A Symposium for John Perry Barlow

John Perry Barlow, who passed away in 2018, penned two influential essays early in the web’s evolution A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace and Selling Wine Without Bottles: The Economy of Mind on the Global Net. It’s easy in retrospect to make fun of some of Barlow’s claims:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

or how about this painfully wrong prediction?

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

But as Cindy Cohn notes in Inventing the Future: Barlow and Beyond:

In talking about the Declaration at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) many years later, Barlow admitted that when he stepped out of a party at Davos to write it, he was both a little drunk and trying desperately to channel Thomas Jefferson. So maybe some of the sweeping rebukes are just trying to match his original bravado.

Moreover, Barlow was not nearly as utopian as one might imagine. He was, after all, one of the founders (in 1990!) of the Electronic Frontier Foundation which has worked to make the words true.

The symposium is of mixed quality. Cory Doctorow’s contribution is quarrelsome and weak. James Boyle’s overview and description of the WWW, however, is excellent:

Berners-Lee imagined a republic of ideas built on a vision of language.The whole thing had a whiff of Harry Potter magic.To click on the hyperlink was to summon its referent.The name was the magical command for the presence of the resource, as though every footnote animated itself, went to the library and brought you back the relevant book. To write a web page was to build a transporter of the mind. The link was a reference to the resource, a map to the place where the resource was held and a vehicle to take you there. Each new document wove the network a little wider and tighter. That’s why they called it the world wide web. And its architecture was “distributed.” Anyone could build the web—as if we could all wander outside our houses and build the Eisenhower freeways of the mind ourselves, draw the maps that chronicled those freeways, assemble the cars that traveled along them and then construct the libraries, bookstores, shops, coffee houses and red light districts to which they journeyed. All done through a decentralized process that required neither governmental permission, nor authentication of your content—for better or worse. Better and worse.

I’d also point to Imaginary Bottles on copyright by Jessica Litman and Yochai Benkler’s A Political Economy of Utopia? as excellent. Here’s Benkler:

What the past quarter century has taught us is that there are five basic failure modes of commons-based strategies to construct more attractive forms of social relations.

  1. Companies and countries can usually sustain focused strategic efforts for longer and more actively than distributed networks of users…
  2. Distributed social relations can themselves develop internal hierarchies and inequities (the Iron Law of Oligarchy)…
  3. Distributed open communications have provided enormous play for genuinely hateful and harmful behavior, such that we find ourselves seeking some power to control the worst abuses—the power of the platforms we want to hold democratically accountable, or the power of countries to regulate those platforms for us…
  4. More fundamentally, as long as we live in a society where people have to make money to eat and keep a roof over their heads, markets produce stuff we really like and want. For all the broad complaints about Amazon, it has produced enormous consumer welfare. More directly, for all the romanticization of fan videos and remix, the emergence of subscription streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has been a boon to professional video creators and underwritten a golden age of professional video entertainment and narrative, both fiction and non-fiction.
  5. States are still necessary to counter market power, provide public goods on a sustained and large-scale basis by using coercive taxing and spending powers, redistribute wealth,and provide basic social and economic security for the majority of the population.

The symposium is here.

Comments

The point, I think, is that it is a new world, the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Only mildly wrong so far. People can currently express their beliefs without fear of coercion (though they may need to do so anonymously). The world has become a different place because people who do not share the opinions of the elites are free to organize and communicate directly and bypass the gatekeepers.

...we find ourselves seeking some power to control the worst abuses—the power of the platforms we want to hold democratically accountable, or the power of countries to regulate those platforms for us…

And right there is the reactionary threat of coercion, dressed up as 'democratic accountability' to justify censorship of whatever the majority might deem to be harmful or 'hate speech'.

Actually, Barlow is most famous for his connection to the Grateful Dead - did the symposium have any bands like Phish or String Cheese Incident paying homage to the idea of jam bands?

And did anyone at the symposium explore how Barlow's use of LSD led him to lose his connection to Mormonism?

