Psychology of Russiagate – an adult discussion for a change

This is a fascinating interview – and not only because it is a highly respected independent journalist, Aaron Maté, interviewing his highly respected mental health expert father, Dr. Gabor Maté. It is fascinating because it is objective and adult – unlike so much of the Russiagate reporting. It is an adult discussion.

I have been shocked at how people I thought should know better got caught up in the Russiagate hysteria. This interview helps me understand the psychology behind such unthinking acceptance of what I saw from the beginning was a diversion away from the real issues and an unthinking excuse for an election result which did not conform to predictions. This whole approach has prevented liberal and democratic forces from addressing the real problems they have. It has disarmed them at a time when a more intelligent approach is needed if Trump is to be defeated in 2020.

Well, I have often said that humans are not a rational species, more a rationalising one. I should have not been surprised at the way apparently rational people ended up being emotionally driven. Dr. Gabor Maté explains how we all succumb to such approaches when facing trauma like the election of a Donal trump.

I advise readers who do not have time to watch this very important interview to read Caitlin Johnstone’s article about it – This Talk Between Aaron & Gabor Maté Is The Best Political Video I’ve Ever Seen.

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53 responses to “Psychology of Russiagate – an adult discussion for a change

  1. Yes, he’s correct, which underlines the very reason his voice will be ignored in favour of the Rachel Maddows of this world.
    Pretty depressing, it also answers why its business as usual as far as climate catastrophe goes. Thats a message no one wants to hear.
    The impacts on our lives if radical change was undertaken would be altogether too much sacrifice.
    What about my stuff!!??
    My godgiven right to travel overseas every year?
    Craig Murray has a very good critique of the Mueller investigation , and how he managed to ignore any evidence that might contradict the desired outcome
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/05/the-real-muellergate-scandal/

    but whoosh

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  2. lindarosarn

    Gabor Maté may have his admirers, but it is likely that none of them value science-based mental health practices.

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  3. lindarosarn – I think he is on the ball with this particular analysis.

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  4. Yes, I thought Murray’s critique was good. I never get over my amazement about how bad some of the highly respected reports can be. There seems to have been no serious attempt to properly check things out in this case.

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  5. David Fierstien

    Apologies . . I had meant to place this comment under this blog post where it would be more relevant:

    First question to you: Did you even bother reading the Mueller Report? I hope the answer is no, which would mean you are relying on sources you choose simply because they confirm your biases. Because if the answer is yes, that means you are purposely writing deceptive opinion pieces. For what purpose? . . Good question.

    Ken, this is nuts. You are literally part of the process of trying to re-write history as it is unfolding.

    Since your comments in this post are rather vague, let’s clarify. You didn’t say it, but Mate is discussing the Mueller Report: “So that means that some people wanted Mueller to find evidence of collusion, which means that emotionally they were invested in it.” . . . . “Or you can say there must be a devil somewhere behind all this, and that devil is a foreign power, and his name is Putin, and his country is Russia.”

    He is saying that the Report found no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign & Russia. That is simply a lie.

    He’s basing everything he says here on that Report . . but he knows he’s misrepresenting it because he takes the time to attack Mueller personally. Johnstone: “Maté talked about how Mueller, despite his horrible track record of supporting the WMD lie in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, has been made into a hero, . . “

    This is a guy, like you, who either never read the report or is purposely trying to misrepresent it. And then he mixes it up in a stew of bullshit pop psychology to make it sound cerebral, which it is not. It is simply a political lie.

    So let’s talk about the Report & Russiagate, since you, Johnstone, & Mate are lying about it. You are saying the Report says there was no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign & Russia to influence the 2016 election . . . but . .

    . . The Report actually says There were two efforts by Russia to influence the 2016 election. 1.) The first effort involved disinformation and social-media operations (kind of like what you’re doing here . . . and 2.) The second effort involved hacking into computers to get e-mails from people affiliated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democratic Party organizations to gather and disseminate information.

    There’s your boogeyman, which Mate says is non-existent.

    According to the Report, the Russian government QUOTE, “perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome.” . . . . Moreover, the Trump Campaign QUOTE, “expected it would benefit” from stolen materials which were released through Russian efforts.

    The Report also says that Trump’s Campaign Director instructed his deputy to QUOTE, “provide Kilimnik with updates on the Trump campaign—including internal polling data.” The Report also goes on to say that, “Manafort expected Kilimnik to share that information with others in Ukraine and with Deripaska. Gates periodically sent such polling data to Kilimnik during the campaign.”

    Ken, these were the findings of the Mueller Report which contra

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  6. David Fierstien

    (comment continued) . . Ken, these are the findings of the Mueller Report . .

    . . . which contradicts the crux of everything you have written in this post, . . taken from Gabor Mate, a self-proclaimed psychology/addiction guru who isn’t widely thought of in professional circles (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-in-society/201112/the-seductive-dangerous-allure-gabor-mat ) .

    So the question remains . . have you bothered to read the report or are parroting sources that make you feel good . . because your mother didn’t breast feed you and your father drank himself to death 😉 (see . . I can do it too.) Up until this point I had given you the benefit of the doubt that your mind was closed shut, unwilling to admit you were wrong . . a symptom of old age. But I am fast approaching the point at which I may conclude you are purposely pushing a false narrative. If that is the case, the purpose of your agenda remains the key question.

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  7. David Fierstien

    . . . contradicts the crux of everything you have written in this post, . . taken from Gabor Mate, a self-proclaimed psychology/addiction guru who isn’t widely thought of in professional circles (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-in-society/201112/the-seductive-dangerous-allure-gabor-mat ) .

    So the question remains . . have you bothered to read the report or are parroting sources that make you feel good . . because your mother didn’t breast feed you and your father drank himself to death 😉 (see . . I can do it too.) Up until this point I had given you the benefit of the doubt that your mind was closed shut, unwilling to admit you were wrong . . a symptom of old age. But I am fast approaching the point at which I may conclude you are purposely pushing a false narrative. If that is the case, the purpose of your agenda remains the key question.

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  8. David, you are simply using the old bait and switch diversion when you say:

    “So let’s talk about the Report & Russiagate, since you, Johnstone, & Mate are lying about it. You are saying the Report says there was no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign & Russia to influence the 2016 election . . . but . .

    . . The Report actually says There were two efforts by Russia to influence the 2016 election. 1.) The first effort involved disinformation and social-media operations (kind of like what you’re doing here . . . and 2.) The second effort involved hacking into computers to get e-mails from people affiliated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democratic Party organizations to gather and disseminate information.”

    It is simply a fact that “the Report says there was no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign & Russia to influence the 2016 election.” There is no evidence of “collusion,” “coordination” etc.

    But the switch you use is the fact the Muller report does claim there was evidence of interference – quite a different issue.

    Mind you, I think the Mueller report is pathetic. It did nothing to check out the so-called evidence of interference and appears simply to rely on the evidence-free January 6 intelligence report. That is quite disgusting for an investigative body. It also relied on the Democrat-aligned Crowdstrike report. Again pathetic.

    You seem unwilling to come to grips with Gabor’s analysis. I think it is extremely good. So instead of pointing to any flaws in his analysis, you resort to a personal attack on him – using an irrelevant citation to “prove” it.

    Come on. Look at the evidence. Actually consider what Gabor says.

    Your whole approach (and that of so many who drank the Russiagate kool-aid) reminds me of someone whose marriage has suddenly broken down. They have not yet advanced to a stage enabling them to understand why (and what they contributed to the breakdown) and are desperately looking for excuses and scapegoats to avoid facing up to their own problems which caused the marriage breakdown.

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  9. Yes – I have read the first part of the report and will get back to the second part soon (Had some big family issues including the birth of a beautiful great grand-daughter in the last week). I think the report demonstrates how pathetic the investigation has been. You could get some insight into the problem is you read George Papadopoulos’s book outlining his experience (remember, his entrapment was the issue which was meant to have initiated the whole Russiagate investigation). It is Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump He appears rather naive and does not have a full understanding of what has driven this whole Russiagate hysteria – but it is worth actually seeing how this thing started off.

    The book is relatively short and easy to read – much easier than the Mueller report.

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  10. Stephen Cohen is also critical of the Mueller investigation. Pointing out it never did a forensic investigation of the intelligence report claims.

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  11. David Fierstien

    1.) Congratulations on the birth of your great grand daughter. My first grand daughter will be born in December.

    2.) Your comment: “David, you are simply using the old bait and switch diversion . . .

    “It is simply a fact that “the Report says there was no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign & Russia to influence the 2016 election.” There is no evidence of “collusion,” “coordination” etc.

    “But the switch you use is the fact the Muller report does claim there was evidence of interference – quite a different issue.”

    Response: What are you talking about? Was not Paul Manafort the “Chairman of the Trump Campaign?” Does not the Report specifically say that Manafort directed Gates to supply polling data with the intent of influencing the 2016 election?

    Try to connect the dots here. If Trump’s campaign manager is supplying data to foreign actors with the intent of influencing the election, that’s kind of a coordinated effort.

