How Russia trolled the USA

Well, I don’t have anyone in your position in my circle, and certainly nobody who’s been to Russia. That said, the Russians didn’t have those pornoscanner thingies at their airports last I checked, and if you go to whichever bathroom suits the gender you visually resemble at five paces (don’t know any terminology guaranteed to be non-insulting, so went for clinical, sorry) nobody’ll probably notice.

Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

That is hilarious, sad and probably way too true. Everyone should read that. He’s too hard on Snowden, Manning and Greenwald. Like someone else said, he likes the media as long as they don’t go after his buddies.

Though I don’t doubt for a second that Snowden’s Russian visa application is 100% helped by the political message it sends to keep him there. That’s not his fault though. He tried his best to get out of there.


Tom Robinson knew this 40 years ago

Some of us find out the hard way. I can’t even visit my parents without being in fear that I will be beaten up again. Carlisle might not be Brighton or San Francisco, but it’s also not the US South.


That’s why I don’t put my name in for jobs over there. It’s great pay, but I’d rather not get into shit in a different country. I do that enough when they ship me down to the South.

How have I never known of this song?!

OTOH, MAD demonstrably worked.

Without it, I think it’s a near-certainty that there would have been a serious shooting war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact during the late 20th C.


A bit of false equivalence, but really, quite insightful overall.

Russia basically just nudged us to fighting each other rather than them. And we were all too happy to do it.


Given the rambling nature I imagine they were just going one sentence at a time loosely coupling ideas until they reached the City On a Hill finale. It somehow reads more naturally in Twitter where each thought’s less connected from the prior/subsequent than as an essay.

But yeah, there were are 16,898 characters typed in at 140 characters or less at a time. I couldn’t tolerate it.


The bigger the Southern city, the more likely it is you’ll be accepted. Rural areas might pose a problem. Atlanta is as good as anywhere. I’m going to guess that your company ships you to cities and not rural areas. :slight_smile:

MAD worked (with great risks and a few points where it was incredibly close to failure), but because that was the approach applied it’s hard to know what alternatives might also have worked that didn’t involve squandering the budget on constantly ramping up production on more and more deadly apocalypse machines. Though, yeah, probably could have picked a better example from the hideous things Von Neumann’s game theory approach propagated.


A big part of his rant is that we (the USA) did it to ourselves, Russia just egged us on.

But that still won’t matter to the millions of conspiracy minded Americans who will make all kinds of excuses to satisfy the pleasure centers of their brains. Trump told them what they wanted to hear, which was a distilled mish-mash of assorted right-wing anger and misinformation. If you can believe that anytime “pizza” appears in emails that it’s really code for sex-slaves then you can believe all kinds of bullshit. I actually saw one comment on a right wing blog “It’s most likely child sex slaves flown in from Chicago straight to the White House. It’s the only logical answer.” (Italics mine.)

Ultimately the big culprit here is the right wing-echo-chamber. Putin said “ah HA, I know how this works, we do it all the time.” Fox News, Limbaugh. Alex Jones, they all set the stage and Putin just had to draw the curtains. Without Russian influence it may have played out much the same.

At one point conservatives considered wikileaks evil, now they’re saying “God bless wikileaks.” I’d like to think that can cut against Trump too, if wikileaks got emails with him ordering Nixon-styled dirty tricks, etc. But of course we all know how that would play among conservatives, the words “fake”, “propaganda” and “false flag” will pepper their responses (or else the phrases “good, he’s justified, they deserved it” etc.)


Glad to Be Gay is effectively the UK LGBTQ anthem.

I don’t know how popular Tom Robinson is in the US, but the EP that “Glad To Be Gay” was from was only released in the UK. Most BBC radio DJs refused to play it (John Peel being the exception, as he often was), despite it getting to no.18 in the sales charts. Ironically, he has presented shows on BBC Radio 1,2,3,4,5,6 and the World Service since then.

He has updated it several times over the years, to keep it current, but I thought the original 70s was the best choice as a warning of what we may go back to.

Tom Robinson thinks the same, he did a performance of both the original and the up to date versions outside Downing Street earlier this year as a protest against Theresa May’s appalling voting record on LGBT rights.


Oh yeah. I do fine in Atlanta. I love the MARTA. I wish all cities had an easy way out of the airport like that.

My husband? He still gets into it with folks in big cities. He has an unerring ability to find a bigot, and push that button. He’s a viking. He’s got to get that out of his system somewhere.

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Yeah… it’s easier than taking the highway out, actually. Although, if you want to go somewhere that isn’t on the two lines, it kind of sucks.

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You know, the CIA has made mistakes over the years, but they don’t have a reputation for wild-eyed conspiracy mongering. It’s possible, like Mr. Trump says, all the hacking was one 400-pound guy sitting on his bed. But the preponderance of evidence and expert opinion says Russia.

And do you really think that if my government has done bad things in the past, I forfeit the right to criticize other governments? That’s one tough regime of blogger ethics. However, finding it unacceptable for a foreign government to interfere in our elections is by no means McCarthyite. This is true even though we have done the same thing plenty of times. I find that unacceptable too. But do you really think Chuck Schumer is going to hold hearings to out all the Russian agents in Hollywood?

The President has promised retaliation, and I’m with him, just as long as he doesn’t drone Putin.


It goes a little past mistakes, I think. Intervening in elections around the world on a semi-regular basis and attempting to assassinate other heads of states… they have quite a bit to answer for. If they did conspiracy mongering, it was that the russians were lurking behind every single decolonization movement in the 1950s through to the 1970s. [quote=“Boundegar, post:35, topic:91031”]
And do you really think that if my government has done bad things in the past, I forfeit the right to criticize other governments?

