Author Topic: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers  (Read 11082 times)

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #150 on: May 31, 2017, 11:16:44 PM »
This characterization of what I wrote is where you are going wrong - the Russian involvement was not minor, in that it likely did lead to Clinton's defeat.

It's counterfactual so in a way it's not fair to ask you this, but are you asserting that in your opinion had Russia not interfered (assuming it did) Hillary would have won staight-up? On what do you base this - or is it a hunch? And my follow-up is, do you think she ought to have won? From the sound of it I get the sense you think she was cheated of her deserved victory or something like that. Do you really believe she deserved it? Never mind for the moment how much worse you may think Trump is than she would have been; just on her own credits or demerits, you think she earned and deserved to become President? Please note that although in this hypothetical Russia didn't get involved, the facts released by Wikileaks would still be true, you just wouldn't know about them.

As a semi-tangent to my questions above, have you seen the series 24? (SPOILER) In season two or three (I forget which) the President is up for re-election and has the opportunity to get a copy of his opponent's playbook for the debates. His brother and chief of staff tries vehemently to get him to accept the advantage, but the President is a man of honor and outright refuses to cheat in the debate and undermine his campaign's reputation for honesty. Now jump to the real world, where, instead of the opponent's playbook the advantage up for grabs was very similar, which was an advanced copy of the debate questions. Well, you get the picture. If the guy from 24 was running I'd vote for him in a second. What America got instead was people being called conspiracy theorists when it got out what happened.

Pete at Home

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #151 on: May 31, 2017, 11:57:57 PM »

So, people not believing that the Russian intervention had an effect - check.


No one questions that it had an effect.  It's put the party fanatics into Russian scare mode like they weren't even during the Cold War.  The party of "the 80s called, they want their cold war back" turned into insult Russians in public.

"People believing that a one-sided release of prejudicial information by a foreign power is actually good for democracy - check."

When is information release not one-sided?  when one party controls most of the intelligence services and the media, a little one-sided info in the other direction means in the net, there's more of a two-sided release of information.  Look, if the Clintons want to ask their friends in the People's Republic of CHina, you know the ones who paid for his 1996 election, they can probably dig up Trump's tax return.  And that too would be a good thing -- one-sided information, from different sources, ends up being multi-sided information. 

Most everything is a good thing and a bad thing for Democracy all at the same time.  Do you really not see any silver lining on the DNC getting wikileaked?

"There's no need to investigate - check."

Who said that?  The primary block to the investigation from the onset have been the DNC.  They refused the FBI's initial request to look at their servers, and Wasserman-Schultz is actually threatening police to prevent them from doing a full investigation.  Blaming that on people on Ornery is really some chutzpah.

But humor me and explain the difference from the investigation you're asking for, and a "one sided release of information" which is, according to you, never good for Democracy. :D


There's no need to investigate - check.


DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #152 on: October 19, 2017, 12:26:21 PM »
Nikki Haley claims Russian interference in US elections is "warfare": http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/19/politics/nikki-haley-russia-warfare/index.html

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #153 on: October 19, 2017, 12:36:52 PM »
I hadn't noticed this before:
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What you really want to claim, though, is that something untoward was going on involving Trump and colluding with the enemy, and that's a completely different kettle of fish.
No.  I very carefully stayed away from insinuating anything of the sort.  That the Russian efforts seemed to be supporting Trump was clear, but the issue is not which side the Russians supported this go-around, but rather that they had effectively waged a war against your electoral system.

I understand that separating partisanship from position is difficult for you, so you tend to project that same tendency on others... :P

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #154 on: October 31, 2017, 04:26:28 PM »
More details - not really surprising, as this has been coming out in dribs and drabs already from the different platforms.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/31/media/facebook-twitter-google-congress/index.html

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Facebook informed lawmakers that roughly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated on its platform by a Russian government-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency between June 2015 and August 2017.

Twitter disclosed that it has identified 2,752 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency. It found a total of 36,746 accounts that appeared to be associated with Russia, though not necessarily with the Internet Research Agency, which generated automated, election-related content.

Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, called the content of the Russian-bought ads "deeply disturbing" in his prepared remarks. He said it was "seemingly intended to amplify societal divisions and pit groups of people against each other."
Still, nothing to see here... no worries.

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #155 on: October 31, 2017, 05:42:45 PM »
More details - not really surprising, as this has been coming out in dribs and drabs already from the different platforms.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/31/media/facebook-twitter-google-congress/index.html

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Facebook informed lawmakers that roughly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated on its platform by a Russian government-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency between June 2015 and August 2017.

Twitter disclosed that it has identified 2,752 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency. It found a total of 36,746 accounts that appeared to be associated with Russia, though not necessarily with the Internet Research Agency, which generated automated, election-related content.

Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, called the content of the Russian-bought ads "deeply disturbing" in his prepared remarks. He said it was "seemingly intended to amplify societal divisions and pit groups of people against each other."
Still, nothing to see here... no worries.

Hey, if you're going to accuse Russia of something with this kind of reveal then I think the right target would be conspiring with the two major parties to do all of the things you bolded. Every one of those things (misleading people, turning people against each other, being exposed to paid internet troll farms) is done by all three parties and all for the purpose of furthering some political objective. Why shouldn't Russia do what Americans do to themselves? Now I say this a bit tongue in cheek, but I'd seriously question someone's priorities who raises a fuss over a foreign government doing the same hijinx that their own government is doing to them. Clean up your own house and then look to your neighbors', I think.

Wayward Son

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #156 on: October 31, 2017, 06:38:44 PM »
The difference, of course, is that the Russians don't have to live in our dirty house.  So why should they be able to dump their dirt in ours? ;)

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #157 on: October 31, 2017, 10:39:43 PM »
There's no blindness quite like partisan blindness, is there?

An enemy nation has just perpetrated the largest propaganda attack on your country in its history, and your rationalization for supporting the attack is that national political entities play dirty?

Notwithstanding that this really isn't the same hijinx as the Democratic and Republican parties have gotten up to in the past, if you really believe that foreign powers should have unfettered access to sow divisions within your society, why don't you also support the federal vote for every resident of the planet?

It seems ridiculously obvious that the Russians, if allowed to continue destabilizing western democracies in this fashion (and they have also perpetrated these attacks in France, the UK and Greece in the past few years) are going to succeed in irrevocably damaging the western world as a whole, certainly for decades to come.  And since Russia is effectively a dictatorship, there is no possible quid pro quo in the market of ideas. So sure, you can continue to ignore what is effectively a war on your country, and on all western countries. The question is why you seem to welcome it.

