Humint Events Online: January 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Trump's Massive Stupidity and Arrogance Destroys Decades of US Global Power

And the brain-dead GOP just fucking goes along with him.

This is a devastating strategic assessment of how Trump, in just one year, has probably single-handedly fatally weakened the US economic and military empire.

The closing paragraphs:
Quite understandably, many Americans have focused on the damage Trump’s first months in office have done domestically, from opening pristine wilderness areas and offshore waters to oil and natural gas drilling to threatening access to medical care, skewing the progressive tax code to favor the rich, cancelling net neutrality, and voiding environmental protections of every sort. Most if not all of these regressive policies can, however, be repaired or reversed if the Democrats ever take control of Congress and the White House.
Trump’s strikingly inept version of one-man diplomacy in the context of America’s ongoing global decline is an altogether different matter. World leadership lost is never readily recovered, particularly when rival powers are prepared to fill the void. As Trump undercuts the US strategic position at the axial ends of Eurasia, China is pressing relentlessly to displace the United States and dominate that vast continent with what New York Times correspondent Edward Wong calls “a blunt counterpoint…synonymous with brute strength, bribery and browbeating.”
In just one extraordinary year, Trump has destabilized the delicate duality that has long been the foundation for US foreign policy: favoring war over diplomacy, the Pentagon over the State Department, and narrow national interest over international leadership. But in a globalizing world interconnected by trade, the Internet, and the rapid proliferation of nuclear-armed missiles, walls won’t work. There can be no Fortress America.

So, a couple things here I should clarify.

First, I have in the past railed against the "American Empire" and America's wars and our insane amount of military spending, which 9/11 had a lot to do with, of course.

But here's the thing, despite the horrible things we've done, America has been and CAN be a force for good in the world-- the US can use its power wisely and fight for human rights. That means of course, not running events like 9/11 and not getting involved in horrible and costly wars such as Vietnam and Iraq.

Personally I would prefer a world where the US is dominant, over a world where China is running the economy.

But the other thing is right now, we are losing global power under Trump, but still running an absolutely massive military, and spending way too much of our tax dollars on the military.

So let's get serious-- either we really show leadership in the world and keep our massive military and running the global economy-- or we completely downsize our military presence. Because spending money on the world's biggest military while we have a shrinking influence in world affairs is INSANE.

Also, it's worth noting that RUSSIA BENEFITS FROM A WEAKENED USA ON THE WORLD STAGE. What a coincidence!

But our current president is in fact, insane.
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33 of the Day

133 People Publicly Confronted The Doctor Who Sexually Abused Young Women...

An “army of survivors,” many of them US Olympic gymnasts, each got a chance to address Dr. Larry Nassar over seven days, leading to dozens of powerful statements.
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In Rare Move of Honesty, the NSA Removes Honesty and Trust from It's Values Statement

Ironically, the most honest thing the NSA has done since its founding might just be deleting the word "honesty" from its statement of core values, in January 12th's revisions to the earlier version that also once included "openness."
The new version also abandons the goals of attaining "great trust" from the public -- the new version purges all mentions of "trust," "honor" and "openness."

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In These Times...

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Norman Finkelstein Interview on Israel War-Crimes and Gaza

It's long, but quite brilliant, with many important points.

Most of the information isn't really new, but it's a great summary of how Israel has slaughtered Palestinians in Gaza in various military operations, how Israel controls public opinion and how Israel uses the US (and how the US supports Israel).

I do feel like the younger generation in the US, even among Jews, has much less support for Israel than the older generation, on average.

I also think Israel is really painting itself into a corner, where they are destroying a two-state solution, leaving a one-state solution where Jews are either a minority or the Palestinians are completely suppressed in an blatant apartheid system.

AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein, you conclude your book by quoting Helen Hunt Jackson, a late 19th century American critic of our policy, of the U.S. policy towards Cherokee Indians, saying, “There will come a time when, to the student of American history, it will seem well-nigh incredible” what was done to the Cherokee. You then write, “Is it not certain that one day the black record of Gaza’s martyrdom will in retrospect also seem well-nigh incredible?”
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. When I was finishing up the book—it’s a funny thing about writing. I remember once you used the expression—we were talking privately about something—you used the expression of “reaching critical mass,” when something suddenly changes. I forget what the context was in what you were saying. And that’s some—that’s like me when I’m writing. I walk around, thinking about, thinking about, thinking about. I’m getting very agitated, agitated. And then, suddenly, I just go down and I start writing, you know? It’s there. And I wrote the conclusion very quickly—for me, unusually. It was, I think, only one or two drafts. Usually, I’m a perfectionist and go through it thoroughly. And at the end, I was immediately—I thought about, you know, what’s happening here is like—how could that be? How can it be that you have this medieval siege for 10 years? There was a period where Israel barred, prevented, prohibited chocolate, chips, chicken—chocolate, chips, chicks—from entering Gaza, on the grounds of security. How can that happen? And these people are just languishing there, in the face of the whole international community.
And I thought to myself, you know, it reminded me of what—it was a very nice book. It was called A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson. She writes it at the end of the 19th century. And she describes how the United States just broke all the treaties—signs a treaty, breaks it—with the Native American population. And it’s an interesting story because Teddy Roosevelt, who was a great defender of the conquest of the American West, he devotes all these pages—it’s a three-volume or four-volume, five-volume maybe, history of the conquest—to attacking her, to attacking her. “How could you say this? How could you say this?” And the book was forgotten, her little book.
And then, when the whole Native American issue was revived in the United States—didn’t happen 'til the 1970s, you'll be surprised, even though you’re not significantly different in age from me. It didn’t happen until—cinematically, it didn’t happen until Dustin Hoffman, I think Little Big Man. It was the first cinematic depiction of what had been done to the Native Americans. When we were growing up, I was always rooting for the cowboys. “Kill those Injuns! Kill those savages!” You know, I was. I remember it. You know? And there was a cultural revolution in the United States of sorts, and we suddenly discovered the Native Americans. And when we had our cultural revolution, Helen Hunt Jackson’s book was rediscovered.
And that’s kind of how I feel about my book. It will be ignored now, because everybody’s going to hate it. I went after not just Israel, but I was pretty tough on the human rights organizations, Kenneth Roth, Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross, this guy Jacques de Maio, Richard Horton from the British Lancet magazine, the medical magazine. I’m very harsh. It’ll be ignored, with the exception of Democracy Now! and a couple of others. I’m aware of that. But I’m kind of old-fashioned. I believe in—I believe in memory. I believe these things should be remembered. It’s the only—it’s the only thing you can do for the dead, you know, is to remember them.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Trump Thinks a Terrorist Attack Will Save Him from Losing Congress

God, I hope he's wrong about that, like he is about most things.

Faced with the likelihood of a “blue tsunami” in the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump is holding out hope that terrorists will attack the country, reported the Washington Post on Wednesday.
“In private conversations,” said the Post, “Trump has told advisers that he doesn’t think the 2018 election has to be as bad as others are predicting. He has referenced the 2002 midterms, when George W. Bush and Republicans fared better after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, these people said.”
Matthew Yglesias at wrote, “(T)his is a frightening line of thought for an incumbent president and his team to be entertaining.” “(I)f the president and his top staff are not so concerned with democracy but purely political power, that’s a terrifying proposition,” said Yglesias.
If Trump believes that a terror attack will be a boon to his political fortunes, asked Vox, “How hard is he really working to keep the country safe?”

But who knows, maybe we don't even need a Democratic-controlled Congress to get rid of Trump:
History professor predicts Mueller will reveal Trump crimes that will ‘shock the nation’ — and force GOP to impeach.
Historian Allan Lichtman is known for making accurate predictions — and he’s more certain than ever that President Donald Trump will be impeached this spring.
The American University history professor has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1984, including Trump, and he has recently updated his book, The Case for Impeachment, that was released in April — before the president fired FBI director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.
“There’s as strong a case of obstruction of justice as there was against Bill Clinton on a vastly more important matter than a blue dress,” Lichtman told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Remember, virtually every Republican voted for an obstruction article against Bill Clinton.” He said the special counsel investigation almost certainly had more damning evidence of illegal cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia, which he said would soon be revealed.
“It’s a conspiracy,” Lichtman said. “I believe we have the tip of the iceberg of what the special counsel knows about the relationship between Trump and the Trump team and the Russians. There’s a fair chance that the reason they were covering up all of those calls from then to be national security adviser with the Russians was to cover up a possible quid pro quo, the Russians will help us and in turn we’ll ease those sanctions. Why else make those calls and why else lie about them?”
The historian said the public had already seen strong evidence of obstruction, but he said there’s plenty of reason to predict charges on a “host of crimes” — some of them deadly serious — related to a Russian conspiracy.
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Make America Glow Again

