Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Guess Which Country is the Undisputed Champion in Election Meddling?

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With the entire “Russia interfered in US democracy” story collapsing, Jimmy Dore reminded us which country is the undisputed champion in election meddling. The Carnegie Mellon University study does NOT even include coups and attempts at régime change. The study just counts when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. Imagine the results if we added coups, régime change operations, invasions, sanctions, and bombings to the final tally. Here’s a transcript of an NPR interview on the matter:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is hardly the first time a country tried to influence the outcome of another country’s election. By one expert’s count, the USA did it, too, more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. That expert is Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. I asked him to tell me about one election where US intervention likely affected the outcome.

DOV LEVIN:

One example of that was our intervention in Serbia (then, Yugoslavia), in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milošević was running for re-election, and we didn’t want him to stay in power due to his tendency to disrupt the Balkans and his human rights violations (sic). Therefore, we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Koštunica. Moreover, we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. In addition, according to my estimate, that assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win.

SHAPIRO:

How often are these interventions public versus covert?

LEVIN:

Basically, about one-third of them are public and two-thirds of them are covert. In other words, the voters in the target don’t know before the election.

SHAPIRO: 

Your count doesn’t include coups or attempts at régime change. Depending on the definitions, it sounds like the tally could actually be much higher.

LEVIN:

You’re right. I didn’t count and discounted covert coup d’états like the USA did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954. I only counted when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. I didn’t discuss other types of interventions. However, if we include those, then, of course, the number could be larger.

SHAPIRO:

For example, how often do other countries like Russia try to alter the outcome of elections as compared to the USA?

LEVIN:

Well, for my dataset, the USA is the most common user of this technique. Since 1945, Russia or the USSR used it half as much. My estimate is 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know that the Chinese used this technique; the Venezuelans used it when the late Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was in power, and other countries used it, too.

SHAPIRO:

Arguably, the USA is more vocal than any other country about promoting democracy and democratic values around the world. Does this strike you as conflicting with that message?

LEVIN:

It depends upon if we help the pro-democratic side (sic), as in the case of Milošević that I talked about earlier. I believe that’d be helpful for democracy. If it helps less-nicer candidates or parties, then, naturally, it can be less helpful.

SHAPIRO:

Obviously, your examination of 20th-century attempts to influence elections doesn’t involve hacking because computers weren’t widespread until recently.

LEVIN:

That’s true.

SHAPIRO:

In your view, is technology dramatically changing the game… as we saw in the November election? On the other hand, is this just the latest evolution of an effort that always used whatever tools are available?

LEVIN:

I’d say it’s more the latter. Before, without cyber-hacking tools, I’d say that the Russians or the Soviets infrequently did these types of intervention because one had to use old-style methods such as people meeting in the park in secret giving out and getting information and things like that.

23 April 2017

Alex Christoforou

The Duran

http://theduran.com/guess-which-country-is-the-undisputed-champion-in-election-meddling/

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Trump is a “Fraud” and an Authoritarian: Bernie Sanders

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Editor:

The Hillybillies are running about and claiming that Russia and Trump are having a lovefeast. Nothing is further from the truth… most media outlets are sceptical of Herr Trump and most government officials are at best cautious (they know how untruthful Anglo Americans are in general and how deceitful Trump is in particular… note well that Trump hasn’t ended aid to the terrorists in Syria or to the illegitimate American-installed Uniate junta in the Ukraine). The Russian media is doing a better job than the NYT, WaPo, WSJ, and Radio Liberty… the American media has degenerated into a cheerleader for Neoliberalism, Wall Street, and Perpetual Warfare. God do preserve us.

BMD

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US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told CNN’s State of the Union:

This guy is a fraud. This guy ran for President of the United States saying, “I, Donald Trump, I’m going to take on Wall Street… these guys are getting away with murder”. Then, suddenly, he appoints all these billionaires. He told us… in fact, it’s in the Republican platform… he’s going to bring back Glass-Steagall, we’re going to be dividing up commercial banks from investment banks to insurance companies. Then, he has all of the big Wall Street guys on his side, and now he’s working for Wall Street.

