The Mueller investigation.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Is advertising now illegal in the US? (I don't know, in the "three felonies a day" US everything may be illegal.)
    So, a criminal investigation against a small firm in St. Petersburg gives Mueller access to all the accounts of all the Russian oligarchs? I like such a state of law.
    And you have not been able to explain how a criminal investigation for false parking (ups, false names used on the internet for advertising) is news. Except for the point that the firm is Russian, and we have an anti-Russian hysteria.
    And, yes, the anti-Russian hysteria is an "agenda" for me. Because a hysteria in the worlds military power Nr. 1 directed against military power Nr. 2, with both having enough nuclear power to destroy the whole mankind, is a dangerous thing. What would be otherwise simply funny, at best interesting from a sociological point of view, is in this situation dangerous.
    Nice try, but not an argument why this particular information would be relevant to anything I have posted.
    Fine. So, this indictment tells us simply nothing about the investigation itself. So, even about the state of the investigation, these false parking tickets are non-news.
    Ok, I forgot. Whatever the Republicans do is evil, whatever the Democrats do is unproblematic, even if they do exactly the same.
    Who cares? He is rich enough to have a lawyer to read it.
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I think you may have a point. except...
    If the Russian store front was being directed and paid by Putin or other state interests then it would be considered as a direct act of aggression against the USA.
    Mueller of course knows all this and I would be confident that he would not indict 13 Russians if he could not show the connection to the Kremlin or other wise prove that the buyer(s) had the direct intention to influence the elections in the USA so as to influence foreign policy against that buyers Russian state interests.( ie. Sanctions, bank account and OS asset freezes etc.)

    However the later point is a lot harder to prove I would imagine...and legally a "new and grey" area due to the evolution of the internet, globalization we have today and going forward into tomorrow.
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Schmelzer your greatest weakness in your argument(s) is that your hatred for the USA outweighs your love of freedom.

    A freedom that would be lost if the USA suffers the fate that your hatred demands.

    Hate wins<=> salt mines ( metaphorically speaking of course - forced labor camps, Gulags, etc)
    Love wins <=> the world continues to evolve slowly, steadily, to a place you and most other people may actually be happy about.

    Your choice!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It gives access to the records of whoever paid them.
    The trolls were not indicted for advertising.
    Paying someone to break the law is often illegal, in the US.
    It's part of Mueller's investigation, all parts of which are news.
    Then you should be happy at the dramatic reduction in such hysteria, in the US, on the part of Republicans, since Trump began campaigning.
    Yeah, it does. It tells us Mueller has legal access to the bank records and so forth of whoever paid the troll farm to break US election laws.
    They didn't then, and they haven't changed the same now.
    The Republican Party has been taken over by fascism, the Democratic Party has not. That is a significant difference, but only visible to those who can see and recognize fascism.
    They're felonies, and their existence means Mueller has the bank records and emails and so forth involved.
  8. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    So, Mueller gets access to the records of some accounts formally owned by the victims of theft of their personal data. Which, one would guess, do not contain anything at all, and the records tell Mueller which US citizens have paid fake US guys for advertising. This is what is said in the indictment. They used their faked bank accounts "to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages." Real US persons have a right to influence US elections, not? If the Kreml has paid for some of this too, Mueller has no chance to prove this using these accounts, because this would not be done via those faked US bank accounts.
    How did the buyers learn about such political (or whatever) advertising is an illegal "conspiracy against the US" given the fake persons pretended to be US citizens? If one follows your own claims in that faked possession of illegal porn discussion, there would be no chance - the guys who pay 50 \$ for advertising tweeds are not pure, and one would have to prove that they have known that these are not humans but evil Russians.
    Except that it has not reduced dramatically. All the Republican anti-Trumpers are as hysterical as before, and the bilateral support for the sanctions was overwhelming, not?
    So, if the US is doing the same in Russia, this is probably the support of democratic institutions, free press or so, but if Russia is doing the same thing in the US, this is a direct act of aggression against the US. And you consider this quite strange legal position as normal, self-evident or so. Not? In a normal, multi-polar world, this position would exist among a small number of nationalist extremists, but ignored by the majority as not making sense at all. It makes sense only in a unipolar world, a world where the US plays a different role in international law, where it is US law which holds all over the world.
    Not at all. It is my love for freedom which makes me hate US law becoming law all over the world. The US law is the law which has put into prison the largest percentage of the population.

