Humint Events Online: January 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Trump Is a Deeply Disturbed Man


And a disturbing twitter thread centered around here.
Lincoln's Bible ‏ @LincolnsBible #SadistPOTUS 
Fox News cuts away from Trump roundtable after he describes human trafficking in grisly detail...
(((Nancyann Beveridge-Taylor))) ‏ @Nancyanntaylor2 
When I used to interview Sexually Violent Predators about their crimes, I did not let them go into details like that, because they found it Sexually arousing. He reminds me of those interviews, except that I would have cut the interview off. #DementiaDon
Lincoln's Bible ‏ @LincolnsBible 
Oof. What a job. Thank you for doing it. What do you make of his focus on blood, incl. watching hours of sharks hunting on tv in a hotel room with Stormy? In case you didn't know, he also put a memorial to a fake civil war site on his property & named it "River of Blood."
(((Nancyann Beveridge-Taylor))) ‏ @Nancyanntaylor2 
it's one of the aspects of his sadism. Very typical of Sexually Violent Predators who are MNPD/ASPD. Sadism is always a trait. Real sadism, sometimes combined w/ necrophilia. To see others in pain combined w/ humiliation exites them. His Gore Porn is a glimpse into his inner world. True sadists get off on blood & guts, horrific humiliating vicious bloody torture of their victims. Trump "glows" when he describes his imaginary "beautiful 15 y/o girls, raped & cut up by M13 gang members" he's fantasizing. When he does this, you are seeing a sadistic, MNPD/ASPD, Sexually Violent Predator, having a violent sexual fantasy in front of you. it's actually frightening to see. I have observed and assessed many. #DutytoWarn

Chris “Cal” Carnahan ‏ Replying to @Nancyanntaylor2 @LincolnsBible @voxdotcom 
Thank you. It’s something I and I think a good many folks have observed about Donald. He gets off on it though I didn’t know there were specific psychological jargon outside BDSM language for it. I called it his campaign of cruelty. It’s helpful to see it in clinical terms.
(((Nancyann Beveridge-Taylor))) ‏ @Nancyanntaylor2 
BDSM, involves consensual adults giving co equal agreed upon pleasure to each other, with safe words and other measures of respect. Role playing with mutual love. MNPD/ASPD Sadism is a whole other thing. it involves only the proto emotions of rage/lust and glee for the humiliation of the non consenting victim of the sadist. Sadists dont have layered, complex emotional structures. They have primitive "proto-emotions" Rage, Lust, Glee at humiliating their victims, "duping delight" when a lie is successful. It's an interesting population to work with, but ultimately they are, like trump, a one note song, they lack "mirror neurons, perhaps, we dont know really. they are truly hollow people. The closest we know of evil, and monsters. Read the collection of essays by the founders of #DutytoWarn. these are some of the top mental health professionals in the U.S. I belong to DTW, as I still carry my license, there are over 70,000 of us.

MNPD = malignant personality disorder
ASPD = anti-social personality disorder
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The GOP End Game

Sarah Kendzior:
Most of Trump admin original cabinet is gone. 
Those who remain tend to share two traits: complicity in plot and nepotism ties. 
* Trump family: Donald, Ivanka, Jared * 
Relatives of the complicit: Chao (McConnell), DeVos (Prince) * 
Complicit in corrupt campaign: Mnuchin, Pence 
The makeup and shakeups of the Trump admin are typical of autocracies. 
Admin is packed with lackeys bound by family ties and/or shared guilt. Makes them easier to control. Players are moved frequently to create a power vacuum which the main players -- the family -- fills. 
Over time, the autocrat becomes more insular, and kin ties dominate. That's happening now. 
Where Trump differs from other autocrats is in his complete deference to foreigners. He can't be a fascist because he doesn't care about the state. The state is just something to sell. 
What you will see is a continuation of their original plan: strip the US down and sell it for parts. The Trump/Kushner family and foreign backers are main beneficiaries. 
The GOP has their own plan for a one-party state, using Trump as a vehicle to pack courts, rewrite laws.

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The President Is a Russian Agent

I already knew this, of course, but more stories came out this past weekend essentially confirming this point for me.

Melissa McEwen:
So, a couple of big stories were published over the weekend, with regard to the ongoing problem of the sitting president being a traitorous fuck. 
On Friday night, the New York Times dropped an item about the FBI having launched an investigation into the possibility of Trump being a Russian asset after he fired James Comey. 
As I noted on Twitter: "The only shock is that it wasn't until then that their investigation began."  
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is just as compromised as Trump, called the idea "silly on its face and not worthy of a response." Sure. 
Meanwhile, Trump called in to Fox News, of course, to also dismiss out of hand the notion that he's Putin's puppet, except he never actually got around to denying it. 
Trump says a lot of things after Pirro asks him if he ever worked for Russia. None of them are "no." 
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Trump "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said."  
This has reportedly prompted lawyers for the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees to schedule a meeting today "to evaluate their legal options for subpoenaing the interpreters who were present when Trump spoke to Putin without aides." 
* * * Neither of these items should be the least bit surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to Trump. It has long been abundantly clear that he's acting in service to the Kremlin. 
For Maude's sake, I wrote "The Real Story of the DNC Email Leak is Trump's Terrifying Ties to Russia" in July of 2016. I do have a theory on why it is that our overwhelmingly conservative political media is pretending like this is all breaking news. 
It's extremely interesting to me that all these dusty, no-kidding stories about Trump being a puppet are coming out now. 
In unrelated news (cough), we've just reached the point at which Pence can serve out the rest of this term & still be eligible to run for two more full terms. 
Like I've been saying for some time now, Trump has been an incredibly useful tool for the GOP and the Kremlin — and, once he became a liability, he'd simply be dispatched from office. My sense is that they're using Trump to demolish Democratic norms, then Pence will be able to exploit the "new normal" without any of the blame. Trump will be the Republicans' scapegoat forever, as they pretend to be restoring democracy while killing it.
Just to review: Trump's meetings with Putin are insane and fishy as fuck!

