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Monday, 20 April 2020

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Excellent writing! So invigorating that I didn't need to finish my first cup of coffee to read it! I had stopped reading that thread over 24 hours ago.

Thank you David for bringing it forward.

A surprise from Germany:
https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/04/editor-of-germanys-biggest-newspaper-to-chinas-president-you-are-endangering-the-world/

Backbone.

I assure you I am not Darth Vader, but give you credit for a certain type of imagination.

The framers never considered pure democracy as a model for government in more than a theoretical way. They built on the Roman and Greek models and formed a democratic republic. They put in place mechanisms to allow an advance toward more democracy. That's what the Constitutional amendments and countless legal rulings throughout our system of laws have been about. The first 10 amendments were the Bill of Rights, which were meant to counter authoritarianism. One sentence in your ambitious response is especially telling: "Trump has been the subject of a continuous conspiracy of what can fairly be called regicide ...". You reveal yourself as a monarchist at heart, a supreme authoritarian.

The rest of your comment is a collection of right wing cliches, name calling, and assertions. I respond to that stuff often here and don't feel a need to address your particular wordings.

Unlike myself, you certainly have faith in abundance. Faith is, of course, belief without evidence.

Bob, I’m truly sorry that that is all you took away from Malcolm’s excellent dissertation. You should be careful what you wish for.

Timbo,

If that's the first time you've read that type of jeremiad, it's not mine by a long shot. There's nothing there I haven't seen dozens of times.

One of the biggest achievements of the English speaking peoples is the devising and maintenance of a system for the peaceful change of rulers. The Democrat party has driven a coach and horses through this idea. The only consolation is that their actions will just come round in time - and bite them in the ass.

Bob,

You state that “ The rest of your comment is a collection of right wing cliches, name calling, and assertions. I respond to that stuff often here and don't feel a need to address your particular wordings.” In regard to Malcolm’s comments re the 4th estate I whole point you to https://www.samizdata.net/2020/04/seven-hundred-to-one/ which demonstrates the partiality of much of the American Media.

Backofanenvelope,

That's only an assertion. Do you have any evidence?

Wigner’s Friend,

I agree that media are slanted, but they obviously aren't all slanted left. David often posts links to articles with a rightward lean. If CNN TV offends you there's always Fox News, America One, NewsMax, Sinclair Networks, The Blaze, and so on and so forth. I try to watch a little of all of them, mostly as entertainment, but also to keep up with political attitudes.

"The first 10 amendments were the Bill of Rights, which were meant to counter authoritarianism. One sentence in your ambitious response is especially telling: "Trump has been the subject of a continuous conspiracy of what can fairly be called regicide ..."

***

"It's already a settled matter that Mr. Steele's dossier was not the basis for the Mueller investigation. In fact, that was admitted in the Republicans' own "Nunes memo". [BOB-JAN 2018]

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/473709-horowitz-report-is-damning-for-the-fbi-and-unsettling-for-the-rest-of-us

"The indictment was not unusual in that foreign agents are often indicted after leaving the country. Their pictures and files are sent around to make it harder for them to operate in our or our allies' countries, so don't be an ingrate. This indictment also serves as background for further indictments to come. Stay tuned." [BOB-FEB 2018]

"Alexey, the hacking was much more extensive than Facebook postings. The national headquarters data of both major parties were copied and the information was selectively leaked to the American public to attempt a specific effect. Several states' voter databases were also breached. Your government spent about $1 million a month for an extended time to wage psyops on several social media platforms, not just Facebook." [BOB-MARCH 2018]

"What exactly do you mean up above (17 March 2018 at 00:15) with your, "the hacking was much more extensive than Facebook postings"?

"You're aware Bob that there were numerous claims published in the WaPo attributed to "anonymous sources within the Obama administration not authorized to speak on the record" alleging - "also [at almost precisely the same timeframe as the also alledged "election hacking"] the Russians hacked a US electrical grid?" [JK-MARCH 2018]

"The ties between DCLeaks, Wikileaks, and Russian intelligence are well established. And remember the Mueller indictment of the 13 individual Russians and 3 companies? You might want to review it." [BOB-MARCH 2018]

"I enthusiastically Bob, await the trial. The presentment of the evidence and then, the jury's decision." [JK-MARCH 2018]

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/03/department-of-justice-dismisses-robert-mueller-charges-against-russian-businesses/

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/04/senate-judiciary-document-dump-exposes-fbi-and-doj-corruption-by-larry-c-johnson.html

"the 'Bolshie Brigade'"
Before my time, but would be very interesting to have around today.