TheDeamon

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #158 on: November 01, 2017, 12:30:36 AM »
There's no blindness quite like partisan blindness, is there?

An enemy nation has just perpetrated the largest propaganda attack on your country in its history, and your rationalization for supporting the attack is that national political entities play dirty?

Please quantify how "hand waving" or otherwise being indifferent about the Russian Propaganda campaigns of 2016 in the United States constitutes support?

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Notwithstanding that this really isn't the same hijinx as the Democratic and Republican parties have gotten up to in the past, if you really believe that foreign powers should have unfettered access to sow divisions within your society, why don't you also support the federal vote for every resident of the planet?

Get a bit of perspective on this, we have "meddled" in foreign elections for decades, some of our own foreign meddling went well beyond anything the Russians did to us last year. So with the whole hypocrisy angle to consider, exactly what are going to do about it? To be clear, as I would prefer to continue to reserve the ability of the US to "meddle" in foreign elections when "it (clearly) suits our national interests" please DO describe a path to resolution where we can "punish Russia" and not tie our own hands in the future?

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It seems ridiculously obvious that the Russians, if allowed to continue destabilizing western democracies in this fashion (and they have also perpetrated these attacks in France, the UK and Greece in the past few years) are going to succeed in irrevocably damaging the western world as a whole, certainly for decades to come.  And since Russia is effectively a dictatorship, there is no possible quid pro quo in the market of ideas. So sure, you can continue to ignore what is effectively a war on your country, and on all western countries. The question is why you seem to welcome it.

In light of the "Recent discoveries" regarding Hillary and Russia, I think 2016 was a unique confluence of events. Russia already had the objective of chaos, with Hillary's Uranium One dealings, Russia had levers they could pull on Hillary to destabilize her should she have won. Which meant that Trump was targeted, and even openly supported, to ensure they could likewise undermine him. This has already been covered previously, regardless of if either candidate won, both of them were tainted, quite successfully no less. The Hillary scandal is a "non-issue" for her backers because well, she's Hillary Clinton, and she's also their only (current) option against Trump in some weird alternate world scenario where such a resolution is somehow possible.

Aside from the byzantine and highly bizarre option of Trump being impeached, Pence likewise being removed from office by some means, and Paul Ryan ends up President where he for some reason then decides to name Hillary as his VP(and get it approved in Congress) so he can promptly resign.  I simply don't see that happening, it would be political suicide for Ryan to consider such an act, the Republicans would never trust him with anything ever again and as for the Democrats, well...

Both major candidates sucked in 2016. 2016 gave Russia an already compromised Democratic candidate, and a Republican Candidate that is an ongoing train-wreck. Which provided them ready made opportunity to likewise compromise his campaign. (Although it should be noted, there still is nothing linking back to Trump himself)

If Hillary Clinton had not been the 2016 Democratic Candidate, chances are good that "Russian meddling"  would have been less pronounced than it was. Even without her being compromised (to whatever degree; if she was President, the Republicans would never let it die, much like the Dems are attempting with Trump), her rhetoric regarding Russia just added further fuel to that proverbial fire(by provoking the Russians).  So yes, in essence, I blame a very large part of the Russian interference in 2016 on Hillary Clinton herself, and the Obama Admin(/Democratic Party) as they created a large part of the environment which enabled what happened.

Get back to me in 2020 if Russia goes for an encore, but I doubt they will.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 12:33:56 AM by TheDeamon »

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #159 on: November 01, 2017, 08:37:33 AM »
TheDaemon, your view is unfortunately quite representative of too many of those living in the USA - completely blinkered to the outside world.

Russia has been attacking western democratic institutions aggressively over the past few years with unprecedented success.  Not just in the USA.  And if left unchecked, it very likely will change those countries in ways beneficial to Russia and likely not to the benefit of those countries' interests.

Yes, the USA has been a bad actor in its actions towards many foreign countries.  I'm just surprised that you would use that as an argument to allow Russia to attack your country without response. "Well, we sent troops to Vietnam, so I guess we should ignore the troops Russia has sent into Washington, London and Paris - fair's fair, after all"   ::)

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #160 on: November 01, 2017, 09:29:50 AM »
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I'm just surprised that you would use that as an argument to allow Russia to attack your country without response
  If the “attack” stays at this level of propaganda and disinformation, I think we’ll manage.  It seems painfully obvious to me this “attack” illustrates the problem is not with Russia at all.  It’s that our country is dumber than it’s ever been.  Sure from a technical standpoint we’re doing fairly well.  From a gullibility standpoint though, we are a sad disappointment.  I expect there are full blown theocracies out there with better critical thinking skills than our average.
 
This warning shot should not result in cries of, “What do we do about the Russians?”, but rather, “What do we do about OUR gullibility problem?”  I can say for certain the proper response is not to be found in this administration.

TheDeamon

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #161 on: November 01, 2017, 09:33:51 AM »
Yes, the USA has been a bad actor in its actions towards many foreign countries.  I'm just surprised that you would use that as an argument to allow Russia to attack your country without response. "Well, we sent troops to Vietnam, so I guess we should ignore the troops Russia has sent into Washington, London and Paris - fair's fair, after all"   ::)

Vietnam is a lousy equivalence. Our "meddling" in electoral activities there, to my knowledge, was largely in the form of saying we'd ignore election fraud. Now as to playing king maker in the subsequent military coups within South Vietnam, which by definition are not a democratic process, that's another matter.
 
The better equivalence would be, "Well, we actively engaged in funding candidates in most EU Nations(and elsewhere, in particular within the Americas). We've also engaged in numerous intelligence operations to undermine, by hook or crook(fake evidence included), candidates in various nations not to our tastes." The list goes on and on. Other than the specifics of the means employed(the Internet), Russia did nothing in this past election cycle that we either haven't done to several of our own present/former Allies in the past, or otherwise attempted to do.

Without the Internet, our watchdogs have historically been pretty good at preventing such efforts from getting very far within our borders. The internet certainly adds a new dimension to things, and that does need addressed. As to the outcome of this last election, we have legal processes for that, and the investigation still has yet to actually tie anything to Trump himself, and even then, we have a legal process for what follows from there.

