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Election Meddling. Is American Rage And Angst Justified<:)?


      In this day and age of endless, obsessive and rancorous debate, and nervous breakdowns, occasioned by Russian interference in the America electoral process, a sane person inquires into similar behavior on the part of the U.S., wondering if US deserves to play the part of poor, innocent victim. Results of the inquiry, being previously well recorded, are sobering...

      The U.S. has a long and stunning history of attempting, sometimes subtly, sometimes violently, to influence foreign presidential elections. A 2016 study by Dov Levin* found that, among 938 global elections examined, the United States and Russia combined had involved themselves in about one out of nine (11%), 68% of those covertly. The same study found that "on average, an electoral intervention in favor of one side contesting the election will increase its vote share by about 3 percent," an effect large enough to have potentially changed the results in seven out of 14 U.S. presidential elections occurring after 1960. According to the study, the U.S. intervened in 81 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, while the Soviet Union or Russia intervened in 36. A 2018 study by Levin found that the electoral interventions determined in "many cases" the identity of the winner. The study also found suggestive evidence that the interventions increased the risk of democratic breakdown in the targeted states.

      *Dov H. Levin. Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong. Author: “A Vote for Freedom? The Effects of Partisan Electoral Interventions on Regime Type.” in the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
      September 7, 2016

      Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

      The long arm of Vladimir Putin? Nah, just a small sample of the United States’ subversions of foreign elections.

      Anti-Russia, too? Sure. Aleksei Navalny (Russian lawyer, right-wing activist a few years older than Venezuelan Guaido), though arrested and jailed numerous times, this political opponent of Vladimir V. Putin, had received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy. In fact, an organization employing him received one $23,000 grant from the endowment in 2006, which he used to set up his anti-corruption foundation. Navalny, a Washington favorite, was found guilty in February of 2017 of embezzling $500,000 worth of timber from Russian state-owned timber company Kirovles while working as a volunteer. Prior to that, Navalny was convicted of defrauding $440,000 from a cosmetics company in 2014. Yet, despite all that, according to the New York Times, “Mr. Navalny is a charismatic anti-corruption campaigner "...............................

      And Putin. Is he a demon in 2016, or is he just exercising a bit of payback? God knows Washington has made life difficult for Russia in recent years, and never missed an opportunity to paint Putin in a bad light.

      Following is a short list of US interventions in other countrys' Democracies etc. as compiled by political scientist Levin.
      Even after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the U.S. continued its interventions abroad, including elections in Israel, former Czechoslovakia, and again Russia in 1996, Levin found. Since 2000, the U.S. has attempted to sway elections in Ukraine (Paul Manafort, John McCain and John Kerry), Kenya, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, among others. Currently, Venezuela is the shining example of American attempt to vassalize a country whose Democracy doesn't meet the approval of Washington, i.e., a country who refuses Washington corporate unfettered access to its oil and gold. Without Russia and China, Venezuela would by now be in ruins, as are Syria and Yemen. Yemen. America has maintained military involvement in Yemen since 2003, 16 years and counting.


      This pretty map shows the results of a 2013 (pre-Trump) WIN/Gallup International survey asking people which country they felt was the greatest threat to world peace.

      According to the survey results:
      The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%).

      Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.


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      The 2020 Democratic Ticket Has Been Set_For Me


          Senator Elizabeth Warren and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro are the ONLY Democratic presidential candidates who have demonstrated the courage, conviction and foresight to UNDERSTAND the reasons Congress MUST impeach Trump. In spite of 65% of Democrats supporting impeachment, the Democratic House leadership and all of the other Democratic presidential candidates have decided that politics is more important than the Constitution and democracy.

          From my perspective, it is game over. My ticket is Warren for president (because I support a strong female president) and Castro for vice president. Both of these candidates have many great attributes, but the courage they have demonstrated in this constitutional crisis rises above the field as leaders.


          Warren calls on House to initiate impeachment proceedings of Trump

          Democrats renewed consideration of impeaching President Donald Trump after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, with leading progressives and some presidential candidates calling for swift action -- as Democratic leaders cautioned restraint.

          In interviews with ABC News, a half dozen House Democrats remained wary of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, even as they highlighted the report’s unflattering depiction of the Trump White House and the president’s actions.

          Moving forward on impeachment, they argued, could alienate voters and help Trump ahead of the 2020 election, jeopardizing the party’s chances of retaking the White House and Congress by overshadowing Democrats’ messaging on healthcare and kitchen-table issues.

          “Congress has a responsibility for oversight,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, told ABC News. “But we’ve also got a job to deliver for the people.”

          But some of the party’s rising stars and presidential candidates said Mueller’s findings called for a quick response.

          “This isn't about politics," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, the first presidential candidate to voice support for impeachment proceedings, said on MSNBC Friday. "This isn't even specifically about Donald Trump himself. It is about what a president of the United States should be able to do and what the role of Congress is in saying, no, a president does not get to come in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this country.”

