A Couple of Articles Worth Reading

1] Russia: The Conspiracy Trap Masha Gessen

2] Glenn Greenwald's Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump his take on the same article

No doubt both will be considered to be Pro- Russian propaganda by the bobble-heads.

For me the paragraph that stands out is from Masha's original piece comes right at the end

Imagine if the same kind of attention could be trained and sustained on other issues—like it has been on the Muslim travel ban. It would not get rid of Trump, but it might mitigate the damage he is causing. Trump is doing nothing less than destroying American democratic institutions and principles by turning the presidency into a profit-making machine for his family, by poisoning political culture with hateful, mendacious, and subliterate rhetoric, by undermining the public sphere with attacks on the press and protesters, and by beginning the real work of dismantling every part of the federal government that exists for any purpose other than waging war. Russiagate is helping him—both by distracting from real, documentable, and documented issues, and by promoting a xenophobic conspiracy theory in the cause of removing a xenophobic conspiracy theorist from office.

Bingo as I would say.

Greenwald from Marsha's starting point goes into some of the conspiracy theories now taking on a life of their own.

There’s now an identical – and quite profitable – Democratic cottage industry that specializes in pointing to every death of anyone with any proximity to Trump or Russia and strongly implying – with zero evidence – that they were murdered. But the difference is that it’s not confined to the fringes but is fully embraced by numerous mainstream Democratic figures. It’s not a coincidence that one of the key figures of this early 1990s anti-Clinton sickness, David Brock, is now always lurking at the center of similar yet highly lucrative insanity, but now on behalf of Democrats.

I remember Democrats laughing at people like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones, now many Democrats sound just as absurd. If I was a Republican I would keep feeding them even more idiotic tidbits to keep the distraction going. Have a congressional investigation, that should feed the theorists with plenty of more outrage.

Let Democrats Embrace

George W Bush [war criminal]
Henry Kissinger [war criminal]
John McCain [such a part-time mavericky maverick and full-time warmonger]
The CIA [war criminals, crimes against humanity, torture and dirty trick central]
Louise Mensch etc.

Meanwhile Herr Hair continues with his twitter distraction programme and Republicans concentrate on doing maximum damage to 99% of Americans.

The warmongering has continued with increased vigour, the Democrats appear to want to start a war with Russia and the Republicans want to build upon the already ongoing wars and maybe even bring a war with Iran to the fore.

The real result of this ongoing fiasco is that people like me will feel even more justified in rejecting both of these groups of politically motivated propagandists. Yet, the real harm will continue unabated.

By the way the media gave a voice and a platform to the "Tea Party" along with their merry band of conspiracy loons such as "the Birthers", so any support from their pages for the current mass conspiracy hysteria is not a reliable indication of any truth actually being involved.

With my 40th birthday on the very near horizon maybe I'm too young to remember this type of mass insanity, perhaps I should re-read some of the pre world war two and cold war propaganda to begin to understand what is actually going on.

It aint looking good for democracy [what is left of it that is].

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Alligator Ed's picture

Get things more correct than CNN (Critically Nutty Noise) or the rest of them media whores. A friend of mine today he had heard a little, very little, about Vault 7 on MSM. This goes along with MSM silence on almost everything important that matters, like DAPL, police brutality, election theft from Bernie, but not Russia-Russia-Russia.

I am resigning from reading the news until the Good News Unicorn comes knocking on my door. Thanks as always, LaFem, on the cheery news. And happy birthday--I wish I was 40 again. Hell, I'd settle for 50.

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@Alligator Ed The talking heads flip which conspiracy theory they support or refute with the changing party political winds.

I look for people that have been consistent no matter which direction the howling gale of distraction has come from.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

@LaFeminista and Greenwald is one of the few that has consistently looked for the truth.

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ZimInSeattle's picture

really gets me, the distraction away from important shit, like climate change. We really need Mar-A-Lago to sink into the sea overnight so the idiot MSM has something real to report about. They'd probably try to blame it on the Russians.

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"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK | "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine." - G. B. Shaw Bernie/Tulsi 2020

Alligator Ed's picture

@ZimInSeattle America's worst Governor P Rick Scott is going to start fracking big time in the Sunshine state. One of the fracking areas will possibly be 10 miles from Mar-A-Lago giving us hope the a large sinkhole develops right underneath it.

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@ZimInSeattle @ZimInSeattle . So it may potentially affect the resort's water supply? Guests may climb out of the pool pre-oiled for protection from the sun? Illumination charmingly supplied via low-set flaming water faucets? Ahhhhh, within the exclusive halls, the expensive scent of oil money barely to be discerned by the educated nose beneath the brash tang of fracking fluid... this stuff does seem to get in everywhere, doesn't it? And for the first time ever, I'd have an incident of that nature at which I could actually laugh. And which might provide a learning experience for the new President.

Edit: no idea how I managed this; was actually, I thought, reacting to Ed's comment about the relatively nearby fracking, nearby at least regarding potential for water source contamination by fracking to reach - perhaps even wind-borne 'fragrance issues' at Trump's resort, no idea, although I can hope.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

detroitmechworks's picture

It's like the last hacking and coughing spasm of the Cold Warriors before they disappear forever.

Or, I'd like to hope it's the last gasp. I mean, they've been pulling this Russia shit for half of the last CENTURY. Seriously, it's long past the sell by date.

FYI, politicians: The 100 Years war and 80 years war are cautionary tales, NOT life goals.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

boriscleto's picture

@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks It's been a CENTURY...The US actually sent troops to Siberia in 1919 to support the White Army...Only Hitler could force the US to work with the Soviets, and even then it was an uneasy alliance...

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

detroitmechworks's picture

@boriscleto as a break in the hostility, but then again we had the same thing under Reagan for a few years, so fair point.

