Saturday, December 17, 2016
John Glenn must surely have wondered, as all the astronauts weathered into geezers, how a great nation grew so impoverished in spirit.
Our heroes are old and stooped and wizened, but they are the only giants we have. Today, when we talk about Americans boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies’ bathroom. Progress.
If Republicans want to force through massive tax cuts, we will fight them tooth and nail.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
Well, if it’s not one thing it’s another.
First, I couldn’t hear. I got COSTCO to look at my hearing aids, but they didn’t do much, and I still couldn’t hear. Next I got my son Phillip, who has just retired from the Navy and who’s visiting for the week, to take me out to Kaiser urgent care, where a nurse spent half an hour flushing wax out of my ears. The left ear was so blocked that I heard nothing at all in it, and the right wasn’t a lot better. Now the left hears with the hearing aid about as well as it ever did, so the wax buildup was definitely responsible; but the right, normally my good ear, hears more without the hearing aid than with it. That’s good news, since I hear things about as well as I did before the hearing aids, and getting them was great; so if they can’t fix this one, I’ll buy new ones.
I expect they’re out of warranty, but they have lasted over three years, so the annual cost is $600 a year, and believe me, hearing is worth that. So Monday I’ll get Mike Galloway to drive me out to COSTCO and see what they can do; and I’ll pay a lot more heed to wax buildups in future.
Today Eugene, my main machine, had a small and unannounced upgrade of the operating system. It was unexpected; I thought Firefox was acting very slow, and decided to restart, which seemed to go well although it did take longer than I expected. When it came up there was some kind of very brief announcement in the lower right hand corner of the screen to the effect that we just had an upgrade. The screen lock display was what I expected to see. I hit RETURN and the screen went black, but there was the little window demanding the password. I gave it and there was what we used to call the tray, now called the taskbar, and the desktop icons, but the screen was black; no picture. Just a black screen with icons on it. No wallpaper.
I punched in ‘wallpaper’ and was told to go to ‘change the picture on your lock screen’, which of course did nothing. The main screen was still black. Eventually I figured it out. Microsoft no longer recognizes ‘wallpaper’; it’s now the ‘background screen’. If you ask for that you get the right place in the settings. Mine was set to ‘black’. Now I have never set my wallpaper or background screen to black, so the minor upgrade must have done it for me. And there are no more ‘apply’ and ’ok’ buttons on that settings screen; you close it with the x in the upper right hand corner and apparently it knows to apply changes you made in the settings. That did it. An hour wasted, with an upgrade I hadn’t asked for making settings changes I didn’t want.
At which point I still couldn’t just sit down and work. We have a couple, Ryan and Kelly, who have moved in upstairs and take care of Roberta who isn’t recovering from her stroke as fast as I managed to; and of course I am still mostly in a walker, so while she could manage without 24 hour a day help taking care of me, I can’t do that for her. But they need some time off, so we have a health care agency send out a helper for the weekend to give them a break; only today the agency girl’s sister was in a car accident, and Alex had to drive her to the hospital and arrange to get someone else while Phillip and I looked after Roberta. All’s well, but if it’s not one thing it’s another…
So that got settled and now I could work; but I looked away from the screen and when I looked back Eugene had shut down and there was this blue screen telling me not to turn my computer off, it was updating, 18% done… All in all, another half hour or so. I never told it to restart, it just did. Eventfully it was done, and I typed in the password and up came “Hi” and the rest of that, and a couple of minutes later I could use Eugene. Both the lock screen and the background screen were what I expected to see, and all was well, but by then it was near dinnertime, and the new Agency girl was here.
So now it’s after dinner, Eugene works well, I have a new build, my settings were not changed, and all’s well. Oh. Sometime in the last month the spell checker started offering me words with definitions as alternatives to what Word thinks are misspelled words, as opposed to a simple list of words it thinks I might have meant. I never asked for that and don’t want it, but I wasn’t told it was coming and of course I don’t know how to turn it off and go back to the old ways. One more thing to use up my time; Microsoft wants to slow productivity.