Clint Watts:
Regarding this NYT story from this weekend, imagine you are a FBI Agent working Russian counterintelligence in 2016 and you witness the following:

- you witnessed Russian hackers targeting a wide swath of Americans including the DNC, DCCC, former Secretary of State & a Presidential candidates staff

- someone previously targeted by Russian Intelligence joins the Trump campaign and then appears on a stage in Moscow supporting Russia policy and speaking negatively of US policy

- A Presidential candidate hires a new campaign manager whose not been in the business in the states for years, but has been seen pushing a Russian agenda in Ukraine and has Russian intel contacts

- an Australian official contacts you and says the Russians have stolen emails of a Presidential candidate & may want to give them to the candidate’s competitor

- a Russian lawyer & others tied to Russian government visit a Presidential candidate’s son in the candidate’s building in NYC

- Candidate Trump stands on a stage and calls out Russia and asks about emails from his competitor, says they will be rewarded if they have them and release them

- website that’s released sensitive & classified documents from US for years, helped deliver a US insider to The Kremlin, begins publishing document & emails during Dem convention, content you know was stolen by Russia. Site administrator once hosted a TV show on Russia State TV

- A strange, unexpected policy change occurs at RNC convention, the change is a less supportive position toward Ukraine and is advantageous to Russia

- candidate’s campaign manager goes on CNN and asserts a false terrorist attack in Turkey, one tied to and advanced by Russian propaganda

- during this time, you watch a campaign associate tweet with a Russian account that’s pointing people to stolen documents from the opposing campaign. The campaign associate predicts something will happen to the opposing campaign manager- his emails are later released

- as Election Day approaches, Presidential candidate makes allegation, without evidence, voter Fraud & Election Rigging, Russia propaganda echoes this, social media accounts associated Kremlin do the same, at same time, you watch Russian Hackers hit state election infrastructure

After election, current President issues sanctions against Russia, but the incoming National Security advisor makes calls to Russian officials from 3rd country, when approached for clarification post inauguration, the advisor lies about contents of phone call w/Russian officials

During summer fall leading into the election, you receive raw intelligence from highly reliable source whose proven invaluable on other investigations. source provides intelligence on Russia’s efforts to support a presidential candidate, the info is consistent with other info

Before inauguration your bosses, your leaders from all intelligence agencies brief president elect on classified info showing Russia influenced the election on behalf of President elect. President elect rejects intelligence from all your superiors and suggests Russia innocent

From the summer of 2015 all the way through the election and after inauguration, you watch as the candidate, president elect and now president offers overt effusive support for Vladimir Putin who you know has been helping the President get elected. Shortly after inauguration, your new commander-in-chief spouts false information about Polish aggression toward Belarus. This is not supported by the Intelligence community you are in, and the only source for this viewpoint is Russian propaganda

After firing of National Security Advisor that lies to you agencies investigators, the President corners your boss 1-1 asks him to go easy on National Security Advisor who lies about his conversation with Russians

During this period, the President inexplicably and repeatedly asks your boss if he’s under investigation with regards to Russia, despite your boss and other intel heads going out of their way to brief the President about Kremlin efforts to potentially compromise & manipulate him

While Congressional committees investigate Russian interference, the President fires your boss for his handling of an email investigation into the President’s opponent, an investigation that helped elevate the President rather than hurt him

You later find out a draft memo from President to your boss regarding his firing cited the Russia investigation

The President then goes on national television and in an interview says he fired your boss because of the Russia investigation

A week after firing your boss, the President invites Russian leaders into the Oval Office, Russian photographers capture the moment, but US media is not allowed to observe. President then brags to Russian leaders about firing your boss

Sometime during the spring, if you’re not already aware, you read a news story alleging the President’s son-in-law may have sought a way to communicate with Russia via a back channel not monitored by you and your colleagues

During summer, you watch the President attend NATO summit and shove Montenegro PM, in an Interview claim Montenegro is aggressive, might start a war. This mirrors Russian propaganda & you know Russia backed covert operation destabilize Montenegrin election

For next year, either you, your colleagues and your organization, FBI, are discredited by President. He mixes true and false information in public disclosures which you are not allowed to respond to. If you do respond, your accused of leaking and could be fired or even jailed

Documents & information from confidential sources you’ve pledged to protect, are selectively leaked into public through those who are supposed to provide government oversight. These inappropriate disclosures make your job as an investigator nearly impossible & hurts your sources

At some point during the summer or before, you learn that the President’s son was receiving & responding to direct messages from website that was releasing emails stolen from the President’s opponent by Russia

1st two years President’s term, you watch him take a negative, adversarial stance toward NATO and particularly Germany. This strains your relationship with your most valuable intel partners, your Counterterrorism agent colleagues depend on them & they help fight war on terror

Over next 2 years, President aggressively seeks meetings with Putin who helped elect him. Need for meetings is not clear. one President meets in private with Putin for 2 hours without witnesses but translator. To this day, you, your bosses don’t really know what was discussed

President emerges from private meeting with Putin and on world stage in Helsinki accepts and validates Russian denials about election interference & rejects years of your teams intel work. This badly damages your reputation and partner trust with your organization

Separately, your President publicly discusses a Russian proposed partnership on cyber security, this insane concept is mind boggling to you as an investigator as you’ve just spent years tracking these same Russians who just attacked your country

Even further, your President publicly mentions a possible exchange where Russian investigators might interview and interrogate you and other Americans about their attack on you and America. A crazy, frightening and bizarre threat to you as a civil servant. 
Throughout your investigation into Russian interference, you watch as your President’s attacks on the Special Counsel, Justice Department & FBI are amplified and spread in America by the very Russian troll social media accounts and state sponsored propaganda you are investigating

Throughout the Special Counsel indictments, hearings and trials, you watch the President and his legal team publicly interject, discredit witnesses and discuss pardons, all subverting the rule of law and justice which you’ve dedicated your life to protect and defend