    As for your comments about Gabor, a pop-psychologist who is not widely regarded in professional circles, who is commenting about what’s going on inside the head of a narcissist whom he has never personally examined, you’re free to believe anything you choose.

    I would be more interested in professional comments regarding state of denial in people like you who choose to believe there was no coordination between the Trump campaign & Russia, and use the very Report which says such a conspiracy did exist as evidence that it did not.

    Not that you are one of his supporters . . but this does apply–

    ” While dozens of psychologists have analyzed Trump, to explain the man’s political invincibility, it is more important to understand the minds of his staunch supporters. While various popular articles have illuminated a multitude of reasons for his unwavering support, there appears to be no comprehensive analysis that contains all of them.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201812/complete-psychological-analysis-trumps-support

    I’m thinking maybe The Dunning-Kruger Effect may apply here.

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  12. Muller reported with reference to Manafort:

    “The investigation uncovered extensive evidence that Paul Manafort’s and Richard Gates’s
    pre-campaign work for the government of Ukraine violated FARA. Manafort and Gates were
    charged for that conduct and admitted to it when they pleaded guilty to superseding criminal
    information in the District of Columbia prosecution.” (p 182)

    But did not find any evidence he cooperated with the government of the RF (see the image from p184 -sorry this did not allow text):

    link

    Yes, Mueller considered the handing over of polling data (as you say ” specifically say that Manafort directed Gates to supply polling data”) but clearly did not see this as cooperating with the Russian government. In fact, Kilimnik was a business associate of Manafort’s and the information appears to have been passed to Ukrainian oligarchs – who did have a great interest in the election and we have yet to see the details of the Ukrainian government interferences in the US 2016 elections.

    David, your attack on Gabor is the classic smear technique – developed by US intelligence agencies and used extensively to avoid discussing information. It is used extensively in the corporate media. You resort to this smearing all the time and do so to avoid interacting with the evidence or opinions.

    By all means, attack Gabor’s analysis (and I would be interested in a reasoned critique of his analysis) but you lose all credibility when you resort to the smear technique.

    I personally find his analysis very convincing – if you don’t then tell me why.

    You say:

    “I would be more interested in professional comments regarding state of denial in people like you who choose to believe there was no coordination between the Trump campaign & Russia, and use the very Report which says such a conspiracy did exist as evidence that it did not.”

    This is simply an example of what Gabor was talking about. You completely turn around the findings of the Muller investigation (there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all) and attempt to pretend that anyone who acknowledges that truth is deluded. That is the classic example of the problem Gabor talked about.

    In politics, people are rarely rational. Gabor’s analysis does apply to both sides. But we are discussing here an extreme case of hysteria which has not only endangered world peace but also destroyed US political thinking.

    All the indications are that Democrats have simply not learned from their mistake and are objectively doing everything they can to ensure a Trump victory in 2020. They should recognize the myth has died and start to deal with the issues that ordinary people are concerned about.

    By continuing to misrepresent the investigation findings and thinking they can revive the hysteria they are laying themselves wide open to being thoroughly discredited when information comes out from the new investigation of how the Russiagate hysteria happened. They asked for this fight so they cannot pretend the new investigation is vindictive or appear at all convincing when they argue that declassification should not happen.

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  13. David Fierstien

    Ken, allow me to respond to your comments regarding Pop Psychologist, Gabor Mate, as that is all I have time for right now.

    Your comment: “David, your attack on Gabor is the classic smear technique – developed by US intelligence agencies and used extensively to avoid discussing information. It is used extensively in the corporate media. You resort to this smearing all the time and do so to avoid interacting with the evidence or opinions.”

    Response: It’s not a smear if what I said is true. I said Gabor is “a pop-psychologist who is not widely regarded in professional circles, who is commenting about what’s going on inside the head of a narcissist whom he has never personally examined,” (oops, my bad. I smeared Trump. I shouldn’t have called him a narcissist, as I am not a professional psychologist, nor have I ever examined him.)

    First of all, your blind defense of anyone who shares your biases worries me. That’s a layman’s opinion & in no way meant to be taken as psychological advice.

    In the second place, Gabor Mate, in this interview, was in violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics, which state that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements.

    This is called the Goldwater Rule. You can read all about it here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldwater_rule

    And finally, Mate is a pop psychologist.

    Definition of Pop Psychology: “psychological or pseudopsychological counseling, interpretations, concepts, terminology, etc., often simplistic or superficial, popularized by certain personalities, magazine articles, television shows, advice columns, or the like, that influence the general public.”

    Here we have a guy, Gabor Mate, who is telling us all about what’s going on inside the head of a public figure whom he as never examined, much less met. By definition, that makes him an unethical pop psychologist. That’s not a smear. It’s the truth, and it has just been proven.

    This is what Mate says about a fellow human being whom he has never as much as spoken to:

    “Donald Trump is the clearest example of a traumatized politician one could ever see. He’s in denial of reality all the time. He is self aggrandizing. His fundamental self concept is that of a nobody. So he has to make himself huge and big all the time and keep proving to the world how powerful and smart, what kind of degrees he’s got and how smart he is. It’s a compensation for terrible self image. He can’t pay attention to anything, which means that his brain is too scattered because it was too painful for him to pay attention.
    What does this all come down to? The childhood that we know that he had in the home of a dictatorial child disparaging father… who demeaned his children mercilessly. One of Trump’s brothers drank himself to death. And Trump compensates for all that by trying to make himself as big and powerful and successful as possible. And, of course, he makes up for his anger towards his mother . . . ”

    WOW!

    This is a guy who is in violation of psychiatric ethics, by providing an analysis of a pop public figure.

    How is what I said incorrect? I said, Gabor is “a pop-psychologist who is not widely regarded in professional circles, who is commenting about what’s going on inside the head of a narcissist whom he has never personally examined,”

    I would normally be the last one to defend the rights of Donald Trump, but in this case I’ll make an exception. Trump would be well within his rights to sue this bozo. And he would win.

    And no, Mate is not widely regarded in professional circles.

    This from one of the many articles critical of him: “And if you question or challenge him, it’s obviously you that is at fault, so there is no chance of healthy dialogue. You either buy in to the whole package or you are wrong. That’s never a healthy position to take.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-in-society/201703/is-gabor-mat-sacrosanct

    You seem to have the same problem . . although this is a mere layman’s opinion and not to be taken professionally.

    (by the way, if you are interested in a more insightful analysis of Trump, you might want to take a look at this interview of Howard Stern by Anderson Cooper. At least Stern has actually met and has had discussions with Trump.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/25/howard_stern_trump_needs_therapy_for_childhood_trauma_wanted_me_to_endorse_him_speak_at_rnc.html 😉 )

    As I said before, I’ll get to the rest of your erroneous comment when I have more time.

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  14. David, you seem to have made assumptions without even listening to the interview. Gabor may have made a few derogatory statements about Trump (who doesn’t – aand there have been plenty of US psychologists who have attempted an analysis of the buffoon without actual examination. It’s been part of the “resistance.”)

    But Gabor’s important analysis was about the reaction of the public to Trump’s election – particularly people who just couldn’t believe it could happen. I think his analysis of this was spot on – and it is telling that you refuse to engage with his analysis.

    This is why you resort to the smear – attempting to divert attention away from the facts, and the smearing a person or source in absence of this. It’s not honest but you do it all the time.

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  15. David Fierstien

    Ken, in your post you said, “I advise readers who do not have time to watch this very important interview to read Caitlin Johnstone’s article about it – This Talk Between Aaron & Gabor Maté Is The Best Political Video I’ve Ever Seen.”

    That is what I did. That was the source I used which was the foundation for my comments. Your argument is with Caitlain Johnstone, not with me.

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  16. David Fierstien

    By the way, everything I said is a fact. I documented everything I wrote. It’s not a smear if it is true. The fact that you can’t come to grips with reality is your problem, and it says more about you than it does about me.

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  17. David Fierstien

    Ok. I will respond to this, which seems to be the most weighty issue in your mind.:

    “But Gabor’s important analysis was about the reaction of the public to Trump’s election – particularly people who just couldn’t believe it could happen.”

    “People who just couldn’t believe it could happen.”

    Can you tell me how many of these alleged people Mate has personally examined? Has he documented any of these cases, and written about them for his peers to review? My understanding is that Mate’s specialty is drug addiction. How does that qualify somebody to get inside the heads of people who, as far as the evidence shows, he hasn’t as much as spoken to?

    Evidence is kind of important to you, isn’t it?

    Do I really need to say more? Again, your blind defense of any bozo who happens to support and elevate your biases worries me.

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  18. David, you still refuse to engage with Gabor’s description of the problem. I have said that to me his analysis is spot on. Why don’t you challenge the analysis instead of smearing him or making excuses? After all, if I has attempted to discredit any of your contributions by asking how many Kremlin or RT officials you had I interviewed you would think me mad.

