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"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Saturday
Jul152017

Rinat Akhmetshin: Not a Russian or a Spy

First a little background: there was a meeting June 2016 where a Russian "government" lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Donald Trump, Jr. to provide information about a supposed Clinton scandal. There was no information. Instead it was an attempt to influence Trump, Jr., and hopefully his father, on behalf on a Russian Oligarch against the Magnitsky Act which put up sanctions against her client. The meeting was a total bust. The reason I used quotation marks around government is that this is technically true, but misleading. Yes, she worked for the prosecutors office in Moscow, just as a promising attorney in the US might work for the Office of the New York prosecutors office. Would you describe this person as a government lawyer years after she went into private practice? You would not. I leave it to your imagination why the words "government lawyer" are being used on the various networks. If you think they would have the decency to use the word "former," you would be wrong. Veselnitskaya was not representing Russia, she was representing her client. 

But the talking heads and the politico class have a problem, there is no there there. So they had to expand their blathering. Besides the translator, there was a fifth person present, Rinat Akhmetshin. Here is how the New York Times talks about him:

While not, he insisted, an expert in the technical aspects of hacking nor, a spy, Mr. Akhmetshin talked openly about how he had worked with a counterintelligence unit while serving with the Red Army after its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and how easy it was to find tech-savvy professionals ready and able to plunder just about any email account.

I quoted this because it can show how to lie through your teeth but saying nothing false. Rinat Akhmetshin, like every other Soviet young man, was drafted into the army for his two year hitch. So at about age 18 to 20 he served in the army from 1988 to 1990. Imagine the jobs he would have been given. Assuming he is telling the truth about where he was assigned, he would have been emptying the trash, and cleaning the toilets. Assuming that he is telling the truth about his departure rank of sergeant, he would not have had a job that might be described as an "intelligence" job; that would be quite a stretch. (There is no reason to conclude that Rinat is lying.) 

Note also the phrase, "the Red Army after its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan." Every Soviet young man would have served in the Red Army after 1979, if they were drafted after 1979! Why try to connect Akhmetshin with the Afghanistan invasion? 

I think that for years Akhmetshin might have said things that are technically true but misleading in order to benefit his consulting business. Or maybe he allowed others to draw conclusions and did not correct them. He is not a former spy or even a former intelligence officer. He was a GI Ivan who was drafted. 

What do I mean when I say that Rinat Akhmetshin is not Russian? He is not ethnically Russian. His first name tells us that. It is not clear exactly what his ethnic background is. Russian minorities tend to be concentrated in their traditional homelands. Rinat is either a Kazakh, a Kazakh Tartar, a Tartar born just north of Kazakhstan, or interesting enough in a Tatar born in Crimea. 

You might think, as an American, that such ethnic issues do not matter. You are being naive, even about America. In Russia it matters, it matters a lot. 

Here is what government sponsored Radio Free Europe said about him:

Barely registering in U.S. lobbying records, the 48-year-old Akhmetshin has been tied to efforts to bolster opponents of Kazakhstan's ruling regime, discredit a fugitive former member of Russia's parliament, and undermine a Russian-owned mining firm involved in a billion-dollar lawsuit with company information allegedly stolen by hackers.

Rather than being pro-Russian, his career seems to be centered on anti-Russian activities and lobbying as "Kazakhstan's ruling regime" is pro-Putin

Rinat Akhmetshin does not represent the Russian government, nor is he a former intelligence officer. When you hear otherwise, you are being played. 

Wednesday
Jun142017

Donald Trump: New Age Maven? 

Donald Trump. New Age Maven?

by John C. Dvorak

The two dimensions fighting over the Trump presidency may originate and stem from the touchy-feely late 1960’s continuing through the 1970’s. This included the influence of the book “I’m OK – You’re OK” which was released in 1967 and sold over 15 million copies. More importantly it may be the true genesis of the self-esteem movement which began to flourish in the 1970’s. This, in turn, led to the idea of the participation trophy and the concept that everyone is a winner.

Eventually the self-esteem movement was introduced into the classroom in such a big way – especially on the West coast – that it eventually led to today’s “snowflakes”, “safe-spaces” and pretty much everything happening in the Universities.

You can look deeply in to the I’m OK and you are OK notions combined with the self-esteem movement and you begin to realize you are uncovering Donald Trump as a genotype.

First of all, he extols his own virtues to an extreme. He a braggart by old standards. But by self-esteem standards he is doing what he is supposed to do. Only he verbalizes more than most would. And if he’s read any of the concurrent books about having a positive attitude, he’s just doing the right thing by, well, having a positive attitude.



He’s also exhibiting the “you’re OK” factors by exuding outrageous positive compliments on anyone he’s around. People who he picks are fabulous by any and all standards and they are all going to do an “amazing” job. This reflects the positive attitude high self-esteem concepts promoted in the mid 1960’s until this day

It’s ironic that he is condemned for his huge self-esteem created ego and his overly positive attitude by a liberal media that has promoted all this crunchy hokum in the first place. It’s no coincidence that Trump was always a Democrat until just recently when opportunism presented itself
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Much of his apparent adoption of New Age malarkey is what accounts for many in the Republican party being so uncomfortable with him. The religious right has never liked New Age anything likening it to a competitive religion and associating it with liberalism. Despite this he does draw a large crowd of evangelicals to listen to his speeches.

The level of confused raw hatred towards Trump by the same people who might embrace the positive attitude and self-esteem philosophies might actually represent self-rejection. Trump is like the anti-Christ of New Age philosophies which show that perhaps these ideas can create a monster who must be rejected. Their internal justification can be rationalized by his ludicrous grab them by the pussy remarks which also trace back to extreme self-esteem issues.



At this late date it is probably impossible for Trump to develop self-doubt or any sort of humility, even fake humility seems impossible to achieve. So what you see is what you get.

The positive side to the man has to be his sales acumen. At the time of his life when he was obviously influenced by the New Age ideas he must have also read both the Carnegie book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as well as Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” These were common books to read during the same era if you were taking any sort of college level courses in Business. I say this because he had to learn his salesmanship style somewhere.

Both of these books were extremely popular amongst the non-intellectual class out to make a buck. Combined with New Age philosophies of the era and you end up with Donald Trump.

Trump will always be boastful to an extreme, which annoys a lot of people who do not understand it and cannot see him as someone with nothing more than a positive attitude on hyperdrive. The philosophies of the 60’s and 70’s here are actually taken seriously. And, yes, it’s a load of crap, but all the analysis you see and hear trying to explain it are also delivering a load of crap. In fact, insofar as the haters are concerned, when deconstructed, he is, ironically, one of them. -- jcd

 

Wednesday
Jun142017

It Is Just Wrong

If some right wing idiot commits terrorist acts, one should not critique all people on the right. In the same way, if some left wing idiot Commits terrorist acts, one should not critique all people on the left. 

Saturday
Jun102017

Even Animals Know

Friday
Jun092017

The Cutting Room Floor

It is amazing what the editing magicians do to interviews. Here is a sample of what NBC left on the cutting room floor with the interview with Putin.