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  #201  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:20 PM
Euphonious Polemic is offline
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A serious question:

I know that nothing much can be done about citizens repeating dangerous Russian propaganda on social media sites like this one. Even when it is transparently obvious that a source is beyond dubious, and is actually completely fallacious and is intended entirely for the benefit of Russia and is intended to damage the West... If someone here repeats it, there is not much we can do. (Assuming that that person genuinely, authentically believes this lie to be the truth)

However, what can be done about elected officials that do the same thing, or make public statements that promote nutty conspiracy theories that originate with Russian intelligence/disinformation services? Eg. Rep Nunes? I mean, when an elected official is essentially taking the side of Russian operatives who are spreading propaganda and lies... what exactly can be done about this? Just wait and hope the voters catch on? What we have now is effectively Russian propaganda agents who are elected as US Representatives. This gives a cachet to their lies, and helps members of the regular public accept these lies.
  #202  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
However, what can be done about elected officials that do the same thing, or make public statements that promote nutty conspiracy theories that originate with Russian intelligence/disinformation services?
For now, same as we are doing. Just point and laugh.
  #203  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
Can someone please explain to me why fathering a child out of wedlock is a bigger problem than paying a pornstar for sex just after your own wife gave birth?
Because Biden hasn't hit back with it.
  #204  
Old 11-21-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
However, what can be done about elected officials that do the same thing, or make public statements that promote nutty conspiracy theories that originate with Russian intelligence/disinformation services? Eg. Rep Nunes? I mean, when an elected official is essentially taking the side of Russian operatives who are spreading propaganda and lies... what exactly can be done about this? Just wait and hope the voters catch on? What we have now is effectively Russian propaganda agents who are elected as US Representatives. This gives a cachet to their lies, and helps members of the regular public accept these lies.
In theory you don't vote for them, so they never get into office, and, if they do get into office, then you vote them out the next time that they come up.

The alternative is various first amendment rights removals for political candidates - which don't seem very wise.

So if we're not electing people who are sane and honest, I'd suggest that the problem is our hiring practices not the speech rights of the corrupt morons we're voting for. Unmitigated popularity polls, particularly in the age of data mining and social media, is a pretty strong recipe for disaster.

I have posted a variety of reforms already, in other threads, so I don't feel like it's worth going through them here. But I'll say that the fact that the Democratic candidates are all talking about healthcare and other causes celebre instead of correcting some of the systemic issues that we've been encountering in the last decade or two is a pretty good indication that things are only going to get worse.

Government has been co-opted by the "sports" part of the general public's brain. And the people in the game are those who have been selected and groomed to be the best of the best in that sport. And they joined the game because it sounded fun.

We're dealing with a system that is all about fighting over the ball and where both participants and spectators enjoy that and spend big on that.

Convincing all of them that the game is stupid and harmful to everyone is a hard sell - until it starts to affect the lives of us here at home. Ukraine getting invaded by Russia doesn't affect our lives. The people who care about that sort of thing are a small minority and are, realistically, just a nuisance. It's fair to call them a swamp or deep state who is out to destroy the system that everyone else wants.

And that's not just on the Republican side. These are fundamental market forces of cash flow and voting choices. Evolution and cash will carry you there whether you want it or not. As said, none of the Democrats are trying to fight it or even talking about it. They might not be as bad as the Republicans are yet, but that's probably a simple matter that the Republicans are in the minority nationally so they have to move with the rules of the sport faster to keep ahead.

But that is the future for everyone. You can't escape market forces. You have to redirect them in a better direction or you're going where they're going.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 11-21-2019 at 02:25 PM.
  #205  
Old 11-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
A serious question:

I know that nothing much can be done about citizens repeating dangerous Russian propaganda on social media sites like this one. Even when it is transparently obvious that a source is beyond dubious, and is actually completely fallacious and is intended entirely for the benefit of Russia and is intended to damage the West... If someone here repeats it, there is not much we can do. (Assuming that that person genuinely, authentically believes this lie to be the truth)

However, what can be done about elected officials that do the same thing, or make public statements that promote nutty conspiracy theories that originate with Russian intelligence/disinformation services? Eg. Rep Nunes? I mean, when an elected official is essentially taking the side of Russian operatives who are spreading propaganda and lies... what exactly can be done about this? Just wait and hope the voters catch on? What we have now is effectively Russian propaganda agents who are elected as US Representatives. This gives a cachet to their lies, and helps members of the regular public accept these lies.
Here are some important things I think we can do, as often as we are able.