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  19. David Fierstien

    Ken: ” . . if I has attempted to discredit any of your contributions by asking how many Kremlin or RT officials you had I interviewed you would think me mad.”

    Response: If I was pretending to be a professional psychologist, putting forth a psychoanalysis of Kremlin or RT officials, I would think you incompetent or just plain lazy if you DIDN’T ask me how many of them I had personally interviewed.

    How is it possible for a psychologist to understand what is going on inside the heads of a collective group of people whom he has never as much as spoken to?

    Again: Can you tell me how many of these alleged people Mate has personally examined?

    Why don’t YOU come to grips with these fundamental, essential questions instead of diverting away from them?

    Ken: “I have said that to me his analysis is spot on.”

    Response: What analysis? Ken-the-scientist hasn’t even bothered to question his non-existent methodology. Why is that? Unlike Mate and his imaginary election-deniers, I’ve had exchanges with you: therefore, allow me to explain it. —

    I don’t know what’s going on inside your head, or why. But something’s wrong somewhere based on your pattern of blind support for anyone who pushes or supports your agenda.

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  20. David Fierstien

    This is from Johnstone’s article:

    “Gabor explained that the reason for this emotional investment ensued from the trauma of seeing Trump elected. They had the choice between consciously feeling through the pain and fear of that trauma and then doing some serious examinations of the factors that led to Trump’s election, or blaming the whole thing on a foreign boogeyman and avoiding that self-confrontation altogether.”

    Seriously, Ken, don’t you think it would be a basic necessity to have interviewed actual people in order to say that they were traumatized in some way?

    The bigger question here is why is this “Critical Analysis,” upon which you so highly pride yourself, not applied to those who elevate and support your biases?

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  21. Once again, David, you refuse to engage with Gabor’s analysis of the situation. It is a highly realistic analysis – anyone having gone through, or observed someone going through, the trauma of a relationship breakup will recognise the performance of people who refuse to recognise their own problems, or looking for an external threat to blame, etc.

    One does not have to be a psychologist or carry out a personal diagnosis to see the symptoms.

    But I suspect that as you are in the middle of this trauma, looking for an external cause for Trump’s election rather than seeing what really caused this unusual and, to many undesirable, event you are not yet ready to consider any objective analysis. To you, “Putin did it” is a lifeline.

    But, considering the time involved (after all one gets over a marriage breakup within 2 years) and the evidence available to anyone who cares to look without adherence to a narrative, isn’t it about time you stopped attacking people who have been able to see through this hysteria?

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  22. David Fierstien

    Ken, you’re hilarious. Ok, I’ll play Gabor’s game . .

    You continue to bring up the 2016 election. Again, you just brought it up in this last comment. You seem to be focused on the event. Why is that?

    Since re-living the Trump election is the manifestation of your conflict between consciously feeling through the pain and fear of that trauma and then doing some serious examinations of the factors that led to Trump’s election, it is clear that you have been traumatized on a deep, emotional level.

    Of course, it’s because you hate your mother. Did your brother drink himself to death?

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  23. David Fierstien

    Ok.

    Ken: “Once again, David, you refuse to engage with Gabor’s analysis of the situation.”

    Response: Once again, Ken, there is no analysis of anything, one reason being that there is no “situation.” There is no “hysteria.” I’ll discuss this in a moment.

    But first, this interview isn’t even an analysis. If I had written a paper of this caliber in college, I would have had remarks on it telling me of my broad sweeping gross generalizations.

    You write that anyone who has “observed someone going through, the trauma of a relationship breakup will recognize” what’s going on here. The difference between your analogy, and Gabor’s comments on this alleged “hysteria,” is that in your case, the case of a breakup of a couple personally known to you, we are talking about specific people, people who are known personally to you and with whom you have interacted.

    Gabor, on the other hand, cites no specifics. He does not claim he is discussing anyone with whom he has ever spoken. In short, the evidence shows that he is doing nothing more than making things up about people he has never met.

    That is because there is no evidence of anything he says. But that doesn’t matter to you, does it.

    In the second place, there is no “Russiagate hysteria.” It doesn’t exist. There is a “Denial hysteria,” from which you are suffering . . and that is the bigger issue. But first, let’s look at what “hysteria” is:

    “a psychological disorder (not now regarded as a single definite condition) whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.”

    Note: “Selective amnesia.”

    Why do I say the “Russiagate hysteria” is non-existent? Because normal people would conclude that there was a conspiracy of sorts between the Trump campaign and Russia based on what the Mueller Report says.

    One thing that we should be able to agree on is that according to Mueller, there were “multiple, systematic” efforts at Russian election interference from which the Trump campaign was eager to benefit. There should be no debate about that. That is a clear fact, according to the Report.

    It is also clear from the Report that on July 27, 2016, Trump publicly said, ““Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” . . This was a reference to Hillary Clinton’s emails which were reportedly stored on a personal server.

    We should be able to agree on that. There is no debate about it.

    The Report goes on to say that “Within approximately five hours” of Trump’s comments, Russian military intelligence began a cyberattack against “Clinton’s personal office.” . . . This is in the Report. Again there is no debate about it if we are going to base our conclusions on the Report.

    And you did just that.

    Just from this one example alone, a normal person would conclude that there was some sort of coordination going on. Trump asked Russia to do something . . within 5 hours Russia began to do it. That’s how coordination works . . and that’s how a normal person would see it.

    That’s not hysteria, that’s drawing a natural conclusion from a normal perception of events that actually took place.

    But there’s more about this single event. The Report goes on to say that after his July 27 comment, Trump “asked individuals affiliated with his campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails.” This included Michael Flynn.

    Flynn then reached out to a Republican Senate staffer and a party operative who worked separately to obtain the emails. The operative raised money to support the project, which he marketed as “coordinated with the Trump campaign,” and told others that he was in communication with Russian hackers who had access to emails he believed were Mrs. Clinton’s.

    But the Report “did not establish” that the operative had actually made contact with any real Russian hackers. And while the staffer obtained emails, an effort funded by someone close to the campaign found that they were not really Mrs. Clinton’s either.

    In other words, they were incompetent. It didn’t work out for them.

    “Collusion” has no legal definition. But if the term means working behind the scenes with Russian actors to obtain hacked information damaging to Mrs. Clinton, then this section of the Report describes just that — collusion that took place at Mr. Trump’s request. It just wasn’t successful.

    Again, your “selective amnesia” seems to have caused you to overlook these details.

    And we haven’t even discussed Manafort’s sharing of Polling data with a Russian man, Konstantin Kilimnik, whom, again, according to the Report, “the F.B.I. assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence.”

    Even though Mueller “could not reliably determine Manafort’s purpose” in sharing the data with Mr. Kilimnik, one must ask ‘why’ polling data was shared.

    Do I need to go on? Do I need to discuss all 17 Trump associates who had contacts with Russians or Wikileaks, or the 100 face-to-face interactions, phone calls or electronic messages with Russians or Kremlin-linked figures? Do I need to discuss the lying about the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting by Donald Trump, Jr.?

    This is all according to the Mueller Report, which you say is your “vindication” (YOUR QUOTE) “that the narrative we have been fed by the corporate or mainstream media over the last two years has been false. It has been fake news.”

    But the Mueller Report doesn’t say that at all. You are in denial. You have “selective amnesia” about what you read and about what you allow into your mind, and by definition, you are suffering from hysteria.

    Again, you need to worry more about your own denial more than you need to worry about normal conclusions drawn by normal people about what they have read in the Mueller Report.

    I hope this addresses your concerns about why I “refuse to engage with Gabor’s analysis of the situation.”

    1.) There is no analysis of anything. What you are referring to analyses are nothing but broad, sweeping, gross generalizations of people whom Gabor has never met, much less interviewed. And . .

    2.) There is no “situation.” The so-called “Russiagate hysteria” does not exist. There is only the normal conclusion reached by people who have actually read the report.

    You are in denial.

    I would hope this would put an end to the discussion, . . I would hope that it addresses my “refusal to engage” topic that I consider a joke . . but your own pattern of denial leads me to believe this won’t be the end of it.

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  24. David, you still refuse to engage with the excellent analysis presented by Gabor. An analysis which attempts to provide light on how the Russiagate hysteria took hold in the US.

    Quite simply – you are in denial. Another stage of this psychological phenomenon. A stage we often see in people who have suddenly been bereaved by the decision of their spouse to leave them.

    You make this incredible claim:

    “Why do I say the “Russiagate hysteria” is non-existent? Because normal people would conclude that there was a conspiracy of sorts between the Trump campaign and Russia based on what the Mueller Report says.”

    Just incredible given that the Mueller report specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion. And psychological normal – and also intelligent – people have been pointing out for 2 years that no evidence existed. In this respect, I am a normal person and the Mueller report was no surprise to me.

    I think the problem here is that your definition of “normal people” are people who uncritically accept a false narrative because it fits their prejudices and “explains” something horrible without them having to take a single step to look for the real causes of the horrible event.