"Unlike myself, you certainly have faith in abundance. Faith is, of course, belief without evidence." [BOB-APRIL 2020]

JK,

Interesting stuff in The Hill and National Review. Still, Jonathan Turley's piece is clearly labeled "opinion". Turley is lately most famous for being a Trump defender. National Review makes no pretense of being an unbiased source.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who just can't get enough:

https://newrepublic.com/article/157174/impeach-trump-again-coronavirus

Ain't freedom of speech grand?

Bob,

"National Review makes no pretense of being an unbiased source."

Fair enough. So then:

https://www.scribd.com/document/451950979/Motion-to-Dismiss-case-against-Russian-troll-farm#from_embed?campaign=VigLink&ad_group=xxc1xx&source=hp_affiliate&medium=affiliate

That's the motion itself Bob.

Then there's Dan Abrams he of ABC News legal consultancy fame:

"And after all of that, the Russian troll farm’s American lawyers have the last laugh?"

"Along the way of this prosecution there have been some seriously bizarre moments, in many instances thanks to Concord’s America-based counsel."

https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/office-led-by-ag-barrs-former-aide-moves-to-dismiss-muellers-case-against-russian-troll-farm-defendant/

Surely Bob you'd dare not argue that ABC News does make claims of neutrality?

And then there is that pesky IG Horowitz feller, remember him Bob? No?

https://www.c-span.org/video/?467350-1/justice-department-inspector-general-testifies-origins-fbis-russia-inquiry&live=

And then still more recently my oh my and it's on NPR who Bob you'd surely not disagree is totally "fair and balanced"?

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824510255/justice-department-ig-finds-widespread-problems-with-fbis-fisa-applications

"Unlike myself, you certainly have faith in abundance. Faith is, of course, belief without evidence."

And there's more 'belief' in the archives Bob than you can shake a stick at.

JK,

I don't understand what point you're trying to make. The DOJ doesn't want lawyers for Russian shell corporations making discovery inquiries into the means used to catch them. Do you think that means the whole inquiry was a hoax?

https://www.axios.com/justice-department-russian-trolls-internet-research-agency-9bf95c0d-2f6a-4377-84a5-c5f3eb8c4abb.html

Yes Bob I do.

Durham remember has a grand jury empaneled. And then there's the whole issue of media leaks revealing there was a counterintelligence operation taking place in the first place.

"That" simply isn't done. In fact, had Trump not got elected we would never have heard about any of this.

JK,

I can't imagine you wouldn't have heard or read all the same spin if Trump hadn't been elected. Leaks simply aren't done?:

https://www.livescience.com/37344-craziest-intelligence-leaks-in-history.html

For more search "America famous media leaks"

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Bob,

I stand accused. There are many charges, but two most grievous:

"You reveal yourself as a monarchist..."!

Again I see the black gauntlet advancing throatward. (In earlier times, perhaps, I might have been shown the ducking-stool, or the instruments of torture.) It's almost as if democracy and monarchy weren't just two of many possible forms of government, each with its assets and liabilities, and about which men of reason may vary in their preferences, but were instead a matter of good and evil, light and darkness, God and Satan.

The second count:

"Unlike myself, you certainly have faith in abundance. Faith is, of course, belief without evidence."

It's a sign of these inverted times that Faith, always considered a cardinal virtue along with Hope, Charity, and others, has now become a cardinal sin. That essential virtue was surely part of what John Adams had in mind when he said that the new Constitution "was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Nowadays, though, it is read off as a cognitive misdemeanor whenever charges are to be brought against the un-Enlightened.

But just as we so often find the mote in the Other's eye while ignoring the beam in our own, it takes an abundance of a certain sort of Whiggish faith to imagine that the events of the summer of 1787 were deliberately freighted with a telos aimed at the very thing the Framers sought so strenuously to avoid (my italics):

"They put in place mechanisms to allow an advance toward more democracy."

No. What animated them was only their wish to secure our natural rights (a concept that itself is difficult to defend without faith in a transcendent Creator as the bedrock of those rights), while doing everything they could to find a middle way between the Scylla of monarchy, and the Charybdis of majoritarian oppression under raw democracy. That democracy might ever exist for long without sinking into that whirlpool was very much in doubt: there was nothing in the long book of history to suggest that it was possible, and everything to suggest it wasn't.

They did, therefore, everything they could to box in democracy's lust for expansion. (It is worth noting, for example, that according to the Constitution as ratified, only one-half of one-third of the government -- the lower house of Congress -- was to be elected by the people.) They had no fondness for "democracy" per se, and certainly did not sacralize it as we are required to do today (or be shown a glimpse of the ducking-stool). No, they sought only good government, and democracy was only, for them, an ingredient they might use to create it -- and an explosively dangerous ingredient, to be admixed as sparingly as possible, and handled with great care. That too much democracy could be a recipe for disastrously bad government is among the darkest of heresies today, it seems, but it was always to the fore in the minds of the men who met in Philadelphia.

