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ck4829's Journal
ck4829's Journal
November 30, 2019

Since Russian trolls are omnipresent, do we do anything to counter-troll them?

A signature line like mine would be a start IMHO.

"Sergei Magnitsky's cause of death: Heart attack. No, fall on head. No, pancreatitis. No, abdominal rupture. No, Bill Browder did it. No, self-inflicted."

Why do we need to start counter-trolling them?

I see this in many places, I'm calling the whole internet out, all sides, all factions. When someone makes an unorthodox argument, says something that defies social conventions, or says something perceived to be shocking or deviant... they get called a Russian troll or an agent of Putin trying to divide us. This should have become a dead horse when I saw a defender of Michael Flynn saying it, saying that people supporting accountability for Flynn are just doing Putin's work, but no, this circumstantial ad hominem or ad fontem argument is still with us. So let's not call someone a Russian troll just because we don't like what the other person is saying.

Also, the need to counter-troll them does not ignore or exclude the reality that Russians are indeed manipulating our political system. And if they are engaging with us, then maybe we can engage back with them. It's funny, we're supposed to somehow convince Republicans who subscribe to conspiracy theories about Pizzagate and QAnon and believe Democrats are now "socialist" and "socialist" now means valuing human lives over confederate statues or not wanting to get shot in school to vote for us in 2020. If we CAN convince those people to vote for us, then I'm pretty sure we can convince some Russian trolls to become assets against Putin as well.

So instead of just saying Russian trolls are around every e-corner and the source of every opinion you don't like, what are you doing to counter their influence or even turn them into activists against Putin?

November 27, 2019

I'm starting to wonder *why* Russian trolls are treated as the Anti-Civility

Today I've learned that:
Russian trolls are making conservative Christians look like fools in the eyes of liberals
Russian trolls are sending uplifting tweets

This isn't about the Russian government, which I believe is an illegitimate terrorist regime, this is about those Russian trolls. When Russian trolls get exposed, they get scrubbed from the Internet and they appear somewhere else, and I'm starting to think it's kind of disappointing we can't engage them.

We treat them as the very anathema of civil dialogue and civil discourse, I'm not so sure they are though. Are they really that different from other actors?

I mean, we're supposed to hold hands with people who think liberalism is not legitimate... that it's a creation of the Je- George Soros. That it results from school indoctrination. We're supposed to somehow convince people who believe in QAnon/Pizzagate conspiracy theories to vote for Democrats. We're supposed to give warm fuzzy feelings to people who think America in 2019 is awful and think America in the 1950s... or the 1860s if you're a Roy Moore voter... was awesome. We're supposed to have "understanding" for people who tell immigrants "if you don't like it, you can leave" but shrug their shoulders when they encounter people who say the wrong side won the civil war.

In short: If we CAN actually convince those people on the other side of the aisle to give up their hate and vote for us, right, then what is stopping us from convincing Russian trolls to turn against the Putinist regime? And if we can't, aren't we just excusing the irrationality and "own the libs" mentality of today's right, blaming Russians, when really, it's just all them? Why are we doing that then? How would that benefit us?

November 24, 2019

Trump: Am I out of touch? Am I dividing the country?

Trump: Could I be dividing the country when I got my political career started on birther conspiracy theories, when I demonized Muslim Americans, when my guys said "lock her up!", when I said the media that put a check on my power was 'fake news', when I said there were fine people on "both sides" with one of those sides being Neo-Nazis, when I couldn't even denounce white nationalist terrorism, when I sided with Russia over my country's own intelligence agencies, when people repeating my rhetoric are shooting up synagogues and malls, or when my party lost the 2018 election and I blamed it on people changing their shirts and voting again?

Trump: ...

Trump: No, it's the investigations into me that are dividing the country.
November 9, 2019

US seen as 'exporter of white supremacist ideology,' says counterterrorism official

After an upsurge in racially motivated attacks around the world, other countries are beginning to regard the United States as an exporter of white supremacism, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said Friday.

“For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology,” Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told an audience in Washington, D.C. “We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That’s a reality with which we are going to have to deal.”

Travers said there is now a global movement of what he termed “racially motivated violent extremism,” or RMVE (pronounced “rem-vee”), fueled by a wide variety of motivations and facilitated by social media and other online communications.

“A large percentage of RMVE attackers in recent years have either displayed outreach to like-minded individuals or groups or referenced early attackers as sources of inspiration,” he said.


Newsflash: There's no "clash of civilizations" between Western and Islamic civilizations. There's a secret love affair of sorts between the worst of the worst present in both (White nationalists, right wing authoritarians, right wing evangelicals, people who see George Soros and "cultural Marxism" behind everything for the former and Al Qaeda, ISIS, other groups, and government regimes like Saudi Arabia and Iran for the later); they shore each other up, they hold the other side up as the definition of that civilization, they try to produce a clear benefit from the work of that other side, and sometimes they even help the other side out directly. This is just the latest manifestation of that fact.

They need each other more than we (Both in the West and Muslims) need them. It's time to realize that.

November 3, 2019

"Greatest healthcare system in the world" dealing with worsening shortages of essential medicines

Reason why is shocking... or maybe it's not shocking.

In a historic boardroom at Massachusetts General Hospital this week, the Emergency Preparedness Team assembled in what they say has become an all too frequent occurrence. More than two dozen doctors, nurses, pharmacists, tech specialists and others gathered around a conference table, a "war room" of sorts, to address the shortage of a crucial drug: the blood-thinner Heparin.

"It is simply not possible for us to do heart surgery without Heparin," Dr. Thoralf Sundt, chief of cardiac surgery, emphasized to the room.

The meetings, according to Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief of the division of emergency preparedness, have become part of a new reality — one in which the hospital has to prepare for running short of critical drugs. (Heparin is not the only concern. The Boston hospital has identified more than 100 drugs currently in shortage, other drugs include Epinephrine, which is used to treat allergic reactions, and Acyclovir–IV, an antiviral drug used to treat infections)


The reason behind many of these shortages? Many involve older drugs that cost less, leaving little financial incentive for manufacturers to continue to produce them. As drug makers exit the market, one or two companies may be the only ones left to supply the drugs. In the case of vincristine, for example, the medication was only made by two companies. One of them, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, ended production in July, leaving Pfizer as the only manufacturer. The FDA calls it a “broken marketplace.”


Let's go over it again... It's NOT that the base ingredients for essential medicines cost too much money, there's NOT a shortage of those ingredients, it's NOT that chemists who make them are demanding higher wages, it's NOT an issue of getting the essential medicines to the people, and it's NOT some centralized regulatory body... it's that essential medicines can apparently be deemed "not hot" anymore and just discontinued, I guess, like they're New Coke or something.
November 3, 2019

#WhyKeepItThen? Fledgling campaign challenges GOP's, RW's impeachment fearmongering

As the moves to impeach press on, the Republican Party and the right wing are pushing back with fear...

That it will cause a "civil war"
That impeachment itself damages the country
That it is a coup
That it will remove an elected President

I dunno peeps, these don't just sound like arguments against impeaching Trump specifically, but against impeachment itself as a process.

So maybe instead of implicitly threatening a "civil war" and simply saying that impeachment amounts to a coup, Republicans and conservatives should be PREVENTING this "civil war" by getting that so-called silent majority together and starting work on the process to remove impeachment from the Constitution now and forever to plug up that potential "civil war" hole in the fabric of our contry, right?

Let's dismantle their fearmongering about impeachment.


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