    David, you are attempting to relitigate something which is now completely dead – and in the process ignoring the new investigations of corruption in the FBI and intelligence agencies which led to the creation of the collusion myth. You are also playing into Trump’s hands – he recognises that the continual attemtps by some in the Democrat Party to breath life into the Russiagate corpse will only help him win again in 2020.

    I won’t bother responding to your attempts to rehash failed arguments from the past but it is worth responding to this claim of yours:

    “And we haven’t even discussed Manafort’s sharing of Polling data with a Russian man, Konstantin Kilimnik, whom, again, according to the Report, “the F.B.I. assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence.””

    We have in fact discussed this but it is worth revisiting because of the new evidence that Kilimnik was actually acting as a US asset, in constant contact with the US embassy in Kiev passing on information about the governing party and, post-coup, opposition political groups.

    Have a read of this article from The Hill – Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source.

    It is worth considering this new evidence and its implications. I think it shows how poor the Mueller investigation was – and how suspect many of its statements and assumptions are. Life is certainly more complex than the naive narrative’s presented to us to justify the Russiagate myth. already we have seen, and are seeing again, evidence of interference by state forces of foreign governments – specifically the UK, Canada and Ukraine in the US 2016 elections. I suspect the involvement of Ukraine will turn out to be much bigger than what we currently know publicly. I also suspect that when some of the truth does come out there we be evidence of a Ukrainian role in organisations like Popornot, the Integrity Initiative, and similar NATO-connected disinformation agencies pretending to be campaigning against disinformation.

    Like

  25. David Fierstien

    Ken, thank you for your response. It’s getting late & I’m getting ready for bed, so I can’t give your comment the diligence it deserves, at the moment. But two things jump out at me and I feel the need to respond.

    UNBELIEVABLE!!

    That was my first reaction when I read your comment. First this from you:

    “I think it shows how poor the Mueller investigation was – and how suspect many of its statements and assumptions are.”

    Response: Well wait a minute! Aren’t you the same person who said:

    “Today I am feeling vindicated. And that vindication comes from a very strange source – . . . the principal conclusions of Special Counsel, Robert S. Mueller . . .” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/

    Here we have a blatant example of your biased hypocrisy. On one hand, when you believe the Mueller Report supports your bias you claim vindication & victory. On the other hand, when your agenda is called into question based on THAT SAME REPORT, it is a “poor investigation” and its many statements & assumptions are “suspect.”

    Your biased hypocrisy speaks for itself. You are not a scientist. You are nothing but a political pundit. And you’re not a very good one at that.

    The second thing that jumped out at me was this: “the Mueller report specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.”

    Response: Really? It specifically says that?? SHOW ME THAT QUOTE You are either purposely lying, or you didn’t read the Report.

    The fact is it says no such thing. The fact that coordination between the Trump campaign & Russian actors didn’t rise to meet the bar of criminal conspiracy is NOT the same thing as saying the Report “specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.”

    When Mueller concluded that he “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” he is not saying that there is no evidence of “collusion” at all. What he is saying is that there is insufficient evidence to prove that the Trump administration was directly involved in Russian crimes like stealing Clinton’s emails.

    But did the Trump campaign actively work with the Russian government to improve its electoral chances? If that’s the standard, then the report provides plenty of evidence to suggest the answer is yes.

    First, Russia repeatedly reached out to the Trump campaign to establish a connection to the Kremlin. “The Russian contacts consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-Russian relations,”

    This – from the Mueller Report, which you said “vindicated” you, until it disagreed with your agenda . . then of course we see how “poor the Mueller investigation was.”

    Second, the Trump campaign was receptive — sometimes going beyond what was on offer from the Kremlin. Some of the examples of this are egregious.

    For example, Manafort’s meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian political consultant with a history of connections to the GRU intelligence agency. How do we know this? Because the Mueller Report, the source for your feeling of vindication, says of him that “the F.B.I. assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence.”

    Oh, Wait A Minute! You also said that the Mueller Report was “poor,” and many of its statements and assumptions were “suspect.”

    So, to be clear . . When the Mueller Report supports your agenda you use it as a source for vindication. And when that same Report disproves what you are saying it’s a poor investigation. Got It!

    You have just lost any semblance of credibility that you may have once had. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for you.

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  26. David Fierstien

    Oh, I forgot this. Your quote: “David, you still refuse to engage with the excellent analysis presented by Gabor. ”

    Response: Yes I did. As I said, it is not an analysis. It is nothing but broad sweeping gross generalizations of people whom Gabor has never met. Your selective amnesia is not only forcing me to re-hash what I have already said, but it is also proving that you are in a state of hysterical denial. Please review this comment: https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/psychology-of-russiagate-an-adult-discussion-for-a-change/#comment-130718

    Like

  27. David, you did not engage with the analysis – you did everything to avoid engaging by indulging in smears. And you continue.

    Of course it is a broad generalisation – for Christ’s sake, it is attempting to analyse a broad response amongst a large population. it is not a personal analysis.

    And your attempt to discredit this broad analysis by suggesting it involves people he has never met – well where does this put you in your continual smearing of people like me and others who you have never met?

    And what can be said about the grubby tactic of responding to my article by immediately searching for material to smear Gabor with instead of responding to what he actually says?

    Pathetic.

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  28. David, I do not use the Mueller report to support anything. I have simply said his conclusion there was no evidence of collusion vindicates my own interpretation of the available evidence. TYhis does not change the fact that it is a poor report. It is biased and he obviously worked hard to find evidence to incriminate Trump. In this, he failed and admitted it.

    However, his assumptions about interference were unwarranted (absolutely no evidence was considered) and the specific example I gave you of the characterisation of Kilimnik, as possibly a Russian agent when he must have known (or at least the information was available) that Kilimnik, was a US asset indicates how poor and biased the investigation was.

    But once again you have attacked me in an attempt to diver the cock-up you made about Kilimnik. You have also demonstrated your inability to consider that others may approach reports like Muellers’ in a more sophisticated way than you have.

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  29. David Fierstien

    Ken, you said, “the Mueller report specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.”

    That is not correct. In fact it is a lie. I have already presented 3 examples of evidence from the Report which did show a coordinated effort between the Trump people & Russia.

    The fact that this coordination didn’t rise to meet the bar of criminal conspiracy is NOT the same thing as saying the Report “specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.”

    You literally cannot admit what is in that Report. When it supports your political agenda it is your “vindication.” When you disagree with it, you claim it is poorly written.

    Get some help. The first step is admitting there is a problem.

    What do you want me to say about Gabor. He’s a pop psychologist who is about as relevant to me as Dr. Phil.

    You are a great admirer of him. You said his interview, (Your Quote) “helps me understand the psychology behind such unthinking acceptance of what I saw from the beginning was a diversion away from the real issues and an unthinking excuse for an election result which did not conform to predictions.”

    You told me that I was traumatized because Trump was elected. I can tell you for a fact that you are full of crap. I had no emotional investment in Hillary. (Frankly, I would have preferred a different Republican.) From the beginning I said Trump would be entertaining as hell . . and he has been; but the entertainment factor is beginning to wear thin.

    There, for the first time you’ve just had a glimpse inside my political head.

    You say that Gabor Mate’ helps you understand the psychology of people like me. That understanding has led you to believe that I have been traumatized in some way because of the 2016 election. Your understanding is not correct. Therefore Dr. Mate’s pop psychology, intended for the masses-people like you, must be flawed in some way. He is not a force for the enlightenment of the world.

    I hope this conforms to your request that I engage the analysis of Dr. Mate’. I have used a specific example of a flawed conclusion which was spawned by his observations of a theoretical group of people he believes exists, which, as far as I know, do not.

    If, because of him, you believe I am one of those imaginary people, he is wrong. You are wrong. Your understanding of me, which was put in your head by him is wrong. Therefore he is wrong.

    The fact that I can read the Mueller Report, digest it, have an understanding of what it says, and tell you what is in it when you refuse to accept it doesn’t make me traumatized. It makes me intelligent.

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  30. David Fierstien

    Ken: “Of course it is a broad generalisation – for Christ’s sake, it is attempting to analyse a broad response amongst a large population. it is not a personal analysis.”

    Response: When I was in college, I wrote a lot of papers. It’s a legitimate criticism that I saw written on my own work. Look what it did for you, here. From his gross generalization, you incorrectly believed that I was traumatized in some way because of the 2016 election. That’s why we don’t do it.

    More interesting, however, is your use of the expletive, “for Christ’s sake.” (It’s interesting that an atheist would capatalize Christ – Well, it is a proper noun.) This specific example from a specific person with whom I have interacted in the past – you – tells me that you have a deep emotional investment in the defense of Mate’s arguments, if not Mate’ himself.

    See the difference here. I’m talking about a specific person with whom I have interacted, and I am citing a specific example from that person. Mate’, on the other hand, is talking about some imagined group of people which may or may not exist. (After all, you thought I was one of them. “Look! They’re everywhere!!” Coo Coo.) And he caused you to jump to at least one identifiable incorrect conclusion.