And the ‘low battery’ alarm just went off in one of my hearing aids. If it’s not one thing it’s another…
The furor over the Russian hacks continues, and President Obama says he holds Mr. Putin responsible because at least one member of the intelligence community says it must have been Putin’s responsibility. I don’t recall Mr. Clapper saying that, and Clapper is by law the only one authorized to speak for the ‘intelligence community’, but I suppose the President is above that law. Mr. Obama says he will retaliate ate a time and place of his choosing. President Eisenhower used to say that during the Cold War, but he meant it, and has SAC to carry it out; not sure the United States has escalation dominance at all levels any more.
Eisenhower meant nuclear war if the Red Army crossed into West Germany. He did not intervene in the Russian suppression of Hungary. We left that land to its cruel masters, as we left the Czechs. And the Hungarians acted like Poles, the Poles acted like Czechs, and the Czechs acted like swine in 1956, while the US suppressed the Anglo-French-Israeli operation to seize the Suez Canal; peace was bought with bitter fruit in those days.
I don’t know what Mr. Obama has I mind, but he does not have long to do it.
I met Gary Kasparov in Moscow in 1989, and we had dinner twice. He was very young then, younger than I thought he was, but I was impressed with the breadth and depth of his understanding. He has an article in today’s Wall Street Journal:
The U.S.S.R. Fell—and the World Fell Asleep
Twenty-five years after the Soviet Union ceased to exist, plenty of repressive regimes live on. Today, the free world no longer cares.
A quarter-century ago, on Dec. 25, 1991, as the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigned after a final attempt to keep the Communist state alive, I was so optimistic for the future. That year and the years leading up to that moment were a period when anything felt possible. The ideals of freedom and democracy seemed within the reach of the people of the Soviet Union.
I remember the December evening in 1988 when I was having dinner with friends and my mother in Paris. My family and I still lived in Baku, capital of the then-Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, where I was raised, but I had become accustomed to unusual freedoms since becoming the world chess champion in 1985. I was no longer accompanied by KGB minders everywhere I went, although my whereabouts were always tracked. Foreign travel still required special approval, which served to remind every Soviet citizen that this privilege could be withdrawn at any time.
My status protected me from many of the privations of life in the Soviet Union, but it did not tint my vision rose. Instead, my visits to Western Europe confirmed my suspicions that it was in the U.S.S.R. where life was distorted, as in a funhouse mirror.
That night in Paris was a special one, and we were joined by the Czech-American director Miloš Forman via a mutual friend, the Czech-American grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek. We were discussing politics, of course, and I was being optimistic as usual. I was sure that the Soviet Union would be forced to liberalize socially and economically to survive.
Mr. Forman played the elder voice of reason to my youthful exuberance. I was only 25, while he had lived through what he saw as a comparable moment in history. He cautioned that he had seen similar signs of a thaw after reformer Alexander Dubček had become president in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Eight months after Dubček’s election, his reforms ended abruptly as the U.S.S.R. sent half a million Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia and occupied the country. Many prominent Czechs, like Messrs. Forman and Kavalek, fled abroad.
“Gorbachev’s perestroika is another fake,” Mr. Forman warned us about the Soviet leader’s loosening of state controls, “and it will end up getting more hopeful people killed.” I insisted that Mr. Gorbachev would not be able to control the forces he was unleashing. Mr. Forman pressed me for specifics: “But how will it end, Garry?”
I replied—specifics not being my strong suit—that “one day, Miloš, you will wake up, open your window, and they’ll be gone.”[snip]
In Moscow I saw no handlers or people following us, but Garry made it clear that there probably were some. We talked of the coming changes in the USSR, and in those times all hoped for Mr. Gorbachev’s reforms; none of us knew that the Soviet Union itself would be gone on the third Christmas yet.
I lost track of Garry during the years after the collapse of the USSR, as did a lot of Cold Warriors. Liberals and NeoCons saw farther into the future, or thought they did. It would be the end of history, the final triumph of liberal democracy, and it would happen soon.
A year after that 1988 dinner in Paris, Miloš Forman called me from Prague. He said, “Garry, you were right. I opened the window one morning and they were gone.”
Within two years, the U.S.S.R. would also vanish beneath my feet. Yet 25 years later, the thugs and despots are flourishing once again. They still reject liberal democracy and the free market—not because of a competing ideology like communism, but because they understand that those things are a threat to their power.
The internet was going to connect every living soul and shine a light into the dark corners of the world. Instead, the light has reflected back to illuminate the hypocrisy and apathy of the most powerful nations in the world. Crimea is annexed, Ukraine is invaded, ISIS is rallying, Aleppo is laid waste, and not a one of us can say that we did not know. We can say only that we did not care.