You either know or learn a parallel investigation shows Russians representing a bogus Russian gun rights movement penetrated the political party hosting members who’ve tried to discredit you - you recognize this as a TEXTBOOK espionage/influence op you learned at FBI academy 
After two years, the Attorney General over you, who appropriately recused himself from Russia investigation, is fired for seemingly no clear reason after taking public lashings from the President 
Your AG is replaced by an acting AG whose unqualified for position, has limited experience justify such high level appointment, you’ve watched him on TV discrediting your agency and your team’s investigation despite seeing none of evidence or knowing anything Russian influence 
The same month, the President’s personal lawyer pleads guilty in federal court and says he continued negotiations throughout almost the entire Presidential campaign for a Tower in Moscow. 
This is in opposition to President’s public denials. You read public reporting that the best apartment in the Moscow Tower project pursued by the President’s business was offered to Russia’s President Putin, the same Putin your President always sides with over you and your agency, the Putin who helped your President win 
You either knew or learned through a redaction error that the President’s campaign manager was alleged to have lied about providing polling data to a Russian whom he owed money, via a former Russian GRU contact 
Wrote thread through day from memory without web searches, I’m sure I missed a lot, & this is all on the public, can’t imagine what it must feel like to serve FBI during this investigation, we clearly don’t know everything Mueller team knows, I imagine there is much more to learn 
Special Counsel investigation must continue, this is a crisis, this is a national emergency

The whole thing is nuts, but the case is freaking clear as day. Trump is OWNED by Putin, he is effectively a puppet of Putin, as Hillary said back in October 2016.

The thing that is SO DAMNING is Trump multiple times spouting very obvious Russian propaganda that has nothing to do with US politics. WHY??? Who is he getting it from? Who is piping this Russian line into his ear?
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GOP Fascists

A righteous essay from Julius Goat:
I'd like to speak the obvious necessary things about the Republican Party, the most central of which is that this is not an organization that is participating in democracy. 
Rather, they are cynically utilizing our democracy's vulnerabilities. 
The last two Republican Presidents to enter the White House did so without the popular vote. The last Republican President to enter the White House with the popular vote did so in 1989. 
Yet, when they win, they behave as though they have the mandate that comes with a landslide. For example, they upend the healthcare program. They give out trillions in corporate welfare. They start torture programs. They start surveillance programs. They lie us into wars. They gerrymander at every level they can. They deliberately disenfranchise. They make our elections so imbalanced they can get less votes than Democrats but win 60% of the seats. 
They are not interested in democracy. They are not participating in a democracy. When a Democrat actually does win the popular vote—by a lot—they behave as if they are a majority opposition. They stall. They filibuster. They delay. They engage in deliberate sabotage to gain political advantage. 
They are not participating in our democracy. The reason the Russia thing matters isn't that Russia is taking us over. Russia didn't capture the Republican Party. 
Russia just wants to upend Western Democracy, which happens to be exactly what Republicans also want. So they were happy for the help, but they didn't need it. Mostly, Russia doesn't even matter. They're mostly just a warning light, showing how hostile the GOP has become to our democracy, that they would become such natural allies. 
Russia's basically just somebody paid to make a distraction while the heist team hits the bank. Russia isn't taking over. *Republicans* are taking over. 
It just so happens they both have pretty much the same mission with the same method: Destroy American democracy by exploiting its weaknesses. 
So, what are those weaknesses? Some of the weaknesses are structural, and designed to do what they're doing, which is to help wealthy landed white guys keep outsized representation against the 'threat' of demographic shifts. The electoral college is one of these. The way the Senate is allocated is another. I don't think we can do much about these structural weaknesses until we get supermajorities back. 
But there are other weaknesses we can do something about now. These are 'weaknesses' that in healthier times are strengths, that have been leveraged against us [liberals and Democrats]. What are these 'weaknesses?' 
Here's a partial list: 
* An appetite for compromise 
* A mutual trust in the opposition's good intentions 
* A desire to be fair 
* An interest in keeping an open mind to other perspectives 
* A desire to find common ground 
These are all good things. It cannot be overstated the extent to which the Republican Party has proved—PROVED—it has nothing but contempt for all of those things. They prove that contempt by constantly and cynically using our desire for them to make us play by rules they have no intention of playing by. They do not care about politeness—at all. They don't care about finding common ground. They don't care about what the people want. They don't care about standards. To name only the most glaringly obvious of all available tells, I'll refer you to the president they elected. 
We have to recognize that they are not playing by the rules we love. We HAVE to recognize that they are not playing by those rules. And, since they are in power, that means those aren't the rules. I think what we need to do is remember WHY we love those rules so much. We love them because all these things—compromise, politeness, common ground, mutual belief in good intentions—are GOOD things, in healthy times. In healthy times. We love them because they indicate health. 
I love taking a nice long run. I'll go ten miles. One reason I love it is because it reminds me that I'm healthy. It's a VERY good thing. And it keeps me healthy. But if I have a stress fracture, or pneumonia, a nice long run stops being a good thing. 
So it is with our rules. Finding common cause with our opponents is a VERY good thing in healthy times. It reminds us of our health, and increases it. But finding common cause with an opponent is a very bad idea, if your opponent wants to stab your brother and sister to death. If you're willing to find common cause with somebody who wants to stab your brother and sister to death, they will still welcome it. They'll encourage it. 
It's not because they value finding common cause with their opponents, though. The Republican Party has said in plain language that they intend to stab our brothers and sisters to death. They've PROVED it. Our gay and trans and black and brown brothers, and all of our sisters. 
I have no interest in finding common cause with Republicans. There have been in the past political parties who have named every deviation from their desired norm as an anomaly to demonize and criminalize and marginalize. The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party. I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past political parties who have selected an already vulnerable religious minority for vilification and scapegoating and expulsion. The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party. So I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past political parties who have selected an already vulnerable ethnic minority for police menace and exportation. The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party. So I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past political parties who have eroded democracy, and elected a foul-minded rally-throwing demagogue as their leader. The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party. So I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past political parties who have separated children from parents forever, and kept them in cages, and pointed to law as justification. The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party. So I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past political parties who have worshipped their flag while turning into the symbol of something foul. Who have worshipped the fear their military brings. Who have turned their police forces into armed forces. I have no interest in finding common cause. There have been in the past those whose only perceivable attitude toward their people was contempt, whose only perceivable value was greed for the few and control of the many, who harnessed dominant religion to achieve dark ends. So I have no interest in finding common cause. 
They are not playing by the rules. They have proved it. They have at times bragged about it. They will be perfectly happy for us to go on playing by the rules, not because they love those rules, but because it'll make it so much easier for them to achieve their goals. 
These are not healthy times. The activities of health will not increase our health during such times. We need medicine. Truth. We have to be willing to fiercely protect the most vulnerable. Women. People of color. Muslims. Trans people. Gay people.  And Democracy, too. 
So, what am I saying? Be just as bad as them? Throw off all restraint and attack like barbarians? Would that 'twere so simple. We have to be better. Not better than *them.* Better than *us.* Better than we've been before. We have to take our medicine. We have to understand that justice is more important than comfort. We have to *insist* on it, even when there's a cost—and there is a cost. 
We have to resist that urge to our old comfortable habits. One of the least comfortable things possible is to plainly look at the bad intentions of those who mean harm. 
We have to protect those who would be harmed, and insist on truth, whatever the cost. That is our medicine. I agree with this. 
I have no interest in arguing with fascists, or with those who continue to want to apply the methods of health to unhealthy times. 
Mobilize, find disaffected people and give them a vision of a society that works for them.  
I’ve always wondered why “the US is not a democracy, it’s a Republic” was just as closely correlated with being an asshole as having a crusader profile pic, and I think it’s because those saying it are genuinely hostile to democracy. 
No more so than a dozen states with a combined population less than that of LA does now. Tyranny of the majority is bad, but it doesn’t then follow that majorities are always bad. And minority rule by white supremacy, which we now have, is far worse. 
Say “we are a republic, not a democracy.” Fine. I’ll grant the point. It’s a worthless point. The republic is a worthless dictatorship and an unjust nightmare if it can’t support equal and fair democratic representation.
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Letting Pedophiles Go Free

