What’s up with Julian Assange and Wikileaks?

He definitely let himself be played by the Russians and used to strategically release information timed to do the most damage to Hillary Clinton. At the least he’s a Kremlin asset, in the same sense that James Clapper observed Donald Trump is a Kremlin asset.

Beyond that, it’s impossible to say. I tend to lean to saying he’s in over his head, partially due to his own personality defects. I think it’s pretty obvious that he has a personal grudge against Hillary Clinton. As someone who’s harshly critical of Hillary Clinton myself, I understand some of that grudge, but it’s important not to let oneself be blinded by one’s grudges.

I also think that Assange ended up provoking the USA far more than he thought he would; I don’t think he believed the US would try to jail him for his political activities. The shock of that doubtless has influenced his antipathy towards the US empire.

I have antipathy to that empire, too, but it’s important to keep in mind just what forces you are aiding in your activism. There are wannabe empires in the world, and just because the US empire has been bad doesn’t mean that the wannabes will necessarily be better.

In the case of China and Russia, all available evidence indicates they will be worse. At least the more open political environment in the USA leaves the US empire significantly more vulnerable to being shamed.

Fire and Fury, The Gorilla Channel, Fake News

First, Fire and Fury should not be taken as a serious information source. It’s written by an individual who might rightly be called the Donald Trump of journalism, given his lack of adherence to norms and past record of playing fast and loose with factual accuracy. He’s already been caught getting into the White House on false pretenses.

Second, it’s not as if Trump or anyone in his regime has much ground to stand on when it comes to complaining about such things.

Third, there is no Gorilla Channel. That’s a hoax. It wasn’t believable to start with:

I had never heard of any such thing, yet Trump is supposed to have had access to it in Trump Tower (but not the White House?). If it were a cable channel, you’d expect it to be available pretty much everywhere there is cable. If Washington, DC has an inferior cable system that doesn’t carry it, it wouldn’t be that hard to install an earth station at the White House to receive it.

They set up “a hastily-constructed transmission tower on the South Lawn” to broadcast it? Really? That tower would have attracted the attention of photographers; surely someone would have noticed it. And why erect a transmission tower for cable TV? Far simpler and easier to just modulate a signal and inject it into the coax. If over-the-air transmission is for some reason desired, a tower isn’t needed for a low-power signal, anyhow. This wouldn’t need to reach farther than a few rooms in the White House; it would be a simple matter to put an ultra low-power transmitter in a closet somewhere.

Fourth, the book’s general premise, that Trump is totally unfit for the job he finds himself in, is no big surprise and was obvious already.

The Bigotry of Valerie Plame

Yes, that Valerie Plame, Joseph Wilson’s wife, the ex-CIA agent. First she tweets:

Then 90 minutes or so later she makes a feeble attempt at walking it back:

And yes, it’s a feeble attempt. If she “zeroed in on the neocon criticism,” then why mention Jewishness at all, if the problem is neoconservatives? Why retweet the subject, which was “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” Not “America’s Neocons” or even “America’s Jewish Neocons”, but “America’s Jews” as a whole. The problem was identified as Jewishness, not political ideology.

That an article so titled would resonate with her (to the point of prompting an instinctive retweet) points to deeply-held antisemitic attitudes on her part. That’s a far bigger problem that a simple “Oopsie!” can atone for.

Nuclear War: Now Ten Seconds to Midnight

This Is Not a Conspiracy on Trump’s Part

Pretty much everything that’s observable about Trump is consistent with the thesis that he is not some sort of evil, brilliant, right-wing mastermind. He’s an intellectually immature adult child who is almost solely concerned with his own self-glorification, nothing more.

This Is Still Exceptionally Dangerous

Even though there isn’t an organized conspiracy to start a nuclear war, there is still a very good chance, probably about 50%, of one starting within the next 12 months. Anyone saying otherwise, no matter how prestigious their voice, is telling lies that amount to whistling in the graveyard.

The Stalinist monarchy that rules North Korea has long been irresponsible and unhinged. That danger was traditionally mitigated by the United States being at least somewhat reasonable. Now we have two unhinged people leading two adversarial nuclear-armed nations. You take it from there. Again, anyone arguing that this is less than a grave existential threat to civilization is telling lies that amount to whistling in the graveyard.

More than Likely, Trump Is Being Played

Played by the fascist right, that is. It’s doubtless fascists like Bannon and Gorka that are egging him on. Trump likes those fascists because they do a good job of stroking his childish ego.

Being fascists, they don’t care how many deaths they cause in the name of creating a fascist state. The ends will always justify the means. If some millions or tens of millions of Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans, or others must die to achieve their vision, so be it.

What Is Justified to Stop This? Pretty Much Anything

I’m not going to enunciate just what that anything might be, but you get the idea. Needless to say, the least extreme measures that can promptly achieve the necessary goal of stopping nuclear war should be used.

That in Itself Is Another Danger

It is so because it might lead to the danger of Trump proving in the long run to have been a phantom menace that paved the way for authoritarians to use extraordinary means to neutralize the Trump threat, and after having legitimized such means, then using similar ones to create an authoritarian order of their own.

Personally, I’m Strategizing Ways to Leave the Seattle Area

We’re the most likely target on the US mainland, because we’re the closest metro area to North Korea. Living outside the city, like I do, is no guarantee of safety, because North Korea’s missiles are likely to not be all that accurate. They could easily miss by ten miles or more.

Most likely strategy is to spend an extended amount of time at my parents’ place in New Mexico. The big question I’m now mulling through is how immediate the threat is. North Korea might not be able to strike Seattle yet, so they may opt to go after Seoul, Tokyo, or maybe even Guam first.