    A cursory reading of your comment shows a clear emotional investment here. I’m not making a point here, . . it’s just interesting that you appear to be guilty of the very thing of which your post accuses others. 😉

    Like

  31. David Fierstien

    Ken,

    Let me provide an allegory of what I see going on here between you and me and your continued insistence that I “engage in Mate’s analysis.”

    Here’s the allegory:

    Two men are watching Don Quixote on his horse jousting against an imagined enemy.

    The first man says, “I really like what he’s doing. He’s an excellent combatant, don’t you think?”

    The second says, “No. He’s nuts.”

    The first: “What’s wrong with the way he is jousting?”

    The second guy says, “He’s jousting against something that’s not there. He’s nuts.”

    The first man presses him again. “You still haven’t told me what’s wrong with the way he is jousting. You’ve done everything you can to avoid finding an actual problem with his technique and form. You’ve smeared him, but you haven’t discussed what your problem is with the way he is jousting.”

    The first man says, “You’re nuts too.”

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  32. David, in my interaction with you – a real person- I see strong evidence for Gabor’s analysis. You are in denial. You are reacting badly to the democratic results of the 2016 elections and you have attempted to explain the result by adhering to an evidence-free conspiracy theory conveniently provided you by Clinton, the Democratic leadership,. the corporate media and sections of the FBI and intelligence agencies.

    You have completely avoided looking for real reasons for Clinton’s defeat. You avoid looking at the corruption in the DNC revealed by the Wikipedia leaks.

    Your situation parallels very closely to that of a person whose spouse has unexpectedly (to him/her) left him/her. A person looking for external reasons for the spousal departure. In contrast, the spouse has been conscious for years of your own lack of empathy and respect for him/her and the collapse of the marriage.

    A person in this position only makes progress when they start looking for the real reasons for the collapse of the marriage. Participates in a non-blame counseling consideration. In the process they can address their own failings, the mistakes they contributed to the failed marriage, and become a better person.

    Your denial and adherence to an external failed conspiracy theory to explain the trauma of the failed 2016 election parallels large sections of the Democratic Party membership. For this reason, the opposition to Trump and support for anti-war and progressive economic and social policies in the US is undermined.

    Quite simply, your denial (and active attacks on those who don’t suffer your illusions) will only help Trump’s election in 2020

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  33. David – you say of me:

    “You literally cannot admit what is in that Report. When it supports your political agenda it is your “vindication.” When you disagree with it, you claim it is poorly written.”

    Where did I comment on the nature of Muller’s writing? I have never claimed it is poorly written.

    I have said the report is poor because it relies in many of its parts on assumptions and does not demand evidence for the assumptions. It ignores completely things like the relationship of persons like Kilimnik, Downer, and Misfud to western intelligence agencies while instead wrongly characterising Kilimnik and Misfud as Russian assets.

    A simple objective or scientific analysis of any report often produces this sort of contradictory response. I have no trouble accepting the main collusion of the Mueller report that the investigations showed no evidence of collusion – because it is based on evidence and I came to the same conclusion with the evidence available., The investigation did not provide any new evidence – in that sense, I feel vindicated.

    But I have no trouble criticising the report for its faults at all. I take exactly the same attitude to scientific papers and reports when I consider them.

    The parts of the Mueller report claiming Russian interference, specifically the Wikipedia links and the activity of the IRA are not at all convincing. They are either evidence-free or conflict with other evidence not considered. (What about the forensic evidence of the Wikipedia leaks provided to Mueller and Trump by the Intelligence Veterans – convincing evidence showing the Wikipedia leaks were download to a USB type device and could not have been hacked via the internet). Similarly, the activity of the IRA has been vastly overblown. A simple look at the tweets purportedly promoted by the IRA surely show this and I think anyone building a case of “interference ” on them is behaving pathetically. Read my article on the way the vaccination tweets have been “weaponised). –
    Who is weaponising the vaccination debate?

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  34. For what its worth, having read the Mueller Report I conclude beyond reasonable doubt that

    1) Senior Trump campaign members colluded with a foreign power by encouraging it to conspire with him and positively answering overtures by a foreign power that to their knowledge was offering information intended to influence a US election. However the evidence gathered of this the collusion did not rise to the level of proving all elements of an active conspiracy.

    2) Donald Trump engaged in multiple instances of obstruction of justice.

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  35. Richard, you say:

    “However the evidence gathered of this the collusion did not rise to the level of proving all elements of an active conspiracy.”

    Could you please describe to me a single element that was proved and what that evidence was? I ask this because your phraseology implies some elements were actually proven.

    Bugger it – why no specifically describe to me the evidence which leads you to determine a conspiracy even if it does not rise to a certain undefined level. Is it the claim that Mifsud was a Russian asset? That Kilimnik was a Russian asset? (If so I have a bridge you might be interested in buying).

    As for the red herring of obstruction. Do you see the “lies” of Flynn and Papadopoulos as “obstruction? Have you not heard of using entrapment to produce “obstruction?”

    There is also the crime of “obstruction” by a person wrongly accused of a crime who then does everything to avoid a lynching.

    I am sick to death of naive people who have drunk the kool-aid and blithely attempt to make the Mueller report say something it clearly doesn’t. Such people are only aiding and abetting a buffoon win yet another US presidential election by refusing to fight him on the real problems. Trump is laughing at these people – while encouraging them.

    Like

  36. David Fierstien

    Ken,

    I’ll let Richard answer your questions to him in his own way, but there are a few ridiculous points you are making.

    First of all, read the Mueller Report. It’s obvious you haven’t . . or if you have read it, you haven’t let it sink in.

    Next, testimony under oath is considered valid evidence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testimony No need to belabor the point as you often do in your attempt to divert and confuse issues. It’s a fact. End of story. We’ve gone over this before, but it doesn’t seem to sink in. I shouldn’t need to be telling you again, but your mind doesn’t seem to be open to this reality.

    This is why Trump refuses to testify under oath.

    Ken: “As for the red herring of obstruction. Do you see the “lies” of Flynn and Papadopoulos as “obstruction? Have you not heard of using entrapment to produce “obstruction?””

    Response: On obstruction, I notice you didn’t mention the testimony of Don McGahn. Perhaps your pro-Russian sources failed to bring his existence to light.

    (You remind me of the woman, Cathy Garnaat, who attended a Justin Amash Town hall. After the event, she said, ““I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before. I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated.”) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/31/fox-news-viewer-surprised-that-mueller-hadnt-exonerated-trump-obstruction/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1d74c9c84b76

    Yes, there is a person named Don McGhan. If you’ve read the Report, as you claim, you would know that. You would also know that his testimony provided the most glaring examples of Obstruction of Justice by Trump in that Report.

    In short, here is his story:

    According to McGhan, Trump “directed him to have the Special Counsel removed.” And then a second time, Trump said, “Mueller has got to go.” After McGhan resigned and then returned, news of Trump’s Obstruction attempt had leaked to the press. Trump then pressed McGhan to falsify the record and deny what had happened.

    This is why Trump is trying to stop McGhan from publicly testifying. He doesn’t want people to hear an actual account of his actions. McGhan’s testimony is the evidence you just asked for.

    So, in an attempt to say that “Obstruction” did not occur, you provide this irrelevant example: “There is also the crime of “obstruction” by a person wrongly accused of a crime who then does everything to avoid a lynching.”

    I say irrelevant because a lynching has nothing to do with judicial procedure; therefore, it has nothing to do with the Trump case. Most lynchings don’t include a trial-by-jury, the fleet of million dollar lawyers that Trump has at his disposal, or the ability of the accused to go on Fox News and plead his case to the public.

    A lynching is a racist crime. It typically happens in the dead of night. And the accused has no voice. . . . But of course you used the example of a lynching because it was the most extreme example of injustice toward an accused that you could think of.

    Obstruction of justice does not require a preceding crime. As an example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit has ruled that, a defendant can still be convicted of Obstruction “even if (his) primary motivation was to extricate the sister of his childhood friend from a troubled situation.” https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/219675/united-states-v-rickie-durham/

    But what we have in the Trump case is far worse than that. Here we have a man who believes he has the right to silence an investigation on himself. If that was true, Trump would be above the law, and he could do anything with no consequence. Obviously that is incorrect. . . . Unless you want to tell me that he IS above the law, and he should be able to get away with anything.

    One last thing on your comment. You wrote, “Such people are only aiding and abetting a buffoon win yet another US presidential election by refusing to fight him on the real problems.”

    Response: It’s nice to see such a creative rationalization for spewing back the biased propaganda that you enjoy suckling. I’m glad your mind hasn’t completely gone . . but they say rationalization is the last to go. 

    And finally this: “David, . . . . I see strong evidence for Gabor’s analysis. You are in denial. You are reacting badly to the democratic results of the 2016 elections and you have attempted to explain the result by adhering to an evidence-free conspiracy theory . .”

    Ken, I have some very dear friends who are Persian. In 2008 Hillary Clinton said she would “obliterate Iran.” That was the most irresponsible, dangerous comment I have ever heard any public servant make. Ever. Moreover, even if I was a Hillary fan, I would still have to admit that losing this election was the best thing that ever happened to her.

    If she had won, the first 2 years of her presidency would have been tied up in impeachment hearings. After all, Republicans were talking about impeaching her even before the election took place. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/remember-when-republicans-were-prepared-impeach-hillary-clinton As it is, she gets to sit on the sidelines, play the victim, and criticize the Commander in Chief. Not a bad gig.

    So, to these mythical, traumatized-Hillary-lovers that you & Mate’ claim exist I would say, ‘Cheer up. Losing this election is the best thing that could have happened to your beloved Hillary.’

    But if you want to keep on telling me that I have been traumatized by the election, by all means, do so. You are only proving what a closed, shut-down mind you really have.

    Like

  37. David Fierstien

    Ken, you asked Richard, “Bugger it – why no specifically describe to me the evidence which leads you to determine a conspiracy even if it does not rise to a certain undefined level.”

    I’m going to take the liberty of answering that question; not because I have anything original to offer . . On the contrary. I’m going to copy/paste a section of a comment I have already submitted, but either you didn’t read it, or your mind was too closed shut to accept it.

    You will find my previously submitted comment right here:
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/psychology-of-russiagate-an-adult-discussion-for-a-change/#comment-130718

    My comment: “It is also clear from the Report that on July 27, 2016, Trump publicly said, ““Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” . . This was a reference to Hillary Clinton’s emails which were reportedly stored on a personal server.

    “We should be able to agree on that. There is no debate about it.

    “The Report goes on to say that “Within approximately five hours” of Trump’s comments, Russian military intelligence began a cyberattack against “Clinton’s personal office.” . . . This is in the Report. Again there is no debate about it if we are going to base our conclusions on the Report.

    “And you did just that.

    “Just from this one example alone, a normal person would conclude that there was some sort of coordination going on. Trump asked Russia to do something . . within 5 hours Russia began to do it. That’s how coordination works . . and that’s how a normal person would see it.

    “That’s not hysteria, that’s drawing a natural conclusion from a normal perception of events that actually took place.” END QUOTE

    Ken, factual, historical events are evidence. I have just provided a sequence of factual, historical events.

    Even after reading this you still asked, “why no specifically describe to me the evidence which leads you to determine a conspiracy even if it does not rise to a certain undefined level.”

    What I described was evidence of coordination that did not rise to meet the bar of “criminal conspiracy.” Asked & Answered.

    Even though you’ve already read this . . you still asked for it. You have just proven that your mind is closed shut, incapable of digesting and understanding information which counters your viewpoints.

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  38. David, your continued claim that the Mueller report concluded that there had been collusion between the Trump campaign and the leadership of the Russian Federation is simply tiresome. As is your stupid charge that anyone who disagrees with you has not read the report. Many people have read the report and cited contents to show the conclusion of no collusion.

    It is those who claim there is evidence of collusion who did not cite evidence (of collusion) but draw unwarranted conclusions. It is likely most of them are just repeating a [proivioded narrative and have never actually read the report.

    I should not have to repeat this but early in the report, there is a simple conclusion on page 9:

    “the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”

    That conclusion is inescapable and, to my mind, is consistent with all the information and evidence I have seen. that is why I felt vindicated.

    Here is a problem with your approach. You claim there is evidence. Of course there is – but not of collusion.

    There is evidence Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador. But that is not evidence of collusion.

    There is evidence that Trump cracked a silly political joke about asking Russians to release emails – but that is evidence of what he said, not collusion.

    I could go on and on (as you do) but all the example you cite are simply evidence of one thing or another but not evidence of collusion.

    This approach is simply silly – as is the old trick of saying that there is no proof there was no collusion. The old trick of implying one can prove a negative when we simply know that is not the case. it is the same trick used by anti-science campaigners such as anti-fluoride activists.

    Another trick you fall back on is to go on about obstruction., That aspect simply does not interest me as powerful people always obstruct justice, one way or the other. I have no doubt it probably occurred (although apparently not at a level which could lead to a successful prosecution according to Barr). But the fact is powerful people will always obstruct efforts to incriminate them – whether they have committed a crime or not.

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  39. OK, David, I can accept you may not be a supporter of Clinton. But that is beside the point. You still show evidence of denial about the election result. You attempt to explain away Trump’s victory by advancing a Manchurian candidate scenario. An argument the election was stolen by a foreign power, etc.

    My arguments about suffering from trauma and being in denial still apply whether you were a supporter of Clinton or not. You have obviously been shocked by an unexpected election result. Your concentration on this and your inability to get out of denial will only help Trump to victory in 2020.

    Care to tell us who you voted for in 2016 if it was not Trump or Clinton. Maybe if I had been a USA citizen we could have voted for the same person. Perhaps Dr Jill Stein?

    Like

  40. David Fierstien

    Ken, you’re all over the place. You have said, “Just incredible given that the Mueller report specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/psychology-of-russiagate-an-adult-discussion-for-a-change/#comment-130727

    Now you cite Page 9 of the Mueller Report: “the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”

    Those two statements are not the same thing.

    What Richard Christie said, however, is completely consistent with the passage you cited. Richard said, “ . the evidence gathered of this the collusion did not rise to the level of proving all elements of an active conspiracy.”

    Richard’s comment is also consistent with the Report itself. For example, let’s take a look at what Mueller says about the infamous Trump Tower meeting of June 9th, 2016. On page 185, the Report says “The special counsel considered whether to charge Trump campaign officials with crimes in connection with the June 9 meeting.” . . .

    What?? Considered whether to charge Trump campaign officials with crimes?? What Crimes?

    It is against the law to take anything of value as a political contribution, from foreign nationals. But no one was charged with any crimes were they. Mueller cites 2 reasons for this:

    First, Mueller couldn’t prove that Trump’s team knew they were acting illegally. And second, the value of the information may have been too low to prosecute.

    It’s in the Report. Read it.

    The main conclusion here is that the evidence was insufficient to show that the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia. Again, that is not the same thing as saying, “the Mueller report specifically says there was absolutely no evidence of collusion.”

    You’ve been drinking the kool-aid.

    There was plenty of evidence. It just didn’t rise to the level of criminal conspiracy. This is what I have consistently said. Moreover, Mueller also says, investigators couldn’t get all the information they wanted. Donald Trump Jr. never agreed to an interview, the same with several key Russians. Some witnesses lied to investigators initially. Some campaign aides deleted their texts. And Mueller states the president’s written answers were inadequate.

    Mueller specifically says it’s possible this missing information could shed new light on the investigation. This is why the Democrats & the Southern District of New York are pursuing further investigations into Trump. It’s not because the Mueller Report “specifically said there was absolutely no evidence of collusion,” as you have said. It’s because the Report specifically says there’s plenty more evidence to be found.

    Moreover, the Report specifically says that when Trump found out about the Special Counsel he said, “I’m fucked. My presidency is over.” These are not the words of an innocent man, and Mueller put that detail into his report for a specific reason.

    Regarding “Obstruction,” which you irrelevantly justified in the case of a lynching, and are calling a red herring, I don’t think anybody is in disagreement here.

    I never called anyone a “Manchurian candidate.” Those are your words and whatever definition you are applying to them.

    Who did I vote for in 2016? Well, I really wanted John Kasich to win. I think he could have done a great job of bringing the country together. Hillary is a divisive figure, and Trump is divisive as hell.

    Why wasn’t I “traumatized” when Kasich didn’t get the nomination???

    I did vote for Hillary, even though I believed the Republicans would tie her up with contrived scandals. . But when Trump won, I thought, “Ok, who knows, maybe he can do a great job,” and I wished the best for him . . . But on Day 1, when he sent Sean Spicer out in front of the Press to announce – to lie – that Trump had the largest inaugural crowd in the history of U.S. Presidents, I knew he was a joke. This is what this guy wants to focus on?

    In 2008, Candidate Hillary said she would obliterate Iran, and that was awful, but now we’ve got U.S. drones being shot down by Iran over the Straits of Hurmuz. She said it . . Trump is in the process of doing it. This guy is a disaster. I’m not traumatized by his election. I’m traumatized by his presidency, and it looks like the rest of the nation is too.

    Why isn’t Gabor Mate’ talking about that?

    Like

  41. David Fierstien

    Ken: “I have no doubt it (obstruction) probably occurred (although apparently not at a level which could lead to a successful prosecution according to Barr).

    Response: According to Barr?? Hahahahahahahahh . . Hahahahahahah. . Good one. Glad to see you still have a sense of humor.

    Like

  42. David, Barr’s comment was based on expert opinion in his department. But if you seriously think they are completely wrong well then you will be vindicated when there are successful prosecutions of Trump team members for obstruction.

    Like

  43. No, the two statements are not the same thing – My comment summarised an evaluation, the Mueller comment was an acceptance of lack of evidence for collusion but expressed in legalistic, and biased, terms.