"You're a lost sailor
You've been away too long at sea
Now the shorelines beckon
Yeah, there's a price for being free"

Alas, the internet and its founders and exploiters get far too much credit, and far too much blame, for what's right and wrong in the world. What's right and wrong in the world were already there, the internet just provided a window to see what's right and wrong. Thomas Edsall's column today is a reminder: the internet didn't create Trump's ill-informed followers, they were already there for the taking, and Trump took. Here's Edsall's concluding paragraph:

"Trump’s genius in 2016 lay in his willingness — indeed, his eagerness — to openly and aggressively unleash the forces of racial and ethnic hostility that Republican elites had quietly capitalized upon for decades. Trump will be a formidable candidate next year because he is prepared to look under the rocks of the American belief system and see the snakes and vermin that have camped there in the dark."

Add to the snakes and vermin white evangelicals, and that makes for an almost, almost, unbeatable coalition. Don't blame the Russians and don't blame the internet. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/opinion/trump-immigration.html

Does the pastor at the Episcopal Church of the Palms know that you're a goddamned heretic?

rayward's clearly a bigot. The old time church going bigot who looks down on everybody that doesn't fit into his world view. But I don't see that he's a heretic at all. rayward would have fit perfectly in the Epsicopalian church of 90 years ago. Lamenting about the low brow common people bringing the country to it's knees by their frivolous ways.

"Although the consequences of original sin have not been emphasized as strongly in Anglicanism as in other Protestant traditions, Article IX of the Articles of Religion, "Of Original or Birth-Sin," states that man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil' ... Original sin may be understood as humanity's innate self-centeredness ..." [An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church]

I see no carve-out for rayward, by which he alone may, presumably from a sense of his own purity, declare everyday Judgment Day, on which he, with infallible eye, reliably sorts the good from the evil, and condemns the latter. This goes so far beyond the ordinary sort of smugness to which anyone may fall pray, that I am concerned for his soul. And even if the only creed at the Church of the Condos is "Love Everyone - No Exceptions! Not Even Your Ex-Wife or Women Who Remind You Of Her" - I fear he yet may have fallen into error.

*prey - pray forgive

Some of my best friends are white evangelicals, and I can assure you that they don't reside under rocks.

"Dear Sir, I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the song which you have just broadcast about the lumberjack who wears women's clothes. Many of my best friends are lumberjacks, and only a few of them are transvestites. Yours faithfully, Brigadier Sir Charles Arthur Strong (Mrs.) P.S. I have never kissed the editor of the Radio Times."

Credit c andrew for recognizing, or not recognizing (more likely), irony.

Debit rayward 5 internet points for completely missing the Monty Python reference.

Credit c andrew those same points for the reference.

Thankee kindly, good sir knight!

I'm not sure why it is, but suddenly I feel a bit like Schrödinger's Cat. Let Hamlet rescue me; "To Irony, or not to Irony, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in mind to suffer the superposition of quantum irony, Or to take words against a ironic entanglement, and by speaking clearly, end it... Ay, there's the rub."

The point is that most people don't use BitTorrent, i.e., the Internet and WWW have largely replicated existing capitalist structures.

The point is that 55 million people with internet access in Britain still overwhelmingly use capitalist structures to consume internet services. Even a million people is small compared to everyone with internet access. The point is that the early Netizens thought the number might be closer to 100 per cent, but normal people still preferred to pay for professional-quality content.

Yesterday was really a bad day for American democracy. The IG released his report. The President and the Attorney General straight up lied about it. The FBI Director told the truth. The
President implied the FBI Director would have to go. All through this, Fox News as the organ of the authoritarian state blared the lie. All this as Trump and Pompeo give Lavrov a podium to straight up lie about election interference in the last election and the next.

These guy's reaction to impeachment is to insult American citizens and American democracy in plain sight. It wasn't "in darkness" after all.

Can Twitter save us?

If that question only gets a maybe we see how far the dream of a new digital democracy has broken.

So the Electronic Freedom Foundation is the new enemy ?

Weird take.

Why even bother to give the stupidest possible answer..

I’m trying to make the Barlow connection. The only relevant words in your post were Twitter and Digital.