Globalization has made it easy for the enemies of the free world to spread their influence in ways the Soviet leadership couldn’t have imagined, while the West has lost the will to defend itself and its values. It’s enough to make you afraid to open the window.
The Cold War ended, and we had won. I like to think we Cold Warriors did our part. But Garry thinks the West no longer cares.
I do not see how this weakened United States, this weakened NATO, this Western Civilization that has lost its nerve, its resolve, and its self confidence can do more. But I can still hear Garry, speaking slowly but in a strong voice, in that Moscow restaurant in 1989, still in the USSR.. He is still worth listening to.
But first we must rebuild the West, and to do that we need to make America strong again. Without American strength, little is possible.
P.M. Lawrence seeks to make my arguments for free trade “circular” by smuggling in and attributing a premise to me that I did not assume or state, and will not concede: namely, that redistributionism and federal government interference in the economy are or can ever be moral, or that they are at least a necessary evil.
It is true, unfortunately, that tariffs have been part of the American landscape since colonial times, and were authorized by the Constitution, a holdover from the misguided mercantilist period, and that this compromised free trade in this country from the beginning. But the early American economy, much like the modern economy, was soon creating, exporting, and importing new products faster than the government could interfere with their commerce, and but for that we would never have attained the preeminence that we did by the mid-twentieth century. Rather than turning to government to protect obsolescent and no longer viable industries, while provoking economically devastating retaliation, and ultimately war, it would have been far better to remedy this flaw in the Constitution by passing an amendment getting the government out of the business of protectionism altogether – a business that has nothing to do with promoting industry or the economic well-being of the people at large, and everything to do with the influence peddling rackets that are the principal business of the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, and that serve only to promote the well-heeled special interests that can afford the necessary bribes.
I unequivocally reject the presumption that it is either moral or necessary to use government coercion to force anyone to contribute to the welfare of others whom they don’t even know, and may not wish to help even if they knew them. And it is certainly illegal (because unconstitutional) to do this at the federal level. We had none of this welfare claptrap in this country before FDR’s “New Deal”, which he pushed through with demagoguery as a necessary antidote to the supposed failure of capitalism, when the 1920s stock market bubble (much like the many financial bubbles of our era) was caused by the federal government itself, specifically by the Federal Reserve (established in 1913) exceeding its legal mandate as a last resort liquidity provider by providing unconstitutional credits to foreigners to promote domestic industry that needed no promotion beyond its own excellence, which counterfeit money flowed instead into the US stock market, causing the bubble (the exact same game is being played today, and it will have the same outcome by and by). We were then set up for an indefinite depression by another branch of government: the passage in 1930 of the highly protectionism Smoot-Hawley tariffs, which predictably, led to further economic misery for the average American, and ultimately to war.
How any of this can be considered moral, or even justified by the most liberal interpretation of the general welfare clause, I fail to see.
During the first 150 years of the US, when it rose from Third World status to parity in the early 20th century with the most prosperous nations of the world, there was no welfare crisis and no jobs crisis, except in the “reconstructed” South – and that too was an economic disaster caused by an overweening federal government. Not only did no one starve, not only was their work for anyone who wanted it, but the US was able to welcome and accommodate an enormous population of immigrants, and even benefit from those immigrants, all without government welfare programs.
Americans have always been the most generous people, and even today, in an economy crushed by taxation and regulation, there are plenty of private charities and initiatives to help those in need. And without government appropriating and mostly wasting more than half of all our incomes through taxation at various levels, and inflation that has been averaging better than 5%/year for the last 20 years regardless of what the heavily doctored CPI index says, we would be able to be far more generous, not only with our money, but with our time. As it is, since the 1970s, when taxation and inflation became so onerous that wives as well as husbands had to go to work to make ends meet, we have seen a massive rise in social pathology, especially in disadvantaged black communities whose economic circumstances had been improving faster than those of whites during the 1940s and 1950s before Johnson’s disastrous “Great Society” programs began preempted private self-help efforts.
The social welfare externalities that P.M. Lawrence thinks I’m not taking into consideration are the direct consequence of the costs of government redistributionism – high taxes, inflation, regulation, and yes, protectionism. The abolition of all forms of protectionism, and an open invitation to “dumping” would be one of the best things that could be done for those Americans who are struggling the most to make ends meet – stretching their Wal-Mart dollars further – and, if accompanied by less regulation and lowered taxes on small businesses and startups, ultimately by opening up higher paying jobs to many of them in the many kinds of new personal service businesses that are crying to be created.