Good interview here on the scandalous handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case by Alex Acosta, now Trump's Sec of Labor.

I want justice served on these fuckers, no matter who it brings down. If it gets to Trump, all the better.

I won't hold my breath though.

"Perversion of Justice: The Shocking Story of a Serial Sex Abuser & Trump’s Sec. of Labor, Who Helped Him"
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Comments Are Messed Up.

The blog dashboard shows more comments on each post than I can see (for instance it says 4 comments when I can only see 2 on the post).

I don't know what's going on with that or where the comments are going. I used to be able to see the automatically moderated comments but can't find that section of the controls any more.


I will check my Spooked911@hotmail email more frequently now, in case you need to reach me.
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Sunday, January 06, 2019

If You're not Freaked Out, You're Not Paying Attention

The Podcast Gaslit Nation is highly recommended for keeping up to speed on the corrupt creepy kleptocratic Kremlin agent now running our government.
Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa are experts on authoritarian states who warned America about election hacking years before 2016. Here, they take a deep dive on the news, skipping outrage to deliver analysis, history, context, and sharp insight on global affairs.
Most recent episode:
Cabinet of Horrors  
There is treason in the treasury, nepotism in the government, and corruption everywhere – it may be a new year, but it’s the same sad story for the US! This week Sarah and Andrea discuss the cabinet shakeups that have left our government in the hands of a criminal syndicate bound by blood, marriage, and guilt; the retirement of James Mattis and what it means for US foreign policy, especially in Russia and Ukraine; the explosive Buzzfeed expose on how the Treasury was compromised by the Kremlin in 2015 with the help of complicit American employees, and how whistleblowers were the only people punished; the disturbing background of the Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and his ties to international kleptocrats; and the strange spy saga of Paul Whelan. We discuss 2020 presidential contenders, and Andrea comes out early with her 2020 pick – but we both endorse one thing, and that is impeachment!

Andrea Chalupa: "What concerns me is that Democrats are very good at giving away their power. The wave that brought this new class of Democrats in the House want impeachment. Read the room! The people want impeachment."
I also recommend the following twitter feeds:

Also, Rick Wilson's piece on the resignation of Sec Def Mattis is well worth a read. 

Of course, there are tons of articles decrying the horror of the Trump administration-- a true horror show on every level-- and not nearly enough people in Congress with enough guts to do anything about it.
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The 2020 Presidential Race

Obviously the Dems have a ton of candidates, a lot of good ones, and I will support whoever the nominee is, no matter who they are. The traitor Trump MUST be defeated (assuming he is not impeached and removed or resigns).

I like Jay Inslee and his single-minded focus on climate change, though he has other good policy goals too.

Elizabeth Warren has a ton of really good policy ideas to take on the banks and corporations and help lift the lower and middle classes. Her positions on foreign policy look good too.

A foreign policy that lifts the fortunes of all Americans must also take an honest look at the full costs and risks of our military actions. All three of my brothers served in the military. I know our servicemembers and their families are smart, tough, and resourceful. 
But a strong military should act as a deterrent so that most of the time, we won’t have to use it. That’s not what where we are today. 
For nearly two decades, this country has been mired in a series of wars – conflicts that sap American strength. The human costs of these wars has been staggering: more than 6,900 Americans killed, another 52,000 wounded. Many more who live every day with the invisible scars of war. And hundreds of thousands of civilians killed. 
The financial costs are also staggering. The U.S. has put more than a trillion dollars on a credit card for our children to pay, a burden that creates a drag on our economy that will last for generations. 
Meanwhile, Congress has shirked its responsibility to oversee these ever expanding conflicts. Despite America’s huge investment, these wars have not succeeded even on their own terms. 
17 years later, the Middle East remains in shambles. U.S. counterterrorism efforts have often undermined other efforts to reinforce civilian governance, the rule of law, and human rights abroad. We have partnered with countries that share neither our goals nor our values. 
In some cases, as with our support for Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen, U.S. policies risk generating even more extremism. Widespread migration of millions of people seeking safety from war-torn regions has allowed right-wing demagogues to unfairly blame the newcomers for the economic pain of working people at home. 
And even with all the blood and money we have spilled, America still faces violent terrorist groups that wish to do us harm. 
While our leaders were focused on wars in distant lands, the world changed under our feet. Would-be rivals like China and Russia watched and learned, and they are hard at work developing technologies and tactics to leapfrog the United States, in areas like cyber, robotics and artificial intelligence. Neither military nor civilian policymakers seem capable of defining success – but surely this is not it. 
The first responsibility of government is to do what is necessary to protect ourselves at home and abroad, but it’s long past time we asked the question: what actions make us truly safer? Let’s start by reexamining our force structure around the world. The United States has troops deployed in harm’s way in over a dozen countries today. Take Afghanistan. We’ve “turned the corner” in Afghanistan so many times that we’re now going in circles. Poppy production is up. The Taliban are on the rise. Afghan forces are taking unsustainable losses. The government is losing territory and credibility. On my trip to Afghanistan last year, I met American servicemembers who were young children on 9/11. This isn’t working. 
Yes, we can-and we must-continue to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism, whether from Afghanistan or anywhere else. But rather than fighting in an Afghan civil war, let’s help them reach a realistic peace settlement that halts the violence and protects our security. Let’s make sure that the three brave Americans killed in Afghanistan this week are the last Americans to lose their lives in this war. It’s time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan – starting now. 
Next, let’s cut our bloated defense budget. The United States will spend more than $700 billion on defense this year alone. That is more than President Ronald Reagan spent during the Cold War. 
It’s more than the federal government spends on education, medical research, border security, housing, the FBI, disaster relief, the State Department, foreign aid-everything else in the discretionary budget put together. This is unsustainable. 
If more money for the Pentagon could solve our security challenges, we would have solved them by now. How do we responsibly cut back? We can start by ending the stranglehold of defense contractors on our military policy. 
It’s clear that the Pentagon is captured by the so-called “Big Five” defense contractors-and taxpayers are picking up the bill. If you’re skeptical that this a problem, consider this: the President of the United States has refused to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia in part because he is more interested in appeasing U.S. defense contractors than holding the Saudis accountable for the murder of a Washington Post journalist or for the thousands of Yemeni civilians killed by those weapons. 
The defense industry will inevitably have a seat at the table- but they shouldn’t get to own the table. American security and American values should come ahead of the profit margins of these private companies. It is time to identify which programs actually benefit American security in the 21st century, and which programs merely line the pockets of defense contractors- then pull out a sharp knife and make some cuts. 
America should also be reinvesting in diplomacy. Foreign policy should not be run exclusively by the Pentagon. Yes, we should expect our partners to pay their fair share. But diplomacy is not about charity; it is about advancing U.S. interests and dealing with problems before they morph into costly wars. Similarly, alliances are about shared principles, like our shared commitment to human rights, but they are also about safety in numbers. Not even the strongest nation should have to solve everything on its own. 
We should also look at where our defense spending is actually counterproductive. For example, the President has threatened Russia with a nuclear arms race, saying we’ll simply outspend our rivals. Boy, is that wrong. The United States has over 4,000 nuclear weapons in our active arsenal, and our conventional military might is overwhelming. 
Trump’s nuclear arms race does not make us-or the world-any safer. Let me propose three core nuclear security principles. 
One: No new nuclear weapons. I have voted against and will continue to vote against this President’s attempt to create new, more “usable” nuclear weapons. 
Two: More international arms control, not less. We should not spend over a trillion dollars to modernize our nuclear arsenal, at a time when the President is doing everything he can to undermine generations of verified arms control agreements. Instead, let’s start by extending New START through 2026. 
Three: No first use. To reduce the chances of a miscalculation or an accident, and to maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world, we must be clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal. 
More-of-everything is great for defense contractors – but it’s a poor replacement for a real strategy. We need to be smarter and faster than those who wish to do us harm. We need to tap our creativity to anticipate and evaluate both risks and responses. And we need to better weigh the long-term costs and benefits of military intervention. That’s how we’ll keep Americans safe.

These are all great points, especially since I don't expect any presidential candidate ever to get into deep conspiracy.
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A Large Fraction of the Internet Is Fake

Interesting and disturbing piece. A ton of bots and fakery out there, a lot of it to generate fake numbers for advertisers and related scams.

I should say I'm pretty sure *I* am a real person, at least.
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Thursday, January 03, 2019

Remember the Big Story: Donald Trump Betrayed America to Russia

Michael Cohen heading to jail. Michael Flynn narrowly avoiding a prison sentence—for now. Paul Manafort stuck in the hoosegow and still tangling with special counsel Robert Mueller. The news of the Trump-Russia scandal these days has focused on the dramatic developments for several top lieutenants in Donald Trump’s crew. (And don’t forget about Roger Stone!) But whenever there is a rush of new details about one slice or another of this controversy—or the other pending or possible cases involving the Trump Foundation, the Trump Organization, the Trump inauguration, the Trump family’s alleged tax fraud, and more—it’s important for all of us (and the media) to keep the spotlight on a central element that has already been established beyond any doubt:
Trump betrayed his fellow Americans.This Big Story often gets lost in the details and the ever-unfolding developments.
Trump’s chaff-throwing has prevented core truths of the scandal from shining through, with a big assist from Fox News and “alternative facts” disinformation. Trump has screamed “No collusion,” shrieked “Witch hunt,” and screeched “Hoax.” He has denied and lied. He has strived to make the public believe that the fundamental question is whether he directly conspired with Vladimir Putin to hack Democratic targets and disseminate the stolen material—contending that anything short of that is no big deal.
Trump and his conservative handmaids in politics and right-wing media have done everything they can to prevent a clear-eyed reckoning with what happened in 2016. Yet recent events make Trump’s already obvious treachery even more obvious. And it’s necessary for journalists and citizens to make sure this can be discerned through the dust Trump kicks up daily.
Trump, while campaigning for president, had a secret deal in Russia for which his attorney sought Putin’s help. Trump lied to the public about this.
Trump’s campaign was informed that Moscow intended to intervene to help Trump. It said nothing about this information, essentially encouraged the Kremlin, and denied Moscow’s involvement once the Russian hack-and-dump attack became publicly known.
Trump, after being told the Kremlin was attempting to subvert an American election, claimed no such thing was happening. He covered for Putin.
Trump aided and abetted Russia’s secret war on the United States—a war that helped shape the outcome of a narrowly decided presidential election.
This is all known, and indisputable—except that these days, anything will be disputed by Trump and his followers.
Even if Trump’s disputations are demonstrable lies—“I have nothing to do with Russia”—they still color and cloud the ongoing public discourse about what happened in 2016. They have prompted his supporters and his GOP comrades to reject or ignore the powerful truth of Trump’s profound betrayal, portraying it as just another debatable point in the grand chaos of the Trump years.

Despite the lies and obfuscations and idiocy and denials from Trump and his band of useful idiots, at the heart of the story is the ultimate in corruption and a deep betrayal of one's fellow countrymen.

Trump needs to be impeached, or else impeachment and the rule of law means nothing in this country.


And the latest from Seth Abramson:
Here are the 50 MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS in the Trump-Russia timeline, RANKED. If you ignored the Trump-Russia case in 2017 and 2018, you'll find that impossible to do in 2019—as America plunges further into crisis.
#50 IVANKA INSIDE THE KREMLIN. 2006. Longtime Trump business associate Felix Sater—a former Russian mobster—treats Ivanka Trump to a private tour of Putin's Kremlin office; she even sits in his chair. Russia experts say that this confirms that Sater was trusted by Putin himself.
#49 TRUMP HIRES WHITAKER AS ACTING AG. November 2017. After months of secretly using him as an end-around for Sessions' recusal in the Mueller case, Trump makes an unqualified lawyer, Matt Whitaker, Acting AG on the basis of his past comments advocating an end to Mueller's probe.
#48 TRUMP FALSIFIES STATEMENT ON TRUMP-RUSSIA MEETING. July 2017. Though he knows the truth of what went on at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, his son-in-law, his campaign head and Kremlin agents, Trump concocts a false statement on it—then lies about writing it.
#47 TRUMP'S CRAZY NATSEC HIRES/NON-HIRES. Early 2016. Though they're top Trump NatSec advisers, Trump refuses to put Flynn or Erik Prince on his National Security Advisory Committee. He does hire men—Page, Papadopoulos, Schmitz—with controversial Russian ties and few credentials.
#46 THE TRUMP-PUTIN EVASIONS. 2014 through 2016. For 2 years, Trump gives every possible answer as to whether he's ever spoken to Putin on the phone, met him in person, or talked with him about politics. What's constant is his unwillingness to ever criticize the Kremlin autocrat.
#45 SF-86 LIES. Late 2016-early 2017. Flynn and Kushner leave off their official federal hiring documents *many* important contacts with Russian nationals, with Kushner continuing to deny—even today—an April 2016 call with Russian ambassador/spy Kislyak that Reuters has reported.
#44 THE NADER-ZAMEL DEAL. Nader (Saudi Arabia, UAE)—architect of the "Red Sea Conspiracy" to partner with Trump and Russia to remake the Middle East—gives intel mogul Zamel (Israel, Russia) $2 million post-election. Nader and Zamel offered Trump collusive assistance pre-election.
#43 KUSHNER AND TRUMP SHAKE DOWN THE QATARIS. 2017. Kushner and Trump are the only administration members who choose to back Saudi Arabia's outrageous blockade of Qatar, an inexplicable position that quickly leads Qatar-backed lenders to give Kushner nearly $1 billion in "loans."
#42 FLYNN DOES THE TURKS' DIRTY WORK. Fall 2016. After Saudi Arabia and UAE back an unsuccessful coup in Turkey, they must get on Turkey's good side again. Flynn—who's lobbying the Saudis/Emiratis on energy—works with Turkey to try to kidnap an alleged coup plotter from America.
#41 RYBOLOVLEV MAKES A KILLING. November 2017. Rybolovlev—Putin's pal, Zamel's boss, Trump's acquaintance—gets $300 million for a painting over what he paid, though it's held to be a fake. The buyer? An MBS (Saudi Arabia) pal. Zamel offered Trump tech—and MBS, money—pre-election.
#40 PAPADOPOULOS' INTERVIEWS IN GREEK MEDIA. December 2016. Papadopoulos, who's secretly met with Putin allies in Greece to negotiate the Russia sanctions issue, tells Greek media that Trump owes his election to him, and that Trump has offered him *any job* in his administration.
#39 THE TRUMP-RYBOLOVLEV TARMAC MEETINGS. Twice in the ten days pre-election, Trump's plane—with Trump on it—"meets" Russian oligarch Rybolovlev's plane (with him on it) on a tarmac. For an extended time. Rybolovlev previously "overpaid" Trump—by tens of millions—for real estate.
#38 THE HUNT FOR HER EMAILS. Summer 2016. Now-deceased GOP operative Peter Smith, in conjunction with Trump aides Flynn, Bannon, Conway and Clovis—and concurrent with Trump aide Joe Schmitz—hunts on the Dark Web for stolen Clinton emails, looking to contract with Russian hackers.
#37 JAVANKA FIRES CHRIS CHRISTIE. November 9, 2016. *Two days* post-election, Jared and Ivanka fire Presidential Transition Team head Christie—primarily because he refuses to hire Mike Flynn. With Christie gone, Flynn is quickly hired and retakes the point—with Kushner—on Russia.
#36 TRUMP COMMITS PERJURY ON CAMERA OVER RUSSIA TIES. Just before traveling to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, Trump lies under oath in a civil case as to whether he knows one of his two Russia fixers, Felix Sater—an ex-Russian mobster he's long been in business with.
#35 TRUMP JR.'S "MANHATTAN SPEECH." 2008. In an address to investors, Don Jr. unwisely admits that a "disproportionate" percentage of Trump Org clients are from Russia or the UAE—and boasts of how frequently he travels to Moscow. He later lies to Congress about his Moscow travel.
#34 THE 2002 MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT. Puerto Rico. Trump successfully rigs the 2002 pageant to award "Miss Universe" to Putin's then-reputed mistress, Oxana Fedorova. Fedorova's public boyfriend is a Russian mobster who is a powerful player in the St. Petersburg real estate market.
#33 THE PERJURIES. 2017. Despite lying to Congress being a federal crime, a succession of Trump aides and associates—including Page, Prince, Sessions, and Trump Jr.—lie to Congress about their Russia meetings. Others—like Bannon and Lewandowski—take White House orders to clam up.
#32 TRUMP'S WITNESS TAMPERING. 2017-2018. Various locations. In a series of tweets, calls, and indirect/direct discussions, Trump tampers with witnesses by alternately threatening, encouraging, and changing the testimony of Yates, Comey, Flynn, Don Jr., Manafort, Hicks, and more.
#31 TRUMP ORDERS MUELLER'S FIRING. In June 2017, just weeks after Mueller is appointed Special Counsel, Trump orders that he be fired—an order which, if carried out, would have mirrored Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre." White House Counsel McGahn talks him down—barely.
#30 SESSIONS RECUSES. March 2, 2017. DC. AG Sessions recuses himself from the Russia probe, handing it to DAG Rosenstein. In a series of statements thereafter, Trump makes clear to aides that he made Sessions AG so that Sessions would "protect him" by scuttling the Russia probe.
#29 PSY-GROUP/CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA PACT. December 14, 2016. London. Zamel (Israel, Russia) *publicly* partners with Trump's data firm just 4 months after *secretly* offering Israeli technology to Trump's campaign that mirrors Russia's IRA-led pre-election disinformation campaign.
#28 ERIC TRUMP'S INTERVIEW WITH GOLF MAGAZINE. 2014. Eric accidentally reveals to a Golf Magazine journalist that the Trump Org's golf courses are entirely funded by Russian banks—a fact hidden by Trump refusing to release his tax returns. Eric later says the journalist is lying.
#27 THE TRUMP-COMEY TALKS. Early 2017. In a series of meetings and phone calls, Trump tries to get FBI Director James Comey to end his investigation into Flynn's secret negotiations with the Russians. When Comey refuses, Trump fires him and brags about doing so to Kremlin agents.
#26 PAPADOPOULOS' SECRET TRIPS. May 2016. Athens. Papadopoulos twice goes secretly to Greece to meet Putin allies there. His second trip coincides with Putin's only EU trip during the campaign—a trip to Athens. They meet with the same people and discuss the same issue: sanctions.
#25 THE SESSIONS-KISLYAK MEETING. September 8, 2016. Top Trump NatSec adviser Sessions—having secretly met with Kremlin ambassador/spy Kislyak at the RNC—again secretly meetings with him in his Senate office to discuss sanctions. He lies about this meeting to Congress under oath.
#24 THE POTUS-KREMLIN MEETINGS. 2017, 2018. Helsinki, Oval Office, et al. Trump repeatedly breaches protocol to hold secretive meetings with top Russians—including Putin, Lavrov, and Kislyak—in locales around the world. Every meeting runs long and fails to report out its content.
#23 TRUMP JR-TORSHIN MEETING. May 2016. Louisville. Trump Jr. meets with Russian spymaster/Maria Butina handler Alex Torshin at an NRA conference just days after Torshin reached out to Trump—who he'd met a year earlier—for a meeting. Trump Jr. subsequently lies about the meeting.
#22 PAGE GOES TO MOSCOW. July 2016. According to Steele's dossier, Page goes to Moscow as Trump's agent to discuss rewards for Trump for ending Russia sanctions. Page *and* the campaign lie about the trip—during which, it is revealed, Page *did* secretly meet with Kremlin agents.
#21 FREEDOMFEST. July 2016. Las Vegas. Trump calls on Russian spy Butina to ask him about his views on Russia sanctions at an NRA conference. Trump publicly states there's no need for such sanctions; shortly thereafter, Sater says the way is open to a new Trump Tower Moscow deal.
#20 KUSHNER-GORKOV MEETING. December 13, 2016. Trump Tower. Kushner secretly meets with the Russian intelligence-linked head of a Kremlin-owned bank. Kushner and Gorkov tell different stories about what happened; Gorkov flies to Japan immediately after the meeting to brief Putin.
#19 FLYNN DINES WITH KISLYAK—AND PUTIN. December 2015. DC and Moscow. Trump NatSec adviser Flynn meets secretly with Russian ambassador/spy Kislyak at his home and dines with Putin in Moscow—a trip he will later lie about. Trump brings him aboard his campaign shortly thereafter.
#18 THE KUSHNER-FLYNN-KISLYAK MEETING. December 1, 2016. Trump Tower. Kushner and Flynn—former Defense Intelligence Agency chief—ask Russian ambassador/spy Kislyak if the Trumps can use a Kremlin SCIF (secure facility) to send secret messages to Russia, evading US intel agencies.
#17 THE MANAFORT-KILIMNICK TALKS. April 11, 2016. De facto Trump campaign head Manafort tells Kremlin agent Kilimnick he can use his role to get square with Putin pal Deripaska. He later offers "private campaign briefings"; Kilimnick brags he got Trump to change the RNC platform.
#16 THE MIFSUD-PAPADOPOULOS TALK. April 26, 2016. London. Kremlin agent Mifsud tells Trump NatSec adviser Papadopoulos the Kremlin has stolen Clinton's emails. Trump aide Mashburn later tells Congress Papadopoulos told the Trump campaign—begetting a Trump-hacker collusion effort.
#15 FLYNN'S "GOOD TO GO" TEXT. January 20, 2017. DC. As Trump is sworn in, Flynn texts an associate who—like Barrack, Gates, McFarlane and Flynn—is lobbying Trump to send nuclear tech to Saudi Arabia and UAE (promoting Russia-built reactors and a nuclearized anti-Iran coalition).
#14 TRUMP'S FLORIDA PRESSER. July 27, 2016. In Trump's "Russia, if you're listening..." moment, he asks Russian hackers to attack America to aid his campaign—noting that such hacks would hold tangible value. The very next day Russian hackers make the sort of attacks he requested.
#13 MANAFORT IS HIRED. March 27, 2016. NYC. After longtime Kremlin ally Manafort—deeply in debt to Putin pal Deripaska—tells Trump pal Barrack he must "get to" Trump, Trump hires him "for free" as a "delegate counter." Trump lets him take over his whole campaign in under 3 weeks.
#12 MBZ ILLEGALLY ENTERS AMERICA TO NEGOTIATE. December 2016. Trump Tower. Emirati Crown Prince MBZ covertly enters the U.S. to meet with Kushner, Bannon, Nader, Flynn, and possibly others as a follow-up to an August 2016 Trump Tower meeting. This leads to the SEYCHELLES MEETING.
#11 THE TIHDC NATSEC MEETING. March 31, 2016. Trump International Hotel DC. Trump instructs his full National Security Advisory Committee to change the RNC platform in July to benefit the Kremlin. Trump learns here—at the latest—Papadopoulos is a Kremlin agent, and promotes him.
#10 FLYNN'S ILLEGAL NEGOTIATIONS. December 2016. At the direction of the Presidential Transition Team's top brass, Flynn illegally negotiates with the Russians on sanctions and Israeli settlements. He later lies to the FBI about his illicit negotiations, and is indicted for that.
#9 THE 2013 MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT. November 2013. Moscow. Trump strikes a major tower deal with Kremlin agent Agalarov—with Putin's assistance. During the same 24-hour period, the Kremlin acquires kompromat on Trump at the Ritz. The Agalarov deal is active through February 2017.
#8 TRUMP SIGNS SECOND SECRET DEAL WITH KREMLIN AGENTS. October 2015. Trump agrees to a Moscow deal partially negotiated via the Kremlin, hiding it from both voters and execs at his company. His lawyer—once caught—lies about what Trump knew and how long he worked with the Kremlin.
#7 THE JUNE 2016 TRUMP TOWER MEETING. Kremlin agent/Trump business partner Agalarov offers the Trumps illegal pre-election collusive assistance in the form of covertly—facially, illegally—acquired Clinton documents. Don Jr. accepts the offer and attends a meeting to get the docs.
#6 THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION. July 2016. Cleveland. Trump national security advisors meet with Russian ambassador/spy Kislyak and coordinate with Kremlin agent Kilimnick to change the RNC platform to benefit Putin, per Trump's orders. They then lie about this to voters.
#5 THE MAYFLOWER SPEECH. April 27, 2016. Mayflower Hotel, DC. Trump declares a historically pro-Russia foreign policy in a speech written/edited by Kremlin allies/agents and attended—in a protocol breach—by ambassador/spy Kislyak. Papadopoulos tells Mifsud the speech is a signal.
#4 TRUMP'S FIRST NATSEC BRIEFING. August 17, 2016. NYC. Trump and Flynn get a classified NatSec briefing confirming Russia is engaged in a hot cyberwar against America. Both men keep offering Russia a unilateral end to sanctions afterward—thus aiding and abetting computer crimes.
#3 THE SEYCHELLES MEETING. January 2017. A hotel off the African coast. Nader sets a meeting between Prince (Trumps), MBZ (UAE), Dmitriev (Russia), and Dahlan (UAE, Saudi Arabia) to discuss a multi-nation bargain involving a nuclearized Middle East and ending sanctions on Russia.
#2 THE RED SEA CONSPIRACY BEGINS. November/December 2015. A yacht in the Red Sea. Nader pitches to three Middle Eastern leaders—MBS, Saudi Arabia; MBZ, UAE; al-Sissi, Egypt—a plan to collude pre-election with a US pol (Trump) to create a pro-US, pro-Israel Muslim-nation alliance.
#1 THE "GRAND BARGAIN" IS STRUCK. August 3, 2016. Trump Tower. Nader (Saudi Arabia, UAE) and Zamel (Israel, Russia) offer Trump representatives Prince and Trump Jr. illegal pre-election collusive aid in the form of money and a digital disinformation plan. Don accepts—Per the NYT.
PS/ The Trump-Russia case is so complex and sprawling—geographically, temporally, legally, geopolitically—that even with 50 entries, many key events had to be left out and (almost certainly) a couple key events may have been missed. Feel free to suggest additions in the comments.
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Tuesday, January 01, 2019

The Gaia Quarantine Breakout Hypothesis

This idea, new to me, was from a discussion between David Perkins and Greg Bishop on the "Radio Misterioso"podcast.

The "Gaia hypothesis" contends that the Earth and nature is a type of conscious being, and is being damaged by the industrial actions of mankind: pollution, killing species, drilling, mining, bombings, etc.

Perkins proposed that one of the ways that the planet-- Gaia-- is trying to wake us humans up to environmental damage is by creating some sort of illusion in the minds of humans that there is an advanced ET civilization visiting us in UFOs. Consistent with this, there are many reports of people reporting alien visits where the aliens are warning us of what we are doing to the environmet.

Then Perkins proposed that the ultimate goal of Gaia is to get humans off the planet because of our destructive sociopathic tendencies and so creates these ETs/UFO illusions as an inspiration and motivation for mankind to go out to the stars and get off earth. So basically, planet earth/Gaia is creating a pretext for evil humans to escape the planet. It's a cool idea but obviously quite fantastical.

There is an older idea promoted by Anonymous Physicist, that there are evil ETs trapped here on earth that helped to create humans, and they are the main reason we are fucked up as a species. AP posited that these evil ETs were quarantined here by other ET races, to keep them from contaminating other planets in the universe and spoiling other emerging races of sentient beings. This is also a very interesting but rather fantastical idea.

There is basically no evidence for the Gaia hypothesis and honestly the evidence for AP's hypothesis is very weak. AP's theory on evil ET's trapped on earth has some decent explanatory power but has holes.

On the other hand, I think there is more evidence for some sort of ET quarantine around earth, to keep humans in check, than the above hypotheses.

As far as the Gaia theory, it's very cool and has some righteousness, but what I don't quite get it why people are so against the idea of ET's visiting the earth, given the vastness of the universe and the near certainty of highly advanced civilization out there that is capable of traveling here.

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Clean Energy Technology

If we've captured alien energy technology, we could sure use some of that shit right now.
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