Trumpists, whom I distinguish from sane Republicans (and there are quite a number of those, although most of them have fallen away from the current Republican party), would not be able to propagate their disinformation without the robust assistance of their news outlets -- especially Fox "News." Fox is not a news medium, even with the one or two feeble voices of Chris Wallace and... umm, well, Shep Smith is gone now. Fox is a propaganda mouthpiece for Russian disinformation. Period.

This should be pointed out as often as possible to viewers within our sphere. For example, my parents watch Fox exclusively. Lucky for them I live far away and visit infrequently, because it is a rule that when I visit, I will leave immediately if I am subjected to the propaganda network. The television must stay off the news during my stay. I'm not a bitch about it, just insistent.

I will not do business with companies that advertise with Fox. I have written to companies to say why I will not do business with them. Here is a list of Fox's primary advertisers. (Media Matters)

This is not a new approach, obviously, but it is an effective one. If enough people make it clear to companies that their bottom lines will be affected by their advertising choices, it often can bring about a dramatic shift.

I know some folks here advocate otherwise and I can understand their frustration, but don't let blatant Russian disinformation propagated on this site by any member go unchallenged. I don't have a need to convince Ditka that his false information is wrong. That's a fool's errand. But I do think it's important to point out the truth using credible cites and evidence for the benefit of others who may be reading.

With respect to politicians, that's easy: Vote them out. If pro-Russian politicians represent your state/district, now is the time to write, call and confront them over their Russian conspiracy theory disinformation. Make it clear that you intend to vote for someone else because they are no longer representing the national interests of this country. Let them know you intend to influence everyone within your orbit to do the same. If you are fortunate, as I am, to have politicians who are able to distinguish facts from Russian-driven conspiracy theory fiction, thank them. Profusely and frequently.

Make an effort to get out the vote this election season. There are many ways to help: Send postcards, make calls, canvas door-to-door. Volunteer at the local DNC headquarters. They will find some way for you to help. Donate if you can to campaigns that are struggling in critical parts of the country.

Lastly, show up for protests and demonstrations if you are able. In the run-up to the Senate vote, I expect there will be some of these. Warm bodies with signs make a visual statement that is not easily ignored by politicians.

Anyway, this is stuff I do. I feel better doing something.
  #206  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:53 PM
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I was about to post this as a new thread, as I haven't found any mention of this in the impeachment thread, but having found this existing thread, I decided that this would be a more appropriate place for it.

A couple of months ago, I found the following timeline that went into extreme detail on everything surrounding the current controversy, and it has since been updated a few times, most recently a week ago:

https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/t...9y5AF4Tm8rewtM

However, one apparently crucial detail currently missing from this timeline is the February 2, 2016 raid on Zlochevskiy's residence that reportedly occurred within a couple of weeks of Joe Biden's demanding Shokin's removal. Additionally, I currently cannot find any references to this raid other than articles about Lindsay Graham's announcement of investigations into the Bidens last week (mostly by right-wing sites supporting Graham), nor do I remember this having been brought up by anyone prior to then.

The story has always been that Viktor Shokin had done nothing with regard to Burisma for over a year prior to the demands for his dismissal. Obviously, the intent of bringing up this raid is to support the narrative that Shokin was "closing in" on Hunter Biden and that Joe's motivation was to shut that down to protect his son.

According to the above timeline, Yuriy Lutsenko, Shokin's successor, initially took a hard-line against Burisma, but the following September, "a court in Kyiv ordered a case closed in September 2016 because no evidence of wrongdoing had been presented." Since Lutsenko has turned out to be just as corrupt as his predecessor (and I've read rumors that he was working with Giuliani until he was ousted by the election of Zelenskiy), it's hard to tell whether the raid in question simply produced no useful evidence, or if incriminating evidence ended up being withheld by either of these corrupt prosecutors (because, you know, corruption).

I'm wondering why I've never heard about this raid until this last week, or at least why Trump's defenders haven't been repeatedly bringing this up enough for me to have noticed. My Google-fu is probably lacking, but somehow I cannot find anything referring to this raid earlier than last week. Can anyone help me understand what's going on here?
  #207  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:02 PM
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How common is it for relatives of politicians to be on the board of directors? Some people are saying it's evidence of a conflict of interest because of Hunter's connection to the VP, but I always thought that kind of stuff went on all the time. The BoD will often have a wide variety of people on it for a wide variety of reasons. Some will have expertise in the core business, but others will be there for other reasons such as name recognition, access to contacts, ability to get meetings with certain people, and so on. It'd be helpful to rebut people arguing Hunter should be investigated because he's on the BoD if we had a list of all the politicians who have relatives on boards of companies where that could be considered a potential for conflict of interest.
  #208  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
How common is it for relatives of politicians to be on the board of directors? Some people are saying it's evidence of a conflict of interest because of Hunter's connection to the VP, but I always thought that kind of stuff went on all the time. The BoD will often have a wide variety of people on it for a wide variety of reasons. Some will have expertise in the core business, but others will be there for other reasons such as name recognition, access to contacts, ability to get meetings with certain people, and so on. It'd be helpful to rebut people arguing Hunter should be investigated because he's on the BoD if we had a list of all the politicians who have relatives on boards of companies where that could be considered a potential for conflict of interest.
When Neil's dad was president, 1991