    If the US suffers the fate my "hatred" demands, the US would simply return to isolationism. That means, take away all their soldiers, everywhere except the US territory, reduce their military budget to what is necessary to defend the US territory. Which would be even less than what Russia would have to spend, given that the territory is easy to defend and both neighbors are much weaker militarily, but nobody would object if it would be, in proportion to the population, two or three times the Russian budget. This would give the US a lot of money to be used for improving infrastructure in the US. So, US people would be even richer than now. If this would be done, I can say for sure, no hatred would remain on my side. So far about my hatred.

    How about the fate of the rest of the world without US "protection"? My estimate is that the world would be more peaceful, simply because, in all places where we have war now, the US is involved.

    The other influence of the US on freedom was the influence on law in various other states. So, if one would magically return everywhere the state of law to the state of 1990 when the unipolar world started (except the former communist countries, where initially there was a great improvement in freedom in comparison with communist time), then all the world would be much more free than we are now. The internet would be unregulated anarchy, with unlimited freedom of speech, of distribution of whatever information you want, and of downloading whatever you want.
    I choose "love wins". And the US unipolar world winning means "hate wins". Today the greatest GULAG, with most prisoners (per capita as well as absolute), is - not only metaphorically - the US.
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    so ... go on ... don't stop the logic stream just because you feel like it...
    You claim hypocrisy using a very poor comparison. If Russia was indeed attempting to promote free press and support for democratic processes then I don't see a problem, but they were not doing so. False allegation and fraud generally does not help democratic processes.

    If promoting democracy in Russia is a bad thing then sure... you could make your comparison.

    • Is promoting democracy a bad thing?

    Do you consider international law to be USA law? or is just that they are similar? or agree?
    example : the USA agrees to the notion of international water ( ie. South China sea) If the USA agrees to this international law does it make it some how it's owner in your mind?
    Lot's of countries agree to international law, lot's of nations made these laws via the UN.

    Let me ask you a relevant question:
    • Do you feel that the recent unanimous resolution by the security council in the UN about the 30day cease fire in Syria was a USA dominated vote? Or was it a vote by all members including Russia?
    • What is your opinion about this resolution?

    and totally unusable to most of the worlds population... yes? ( hacking, Ddos, viruses, malware, spyware... bots by the bucket load and more exotic forms of crap that clutters up the bandwidth.

    Not if it violates international laws especially the rights of the that the downloading of child exploitation images and keeping it on your computer is illegal in many nations not just the USA.

    • Are you suggesting that Australian laws on downloading and storing of child exploitation images is somehow USA law?
    • Why do you think you could ever have unfetted access to a public communication carriage and what makes you think it is a right that you are entitled to?

    You have no rights once you make use of national infrastructure ( power - communications satellites, telephone poles, or merely the land that they are built on or the nation they exist in. ( other than the rights granted under the laws of that nation.)

    Perhaps you should go live in North Korea or even China and find out about what you are entitled to and where rights come from.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    but not political prisoners. That claim goes to Russia and ilk instead.

    Are you a political prisoner Schmelzer who is being forced by extortion to troll internet forums in support of Putin's agenda?