The connection being the Electronic Freedom Foundation? Is that the new boogeyman?

I guess ?

Yes, my connection was to Twitter and the old optimism about digital democracy.

What did you serve by playing stupid?

Who did you serve?

I serve the purpose of clear writing, with logic and clearly stated hypotheses.

You had a trump rant and then a throwaway comment about Twitter needing to save the US.

I’m still not seeing the connection to Barlow.

What’s your actual point?

Why are you opposing my ability to "express beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity?"

We know why.

No one is trying to oppose your ability to express your beliefs. We're just pointing out your obsessiveness and your impulsive desire to continuously turn threads away from their original intent. Always as an excuse to talk about what you want to talk about.

Find some friends. Talk to them. Please, stop the massive boorish behavior that you bring to this blog.

I refuse to believe anyone moderately rational could believe this thread does not connect to current events.

If you seek to suppress the connection, you are just part of the problem.

We do have more digital connectivity than ever, and yet our democracy is fundamentally at risk.

We have a President and an Attorney General who have decided that since it is not illegal to lie to the American people (when not under oath before Congress) it is fine to lie.

I ask again, is this new media saving us?

Can you state plainly what your actual hypothesis here is?

There’s a lot of words, but it’s almost entirely either off topic, insinuations, or ad hominem attacks.

Your hypothesis is.... ?

No hypothesis is necessary.

The Mueller Report neatly answers Barlow's dream.

So no response again.

How tiresome.

I notice you didn't mention Durham. He also disagreed with the conclusions. The Horowitz report clearly states that the FBI abused the FISA process. The people who did it don't work for the FBI now, they were fired.

The difference in opinion is whether there was intent due to political differences. Durham seems to think that there was criminal intent, and we shall see what he comes up with.

What is interesting about the promise of the internet is that we can all read the reports. We can read how wrong Schiff was in his report and how right Nunes was in his. There was furious spin the day before the release, and a concerted effort by the media to paint this report just like anonymous did, but it doesn't work. We can read it.

The news media organizations that for decades were feared for their ability to paint any event the way they wanted have been dismantled by the internet. First starved of revenue, then their reporting and stories challenged.

This impeachment push is probably the final media barrage we will ever see. Everything Schiff and Pelosi are doing is predicated on a world that doesn't exist anymore, where getting the Washington Post and NYT full bore coverage of a story at one time defined the moment. That isn't happening, and is likely going to cost the Democrats dearly. The world has changed, and the old games don't work anymore.

The focus on harmful behavior and ugly speech is a cover for those who have lost influence to attempt to tamp down other voices. A situation like what we saw in Vancouver recently where a man who considers himself a woman demanded that women wax his balls, and used the BC Human Rights Commission to force them. The news media didn't touch the story, but it spread worldwide over the internet. The reactions were a mixture of derision and anger, and it was a subject of conversation here in BC despite the lack of media coverage locally. Oops. Hateful speech (saying that he, with full male genitalia, is male is hate speech in Canada) that couldn't be controlled forced a reasonable decision from the commission.

Is it good, bad, indifferent? Central control falls apart when the means of communication is not controllable. I think we are seeing that.

That's all fluff. Yes, the IG had criticisms, but the report affirmed the important points:

- the investigation was not politically motivated

- it was true that the Russian government interfered in our 2016 election

Who are you derek, and who do you want to obfuscate?

Still Canadian?

Say, isn't Derek a Russian name?

To be honest, now I just think of wind chimes.

That is what the report says and a prosecutor investigating the issues involved disagreed publicly.

The FISA abuses are confirmed. FBI agents lied or obfuscated to get the fisa warrants. That is clearly laid out in the report.

As I said, it is all public and can't be spun. Even with your best efforts.

It sounds to me like you are a foreign national trying to interfere in my democracy.

Aww. Anonymous is triggered. Someone get him a teddy bear.

You should probably reimagine that.

I think he's looking for a safe space to protect him from the mean Canadian.

“Mean Canadian” made me giggle.