          In an interview with CNN on Friday, former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro said it would be “perfectly reasonable” for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

          The rest of the Democratic presidential hopefuls remained uncommitted to pursuing impeachment, with some suggesting that it may be best at this point to leave it to voters at the ballot box in 2020.

          Mueller determined that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, but stopped short of clearing the president of obstruction of justice --- outlining 11 instances of possible obstruction and suggesting it would be up to Congress to make that judgment.

          Mueller wrote that "[w]ith respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”

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          Opinion | The Ego Maniac In The Oval Is ‘Exonerated’


              The Ego Maniac in the Oval Is ‘Exonerated’ https://nyti.ms/2DptIcp

              Anything In The World

              I've been a lot of places, lived a dozen lives, climbed mountains, and brought to life thinking machines that can contain in their memories the economic and financial information of a planet. I've known great artists, and athletes. I've worked with the most powerful men in the world. I have known a Hero of Old, and knew some of the most evil villains who ever lived.
              The thing that struck me most when I read yesterday about Trump's daily routine was that he wastes a tremendous amount of time sitting at home watching television. I think of how Al Gore took a nuclear submarine to the North Pole, and how jealous I was; and how President Carter assembled conferences of the world's greatest minds, and how envious I was. All the mountains I've ever climbed din't count next to the people that I've met.
              Think what a president could do! The people he could meet, the discussions they could have. He could see first hand the infinite variety of human, natural, and divine expression on planet Earth. He could go anywhere, do anything, plant seeds, and help millions to grow. He could learn anything. He could change the world.
              Trump has shown the power of the American President, but seeds only division and prejudice. One has to wonder, of course, how a gifted president might use that power for good.
              But more importantly, we have to start to think seriously about the fitness of this person who's idea of the presidency is a comic book fantasy.
              Time to make a point here, pull it together: In my opinion, and given my history, for a man to call himself President, and live only for vanity's sake is insane. Worse, it is to be the greatest failure in human history: a child-man who uses ultimate power to merely, pathetically, flip channels in search of personal flattery, or perceived insult. How contemptible. To receive the greatest gift imaginable, and not even know it.
              Up until the Twentieth Century, the doors of the White House were often wide open. If a citizen wanted to ride his mule from Kentucky to Washington, and walk right in without even knocking, unconscious of his muddy boots, because he had, "something to say, " well, that's what he did. And, if you had told a few certain ones of those Presidents that they weren't the President of all the people, you would have had a fight on your hands. That's personal. This is personal.

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              IQ Tests May Be Worthless! What Is The True Measure Of "Smartness"?


                  Being a card-carrying Mensan, I can claim a bit of knowledge about IQ and IQ tests. I'm also not too impressed by the concept. That said, in the area of Learning, which includes both academic and non-academic Learning, response to Teacher is the only metric worthy of investigation. Teacher? There is only one true teacher, it is called Life, and its method is Trial and Error. It has a toolbox consisting of the questions Who, What, Which "x", When, Where, How, and Why, and a range of dosages of reward (pleasure) and punishment (pain). No one person is smarter or less smart than any other person. What separates people one from another is

                  1. individuals' memory (ability and tendency to recall _____ ) and imagination, both imminently corrupted or enhanced by person-to-person association (human interaction);

                  2. individual usage of trial and error (choices and decisions);

                  3. individual recognition of and response to pleasure and pain (consequences of action/non-action).

                  There are people unable to feel pain (congenital analgesia); there are people addicted to pleasure -- each person exists somewhere along that continuum. Life is Carrot-and-Stick; Pleasure-and-Pain, then we die, just like all other "life forms". It couldn't be more simple.

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                  Easter Reflections


                      Easter Reflections

                      A Day For Contemplation

                      Why isn't a sunset called an "Earth-turn"?

                      By Ray Cunneff

                      April 21, 2019

                      It's Easter Sunday and, even for atheists like myself, it's a day of reflection, of stock-taking, for contemplation of life's great mysteries and insights. Even the secular view of Easter teaches us not to put all of our eggs in one basket and that everyone needs a friend who is all ears. The grass is always greener in someone else's basket and some body parts actually should be floppy. Let profound thoughts multiply like rabbits.

                      The best things in life are still sweet and gooey!

                      Let's begin with some "Questions To Ponder":

                      Why do they put Braille on drive-thru ATM's?

                      Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?

                      Is there another word for "synonym"?

                      Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

                      Do cannibals refuse to eat clowns because they taste funny?

                      Doesn't it seem scary that doctors call what they do a "practice"?

                      If a mime is arrested, do they tell him he has the right to talk?

                      Would a wingless fly be called a "walk"?

                      What was the best thing before sliced bread?

                      What should you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

                      If a man stands in the middle of a forest speaking when there is no woman around, is he still wrong?