John B. Robb
I am sure Dr. Friedman would agree with most of what you say. Still, will there not be many who simply cannot contribute? A true proletariat: a class that contributes only its prodigy?
Russia’s role in political hacks: What’s the debate?
The US is wrestling with what we really know about hacks during the presidential campaigns. Here’s why it’s so hard to pin down — and why it matters.
Never mind voters. In the 2016 US presidential election, the biggest force for change may have been hackers.
At least, that’s the way things are shaping up as we learn more details about the hacks, which focused on publicly releasing emails and other strategy documents reportedly written by key Democrats and party officials, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Everyone, from the US’s leading spy agencies and politicians to the public at large, is caught up in disagreement about who the hackers are and what they wanted to accomplish.
The past two weeks have brought five separate calls from Congress for investigations to learn how much the hacks really influenced the elections. Add to that public comments this week by the White House, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of State on who knew Russia was involved and when. What’s more, stories from the New York Times and Washington Post hint at disagreements between the CIA and the FBI over why Russia conducted the hacks.
To round it all off, one notable public figure is arguing we don’t know for sure that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, were behind the hacks: President-elect Donald Trump. He maintains that opinion, even though the US intelligence community and the forensic experts who first examined the hacked systems are highly confident Russia is the bad guy here. NBC News reported Wednesday that US intelligence officials believe “with a high level of confidence” that Putin was personally involved in the effort to interfere in the election.
President Barack Obama has little doubt the Russians were behind the hacks. And in an interview with NPR published Friday, he said that the US would respond.
“When any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama said. “And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”
The Russian government, in turn, has called the US accusations groundless. “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last,” said a spokesman for Putin, according to CNN, citing Russian state news agency Tass.
The debate has now shifted from what happened to why, with questions over how much a foreign power might have influenced this year’s divisive and controversial presidential election. The thing is, we never learn all the details.
“There’s no sign in a computer saying, ‘Haha, we’re the Russians — we did it!'” said Sumit Argawal, a former senior adviser for cyber innovation in the US Department of Defense. Argawal now serves as vice president of product at cybersecurity company Shape Security. “There has to be an interpretation and a judgment rendered by experts.”
But, as I understand it, there are “signs” indicating that the Russians were there. The question becomes, why? Surely the Russians do not have to leave signs; yet someone did. If the Russians, why? Why would they want us to know they had hacked into DNC computers, or Hillary’s basement server? And if they did not want us to know, was that sheer incompetence on their part? Hard to believe. It is easier to believe in false flags than blind international incompetence.
Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I think you may be dismissing Russian hacking too quickly. Set the U.S. election aside: one of my news sources is the (London) Times, which I read partly because as far as I can tell it’s outside any of our U.S. echo chambers. For some months now I’ve been reading news from the U.K. about Russian attempts to undermine confidence in Western representative governments. Apart from hacking, Russian “news” outlets in the U.K. frequently float fake news casting doubt on things like British elections, trusting that some of it will be picked up under the “people are saying” category and enter the legitimate news stream.
This has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. It has to do with whether Western citizens have any confidence in their own system, and whether other world cultures see Western representative government as worth emulating.
I’m also reading, in the Times, reports that Germany is concerned about Russian attempts to mess with German elections. This is not just about us; we are not necessarily the center of the universe. It is about a government which prefers autocracy, and would like to restore the Russian empire; and which sees us as an impediment.
In this context, I take reports of Russian hacking rather seriously. Obviously, since anything like this is clandestine, it’s going to be hard to document conclusively. But I’m quite confident that governments which *can* engage in internet subversion probably *will*; remember the episode of the Iranian centrifuges. As you know, Putin has a rather long history, rooted in the KGB. I see no reason to believe his protestations of innocence.
And quite apart from Putin: in the long run, the interests of the Russian state are not ours, and some of this is zero-sum. Yes, I know it’s in the interests of the Democratic Party to find excuses for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. (Personally, I suspect the Democrats’ abandonment of the labor movement is the biggest factor.) But that’s not particularly relevant. It would, I believe, be a dangerous error to see the reports of hacking through a partisan lens. I suspect we are under attack. And it would be unwise to close our eyes.