The Mueller report (also available for public consumption over the Internet) did not find evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government, but that did not stop any of his opponents from insisting that the lack of evidence did not exonerate him, or continuing to refer to the "collusion" without evidence, at least until the Ukrainian quid pro quo or bribery or whatever the focus groups said was the best term was brought into existence.

Speaking of, there is still no evidence available from the impeachment inquiry or any other source (all of which, save Schiff's closed-door hearings, are also available over the Internet) that shows that Trump tied aid money to an investigation of the Bidens, other than hearsay and several witnesses' assumptions about Trump's unspoken intent. You will note that this intent is as difficult to prove or disprove as the FBI's political bias in their actions. Yet, one is supposed to be closed with this report while the other will shortly be tried in the Senate.

We do know, of course, that Christopher Steele is not American, nor are Joseph Mifsud, "Putin's niece", or many other characters providing the justification for the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign, which I think we can agree was, at the least, error-ridden.

It seems Trump's primary error is assuming that the Biden matter ought to be investigated via official channels. He should have paid various intermediaries to produce a dossier that Barr could use to justify a FISA warrant into Biden's campaign. We know now that is kosher, at least to Horowitz.

That's selective reporting. The Mueller report documents first and foremost Russian interference, primarily "digital" by theft, and dissemination, and manufacture of emails and memes.

This is exactly what Barlow and others saw as the tools of their revolution, repurposed.

The Russians did not use tank divisions, they used "The Internet Research Agency."

The report also documents that the campaign welcomed this. The report also documents, though it is hardly needed, that the adminstration obstructed justice to hide this.

Hardly needed, because Trump said it several times straight up. He fired Comey to end the investigation.

How could anyone with an ounce of moral fiber defend any of this?

How could anyone with an ounce of moral fiber defend Comey? Under his watch his agents lied to the FISA court and he meddled in the election. His mishandling of the Clinton email saga it's ample reason to get rid of him.

Comey himself has a good answer.

This really isn’t my battle, but the only great thing to come out of the IG report is definitely.....

That Carter Page was a CIA counterintelligence source the entire time.

And that the FBI omitted that fact from its FISA request. Indeed, the FBI went from an omission to an egregious assertion:

"the FBI cited Page’s contact with the officer to assert in its FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was working as a Russian agent."

"Horowitz also faulted the FBI for overreaching and mistakes during the investigation.These included failing to disclose when applying for a FISA warrant to surveil Page in October 2016 that he had provided the Central Intelligence Agency details of his prior contacts with Russian officials, including the incident the FBI indicated made Page's conduct most suspicious. In addition, Horowitz found that an FBI lawyer intentionally altered an email to indicate that Page was not a CIA source from 2008 to 2013, an assertion that was included in the FISA warrant application."

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

Has the FBI Lawyer being disbarred? Brought up on charges?

None of that refutes that (1) Russia broke lots of laws to interfere in US elections in 2016, (2) the Trump campaign welcomed that interference, and (3) the Trump administration obstructed justice to hide that interference.

You are discussing the color of the drapes while the house catches fire.

And it certainly doesn't address the Trump administration inviting Lavrov to stand flat footed in Washington and lie about that interference.

Yesterday.

Russia phished John Podesta’s email account, yes. True to form they’re maintaining an absurd lie about it.

There was then a two year FBI investigation.

The FBI then wiretapped a CIA counterintelligence source for some reason.

As far as I’m aware Republicans are not agitating to turnover the anti-phishing laws.

So...

Of course they welcomed it. Do you think anyone in the Clinton campaign office ever told the FBI, hey guys, that dossier you guys are using to justify a FISA warrant on our opponent was funded by us? They didn't have to, of course; it was already known to the feds. This is why we don't take your preening about "moral fiber", or really anything about you, seriously here.

As far as Comey goes, he is a serial liar who should have been fired over his bungling of the Clinton email investigation; why should Trump trust him to run another one?

I believe the facts are that when any previous campaign sniffed this kind of interference, they contacted the FBI.

Themselves.

Cool story bro. So when did the DNC learn about the "Russian" "hacking" on their servers? And when did they get CrowdStrike to investigate? And when did the feds start their investigation?