Just because you don't like the restrictions imposed by the US Constitution doesn't mean you get to ignore the flipping thing. If evidence comes forward that shows Trump is (very likely to be) guilty, he will be impeached(if he doesn't resign first). Mike Pence will then become President, until/unless someone manages to demonstrate he was likewise similarly guilty to Trump. Pence will likewise then be given a chance to name a VP(subject to confirmation), which may or may not be the ranking Republican in the House(Paul Ryan).

Anything beyond that legal process is political masturbation, public or otherwise, and has no legal bearing on what is going on. Either Trump (and Pence) committed Treason(/"High crimes and misdemeanors"), or he/(they) did not, and it will resolve accordingly. There currently is no legal process for invalidating a Presidential election process after the results are confirmed by Congress, and that happened nearly a year ago. Either get over it, or start gathering support for a Constitutional Amendment to address this specific issue.

In the mean time, Trump getting impeached or not doesn't really change anything until the following election cycles occur.

Seriati

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #162 on: November 01, 2017, 11:01:08 AM »
I hadn't noticed this before:
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What you really want to claim, though, is that something untoward was going on involving Trump and colluding with the enemy, and that's a completely different kettle of fish.
No.  I very carefully stayed away from insinuating anything of the sort.  That the Russian efforts seemed to be supporting Trump was clear, but the issue is not which side the Russians supported this go-around, but rather that they had effectively waged a war against your electoral system.

I think what you think is "clear" is not so clear.  The Russian efforts seem to be targeted at two things, 1. undermining confidence in our democratic system and 2. undermining confidence in Hillary Clinton.  The second point, however, is not the same thing as "supporting Trump."  I don't believe for one second that the Russian's thought Trump's victory was any more likely than the rest of us.  They expected Hillary to win, and it was as much a shock to them as to everyone else.

The Russian propaganda wasn't there to get Trump elected, it was there to taint President Hillary Clinton's administration.  Their goal was to show that a flawed and manipulated process put a corrupt individual in the driver's seat of the United States illegitimately.  They've been in salvage mode since the unanticipated election result to try and emphasize their first goal, and maybe still pivot on their second goal in reference to Trump. 

Their campaign was targeted at a different result, the only reason it's worked at all is because of the Democratic unwillingness to believe the election results, which assumption colors every single thing they see in relation to the election.  In effect, they believe the result impossible, therefore any explanation, no matter how unlikely that remains must be the truth.  It's a misquote of Sherlock Holmes, and blatantly ignores Occam's Razor, but it's the only way to resolve the cognitive dissonance of Trump's election being impossible and yet having occurred. 

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I understand that separating partisanship from position is difficult for you, so you tend to project that same tendency on others... :P

Everyone has difficulty separating "partisanship" from positions, specifically because we tend to be partisan because we have reached certain conclusions on certain things that align with a partisan group.  I don't particularly feel like I'm lock-step with any group, there plenty of places I diverge from party orthodox.  Accordingly, I don't find "dog whistles" swaying my position very often.

But in this case, there are far too many people that have buried assumptions that are not proven that they won't even think through when new information becomes available.

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #163 on: November 01, 2017, 11:16:20 AM »
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Vietnam is a lousy equivalence. Our "meddling" in electoral activities there, to my knowledge, was largely in the form of saying we'd ignore election fraud. Now as to playing king maker in the subsequent military coups within South Vietnam, which by definition are not a democratic process, that's another matter.

I believe you miss the larger point. I believe what Donald was pointing out was the similarity of your reasoning to:

Russia did X to us.
We do X to ourselves.
We do X to other countries.
Therefore, Russia gets a pass on X

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #164 on: November 01, 2017, 11:21:14 AM »
Maybe future presidents will think twice about "doing X to someone else" now that we've had a taste of it.  Some lessons are important to learn even if painful.  That assumes we still teach and learn lessons and don't just recite dogma together until a sufficient level of patriotic obedience is reached. 

Seriati

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #165 on: November 01, 2017, 11:33:12 AM »
The difference, of course, is that the Russians don't have to live in our dirty house.  So why should they be able to dump their dirt in ours? ;)

Because we live in a free and open society where we are entitled to hear from any one, even the Russian's on any topic without censorship?  Or did I mistake how the first amendment works?

The impact of propaganda is a material issue to me, propaganda works even on smart people who should know better, it's impact is gradual and sly.  But the cure can't be to suppress speech, cause I guarantee that "cure" will be used to suppress more than just propaganda, as unpopular or opposition speech increasing gets labelled as such.

We need to be able to evaluate the claims themselves, without relying on a poisoned well fallacy to claim all Russian bad all American good.  How about, just propaganda bad.

Seriati

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #166 on: November 01, 2017, 11:48:38 AM »
An enemy nation has just perpetrated the largest propaganda attack on your country in its history, and your rationalization for supporting the attack is that national political entities play dirty?

Biggest in what way?  I doubt this is objectively true in any meaningful sense.  I also doubt that even in the modern age our own propaganda attacks are smaller in scale or impact.

Not a free pass by the way, just a call for a little objectivity.  This doesn't have to be the "hugest" ever to be concerning. 

In fact, I don't see any real evidence that the "propaganda attack" was even effective.  The biggest impacts on the election still remain Comey's actions - not propaganda - and the release of the DNC server and Hillary campaign information - not propaganda.  You can't just role everything into a claim without laying a foundation.  Might as well claim it was butterfly attack as a butterfly certainly wiggled its wings towards the US during the time period.

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Notwithstanding that this really isn't the same hijinx as the Democratic and Republican parties have gotten up to in the past, if you really believe that foreign powers should have unfettered access to sow divisions within your society, why don't you also support the federal vote for every resident of the planet?

So you think because we have a first amendment guarantying free speech in our society, we can't restrict the vote to citizens?  Is your argument really that we should or could suppress information from non-US citizens?  How do you see this playing out?  Can Trump raid the NY Times and arrest reports with foreign sources?  Can the government black out CNN when it gets materials from non-US citizens that could represent non-US government manipulation?

Honestly, it sounds nice to want to end "foreign influence" but only a true fascist could do it.

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It seems ridiculously obvious that the Russians, if allowed to continue destabilizing western democracies in this fashion (and they have also perpetrated these attacks in France, the UK and Greece in the past few years) are going to succeed in irrevocably damaging the western world as a whole, certainly for decades to come.

Why does this seem obvious to you?  The Russian propaganda impact (and all propaganda impact) could almost be completely eliminated by teaching the American citizens to seek facts in forming their opinions, to study logic.  Why exactly do we have a K to 12 system that produces citizens who can't use even rudimentary logic and research skills? 