                      And now, "Deep Thoughts":

                      Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

                      A Tibetan monk enters a pizza parlor and says "please make me one with everything".

                      If you go into a bookstore and ask for the "self-help" section, you'll be told you're defeating the purpose.

                      "I am" is the shortest sentence in the English language and "I do" is the longest.

                      Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"?

                      If you don't pay your exorcist, do you get repossessed?

                      It is impossible to lick your elbow.

                      The man who invests your money should not be called a "broker".

                      One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

                      Finally, "Military Quotes":

                      U.S. Army preventive maintenance magazine:

                      "A slipping gear could let your M-203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it, making you quite unpopular with what's left of your unit."

                      U.S. Army rocket launcher instructions:

                      "Aim towards the enemy".

                      U.S. Marine Corps manual:

                      "When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend".

                      "Don't draw fire, it irritates the people around you".

                      "If you see a bomb technician running, follow him".

                      U.S. Air Force manual:

                      "Cluster bombing from B-52's are very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground".

                      "It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over an area you just bombed".

                      "Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in your flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries."

                      U.S. Army Infantry Journal:

                      "If the enemy is in range, so are you".

                      "If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush."

                      "The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

                      Old Navy truisms:

                      "There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky."

                      "Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."

                      "The Navy has a perfect record in aviation, we never left one up there."

                      Happy Easter!

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                      Pundit Post

                      Gov't Surveillance: US VS Huawei, Etc.​

                      US' war of words and the accusations meant to paint China into a national security corner should be taken with a grain of salt, if for no other reason than that of USA being the World's most flagrant violator of national security and national interests of other countries, particularly those countries deemed as dangerous to US National Interests. As always, the devil is in the details, and the details in this case are hidden behind the words "US National Interests." America would criminalize any country seeking to further its own goals, using language suitable to paint the country with the harshest of terminology, a current example being Venezuela. But the case of Huawei versus USA is at issue here so...who works for the government and who doesn't?

                      USA brute-forces its way into everybody's' business at will, if it can, and talks smack about whomever can resist US' cyber trespass.

                      As for data theft, etc., both MIT and Microsoft have significant presences in Beijing and other Chinese cities. (Microsoft, in October of 2018, also quietly bought GitHub for nearly $8 billion in its bid to monopolize software (a Gate's goal since the earliest days of Microsoft). Over 300 other American companies enjoy presence in China. They're not there as tourists! More like siphons and sponges, so to speak.:) They're getting far more than they're giving, there's no other reason of them to stay.

                      American companies using Chinese tech workers and Chinese infrastructure in China brings an old phrase to mind: Brain drain. America used to revel in the brain drain experienced by countries whose exchange students stayed in America after receiving their American educations, stayed in America, working for America, normally working for low pay compared to that of American white males, and against the interests of their own home countries... I don't recall the year a reversal of brain drain was noticed and remarked upon by American media.......as the foreigners began to return home to their countries and families..... taking their hard-earned educations and experience with them... but it seems American companies (and American intelligence apparatus) just followed them home, kind of addicted to that really cheap but oh, so well-educated Asian labor.

                      Silicon Valley, USA. In 2012 more than half of Tech workers in Silicon Valley were Asian (offshore Asians). Apparently that figure was so embarrassing that the trend in media from that year on was to obfuscate as much as possible the size of the Asian presence in American tech, as well as the amount of Asian money invested there, as well as criminally low wages/salaries paid them, as well as disproportionate share of executive positions occupied by them. Perhaps the reverse brain drain began circa 2012 or earlier...

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                      SouthEast Asia: Endless Diversity.

                      Naga head hunters. The Naga people are various individuals or ethnic groups associated to the North Eastern part of India and northwestern Myanmar/Burma.

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                      Here's What To Know About The Easter Sunday Blasts In Sri Lanka


                          Faux News is going to go all in with the "war on christianity". The comments on the articles are already whining about liberals and their alleged refusal to talk about Islamic extremism. Actually, they may be right about this issue because it seems to me that a lot of liberals have become apologists for Islam in their PC quests.

                          Is it too soon to talk about the religious components here? Is it possible that these bombings are retaliation for New Zealand? I'm not going to go with the 'where was your god' memes, but it's obvious that thoughts and prayers haven't stopped any of the violence.

                          Religion is the bane of enlightened civilization, both can't exist at the same time. I choose secular progressivism.

                          What is known about the perpetrators?

                          An official told AP that two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers. Nobody has stepped forward to claim responsibility. Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena, told the AP that seven suspects were in custody.

                          News agency AFP says it has seen documents that show that Sri Lankan police have been on the alert for several days, fearing that suicide bombers from a local radical Muslim group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) were targeting prominent churches.

                          AFP also reported that Sri Lankan police seized a haul of explosives and detonators in January after arresting four men “from a newly formed radical Muslim group.”

                          A number of Sri Lankan Muslims were known to have joined ISIS in Syria, according to Reuters.


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