The Australians? You mean a foreign government tipped off the FBI to start an investigation into the Russian collusion conspiracy theory even though Downer himself says nothing Papadopoulos said (himself getting incorrect information from a possible American intelligence asset) indicated that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians?

Of course, the emails are on a server that CrowdStrike (a firm co-founded by its Russian CTO, funny how these coincidences keep popping up) refused to allow the FBI to examine, although James Comey did not mind taking their word on who perpetrated the alleged hack. That was the favor Trump asked, for Ukraine to turn over the server. Wouldn't it be important for the FBI's own people to investigate this matter, seeing as how it relates to foreign involvement in an American election? Apparently not. In any case I expect it has been wiped, like with a cloth or something.

Oh well. I do not expect we will hear much else about the FBI's, at best, gross incompetence, Durham's investigation notwithstanding. It is a shame their "insurance policy" did not pay out, though.

You will note, and in fact did note, that the FBI was provided the data from CrowdStrike; they did not pull it themselves. Again, they requested access to them, but was denied by the DNC.

It seems implausible that you or I, for example, could report a crime to the FBI and not only expect to be able to retain possession of the evidence of that crime, denying access to investigators, but also provide facsimiles of that evidence and have them take our word that it was genuine. (On the other hand, given the behavior that, again, is most charitably described as gross incompetence detailed in the Horowitz report, perhaps it is not outside the realm of possibility.) This is setting aside the fact that the FBI's investigation occurred after the DNC had already hired CrowdStrike to defeat the hack and run their own analysis, the feds not even starting theirs until the emails became public.

In any case, in spite of Trump's "favor", I doubt any are still around to examine. It does provide a nice setup to explain the results of the 2020 election, though, assuming we make it that far.

All that the decentralization of information has done is simply reveal to the public that the people on the front lines of the legacy media just aren't that smart.

This seems obvious; no one really expects a twenty-something lefty young woman just hired to churn out copy for Newsweek after C-averaging her way through J-school to be a shining beacon of wit. But previously that was hidden by the medium. Of course this person is knowledgeable! She's writing in the paper! Her face is on TV! You don't see Joe across the street on TV, do you? Now an article on a tablet screen, a tweet, a web video, they look the same whether they come from the New York Times or Joe's independent blog. And that's when you notice that Joe's material is of better quality than what's coming from supposed professionals.

It doesn't help matters that journalists don't have a filter anymore either. Walter Cronkite engaged in the same deceptive tactics as any cable news anchor today. But he had gravitas. America only saw his face for a half-hour a night and he worked hard to make that half-hour as presentable as possible. Rachel Maddow doesn't have gravitas. Jake Tapper doesn't have gravitas. They run their mouths on live TV and when they're off the air they run their mouths on Twitter only to get smoked by no-checks because they don't have their facts together. Same for print journalists. They can't go back and memory-hole their mistakes either, relying on the fact that nobody is watching cable news, much less recording it on their VCR, or cutting out and saving newspaper articles. Tweets are forever. Screenshots are forever. The Internet Archive is forever.

You're right that we're watching the end of the legacy media with the impeachment nonsense, but it's because the media moguls ran out of human capital. Trump got elected, their buddies in the Beltway got scared, and the media were ordered to make it right, but they don't have the editors, pundits, anchors, and/or writers with the skill to pull a rabbit out of their hat. The only thing they can do is repeat the Orange Man Bad mantra and hope they can skate by on brand recognition, but they're eating through their accrued reputation too quickly. That's why we're talking about impeachment 11 months before an election and the Beltway is treating it like it's their Alamo.

The IG reports that there were 17 errors and omissions just for the Carter Page FISA request. The omitted exculpatory evidence throughout the process. Anyone involved with a law degree should be disbarred for this alone. They found significant problems with the whole process, and showed that Comey's been ling throughout the whole affair. Also, that Obama was kept in the loop even though he lied about that too.
Basically, it was a shitshow and the FBI was horribly siding with the Clinton administration, but because of the FBI's loose rules, they did not violate the law.

Also note that most of the bad actors were out of scope as they were already fired for their incompetency.