The fact is, we've deliberately mis-educated people to leave them susceptible to our own home grown propaganda and that leaves them susceptible to all forms of it.  I mean look at the tax "debate" it's literally nothing but dog whistles by each side.  Everyone "supports" reform but instead of talking through the hard issues they immediately grandstand and throw scare tactics around.  We're as guilty as anyone else.  Every time someone calls it a death tax we skip the debate over whether its good or bad that wealth transfers generationally.  When any calls out tax breaks for the rich, we skip over legitimate policy reasons that the rich should pay less taxes.  Heck, re-labelling taxes as "revenue" was done for no reason other than to make it more palatable in propaganda.

We can't debate anything on a factual basis anymore.  That was intentional.

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And since Russia is effectively a dictatorship, there is no possible quid pro quo in the market of ideas. So sure, you can continue to ignore what is effectively a war on your country, and on all western countries. The question is why you seem to welcome it.

So expose their lies.  That's the cure for bad ideas and bad information.

Complaining about Russian manipulation that amounts to less than a millioneth of a percent of the total manipulation in our society as if its the ONLY RELEVANT MANIPULATION is kind of a joke. 

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #167 on: November 01, 2017, 12:16:49 PM »
Maybe future presidents will think twice about "doing X to someone else" now that we've had a taste of it.  Some lessons are important to learn even if painful.  That assumes we still teach and learn lessons and don't just recite dogma together until a sufficient level of patriotic obedience is reached.

Americans aren't very good at introspection and saying "hey maybe we shouldn't use that tactic, it hurts when it is used on us". We are great at labeling the other teams immoral and outrageous, not so much about curtailing our team's behaviour. Look at the Dems! Look at the Russians! Look at Trump!

They all get to have blame on political shenanigans, and they should all be mentioned in the same paragraph. Instead articles, op-eds, tweets and blogs all focus on one or two at a time. If they do mention the third, it is only to point out how trivial or innocent their involvement.




DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #168 on: November 01, 2017, 12:40:47 PM »
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Because we live in a free and open society where we are entitled to hear from any one, even the Russian's on any topic without censorship?  Or did I mistake how the first amendment works?
Yes, you misunderstand what the first amendment means.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #169 on: November 01, 2017, 12:44:28 PM »
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Because we live in a free and open society where we are entitled to hear from any one, even the Russian's on any topic without censorship?  Or did I mistake how the first amendment works?
Yes, you misunderstand what the first amendment means.
This statement may be accurate, but I think it misrepresents our cultural identity.  (or suggests misrepresentation?)

Seriati

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #170 on: November 01, 2017, 12:50:35 PM »
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Because we live in a free and open society where we are entitled to hear from any one, even the Russian's on any topic without censorship?  Or did I mistake how the first amendment works?
Yes, you misunderstand what the first amendment means.

Well, I specifically referenced how it works.  But I doubt I misunderstand what it means.  Maybe you could enlighten us on the intent of the first amendment and how I'm misconstruing it but you aren't.

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #171 on: November 01, 2017, 12:57:00 PM »
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Why does this seem obvious to you?  The Russian propaganda impact (and all propaganda impact) could almost be completely eliminated by teaching the American citizens to seek facts in forming their opinions, to study logic.  Why exactly do we have a K to 12 system that produces citizens who can't use even rudimentary logic and research skills?
This seems more than a little naive.

There are people posting on this site - educated, intelligent people - who have diametrically opposed views of the importance of, for instance, the Uranium One deal. And it's not even a close thing, shades of ambiguity, an "I can see your point", type of thing.  Diametrically opposed to the point of thinking that the interlocutor cannot possibly be arguing in good faith.  Without getting into who is right, there is clearly a challenge even among the educated and informed to get past their subconscious biases.

You think somehow the vast majority of people are going to be able, in the future, through some kind of underfunded educational system, to become better able to cut through their own partisan blindness than the average Ornery poster?  I guess it's possible we are already the bottom of the barrel here, but I haven't seen evidence of it, honestly.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #172 on: November 01, 2017, 01:15:52 PM »
Why would one assume the solution is possible in even maintaining, let alone decreasing funding for public education?  I think out of all of our infrastructure needs, this requires the largest overhaul. 

The real challenge is to educate people to be resistant to propaganda without raising a whole generation of anarchists who, seeing behind at least some of the curtain, aren't disgusted and prompted to act in ways we are not prepared to handle. 

Reform is nice, but as someone at least relatively comfortable, I'm not itching for full blown chaotic revolution.  ;)

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #173 on: November 01, 2017, 01:29:57 PM »
There are people posting on this site - educated, intelligent people - who have diametrically opposed views of the importance of, for instance, the Uranium One deal. And it's not even a close thing, shades of ambiguity, an "I can see your point", type of thing.  Diametrically opposed to the point of thinking that the interlocutor cannot possibly be arguing in good faith.  Without getting into who is right, there is clearly a challenge even among the educated and informed to get past their subconscious biases.

You think somehow the vast majority of people are going to be able, in the future, through some kind of underfunded educational system, to become better able to cut through their own partisan blindness than the average Ornery poster?  I guess it's possible we are already the bottom of the barrel here, but I haven't seen evidence of it, honestly.

Yes, this is a strong point. On the one hand we could argue that uniformity of opinion oughtn't be a goal to try to reach in a pluralistic society. It's true that willingness to hear alternate views should be encouraged, however it's also a difficulty when trying to convince someone of one's assessment that if one don't convince them one sees it as a failure, as if they've continued to believe the nonsense. So when presented with a narrative contrary to one's established opinion, the listener is already on guard that they're being targeted for conversion in some sense, and I think that can cause automatic digging in of heels. It's what comes of a very partisan political system: people assume by default that the other side (of any argument, in effect) is out to defeat them and gain from their defeat. This zero-sum mentality can probably explain a lot of the reason people are intractable in their positions.

