Snippets from Senate Hearing on Russian Hacking

2 Videos. Very important.

My rant - the US isn't perfect, and yeah, our government can do horrible stuff, usually at the behest of corporations which are a layer that overrides much of our infrastructure and directs our course. Be that as it may, we have struggled for 400 years to make a better nation. If we go the way of Putin, which we need look no further than Trump and his practices and policies, we lose all we have worked for and gained - our diversity, our compassion, our new sense of protecting the environment, public lands, a desire for fairness and justice, the right to struggle for government transparency, remotely accurate voting and a chance to extend white voting standards to everyone else, a social safety net, care for our is is hugely long list. We must protect it. Each. One. Of. Us.

Views: 66

Comment by koshersalaami on March 30, 2017 at 6:45pm

Not too many here would disagree with that

Comment by MV Neland on March 30, 2017 at 8:19pm

koshersalaami, my deepest condolences.  That well meant phrase cannot even suffice to ease such loss, i know.  I hope you and yours are finding solace where you can.

I have been an agitator and activists nearly all my life, as i see many of us here have been.  So, being critical of this nation is something that resides in my blood.  I also have always had a fierce dislike of fascism, knowing that our country flirts with that form of governance from time to time, and that it takes actual effort to pull the nation back from such a course. I am also a beneficiary of government laws that protect diversity, have been dirt poor from time to time and need public generosity, and given our opportunities, have found many ways to repay society in non-profit work and volunteering.  I know our imperfections and the ugliness in people's skewed thinking and beliefs.  Some days i think the best thing that could happen for this world is that the big nation players all go belly up and leave the planet less excavated, poisoned, and injured.  Other days i hold out hope for us all and believe technology can be used for good and, along with a clearer, deeper moral compass pointed towards compassion, will help find our way through the challenges of today and tomorrow - radiation eating bacterium, rats that safely find buried land mines, microchips that allow me to type this to any of you.

I think we all know that we are at one of those proverbial crossroads.  I'm keeping to my hope...but, i'm gonna gnash my teeth all the way.

Comment by moki ikom on March 30, 2017 at 11:28pm

“Not too many here would disagree with that.”

A fair personal observation for its not being written as an absolute such as  “No one here…” .I disagree with the DNC-like/neoliberals’ (used to be a Republican obsession) demonization of Russia, Russians, Putin to serve as a foothold by Democrats for equally vile projections of righteoUSness as Democrats traditionally share with Republicans lit by the floodlight of “Capitalism is Democracy”,  U.S. democrUSy or bust.

Case in point is Shillaryites who think there is nothing provocative about advocating U.S. officials meeting with Russian dissidents/candidates in Russia.  Really? How about the reverse: Russian officials meeting with U.S. dissidents/candidates? 

Comment by moki ikom on March 31, 2017 at 1:04am

From the dkos link:

"We need to follow the money," Wyden said. 

He also sought to understand the ties between Putin's administration, Russian oligarchs and Russian crime organizations, saying: 

"Russia's corruption problem, may be our corruption problem.”

Former FBI Special Agent Clinton Watts responded that Wyden should "follow the trail of dead Russians," a clear reference to Putin critics who have turned up dead.

That the trail of murdered Russian critics and dissidents near inevitably leads to other Russians, doesn’t at all mean it necessarily leads to Putin, or even to upper echelons of the Russian government.   Allegations  “Russian hacking in U.S. elections” may be true but there’s enough reason to believe Trump benefactors’ monies could purchase such a service through Russian crime organizations as there is reason to believe the Russian government ordered such hacking.

Comment by MV Neland on March 31, 2017 at 2:26am

Moki, i don't think Trump has shown a preference of Putin over bratva or our own local mafia.  For him, it is make money however you can regardless of law or consequences.  That the US AND Russia has large swaths of corrupt political, military, and corporate leaders is, of course, quite true.  They are both Capitalists systems with different market schemes.  But, the same corruption is true wherever large accumulations of wealth and power are to be found.  My contention here is not which political system is better, which leader purer, or which corruption worse.  My argument is that the least empowered in this nation have consistently risen, as in the words of the late writer, Dr Maya Angelou, "...and, like dust, i rise."  This struggle is, of course, anywhere and everywhere in the world.  But, in America, due to many factors unique to our history for both good and bad, we are fast becoming one of the most diverse nations in modern history, which i see as a very good and wonderful thing.  It is this diversity, that Trump and his present support from and for Russia, be that official or backstage, which i believe is our greatest treasure and what is most at risk.  Many others will have other priorities or see other elements as more pressing, such as Sen Wyden's concerns about corruption or Agent Watts worry of espionage to the degree that it has become necessary to eliminate all traces of such nefarious practices.  Throughout this power-match drama, it is the little people who must endure these titans and try to reduce the damage their egos will wreak in our lives and on our institutions, be those that protect us and our environment, our laws and justice, our intellectual resources and capacities. There are many good, well intentioned people in both countries and each government faces similar AND dissimilar challenges.  Neither should interfere in either's elections.  Neither, i hope, will be successful in repressing the ultimate will of the people to have fairness, justice, and open societies.

Comment by moki ikom on March 31, 2017 at 3:02am

Is this nation's diversity of ethnic origins and sexual orientation our greatest treasure and what is most at risk?  Are not ideological diversity and ecological diversity important and, if so, then how does that jib with "we are fast becoming one of the most diverse nations in modern history", when both ideologically and ecologically we are accelerating toward monotonoUS success.

Comment by MV Neland on March 31, 2017 at 11:54am

Moki, diverse ethnic origins and sexual orientation are usually signs of far more acceptance and skill at coexistence, so for me, that underlying skill IS our greatest treasure. I am talking about "rights" and celebration of differences while sharing a common set of core beliefs such as respect, non-violence...and not cultural relativism where false equivalency tends to flourish. To have that skill and to "desire" as a people, especially an assimilated people, to encode this skill into law means that those tenets of diversity are applied to all. I think that the success depends on how deeply people, even diversity desiring people, recognize the value of a diverse environment, politic, economy, science, public sphere. Assimilation is far easier. Coexistence takes commitment. But, a people committed to diversity will be far more likely to protect the ecosystem than those who wish for complete, uninterrupted sameness. Imho, it is something to work with to resist, if only slightly at first, the larger undercurrent of the acceleration toward monotonoUS success that manifestly us all given time. I can point to my own failures to embrace that rush towards consumerism as some sign of success of my own resistance. But, I far more value my efforts at kindness, or at the least, a curiosity to wonder what motivates others so as to be more tolerant.

We are in a period of strife and the system you wisely point out as trouble is not without opposition - moving away from monotonous assimilation, or at least assimilation that degrades the other counterbalanced with older institutions of empire and free market capitalism and both Western and Eastern cultural dominance. Long stretches of time show a near capitulation towards human greed in one region while other locales, having matured to the desire for diversity, have moved to protect the Earth. This later group, not limited to nation states, may not win. But, it may.  That is our work to see that it does.

Ideological diversity? That, I think, is more about holding on to power than to ideas, but we tend to keep our dialogue shallow and speak of encoded worldviews to protect "me and mine" as "ideologies" when they are perhaps more aptly cloaked strategies for dominance. Until we discuss our fears straight on as "fears" rather than as "beliefs," we will get no further on merging our ideologies nor understanding them.


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