    Do you have a missing hard drive or two or three?
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The anti Russian hysteria from the Republican Party is dramatically less now than it has ever been before, in my life.
    There are bank records, email records, etc, and Mueller has acquired access to them. Among other news.
    The buyers forked over large sums without any idea what they were buying or any monitoring of their purchased services? Seems a bit odd. Russian oligarchs are crazy, of course, but that's not the kind of crazy I would expect.
    Russia is of course free to indict American troll farms and American use of Russian banks and Russian real estate to launder money, free to prosecute Americans who undermine its elections in violation of Russian law. Where's the problem?
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    The part of this argument that is so fun is the inherent appeal to totalitarianism. That is to say, the U.S. justification for tampering with pretty much anything in other countries has to do with claims of democracy and freedom, and those claims are often and even generally dubious. However, the part where people back actual authoritarianism as a counterpoint is one of the great reminders of how stupid people can be.

    People can complain all they want, but the sort of freedom Putin brings in Russia is the sort of masculine insecurity by which the world's most infamous closet queer reminds the world that Russians need to hunt and sexually torture homosexuals for kicks because good Russian men are too weak, and will turn gay if otherwise.

    So it's true that the U.S. has many problems to account for, but, really, saying the U.S. is bad for freedom is one thing; saying so in service of Puti-Toots is the dumbest queer joke I've heard in years.

    You're just like the Americans who require the freedom to take away other people's freedom; we call them "Republicans".
  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Because the tampering isn't actually about democracy and freedom. Iran, Central America, and the Philippines all come to mind ... just, you know, in the moment. Something about Iraq goes here, but what a transparent failure insofar as it is virtually impossible, despite the rhetoric, to pretend that mission was ever about anything other than hegemony and greed and pride.

    I mean, democracy and freedom and the shining city on the hill are great pitches. I believe in the potential of the American Promise; reality, however, is an important reminder. When was the last time the U.S. tampered with an election altruistically as defined by the society we interfered with, or any definition other than our own egocentrism? The failures of our societal rhetoric are apparent on these counts; what are the actual successes and fulfillments?
  15. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    If the US would indeed attempting to promote free press and support for democratic processes then I don't see a problem too. Unfortunately, these are only propaganda lies, and in reality, the US supports terrorist and fascist gangs.

    Moreover, there would have been, even if the trolls would have been supported by Putin, or even if Putin would troll Clinton himself, nothing but a peaceful discussion, a participation in the democratic discussion which is part of the election. Such a peaceful participation in the free democratic discussion is somehow "a direct act of aggression against the USA", the attempt of the US to get a "free press", which includes the possibility of US American firms to own media in other countries to participate in the same discussions in other states is nice? Not really consistent.
    "Promoting democracy" like the US has done in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine is certainly a bad thing, far too many people murdered in the process.
    Is distributing the Russian point of view in a democratic discussion in the US in times of an election campaign a bad thing?
    They are completely different things. International law is based on contracts between sovereign states, with the states obliged to hold the contracts. In this system, all states have the same rights. The US openly violates international law.

    US law is, from point of view of international law, completely irrelevant for all other states and nations. As well as for their citizens, as long as these citizens are not on the territory of the US, where they have to follow US law. So, whatever these Russian trolls do in Russia, the only relevant law is Russian law.
    How do such nonsensical questions come to your mind?
    It makes not much sense. Ceasefires are not something one can decide about far away. They have to be accepted by the forces on the ground. Given that the terrorists did not even plan to negotiate about a ceasefire, the original intention was, clearly, to force Syria into a unilateral ceasefire, so that the terrorists could continue to bomb Damascus, but Syria would be forced not to react because of that UNSC ceasefire. Russia prevented this, the resolution which has been accepted is harmless, but useless.
    No. It was nicely usable that time. Hacking was there all the time, and it did not prevent its use. Same for viruses, malware, whatever.
    About Australian law I don't know, this is a question you have to answer yourself. About Germany, I remember a party in the 90's where we have laughed about the US completely going insane when one guy has shown us examples of pictures of dressed teenagers which would become illegal following a new law in the US. We all laughed about uptight Americans and were certain that such laws would be impossible in Germany. Today we have the same laws in Germany too. So, yes, this is simply law imported from the US. Except that the penalties are not that extremal.
    I do not think so. Unfortunately, people have no rights to freedom, they are not entitled to freedom. They have to fight for their freedom. If they don't fight for this, they will end as slaves. I have seen one big gain in freedom, 1989, and I have fought for it. Then I have seen a continuing slow but permanent decline of freedom. And all of this decline with the US as the easily identifiable origin. That's why I'm fighting the US rule.