However you are right that there's no doubt something else in play as well, which is that aside from political 'sides' there are also two ends of a spectrum of 'openness' we can observe. Some people are quite open to having their views changed - would even welcome to adoption of 'superior' understanding, while others are very opposed to having their positions challenged and become agitated when anyone tries. I think these positions may have some biological component but overall will mostly be a result of how they're educated. At present I feel like the vast majority of people have somehow come to understand that whatever it is they've heard or been taught so far is ipso facto correct, and that people who say contrary things are wrong. As Seriati above points out, I think it's intentional and it's to make them gullible. I attribute this mostly to commercial culture more so than a government conspiracy, and the general idea is to make people very quickly snatch up factoids as a world view and to never let them go. So it's a specific variety of gullibility where, when they have a void of knowledge in an area, they'll grab the first thing they believe some unseen authority says is the truth, but after that they'll never let it go. There's a term for this but I can't remember it right now. And yes, I think this is a very damaging way to accept new information. Whoever sneaks their worldview into a person's mind first seems to get that view cemented in and a deflector shield erected to prevent new information dislodging it. I believe this area is exactly the sort of thing the education system should be dealing with, but it seems instead to do the opposite, training people that there is only one right answer to everything and that if you didn't put it then you are "wrong". This system ends up reinforcing the corporate indoctrination towards effectively branding knowledge and creating customer loyalty. The two parties have been milking this system for a while but I don't think they originated it.

Blaming Russia for people getting messed up by disinformation (assuming they were) is really missing the point, I think. Yes, there may be some reason to be displeased at Russia for wanting to do that in the first place, but the information infrastructure in America is the reason it can work in the first place. People are so confused and divided that pretty much any party can mess with them at this point. Propaganda education is what opens the door for third party propagandists to get in on the action. I think the USSR was trying crap like this through the cold war, setting up disinformation agents, getting Americans to spread their message, etc. It's been happening, but only matters because politics in America fertilizes the soil for it.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #174 on: November 01, 2017, 01:40:48 PM »
Also, baring some resurgent dark age, the ONLY solution, will be an internal one.  We cannot shut out new data, even if it's garbage data.  At least without some serious advancement in machine learning and a total surrender to the gatekeepers of such technology in allowing them to "protect us" from bad data (or speech if you would prefer).

A very large portion of our education curriculum should be logic and research related.  Then (and as uninteresting as I found it myself at the time) history.  Lots and lots of history.  Keeping this interesting while simultaneously making it more raw data driven rather than editorialized to fit into... well propaganda, will be a challenge.

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #175 on: November 01, 2017, 01:46:45 PM »
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There are people posting on this site - educated, intelligent people - who have diametrically opposed views of the importance of, for instance, the Uranium One deal. And it's not even a close thing, shades of ambiguity, an "I can see your point", type of thing.  Diametrically opposed to the point of thinking that the interlocutor cannot possibly be arguing in good faith.  Without getting into who is right, there is clearly a challenge even among the educated and informed to get past their subconscious biases.

As a member of MENSA who reads their comments sections and submitted letters, there is no inoculation of intelligence or formal education that stops people from being vehemently partisan. In fact, my observation of that group suggests that it is counter-productive. That your level of intelligence and training makes you more set on your convictions - especially in an area you've studied.

Keynesian vs Austrian economics. Each side knows plenty of math, economic theory, and other fine things. Many could be considered skeptics or open-minded in other areas. But this one area becomes a furious battleground where each side is convinced they are 100% right. Their immediate reaction will be to howl in dismay at any policy that goes against those core beliefs and predict the doom of humanity as a result.

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #176 on: November 01, 2017, 01:48:12 PM »
Something else I've noticed is that people conflate a problem with its solution... to the extent that even allowing oneself to think about a problem must be  constrained as the obvious solutions are anathema to their worldview.  This has been the case for so many topics, and this one is no different: it isn't an important issue, because there is no obvious solution (that is not unpalatable).

But of course, without allowing yourself to think about the problem, you won't allow yourself to identify possible responses.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 01:53:22 PM by DonaldD »

TheDeamon

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #177 on: November 01, 2017, 02:12:36 PM »
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Vietnam is a lousy equivalence. Our "meddling" in electoral activities there, to my knowledge, was largely in the form of saying we'd ignore election fraud. Now as to playing king maker in the subsequent military coups within South Vietnam, which by definition are not a democratic process, that's another matter.

I believe you miss the larger point. I believe what Donald was pointing out was the similarity of your reasoning to:

Russia did X to us.
We do X to ourselves.
We do X to other countries.
Therefore, Russia gets a pass on X

Only that isn't quite what I'm saying. Sure "something" should be done. But I think we're at a parting of ways as to what that "something" is that is to be done, or even what impact Russia's efforts had on things. Outside of the occasions where the US tacitly allowed "our side" to actively cheat the election ballot box itself, the intelligence services seemed to agree that the difference between helping and not helping in various other ways was typically only likely to swing the vote by a couple percentage points.

Of course, that then leads us back to this election cycle, where as Nate Silver demonstrated, a 1% vote shift in certain regions of the US meant a LOT for the Presidential race outcome. So it is entirely possible that "Russian meddling" contributed to a swing in voter behavior which made Hillary Clinton lose the race.  However, I think Seriati made a very relevant point in regards to that, and I actually think that was more generally the Russian end game. While I do agree that Russia preferred a Trump win over a Hillary one, I don't think they actually expected Trump to win.

But before I move in Serati's post, I think a good to summarize it: Due to "Russian Meddling" I'm fine with the idea of this past election having been "tainted" but that's a far cry from saying that it should be invalidated. It also continues to ignore that there are legal processes involved in the election of the President, and ultimately it is the Electoral College that matters, not the average voter. After the Electoral College was formed, cast its votes, and subsequently had their votes ratified by Congress, the chance for "A Mulligan" on the election was over. The Constitution is very clear about what the options are from here, outside of the Constitutionally provisioned means of action, you're now waiting for either 2018(if you want a Congress that might impeach Trump) or 2020(where you can try to just vote him out instead). 

I hadn't noticed this before:
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What you really want to claim, though, is that something untoward was going on involving Trump and colluding with the enemy, and that's a completely different kettle of fish.
No.  I very carefully stayed away from insinuating anything of the sort.  That the Russian efforts seemed to be supporting Trump was clear, but the issue is not which side the Russians supported this go-around, but rather that they had effectively waged a war against your electoral system.

I think what you think is "clear" is not so clear.  The Russian efforts seem to be targeted at two things, 1. undermining confidence in our democratic system and 2. undermining confidence in Hillary Clinton.  The second point, however, is not the same thing as "supporting Trump."  I don't believe for one second that the Russian's thought Trump's victory was any more likely than the rest of us.  They expected Hillary to win, and it was as much a shock to them as to everyone else.

The Russian propaganda wasn't there to get Trump elected, it was there to taint President Hillary Clinton's administration.  Their goal was to show that a flawed and manipulated process put a corrupt individual in the driver's seat of the United States illegitimately.  They've been in salvage mode since the unanticipated election result to try and emphasize their first goal, and maybe still pivot on their second goal in reference to Trump. 