The Glass-Steagall Act, repealed under Bill Clinton, separated commercial and investment banks. Gary Cohn, who heads Trump’s National Economic Council, was a Goldman Sachs executive; his pick for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, also comes from the multinational financial group that took billions from the US government in its 2008 bailout of “too big to fail” banks. On 3 February, Trump signed an order asking federal regulators to come back to him in 120 days with suggestions on how to change US legislation to allow more money to flow to businesses; Sanders predicted:

Trump would dismantle legislation that protects consumers. I think he’s going to sell out the middle class and the working class of this country.

Trump ran as the only Republican promising not to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, US public assistance programs, but Sanders said:

The makeup of his advisers suggests he’ll do exactly that. He had voters fooled. He’s a good showman, I’ll give you that… he’s a good TV guy.

Sanders, the Democratic primary rival of eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, ran a campaign focused on economic inequality in the USA and on challenging corporate power. Sanders noted:

Trump pretended he’d do that, too. You have a president who, I think, in a totally fraudulent campaign said, “I’m going to stand up for the working people”. Look at his Cabinet… we’ve never had more billionaires in a Cabinet in the history of this country. Look at his appointees. These are people who are going to go after the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor. That’s called hypocrisy.

Citing the president’s habit of tarring all media as “fake news,” and of consistently putting himself and his opinions as the final authority, Sanders predicted that mainstream conservatives would soon find themselves in a very difficult position and hoped they’d stand up to Trump’s authoritarianism, saying:

We aren’t another Trump enterprise. It’s called the United States of America. We’re not a business run by Mr Trump.

6 February 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/us/201702061050378298-sanders-trump-fraud-authoritarian/

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

4 January 2017. Bill and Hill to Attend Trump’s Inaugural

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Trump the Chump and Chilly Hilly have much more in common than they do differences… they’re both part of the Oligarch class, and both despise working folk… so, does this surprise anyone? Not me… and I’m not alone…

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You needed proof that the duopoly is actually one organism? Bill and Hill are going to Trump’s inaugural. Fancy that… they’re all going to party together. I’d say that any chance of real change under Trump is slim to nil. The Establishment is One. My friends abroad all have the belief that nothing will change under Trump, except for the worst. Remember, Trump is a master schauspieler and salesman… he’ll say anything to seal a deal… and break it as soon as he gets what he wants. Think of the people who voted for Trump thinking that he was going to “drain the swamp”… it’d be tempting to yell, “Suckers!” We’re Christians… we should show charity… even to the terminally stupid and clueless…

BMD

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

In 2017: Occupy. Resist. Build Power.

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The 2016 Presidential election has left our nation reeling. Donald Trump’s shock victory is the result of the massive failure of the corporate two-party system, which imposed a whiteout on progressive and independent campaigns whilst producing the most disliked and distrusted major-party candidates in history. This toxic election delivered a uniquely toxic result… rightwing extremists, bigots, and blowhards will take control of government starting in January, casting a distressing shadow over our future. As the two-party system hits rock bottom, people are waging momentous grassroots struggles outside the political establishment… at Standing Rock, in the Black Lives Matter movement, the Fight for 15, and more. In these emerging political spaces, we can make this breaking point for the establishment a tipping point towards a new politics for people, planet, and peace over profit. Greens have a unique opportunity to help lead the way. From Dreamers and student debtors to pipeline resisters, people are building their voices and power in the streets. Our campaign had the honour to stand with these movements on the frontlines. Together, we can build a powerful force to resist Trump and reclaim power for the people.

Greens emerged stronger than ever from this election… tripling our vote count from 2012, retaining ballot status in a record number of states, gaining countless new chapters, and carrying extraordinary momentum into this year’s local elections season. We can build on the successes of local Greens, from Richmond CA to New Paltz NY, to protect our communities against Trump while cultivating the kind of organisation and defiant leadership that the American people desperately need. We don’t consent to Trump’s régime of hate, fear, and corruption. We’ll oppose oligarchy with democracy. Moreover, we’ll build an unstoppable movement whose time has come, to put people, planet, and peace over profit.

Join us: occupyinauguration.org

Thank you for being the best of 2016.

In gratitude,

Jill Stein

2 January 2017

Jill 2016

http://www.jill2016.com/in_2017

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