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Mueller and the Russians – Huge Head Fake?


Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/mueller-russians-huge-head-fake/ Did you say Russians, Big Red Car? Big Red Car here enjoying the memory of Presidents Lincoln and Washington. Ahh, on Earth as it is in Texas. I have been trying to stay away from the Russian – Trump collusion dialogue for a while, but the huuuuuuuuuge Mueller Russian indictment has me scratching my head. Let me share a few thoughts with you, may I? This guy, Vladimir Putin, is a former KGB guy. He runs Russia. He is a prick and a butcher. Espionage The US and Russia routinely engage in espionage at an insane level of effort and have since before World War II. Barack Obama famously made fun of Mitt Romney during the Presidential debates when Mitt said the Russians were bad hombres, but Mitt was right. Espionage is the effort to obtain secret information without the permission of its rightful owner. It is one part of the spy game. Espionage is conducted by spies who are engaged full time in trying to obtain the enemy’s secrets. This is how the Russians “invented” their nuclear weapons, they stole them from the Americans. The first thing to know is that people who engage in spying break the laws of the target country. So, when evaluating the spy operations, talking about you CIA, you are dealing with people who break laws for a living. Except, they are not supposed to break any US laws. Spies provide humint (human intelligence). Today there are a lot of different types of intelligence including sigint (signals intelligence.) The American NSA (National Security  Agency) is the premier sigint entity in the world. It can listen in on and break into every form of communication known to man. It can capture and store every written or spoken word since the advent of language and store it all without breaking a sweat. Spies are not limited to obtaining information. Sometimes, spies are providing information to an enemy with the objective being to misinform, disinform, mislead, or confuse the enemy. In the vernacular of spies, these individuals — working on misinformation, disinformation, misleading or confusing — may be agents of influence, agents of confusion, and agents provocateur. In the Russian effort, it is these objectives which were in play. The Russians wanted to influence the American election and to confuse the American electorate. The Internet and Social Media The Internet has changed everything. The killer app of the Internet is email. Writing emails can get you into a lot of trouble (talking to you Jon Podesta and Hillary Clinton). Counterfeiting emails can cause a lot of trouble. The American electorate can be communicated with using the Internet and Social Media. They will be studying the Trump campaign’s use of Twitter for the next century. The Russians, as all espionage agencies did, recognized the power of the Internet and Social Media to misinform, disinform, mislead, and confuse the American voter (writ larger, the entirety of American society not just voters). So, let’s stop for a second and ask ourselves a question – given the nature of the Internet and Social Media is there any way the Russians would NOT have been using them to engage in misinformation, disinformation, misleading, or confusion. It’s in their DNA. OK, so when did this start, Big Red Car? It started with the advent of the Internet and Social Media. It’s been going on for years. Though Mueller comes to us with breathless indignation as if he discovered gambling at Rick’s Place in Casablance, there have been a number of articles both in Russia and the US about a Russian troll factory. Washington Post – Troll Factory Article 2-18-2018 Washington Post Article – Troll Factory Article 2-19-2018 What you can see from these articles is that the Internet Research Agency (the Troll Factory) was common knowledge going back as far as 2013. It wasn’t much of a secret at all. It was well organized, compartmentalized, sought out perfect English speakers, and well funded. Just like the FSB (the new brand for the old KGB, but same bunch). The Mueller Indictment The Mueller Indictment is a bit of theatre. It reveals to us something which was known for three years before the election during the Obama administration – the Russians were mucking about with the American voter using the Internet and Social Media. In specific:  1. The Russians adopted false identities and used these false identities to open Social Media accounts at such places like Facebook and Twitter. Wow! Never saw that coming, did you?  2. The Russians used these accounts to stir up trouble (starting years before the election, when it was a high likelihood that Hillary would get the Democrat nomination and Donald J Trump hadn’t even declared his candidacy) by planting false information and inflammatory information.  3. The Russians spent:  a. $1,979 in Wisconsin (all but $54 before the primaries were finished),  b. $1,536 in California where there hasn’t been a chance of a Republican winner in a quarter of a century,  c. $823 in Michigan,  d. $300 in Pennsylvania, and,  e. an indeterminate amount in Florida which may be as much as $5,000. Read the articles and you will learn they did exactly what any minimally digitally savvy person would suspect they might. They were true agents provocateur. Facebook reported previously that accounts which it suspects of being fraudulent spent as much as $80,000 on FB ads. They are not perfectly certain. Yawn. Oh, excuse me, I guess in a Presidential campaign which spent more than $10,000,000,000 on all ads and events with the two direct campaigns spending a total of $2,000,000,000 directly, I fail to see how the Russians could have really hoped to impact the election. When do the Russians go to trial, Big Red Car? What the Mueller indictment does not say is that none of these people will ever go to trial. Ever. Why, Big Red Car?  1. Because they are Russian citizens,  2. Because they live in Russia, and  3. Because Vladimir Putin is not going to agree to their extradition. Neither the US nor Russia ever extradites spies. We exchange them, but only when we have custody of them. Pointedly, the Mueller team does not have any of these digital Illuminati in custody. Big point. What Mueller did was to repackage the news from Russia and the Washington Post and craft it into an ineffective, showboat of an indictment by manipulating some “in the dark” Grand Jury as a means of pretending that he had discovered something of value or importance. Unfortunately, the story started three years before the election and the Obama admin knew about it for years. Yawn! Excuse me. It is total baloney and nobody on the Mueller team expects to ever try this case. It is a head fake. So, Big Red Car, why did they do it? Who knows? But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Happy Presidents Day. Thanks, George!               Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/mueller-russians-huge-head-fake/