Their campaign was targeted at a different result, the only reason it's worked at all is because of the Democratic unwillingness to believe the election results, which assumption colors every single thing they see in relation to the election.  In effect, they believe the result impossible, therefore any explanation, no matter how unlikely that remains must be the truth.  It's a misquote of Sherlock Holmes, and blatantly ignores Occam's Razor, but it's the only way to resolve the cognitive dissonance of Trump's election being impossible and yet having occurred.


Those previous two paragraphs warrant extra attention, but it does cycle back to 2016 was a very unique confluence of circumstances(and was more to do with Hillary herself than anything else). I had to re-read the final (quoted) one twice before I figured out what was being said. Changing emphasis around, and adding a bit:

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Their(Russia's) campaign was targeted at a different result, the only reason it's worked at all is because of the Democratic unwillingness to believe the election results, which assumption colors every single thing they(Democrats) see in relation to the election.  In effect, they(the Democrats) believe the result impossible, therefore any explanation, no matter how unlikely that remains must be the truth.  It's a misquote of Sherlock Holmes, and blatantly ignores Occam's Razor, but it's the only way (for many Democrats) to resolve the cognitive dissonance of Trump's election being impossible and yet having occurred.

But getting back to the concession that it is entirely within reason to say that Russia's efforts resulted in a 1 point swing in Trump's favor. This goes back to the indifference side of things which you and others keep raging against.

For those that voted for, or otherwise are OK with Trump having won(against Hillary at least), it doesn't really change anything to learn that Russia preferred Trump. It is totally and completely irrelevant to their criteria for why they personally supported or otherwise accepted Trump's win. It's tantamount to wanting to toss Bill Clinton out of office in 1996 purely on the grounds that China very clearly preferred that he remain in the White House. (There certainly were plenty of other reasons to want Clinton out, but even then, the Republicans certainly weren't going full out crazy like the Dems are over Trump)

The only thing that "matters" is the question of if Trump was actively working and collaborating with the Russian Government in an effort to either undermine the electoral system in the United States, or otherwise employ "dirty tricks" against Hillary Clinton (either at Trump's request, or with his knowledge). Also obviously in play is if Trump received direct material support, which would be a no-no even if it came from Coca-Cola, never mind a foreign government.

But short of proof that Trump himself was working with the Russians in some direct way, there isn't really anything to do. Much like Coca-Cola can provide all the indirect support it wants to a candidate(thanks to the SCotUS), the Russians acting independently of Donald Trump to support Donald Trump is not Donald Trump's "problem."

Unless you're going to say that candidates should be rendered ineligible should they be endorsed or otherwise supported by a foreign head of State. But if that is position, where were you in 2012? I don't remember you screaming about the press reports talking about the "international support" for President Obama from numerous foreign heads of state.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 02:15:58 PM by TheDeamon »

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #178 on: November 01, 2017, 02:49:08 PM »
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The only thing that "matters" is the question of if Trump was actively working and collaborating with the Russian Government in an effort to either undermine the electoral system in the United States, or otherwise employ "dirty tricks" against Hillary Clinton (either at Trump's request, or with his knowledge). Also obviously in play is if Trump received direct material support, which would be a no-no even if it came from Coca-Cola, never mind a foreign government.
I of course disagree - that Russia intervened so directly in its hacking and propaganda efforts is as or more important than whether Trump assisted in the effort.

Sure, that would also be important, but it is something with which the existing government (and possibly legal) structures can deal.

This attack by an enemy nation, however, is an order of magnitude more important - and I cannot stress this too much, this enemy nation has been systematically attacking allies of the USA in much the same fashion for years, and is getting better at it.  It is no longer an option to simply bury your heads in the sand and hope, when the damage being done has become so costly.

"But, but, but - freedom of speech!" one might respond.  Foreign governments are not protected by the bill of rights, and the USA is not constrained by the first amendment in how it deals with them.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 02:59:12 PM by DonaldD »

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #179 on: November 01, 2017, 02:58:40 PM »
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Much like Coca-Cola can provide all the indirect support it wants to a candidate(thanks to the SCotUS), the Russians acting independently of Donald Trump to support Donald Trump is not Donald Trump's "problem."
These are two completely separate points: that it is not Donald Trump's problem is obvious.  But whether a foreign government and a corporation subject to the laws of the USA are equivalent, or at least should be treated as such from the perspective of legal protections under the constitution is certainly debatable (at the very least).

It's weird that this keeps coming back to Donald Trump - he is completely secondary to this whole affair.  Yes, Yes, CNN, MSNBC, the DNC are all hyperventilating over the Trump campaign, but that is simply burying the lead - your country is at war, but instead of fighting the aggressor, you instead eat your own children.

TheDeamon

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #180 on: November 01, 2017, 03:09:54 PM »
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The only thing that "matters" is the question of if Trump was actively working and collaborating with the Russian Government in an effort to either undermine the electoral system in the United States, or otherwise employ "dirty tricks" against Hillary Clinton (either at Trump's request, or with his knowledge). Also obviously in play is if Trump received direct material support, which would be a no-no even if it came from Coca-Cola, never mind a foreign government.
I of course disagree - that Russia intervened so directly in its hacking and propaganda efforts is as or more important than whether Trump assisted in the effort.

At this point, just to ensure we're not talking past each other. Most of the people pushing "The Russian Intervention" into the election of 2016 as a vehicle by which they hope to impeach Donald Trump and in the case of some, somehow put Hillary in his place.

So I must ask, is you fixation on the Russians over the fact they interfered, or that you want Trump out of office?

I think you'll find a LOT of the blowback you're getting on here is people assuming you're in the Impeachment camp, so that's what is coming forward when we're discussing it. The interference is "an issue" that does need to be addressed, but it isn't anything close to being "THE issue" for most of us.

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This attack by an enemy nation, however, is an order of magnitude more important - and I cannot stress this too much, this enemy nation has been systematically attacking allies of the USA in much the same fashion for years, and is getting better at it.  It is no longer an option to simply bury your heads in the sand and hope, when the damage being done has become so costly.

I still think that 2016 was a unique confluence of events in that:
1) You had a Clinton running for office, and there certainly is plenty of smoke around them in regards to government corruption. Making them a "easy target" for the Russians to pursue.
2) You the Donald Trump Campaign making like they're the Keystone Cops.

I highly doubt 2020 is going to be quite so dysfunctional as 2016 was, unless of course it turns into a rematch in which case I'm not making bets as to what happens. (Although I'd expect the campaign itself could potentially kill Hillary on its own by then)

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"But, but, but - freedom of speech!" one might respond.  Foreign governments are not protected by the bill of rights, and the USA is not constrained by the first amendment in how it deals with them.

However you are actually contending with the Internet specifically in regards to just about everything related to the "intervention" on the part of Russia. As the Internet was initiated in the United States, it has a history of operating under that particular Aegis. Various governments have obviously fire-walled their own respective corners of the Internet, but the US has managed to generally retain stewardship of it throughout it becoming a global phenomena.  This has also been a major contributor to the tech-sector within the US.

What you're talking about is potentially putting the US itself behind a (national) firewall. At which point our ability to influence what happens outside that wall drops considerably, and likely to be at great cost to numerous tech-sector companies as well, as that means they'd have to shift many of their assets to be outside of that same firewall.

Could it be done? Sure.
The problem is how it would be done, and what the consequences would be. At present, I'm inclined to think the cure is worse than the disease, and there are other ways to go about addressing the issue rather than simply building The Great American Firewall rather than The Great American Border Wall With Mexico.

Generally speaking, I think the white and grey hat hackers within the US, as well as the US Tech Sector are going to be placing mechanisms in place by 2020 to help inform people as to the veracity of the various sites they're going to. Of course, how effective/reliable those services are may be another matter. (And there is the matter of foreign entities also involving themselves in that market. Is Canada OK? What about Britain? China? Japan? Germany? The Czech Republic?)

Wayward Son

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #181 on: November 01, 2017, 03:32:47 PM »
The difference, of course, is that the Russians don't have to live in our dirty house.  So why should they be able to dump their dirt in ours? ;)

Because we live in a free and open society where we are entitled to hear from any one, even the Russian's on any topic without censorship?  Or did I mistake how the first amendment works?

The impact of propaganda is a material issue to me, propaganda works even on smart people who should know better, it's impact is gradual and sly.  But the cure can't be to suppress speech, cause I guarantee that "cure" will be used to suppress more than just propaganda, as unpopular or opposition speech increasing gets labelled as such.

We need to be able to evaluate the claims themselves, without relying on a poisoned well fallacy to claim all Russian bad all American good.  How about, just propaganda bad.

You know, I don't think I'd have had such a problem with it if they had just been honest about it. :)  If they had come out and said, "We in Russia believe that Hillary is against blacks," I would have accepted it as part of free speech.  (And ignored it, since, after all, what do Russians know about race relations in the U.S.? ;) )

Instead, the Russians said, "We blacks in Tennessee believe that Hillary is against blacks."   ???  From that alone, you can tell it was propaganda intended to influence the election through devious means.  Ain't right when Americans do it (pretend they're someone else who might have better standing in the argument); ain't right when Russians do it.  And it's especially ain't right when Russians do it, because they don't have to share in the consequences.

So, no, it's not primarily a free speech issue.  It's a propaganda issue, and whether we will allow Russians or any other country to freely try to deceive us to change our government.

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #182 on: November 01, 2017, 03:37:09 PM »
"But, but, but - freedom of speech!" one might respond.  Foreign governments are not protected by the bill of rights, and the USA is not constrained by the first amendment in how it deals with them.

Donald, you're mixing apples and oranges. This isn't about Putin shouting from across the Pacific and insisting he has the right to free speech in America. This is about whether the U.S. ought to be in the business that the Chinese government is in, which is the selective censorship of which information is acceptable to the state. And it goes further than that, into the international trade system itself. Because even if Russian media/agents aren't directly purchasing advertising space in America or using foreign resources to propagate their information here, they could always find Americans who would be willing to publish the material for a price. So now we get into whether it's legal for a foreign party (government or otherwise) to employ someone protected by the bill of rights to publish select material. Would this be banned on account of who's paying for it? Does that mean that any foreign person is debarred from employing Americans or purchasing resources in America? Does that mean they can't invest in real-estate, stocks, or the money market as well? Or does that only go for 'bad guys'?

I don't think you realize how insane it would be to try to ban 'Russian interference' in the form of information. Stopping hacking attempts is one thing, that's already illegal. Stopping spies from committing espionage is already taken seriously. But stopping...information? Wow, what a project that would be. Would you like the country you'd be living in if this was employed with full force?

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #183 on: November 01, 2017, 03:38:50 PM »
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I of course disagree - that Russia intervened so directly in its hacking and propaganda efforts is as or more important than whether Trump assisted in the effort.
Just to be clear, my tepid response to “Russian influence” is separate from saying that we should just ignore hacking.  Hardening our cyber-security is all but mandatory in response.

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Most of the people pushing "The Russian Intervention" into the election of 2016 as a vehicle by which they hope to impeach Donald Trump and in the case of some, somehow put Hillary in his place.
Gotta ask, is anyone considered even remotely credible suggesting that Hillary would magically become president under ANY circumstance no matter how egregious any hypothetical collusion was revealed?  Hell, even if actual hacking of ballot machines was shown to have taken place I find this preposterous.  The way I see it we would have an impotent president (after we march down the line of succession however far…) who keeps the seat warm until the next election, totally unable to govern.  Which, I must say would be the same position Hillary would find herself in now if somehow magically finding herself dropped into the POTUS job.

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #184 on: November 01, 2017, 03:55:00 PM »
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So I must ask, is you fixation on the Russians over the fact they interfered, or that you want Trump out of office?
Ummm... since I've answered or addressed this multiple times already, even in the very last post that you just quoted from, I have to assume you are somehow unable to process my statement. The issue of Russian interference is completely separate from whether Trump was also involved.

From a purely selfish perspective, I don't care who your president is.  But Russian meddling in the electoral process and in the basic public sphere is now affecting all democracies, although not all equally.
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Just to be clear, my tepid response to “Russian influence” is separate from saying that we should just ignore hacking.  Hardening our cyber-security is all but mandatory in response
Hardening your cyber security, especially on its own, would likely have little effect; whereas having the EU, USA, and other western democratic nations agreeing on a package of targeted embargoes, visa restrictions, account freezes, import tariffs... that might actually do something.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #185 on: November 01, 2017, 04:05:25 PM »
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Hardening your cyber security, especially on its own, would likely have little effect; whereas having the EU, USA, and other western democratic nations agreeing on a package of targeted embargoes, visa restrictions, account freezes, import tariffs... that might actually do something.
Depends on your goals.  Changing Russia's behavior?  Your right. 

That wasn't my objective in making the suggestion / stating what must be done. 
After all, there are more actors out there than Russia who would gleefully exploit the same lack of (effective) security.

While we do need to respond to actions of state sponsored meddling, it’s a messy subject.  One with far more gray area than discussions about what WE need to do to mitigate or avoid being meddled with.  As pointed out in this thread, our own hands aren’t clean on this count by any stretch of imagination. 

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #186 on: November 01, 2017, 05:05:15 PM »
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Gotta ask, is anyone considered even remotely credible suggesting that Hillary would magically become president under ANY circumstance no matter how egregious any hypothetical collusion was revealed?

Not credible to me to even suggest that the influence was sufficient to sway the outcome. But probably about the same number of people who think Trump would have won the popular vote if it weren't for fraud.

As far as the succession, we know how that goes under collusion. Unless Pence is implicated, he becomes President if collusion evidence (or more likely false statements under oath) led to impeachment and conviction. If not, Ryan.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #187 on: November 01, 2017, 05:12:22 PM »
Well to those cheering for and delighting in potential impeachment, that Pence may also be wrapped up is probably common.  That was my point rather than any ambiguity on what the line actually was.

Wayward Son

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #188 on: November 01, 2017, 06:25:28 PM »
Here are a sample of some of the Russian-sponsored ads, so we can actually see some of the free speech in action.

I especially like the one that starts, "Fellow Texans!"  ;D

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #189 on: November 01, 2017, 06:58:27 PM »
Well at least the "buff Bernie" was obvious Russian influence.  Hahaha

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #190 on: November 01, 2017, 07:40:16 PM »
The Fellow Texans ones are an uncanny reproduction of many thoughts I have seen expressed by my fellow Texans. Including the clumsy grammar.

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #191 on: November 01, 2017, 09:08:16 PM »
I can't imagine how anyone might object to this:
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At a Wednesday US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Chairman Richard Burr released several Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russia-linked organizations. None from Burr's office mentioned Clinton or Donald Trump; instead, they touched on immigration-related issues in order to widen divisions among the US electorate.


Among them was an attempt to get pro-Texas Facebook users and Muslims to clash at competing events in Houston on May 21, 2016. The pro-Texas page—called Heart of Texas—encouraged its 253,000 followers to gather at an Islamic Center in the city on that day to stop the "Islamization of Texas," while a "United Muslims of America" page, which had 328,000 followers, pushed an event at the same time and place, calling on supporters to "Save Islamic Knowledge."

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #192 on: November 02, 2017, 12:18:30 AM »
I can't imagine how anyone might object to this:
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At a Wednesday US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Chairman Richard Burr released several Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russia-linked organizations. None from Burr's office mentioned Clinton or Donald Trump; instead, they touched on immigration-related issues in order to widen divisions among the US electorate.


Among them was an attempt to get pro-Texas Facebook users and Muslims to clash at competing events in Houston on May 21, 2016. The pro-Texas page—called Heart of Texas—encouraged its 253,000 followers to gather at an Islamic Center in the city on that day to stop the "Islamization of Texas," while a "United Muslims of America" page, which had 328,000 followers, pushed an event at the same time and place, calling on supporters to "Save Islamic Knowledge."

I can! As above, could Russia credibly get Americans to have such animosity if their own government hadn't already fostered it first? What they've been tending to do is to observe weakness and exploit it; to notice a festering sore and poke at it. Sure, that's annoying, and we could have a geo-political discussion about Russia's role in competition. We could talk about America/Saudi vs Russia/Syria, and Russia/Eastern Europe vs USA/Western Europe, and etc etc. So Russia ends up on the other side in many of these scenarios, often simply because they're the competition rather than the bad guys. But let's leave off what we think about foreign competitors and talk strictly about information wars. Russia didn't initiate the narratives that they are exploiting, and whoever did should be put to blame for opening Americans up to manipulation. Who is it, exactly, who began an era of mistrust towards government? It wasn't Russia! But you can be sure they'll use it to their advantage, and I don't blame them for trying. You can try to stop them all you like, but how about beginning by stopping the source of their ammunition? All they do is pick up the stray bullets and throw them around.

D.W.

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #193 on: November 02, 2017, 09:43:58 AM »
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Who is it, exactly, who began an era of mistrust towards government?
Probably those poor saps who got on a boat and colonized this joint...

Fenring

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #194 on: November 02, 2017, 09:50:38 AM »
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Who is it, exactly, who began an era of mistrust towards government?
Probably those poor saps who got on a boat and colonized this joint...

Well...yes, but...

DonaldD

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #195 on: November 03, 2017, 01:26:47 PM »
I'm trying to think of a situation where the "US government" pretended to be both a white supremacist group and a Muslim religious organization, and organized concurrent, co-located demonstrations with the intent to create a riot.

I see a lot of hand waving what-aboutism recently - "oooh, our government does it too" but generally, there is little equivalence when you dig down onto the details.

But if it makes it easier to rationalize Russian state aggression, why not?

NobleHunter

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #196 on: November 03, 2017, 01:39:32 PM »
I'm trying to think of a situation where the "US government" pretended to be both a white supremacist group and a Muslim religious organization, and organized concurrent, co-located demonstrations with the intent to create a riot.

I see a lot of hand waving what-aboutism recently - "oooh, our government does it too" but generally, there is little equivalence when you dig down onto the details.

But if it makes it easier to rationalize Russian state aggression, why not?

I would not be surprised if they did that to the Black Panthers.

TheDrake

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Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #197 on: November 03, 2017, 02:12:11 PM »
I see a lot of hand waving what-aboutism recently - "oooh, our government does it too" but generally, there is little equivalence when you dig down onto the details.

I'm assuming you mean to our own country. Other countries? Well, we've backed full on coups in Guatemala and Chile, spent millions to influence Italian elections, and subtly influenced others. Drew up the rules for how Iraqis were going to govern. More recently, thumb on the scale in Ukraine. And I don't imagine that we ever stand by and watch as Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas stand for election.

As for recent events domestically, it becomes difficult to see Charlottesville as anything but an attempt to allow a riot to occur through inaction. If you think there aren't RNC and DNC trolls out there whipping people into a frenzy by one outrageous lie after another, then I don't know how to convince you. Push polling to smear candidates. And no shortage of White house tweets undermining the political process.