It's interesting that, in spite of the comedy of errors committed in the name of forcing a FISA warrant through the system, the same people who have been wringing their hands over the PATRIOT Act for the past two decades want to spike this football, simply because Orange Man Bad.

Everyone here excited for Boris' big win tomorrow! GET BREXIT DONE!

Well he decided not to contest any Tory seats so in the end I think he trusts Johnson to Get Brexit Done.

Note that I disagree with rayward about the racism. It was an organizing principle, but it doesn't matter any more. It was enough to assemble a crew that have no allegiance to anything other than their own power.

You may remember, Bannon tipped that this was the game plan in the beginning. The racists were helpful to getting them in. Into a position where they could wreck the institutions that protect our democracy.

The FBI "cannot be believed," the Russian Foreign Minister is fetted.

What the heck do you think happens in 2020?

Early writings about the digital world tried to make many predictions, but they suffered from so much mood affiliation that they are very inaccurate in retrospect. It's not just internet writing: Look at early writing on open source from ESR and Richard Stallman. Their predictions now look like Hamilton defending the electoral college.

There's very little digital futurism that was almost exactly right. The best example I know is from Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital, which now reads like a boring history book, except it was written before any of the things he describes were available to almost anyone.

Tyler, John Perry Barlow versus Robert Hunter. Who ya got?

"We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity."

And don't anyone try to tell me that this old dream does not relate to this new reality.

The hippies and nerds, and maybe I was one, did not forsee how the same tools could be used by malign actors, including state actors.

To save everyone a click...Russian trolls tweeted the following:

“My cousin is studying sociology in university. Last week she and her classmates polled over 1,000 conservative Christians. ‘What would you do if you discovered that your child was a homo sapiens?’ 55% said they would disown them and force them to leave their home.”

And

“I am pretty sure that undocumented immigrants commit less crimes than the election campaign staff of Donald Trump”

You’re quaking in your boots over some half assed political tweets? Get a grip dude.

"And don't anyone try to tell me that this old dream does not relate to this new reality."

The internet is beyond full of pros and amateurs seeking to create and propagate viral memes (sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally). The idea that professional Russian trolls are a super special threat -- able to dominate the conversation and swing American elections with their evil genius ways is just...absurd. You folks have *really* lost it.

But wasn't that exactly the testimony of Robert Mueller?

“I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election,” he said. “And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

Yes, they tried to interfere, just as they have for every election since WW2.
No, it wasn't particularly effective.
And No, the Trump campaign wasn't involved.

Easy enough?

TMC is a funny guy. He'll go to any length, as he does here. He says "so what?"

If TMC is the face of the modern Republican Party, that party has no moral standing.

Their answer to not just crime (*stolen* emails, remember) but attacks on our elections (including incursions to our electronic voting systems) is "so what?"

So what?

You must lose. Every moral American who cares about democracy and rule of law must oppose you.

It's not hyperbole to say that we must, if we want our children to live in a land of freedom and democracy.

Thanks.

What are you even on about today ?

Ban the internet? Ban twitter? Jail the remaining founders of the Electronic Freedom Foundation ? Ban Boomers from using email because they’re too stupid to recognize obvious phishing attacks?

You’re even less coherent than usual.

I said none of those things.

So, what are you?

A conscious liar, or an uncontrolled lunatic?

You haven’t made any coherent train of logic or thought. At all.

What’s your actual point, hypothesis, or policy recommendation?

All I see is the usual partisan nonsense, some Trump rants, and the usual scaremongering about Twitter trolling.

So what’s the punchline....

You are a funny guy too. You ignore all the facts in evidence and demand some new and challenging hypothesis. Obviously, so that you can say "but that's just a hypothesis!"

No hypothesis necessary.

Read the Mueller Report, and you'll understand why it was necessary for Trump to smear the FBI.

You'll understand why, failing that, Trump and Barr must say that they don't believe the IG or the FBI Director Trump himself appointed.