After Reading the Mail
After reading the mail, I found one article interesting and a few lines — if true — make it possible for us to put this Russian hacking inquest to rest:
An ODNI spokesman declined to comment on the issue.
“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” said one of the three U.S. officials. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis – a deductive assessment of the available intelligence – for the same reason, the three officials said.
ODNI failed to comment, but some other official has an opinion. So let’s ignore that opinion and move on to the FBI saying that it won’t accept the case because it won’t stand up in court. Well, that being the case, it probably isn’t any good to use domestically is it? It’s not as if CIA is operating overseas where American legal standards are not necessarily employed. Basically, CIA’s assessment does not meet American legal standards according to FBI and now ODNI. ODNI stood behind other intelligence assessments but will not comment on this one beyond saying they cannot agree with CIA. That’s about as much distance as you’re going to see between ODNI and CIA, publicly, under most conditions.
And the basis of CIA’s belief that Russia hacked the DNC and RNC?
The CIA conclusion was a “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked,” one of the three officials said on Monday.
“(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” the official added.
CIA thinks that Russia doesn’t like Clinton very much and must be part of that vast conspiracy against her that we heard about during her campaign. And this is being used to influence the electoral college?
Something is not right here..
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
Comey Says No Russian Influence
The Intelligence Community has a consensus on Russia hacking the election, somehow. We’re not told how; we’re not given evidence.
It’s the bogeyman, we are told. FBI Director Comey is in charge of the Intelligence Branch, which is one of the 16 entities under ODNI that constitute the IC. What does he think?
In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the emails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
So, we have no consensus because here is one less than 16. And, let’s consider FBI is in charge of counterintelligence and operates domestically. So, if they are not seeing any Russian interference, who else is doing domestic intelligence?
CIA is not supposed to be doing domestic intelligence according to NSC
2/1 and related directives. However, according to EO13470, CIA now has responsibility for counterintelligence. This is an interesting shift. So, CIA’s opinion is valid in this matter — I just found this out today. I wasn’t aware of EO 13470.
As I said the other day, most of the other entities have nothing to do with counterintelligence, electronic intelligence, or signals intelligence and would have no professional opinion. That FBI does not see something here and CIA does is significant. Someone is wrong and someone needs to adjust.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
Trump & Putin
Trump is “making friends” w/Putin because Russia is all but a basket case, economically, in addition to being in a demographic death spiral. If there’s any kind of clear signal coming from Trump’s nominee picks so far, it’s that energy will be a major focus. When Trump unleashes America’s energy economy, it will bankrupt Russia. Trump is pulling an anti-Nixon – getting closer to the lesser threat (Russia vice China) in order to counter-balance the now greater threat (China vice Russia).
Vlad would be wiser to start worrying about Chinese moving north across that ill-defined Siberian boundary.
Hoping all trends are positive w/you & yours,
Port Ludlow, WA
And China continues its threats in the seas off the Philippines
World’s first SF novel
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
I saw this in the Smithsonian:
The Intergalactic Battle of Ancient Rome
Hundreds of years before audiences fell in love with Star Wars, one writer dreamt of battles in space
Lucian’s space travelers witness a battle between the forces of the Sun and the Moon, which includes outlandish creatures like three-headed vultures and space spiders. (Lucian’s True History, Illustrated by Willian Strang, J. B. Clark and Aubrey Beardsley. A.H.
By Lorraine Boissoneault
DECEMBER 14, 2016
82 19 2 6 9 4 282
A long time ago, in a world not so far away, a young man who longed for adventure was swept up in a galactic war. Forced to choose between two sides in the deadly battle, he befriended a group of scrappy fighters who captained… three-headed vultures, giant fleas and space spiders?
Nearly 2,000 years before George Lucas created his epic space opera Star Wars, Lucian of Samosata (a province in modern-day Turkey) wrote the world’s first novel featuring space travel and interplanetary battles. True History was published around 175 CE during the height of the Roman Empire. Lucian’s space adventure features a group of travelers who leave Earth when their ship is thrown into the sky by a ferocious whirlwind. After seven days of sailing through the air they arrive on the Moon, only to learn its inhabitants are at war with the people of the Sun. Both parties are fighting for control of a colony on the Morning Star (the planet we today call Venus). The warriors for the Sun and Moon armies travel through space on winged acorns and giant gnats and horses as big as ships, armed with outlandish weapons like slingshots that used enormous turnips as ammunition. Thousands die during the battle, and blood “[falls] upon the clouds, which made them look of a red color; as sometimes they appear to us about sun-setting,”
So one part Gulliver’s travels (complete with political satire), one part Odyssey, one part imaginative romp. It’s a pity he lived before there were Hugo awards.