    My point was simply that in the 90's we had that freedom on the internet. We have downloaded and posted whatever we liked. Nobody cared. If something was forbidden in Germany, like Holocaust denial, those who wanted to deny it denied it from Canada. I read it from Germany and found that they have no point.
    In propaganda fantasies, maybe. In reality, Russia has no political prisoners too. Feel free to argue that some courts have misapplied some criminal laws to imprison people with wrong political opinions. But this would be simply unjustly imprisoned people. Or do you think there are Russian laws so that those violating these laws and imprisoned for this should be classified as political prisoners? That would be interesting. In this case, link to the law.

    No. According to the indictment, the buyers have been US citizens, and they paid per promotional tweed between 25 and 50 dollars. They provided the content of the tweeds they have paid for, that is easy to monitor.

    With money laundering, there is no problem at all. As I have said, the US can go to Russia and ask the Russians to persecute these 13 guys for this, following Russian laws against money laundering. But Russia will not persecute people, American or other, simply for expressing their opinions, naming this "conspiracy against RF".
    The "actual authoritarianism" is, in reality, as democratic as the US.
    Not that I would care about it, I'm anarchist, majority rule is as unjust as monarchy and in reality often enough much worse for minorities. What I care about is freedom.
    And this is already complete nonsense. Gays in Russia can do what they like, except open propagation. The justification of this is the protection of children. What is sold under "protection of children" is insane almost everywhere.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    And in recent news -

    The Democratic memo doesn't have too much new information. It noted that the FBI had a lot more information than just the Steele dossier to justify surveillance of Gates, which we knew already. And it noted that the investigations into the four currently-charged Trump campaigners/adminstration officials started before the election, which was suspected but not clear until now.

    We are now up to four people high up in Trump's administration and/or campaign who have been indicted for their crimes -

    - Gates, for a long list of charges including conspiracy against the US. He pled guilty to a reduced list of charges in return for his cooperation with the investigation.

    - Papadopoulis, for another long list of charges. He met with a Russian agent who promised "dirt" on Clinton, then lied about it to the FBI. He pled guilty.

    - Flynn, for lying about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. He pled guilty.

    - Manafort, for conspiracy against the US, tax fraud and several other charges. He has maintained his innocence, which will be harder to do now that his partner (Gates) is willing to testify against him.

    As more people plead guilty to lying about the extent of their collusion with Russia, more facts come out. As of the latest count, there were 12 Trump associates who were in direct contact with Russians during the campaign or transition, and at least 19 face to face meetings with them. There were 51 recorded communications (emails, meetings, phone calls) between the campaign and Russians. This, of course, flies in the face of the many denials that Trump and his team have made over contact with Russians.

    "Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years. ... I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does." (Trump)

    The campaign was "not aware of any campaign representatives that were in touch with any foreign entities" during the election. "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign." (Hicks)

    The growing disconnect between the Trump administration claims and the evidence is going to make it harder and harder for Trump to find a way out of this that does not either involve admitting that he WAS in close contact with the Russians, or perjury. His best defense is likely to be "well, I had no idea that all my people were talking to Russia!" - but again that's going to be hard to defend, given the very close timing between Russian releases of information to the campaign and his tweets containing the same material.
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Cop out. We have different (enlightenment) values which are superior.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    As Aravosis↱ noted four years ago:

    In his interviews yesterday, quoted by Al Jazeera↱ Putin reiterated his concern that Russia must get rid of the-gay, lest the country's birthrate not rebound sufficiently. Which is to suggest that somehow gay people will steal otherwise heterosexual Russians away from their opposite-sex spouses. And the only people who think that straight men would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy are men who would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy. They're called bisexuals (or closeted homosexuals).

    Welcome to the club, Vlad!