    The comment “the evidence gathered of this the collusion did not rise to the level of proving all elements of an active conspiracy” simply reveal desperate denialism which could be used for any trial result where the decision did not go the way of the biased observer. This approach to unpleasant facts is used by our mates in the anti-fluoride movement – you should be able to recognise it.

    So you voted for someone who you marginally accepted was the best of two extremely bad choices? Why? Have you no imagination? Why not consider Stein – her record is far better.

    You claim this as the turning point for you:

    “when he sent Sean Spicer out in front of the Press to announce – to lie – that Trump had the largest inaugural crowd in the history of U.S. Presidents, I knew he was a joke. This is what this guy wants to focus on?”

    Interesting! I also saw that point as significant. One the one hand we had a president acting very unpresidential. On the other hand, we had a media acting very biased and not worthy of journalism.

    The second aspect was fundamental to me, but not the first. Why should you be surprised that a US president lies – that is what they do? It’s normal for their profession? Why should you be surprised he was childish? Surely you were aware of his personality.

    But why were you not concerned about the bias and childishness of the media on this issue – surely that is more fundamental?

    What I saw was, in fact, two stories – “alternative facts.” The size of the crowd in the Washington Mall (clearly smaller than for Obama’s inauguration). And the size of the TV audience worldwide – clearly the largest – if only because of technological advances and the wider spread access to TV worldwide.

    Trump could easily point to the TV audience – and he did. The media lied pretending his comments were about the crowd in the Mall.

    You think this made Trump a joke (he was already a joke in my mind) but you ignore the fact that this lie made the US media a joke (again already a joke in my mind).

    What really shocked me was the willingness of many liberals, many people I respected before, simply losing their critical skills and accepting and slavishly repeating the media lies. I say this seriously. I had scientific friends who childishly ranted on that there cannot be “alternative facts” – when clearly there can. The facts about the numbers in the Mall and the TV audience were different – they were “alternative facts” about numbers watching the inauguration.

    Why was this simple fact so difficult for my scientific and liberal friends to understand? Because they were not thinking rationally. They were trying to explain away the unpleasant election results and willing to see faults everywhere – even when there weren’t any.

    Like

  44. David Fierstien

    On the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd, you write: “One the one hand we had a president acting very unpresidential. On the other hand, we had a media acting very biased and not worthy of journalism.”

    In your following comments you explain why the lying of the president wasn’t as important to you as the lies of the media. This says a lot more about you and your biases than it does about the media. In the first place, why would you even bother to waste your time defending Trump on this? But more importantly, you have absolutely no evidence for anything you say.

    You write: “The second aspect (a biased media) was fundamental to me, but not the first.”

    Yes, that’s part of the problem. When you look through that lens, you are not seeing the world accurately. If the mainstream media disagrees with a preconceived bias, you assume it’s a lie. For example, about that crowd size, you write:

    “The size of the crowd in the Washington Mall (clearly smaller than for Obama’s inauguration). And the size of the TV audience worldwide – clearly the largest – if only because of technological advances and the wider spread access to TV worldwide.”

    Response: Evidence please. . . . . . Neilson says it wasn’t. According to the Neilson Company which tracks TV audiences, Ronald Reagan’s TV inauguration size was larger with an audience of 41.8 Million viewers. Trump came in 5th with an audience of 31 Million viewers. This was less than Reagan, Obama, Nixon, and Carter. https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/nearly-31-million-americans-watch-president-donald-trumps-inauguration.html

    You write: “Trump could easily point to the TV audience – and he did. The media lied pretending his comments were about the crowd in the Mall.”

    Response: Evidence please . . . . . . No, he didn’t point to the TV audience. The media didn’t lie. Trump’s comments WERE about the crowd in the mall. You will find Trump’s comments in their entirety in my next link.

    Three days after his inauguration he gave a self-absorbed speech at CIA headquarters. Not only did Trump say that God stopped the rain and made the sun shine for him, he said, “But we had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. . . . I looked out, the field was — it looked like a million, million and a half people. . . . But, you know, we have something that’s amazing because we had — it looked — honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument. And I turn on — and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people. Now, that’s not bad, but it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around — you know, in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.”
    See Paragraphs 17-18 of Trump’s Speech here https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-cia-speech-transcript/

    I didn’t cherry-pick those comments. Sean Spicer, and Kellyanne Conway talked about other alternative audiences, later, in an effort to back-peddle (and they lied too), but Trump was solely focused on the physical crowd that attended his inauguration. Maybe he did make comments about a world-wide audience, but I’ve never seen them and you haven’t provided evidence of it.

    Now in the context of Trump’s unbelievable comments, the Press had the every responsibility to point out to the citizens of the United States that their president wasn’t in touch with reality. That is just a fact. They didn’t lie. They were doing their jobs. As a citizen, I would like to know about Trump’s unusual obsession with crowd size. And the fact that he needs to lie about it. To me, it goes to his character.

    Unless you want to tell me that God made the sun shine through the rain for him. (His quote from that same speech: “I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech. . . . It was amazing. And then it became really sunny. And then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured.”)

    Now, you write, “I had scientific friends who childishly ranted on that there cannot be “alternative facts” – when clearly there can.”

    Response: Let’s look at Kellyanne Conway’s statement about “alternative facts” in its original context. Where did this phrase originate?

    In that interview, Kellyanne said, “I’m very heartened to see Nielsen just came out with the ratings, 31 million people watching the inauguration. President Obama had 20.5 million watching his second inauguration four short years ago.” . . . There’s your alternative fact. I refer you back to the link to Nielsen that I provided earlier.

    Chuck Todd says, “Why put him out there for the very first time in front of that podium to utter a provable falsehood? It’s a small thing. But the first time he confronts the public it’s a falsehood?” . . . So, from that point, Todd & Conway are talking about what has been framed as a “falsehood.”

    Even Conway concedes. In her next statement she says, “I want to have a great open relationship with our press. But look what happened the day before talking about falsehoods.” She then pointed out a mistake made by the Press, which Todd says “was corrected immediately.” So we they are still talking about falsehoods here.

    CONWAY: “Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains—“

    Todd: “Wait a minute– Alternative facts?”

    CONWAY: “–that there’s—“

    TODD: Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered, the one thing he got right–

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: –hey, Chuck, why– Hey Chuck—

    CHUCK TODD: –was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Chuck, do you think it’s a fact or not that millions of people have lost their plans or health insurance and their doctors under President Obama? Do you think it’s a fact that everything we heard from these women yesterday happened on the watch of President Obama? He was president for eight years. Donald Trump’s been here for about eight hours.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-01-22-17-n710491

    Ok, Ken, they were clearly talking about lies. “Falsehoods.” They weren’t saying, “The facts about the numbers in the Mall and the TV audience were different.” (Your quote).

    Let’s take another look at your rationalization for the use of the phrase, “alternative facts” by the Trump Administration.

    Your quote: “What really shocked me was the willingness of many liberals, many people I respected before, simply losing their critical skills and accepting and slavishly repeating the media lies. I say this seriously. I had scientific friends who childishly ranted on that there cannot be “alternative facts” – when clearly there can. The facts about the numbers in the Mall and the TV audience were different – they were “alternative facts” about numbers watching the inauguration.”

    What you have done here, is you have taken a phrase which was born from a discussion about blatant lying, uttering falsehoods, and you have completely reframed it so that it doesn’t interfere with your biases. I hope that this stark revelation of your own alternative facts will force you to rethink your own critical skills.

    By the way, both Factcheck.org & Snopes Factcheck agree that it is not possible to determine whether the size of the Trump inaugural viewing audience worldwide was the largest in history. It’s just not possible. So when you say, “And the size of the (Trump’s) TV audience worldwide – clearly the largest – if only because of technological advances and the wider spread access to TV worldwide,” is clearly something you made up. You have absolutely no evidence to support the statement.
    https://www.factcheck.org/2017/01/the-facts-on-crowd-size/
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-inauguration-viewership/

    Kellyanne Conway agrees with me. In that same interview she said, “–look, I actually don’t think that– maybe this is me as a pollster, Chuck. And you know data well. I don’t think you can prove those numbers one way or the other. There’s no way to really quantify crowds. We all know that.”

    Even she is saying Spicer’s alternative facts aren’t provable. Your liberal friends are correct. There cannot be alternative facts, as the phrase is used in its original context.

    However, there can be alternative facts if you reframe the definition to push your agenda.

    You re-wrote the truth. You’re not a scientist. You’re a political pundit.

    Like

  45. David Fierstien

    Ken: ” the Mueller comment was an acceptance of lack of evidence for collusion but expressed in legalistic, and biased, terms.”

    Here’s that comment: ” “the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”

    First of all, The Mueller Report itself says it is not looking for “collusion.” So when you say, “lack of evidence for collusion,” that is technically true. But we do seem to be using it interchangeably with “conspiracy” & “coordination.”

    As for Richard’s comment, “the evidence gathered of this the collusion did not rise to the level of proving all elements of an active conspiracy,” you say “simply reveal desperate denialism which could be used for any trial result where the decision did not go the way of the biased observer.”