Our new insane reality:
HONOLULU, Hawaii ― For a half-hour on Saturday morning, individuals in Hawaii believed the state was under attack. The panic started shortly after 8 a.m. when residents, many who were just starting their days, received a striking alert on their cell phones.
The same alerts were broadcast on TV and radio stations. “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the statewide emergency alert read. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
More than 30 minutes later, the state issued a correction. Gov. David Ige claimed that a state employee had “pressed the wrong button” and sent the alert by accident.
But in those minutes, the fear and panic were real.

Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis slammed Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon for spending his time golfing while the citizens of Hawaii were in a panic over a false missile strike alert. “For 38 minutes American citizens in Hawaii braced for a ballistic missile strike,” Davis wrote in a tweet, “and @realDonaldTrump continued his round of golf in Florida on his 120th taxpayer funded vacation day in less than a year.”
Earlier on Saturday, an emergency alert notification warning of a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was mistakenly sent out. The alert told residents of Hawaii to “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER” and reiterated, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN that human error caused the false alarm.
“It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button,” he said. Still, it took a full 38 minutes from the initial alert to confirm that it was a false alarm.
During that time, Hawaii was in a “full state of panic,” The Associated Press reported, with people frantically looking for a place to seek shelter. According to CNBC, scores of people could be seen “running for shelter” upon receiving the alert on their phones.
All the while, Trump was playing golf, marking at least the 92nd day spent at a golf club during his presidency and the 119th day spent at a Trump property. This terrifying moment occurred as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been engaged in an escalating war of words, including one recent exchange in which they compared the size of their “nuclear buttons.” After today, we know what Trump will do if his tweets ever provoke a nuclear crisis — nothing.

I don't buy the simple button pushing mistake explanation at all... something weird happened here.
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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

We're All Going to Die

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
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A Beautiful New Year's Ode to Our President

A wonderful FU New Year's greeting to Dolt45.

Penned by Aldous J. Farthington on Daily Kos:

"Dear Fucking Lunatic,

I read with interest your recent interview with The New York Times. I couldn’t get past the bit about your being the most popular visitor in the history of fucking China — a country that’s only 2,238 years old, give or take.

Do you know how fucking insane you sound, you off-brand butt plug? That's like the geopolitical equivalent of “that stripper really likes me” — only 10,000 times crazier and less self aware.

You are fucking exhausting. Every day is a natural experiment in determining how long 300 million people can resist coring out their own assholes with an ice auger. Every time I hear a snippet of your Queens-tinged banshee larynx farts, I want to crawl up my own ass with a Union Jack and claim my sigmoid colon for HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

We are fucking tired. As bad as we all thought your presidency would be when Putin got you elected, it’s been inestimably worse.

You called a hostile, nuclear-armed head of state “short and fat.” How the fuck does that help?

You accused a woman — a former friend, no less — of showing up at your resort bleeding from the face and begging to get in. You, you, YOU — the guy who looks like a Christmas haggis inexplicably brought to life by Frosty’s magic hat — yes, you of all people said that.

You attempted — with evident fucking glee — to get 24 million people thrown off their health insurance.

You gave billions away to corporations and the already wealthy while simultaneously telling struggling poor people that you were doing exactly the opposite.

You endorsed a pedophile, praised brutal dictators, and defended LITERAL FUCKING NAZIS!

Ninety-nine percent of everything you say is either false, crazy, incoherent, just plain cruel, or a rancid paella of all four.

Oh, by the way, Puerto Rico is still FUBAR. You got yourself and your family billions in tax breaks for Christmas. What do they get? More paper towels?

Enough, enough, enough, enough! For the love of God and all that is holy, good, and pure, would you please, finally and forever, shut your feculent KFC-hole until you have something valuable — or even marginally civil — to say?