    Al Jazeera. "Putin: Russia must 'cleanse' itself of gays, but no need to fear in Sochi". Al Jazeera America. 19 January 2014. 26 February 2018.

    Aravosis, Jon. "Putin wants to 'cleanse' Russia of gays, may have just admitted he's bi". AmericaBlog. 20 January 2014. 26 February 2018.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, that's not what they did.
    That you cannot distinguish trolling and vandalism from discussion fails to startle, but that some of the differences mark felony violations of American law is simply a fact.

    And that fact, combined with the unexplained preference of everyone in Russia's ruling class to stash their liquid wealth in foreign banks under shell company names and their material wealth in foreign real estate under shell company names (70% of real estate sales from Trump's stock in the last couple of record years have been cash purchases by anonymous buyers) has delivered the banking records and email chains of at least a couple of Russian oligarchs to Mueller's investigation.

    And everybody knows what that means, don't they. The discussion of whether Trump will fire Mueller, pardon Manafort, respond to requests for deposition under oath, and so forth, is all revolving around what Mueller can or cannot prove, can or cannot trace through the convolutions of criminal camouflage - not what the underlying reality amounts to.

    Here's a speculative question: are there any Russians with enough wealth and enough interest in the American elections to buy the services of this troll farm who have no significant and incriminating connections to Putin?
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    "...and Yin and Yang continue their splendid dance around the insane void called freedom"
    Philosophically one could argue that absolute freedom is absolute insanity. As it takes the oppression of self regulation and restraint to allow any level of freedom that grants function to that freedom.
    One can also just as easily be imprisoned by their insanity as well (*)... so paradoxically it is, as the Buddha may have suggested, the "middle ground(path)" of compromise that affords any real success.
    (*) technically this is not quite true for if truly insane you would be dead, and death is the ultimate freedom.The ultimate liberation etc etc...
    Hence Anarchist and Nihilist are so similar.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Let's see what Putin says. Al Jazeera writes the following:
    As usual, Al Jazeera, no link to the original. It is here:
    I will quote it here with some context. And I have emphasized the central sentence which has been omitted from this context.
    So, as usual, if Western media claim something about what Putin or any other Russian says, one always has to check it - it is usually distorted in one way or another.

    Of course, I'm against this law, and I'm in general against any laws restricting free speech. Your logic is, BTW, faulty. To think that propaganda of homosexuality can lead to lower birth rates one does not have to think that heterosexuals will start to have sex with gays instead of making children. It is sufficient to think that some people - namely bisexuals - could start to do this. And to know that bisexuals exist, and are not at all rare exceptions, one does not have to be a bisexual oneself.

    I can distinguish them, but it is not the law which has to teach people how to talk in a civilized way. From point of view of the law, there should not be such a difference between trolling and discussion, if there exists free speech.

    Your text somehow suggests that some of the differences between trolling and discussion can make such trolling a felony. Of course, you know very well that this is not the case, not? What makes the difference is that one is an American citizen and the other one a Russian subhuman. Russians have to remain silent if American Übermenschen talk about how to eliminate these subhumans, and if the subhumans dare to name Clinton a murderer for what she has done in Syria and Libya, this is a felony.
    What is the point of your speculations about Russian buyers? The indictment is about "money from real U.S. persons". If a rich Russian has some interest in supporting Trump because of some economic interest, he would find ways to organize this directly, giving money to Trump, instead of using such a nonsensical small-scale way to pay for a few pro-Trump tweeds. Or, if he would like to do this, there would be a single transfer directly to Prigoshin somewhere in Russia.
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Russian false or fake allegations are not just employed against other states and other nationals but also against it's own population.

    Trumped up charged to imprison political opponents is old news. Especially for Russia.

    As is the need to condone doping of athletes to get a showing on the world stage.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Define free speech in a way that is non-contradictory?
    Then give a rating of 1-10 (10 being most free) on a nation by nation basis...
    Compare China, Russia, Germany and the USA
    What result do you get?

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