To imagine, then, that the relentless "progress" from the strictly limited (and only marginally democratic) government conceived by the Framers to where we are today is the intended result of a "mechanism" they installed for that purpose, rather than the rough hands of a licentious mob loosening the corset-laces of the Constitution (so often by way of "emanations" and "penumbras" discovered in the expansive imaginations of activist justices) -- to imagine such a thing calls for a good deal more "belief without evidence", I think, than anything I offered in my own remarks.

Here, I'm afraid, the defense must rest. I throw myself upon the mercy of the Court.

Bob,

"Leaks simply aren't done?"

Show me one of those on your list that's anything to do with, specifically, a counterintelligence operation I frankly don't see a single instance.

But there's actually Bob 'a tell' in this whole Russiagate matter.

You're familiar perhaps with at least some few of the Bureau's usual practices? At least the ones having had more light shone on 'em than is standard practice?

Notice anything ... oh, odd about the whole of the Bureau's part in this under consideration that hasn't been the case in any that off-the-top-of-my-head I can immediately call to mind?

Usually in my experience some podunk field office (but sometimes not, frequently field offices in such places eg NY, New Orleans, Boston) trips the breaker that sets the ball rolling.

But not this one no indeedy not - this one was run almost exclusively by top level management sitting in comfy offices on the seventh floor of the Hoover Building itself - which I might add, every single one of those Special Agents Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistants to Deputy Directors and the one Assistant to the Director as well as, at least a couple *top tier Legal Counselors of both the Bureau and the DoJ are now gone, gone, gone. At least six outright fired, four demoted, and some number transferred to the equivalent of Career-Ending Zipcode plus-four.

Top level executives trying their hand at actual operations while it may make for good Hollywood hasn't, to my knowledge, turned out so hot *in real life.

Malcolm,

The unbeliever is your cross to bear, and you do it with flair. Maybe you'd admit that, the framers' presumed intentions aside, amendments to the constitution have substantially increased democracy in America:

15th - Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color or previous condition of servitude

17th - Establishes the direct election of United States senators by popular vote

19th - Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex

23rd - Grants the District of Columbia electors in the Electoral College, their number being not more than those of the least populous state

24th - Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax

26th - Prohibits the denial of the right of US citizens eighteen years of age or older to vote on account of age

JK,

Several leaks on the Livescience list had to do with intelligence operations. Maybe there's some critical difference between those and counterintelligence operations, but that seems like hairsplitting to me. The CIA still won't devulge what exactly Valerie Plame was up to other than that she was involved with counter-proliferation, so we don't know if she was formally counter intelligence or not.

Bob,

I'd certainly agree that those amendments have "increased democracy" in America very substantially indeed. As will dropping the voting age to sixteen, or lower, as some folks recommend. And discarding the Electoral College.

I'm sure the good people of America's heartland can hardly wait to be ruled, in a few more years, by the children and young adults of Los Angeles and New York. No doubt they will always have our best interests in mind, and will oversee our private affairs with wisdom and benevolence.

Malcolm,

I just knew we could agree on something.

David,

Should we meet in the Afterlife, you owe me a pint, and a damn good one. The best beer I ever had was called a "desert martini". It was substandard industrial brew, but came in a big, icy mug with two olives on a plastic skewer. I bought it at an oasis in the Colorado Desert of southern California where it was around 44 Celsius. I expect we could do even better.

Bob too easy - but let's split that into its two parts shall we?

"The CIA still won't divulge what exactly Valerie Plame was up to other than that she was involved with counter-proliferation"

SOP

"So we don't know if she was formally counter intelligence or not."

Yes Bob actually we do. She wasn't.

"[The] Livescience list had to do with intelligence operations. Maybe there's some critical difference between those and counterintelligence operations, but that seems like hairsplitting to me."

*Routine intelligence operations Bob are what you probably think where the Bureau's duties are, pretty much, the same as those for when the (as originally known - pre-J. Edgar) Bureau of Investigation was formed in 1908. To help prosecute crimes basically but importantly an actual predicate to establish such an operation is enshrined in statute.

A clue to what a counterintelligence operation (by the FBI) on the other hand might be gleaned by understanding the department was stood up in September 2005 in response to a presidential directive to establish a National Security Service that combines the missions, capabilities, and resources of the FBI’s national security elements under the leadership of a senior FBI official.

Pay especial notice to that in response to a presidential directive Bob - and pay extra heed to the bit about its being an element of the National Security apparatus. (The Light might shine down upon you.) The FISC (thus FISA) as we know was stood up during the Nixon years - perhaps unsurprisingly - later enshrined into statute by the only branch of government in control of creating statutory law. *Hint - it's not the executive branch.

