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Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 28 Oct 2018, 23:38
by Aresen
Eric the .5b wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 17:58
Aresen wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 10:32
Eric the .5b wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 03:05
Taktix® wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 02:31
I'm all for the United States military walking back their role as the world babysitter/policeman, but not the current, Kremlin-directed roughshod walking back that takes the precise form that is most advantageous to Russia's filling in the resulting power vacuums and exercising Putin's influence of a greater number of previously free people.

As a measure of net liberty, every time a person falls under the control of Vladimir Putin, the world gets less free.
The UK and France together spend more on their militaries than Russia's military budget. NATO would be just fine without the US. If they want to expand up to Russia's border for fear of Putin, I'm fine with that, so long as we're not involved.
Based on current foreign exchange rates, this is true. Adjusting for purchasing power parity, Russia spends quite a bit more.

When we compare by number of people in the armed forces:
Russia: 831,000
France: 203,000
UK: 152,000

Source: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/29- ... world.html
How many times did people point out that Iraq had one of the largest armies in the world, right before Desert Storm?

And, again, this is the military Russia can't actually afford.
I do think that the Russian armed forces would be handily defeated by the French, British or German armed forces in a conventional war anywhere outside of Russian territory. [On the territory of Rodina, all bets are off.] Putin has been canny enough to avoid engaging any army remotely comparable to Russia's so far. I base this more on the quality of the troops and command than on the equipment, however. Western military equipment is sophisticated, but trades sensitivity to failure for the sophistication. (Too many therbligs, in engineering terms.) Russian equipment tends to be more basic, but also more robust.

As for 'affordability', Russians have had memories of 'The Great Patriotic War' drilled into them for 70+ years. Even more than in the US, the military is idolized in Russia and the Russians will make great sacrifices to pay for it. What the Russians really can't afford is their kleptocracy, which is sucking the lifeblood out of their economy.

---

Returning to the discussion about the logic of empire: Imperial Powers simply cannot limit their expansion. Each expansion creates a new vulnerability which requires further expansion. By the time an Imperial Power realizes that it is over-extended, the damage is already done. Pulling back is fraught with both external and internal danger because a leadership that pulls back is perceived as vulnerable to external enemies, subjugated peoples and would be usurpers at home.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 26 Nov 2018, 21:03
by thoreau
Mueller claims to have evidence that Manafort lied to the feds when he was supposed to be cooperating.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/us/p ... ation.html

Either Manafort figures that a pardon is coming, or he figures that prison food beats novichok.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 27 Nov 2018, 10:53
by thoreau
Manafort paid several visits to Julian Assange, the last one in 2016.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... an-embassy

So Trump's campaign manager has done business with a bunch of pro-Moscow politicians, he has Russian intelligence agents working at his office in Kiev, he takes the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, and he just happens to meet with the guy who released the DNC emails that Russia hacked.

Nothing to see here. Everything's fine. We're all fine. How are you?

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 29 Nov 2018, 10:54
by thoreau
Cohen admits that he was trying to get a Trump Tower built in Moscow during the 2016 campaign, while Donny Jr., Jared, and Manafort were accepting a meeting with representatives of the Russian government.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/29/ex-trum ... ports.html

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 29 Nov 2018, 11:11
by Mo
Since all the chatter this week was about Corsi and Stone and not about this big plea, it's pretty clear that anything you read that is leaked about the Muller investigation isn't coming from Muller. I'm pretty sure literally 0 of the big Muller indictments have leaked until they hit.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 29 Nov 2018, 14:16
by thoreau
Moar:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/ ... ssion=true

I don't get why Mueller would be probing lies about real estate deals when this is solely about Russian troll farms.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 30 Nov 2018, 11:41
by thoreau
Trump offered to give Putin a penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow if the project would be approved:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/an ... -putin-the

Any other politician would be sunk by this alone.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 01 Dec 2018, 04:45
by Mo
The question is if an offer was made. Coming up with the idea of making the offer is stupid, but legal. Making the offer is a pretty bright line violation of FCPA.

Incidentally, Donald Trump has previously come out against FCPA because other countries let companies bribe corrupt officials.


Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 02 Dec 2018, 10:58
by thoreau
Appropriate to this political era, I think that the case against Trump (on matters concerning Russia) can be summarized in one tweet:


Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 07 Dec 2018, 19:19
by thoreau
Manafort told a lot of lies about Konstantin Kilimnik , who sure wants to get witnesses to be quiet. Kilimnik is a business associate of Manafort and also a "former" Russian intelligence officer.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-sp ... afort-case

I'm sure that this is all perfectly innocent. Just a misunderstanding about troll farms.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 10 Dec 2018, 20:28
by thoreau
Maria Butina is about to go on the novichok diet.

https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/mar ... ssion=true

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 10 Dec 2018, 23:32
by Shem
Don't think so. Bet the embassy told her to cop to everything they have proof of, for the same reason they dropped Cohen's emails once his deal went public. She's burned already; might as well do a bit more damage by blowing it up.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 11:53
by JD
I'm interested in the latest reports on the Russian trolling efforts but also kind of baffled. I mean, we're all shitting our pants over what basically amounts to a bunch of stupid Instagram memes? Americans are quite capable of creating those without any help, from what I can tell.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 12:08
by thoreau
Americans are a dull and easily-manipulated bunch. I teach in a non-elite state school.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 13:00
by Shem
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 11:53
I'm interested in the latest reports on the Russian trolling efforts but also kind of baffled. I mean, we're all shitting our pants over what basically amounts to a bunch of stupid Instagram memes? Americans are quite capable of creating those without any help, from what I can tell.
The Article wrote:One Facebook page called Army of Jesus offered free counseling to people with sexual addiction, using ads that read “‘Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together’ - Jesus.”
They're farming compromat on social media, and we're still on "this was just Instagram memes?"

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 13:52
by JD
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 13:00
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 11:53
I'm interested in the latest reports on the Russian trolling efforts but also kind of baffled. I mean, we're all shitting our pants over what basically amounts to a bunch of stupid Instagram memes? Americans are quite capable of creating those without any help, from what I can tell.
The Article wrote:One Facebook page called Army of Jesus offered free counseling to people with sexual addiction, using ads that read “‘Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together’ - Jesus.”
They're farming compromat on social media, and we're still on "this was just Instagram memes?"
Does a Jesus-based masturbation addiction help group on Facebook really seem like a serious attempt at gaining leverage over the US political process? I mean, look at the wording! "Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together"!

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 13:59
by Ellie
Well, that's true that it's not masturbation anymore if you're jerking his while he's jerking yours. So, addiction overcome?

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 14:58
by Shem
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 13:52
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 13:00
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 11:53
I'm interested in the latest reports on the Russian trolling efforts but also kind of baffled. I mean, we're all shitting our pants over what basically amounts to a bunch of stupid Instagram memes? Americans are quite capable of creating those without any help, from what I can tell.
The Article wrote:One Facebook page called Army of Jesus offered free counseling to people with sexual addiction, using ads that read “‘Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together’ - Jesus.”
They're farming compromat on social media, and we're still on "this was just Instagram memes?"
Does a Jesus-based masturbation addiction help group on Facebook really seem like a serious attempt at gaining leverage over the US political process? I mean, look at the wording! "Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together"!
It sounds like a way to gain potentially embarrassing information about people you can then use to get them to over your demands. They did the same thing with LGBT groups, repeatedly encouraging people in crisis to reach out to them for "help." It was an operation to develop assets within the US.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 15:29
by JD
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 14:58
It sounds like a way to gain potentially embarrassing information about people you can then use to get them to over your demands. They did the same thing with LGBT groups, repeatedly encouraging people in crisis to reach out to them for "help." It was an operation to develop assets within the US.
Source? I'm not specifically doubting you, I just haven't seen anything about that. It also seems like an extremely scattershot way of gathering random low-value assets, but...

