael Zechariah

Ishmael Zechariah

Bill H,
Thanks for bringing this up. Yes, I did know that. Always wondered what the top brass thought to themselves when they saw this motto day in, day out. In 2012 there was a contest (unofficial) to replace it (http://theweek.com/articles/470328/weekcontest--cia-mottos ). Perhaps the Pilgrims of SST can also come up w/ more current suggestions.

Ishmael Zechariah

Croesus

Relentless reference to Goebbels, as if he invented propaganda, and perpetuation of disinformation about Nazi Germany, suggests that not even this informed audience has fully incorporated the belief the "Truth DOES MATTER DAMN IT!"

Nazis were relatively poor propagandists -- the German penchant for rigid rationality and Goebbel's compulsion for aesthetic perfection constrained their capacity to handle the truth recklessly.

The British, on the other hand, were masters of the art -- Thomas Mahl explored the ways that British used propaganda, character assassination, subversion, lies -- which were placed in the hands and mouth of FDR -- and downright criminality to demonize Germans in order to "educate" Americans to the need to wage war in Europe. Thomas Mahl researched this phenomenon in "Desperate Deception"
http://www.unz.com/article/the-conquest-of-the-united-states-by-britain/
and
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-alexander-cockburn-and-the-british-spies/

According to Benjamin Ginsberg in "How the Jews Defeated Hitler," Jews in USA and abroad were a very close second -- if not superior to British propagandists -- in demonizing Germany and hyperbolizing a "threat" to USA from Germany, thru control of newspapers -- i.e. New York Times was under Jewish sway, and when a Chicago newspaper was harshly critical of FDR war aims, his administration caused a countervailing newspaper to be created in Chicago; radio -- Edward R Morrow & his sidekick, William Shirer, were in the Jewish zionist camp, according to Ginsberg; same goes for Hollywood movie studios, which were headed exclusively by Jews. Moreover, writes Ginsberg, Jews occupied key positions in FDR's administration -- Henry Morgenthau, Jr was Sec'ty of Treasury but did not limit himself to that role: the State Department was insufficiently sympathetic to the pro-Communist, pro-war agenda of Brandeis, Frankfurter & Morgenthau , so FDR worked around State and delegated Morgenthau to negotiate with Moscow/Litvinov. etc. etc.

As for "book burning" -- if that's understood as a form of censorship, of constraining what the populace may read, learn, think, then consider how fiercely censored are US universities, on down to US public schools when the topic is WWII/Holocaust: When a school district in San Rialto, CA instructed middle school students to critically analyze the Holocaust narrative, a firestorm engulfed the district and it was forced to rescind the assignment, apologize, and conduct countervailing educational exercises. US public school students are forced to read/study one and only one narrative of Holocaust and are not permitted to challenge it or assess it critically.

Prof. Stanley Fish, ret. dean of Liberal Arts at a university in Illinois, was on a panel on Free Speech hosted by the US National Constitution Center (Jeffrey Rosen, Director & panel moderator). Fish stated that Free Speech does not extend to the academy; the Academy is run on different rules, where the power of tenured professors and deans are determinative. Fish said that any professor who advocated a narrative of Holocaust that was contrary to the ordained position would NOT have his research funded or published, would NOT keep his job, would NOT gain tenure. https://www.c-span.org/video/?318476-1/free-speech-us

In a later appearance at the National Constitution Center, Rosen declared his profound admiration for Louis Brandeis, "who did more than anyone else to bring about a homeland for Jews in Palestine."
https://www.c-span.org/video/?412902-7/jeffrey-rosen-national-constitution-center
Rosen might have added that on about Feb. 14, 1933, Brandeis effectively declared war on Germany; according to Rabbi Stephen Wise's autobiography, The Challenging Years, at that time, Brandeis instructed him that "All Jews must leave Germany; no Jew should remain in Germany . . . let them be like Spain . . ." This is noteworthy because, whatever one may believe about a holocaust of Jews, such was NOT occurring in Germany in February, 1933, but in that time period, Jews in Poland and Rumania were under severe threat, and Bolshevik Communists had killed and were still killing Russians by the hundreds of thousands. Why didn't Brandeis act to save Polish and Rumanian Jews, but instead poisoned the atmosphere between a new Roosevelt administration and the new German government?

Lindbergh, Herbert Hoover, and many others made a similar argument: Germany did not pose a threat to USA; Bolshevik Communism did -- Woodrow Wilson had deployed US forces to Siberia in an attempt to wipe out Bolshevism. As we are aware, Lindbergh's efficacy was eroded by character assassination -- see above. Several senators and congressmen also opposed FDR's war aims, including James McReynolds, Supreme Court colleague of Louis Brandeis who was crudely outspoken in his opposition to Brandeis's political and judicial positions: McReynolds produced soundly-argued opinions critical of what McR thought were erosions to Constitutional guarantees (see Executive Disorder: The Subversion of the Supreme Court, 1914 - 1940 https://www.amazon.com/Executive-Disorder-Subversion-Supreme-1914-1940/dp/1453652647/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1510520758&sr=8-2&keywords=ann+mcreynolds+bush )

Today, C-Span will air an interview of Rabbi David Dalin and his book about the Jewish judges on the Supreme Court. C-Span has played a PSA of the interview at every interval in its radio broadcast of the Sunday talk shows. The clip focuses on the "anti-Semitism of James McReynolds." The program will not air until later this evening, but it's a safe bet that no mention will be made of Brandeis's major role in generating anti-German propaganda and thereby enflaming a war that, as Buchanan has argued, was not necessary, with the goal of provoking migration of wealthy Jews to a "homeland in Palestine."

That's effective book burning.

If "Truth DOES MATTER, DAMN IT," then it's got to be the WHOLE truth, and we are going to have to summon the courage to critically analyze the mother of all narratives.

turcopolier

croesus

Why do I have two Artemesias on SST. Are you both? pl

John Merryman

Babak,

It was a very broad analogy. Consider though, an opposite comparison, to give it some context. If we had no emotional, physical and economic energy(money), would we be depressed? Or some close effect?

There are lots of binaries/polarities/dichotomies, etc. Complexity Theory built a field of study out of the relationship between Order and Chaos, with Complexity as the intermediate state. This is somewhat similar to the point I made about time, with the past as order and the future as probability. In fact, the Christian Trinity arose from the ancient Greek year gods and was essentially an analogy for rejuvenation(father-son-?) obviously the Catholic Church, as the eternal church, did its best to obscure this, but that ultimately led to Protestantism.

The problem with monotheism, in the first place, is that a spiritual absolute would necessarily be the essence of sentience, from which consciousness rises, not an ideal of wisdom from which it fell. More the new born baby, than the wise old man, but since religion is social order, you can't exactly build a religion around the feelings of the child.

turcopolier

IZ

L'etat, c'est nous. pl

John Merryman

Just putting some thoughts up for consideration. Obviously it doesn't go over well with physicists to say time has more in common with temperature, than space.
We could correlate temperature and volume, using ideal gas laws, like Relativity uses the speed of light to correlate distance and duration, but we are more objective about temperature, than time, since it isn't foundational to the thought process.
If we consider time as a measure of action, then logically the action is fundamental, not the measure. So each action is its own clock. Then clocks can run at different rates and remain in the same present because they are separate actions. Infact, a faster rate will use energy quicker, i.e. burn faster. Much as an animal with a higher metabolic rate will age quicker.
As a measure of action, time is asymmetric because action is inertial. The earth turns one direction, not the other. It is only when the measure is assumed to be fundamental that it is assumed to be symmetric. Duration, like distance, would be the same, measured either way.
Consider the 1st law of thermodynamics; How can energy be conserved if all events exist along this fourth dimension? Isn't it the fact of the energy being transferred from prior to succeeding events what makes the whole process work?
The simultaneity of the present is dismissed by arguing that since different events can be viewed in different order from different positions. Yet this is no more remarkable than seeing the moon as it was a moment ago, simultaneous with seeing stars as they were years ago. It is the energy that is conserved, not the information it is carrying. Only the light entering your eye is simultaneous.
Now that would get me knocked off quite a few physics forums, but then they can't get past string theory.

turcopolier

All

Who are the puppet masters and what is the mechanism? pl

Babak Makkinejad

Last week a professor was fired from his university position in Iran since he publicly had questioned the efficacy of Hejab in preventing socio-secual ills and crimes in his classroom; construed as an assaulton Islam by thin-skinned Iranians. Shoah is thr same thing, part of the Western Religion and thus cannot be questioned...exactly the same way

VietnamVet

Yes. Donald Trump was elected because the establishment’s narrative is no longer working. Enough Barrack Obama voters voted for Donald Trump to win the Rust Belt. If you see this then the Clapper, Brenner, DNC narrative that “Russia did it” falls apart. Alternative news or social media ads work if they tell the truth.

There are so many black swans flapping around in the economy and around the world that at some point the truth has to be told or things will fall apart. The cracks in the West due to incompetence and corruption are visible and spreading.

Croesus

Artemesia is a fairly common garden perennial, but --
do both have the same numerals appended? different domains (gmail vs yahoo)?
If so, apologies; no intention to double-dip.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I know you hate economic determinism. But, the establishment is the top 10%; the credentialed. The West is run by oligarchs. The sovereign state has been bought out. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos have more wealth than half of America. The Meritocracy “gets along” to progress up through the revolving doors. I have no idea if John Brennan or James Clapper believe Russia did it. You may know. But, life is easier, at the moment, if you internalize your superior’s beliefs and take the money. No matter how divorced they are from reality and even if everything possibly could blow up around you.

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