Can you keep a secret?6


Source: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/crabs

Prioritizing Content Consumption


A reader recently wrote me this email: I’d be very interested in a blog piece from you on how you prioritise what content to read/watch/listen to. There’s so much out there, and it doesn’t stop. You seem to balance a very busy job with significant content consumption and some healthy time off. Curious as to how you do it without it becoming a major distraction. The key word for me in that email is “prioritise” because it suggests a system in which I conciously decide what content is most important to consume. The truth is pretty much the opposite. I don’t have much process, system, and organization in my life. What I do have is routine and I use that routine to set and keep priorities. This blog is a big piece of that routine. I post an audio or video piece every Saturday so I want to check out audio and video that I think the AVC readership would be interested during the week so I have something to post. Similarly, I need things to write about and reading what other people think and write about is quite helpful to me in figuring out what to write about. I have several dozen friends who are always sending me things to read or watch or listen to. Many/most of these people do not work in tech but are hyper-curious and have great breadth of interest. They are my most valuable source of content and inspiration and I have cultivated these relationships over my entire adult life. This was not calculated or planned. It is just happened. Most importantly, I do not allow technology to drive what content I consume. I use Twitter but drop in and out of it occasionally to get a taste. I don’t drink from it’s fire hose. I let Google Now send me alerts but I understand they are filter bubbling me and mainly use it to make sure I see certain things. I have a Facebook account but have not actively used it since they went hostile on Twitter almost ten years ago. Maybe some day technology will be able to do for me what humans can do, but today it is the exact opposite. Technology shows me things I already know about. Humans show me things I don’t know about. I have a very strong bias to read/watch/listen to things that I know nothing about. I can go deep if I need to but I would prefer to be a mile wide and an inch deep in terms of what I know about. I wish I read more books. I can’t read business books. I find them dull and boring. I love novels and read them when I can but I maybe read five to ten novels a year. Books are the biggest casualty of the current demands on my time. We also don’t watch a lot of TV in our home. I like to watch live sports and often wind down with sports before going to bed. But we don’t binge on Netflix or anything like that. This provides us a lot of time for other things. So that’s how I approach content consumption. It works for me. I don’t know if it will work for you. This is not a recommendation as much as an answer to an interesting question from a regular reader. http://avc.com/2018/02/prioritizing-content-consumption/