So Bob - Which department of government might you guess the Bureau's Foreign Counterintelligence Operations Division reports to? And if your guess is correct, guessing further, what branch of government might you reckon directs its every operation? And to which branch are its product producted for? *Hint - it's an individual.

So let us review what we've learned about *foreign [suspects assumedly] counterintelligence operations - we know of course because as you've so helpfully pointed out above we US citizens enjoy "The first 10 amendments were the Bill of Rights, which were meant to counter authoritarianism" which, though the two amendments unmentioned thus far now come to the fore, the Fourth and the Fifth.

Congress (the beneficent body we American citizens can always rest confident takes its oath assiduously) specifically statutated that we US citizens would be protected even if, a bad bad Orange Man ever got anywhere near a flag bearing the presidential seal.

Alia iacta est.

JK,

Do many guys in the bureau wear spray tans? I don't trust guys who wear spray tans. Or face powder either.

Probably both Bob & even some eitherorsorboths as well ...

http://ninetymilesfromtyranny.blogspot.com/2020/04/hey-teacher-leave-them-kids-alone.html

You live in a scary place, JK.

So do you Bob. So do we all.

https://havechanged.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-tampered-elections.html

I'd respectfully request you read, study, and absorb, Mark's accounting. If you get to thinking Mark's "a Trump toadie" as you sometimes assert [claim] that I and my blogging (primarily commenting) community are; all you need do is make a specific assertion and I'll get into their archives in order to, of first priority, provide an evidentiary trail which should convince you that for the far greater number (but not necessarily myself) coming around to viewing "all that's gone on" took a long, sometimes meandering, often arduous, path.

Should you feel a need for documentary evidence that the great majority of the reported leaks' (and leaker's) narrative was contradicted in subsequent discovery you can read for yourself the documents DoJ has most recently provided as ordered to do so by the courts. [See Larry Johnson's exposition via 'Turcopelier' posted yesterday above at 15:38] Or, if I've the convenience (I've got several tomato plants needing set) pose your requests here and I'll post directions to where you can "check the horse's teeth" for yourself.

By the way, David -- it was remiss of me not to thank you in this thread for your kind words, and for reposting my comment. I do appreciate it!

M

Britain has had a problem of emigration for decades. Often it's called the Brain drain, and, having worked with a number of British nurses, and a few physicians, we made a pretty good deal there. To stem that flow, a little bit, massive propaganda efforts were expended. A good example of that is the notion that people are turned away from American hospitals if they can't pay. Advocates of socialized medicine here also like to throw out this load of BS. There are so many layers of fact against this lie. We have Medicaid, to begin with. Also Medicare, also the legal requirement that no ER can turn away anyone for lack of funds. We also have the VA, Veterans' Administration, which operates an enormous network of hospitals and clinics for any military veteran. Then, each state has its own system of financing for indigent care. In Texas it's called TMAP, Texas Medical Assistance Program. We also have hospitals of last resort, mostly in larger cities, but also in the Rio Grande Valley, and, not to be forgotten, MD Anderson, which is one of five leading research institutions in the world for the treatment of cancer, and which has a means-blind admissions policy. During the Obamacare debate, a story was circulated about a man whose wife could not begin chemotherapy for her cancer until he went home and set up a second mortgage on their house to pay for it. What hogwash! It's MD Anderson! Approximately half the oil money in Texas is donated to that institution. People may try to sneak into Britain for free care, but those who can afford to do something else, come to Texas. Yes, foreigners pay, although less than the full cost of treatment, but Texans are covered, no matter what. Louisiana has a system of state hospitals for its indigents, as does Pennsylvania. Other states have other arrangements. I realize that people outside the US can't readily grasp federalism, and plenty of Americans have trouble with the concept, too, but health care, including indigent care, is a state matter, even though we have some programs funded, in whole or in part, with Federal money.

Survival rates for nearly all diseases are highest in the USA. Our average life expectancy is also higher, once you correct for the peculiar way of counting infant mortality. Here, we count every baby who draws breath as a live birth, and, if they die in the first week or two of life, they are averaged in with the man who reaches a hundred. Most of the industrialized world doesn't count babies who only live for a week or two.e.g Britain, Switzerland, S. Korea or Japan.

So, anyone contemplating a visit to the US of A, can buy temporary health insurance, rather cheaply, last time I checked, and that will cover the bulk of your medical bills, and a plane to skip out on the bill will take care of the rest. Wages are higher here, and most people's compensation package includes health insurance. Obama messed up a lot of that, but, if one must get sick, here is where to do it.

That's great Michael. Lots of people are taking your advice.

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