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 15:42
by thoreau
If they wanted some disposable flunkies to do grunt work on some election fraud shenanigans in Florida, I could see blackmailing a teen from a conservative family to help with picking up some envelopes or whatever.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 15:57
by Shem
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:29
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 14:58
It sounds like a way to gain potentially embarrassing information about people you can then use to get them to over your demands. They did the same thing with LGBT groups, repeatedly encouraging people in crisis to reach out to them for "help." It was an operation to develop assets within the US.
Source? I'm not specifically doubting you, I just haven't seen anything about that. It also seems like an extremely scattershot way of gathering random low-value assets, but...
www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/12/russian-ele ... oming/amp/
thoreau wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:42
If they wanted some disposable flunkies to do grunt work on some election fraud shenanigans in Florida, I could see blackmailing a teen from a conservative family to help with picking up some envelopes or whatever.
There's a ton of things you can do with a rando American. Like using them to carry out money laundering, for example. Just being able to move money while avoiding the Magnitsky Act is helpful. And that leaves aside the occasional person who might be in a position to do more, as well as the long-term value of having information on people who might prove useful some day in the future.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 16:33
by JD
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:57
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:29
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 14:58
It sounds like a way to gain potentially embarrassing information about people you can then use to get them to over your demands. They did the same thing with LGBT groups, repeatedly encouraging people in crisis to reach out to them for "help." It was an operation to develop assets within the US.
Source? I'm not specifically doubting you, I just haven't seen anything about that. It also seems like an extremely scattershot way of gathering random low-value assets, but...
www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/12/russian-ele ... oming/amp/
thoreau wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:42
If they wanted some disposable flunkies to do grunt work on some election fraud shenanigans in Florida, I could see blackmailing a teen from a conservative family to help with picking up some envelopes or whatever.
There's a ton of things you can do with a rando American. Like using them to carry out money laundering, for example. Just being able to move money while avoiding the Magnitsky Act is helpful. And that leaves aside the occasional person who might be in a position to do more, as well as the long-term value of having information on people who might prove useful some day in the future.
Thanks. I agree that that's more serious than some Instagram post that says "SUPPORT OUR VETERANS, NOT IMMIGRANTS" or whatever, but it still seems a bit small potatoes. Yes, Russian intelligence has a long history of cultivating lots of contacts, but the idea that a state power on the level of Russia needs to collect random compulsive wankers off Facebook in order to launder money seems questionable.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 16:37
by thoreau
I'm thinking less money laundering and more Nixonian "Dirty Tricks Committee" stuff. Get people to go door-to-door with flyers advertising the wrong polling place and whatnot. They don't need highly-skilled assets, just cannon fodder.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 19:04
by Painboy
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 16:33
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:57
JD wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:29
Shem wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 14:58
It sounds like a way to gain potentially embarrassing information about people you can then use to get them to over your demands. They did the same thing with LGBT groups, repeatedly encouraging people in crisis to reach out to them for "help." It was an operation to develop assets within the US.
Source? I'm not specifically doubting you, I just haven't seen anything about that. It also seems like an extremely scattershot way of gathering random low-value assets, but...
www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/12/russian-ele ... oming/amp/
thoreau wrote:
18 Dec 2018, 15:42
If they wanted some disposable flunkies to do grunt work on some election fraud shenanigans in Florida, I could see blackmailing a teen from a conservative family to help with picking up some envelopes or whatever.
There's a ton of things you can do with a rando American. Like using them to carry out money laundering, for example. Just being able to move money while avoiding the Magnitsky Act is helpful. And that leaves aside the occasional person who might be in a position to do more, as well as the long-term value of having information on people who might prove useful some day in the future.
Thanks. I agree that that's more serious than some Instagram post that says "SUPPORT OUR VETERANS, NOT IMMIGRANTS" or whatever, but it still seems a bit small potatoes. Yes, Russian intelligence has a long history of cultivating lots of contacts, but the idea that a state power on the level of Russia needs to collect random compulsive wankers off Facebook in order to launder money seems questionable.
This is where I am. Getting stupid randos on the internet to do stupid things isn't exactly Machiavellian (or from what I can tell remotely effective). It doesn't mean we shouldn't push back or out these operations but this stuff doesn't even rise to the level of the McCarthy hearings. Those at least had some people implicated that had some influence in the media as ridiculous as that whole exercise was.

Re: Occam, Trump, and Russia

Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 20:14
by Shem
You guys think waaaaay too small. "Hm, thanks to Facebook, we notice your uncle works for Raytheon making high-end equipment for the DoD. Wonder if he re-uses passwords. Be a ягненок and plug this keylogger into his computer next time you go to his house for dinner so we can find out? Unless you want your parents to find out you're gay, that is."