Prioritizing Content Consumption1


A reader recently wrote me this email: I’d be very interested in a blog piece from you on how you prioritise what content to read/watch/listen to. There’s so much out there, and it doesn’t stop. You seem to balance a very busy job with significant content consumption and some healthy time off. Curious as to how you do it without it becoming a major distraction. The key word for me in that email is “prioritise” because it suggests a system in which I conciously decide what content is most important to consume. The truth is pretty much the opposite. I don’t have much process, system, and organization in my life. What I do have is routine and I use that routine to set and keep priorities. This blog is a big piece of that routine. I post an audio or video piece every Saturday so I want to check out audio and video that I think the AVC readership would be interested during the week so I have something to post. Similarly, I need things to write about and reading what other people think and write about is quite helpful to me in figuring out what to write about. I have several dozen friends who are always sending me things to read or watch or listen to. Many/most of these people do not work in tech but are hyper-curious and have great breadth of interest. They are my most valuable source of content and inspiration and I have cultivated these relationships over my entire adult life. This was not calculated or planned. It is just happened. Most importantly, I do not allow technology to drive what content I consume. I use Twitter but drop in and out of it occasionally to get a taste. I don’t drink from it’s fire hose. I let Google Now send me alerts but I understand they are filter bubbling me and mainly use it to make sure I see certain things. I have a Facebook account but have not actively used it since they went hostile on Twitter almost ten years ago. Maybe some day technology will be able to do for me what humans can do, but today it is the exact opposite. Technology shows me things I already know about. Humans show me things I don’t know about. I have a very strong bias to read/watch/listen to things that I know nothing about. I can go deep if I need to but I would prefer to be a mile wide and an inch deep in terms of what I know about. I wish I read more books. I can’t read business books. I find them dull and boring. I love novels and read them when I can but I maybe read five to ten novels a year. Books are the biggest casualty of the current demands on my time. We also don’t watch a lot of TV in our home. I like to watch live sports and often wind down with sports before going to bed. But we don’t binge on Netflix or anything like that. This provides us a lot of time for other things. So that’s how I approach content consumption. It works for me. I don’t know if it will work for you. This is not a recommendation as much as an answer to an interesting question from a regular reader. http://avc.com/2018/02/prioritizing-content-consumption/

Prioritizing Content Consumption1


A reader recently wrote me this email: I’d be very interested in a blog piece from you on how you prioritise what content to read/watch/listen to. There’s so much out there, and it doesn’t stop. You seem to balance a very busy job with significant content consumption and some healthy time off. Curious as to how you do it without it becoming a major distraction. The key word for me in that email is “prioritise” because it suggests a system in which I conciously decide what content is most important to consume. The truth is pretty much the opposite. I don’t have much process, system, and organization in my life. What I do have is routine and I use that routine to set and keep priorities. This blog is a big piece of that routine. I post an audio or video piece every Saturday so I want to check out audio and video that I think the AVC readership would be interested during the week so I have something to post. Similarly, I need things to write about and reading what other people think and write about is quite helpful to me in figuring out what to write about. I have several dozen friends who are always sending me things to read or watch or listen to. Many/most of these people do not work in tech but are hyper-curious and have great breadth of interest. They are my most valuable source of content and inspiration and I have cultivated these relationships over my entire adult life. This was not calculated or planned. It is just happened. Most importantly, I do not allow technology to drive what content I consume. I use Twitter but drop in and out of it occasionally to get a taste. I don’t drink from it’s fire hose. I let Google Now send me alerts but I understand they are filter bubbling me and mainly use it to make sure I see certain things. I have a Facebook account but have not actively used it since they went hostile on Twitter almost ten years ago. Maybe some day technology will be able to do for me what humans can do, but today it is the exact opposite. Technology shows me things I already know about. Humans show me things I don’t know about. I have a very strong bias to read/watch/listen to things that I know nothing about. I can go deep if I need to but I would prefer to be a mile wide and an inch deep in terms of what I know about. I wish I read more books. I can’t read business books. I find them dull and boring. I love novels and read them when I can but I maybe read five to ten novels a year. Books are the biggest casualty of the current demands on my time. We also don’t watch a lot of TV in our home. I like to watch live sports and often wind down with sports before going to bed. But we don’t binge on Netflix or anything like that. This provides us a lot of time for other things. So that’s how I approach content consumption. It works for me. I don’t know if it will work for you. This is not a recommendation as much as an answer to an interesting question from a regular reader. http://avc.com/2018/02/prioritizing-content-consumption/