    Well, if the decision did not go the way of the observer, then the evidence didn’t rise to meet the threshold of criminal activity. That is exactly what Richard said.

    Ken, Mueller himself said he considered indicting those involved in the Trump Tower meeting. (See Vol 1, Page 185) Why would he do that if there was “absolutely no evidence” of anything? He considered indicting, but didn’t indict . . . not because there was no evidence, but because 1.) he wasn’t convinced they knew they were acting illegally, and 2.) the “Value,” of the political information which was supplied by foreign nationals to help Trump win the election (there’s your collusion which Mueller says existed) may not have been great enough to prosecute.

    Read the Report. You’re the only one here denying the factual, readable evidence.

    Like

  46. David, you claim lies about the size of the inauguration audience were the turning point for you as far as Trump is concerned. You wrote:

    “when he sent Sean Spicer out in front of the Press to announce – to lie – that Trump had the largest inaugural crowd in the history of U.S. Presidents, I knew he was a joke. This is what this guy wants to focus on?”

    Then later you reinforce this by saying:

    “Trump’s comments WERE about the crowd in the mall.”

    Well, look again at the Spicer comments that you refer to. The video is in the Pilitico report Was Trump’s inauguration the most-streamed of all time?

    Spicer clearly refers to the tv and device coverage as being the largest audience. My instinct is to agree simply on the basis of technological advances (in both TVs and devices). I am not really worried about the actual numbers and I don’t believe one could actually get full figures – as Spicer challenges the media to do. But it is a reasonable conclusion. As is my conclusion about the lower numbers in the Mall – Trump was certainly far less popular in Washington and the East Coast than Obama was.

    It is dishonest to respond to his comments on the wide coverage (and mine on worldwide coverage), including devices, to cite figures for US TV audiences (which incidentally produced headlines like Trump inauguration ratings second biggest in 36 years https://ew.com/tv/2017/01/21/trump-inauguration-ratings/

    Really, David. This is childish. I have already suggested you get a life. But attempting to debate these numbers (which are of little importance) and resorting to political tricks like this. Come on.

    Both Trump and his team on the one hand, and the biased media on the other did sow confusion on this – but at least Spicer’s comments are clear – and you were relying on them for your “Johnny come lately” “Road to Damascus” revelation about Trump. Perhaps you should have listened more closely and been a little more critical in your hearing and reading.

    Like

  47. David, you write:

    “In your following comments you explain why the lying of the president wasn’t as important to you as the lies of the media. This says a lot more about you and your biases than it does about the media. In the first place, why would you even bother to waste your time defending Trump on this?”

    Surely you are not so naïve as to assume politicians don’t lie. The old saying “You can tell when a politician is lying – their lips are moving” is no longer considered a joke. It is a fact of life and sensible people take that into account.

    Quite frankly I think anyone who assumes politicians are telling the truth, who refuses to engage their critical skills in these situations, is extremely biased and not credible.

    Yes, lies by the media are more of an issue for me. But again I think people who blindly use media sources to confirm their biases and uncritically accept what the media say are again very naïve. This naivety is far more widespread than the naivety of believing politicians but there is currently a strong trend to refuse to accept the claims of corporate media on trust. And that is excellent from my point of view.

    This education of readers and viewers is becoming more and more essential as the corporate media resort to open lies more and more often. Just take the reporting of the recent MH17 JIT press conference and the 2008 Georgia-Russia war as examples. Outright lies are being promoted by the media. The more intelligent reader can see this because they have a memory and use alternative sources.

    Nowhere do I defend Trump. That is just a cheap shot on your part. I am defending truth, opposing lies and misunderstanding and it is really cheap of you to portray that as a political defense of Trump. He is simply a buffoon (not the first to occupy that position) and it distresses me that he is currently laughing all the way to the 2020 elections because of the huge Russiagate deception. A deception aimed at covering up corruption in the Democratic Party. It is surely in the people’s interest that this corruption is overcome and that they can find a political force willing to defend their interests instead of using such mythology to protect the elite.

    My biggest disappointment was with the behaviour of people I had formerly respected – scientific and liberal colleagues. That has been a small lesson for me. I am of course aware that liberals and scientific people are not immune to confirmation bias. Just somewhat surprised at how blatantly they succumbed to it in 2016/2017 – to the extent of even supporting the huge Russiagate lie. It disturbs me that people I thought sensible would let their partisan feelings entrap them in a lie that is so dangerous for world peace.

    Like

  48. David, again you attempt to direct the discussion away from the real issues: You say:

    “Now, you write, “I had scientific friends who childishly ranted on that there cannot be “alternative facts” – when clearly there can.”

    Response: Let’s look at Kellyanne Conway’s statement about “alternative facts” in its original context. Where did this phrase originate?”

    Can you not see I do not give a stuff about what politicians or their spokespeople say? I specifically referred to “I had scientific friends who childishly ranted on that there cannot be “alternative facts.”” I am talking about the behavior of people I considered rational.

    For example, I pulled up several people online who had lost their marbles in this way. I remember specifically discussing the alternative facts of Mall and worldwide TV & online audiences with one scientist who just could not accept these were alternative facts. Incredible! You would think the acknowledgment of this obvious point was equivalent to him losing his virginity. It just shows how partisanship and confirmation bias can screw up even the most rational person.

    Like

  49. David Fierstien

    Ken, you write, “It is dishonest to respond to his (Sean Spicer’s) comments on the wide coverage (and mine on worldwide coverage), . . ”

    Speaking of dishonest, you originally wrote, “Trump could easily point to the TV audience – and he did. The media lied pretending his comments were about the crowd in the Mall.” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/psychology-of-russiagate-an-adult-discussion-for-a-change/#comment-131145

    Of course the media did not lie, and I documented Trump’s comments here: https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/psychology-of-russiagate-an-adult-discussion-for-a-change/#comment-131158

    Trump only spoke about the immediate inaugural crowd standing in front of him. I also wrote, “Sean Spicer, and Kellyanne Conway talked about other alternative audiences, later, in an effort to back-peddle (and they lied too), but Trump was solely focused on the physical crowd that attended his inauguration.”

    Now you write, “Well, look again at the Spicer comments that you refer to. The video is in the Pilitico report Was Trump’s inauguration the most-streamed of all time? . . .Spicer clearly refers to the tv and device coverage as being the largest audience.”

    Yes. That’s what I said. You said Trump was talking about a Worldwide audience, and the media lied about it. YOUR QUOTE: “The media lied pretending his (Trump’s) comments were about the crowd in the Mall.”

    The point, which you seem to be diverting away from, is that the media didn’t lie. You lied about what the media said. And you criticized the media for a lie that you invented. Now you’re back-peddling and discussing what Spicer said, pretending that’s what you originally meant.

    Ken, I caught you in a lie. You lie to push your political agenda. You’re not a scientist. Stop pretending to be one. You’re nothing but a political pundit.

    Like

  50. David Fierstien

    Just once, Ken, it would be nice if you could say, “I made a mistake . . I didn’t intend to lie.”

    If you could do that, you would have a lot more credibility than you have right now.

    Your inability to admit either a mistake or a lie is childish. Don’t you think it’s past time for you to grow up.

    Like

  51. David, this lament of yours is familiar:

    “Ken, I caught you in a lie. You lie to push your political agenda. You’re not a scientist. Stop pretending to be one. You’re nothing but a political pundit.”

    I get that all the time from our anti-fluoridation mates – its a tactic of last resort when they can no longer discuss the science or the positions I have challenged them on.

    My scientific credibility is not determined by you or them – it’s determined by the record of my career and my scientific record as it exists in my publications.

    It is sad that you have resorted to their level and succumbed to abusing me and making highly erroneous and irrelevant claims. Sad!

    Like

  52. David, in the real world, of course, things are never black and white. Consequently it is easy to cherry-pick reports to fit and confirm one’s biases. And you are doing so.

    Both the president and the media obfuscated on this issue but a cautious observer is able to find the main trends. Spicer’s comment that I quoted was completely relevant. And one must look at the main effect of media reports. The fact that I had discussed this issue with liberal and scientific colleagues who were convinced that the president and his spokespeople had made a claim about the mall crowd when they were commenting on coverage in general shows the effect of the media. Just as the media has convinced its readership that the Russian Federation is unquestionably responsible for the Skripal poisonings and the tragic downing of MH17. Or that the media has convinced its readership that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Douma.

    A careful reading of even the corporate media shows such interpretations are at least unwarranted (via lack of evidence presented and assumptions made). A bit of memory and actual investigation of real sources and reading or alternative media confirms this and can even indicate who the real culprits might be in these cases.

    Frankly, David, I just think you are unnaturally gullible, or more likely driven by ideological imperatives, in placing such faith in the corporate media.

    However, you are welcome to that faith. I have learned to adopt a more critical and sensible approach to media sources I come across.

    Your campaign to force me into the self-censorship silo you occupy is never going to succeed.

    Like

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