The Smithsonian happily included a link to the English translation.
There goes Mary Shelley’s record…
I had heard of the writer, but not this work.
Police: NYC Muslim woman’s claim of attack by Trump supporters was false
A Muslim woman who reported that three men taunted her aboard a New York City subway train, yelling “Donald Trump” and calling her a terrorist, has apparently made it all up. Police say 18-year-old Yasmin Seweid was arrested Wednesday on charges of filing a false report and obstructing governmental administration.
NSA Hacked DNC? & Obama Intel Thoughts
Congressman Peter King, House Intel Committee, is now saying that the CIA has never said a word to the Committee about Russia favoring one candidate over the other.
Given last week’s leak of that alleged CIA position to the Washington Post, and this week’s extraordinary CIA refusal to brief the Intel Committee on the matter, he goes on to say
“It’s almost as if people in the intelligence community are carrying out a disinformation campaign against the President-elect of the United States.”
It begins to sound very much like I’m right that it’s Hillaryite bitter-enders at CIA behind this story. (I speculate that current CIA management isn’t quite ready either to repudiate or to publicly back this claim, and thus refused this short-notice Intel Committee briefing to buy time to get their story sorted out.)
I’ve mentioned privately to you more than once that, if he wants to get anything useful done, Trump will first need to go through the bureaucracies with fire and sword to root out the many burrowed-in militant progs.
Between this and the recent DOE refusal to answer Trump transition-team questions (I won’t even mention DOJ or the IRS) it sounds to me as if the politicized bureaucrats are doing their unintentional best to get Congress to back the new President in that.
More on the DOE matter, including the actual quite reasonable list of questions asked, over at
On 12/13/2016 8:17 AM, Porkypine wrote:
> In the realm of drawing logical conclusions from sparse facts, where I
> occasionally have my moments…
>> Napolitano: NSA hacked Clinton emails after revelation of secrets
>> Take with whatever size grain of salt you prefer.
> I had this as my second most likely explanation months ago, but I
> lacked confirmation from any “30-year NSA official.” Judge Napolitano
> is now a media figure, to a considerable degree provocative by
> profession, but not previously prone to simply making such things up.
> I may now have to bump this theory up to number one. (Albeit still a
> ways from proven, as one “30-year NSA official” could easily have his
> own axes to grind, or simply be mistaken.)
> FWIW, my previous leading likely explanation was that a deeply angered
> Sanders supporter might have contracted out the DNC hack. (In the
> nature of such things it would then be entirely possible the
> contractor would be Russian-connected.)
> On a related subject, it strikes me that Trump’s recently expressed
> disdain for his daily intel briefings as overly repetitious quite
> likely relates to Obama’s reported campaign to influence Trump to
> overturn as little as possible of O’s “legacy”.
> The tell: As part of saying Trump really should swallow his daily
> briefings like a good boy, Obama just (apparently gratuitously)
> asserted straight-faced that intel has been kept utterly separate from
> politics these last eight years.
> Oh, really? I assume you saw the numerous reports from mid-level
> intel types a few months back of word coming down the chain of command
> not to contradict the preferred narrative in Iraq and Afghanistan.
> I take Obama’s gratuitous and massively disingenuous claim that intel
> is NOT being politicized as a strong hint he’s politicizing Trump’s
> daily briefings for all he’s worth. Else, why say that? Trump has
> not said a thing about tendentious politicization of those briefings,
> just that they’re somewhat repetitious. (If I’m right, this was
> remarkably diplomatic of him.)
> Viewed in this context, both the CIA’s (alleged) well-beyond-the-facts
> position that Russia actively intended to elect Trump and the leak of
> it also look like a direct bureaucratic challenge to him. General
> Flynn is already on public record that the CIA is overly politicized.
> Conventional wisdom is that nobody wins, alligator-wrestling the CIA.
> We may soon get to see if that’s true.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.