Quote:
In a stinging rebuke, the nation’s top thrift regulator said Thursday that Neil Bush engaged in serious conflicts of interest as a director of a defunct Colorado savings and loan and failed badly in his duty to demonstrate “candor and loyalty.”
The President’s son was ordered to cease and desist from engaging in conflicts of interest and to follow strict rules of conduct if he ever joins another S&L; as a manager or director.

T. Timothy Ryan Jr., director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, upheld an administrative law judge’s ruling that Bush behaved improperly as a director by keeping hidden his business dealings with major borrowers of Silverado Banking, Savings & Loan Assn. in Denver.

The ruling could provide major political ammunition if Democrats choose to aggressively attack the Administration over the S&L; bailout issue. Ryan, who issued the decision, served in the President’s election campaign in 1988 and was hand-picked for the regulatory job by Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady, a close friend of the President.

Ryan said that Neil Bush “engaged in unsafe and unsound practices and breaches of his fiduciary duties involving multiple conflicts of interest.”
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...329-story.html

When Neil's brother was president, 2003

Quote:
In 2002, for instance, Bush signed a consulting contract with Grace Semiconductor -- a Shanghai-based company managed in part by the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Bush's contractual duties consist solely of attending board meetings and discussing "business strategies." For this, he is to be paid $2 million in company stock over five years, plus $10,000 for every board meeting he attends.


The Relatively Charmed Life Of Neil Bush
By Peter CarlsonDecember 28, 2003
Ah, it's nice to be Neil Bush.

When you're Neil Bush, rich people from all over the world are eager to invest money in your businesses, even though your businesses have a history of crashing and burning in spectacular fashion.

When you're Neil Bush, you'll be sitting in a hotel room in Thailand or Hong Kong, minding your own business, when suddenly there's a knock at the door. You answer it and a comely woman strolls in and has sex with you.

Life sure is fun when you're Neil Bush, son of one president, brother of another.

Just how much fun was revealed in a deposition taken last March, during Bush's very nasty divorce battle. Asked by his wife's attorney whether he'd had any extramarital affairs, Bush told the story of his Asian hotel room escapades.

"Mr. Bush," said the attorney, Marshall Davis Brown, "you have to admit that it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her."


"It was very unusual," Bush replied.

Actually, it wasn't that unusual. It happened at least three or four times during Bush's business trips to Asia, he said: "I don't remember the exact number."

"Were they prostitutes?" asked Brown.

"I don't -- I don't know," Neil replied.

"Did you pay them?"

"No."

Not surprisingly, the revelation made headlines around the world. Equally unsurprisingly, the sex story overshadowed the curious financial revelations that came out in the same deposition.

In 2002, for instance, Bush signed a consulting contract with Grace Semiconductor -- a Shanghai-based company managed in part by the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Bush's contractual duties consist solely of attending board meetings and discussing "business strategies." For this, he is to be paid $2 million in company stock over five years, plus $10,000 for every board meeting he attends.


"Now, you have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors, do you Mr. Bush?" Brown asked.

"That's correct," Bush responded.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-b4b2bf60a8ab/
  #209  
Old 11-25-2019, 07:27 PM
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Twoofers have tried to make much hay about Marvin Bush being on Stratesec's board of directors. The Port Authority contracted Stratesec (originally Securacom) for computer security at the original World Trade Center complex; Twoofers tend to ignore the "computer" part.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 11-25-2019 at 07:28 PM.
  #210  
Old 11-25-2019, 09:43 PM
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Neil and Marvin, of course, weren’t the only Bushes to benefit from their father’s position as VP.

George W. had a company, called Arbusto (which means bush in Spanish, but sounds rather prophetic), go bust, only to be quickly bailed out by charitable investors. And he ended up with a choice position on the Board of Directors of Harken Energy, which appears to me to be the same kind of sinecure as Hunter Biden enjoyed. It certainly wasn’t some unique business acumen that got him involved with owning a Major League Baseball team, the Texas Rangers, either.

I’m sure we can go back through history to find plenty of other examples of nepotism as concerns the Presidency. The idea that this type of influence peddling shocks the Republican establishment is laughable.

Last edited by Moriarty; 11-25-2019 at 09:44 PM.
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