Not in the least. As long as we’re aware of the problems with our own government, we are right to speak out about other governments when they seek to intervene with us. But we most certainly shouldn’t ignore the damage we’ve done over the years - not least of all to ourselves.


I’m going to quote myself here:

Wanna criticize Putin? Sure! Easy!

You can criticize as much as you please, provided, naturally, you are consistent in your criticism. If interfering in the politics of other countries is wrong then it is wrong for everyone. That may be a tough regime of ethics especially if you are American because when it comes to that particular sin, nobody touches America. America has casually assassinated elected heads of state when they were judged unsuitable to American interests.

So, by all means: Rag on Russia—I can certainly imagine many reasons to do so, but by doing so know you also acknowledge America as being fairly terrible and a bad-faith actor on the world stage.

So yeah. Tough ethics regime, but fair, I think.

That being dealt with:

You know, the CIA has made mistakes over the years, but they don’t have a reputation for wild-eyed conspiracy mongering.

Yes, yes they do. Domino theory comes to mind, as does the systematic overestimates of Soviet military strength. Adam Curtis did a wonderful thing on this in, I believe, the Power of Nightmares.

It’s possible, like Mr. Trump says, all the hacking was one 400-pound guy sitting on his bed. But the preponderance of evidence and expert opinion says Russia.

The evidence is not as strong as it is claimed. A lot of it is gibberish: A document has ‘Russian Keyboard Settings.’ So? I have Russian keyboard settings and I’m not Russian, in Russia, let alone paid by the Russian government. I also have German and English settings and I’m not from any of those places, either. A message is written with a Russian idiom—please. Technically proficient foreigners are frequently capable of idiomatic English. I’m not a native speaker, for heavens’s sake. So. Quick. Where am I from?

The fact that when this all started people showed up with pseudoevidence like this makes me suspect that someone really wants this to be state-sponsored Russian which, naturally, makes me suspicious.

Note, as well, that a lot of the evidence satisfies itself by tracing the attack to Russia. Whoever said that anything any Russian does is sanctioned by the government? Have you met the Russians? They take to subservience about as well as cats do to altruism. It could have been any number of non-state actors.

Note, that I’m not trying to dispel the notions that it might have been the Russian government. It might have been, certainly. It may even be likely. It’s hard to tell, forensic computer security being what it is. But it makes sense, certainly, and even if they didn’t they might have done. Hillary’s anti-Russia rhetoric was quite a sight to behold, Nuland was her creature (and was already busy ruining Cyprus when her star power expired when Hillary unexpectedly didn’t win). Russians were certainly nervous enough about her becoming president to run about 40 000 000 people through NBC drills. Just her support for the B-61/12 program is enough to induce horripilation in the toughest of constitutions.

However, finding it unacceptable for a foreign government to interfere in our elections is by no means McCarthyite.

No indeed.

But do you really think Chuck Schumer is going to hold hearings to out all the Russian agents in Hollywood?

No, I think the Washington Post is going to post a blacklist of media outlets, a goodly portion of which are respected alternative analysis and news blogs who, while anti-establishment[1], can in no way be construed as Russian propaganda. In fact, I think that the WaPo already did that. How’s that for McCarthyism?

I think that Google and Facebook will cheerful offer to subtly adjust what we get to see in order to remove ‘fake news’ which they will determine using secret algorithms that we can’t possibly know, and will justify this Mintru nonsense by defending us from the Russian Menace.

I also think that Trump’s going to get a second term if what passes for a left in America doesn’t sober up and realize that, no, it wasn’t some outside compelling force that made Trump happen. America made Trump happen, and America has to fix that problem itself, not blame everyone except the people who actually caused the problem in the first place.

[1] Which, if you truly oppose America interfering in the elections of other countries you yourself absolutely are.


You do realize that was over fifty years ago? But I agree with your main point - Trump is just the culmination of everything the GOP has been about for decades, minus the respectability. If he sets himself up as a dictator, and makes common cause with other dictators, I don’t think we need to have anxiety attacks over the bombing of Cambodia before we can oppose Trump.


Part of the current horror story of Russian manipulation that helped install Trump goes back to Ukraine’s coup/removal of Yanukovych and election of Poroshenko. While there aren’t any really reliable reports on the details of just what was going on, and it’s hard to say how much involvement the US had, there’s a significant appearance that the US was messing around in Putin’s back yard training/supplying some of the people involved in the huge, well organized uprising that forced Yanukovych into exile, and backing Poroshenko in the election that escalated into a situation of Russia’s invasion/annexation of Crimea. Out of that Russia developed a lot of the cyberwarfare disinfo/porpaganda operations, and selective hacks and release of damning information to attack political opponents that were later used in the US election. Specifics are hazy about what really happened, but it points to the fact that this kind of manipulation can have some really horrible long term results. Dumping Yanukovych, an utterly corrupt puppet surely would have seemed like a laudable goal, but the story didn’t just end there.

For added horror, former lobbyist to Yanukovych, Paul Manafort, who received illegal payments indirectly from Moscow wound up initially running Trump’s campaign and while he was eventually dumped, he’s back in favor and working with the transition team.

While the CIA’s interference in other nations is inherently wrong, it can’t even by justified out of an amoral justification that “the ends justify the means,” since that it has this way of creating all kinds of hideous blowback.


The EP was only released in the UK, but “Glad to Be Gay” was included in the US release of his first album, Power in the Darkness.