You are a fried dick sandwich with a side of schlongs. If chlamydia and gonorrhea had a son, you’d appoint him HHS secretary. You are a disgraceful, pustulant hot stew full of casuistry, godawful ideas, unintelligible non sequiturs, and malignant rage.

You are the perfect circus orangutan diaper from Plato’s World of Forms.

So happy new year, Mr. Pr*sident. And fuck you forever.

Oh, and Pence, you oleaginous house ferret. Fuck you, too.


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North Korea Nuclear Crisis Is a Russian Operation

Trump has gone after China for supposedly propping up the nuclear-armed and crazed North Korea regime, but it turns out Trump's puppet-masters Russia, are the ones actually sending oil to North Korea and keeping the regime going in the face of intense sanctions.

This suggests that Russia is manipulating Trump and US politics and military actions via North Korea and their expanding nuclear arsenal.

It's a manufactured crisis, to create fear and increase chaos in the US, aided by Russia's control over Trump.

What a world.

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Various Gobsmacking and Upsetting Things from 2017 no particular order:

1) Republicans passed a gigantic tax cut that strongly benefits the wealthy, despite the extremely wealthy Trump never releasing his tax returns.

2) Trump referring to a group of white supremacist marchers as containing "very fine people".

3) Trump’s massive delusions/lies about his election (that he would’ve won the popular vote without fraud), inaugural crowd (largest ever when it wasn’t), that he understands tax and healthcare policy better than anyone else (he doesn’t), that he has one of the all-time great memories (he doesn‘t), that he is making America more respected again (he isn’t), he’s signed more bills already than any other president (he hasn’t), and various and sundry items showing that he is mentally ill.

4) Normally pro-law enforcement Republicans (the party of law and order) repeatedly attacking the FBI and CIA.

5) Seeing the Republican base swallow Trump’s lies and nonsense, or at least tolerate it, and furthermore get upset when people criticize him.

6) Trump’s insane tweets (announcing military policy as if it was an order; childishly mocking everyone he doesn’t like including the leader of a nuclear armed enemy; attacking the media; other various and sundry idiotic things that no president should be bothering with).

7) Trump supporting and actively promoting a Republican Senate candidate accused of child molestation (Roy Moore in Alabama).

8) Trump going golfing for almost one-third of his first year in office, particularly after his criticism of Obama for too much golfing (and Obama golfed much less)

9) The blatant, shameless lies from the Trump administration—all of them. Also the ineptness, the greed, the racism and the chaos. The huge turnover of the Trump White House showed all of these traits.

10) the blatant kleptocracy of the Trumps, failing to divest; clear failures of basic government ethics.

11) the clear evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to manipulate the election in return for favors to Russia, and the endless lie that there’s no evidence of collusion.

12) Republicans in power COMPLETELY refusing to hold Trump accountable, falling in line behind Trump’s insanity and protecting him from criticism.

13) the shocking partisanship of the Republicans to shove through as much unpopular legislation and judges as they can, by shutting out the Dems. The endless violation of political norms. Basically Republicans actually doing what they screamed about endlessly and dishonestly when the Dems were in power.

14) the upending of American leadership in the world and the gutting of American diplomacy.

15) Trump acting very much like Putin's puppet and even the former US Director of National Intelligence saying so.

16) Trump withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement for idiotic reasons, when the climate agreement was probably the last best chance to save the planet from catastrophic climate change.

17) Trump's FCC overturned Net Neutrality, thus likely ruining the freedom of the internet 

18) Trump greenlighted the KeystoneXL pipeline, allowing the dirtiest lowest energy tar sands oil to flow freely into the US, probably nailing the coffin of climate change shut if the tar sands are fully utilized.

19) In an interview, Trump acted as if he should have complete control over Justice Dept investigations, letting him cover up crimes, showing corrupt intent and violating a key norm of executive justice.

20) Trump signs executive orders shrinking two national wilderness "monuments" by almost 90%, opening them to oil and gas development.

21) Republicans passed a massive taxcut bill that greatly helped the rich, and will lead to massive deficits, despite years of their complaints about the national deficit and national debt.

22) Republicans repeatedly trying to gut the US healthcare system and taking away healthcare from up to 20 million Americans (and thankfully failed, though barely)
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