Remember:

"The current Director is Christopher A. Wray, who assumed the role on August 2, 2017, after being confirmed by the United States Senate, taking over from Acting Director Andrew McCabe after the dismissal of former Director James Comey by President Donald Trump."

That should be a big red flag. Facts, not hypothesis.

I don’t get where this is going.

1. Russia phished Podesta
2. FBI opened an investigation
3. FBI wiretapped a CIA counterintelligence source who worked for the Trump campaign
4. The report was released, showing there was no coordination between the campaign, but Trump tried multiple times to stop the investigation into the alleged but nonexistent coordination

What’s your actual point, please speak plainly. You dance around but never state any actual hypothesis here.

I’m not seeing anything resembling coherence.

They guessed the password on his hotmail or whatever account. Not like they broke into a server with classified emails on it - oh, that's right - they almost certainly did, but that was Hillary's. So no harm.

I got to admin, I didn't hear where they broke into any voting machines.

Either way, they have always been doing this stuff. Obama had a warning about some specific stuff, but told his security chief to stand down. Seems like the unfounded attack on Trump was more important than any of your concerns.

Check this one out, from your side of the aisle - https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/horowitz-report-steele-dossier-collusion-news-media-924944/

"The report throws water on one “deep state” conspiracy theory of the Russia investigation, but validates complaints about “fake news”

"Former FBI director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?" Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked.

"I think the activities we found here don't vindicate anybody who touched this," Horowitz replied.

But wasn't that exactly the testimony of Robert Mueller?

"I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election"

Partisan nonsense. Dangerous partisan nonsense. 'Interfere' implies things like attempts to hack voting machines or bribe elections officials. Saying 'influence' is accurate -- and that is fine!! We have a global marketplace of ideas. Foreigners properly have no vote in U.S. elections, but they're perfectly entitled to have opinions and to express them to Americans. Did you have a problem with Americans right here having expressed opinions on the wisdom of leaving the EU before the Brexit vote? Was that a case of American blogging dark geniuses interfering with British elections! Horrors.

If Russians have invented super-meme techniques that can turn American elections while spending a pittance, those techniques will be used one way or another. There is no conceivable way to block Russian-generated memes from the marketplace of ideas while keeping that marketplace open for Americans. Democrats are turning against freedom of speech, open exchange, and the marketplace of ideas and that is at least 100X scarier than Russian pro trolls.

Of course, one surefire way to "influence" an election would be to encourage mass immigration.

What's wrong with immigration? You seem to hate it for some reason.

This is how empty, stupid, vacuous the claims are.

A man says Trump is the Manchurian candidate and all roads lead to Moscow. The Speaker or the House repeats the claim daily and says the POTUS is a Manchurian candidate and has a pee tape.

FBI investigates, they find nothing. A internal investigation finds the FBI was wiretapping CIA sources because of their political affiliation. We get the report that says he was never guilty but instead was an active US Intelligence source.

I mean wtf. I don’t plan on voting for Trump but this makes me....think about it

I didn't vote for Trump in 2016, and don't even particularly like the guy or his platform, but the simple fact that his mere occupancy of the White House has caused this sort of behavior from the government/media/lobbyist establishment should be enough of a reason for anyone not affiliated with said establishment to re-elect him in 2020.

He's making them panic, and I want to know why.

Let's see, on more from twitter: https://twitter.com/RepMarkMeadows/status/1204847596017205249

Cruz: “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?"

Horowitz: "That's correct. That's what occurred"

It bears repeating that the alteration of the e-mail was not someone removing a comma or changing the font or whatever.

The e-mail, which was from another American intelligence agency, said, "Carter Page is a source" (which would explain pretty well his contact with Russians). The FBI lawyer changed it to say "Carter Page is not a source".

This is the only criminal referral by Horowitz and the guy who altered the e-mail has showed anti-Trump bias in his internal bureau communications just as the lovers Page/Strzok did.

But it didn't affect his decision to alter the e-mail, of course. He's a professional.

Observing both the government and the harassment of the government since its election, I conclude that stupidity can explain more behavior than evil can, a lot more.

+1, there seems to be a great amount of both stupidity and incompetence on both sides.

Comments for this post are closed