That propaganda's been in the fridge for too long.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

solublefish's picture

@boriscleto US policy elites began identifying Russia as an enemy as early as the 1890s (cf. Walter LaFeber, "The New American Empire"). One of the most vocal of those was Brooks Adams (yes, of that famous family), who argued as early as 1900 that the US ought to create a permanent military machine in order to secure our interests in China before the "collectivists" of Russia, Germany, and France (!) got there first. If we did not, he warned, the "American system" of individualism and laissez-faire would be threatened with extinction. (see his essays in "The New Empire, 1902)

In other words, the man envisioned, 50 years before its time, the "necessity" of creating a military-industrial complex to defend American economic oligarchy from the "collectivists".

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A constant drumbeat of allegations wears away at his support, especially among people who don't follow the news that closely, regardless of whether they're proven or not. But I strongly agree it's time to pay attention to other issues. Which is why I wish journalists and pundit who spend their time defending Trump against the Russia accusations would spend their time talking about those other issues instead.

I think we're ready for another big public statement that isn't about cooches this time.

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Lookout's picture

and Russia, Russia, Russia keeps people from noticing the current efforts to attack all aspects of the federal government that help people.

Thanks for the articles!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout thanks, extra emphasis on the people. I don't know about NPR anymore, but here they are quoting foxnews quoting Trump. lol

... After all, he told Fox News last week, he doesn't want to fill "a lot of those jobs ... (because) they're unnecessary. It's people, over people, over people. I say, what do all those people do? You don't need all those jobs."

back to Grover Norquist's Republican pledge:

Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.

Trump is saying he wants One Person over everyone, is how it sounds to me. Just like D-Clintonesque. "what do all those people do?" is extremely clueless bubble-talk. Don't answer, he is deaf to other voices just as she is too, earless oligarchy rules. With no idea at all.

Consolidated authority is easier to enforce, to inflict more unwanted change upon the masses. How to make it stop I don't know. Vote Bernie-crats in the long run I guess? Sanders is on the inside again, assimilated to the oligarchy so allowed to speak on TV once more. Reminds me of W.C. Fields, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

Peace

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Big Al's picture

Wrote an essay about that once. A book from 1933 I think that chronicled in part how the churches prepped the public for WWI with Germany. Same type of horror stories (babies heads cut off, the Germans will come to get us, fear tactics, etc.) to get the people riled up. Then of course there were the propaganda newsreels of WWII in the movie theaters. Now it's fucking everywhere, people don't have a chance unless they want to wake up. It's like being an addict, you have to want help to cure your problem.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Trump is doing nothing less than destroying American democratic institutions and principles by turning the presidency into a profit-making machine for his family, by poisoning political culture with hateful, mendacious, and subliterate rhetoric, by undermining the public sphere with attacks on the press and protesters, and by beginning the real work of dismantling every part of the federal government that exists for any purpose other than waging war.

Beginning the real work? The real work was begun sometime around 1978!

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal than past attempts/assaults. A whole new level of disregard coupled with spiteful viscousness. The Idiocracy has arrived.

I think the privatisation of both Social Security and Medicare will be on the table in the biggest asset stripping program of all time.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@LaFeminista Every subsequent step is more aggressive, more insidious, and more loathsome than the last.

As for Social Security and Medicare privatization, it didn't take Donald Trump for that--we almost had it in 1998:

https://shadowproof.com/2010/05/18/how-monica-lewinsky-saved-social-secu...

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal they wanted was predictable and followed a certain neo-liberal and neo-con logic.

Yes, we still have that, but I am with Chomsky on this one there is one highly unpredictable variable in this one, Trump. Couple this with his "Dick Cheney" Bannon who has his own nefarious agenda and a new rule book is being written.

I agree with your time line, but I think we are way beyond a logical progression.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@LaFeminista Eliminate current social support programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social security) to the undermining and exposing the "alleged" pedophile ring--except that I think this is a reality.

9/11 was an inside job. Pedophilia is an inside occupation. Parents might allow themselves to be economically squeezed but they will not tolerate pedophilia for a moment.

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Now and then, it seemed the Russia hysteria reminded me of German Nazi propaganda against Jews and the Soviet Union. So now and then when I have time, I do some relatively random sorts of searches to see if my initial instincts were justified. I am sure there are experts who have studied German propaganda, but just my own meanderings before hitting any academic based writing.

So here is what I found about the first dean of the Columbia School of Journalism--a Carl W. Ackerman: Wikipedia says this about him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_W._Ackerman

In 1931, he was appointed as the director and first dean of the newly established School of Journalism at Columbia University. He was instrumental in developing the school through its first two decades, as he served in that position until 1954.

Previously as a reporter:

In 1919, as a correspondent of the Public Ledger of Philadelphia, he published the first excerpts of an English translation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but changed the text so that it appeared to be a Bolshevist tract.

In 1919, the Bolsheviks had pretty much taken over Russia, and we had the makings of a Red Scare. So what we see here is an early mixing up, the blending of anti-Jewish and anti-Russian Bolshevik propaganda. All the shit in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was now also same shit as applied to (Slavic) Jewish controlled Russia. My local paper published last year during the election debate over immigration some earlier 20th century articles showing the resistance to Jewish immigration as it identified Jews as foreign and pushing for anti-American capitalist ideals. I will try to find links, but shoulda kept them for future reference.

Just as a side note, we keep hearing that the Russians are undermining and subverting Western liberal democracies. This could be straight out of the 19th century propaganda used to form the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This was also a common theme of McCarthyism. A general overview of the The Protocols:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion

In the case of Masha Gessen, her article was totally unexpected given her vehement opposition to Putin. But her being Russian and Jewish, I could easily that she might notice more than most the tone/origin of the Russian hysteria.

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k9disc's picture

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu