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Here’s an interesting if overheated article by Adrian Chen in the NYT Magazine about the Russian government’s hasbara operation employing Russians to post pro-Putin comments on articles.

(The American prestige media is really getting worked up these days over the Comment Menace.)

Of course, the NYT article doesn’t mention the word “hasbara,” even though it’s the best single term for what the Russians are up to. The Israelis have been pretty upfront about their long-running, well-funded hasbara operation: here’s the expensive-looking Hasbara Fellowships website where you can apply for money for promoting Israel online.

A lot of Americans think Russia and Israel are polar opposite countries, but they have deep connections and a lot of back and forth travel due to the emigration from Russia to Israel in 1970 – 2000 or so. And a lot of them seem to wind up in the San Fernando Valley.I wouldn’t be surprised if some folks have put in a few part-time hours for both Netanyahu’s and Putin’s hasbara efforts.

Of course, Putin and Netanyahu pay their people to do social media hasbara for them, in contrast to America’s Volunteer Auxiliary Thought Police. From WWTDD:

In the first day of official Caitlyn Jenner shaming, former Nickelodeon kid star Drake Bell suffered a blast of the acceptance shaming laser cannon when he Tweeted that he was still going to call Bruce Jenner by the name Bruce as he’s been known since 1950. It’s unclear whether Drake was taking a swipe at tranny attention whores or merely just expressing the logical point that calling somebody by a brand new name after a lifetime of otherwise is practically awkward. Didn’t matter. He was labeled a non-believer and forced into the LGBT time machine and sent back to relieve his child TV casting days. Some more aggressive man paw on your tween junk ought to get you ship-shape on your tolerance.

It’s always good to remind yourself that while 5% of those on social media are self-loathing dirty sock smelling virgin trolls, the other 95% are knee jerk reflexive sycophants who view self-righteousness as the top block on their personal success pyramids. Those two should add up to 100%.

 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “so there are a not insignificant number of individuals who can vote in both countries (even though they may be residing at the moment in, say, the San Fernando Valley)”

    You can’t vote in Israeli elections unless you live in Israel. Netanyahu has suggested changing that, but so far it hasn’t been done. Unlike America, where americans living abroad can vote.

    http://www.nytimes.com/live/israel-elections-vote-results/visitors/
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-s-office-pushing-initiative-to-allow-israelis-abroad-to-vote-in-knesset-elections-1.420269

    “Neither country at present is quick to stop counting you in their population totals if you leave (both have political reasons for wanting to claim larger populations),”

    Israel’s population total does not include Israelis who have emigrated. Hence why its migration balance is always lower than its immigration total.

    http://www1.cbs.gov.il/reader/shnaton/templ_shnaton_e.html?num_tab=st02_12&CYear=2014

    • Replies: @International Jew
    I've corrected Steve about Israel's rules on absentee voting (namely, that it's not practiced), apparently to no effect.
  2. Didn’t Bruce, oh I’m sorry ,Caitlyn kill a woman in a car crash a few weeks ago? Does changing your gender absolve you of guilt for serious crimes? Bruce may have killed a woman, but not Caitlyn!

    • Replies: @Ivy
    Welcome to Hollywood-style misdirection - look, a shiny object.

    Next Bruce will plead for the court's sympathy in sentencing, or is that idea just a fantasy, as the best legal minds will rally to find technicalities and then he'll surely get off.
  3. No question that Russia has one by now. But for Americans the key issue is that NYT failed to even mention the term “Hasbara”. Political life in the USA is not exactly controlled by those slick Russians…

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    It's a well-known and commonly used term. Maybe you're doing a little hasbara, trying to muddy the waters for a certain country that is well-known for interfering in and sabotaging American politics and foreign affairs.
  4. The term is highly beloved by you, which explains why no one else uses it, in NY Times articles or elsewhere. To most it’s known as “public relations” in Western context & agitprop in the Asian-Marxist setting. Russia/Putin sort of could be described as either or both.

    • Replies: @Lurker

    The term is highly beloved by you, which explains why no one else uses it
     
    Google hasbara - 429,000 results! Who knew Steve was that prolific?

    The term isn't widely known I'm sure and I've only seen Steve mention it a handful of times. Of course if one spends any amount of time arguing politics online, one will soon become familiar with it or it's practitioners.

    I'm sure there is a Russian equivalent, I've been accused of that several times.

  5. For a small commission, I’ll be glad to post pro-HDB comments in the NYT, etc. Just sayin.

    P.S. It’s really strange reading the Wikipeida article about the winner of the male decathlon, illustrated by pictures of a man, and then seeing “she” all the time. Very confusing. So he was a woman even when he was a man? Alas, it’s not possible to edit the page at this time. I wonder why.

  6. It’s unclear whether Drake was taking a swipe at tranny attention whores……….

    Brucie is just another pathetic transvestite until he gets his bits sheared off. Attention whore sums it up neatly.

  7. Paying individual trolls for piece work doesn’t scale. The western media seems to have created human botnets to spam dissenters into submission.

    • Replies: @DCThrowback
    Meet Captain Caitlin Dewey in the Volunteer Auxiliary Thought Police Cavalry. Oh yeah, she writes for the WaPo. Maybe Bezos thinks he can get it to scale?

    http://wapo.st/1Jnrir5

    "The bot was designed by moi and coded, in its second iteration, by the brilliant Andrew McGill (… which is why it improved markedly around 6 p.m.) It essentially searches for mentions of “Jenner” and “he,” screens out a series of terms that turn up false positives, and then sends the offending tweeter a polite, robotic correction."
  8. “5% of those on social media are self-loathing dirty sock smelling virgin trolls”

    Being a virgin isn’t a bad thing. Our lowbrow culture is fucking retarded.

  9. I am always being accused of being a Russian troll, especially after I translated some Russian on the DT website. I am proud to say I have barred from NZ Conservative for suggesting that a nuclear first strike on Russian might not be a good idea. The problem with hasbara etc is that any comment that is not anti-Putin is deemed to have been written by a paid troll.

  10. The problem is that any comment that is not specifically anti-Russian is deemed to be the work of a paid troll. The word in England is a Kremkipper. I was barred from the NZ Conservative website for suggesting that a nuclear strike on Russia would really be a bad idea. I am always being accused of being Russian. The fact that I can read Russian and Ukrainian sources only makes it worse.

    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    I've noticed the phenomenon before - on any article dealing with Russia on any prominent news site - if anyone posts anything with even the slightest pro-Russian bias they are immediately accused of being a paid Putin shill.

    I'm also more inclined to believe that US agencies are more likely to hire paid trolls on the government payroll than foreign agencies are, as another commenter posted.

    Finally, there is the Sailersque concept of projection; accusing others of the same behavior you are actually guilty of.

    What is the worst possible takeaway from all of this?

    That somebody really, really wants World War III.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "The problem is that any comment that is not specifically anti-Russian is deemed to be the work of a paid troll. "

    During the late 1990s, I was accused of being "a Serb," nearly every time I attempted to discuss U.S. foreign policy online. Of course, no one actually accused me of being paid for expressing my view that there was, for example, no particular reason the USA needed to be bombing Belgrade.
  11. Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them.

    • Replies: @HA
    "Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them."

    Consider the possibility that encouraging commenters like you to keep rooting for Putin is one of the best weapons in the anti-Putin arsenal.

    The same situation holds for the Joo-obsessed wackos who wind up high-fiving each other in the comment section whenever Pat Buchanan writes an article on this site. I’m not saying that actively encouraging voices like that to speak out against Israel is something that Israel’s propaganda paladins support, but if that were the case, it wouldn’t surprise me. After all, they’re certainly not helping Buchanan. They just help to keep him marginalized. Cui bono?

    Sometimes, winning the opinion wars is just a matter of ensuring that the conspiracy theorists are mostly favoring the other team, and then giving them all the encouragement they can handle. They'll do the rest.

    So if you’re looking for encouragement, consider this your red flag, regardless of whether you're actually paid by the Kremlin, or else, are one of the many useful idiots who happily do that for free. And if it distracts you from your other fixations, so much the better.

  12. Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West. Probably because Putin himself has no agenda or beliefs beyond grab stuff. He’s like a more astute Marcos. Without an Imelda.

    However, saw lots of Telemundo today at dialysis. [Not me, unfortunately, a family member] Telemundo barely covered Jenner. More interested in various Mexican celebs. Spanish media is a parallel universe. No one there cares about Bruce Jenner fame whoring.

    More immavasion, more Michoacan culture. If Charlie don’t surf, Jose don’t Jenner.

    • Replies: @iSteveFan

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.
     
    Russia's PR is pathetic because, a) they don't understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia's lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don't understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don't understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they'd be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    , @NOTA
    Seems sensible to me. I don't have anything against Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner, but I don't really see why it's in the news. I prefer media that inform me, rather than looking for a Teaching Moment on the cause of the week.
  13. Netanyahu’s and Putin’s hasbara efforts

    More like “Israel’s and Putin’s…” What you call the “Hasbara” efforts by Israel is both national and institutional in scope and effort, unlike Putin’s, which is more of the cult of the personality variety.

    Then there is the subtler version that the Chinese do, by funding indirectly Western neo-liberal economists, businesses, and related public intellectuals.

    • Replies: @inertial
    LOL. I read a number of Russian media sites and blog. There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia. There is some Putin worship from certain quarters but it's nothing compared to e.g. the Cult of Obama. In fact, there is much more Putin worship (or anti-worship) in the West than in Russia.

    The Russians are slamming Putin all the time, especially in the comments. They have no problem doing that and don't appear to be afraid at all. You don't hear much about that because the most common criticisms don't fit nicely into the Narrative. For example, one typical accusation against Putin right now is that he is selling out the Russians in Ukraine because he is in cahoots with America.

    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    Then there is the subtler version that the Chinese do, by funding indirectly Western neo-liberal economists, businesses, and related public intellectuals.


    How are they "funding indirectly"?
  14. How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said – and find it easy to believe – that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    China is reported to already have something like it called the "50 Cent Party", the name deriving from reports that commenters were getting paid 50 cents in Chinese money for posts:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party
    , @Buzz Mohawk

    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said – and find it easy to believe – that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

     

    No doubt China already has people doing this sort of thing. After all, it is labor-intensive work that multiplies best when performed by lots of anonymous people making small wages; i.e., it is very Chinese!

    Why not have an American version of this? After all, we have had Radio Free Europe for a long time. I know people who listened all the time. Our economy and tax structure could support an army of Americans blogging, commenting, social-media-ing, etc. This would be a good program to create jobs and put cash back into circulation. If we're not going to spend it on infrastructure (which we should) we can at least spend it on comments!

    , @Maj. Kong
    Government employees draw tremendous fringe benefits and civil service protections. It's more likely we'd use contractors, recall that Snowden wasn't NSA he worked for Booz Allen Hamilton.

    If a three letter agency wanted trolls, they'd design an automated computer program. But that sounds like Skynet-level AI to a layman like me.

    The Chinese have been using Confucius Institutes in our universities, the Saudis are doing something similar. When the sanctions on Russia end, Putin should do the same thing both here and in Western Europe. Our higher-ed system loves cash more than it does SJWism.
  15. The sad part was getting my vaguely not exactly entirely pro-Israel comments deleted multiple times from Instapundit multiple times because they weren’t sufficiently deferential to the Tribe. It was an article about the S.S. St Louis in which the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain’t exactly taking in a lot of boat people today.

    Hysterically, while ranting about FDR’s “anti-Semitism,” she also managed to say some nice things about New York’s Syrian Jews.

    • Replies: @International Jew

    the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain’t exactly taking in a lot of boat people today
     
    .

    In his place, I wouldn't have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself.

    The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country -- Germany -- that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation. At most, they're escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they've crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they've already escaped their home country.

    As it happens, back in the 70s and 80s Israel took in a fair number of Vietnamese boat people (not Jewish, in case you're wondering), who really were refugees in a meaningful sense.
  16. Aren’t the governments’ hasbara/agitprop efforts similar to what the corporation do to “maintain presence online”? I.e. essentially opening a website and asking people to “like us on Facebook” or “follow us on Twitter”? I think the same “social media director” types would be in charge of both efforts.

    I don’t believe anyone is being paid to post comments. Any site that allows comments is either irrelevant or has thousands upon thousands of comments under each article that only a handful of no-lifers might read through the end.

  17. Far more useful to control the media outlet itself than a few comments underneath. However clearly the presence of a few dissenting opinions seems to terrify the media gatekeepers.

  18. WWTDD was pretty dire after Brendon got forced out. This new guy is a huge improvement over the last few years.

    • Replies: @DCThrowback
    Lex has been there over 2 years by my estimation. He's an outstanding wordsmith and the site has returned (if not surpassed) Brendon's excellent work. (There's a drop off to the other writers, but Lex is the main one.)

    As much I loved Brendon, he overplayed his hand a bit w/r/t to his replaceability. It's a daily visit for me.
  19. @Anonymous
    "so there are a not insignificant number of individuals who can vote in both countries (even though they may be residing at the moment in, say, the San Fernando Valley)"

    You can't vote in Israeli elections unless you live in Israel. Netanyahu has suggested changing that, but so far it hasn't been done. Unlike America, where americans living abroad can vote.

    http://www.nytimes.com/live/israel-elections-vote-results/visitors/
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-s-office-pushing-initiative-to-allow-israelis-abroad-to-vote-in-knesset-elections-1.420269

    "Neither country at present is quick to stop counting you in their population totals if you leave (both have political reasons for wanting to claim larger populations),"

    Israel's population total does not include Israelis who have emigrated. Hence why its migration balance is always lower than its immigration total.

    http://www1.cbs.gov.il/reader/shnaton/templ_shnaton_e.html?num_tab=st02_12&CYear=2014

    I’ve corrected Steve about Israel’s rules on absentee voting (namely, that it’s not practiced), apparently to no effect.

  20. @Twinkie

    Netanyahu’s and Putin’s hasbara efforts
     
    More like "Israel's and Putin's..." What you call the "Hasbara" efforts by Israel is both national and institutional in scope and effort, unlike Putin's, which is more of the cult of the personality variety.

    Then there is the subtler version that the Chinese do, by funding indirectly Western neo-liberal economists, businesses, and related public intellectuals.

    LOL. I read a number of Russian media sites and blog. There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia. There is some Putin worship from certain quarters but it’s nothing compared to e.g. the Cult of Obama. In fact, there is much more Putin worship (or anti-worship) in the West than in Russia.

    The Russians are slamming Putin all the time, especially in the comments. They have no problem doing that and don’t appear to be afraid at all. You don’t hear much about that because the most common criticisms don’t fit nicely into the Narrative. For example, one typical accusation against Putin right now is that he is selling out the Russians in Ukraine because he is in cahoots with America.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia.
     
    http://newslanc.com/images/slava_putin_cult3.png

    No, it's just that the Russians love Putin so much that they put up a statue of his with his Judo gi on (tightly so that the pectoral muscles show). Or as a Roman emperor:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/he-shoots-he-scores-vladmir-putin-celebrity-cult-achieves-new-goals#img-1

  21. To tie this theme with the Bruce Jenner story: the Russian Wikipedia article on Bruce Jenner uses male pronouns and other grammatical forms (conjugation of verbs, declination of nouns and adjectives) throughout, and refers to him as “Bruce”. The Hebrew page has changed its name to “Caitlin”, but within the article all pronouns and other grammar are masculine forms. (In both Russian and Hebrew, it’s impossible to go on for more than a few words without implying something about gender. All past tense verb forms have a gender, just for starters.)

    There’s a fair bit of debate on the Hebrew talk page, between partisans of making everything feminine, and those who oppose it. No such discussion has taken place on the Russian page.

    That’s all for now…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don't have as many articles.
  22. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Israel spends money on Hasbara not because blog comments change a lot of minds but because all the real mind-shaping instruments – big Western media companies – are already pro-Israel. Blog presence is mopping up after the big battle.

    I’m sure that an oligarch connected to the Kremlin would not be able to buy a big Western media company for any price. Western elites only pretend to be capitalist. Ideology always trumps profit with them. So Russia isn’t really a participant in the big media battles in the West. I don’t think my cable company even carries RT. Is Russia a participant in the nearly-irrelevant blog comment skirmishes? Its enemies say that it is. Doesn’t mean that’s true. But I guess it could be. My point is that that’s not where the big game is played.

    • Replies: @Gabriel m
    Yep all all western media outlets are pro Israel, the BBC being the most obvious example. It's actually amazing how parochial some Americans are.
  23. @inertial
    LOL. I read a number of Russian media sites and blog. There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia. There is some Putin worship from certain quarters but it's nothing compared to e.g. the Cult of Obama. In fact, there is much more Putin worship (or anti-worship) in the West than in Russia.

    The Russians are slamming Putin all the time, especially in the comments. They have no problem doing that and don't appear to be afraid at all. You don't hear much about that because the most common criticisms don't fit nicely into the Narrative. For example, one typical accusation against Putin right now is that he is selling out the Russians in Ukraine because he is in cahoots with America.

    There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia.

    http://newslanc.com/images/slava_putin_cult3.png

    No, it’s just that the Russians love Putin so much that they put up a statue of his with his Judo gi on (tightly so that the pectoral muscles show). Or as a Roman emperor:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/he-shoots-he-scores-vladmir-putin-celebrity-cult-achieves-new-goals#img-1

    • Replies: @inertial
    Congratulations, you have discovered Russian attention-seeking clowns.
  24. A thriving volunteer thought police doesn’t preclude the existence of a paid thought police. Online trolling is part of modern psy-ops. I see no reason some government agency does not engage in hasbara.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    You bet that goes on in race realist and pro-Constitution sites all the time. The Feds and their snitches are looking very closely at them and so is the SLPC and ADL. Their trolls are pretty easy to spot though.

    Any members meeting at Denny's will probably have several FBI/DHS stooges among the attendees, maybe all of them.

    A good study in this is the McLibel incident in England(during the late 80's) is worth a study on sabotage and infiltration.

    As far as Putin's efforts go they are small change to our multi-billion dollar full spectrum PR efforts and result in toppling foreign governments(Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt) to inciting wars like Desert Storm and Sunni Jihadis against Assad. Nor does Putin fund a array of front groups like the New Democratic Institute or International Republican Institute(who tried to install Chalabi in Iraq), National Endowment for Democracy that are effect organs of the American government. Don't forget about those "think tanks" and "foundations" who experts regularly appear on MSM to ad gravitas. Or our use of PR giants likes Burson Marsteller or Hill and Knowlton. Bullshitting the people is big business and quite important one as well. One can't have the little people thinking too much or too clearly.

    P***y Riot from what I can see looks to be a very overt form of American trolling against Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Obama/Mossad must be paying them serious cash to get whipped like dogs in Sochi by Cossacks during the Winter Olympics(sadly not as funny as watching 60's hippies get thumped by police). I bet Obama and company are hoping they end up dead in a ditch - it would be a PR coup for them.

    BTW if you google "p***y riot and CIA front group" you get millions of results. Same with "IRI and CIA front groups".

    I take this to mean that this paid trolling isn't going to work well. A lot of Minds are made up on Russia and some dude on the internet isn't going to change it.

  25. Eh, I’d post pro-Putin comments for money. How do I apply?

  26. @International Jew
    To tie this theme with the Bruce Jenner story: the Russian Wikipedia article on Bruce Jenner uses male pronouns and other grammatical forms (conjugation of verbs, declination of nouns and adjectives) throughout, and refers to him as "Bruce". The Hebrew page has changed its name to "Caitlin", but within the article all pronouns and other grammar are masculine forms. (In both Russian and Hebrew, it's impossible to go on for more than a few words without implying something about gender. All past tense verb forms have a gender, just for starters.)

    There's a fair bit of debate on the Hebrew talk page, between partisans of making everything feminine, and those who oppose it. No such discussion has taken place on the Russian page.

    That's all for now...

    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don’t have as many articles.

    • Replies: @International Jew

    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don’t have as many articles.
     
    True enough. Nonetheless the Russian and Hebrew pages had both seen over a dozen edits in the 48 hours before I posted that.

    The French page has been super-active, with a pitched back-and-forth edit war raging between partisans of Bruce/il and partisans of Caitlin/elle. Last I checked, the traditionalists were on top, and the article begins with a stern warning from the Wiki editors warning people to remain civil.

    The German page is 100% politically correct.

    The Ukrainian page (I don't speak Ukrainian but it's close enough to Russian that I can read it) has not been touched since 2013.

  27. @Mr. Anon
    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said - and find it easy to believe - that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

    China is reported to already have something like it called the “50 Cent Party”, the name deriving from reports that commenters were getting paid 50 cents in Chinese money for posts:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party

  28. @Anonymous
    The term is highly beloved by you, which explains why no one else uses it, in NY Times articles or elsewhere. To most it's known as "public relations" in Western context & agitprop in the Asian-Marxist setting. Russia/Putin sort of could be described as either or both.

    The term is highly beloved by you, which explains why no one else uses it

    Google hasbara – 429,000 results! Who knew Steve was that prolific?

    The term isn’t widely known I’m sure and I’ve only seen Steve mention it a handful of times. Of course if one spends any amount of time arguing politics online, one will soon become familiar with it or it’s practitioners.

    I’m sure there is a Russian equivalent, I’ve been accused of that several times.

  29. @Whiskey
    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he's not reached low info people in the West. Probably because Putin himself has no agenda or beliefs beyond grab stuff. He's like a more astute Marcos. Without an Imelda.

    However, saw lots of Telemundo today at dialysis. [Not me, unfortunately, a family member] Telemundo barely covered Jenner. More interested in various Mexican celebs. Spanish media is a parallel universe. No one there cares about Bruce Jenner fame whoring.

    More immavasion, more Michoacan culture. If Charlie don't surf, Jose don't Jenner.

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.

    Russia’s PR is pathetic because, a) they don’t understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia’s lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don’t understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don’t understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they’d be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    • Replies: @sfg
    That's quite true. One of the things the NYT article pointed out was that the fake sites used a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama, which no actual American would be likely to make.

    I'm not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists. He wants to consolidate his power, and one great way to do that is an external enemy--like the USA pushing gay rights. If more Russians realized plenty of Americans agree with them, it would actually weaken his case.

    That said, he's been supporting groups like the Front National in Europe, for the simple reason that a weaker EU is less of a competitor to Russia.
    , @27 year old
    Russia’s PR is pathetic because, a) they don’t understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda...

    A large number of Americans believe black behavior,

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering.

    I noticed the same thing about RT basically parroting the US ruling class storylines. But I don't see it as a mistake the way you do. I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy and playing a long game to weaken their enemy. They know exactly what they are doing.

    The ruling class ideology on race and SJW social engineering is bad for america. Russia wants what is bad for america. Therefore.

    These masses of racist americans have no power. None. There is nothing to be gained in Russia making inroads with them. Let's say the Russia Today channel went full Derbyshire on race and then all these americans "saw Russia in a new light" ... okay... so what? How does that help Russia?

    , @anon
    You're right. One ray of hope for me is that the Kremlin has backed Marine Le Pen in France rhetorically. I wouldn't even be surprised if they're backing her financially. The Kremlin sees itself hammered by Western governments, so when it notices someone in a Western country putting up a serious challenge to the local government, it backs the challenger. I wish they were more ideologically consistent than that. Like you, I wish they understood the West better.

    If someone similar to Pat Buchanan mounted a serious campaign for the White House today, winning the New Hampshire primary as Pat once did, the Kremlin would have noticed him and backed him. The neocons bankroll the anti-Kremlin forces in Russia, so it would just be a matter of reflex for Putin to do the same here.
    , @inertial
    The Russian PR is not directed at America. The Russians figure that even if, by some miracle, they manage to move the US elite opinion to be more sympathetic to Russia, it will have zero effect on American foreign policy, because it is driven by the necessities of maintaining global hegemony. I don't think they are right about this but that's their conviction.

    Instead, Russian propaganda is aimed at Europe. The goal is to break Europe away from following American lead in respect to Russia. So, anything that knocks America off the high horse is being played up. The view that Ferguson is a protest against injustice brutally suppressed by racist establishment is received wisdom among European Anti-Americans. Russian propaganda was sure to exploit that.
  30. @BB753
    A thriving volunteer thought police doesn't preclude the existence of a paid thought police. Online trolling is part of modern psy-ops. I see no reason some government agency does not engage in hasbara.

    You bet that goes on in race realist and pro-Constitution sites all the time. The Feds and their snitches are looking very closely at them and so is the SLPC and ADL. Their trolls are pretty easy to spot though.

    Any members meeting at Denny’s will probably have several FBI/DHS stooges among the attendees, maybe all of them.

    A good study in this is the McLibel incident in England(during the late 80’s) is worth a study on sabotage and infiltration.

    As far as Putin’s efforts go they are small change to our multi-billion dollar full spectrum PR efforts and result in toppling foreign governments(Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt) to inciting wars like Desert Storm and Sunni Jihadis against Assad. Nor does Putin fund a array of front groups like the New Democratic Institute or International Republican Institute(who tried to install Chalabi in Iraq), National Endowment for Democracy that are effect organs of the American government. Don’t forget about those “think tanks” and “foundations” who experts regularly appear on MSM to ad gravitas. Or our use of PR giants likes Burson Marsteller or Hill and Knowlton. Bullshitting the people is big business and quite important one as well. One can’t have the little people thinking too much or too clearly.

    P***y Riot from what I can see looks to be a very overt form of American trolling against Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Obama/Mossad must be paying them serious cash to get whipped like dogs in Sochi by Cossacks during the Winter Olympics(sadly not as funny as watching 60’s hippies get thumped by police). I bet Obama and company are hoping they end up dead in a ditch – it would be a PR coup for them.

    BTW if you google “p***y riot and CIA front group” you get millions of results. Same with “IRI and CIA front groups”.

    I take this to mean that this paid trolling isn’t going to work well. A lot of Minds are made up on Russia and some dude on the internet isn’t going to change it.

  31. Gee, I might be coming at this here from a different perspective & life experience than you, Mr. Sailer; but the fundamentals of “hasbara” whispering-campaigns (or raised-whisper campaign, for preference) don’t seem to be original to Israelis using web search engines. In fact the 20th Century’s champion practitioners of this kind of spam communications would probably be the ChiComs if considering it fairly (of course, that got started way pre-Internet so their mass-leafleting and four-color posters of supernatural fists smashing some major structure in Taiwan do tend to have a primitive, overdosed flavor about them)

  32. I enjoyed how this little macher’s present clip bio omits his most prolific former outlet (that would be Nick Denton’s GAWKER family of brands):

    Adrian Chen is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in Wired, New York magazine, and The New York Times. He is a contributing editor for The New Inquiry and a founder of [some b.s. student group with cutesy-hipster “ironic” name]

    Of course I’d probably be embarrassed to admit I’d published anything through them too. One of Chen’s best-linked pieces was some vigilante shtick against a “Reddit troll”
    http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web

  33. I almost forgot to thank you for introducing me to WWTDD. Classic.

  34. The unveiling of the Caitlyn episode is eerie when viewed with detachment. It’s like some people undertook a very expensive & elaborate staging of The Emperor’s New Clothes fable for all of our edification; the part of the little boy has already been fulfilled by that little TV monkey off Nickelodeon’s “Non-threatening Boys Show.” When is the point where Vince McMahon or Steve Austin or whoever steps into the limelight and challenges Mx. Jenner in Wrestlemania 37 Summer Slam… The whole business is downright uncanny.

  35. Many a comment one finds at the site does read like the work product of a gaggle of pro-Sailer flacks: “Nobody else in the media has the courage to write what you write…” “Clearly your Common Core curricular suggestions are too brilliant to ever be adopted by the Obama administration…” “That Matt Weiner just won’t leave you in peace…” “Yep, the diagnosis of the flaws in ‘Transformers’ is spot-on”

    Of course with a pool of only a half-dozen or so shifting loyalists the thinkfluencing effect is necessarily limited. And really it’d be less sinister than odd if any proceeds were funneled out to the neighborhood kids for buzzing up more golf course construction within half-day driving distance of So. California.

  36. sfg says:
    @iSteveFan

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.
     
    Russia's PR is pathetic because, a) they don't understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia's lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don't understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don't understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they'd be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    That’s quite true. One of the things the NYT article pointed out was that the fake sites used a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama, which no actual American would be likely to make.

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists. He wants to consolidate his power, and one great way to do that is an external enemy–like the USA pushing gay rights. If more Russians realized plenty of Americans agree with them, it would actually weaken his case.

    That said, he’s been supporting groups like the Front National in Europe, for the simple reason that a weaker EU is less of a competitor to Russia.

    • Replies: @27 year old
    a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama,
    Isn't mixing liberal and conservative complaints about the ruling class the entire point of the traditionalist/alt right/neoreactionary blogosphere?

    which no actual American would be likely to make.

    we're unpersons :(

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.

    He would if we had anything to offer him, but we don't.
    , @anonymous

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.
     
    Is that a job for the Russians to undertake? Isn't that an internal American issue? Shouldn't Americans themselves be linking up for their own values? The Russians have got Putin whose main job is to build up and strengthen their state. And we've got....?
  37. @Twinkie

    Netanyahu’s and Putin’s hasbara efforts
     
    More like "Israel's and Putin's..." What you call the "Hasbara" efforts by Israel is both national and institutional in scope and effort, unlike Putin's, which is more of the cult of the personality variety.

    Then there is the subtler version that the Chinese do, by funding indirectly Western neo-liberal economists, businesses, and related public intellectuals.

    Then there is the subtler version that the Chinese do, by funding indirectly Western neo-liberal economists, businesses, and related public intellectuals.

    How are they “funding indirectly”?

  38. @22pp22
    The problem is that any comment that is not specifically anti-Russian is deemed to be the work of a paid troll. The word in England is a Kremkipper. I was barred from the NZ Conservative website for suggesting that a nuclear strike on Russia would really be a bad idea. I am always being accused of being Russian. The fact that I can read Russian and Ukrainian sources only makes it worse.

    I’ve noticed the phenomenon before – on any article dealing with Russia on any prominent news site – if anyone posts anything with even the slightest pro-Russian bias they are immediately accused of being a paid Putin shill.

    I’m also more inclined to believe that US agencies are more likely to hire paid trolls on the government payroll than foreign agencies are, as another commenter posted.

    Finally, there is the Sailersque concept of projection; accusing others of the same behavior you are actually guilty of.

    What is the worst possible takeaway from all of this?

    That somebody really, really wants World War III.

  39. I have been accused of being a paid Putin troll because I said that it was not a good idea to risk nuclear war, and this is not hyberbole, there are people seriously believe that its a good idea to go to war with Russia.

    I am not pro Putin, and I know there is lots of corruption in his regime, but he still is leader of the Russians, while in the West the politicians loathe their populace (so much that they want to replace them) and are there to just serve the Davos elite. Comparing the two, I would rather support Putin.

  40. It has been fairly well documented how Facebook employs click farms in Asia to game advertisers. On my Twitter account, which I rarely use, I’ve found plenty of fake followers. They come and go and it is not hard to see that they are, at the minimum, promotional accounts of some sort. One of the “innovations” of Team Obama in 2008 was using social media farms to fill up comments sections, FB pages and twitter.

    Of course, paid media is paid by both camps to spread the word. Just look at the number of “journalists” who have gone to work for Obama. They will cycle back into their “news” jobs and the staff of The Weekly Standard and Fox News will head off to work for Team Bush after the election.

    Americans now float in a sea of agit-prop. Studies show we are exposed to eight hours a day of media on average. The managerial state cannot exist without mass media.

  41. I think the “paid Putin trolls” of the internet are far more myth than reality for several reasons:

    1) There’s no shortage of westerners who post pro-Russian, anti-globalist comments for free. Have a look at the posting history of such people and you’ll consistently find they also comment on the local and national affairs of their country. So, unless the Russians are bothering to create thousands and thousands of online personae with elaborate back-stories, then we have actual westerners expressing their actual opinions.

    2) Russians with good English have better things to do with their time than add a few more comments to the thousands of others.

    I think the myth of Putin’s trolls is a story the mainstream media and their followers tell one another to explain why they’re losing the debate. It explains why Putin and Russia have so many sympathizers in the West, despite the globalist propaganda campaign, and it justifies even greater funding of their friends’ anti-Putin NGO. So the myth provides an excuse for their past failures as propagandists and also justifies an increase in their funding. What’s not to like?

    • Replies: @Romanian
    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/72706

    Confessions of a Russian Internet Troll

    Just throwing that out there. I'm agnostic on Russia (I like the people I can relate to, but I dislike the leadership), though I do blame its former incarnation as the USSR for my people's economic and political retardation (and moral maybe?). My small country benefits enormously from NATO and EU membership, as well as the existence of a predictable and fairly egalitarian international order (at least compared to previous ones), which Russia's actions in Ukraine have undermined, especially the part of not changing the borders through conflict. Then again, the Ukrainians were dicks, having pressured the leadership of Romania in its weak willed 1990s state to renounce all claims to the Budjak area of Moldova which had been attached by the USSR to the Ukrainian SSR, in the interest of helping their sovereignty post-independence (which it seems they were right in fearing for). That doesn't mean I condone the violence, and I do feel we dodged a bullet by ending claims on an area which had gone through a full ethnic rebalancing towards Russians and Ukrainians and could have been a poisoned pill given Russia's new stance on Russians abroad as a tool for excusing intervention.

    The bigger countries always feel corseted by supranational authorities hindering their agendas, including various global institutions and covenants(like the UK and France in the EU), but smaller nations invariably flourish in a more structured environment with less uncertainty regarding their territorial integrity. Whether it makes sense for the US to involve itself in the conflict is not something I should presume to lecture you on, one way or the other, because I'm automatically biased.

    One thing that isn't ordinarily a topic of discussion in the West, unless it deals with energy or football, is the extent of Russian economic involvement in its near abroad. You keep hearing about oil or natural gas, but less about dependency on Russian market and remittances from the ethnic minorities in Russia (in case of Georgia, Moldova or the Stans). Moldova and Tajikistan are in second and first place in the world when it comes to remittances as a share of GDP. In Moldova's case, its citizens go not just to Russia, but also to Ro and sometimes the EU, by claiming Romanian citizenship by virtue of having had one grandparent in the Greater Romanian Kingdom before WW2 (something I agree with). You also don't hear a lot about Russian ownership of key economic assets in countries in CEE which are now members of the EU, especially Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Half the industry in my hometown, which is a significant industrial center for the country, is owned by Russian companies like TMK who were there when they were privatized. The Russians got the largest aluminum plant in SE Europe and a lot of the downstream industries, like pipe and sheet making and other unsexy industrial products. A lot of the important banks from countries like Austria and Hungary have significant exposure to Russian capital. Through these ties of ownership and financing, both direct and indirect, you establish the means for influencing the country in question, squeezing a bit where it hurts, especially if economic considerations take a backseat to political ones.
  42. @Mr. Anon
    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said - and find it easy to believe - that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said – and find it easy to believe – that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

    No doubt China already has people doing this sort of thing. After all, it is labor-intensive work that multiplies best when performed by lots of anonymous people making small wages; i.e., it is very Chinese!

    Why not have an American version of this? After all, we have had Radio Free Europe for a long time. I know people who listened all the time. Our economy and tax structure could support an army of Americans blogging, commenting, social-media-ing, etc. This would be a good program to create jobs and put cash back into circulation. If we’re not going to spend it on infrastructure (which we should) we can at least spend it on comments!

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    There aren't enough Americans that can fluently speak the local language, to recruit locals to post favorable comments on the cheap.

    If you were a State Department commissar interested in destabilizing China or Russia, financing actual armed rebels, Pussy Riot analouges, or NGOs, is easier than recruiting scores of locals to post comments critical of the government and praising America.

    For Russia, there are no armed rebel movements here, and they aren't interested in spreading Orthodoxy in the way we are interested in spreading LGBTism.
  43. @iSteveFan

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.
     
    Russia's PR is pathetic because, a) they don't understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia's lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don't understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don't understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they'd be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    Russia’s PR is pathetic because, a) they don’t understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda…

    A large number of Americans believe black behavior,

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering.

    I noticed the same thing about RT basically parroting the US ruling class storylines. But I don’t see it as a mistake the way you do. I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy and playing a long game to weaken their enemy. They know exactly what they are doing.

    The ruling class ideology on race and SJW social engineering is bad for america. Russia wants what is bad for america. Therefore.

    These masses of racist americans have no power. None. There is nothing to be gained in Russia making inroads with them. Let’s say the Russia Today channel went full Derbyshire on race and then all these americans “saw Russia in a new light” … okay… so what? How does that help Russia?

    • Replies: @anonymous

    I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy
     
    America is in actual fact their enemy and has proven it over and over again. The Russians are not stupid and can learn from experience.
  44. @Chuck
    Paying individual trolls for piece work doesn't scale. The western media seems to have created human botnets to spam dissenters into submission.

    Meet Captain Caitlin Dewey in the Volunteer Auxiliary Thought Police Cavalry. Oh yeah, she writes for the WaPo. Maybe Bezos thinks he can get it to scale?

    http://wapo.st/1Jnrir5

    “The bot was designed by moi and coded, in its second iteration, by the brilliant Andrew McGill (… which is why it improved markedly around 6 p.m.) It essentially searches for mentions of “Jenner” and “he,” screens out a series of terms that turn up false positives, and then sends the offending tweeter a polite, robotic correction.”

  45. @sfg
    That's quite true. One of the things the NYT article pointed out was that the fake sites used a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama, which no actual American would be likely to make.

    I'm not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists. He wants to consolidate his power, and one great way to do that is an external enemy--like the USA pushing gay rights. If more Russians realized plenty of Americans agree with them, it would actually weaken his case.

    That said, he's been supporting groups like the Front National in Europe, for the simple reason that a weaker EU is less of a competitor to Russia.

    a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama,
    Isn’t mixing liberal and conservative complaints about the ruling class the entire point of the traditionalist/alt right/neoreactionary blogosphere?

    which no actual American would be likely to make.

    we’re unpersons 🙁

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.

    He would if we had anything to offer him, but we don’t.

    • Replies: @anon
    As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, Putin did link up with Marine Le Pen. Russian media covers her extremely favorably and she has said very kind things about Putin and Russia in return. I'm assuming that there is a financial relationship there as well.

    Russia isn't good enough at PR to create viable opposition movements in countries that lack them. But if such opposition movements arise by themselves, it's in Russia's interest to support them.

    If someone with Pat Buchanan's views achieves his old levels of support in the next presidential election, the polarity of RT's coverage of race relations in the US will likely reverse.
  46. @Anonymous
    No question that Russia has one by now. But for Americans the key issue is that NYT failed to even mention the term "Hasbara". Political life in the USA is not exactly controlled by those slick Russians...

    It’s a well-known and commonly used term. Maybe you’re doing a little hasbara, trying to muddy the waters for a certain country that is well-known for interfering in and sabotaging American politics and foreign affairs.

  47. @Don't drone me bro!
    WWTDD was pretty dire after Brendon got forced out. This new guy is a huge improvement over the last few years.

    Lex has been there over 2 years by my estimation. He’s an outstanding wordsmith and the site has returned (if not surpassed) Brendon’s excellent work. (There’s a drop off to the other writers, but Lex is the main one.)

    As much I loved Brendon, he overplayed his hand a bit w/r/t to his replaceability. It’s a daily visit for me.

    • Replies: @Don't drone me bro!
    I stopped playing attention a couple weeks after Brendon got fired, whenever that was. So Lex may not be new, but he's new to me.

    Anyway, Brendon was one of the better writers on Ye Olde Internette, when some dude could turn a weblog into a viable media property because he was talented. Lex is talented, too, in the modern online environment where the same or better work gets you 1% of the pay on the website which fired the guy who created it. I hope the autistic transman of color who replaces Lex after he is fired next year for mocking the quiet dignity of Caitlyn Jenner's Trans*Kardashians on Ice travelling circus (attendance manditory for all elementary school children) is really funny, too.

  48. @Whiskey
    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he's not reached low info people in the West. Probably because Putin himself has no agenda or beliefs beyond grab stuff. He's like a more astute Marcos. Without an Imelda.

    However, saw lots of Telemundo today at dialysis. [Not me, unfortunately, a family member] Telemundo barely covered Jenner. More interested in various Mexican celebs. Spanish media is a parallel universe. No one there cares about Bruce Jenner fame whoring.

    More immavasion, more Michoacan culture. If Charlie don't surf, Jose don't Jenner.

    Seems sensible to me. I don’t have anything against Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner, but I don’t really see why it’s in the news. I prefer media that inform me, rather than looking for a Teaching Moment on the cause of the week.

  49. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Where is all this supposed pro-Putin troll propaganda at? I don’t see any. Most commenters who defend his actions are doing so in response to the tidal wave of absurd anti-Putin propaganda that’s been inundating the public and the defenses have been somewhat tepid and measured. There’s little need for Russian propaganda to undercut the American homestead when all these lefty-liberal sites run by our own citizens are doing such a good job along with media and government elites who are busy engineering demographic disaster. Same with Netanyahu, most defenders seem to be pro-Zionists who are quick to jump on any criticism anywhere and are voluntary. The actual paid professional trolls employed by the various governments pale in comparison to the high ground held by the mainstream media who create a cultural environment of Jenner & Kardashian 24/7 along with spreading fear and moral panics along with jingoism.

  50. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @iSteveFan

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.
     
    Russia's PR is pathetic because, a) they don't understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia's lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don't understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don't understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they'd be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    You’re right. One ray of hope for me is that the Kremlin has backed Marine Le Pen in France rhetorically. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they’re backing her financially. The Kremlin sees itself hammered by Western governments, so when it notices someone in a Western country putting up a serious challenge to the local government, it backs the challenger. I wish they were more ideologically consistent than that. Like you, I wish they understood the West better.

    If someone similar to Pat Buchanan mounted a serious campaign for the White House today, winning the New Hampshire primary as Pat once did, the Kremlin would have noticed him and backed him. The neocons bankroll the anti-Kremlin forces in Russia, so it would just be a matter of reflex for Putin to do the same here.

  51. @Mr. Anon
    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said - and find it easy to believe - that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

    Government employees draw tremendous fringe benefits and civil service protections. It’s more likely we’d use contractors, recall that Snowden wasn’t NSA he worked for Booz Allen Hamilton.

    If a three letter agency wanted trolls, they’d design an automated computer program. But that sounds like Skynet-level AI to a layman like me.

    The Chinese have been using Confucius Institutes in our universities, the Saudis are doing something similar. When the sanctions on Russia end, Putin should do the same thing both here and in Western Europe. Our higher-ed system loves cash more than it does SJWism.

  52. @Calogero
    Didn't Bruce, oh I'm sorry ,Caitlyn kill a woman in a car crash a few weeks ago? Does changing your gender absolve you of guilt for serious crimes? Bruce may have killed a woman, but not Caitlyn!

    Welcome to Hollywood-style misdirection – look, a shiny object.

    Next Bruce will plead for the court’s sympathy in sentencing, or is that idea just a fantasy, as the best legal minds will rally to find technicalities and then he’ll surely get off.

  53. @Buzz Mohawk

    How long before China follows the russian and israeli lead?

    I have heard it said – and find it easy to believe – that certain US government agencies (the TSA, for example) have paid internet trolls. They may not be piece-work hasbara types, but actual government employees.

     

    No doubt China already has people doing this sort of thing. After all, it is labor-intensive work that multiplies best when performed by lots of anonymous people making small wages; i.e., it is very Chinese!

    Why not have an American version of this? After all, we have had Radio Free Europe for a long time. I know people who listened all the time. Our economy and tax structure could support an army of Americans blogging, commenting, social-media-ing, etc. This would be a good program to create jobs and put cash back into circulation. If we're not going to spend it on infrastructure (which we should) we can at least spend it on comments!

    There aren’t enough Americans that can fluently speak the local language, to recruit locals to post favorable comments on the cheap.

    If you were a State Department commissar interested in destabilizing China or Russia, financing actual armed rebels, Pussy Riot analouges, or NGOs, is easier than recruiting scores of locals to post comments critical of the government and praising America.

    For Russia, there are no armed rebel movements here, and they aren’t interested in spreading Orthodoxy in the way we are interested in spreading LGBTism.

  54. @27 year old
    Russia’s PR is pathetic because, a) they don’t understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda...

    A large number of Americans believe black behavior,

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering.

    I noticed the same thing about RT basically parroting the US ruling class storylines. But I don't see it as a mistake the way you do. I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy and playing a long game to weaken their enemy. They know exactly what they are doing.

    The ruling class ideology on race and SJW social engineering is bad for america. Russia wants what is bad for america. Therefore.

    These masses of racist americans have no power. None. There is nothing to be gained in Russia making inroads with them. Let's say the Russia Today channel went full Derbyshire on race and then all these americans "saw Russia in a new light" ... okay... so what? How does that help Russia?

    I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy

    America is in actual fact their enemy and has proven it over and over again. The Russians are not stupid and can learn from experience.

    • Replies: @27 year old

    America is in actual fact their enemy and has proven it over and over again. The Russians are not stupid and can learn from experience.
     
    Yep
  55. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @sfg
    That's quite true. One of the things the NYT article pointed out was that the fake sites used a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama, which no actual American would be likely to make.

    I'm not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists. He wants to consolidate his power, and one great way to do that is an external enemy--like the USA pushing gay rights. If more Russians realized plenty of Americans agree with them, it would actually weaken his case.

    That said, he's been supporting groups like the Front National in Europe, for the simple reason that a weaker EU is less of a competitor to Russia.

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.

    Is that a job for the Russians to undertake? Isn’t that an internal American issue? Shouldn’t Americans themselves be linking up for their own values? The Russians have got Putin whose main job is to build up and strengthen their state. And we’ve got….?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Putin represents a revival of a Russian tradition of centralized statism (a.k.a., czarism). That's not an American tradition.
  56. HA says:
    @5371
    Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them.

    “Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them.”

    Consider the possibility that encouraging commenters like you to keep rooting for Putin is one of the best weapons in the anti-Putin arsenal.

    The same situation holds for the Joo-obsessed wackos who wind up high-fiving each other in the comment section whenever Pat Buchanan writes an article on this site. I’m not saying that actively encouraging voices like that to speak out against Israel is something that Israel’s propaganda paladins support, but if that were the case, it wouldn’t surprise me. After all, they’re certainly not helping Buchanan. They just help to keep him marginalized. Cui bono?

    Sometimes, winning the opinion wars is just a matter of ensuring that the conspiracy theorists are mostly favoring the other team, and then giving them all the encouragement they can handle. They’ll do the rest.

    So if you’re looking for encouragement, consider this your red flag, regardless of whether you’re actually paid by the Kremlin, or else, are one of the many useful idiots who happily do that for free. And if it distracts you from your other fixations, so much the better.

    • Replies: @HA
    Actually, it seems the Kremlin agrees with me regarding my last comment: Here’s a companion piece that I’m guessing the State Dept. may have issued along with Chen’s article:

    http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-whistle-blowing-troll-gets-her-day-in-court/27047858.html

    The last paragraph is particularly amusing:


    Burkhard described scenarios in which team members would combine to present what appeared to be an impromptu debate online, including with one posing as a "villain" who might criticize the Russian authorities to invite counterarguments
     
    Which gets to heart of what I was referring to earlier, the only disagreement being in who actually benefits when the Putin trolls get their funk on. I don't think it's Putin, but if they disagree, so much the better.
    , @anon
    HA, since you are the iSteve commenter who talks about paid Putin shills the most, you are the one most likely to be a paid Hasbara shill. If so, I'm not impressed. You're neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the "Whiskey" level. They must not be paying well.

    The Hasbara site Steve linked to portrays college-age kids. Arguing about politics isn't like proving theorems. One gets better at it with age, not worse. Crystallized intelligence is more important here than the fluid kind. As is common sense. Look at the average age of popular pundits and successful politicians the world over.

    I guess Hasbara's thinking is "the young will have a greater chance of influencing the young." Yet when I was young I read people who seemed like they knew what they were talking about instead. I doubt I was unique in that.
  57. HA says:
    @HA
    "Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them."

    Consider the possibility that encouraging commenters like you to keep rooting for Putin is one of the best weapons in the anti-Putin arsenal.

    The same situation holds for the Joo-obsessed wackos who wind up high-fiving each other in the comment section whenever Pat Buchanan writes an article on this site. I’m not saying that actively encouraging voices like that to speak out against Israel is something that Israel’s propaganda paladins support, but if that were the case, it wouldn’t surprise me. After all, they’re certainly not helping Buchanan. They just help to keep him marginalized. Cui bono?

    Sometimes, winning the opinion wars is just a matter of ensuring that the conspiracy theorists are mostly favoring the other team, and then giving them all the encouragement they can handle. They'll do the rest.

    So if you’re looking for encouragement, consider this your red flag, regardless of whether you're actually paid by the Kremlin, or else, are one of the many useful idiots who happily do that for free. And if it distracts you from your other fixations, so much the better.

    Actually, it seems the Kremlin agrees with me regarding my last comment: Here’s a companion piece that I’m guessing the State Dept. may have issued along with Chen’s article:

    http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-whistle-blowing-troll-gets-her-day-in-court/27047858.html

    The last paragraph is particularly amusing:

    Burkhard described scenarios in which team members would combine to present what appeared to be an impromptu debate online, including with one posing as a “villain” who might criticize the Russian authorities to invite counterarguments

    Which gets to heart of what I was referring to earlier, the only disagreement being in who actually benefits when the Putin trolls get their funk on. I don’t think it’s Putin, but if they disagree, so much the better.

  58. @Twinkie

    There no cult of the personality of Putin in Russia.
     
    http://newslanc.com/images/slava_putin_cult3.png

    No, it's just that the Russians love Putin so much that they put up a statue of his with his Judo gi on (tightly so that the pectoral muscles show). Or as a Roman emperor:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/he-shoots-he-scores-vladmir-putin-celebrity-cult-achieves-new-goals#img-1

    Congratulations, you have discovered Russian attention-seeking clowns.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Congratulations, you have discovered Russian attention-seeking clowns.
     
    Yup, I also found North Korean attention-seeking clowns: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02476/N_KOREA_STATUE_2476185k.jpg
  59. @iSteveFan

    Putins pr is fairly pathetic. So far he’s not reached low info people in the West.
     
    Russia's PR is pathetic because, a) they don't understand the USA, and b) they are still stuck in the Cold War mode of propaganda

    During the Cold War the commies and us were both trying to woe the third world. The Soviets used to play up segregation in the USA to show the Africans and others that the US would never be on their side. Many think this was partially responsible for our 1965 Immigration Act, but I digress. Anyway the commies took joy in pointing out any instances of where the US might have discriminated against non-whites.

    Currently the Russians continue to play this angle. Steve mocks the NY Times for treating Ferguson as the most important place in the world. But Russia Today (RT) pretty much does the same thing. After all, how could RT refuse to play up Ferguson when Uncle Sam constantly lectures everyone around the world about human rights.

    But here is where Russia's lack of understanding America hurts them. They think they are getting propaganda points by tarring the US as racist. But what they don't understand is that they are playing into the hands of the new elite who run America. When Russia points out how bad the US is on race relations, it only reinforces the SJWs of our government to double down with their social engineering. If the US behavior on race is so bad that Moscow notices, then we really have to double down and make things right.

    Unfortunately for Russia their constant hectoring of the US about Ferguson turns off regular Americans who might be inclined to take a second look at the erstwhile commies who now are building churches. A large number of Americans believe black behavior, not racist policies, is the bigger factor in our ongoing race problems. To see RT criticize America and seemingly take the side of blacks in this debate is very off-putting to say the least.

    So the Russian mode of PR actually ends up alienating a large group of Americans who might be ready to take a new look at Russia, while it gives the SJW-types more ammunition to push their social engineering. The irony of course is that it is the very same SJW-types that have been hammering Russia in the press over gays and other social issues. And it is the left-progressives in office now that are pushing the Ukraine play.

    They don't understand the great social divide in the US. They are focusing on the racial divide. If Russia understood the USA like the Israelis do, I doubt they'd be making this mistake. Instead of making common cause with the elements in the US who might be inclined to side with fellow traditionalists worldwide, the Russians are alienating them.

    The Russian PR is not directed at America. The Russians figure that even if, by some miracle, they manage to move the US elite opinion to be more sympathetic to Russia, it will have zero effect on American foreign policy, because it is driven by the necessities of maintaining global hegemony. I don’t think they are right about this but that’s their conviction.

    Instead, Russian propaganda is aimed at Europe. The goal is to break Europe away from following American lead in respect to Russia. So, anything that knocks America off the high horse is being played up. The view that Ferguson is a protest against injustice brutally suppressed by racist establishment is received wisdom among European Anti-Americans. Russian propaganda was sure to exploit that.

  60. @Wilkey
    The sad part was getting my vaguely not exactly entirely pro-Israel comments deleted multiple times from Instapundit multiple times because they weren't sufficiently deferential to the Tribe. It was an article about the S.S. St Louis in which the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain't exactly taking in a lot of boat people today.

    Hysterically, while ranting about FDR's "anti-Semitism," she also managed to say some nice things about New York's Syrian Jews.

    the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain’t exactly taking in a lot of boat people today

    .

    In his place, I wouldn’t have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself.

    The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country — Germany — that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation. At most, they’re escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they’ve crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they’ve already escaped their home country.

    As it happens, back in the 70s and 80s Israel took in a fair number of Vietnamese boat people (not Jewish, in case you’re wondering), who really were refugees in a meaningful sense.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    "In his place, I wouldn’t have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself. The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country — Germany — that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation."

    SFAIK, he was not deleting my comments. He certainly never stated that he was doing it. It's extremely easy for users to block a comment on Instapundit, even accidentally, since the like button is right next to the report button. Even top-rated comments occasionally get blocked by mistake. IIRC, it only takes two commenters to do it.

    But as for your claim of me making a fool of myself, you are wrong. I won't link to it, but feel free to Google the column by Phyllis Chesler. It is brazenly dishonest in every respect. She falsely reports the number of St. Louis passengers who died in the Holocaust and claims that only some of them were accepted by other countries. She does not mention that the passengers did not seek refuge in the Dominican Republic, despite that countries offer to accept 100,000 Jewish refugees (must have been afraid of vibrant Dominican neighborhoods).

    Her article mentions both boat people and the current situation in the Middle East, but does not mention that Israel ain't taking in a single goddamned one of them, while viciously criticizing FDR and America for not taking in a few Jewish refugees 76 years ago. She attacks American anti-Semitism but mentions the Syrian Jewish community in New York without noting their viciously racist practices which Steve has posted on over the years. She insinuates that American immigration policies of yesteryear were racist without mentioning how rich, corrupt Jews have used their money and influence to secure favorable immigration rights for themselves - see the Cremieux Decree, the Lautenberg Amendment, etc., etc.

    I fail to see how the current situation isn't relevant. We didn't have any better information regarding the dangers to Germany's Jews back in 1939 than we have on today's refugees, and Israel has as much moral obligation as Europe to take them in.
    , @iSteveFan

    At most, they’re escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they’ve crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they’ve already escaped their home country.
     
    Couldn't the same be said about German Jews in the 1930's? Once they got out of Germany, they escaped. Granted they might not have been safe in a neighboring European nation, but once they got onto the ships and headed to the Atlantic, they could have sailed to several other nations besides the USA and been perfectly safe. Or, they could have skipped the boats and made the relatively short journey to Turkey.
  61. I was traveling overseas recently, and I got I watch some RT. RT seemed like the fox news of Europe.

  62. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "Claiming that people who post comments critical of US foreign policy are paid by the Kremlin to do so is a tacit admission that you have no actual arguments to present, and so is more likely to encourage than to intimidate them."

    Consider the possibility that encouraging commenters like you to keep rooting for Putin is one of the best weapons in the anti-Putin arsenal.

    The same situation holds for the Joo-obsessed wackos who wind up high-fiving each other in the comment section whenever Pat Buchanan writes an article on this site. I’m not saying that actively encouraging voices like that to speak out against Israel is something that Israel’s propaganda paladins support, but if that were the case, it wouldn’t surprise me. After all, they’re certainly not helping Buchanan. They just help to keep him marginalized. Cui bono?

    Sometimes, winning the opinion wars is just a matter of ensuring that the conspiracy theorists are mostly favoring the other team, and then giving them all the encouragement they can handle. They'll do the rest.

    So if you’re looking for encouragement, consider this your red flag, regardless of whether you're actually paid by the Kremlin, or else, are one of the many useful idiots who happily do that for free. And if it distracts you from your other fixations, so much the better.

    HA, since you are the iSteve commenter who talks about paid Putin shills the most, you are the one most likely to be a paid Hasbara shill. If so, I’m not impressed. You’re neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the “Whiskey” level. They must not be paying well.

    The Hasbara site Steve linked to portrays college-age kids. Arguing about politics isn’t like proving theorems. One gets better at it with age, not worse. Crystallized intelligence is more important here than the fluid kind. As is common sense. Look at the average age of popular pundits and successful politicians the world over.

    I guess Hasbara’s thinking is “the young will have a greater chance of influencing the young.” Yet when I was young I read people who seemed like they knew what they were talking about instead. I doubt I was unique in that.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    What evidence is there that Netanyahu's government targets Putin's government? Netanyahu's frequent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was enthusiastic about promoting a warm alliance between the two, but both national leaders preferred to keep relations on the cool level due to being on different sides of the Team America, World Police divide, but without any hostility since new circumstances could bring about a formal alignment someday.
    , @HA
    "You’re neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the “Whiskey” level."

    Wow, some guy named "anon" says that I'm neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. How persuasive. Devastating, even. And have I really gone back to being Hasbara? Last time I heard, I'd been demoted to being just a semi-imaginary Pole. I'm happy to have moved back up in the world, but even though I'm guessing that one fiction is as good another to the RT fan club, you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they're going to have any effect.

    But with regard to the rest of your scintillating repartee, let me report to my Hasbara masters and see how -- if it is even possible -- we can move past such a crushing rhetorical defeat.

  63. @Anonymous
    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don't have as many articles.

    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don’t have as many articles.

    True enough. Nonetheless the Russian and Hebrew pages had both seen over a dozen edits in the 48 hours before I posted that.

    The French page has been super-active, with a pitched back-and-forth edit war raging between partisans of Bruce/il and partisans of Caitlin/elle. Last I checked, the traditionalists were on top, and the article begins with a stern warning from the Wiki editors warning people to remain civil.

    The German page is 100% politically correct.

    The Ukrainian page (I don’t speak Ukrainian but it’s close enough to Russian that I can read it) has not been touched since 2013.

    • Replies: @Venator
    From the German wikipedia, too good not to translate.

    "Mit dem Gewinn der Goldmedaille beendete Jenner die sportliche Laufbahn und begann eine Karriere als Filmschauspielerin, allerdings mit Männerrollen."

    After winning the gold medal, Jenner ended the sports career and started a career as an actress, although with male roles.
    , @SPMoore8
    I routinely flipflop among the languages I am familiar with on wikipedia just to look for any differences. I can assure you the Russians are attempting to catch up ......

    Дженнер получила международную известность как десятиборец

    "Jenner received international fame as decathlete", received with a feminine ending.

    I'm kind of bummed there isn't a page in Magyar to inspect.
  64. @Cagey Beast
    I think the "paid Putin trolls" of the internet are far more myth than reality for several reasons:

    1) There's no shortage of westerners who post pro-Russian, anti-globalist comments for free. Have a look at the posting history of such people and you'll consistently find they also comment on the local and national affairs of their country. So, unless the Russians are bothering to create thousands and thousands of online personae with elaborate back-stories, then we have actual westerners expressing their actual opinions.

    2) Russians with good English have better things to do with their time than add a few more comments to the thousands of others.

    I think the myth of Putin's trolls is a story the mainstream media and their followers tell one another to explain why they're losing the debate. It explains why Putin and Russia have so many sympathizers in the West, despite the globalist propaganda campaign, and it justifies even greater funding of their friends' anti-Putin NGO. So the myth provides an excuse for their past failures as propagandists and also justifies an increase in their funding. What's not to like?

    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/72706

    Confessions of a Russian Internet Troll

    Just throwing that out there. I’m agnostic on Russia (I like the people I can relate to, but I dislike the leadership), though I do blame its former incarnation as the USSR for my people’s economic and political retardation (and moral maybe?). My small country benefits enormously from NATO and EU membership, as well as the existence of a predictable and fairly egalitarian international order (at least compared to previous ones), which Russia’s actions in Ukraine have undermined, especially the part of not changing the borders through conflict. Then again, the Ukrainians were dicks, having pressured the leadership of Romania in its weak willed 1990s state to renounce all claims to the Budjak area of Moldova which had been attached by the USSR to the Ukrainian SSR, in the interest of helping their sovereignty post-independence (which it seems they were right in fearing for). That doesn’t mean I condone the violence, and I do feel we dodged a bullet by ending claims on an area which had gone through a full ethnic rebalancing towards Russians and Ukrainians and could have been a poisoned pill given Russia’s new stance on Russians abroad as a tool for excusing intervention.

    The bigger countries always feel corseted by supranational authorities hindering their agendas, including various global institutions and covenants(like the UK and France in the EU), but smaller nations invariably flourish in a more structured environment with less uncertainty regarding their territorial integrity. Whether it makes sense for the US to involve itself in the conflict is not something I should presume to lecture you on, one way or the other, because I’m automatically biased.

    One thing that isn’t ordinarily a topic of discussion in the West, unless it deals with energy or football, is the extent of Russian economic involvement in its near abroad. You keep hearing about oil or natural gas, but less about dependency on Russian market and remittances from the ethnic minorities in Russia (in case of Georgia, Moldova or the Stans). Moldova and Tajikistan are in second and first place in the world when it comes to remittances as a share of GDP. In Moldova’s case, its citizens go not just to Russia, but also to Ro and sometimes the EU, by claiming Romanian citizenship by virtue of having had one grandparent in the Greater Romanian Kingdom before WW2 (something I agree with). You also don’t hear a lot about Russian ownership of key economic assets in countries in CEE which are now members of the EU, especially Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Half the industry in my hometown, which is a significant industrial center for the country, is owned by Russian companies like TMK who were there when they were privatized. The Russians got the largest aluminum plant in SE Europe and a lot of the downstream industries, like pipe and sheet making and other unsexy industrial products. A lot of the important banks from countries like Austria and Hungary have significant exposure to Russian capital. Through these ties of ownership and financing, both direct and indirect, you establish the means for influencing the country in question, squeezing a bit where it hurts, especially if economic considerations take a backseat to political ones.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Thank you for your intelligent description of significant factors in world events. I believe that economic transactions are the most powerful variable, one that is seldom described by journalists or historians.

    I suspect the "movers and shakers" of events are deeply involved in these transactions and relationships and are perfectly happy that the rest of us know nothing about their activities. I think this has been the case for a very long time.

    Whenever I am in Eastern Europe, I see the Russian benzine and diesel stations, the German security companies, and other international ownership.

    Of particular importance to me, as an American Citizen, is our foolish economic relationship with China. We have helped Chinese interests build large capital investments and economic interests that will warp our foreign policy for generations. We have sold ourselves to a much larger population in return for cheap labor. (I have also seen how Asian companies have established a foothold in Eastern Europe, taking advantage of people there who need jobs. Those people work in terrible, Asian conditions.)

  65. @DCThrowback
    Lex has been there over 2 years by my estimation. He's an outstanding wordsmith and the site has returned (if not surpassed) Brendon's excellent work. (There's a drop off to the other writers, but Lex is the main one.)

    As much I loved Brendon, he overplayed his hand a bit w/r/t to his replaceability. It's a daily visit for me.

    I stopped playing attention a couple weeks after Brendon got fired, whenever that was. So Lex may not be new, but he’s new to me.

    Anyway, Brendon was one of the better writers on Ye Olde Internette, when some dude could turn a weblog into a viable media property because he was talented. Lex is talented, too, in the modern online environment where the same or better work gets you 1% of the pay on the website which fired the guy who created it. I hope the autistic transman of color who replaces Lex after he is fired next year for mocking the quiet dignity of Caitlyn Jenner’s Trans*Kardashians on Ice travelling circus (attendance manditory for all elementary school children) is really funny, too.

  66. Dear Sailer, You are smart man about greatness of Putin. As American in Kansas I thank strong leader of Russia for keeping world safe. Putin also love golf course architecture. You are welcome.

  67. @International Jew

    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don’t have as many articles.
     
    True enough. Nonetheless the Russian and Hebrew pages had both seen over a dozen edits in the 48 hours before I posted that.

    The French page has been super-active, with a pitched back-and-forth edit war raging between partisans of Bruce/il and partisans of Caitlin/elle. Last I checked, the traditionalists were on top, and the article begins with a stern warning from the Wiki editors warning people to remain civil.

    The German page is 100% politically correct.

    The Ukrainian page (I don't speak Ukrainian but it's close enough to Russian that I can read it) has not been touched since 2013.

    From the German wikipedia, too good not to translate.

    “Mit dem Gewinn der Goldmedaille beendete Jenner die sportliche Laufbahn und begann eine Karriere als Filmschauspielerin, allerdings mit Männerrollen.”

    After winning the gold medal, Jenner ended the sports career and started a career as an actress, although with male roles.

  68. @International Jew

    A lot of the foreign language versions of Wiki are often update much more slowly and don’t have as many articles.
     
    True enough. Nonetheless the Russian and Hebrew pages had both seen over a dozen edits in the 48 hours before I posted that.

    The French page has been super-active, with a pitched back-and-forth edit war raging between partisans of Bruce/il and partisans of Caitlin/elle. Last I checked, the traditionalists were on top, and the article begins with a stern warning from the Wiki editors warning people to remain civil.

    The German page is 100% politically correct.

    The Ukrainian page (I don't speak Ukrainian but it's close enough to Russian that I can read it) has not been touched since 2013.

    I routinely flipflop among the languages I am familiar with on wikipedia just to look for any differences. I can assure you the Russians are attempting to catch up ……

    Дженнер получила международную известность как десятиборец

    “Jenner received international fame as decathlete”, received with a feminine ending.

    I’m kind of bummed there isn’t a page in Magyar to inspect.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    Heh, you're right, I spoke too soon.
    The Russian Bruce Jenner page underwent a thorough sex-change operation at precisely 16:04 GMT today:
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Дженнер,_Кейтлин&diff=71189526&oldid=71178592

    The Hebrew version is holding fast, still, to its cojones. But there's been a bit of back-and-forth edit battling.

    Well, we'll have to wait and see how this plays out. If I were that Russian editor, I'd start checking my tea for Polonium ;)

  69. the emigration from Russia to Israel in 1970 – 2000 or so.

    Reminds me of that popular graffito of the 1980s: “Free Soviet Jews! Win valuable prizes.”

  70. anon • Disclaimer says:

    This morning the junta’s forces seriously increased their shelling of Donetsk and began an offensive. This is the worst fighting since the winter. Several dozen dead on each side during the day. I don’t know if this is a one-off thing or the start of a new military campaign. Going mostly by personal hunches I’d put the odds of the latter at 60% to 70%.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    At least Givi and Motorola are still alive and kicking:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lY1f0tBHqE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwAhyBJiag8
  71. @Romanian
    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/72706

    Confessions of a Russian Internet Troll

    Just throwing that out there. I'm agnostic on Russia (I like the people I can relate to, but I dislike the leadership), though I do blame its former incarnation as the USSR for my people's economic and political retardation (and moral maybe?). My small country benefits enormously from NATO and EU membership, as well as the existence of a predictable and fairly egalitarian international order (at least compared to previous ones), which Russia's actions in Ukraine have undermined, especially the part of not changing the borders through conflict. Then again, the Ukrainians were dicks, having pressured the leadership of Romania in its weak willed 1990s state to renounce all claims to the Budjak area of Moldova which had been attached by the USSR to the Ukrainian SSR, in the interest of helping their sovereignty post-independence (which it seems they were right in fearing for). That doesn't mean I condone the violence, and I do feel we dodged a bullet by ending claims on an area which had gone through a full ethnic rebalancing towards Russians and Ukrainians and could have been a poisoned pill given Russia's new stance on Russians abroad as a tool for excusing intervention.

    The bigger countries always feel corseted by supranational authorities hindering their agendas, including various global institutions and covenants(like the UK and France in the EU), but smaller nations invariably flourish in a more structured environment with less uncertainty regarding their territorial integrity. Whether it makes sense for the US to involve itself in the conflict is not something I should presume to lecture you on, one way or the other, because I'm automatically biased.

    One thing that isn't ordinarily a topic of discussion in the West, unless it deals with energy or football, is the extent of Russian economic involvement in its near abroad. You keep hearing about oil or natural gas, but less about dependency on Russian market and remittances from the ethnic minorities in Russia (in case of Georgia, Moldova or the Stans). Moldova and Tajikistan are in second and first place in the world when it comes to remittances as a share of GDP. In Moldova's case, its citizens go not just to Russia, but also to Ro and sometimes the EU, by claiming Romanian citizenship by virtue of having had one grandparent in the Greater Romanian Kingdom before WW2 (something I agree with). You also don't hear a lot about Russian ownership of key economic assets in countries in CEE which are now members of the EU, especially Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Half the industry in my hometown, which is a significant industrial center for the country, is owned by Russian companies like TMK who were there when they were privatized. The Russians got the largest aluminum plant in SE Europe and a lot of the downstream industries, like pipe and sheet making and other unsexy industrial products. A lot of the important banks from countries like Austria and Hungary have significant exposure to Russian capital. Through these ties of ownership and financing, both direct and indirect, you establish the means for influencing the country in question, squeezing a bit where it hurts, especially if economic considerations take a backseat to political ones.

    Thank you for your intelligent description of significant factors in world events. I believe that economic transactions are the most powerful variable, one that is seldom described by journalists or historians.

    I suspect the “movers and shakers” of events are deeply involved in these transactions and relationships and are perfectly happy that the rest of us know nothing about their activities. I think this has been the case for a very long time.

    Whenever I am in Eastern Europe, I see the Russian benzine and diesel stations, the German security companies, and other international ownership.

    Of particular importance to me, as an American Citizen, is our foolish economic relationship with China. We have helped Chinese interests build large capital investments and economic interests that will warp our foreign policy for generations. We have sold ourselves to a much larger population in return for cheap labor. (I have also seen how Asian companies have established a foothold in Eastern Europe, taking advantage of people there who need jobs. Those people work in terrible, Asian conditions.)

  72. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    General American ignorance on the account of the Russian history, Russia’s real state of the affairs, her culture etc. is such that even the slightest factual correction is perceived as some kind of trolling or psyops. In anything dealing with Russia of 20th and 21st centuries US, from an average Joe to the top levels of power elites, lives in the parallel universe. Few exceptions of robust professionals in State Dept or in other analytical structures , or in “academe” merely confirm the rule. I said it many times, I will repeat it again–the field of the so called Russian Studies in the US is DEAD. It is OVER. Russian history was solzhenitsified to the point of being unrecognizable, it also was largely written by Soviet “dissidents”. Why it is so–is another issue. Meanwhile the “track record” of all those US “Russia scholars” in the last 10-15 years is nothing short of unmitigated disaster–not a single correct prognoses, not a single shred of common sense, or, as it is known in real life–demonstration of utter incompetence in the subject of their “scholarship”. Hey, I may be myself a paid Putin’s troll. Meanwhile, the scale of sheer ignorance about Russia is well demonstrated on these discussion boards.

  73. @International Jew

    the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain’t exactly taking in a lot of boat people today
     
    .

    In his place, I wouldn't have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself.

    The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country -- Germany -- that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation. At most, they're escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they've crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they've already escaped their home country.

    As it happens, back in the 70s and 80s Israel took in a fair number of Vietnamese boat people (not Jewish, in case you're wondering), who really were refugees in a meaningful sense.

    “In his place, I wouldn’t have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself. The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country — Germany — that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation.”

    SFAIK, he was not deleting my comments. He certainly never stated that he was doing it. It’s extremely easy for users to block a comment on Instapundit, even accidentally, since the like button is right next to the report button. Even top-rated comments occasionally get blocked by mistake. IIRC, it only takes two commenters to do it.

    But as for your claim of me making a fool of myself, you are wrong. I won’t link to it, but feel free to Google the column by Phyllis Chesler. It is brazenly dishonest in every respect. She falsely reports the number of St. Louis passengers who died in the Holocaust and claims that only some of them were accepted by other countries. She does not mention that the passengers did not seek refuge in the Dominican Republic, despite that countries offer to accept 100,000 Jewish refugees (must have been afraid of vibrant Dominican neighborhoods).

    Her article mentions both boat people and the current situation in the Middle East, but does not mention that Israel ain’t taking in a single goddamned one of them, while viciously criticizing FDR and America for not taking in a few Jewish refugees 76 years ago. She attacks American anti-Semitism but mentions the Syrian Jewish community in New York without noting their viciously racist practices which Steve has posted on over the years. She insinuates that American immigration policies of yesteryear were racist without mentioning how rich, corrupt Jews have used their money and influence to secure favorable immigration rights for themselves – see the Cremieux Decree, the Lautenberg Amendment, etc., etc.

    I fail to see how the current situation isn’t relevant. We didn’t have any better information regarding the dangers to Germany’s Jews back in 1939 than we have on today’s refugees, and Israel has as much moral obligation as Europe to take them in.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    8

    We didn’t have any better information regarding the dangers to Germany’s Jews back in 1939 than we have on today’s refugees,
     
    You should read up on Kristallnacht. I, meanwhile, will look into why indeed the St. Louis didn't head for the Dominican Republic. About that, Wikipedia says only that it's not known why. If you can suggest some better sources I'd appreciate that.

    In any event, the Dominican Republic was not a bad place then, the captain was still in charge of the ship anyway, and the degree of desperation was great enough that he considered running the ship aground in Florida (a dangerous maneuver as we learned most recently with the Costa Concordia).


    and Israel has as much moral obligation as Europe to take them in.
     
    Israel taking in Syrians would be problematic, as Syria and Israel are still technically in a state of war. As for Africans, I think you and I and most of Steve's other readers can agree that those aren't refugees in any meaningul sense, and moreover that Europe has zero moral obligation to them. Israel's obligation to them is about the same.
  74. @SPMoore8
    I routinely flipflop among the languages I am familiar with on wikipedia just to look for any differences. I can assure you the Russians are attempting to catch up ......

    Дженнер получила международную известность как десятиборец

    "Jenner received international fame as decathlete", received with a feminine ending.

    I'm kind of bummed there isn't a page in Magyar to inspect.

    Heh, you’re right, I spoke too soon.
    The Russian Bruce Jenner page underwent a thorough sex-change operation at precisely 16:04 GMT today:
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Дженнер,_Кейтлин&diff=71189526&oldid=71178592

    The Hebrew version is holding fast, still, to its cojones. But there’s been a bit of back-and-forth edit battling.

    Well, we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. If I were that Russian editor, I’d start checking my tea for Polonium 😉

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    Your reports from these quarters are interesting. I wonder why the Ukrainian page has not been modified since 2013 - is there a technical problem, by any chance? If not, I have to say there's some hope for a country with such supreme indifference to this freak show.
  75. @International Jew
    Heh, you're right, I spoke too soon.
    The Russian Bruce Jenner page underwent a thorough sex-change operation at precisely 16:04 GMT today:
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Дженнер,_Кейтлин&diff=71189526&oldid=71178592

    The Hebrew version is holding fast, still, to its cojones. But there's been a bit of back-and-forth edit battling.

    Well, we'll have to wait and see how this plays out. If I were that Russian editor, I'd start checking my tea for Polonium ;)

    Your reports from these quarters are interesting. I wonder why the Ukrainian page has not been modified since 2013 – is there a technical problem, by any chance? If not, I have to say there’s some hope for a country with such supreme indifference to this freak show.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    I'm happy to report that the Ukrainian page has been updated to report the big news. So far, the verbs etc are all masculine.

    Not updating an article is indeed a sign of indifference, but an even stronger sign is not having an article at all. As it happens, yesterday there was no Bruce/Caitlin Jenner page in Arabic or Persian. As of today we have those too.
  76. @anonymous

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.
     
    Is that a job for the Russians to undertake? Isn't that an internal American issue? Shouldn't Americans themselves be linking up for their own values? The Russians have got Putin whose main job is to build up and strengthen their state. And we've got....?

    Putin represents a revival of a Russian tradition of centralized statism (a.k.a., czarism). That’s not an American tradition.

  77. @anon
    HA, since you are the iSteve commenter who talks about paid Putin shills the most, you are the one most likely to be a paid Hasbara shill. If so, I'm not impressed. You're neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the "Whiskey" level. They must not be paying well.

    The Hasbara site Steve linked to portrays college-age kids. Arguing about politics isn't like proving theorems. One gets better at it with age, not worse. Crystallized intelligence is more important here than the fluid kind. As is common sense. Look at the average age of popular pundits and successful politicians the world over.

    I guess Hasbara's thinking is "the young will have a greater chance of influencing the young." Yet when I was young I read people who seemed like they knew what they were talking about instead. I doubt I was unique in that.

    What evidence is there that Netanyahu’s government targets Putin’s government? Netanyahu’s frequent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was enthusiastic about promoting a warm alliance between the two, but both national leaders preferred to keep relations on the cool level due to being on different sides of the Team America, World Police divide, but without any hostility since new circumstances could bring about a formal alignment someday.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Russian Jewish "neocons" are on several orders of magnitude more educated and, plain simple, smarter than their American counter-parts. In fact, they identify first with Russia and only then with Israel. And then comes this issue of Holocaust and understanding who and how stopped it. I would love to see Evgenii Satanovsky eat alive all those US "neocon" "scholars"--that would be an awesome entertainment. I saw how Solovyov (who is Jew himself) wiped the floor with Ariel Cohen of Heritage Foundation in the studio of Solovyov's immensely popular talk-show The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov. That was breathtaking, Cohen literally couldn't answer and was left to smile like an idiot in response.
    , @anon
    Russia and Israel are certainly on opposite sides of the Syrian war. Israel would like Assad to go and Putin is supporting Assad. Russia also trades with Iran. If a color rev were pulled off in Moscow, that would stop.
  78. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    What evidence is there that Netanyahu's government targets Putin's government? Netanyahu's frequent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was enthusiastic about promoting a warm alliance between the two, but both national leaders preferred to keep relations on the cool level due to being on different sides of the Team America, World Police divide, but without any hostility since new circumstances could bring about a formal alignment someday.

    Russian Jewish “neocons” are on several orders of magnitude more educated and, plain simple, smarter than their American counter-parts. In fact, they identify first with Russia and only then with Israel. And then comes this issue of Holocaust and understanding who and how stopped it. I would love to see Evgenii Satanovsky eat alive all those US “neocon” “scholars”–that would be an awesome entertainment. I saw how Solovyov (who is Jew himself) wiped the floor with Ariel Cohen of Heritage Foundation in the studio of Solovyov’s immensely popular talk-show The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov. That was breathtaking, Cohen literally couldn’t answer and was left to smile like an idiot in response.

  79. @Steve Sailer
    What evidence is there that Netanyahu's government targets Putin's government? Netanyahu's frequent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was enthusiastic about promoting a warm alliance between the two, but both national leaders preferred to keep relations on the cool level due to being on different sides of the Team America, World Police divide, but without any hostility since new circumstances could bring about a formal alignment someday.

    Russia and Israel are certainly on opposite sides of the Syrian war. Israel would like Assad to go and Putin is supporting Assad. Russia also trades with Iran. If a color rev were pulled off in Moscow, that would stop.

  80. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @27 year old
    a mix of both liberal and conservative criticisms of Obama,
    Isn't mixing liberal and conservative complaints about the ruling class the entire point of the traditionalist/alt right/neoreactionary blogosphere?

    which no actual American would be likely to make.

    we're unpersons :(

    I’m not sure Putin really wants to link up with American traditionalists.

    He would if we had anything to offer him, but we don't.

    As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, Putin did link up with Marine Le Pen. Russian media covers her extremely favorably and she has said very kind things about Putin and Russia in return. I’m assuming that there is a financial relationship there as well.

    Russia isn’t good enough at PR to create viable opposition movements in countries that lack them. But if such opposition movements arise by themselves, it’s in Russia’s interest to support them.

    If someone with Pat Buchanan’s views achieves his old levels of support in the next presidential election, the polarity of RT’s coverage of race relations in the US will likely reverse.

  81. @anon
    This morning the junta's forces seriously increased their shelling of Donetsk and began an offensive. This is the worst fighting since the winter. Several dozen dead on each side during the day. I don't know if this is a one-off thing or the start of a new military campaign. Going mostly by personal hunches I'd put the odds of the latter at 60% to 70%.

    At least Givi and Motorola are still alive and kicking:

  82. HA says:
    @anon
    HA, since you are the iSteve commenter who talks about paid Putin shills the most, you are the one most likely to be a paid Hasbara shill. If so, I'm not impressed. You're neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the "Whiskey" level. They must not be paying well.

    The Hasbara site Steve linked to portrays college-age kids. Arguing about politics isn't like proving theorems. One gets better at it with age, not worse. Crystallized intelligence is more important here than the fluid kind. As is common sense. Look at the average age of popular pundits and successful politicians the world over.

    I guess Hasbara's thinking is "the young will have a greater chance of influencing the young." Yet when I was young I read people who seemed like they knew what they were talking about instead. I doubt I was unique in that.

    “You’re neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the “Whiskey” level.”

    Wow, some guy named “anon” says that I’m neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. How persuasive. Devastating, even. And have I really gone back to being Hasbara? Last time I heard, I’d been demoted to being just a semi-imaginary Pole. I’m happy to have moved back up in the world, but even though I’m guessing that one fiction is as good another to the RT fan club, you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they’re going to have any effect.

    But with regard to the rest of your scintillating repartee, let me report to my Hasbara masters and see how — if it is even possible — we can move past such a crushing rhetorical defeat.

    • Replies: @anon
    "you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they’re going to have any effect.

    Exactly my point. The reason you expect your opponents to coordinate with each other is that you're a part of a team that coordinates its message.

    "some guy named “anon”

    Did your parents name you HA? If not, what was the point of typing the above?
    , @anon
    I clicked on the link. Commenter "5371" did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole. He referred to a friend of the commenter AP whom he (AP) mentioned earlier in that thread.

    HA, you have very poor reading comprehension skills. I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon. It's not just that he and I use different handles. We also have different writing styles and political views.
  83. I don’t really have an opinion whether Putin is a good person or a bad person. I came across this article where Putin talks about his parents lives (they both died in the late 90’s).

    russia-insider.com/en/history/life-such-simple-yet-cruel-thing-vladimir-putin

    Compare Putin’s parents’ story to, say, Marco Rubio bleating about his parents having to work as a bartender and a seamstress. Boo hoo.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Here's a link to the article by Putin that's working:

    "Life Is Such a Simple, Yet Cruel Thing" By Vladimir Putin
    President Putin pens recollection of his family’s experience during the Leningrad siege


    http://russia-insider.com/en/history/life-such-simple-yet-cruel-thing-vladimir-putin/ri6661
  84. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "You’re neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the “Whiskey” level."

    Wow, some guy named "anon" says that I'm neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. How persuasive. Devastating, even. And have I really gone back to being Hasbara? Last time I heard, I'd been demoted to being just a semi-imaginary Pole. I'm happy to have moved back up in the world, but even though I'm guessing that one fiction is as good another to the RT fan club, you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they're going to have any effect.

    But with regard to the rest of your scintillating repartee, let me report to my Hasbara masters and see how -- if it is even possible -- we can move past such a crushing rhetorical defeat.

    “you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they’re going to have any effect.

    Exactly my point. The reason you expect your opponents to coordinate with each other is that you’re a part of a team that coordinates its message.

    “some guy named “anon”

    Did your parents name you HA? If not, what was the point of typing the above?

  85. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "You’re neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Your work is barely above the “Whiskey” level."

    Wow, some guy named "anon" says that I'm neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. How persuasive. Devastating, even. And have I really gone back to being Hasbara? Last time I heard, I'd been demoted to being just a semi-imaginary Pole. I'm happy to have moved back up in the world, but even though I'm guessing that one fiction is as good another to the RT fan club, you people really need to coordinate your lies a little better, if they're going to have any effect.

    But with regard to the rest of your scintillating repartee, let me report to my Hasbara masters and see how -- if it is even possible -- we can move past such a crushing rhetorical defeat.

    I clicked on the link. Commenter “5371” did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole. He referred to a friend of the commenter AP whom he (AP) mentioned earlier in that thread.

    HA, you have very poor reading comprehension skills. I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon. It’s not just that he and I use different handles. We also have different writing styles and political views.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon."

    Okay, but "anon" is not a very distinctive handle. Why don't you try adding something to it the way "Mr. Anon" is distinctive?

    , @HA
    "I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon.

    It amuses me to think that you think your posts are so notable and distinctive that they bear remembering, much less distinguishing from the innumerable other trolls/useful-idiots who shill out the same drivel day in and day out.

    "I clicked on the link. Commenter “5371″ did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole."

    Actually, with regard to the accusation in question, if you click the handy "this-comment-was-a-response-to" link at the top -- you know, where it says AP -- you will be taken to a post that consists primarily of a comment I had made. You obviously have some trouble navigating that complicated evidence trail yourself, so I've just helpfully linked to both these comments so you can give it another go. As of now, I think you need to bone up on your own reading comprehension (or mouse-clicking) skills before criticizing others, but others can follow that trail for themselves.

    And with regard to 'anon' vs 'HA' the point was that if you've purposely stripped yourself of name recognition -- and anon is pretty much going all the way -- you might want to try and bring something a little more to the table than simply passing your judgments along.

    Though I gotta admit, I'm still reeling from the devastating blow of being called 'not intelligent and not knowledgeable'. Whew! If that's the kind of rhetorical dazzle that the Putin PR army and its well-wishers regularly dish out, it's a wonder they haven't changed more hearts and minds along the way.

  86. @anon
    I clicked on the link. Commenter "5371" did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole. He referred to a friend of the commenter AP whom he (AP) mentioned earlier in that thread.

    HA, you have very poor reading comprehension skills. I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon. It's not just that he and I use different handles. We also have different writing styles and political views.

    “I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon.”

    Okay, but “anon” is not a very distinctive handle. Why don’t you try adding something to it the way “Mr. Anon” is distinctive?

  87. @22pp22
    The problem is that any comment that is not specifically anti-Russian is deemed to be the work of a paid troll. The word in England is a Kremkipper. I was barred from the NZ Conservative website for suggesting that a nuclear strike on Russia would really be a bad idea. I am always being accused of being Russian. The fact that I can read Russian and Ukrainian sources only makes it worse.

    “The problem is that any comment that is not specifically anti-Russian is deemed to be the work of a paid troll. ”

    During the late 1990s, I was accused of being “a Serb,” nearly every time I attempted to discuss U.S. foreign policy online. Of course, no one actually accused me of being paid for expressing my view that there was, for example, no particular reason the USA needed to be bombing Belgrade.

  88. HA says:
    @anon
    I clicked on the link. Commenter "5371" did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole. He referred to a friend of the commenter AP whom he (AP) mentioned earlier in that thread.

    HA, you have very poor reading comprehension skills. I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon. It's not just that he and I use different handles. We also have different writing styles and political views.

    “I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon.

    It amuses me to think that you think your posts are so notable and distinctive that they bear remembering, much less distinguishing from the innumerable other trolls/useful-idiots who shill out the same drivel day in and day out.

    “I clicked on the link. Commenter “5371″ did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole.”

    Actually, with regard to the accusation in question, if you click the handy “this-comment-was-a-response-to” link at the top — you know, where it says AP — you will be taken to a post that consists primarily of a comment I had made. You obviously have some trouble navigating that complicated evidence trail yourself, so I’ve just helpfully linked to both these comments so you can give it another go. As of now, I think you need to bone up on your own reading comprehension (or mouse-clicking) skills before criticizing others, but others can follow that trail for themselves.

    And with regard to ‘anon’ vs ‘HA’ the point was that if you’ve purposely stripped yourself of name recognition — and anon is pretty much going all the way — you might want to try and bring something a little more to the table than simply passing your judgments along.

    Though I gotta admit, I’m still reeling from the devastating blow of being called ‘not intelligent and not knowledgeable’. Whew! If that’s the kind of rhetorical dazzle that the Putin PR army and its well-wishers regularly dish out, it’s a wonder they haven’t changed more hearts and minds along the way.

    • Replies: @anon
    Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole. In repsonse to being called unintelligent you did something very unintelligent. Namely, you assumed that they talked about you when they obviously didn't. I think that's pretty funny.

    And judging from your last repsonse you still haven't understood what exactly your mistake was.
  89. @International Jew

    the author slammed FDR for not taking in a handful of boat people 76 years ago while conveniently not noticing that Israel ain’t exactly taking in a lot of boat people today
     
    .

    In his place, I wouldn't have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself.

    The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country -- Germany -- that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation. At most, they're escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they've crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they've already escaped their home country.

    As it happens, back in the 70s and 80s Israel took in a fair number of Vietnamese boat people (not Jewish, in case you're wondering), who really were refugees in a meaningful sense.

    At most, they’re escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they’ve crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they’ve already escaped their home country.

    Couldn’t the same be said about German Jews in the 1930’s? Once they got out of Germany, they escaped. Granted they might not have been safe in a neighboring European nation, but once they got onto the ships and headed to the Atlantic, they could have sailed to several other nations besides the USA and been perfectly safe. Or, they could have skipped the boats and made the relatively short journey to Turkey.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    A ship at sea is hardly a new home. And though there were indeed many countries they could have sailed to, the problem was being allowed to land. And no, Turkey was no different.

    For more, please see my response to Wlkey on this thread.
  90. 27 year old

    I noticed the same thing about RT basically parroting the US ruling class storylines. But I don’t see it as a mistake the way you do. I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy and playing a long game to weaken their enemy…

    These masses of racist americans have no power. None. There is nothing to be gained in Russia making inroads with them.?

    This is all true but they are also not making life easy for those friends who do have power.

    The Czech and Slovak leaders have dismayed many of their neighbours for their opposition to sanctions against Russia and some public statements they’ve made on Ukraine. Same with the recent controversy over going to Moscow to commemorate the Red Army “liberation”. Czech President Zeman has enraged much of the country (much to the private delight of the opposition) with his somewhat pro-Moscow stance.

    This week, just ahead of the Slovak PM’s visit to Moscow Russia blacklisted numerous prominent Czechs and Slovaks in retaliation for similar Western action. But that wasn’t enough, Russian state TV also aired a documentary justifying the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The invasion, you see, prevented a pro-NATO coup and was opposed by, you guessed it, fascists and collaborators with fascists. (Hmm, where have I heard that before?). The Russian ambassador was summoned to explain these events and poor Zeman was once again put on the defensive thanks to his new best friends in Moscow. The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    The fact that the state television Rossija 1 broadcast this false and truth-distorting work is even more striking in that only a few weeks ago the Slovak Government vigorously and unequivocally refused all the attempts to purposefully revise history vis-à-vis the liberating of Europe from Nazism – casting doubt on the role of the Red Army…

    Broadcasting this documentary, which attempts to rewrite history and to falsify historical truths about such a dark chapter of our history, damages the traditionally good relations between Slovakia and Russia.

    Maybe the Russians have good reasons to be confident they can apply pressure to and insult their “friends” without completely losing them. Just like there must be some reason why 25 years of independence from Moscow so many of Prague’s overwhelmingly Russian mafia crooks, currency/internet scam artists, and various other criminals are left alone by Prague’s corrupt police to continue their activities. Hmm.

    Even Belarus is starting to get annoyed by Russian actions, well, maybe statements more than actions. It’s almost as if the Russians want to alienate everyone.

  91. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "I also remember you repeatedly confusing me (anon) with Mr. Anon.

    It amuses me to think that you think your posts are so notable and distinctive that they bear remembering, much less distinguishing from the innumerable other trolls/useful-idiots who shill out the same drivel day in and day out.

    "I clicked on the link. Commenter “5371″ did not refer to you when he mentioned that Pole."

    Actually, with regard to the accusation in question, if you click the handy "this-comment-was-a-response-to" link at the top -- you know, where it says AP -- you will be taken to a post that consists primarily of a comment I had made. You obviously have some trouble navigating that complicated evidence trail yourself, so I've just helpfully linked to both these comments so you can give it another go. As of now, I think you need to bone up on your own reading comprehension (or mouse-clicking) skills before criticizing others, but others can follow that trail for themselves.

    And with regard to 'anon' vs 'HA' the point was that if you've purposely stripped yourself of name recognition -- and anon is pretty much going all the way -- you might want to try and bring something a little more to the table than simply passing your judgments along.

    Though I gotta admit, I'm still reeling from the devastating blow of being called 'not intelligent and not knowledgeable'. Whew! If that's the kind of rhetorical dazzle that the Putin PR army and its well-wishers regularly dish out, it's a wonder they haven't changed more hearts and minds along the way.

    Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole. In repsonse to being called unintelligent you did something very unintelligent. Namely, you assumed that they talked about you when they obviously didn’t. I think that’s pretty funny.

    And judging from your last repsonse you still haven’t understood what exactly your mistake was.

    • Replies: @HA
    "Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole."

    Again, you seem to think your assertions and opinions carry a lot more weight than they do. That's adorable, in a way, but also really sad.

    Those less beholden to your peculiar way of reading the world can follow the links for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

    , @5371
    I think our brilliant friend "HA" is attempting to confess, in as straightforward a way as he can manage, that he himself is another sockpuppet of the same mastermind responsible for ''AP'' and ''Dr. Preobrazhensky''.
  92. @Hersh
    I don't really have an opinion whether Putin is a good person or a bad person. I came across this article where Putin talks about his parents lives (they both died in the late 90's).

    russia-insider.com/en/history/life-such-simple-yet-cruel-thing-vladimir-putin

    Compare Putin's parents' story to, say, Marco Rubio bleating about his parents having to work as a bartender and a seamstress. Boo hoo.

    Here’s a link to the article by Putin that’s working:

    “Life Is Such a Simple, Yet Cruel Thing” By Vladimir Putin
    President Putin pens recollection of his family’s experience during the Leningrad siege

    http://russia-insider.com/en/history/life-such-simple-yet-cruel-thing-vladimir-putin/ri6661

    • Replies: @anon
    It's an incredible story. On the 70th anniversary of the USSR's vistory in the war, less than a month ago, huge crowds marched across Russia with pictures of family members who served. It's a relatively new tradition called the Immortal Regiment. Putin participated in the Moscow march with his father's picture:

    http://img.gazeta.ru/files3/417/6680417/RIAN_02622149.HR.ru-pic4_zoom-1000x1000-49262.jpg

    My own grandfather went through the whole war. Like Putin's father he did not like to talk about it.
  93. @anonymous

    I think Russia is still in cold war mode in the sense of seeing america as the enemy
     
    America is in actual fact their enemy and has proven it over and over again. The Russians are not stupid and can learn from experience.

    America is in actual fact their enemy and has proven it over and over again. The Russians are not stupid and can learn from experience.

    Yep

  94. If people want to see some good, pro-rebel videos from Donbass, check out Kazzura’s channel at YouTube. She has a good one of their new navy of sorts that’s entitled: “”Typhoon” Azov sea flotilla formed in DPR “. The Christ flag and drone camera shots add to the whole thing.

  95. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Cagey Beast
    Here's a link to the article by Putin that's working:

    "Life Is Such a Simple, Yet Cruel Thing" By Vladimir Putin
    President Putin pens recollection of his family’s experience during the Leningrad siege


    http://russia-insider.com/en/history/life-such-simple-yet-cruel-thing-vladimir-putin/ri6661

    It’s an incredible story. On the 70th anniversary of the USSR’s vistory in the war, less than a month ago, huge crowds marched across Russia with pictures of family members who served. It’s a relatively new tradition called the Immortal Regiment. Putin participated in the Moscow march with his father’s picture:

    My own grandfather went through the whole war. Like Putin’s father he did not like to talk about it.

  96. HA says:
    @anon
    Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole. In repsonse to being called unintelligent you did something very unintelligent. Namely, you assumed that they talked about you when they obviously didn't. I think that's pretty funny.

    And judging from your last repsonse you still haven't understood what exactly your mistake was.

    “Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole.”

    Again, you seem to think your assertions and opinions carry a lot more weight than they do. That’s adorable, in a way, but also really sad.

    Those less beholden to your peculiar way of reading the world can follow the links for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

    • Replies: @anon
    HA, I'm going to try to explain this to you in simple sentences. By the way, please tell me that you're not 85 years old or something. I'd feel bad about making fun of old-age dementia. I really would.

    You said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole. And you pasted a link to support that claim. The link was to a comment by "5371". In it he addressed another commenter named AP. AP had earlier told a story about a Polish friend of his. 5371 doubted the veracity of that story and implied that AP might have invented his Polish friend. By the way, I personally have no reason to doubt the veracity of AP's story.

    Anyway, neither AP nor 5371 ever implied that this Pole was you. When you said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole, you were wrong.
  97. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole."

    Again, you seem to think your assertions and opinions carry a lot more weight than they do. That's adorable, in a way, but also really sad.

    Those less beholden to your peculiar way of reading the world can follow the links for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

    HA, I’m going to try to explain this to you in simple sentences. By the way, please tell me that you’re not 85 years old or something. I’d feel bad about making fun of old-age dementia. I really would.

    You said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole. And you pasted a link to support that claim. The link was to a comment by “5371”. In it he addressed another commenter named AP. AP had earlier told a story about a Polish friend of his. 5371 doubted the veracity of that story and implied that AP might have invented his Polish friend. By the way, I personally have no reason to doubt the veracity of AP’s story.

    Anyway, neither AP nor 5371 ever implied that this Pole was you. When you said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole, you were wrong.

    • Replies: @5371
    Then again, perhaps I'm overthinking this and your conjecture of cerebral lesions is closer to the mark.
  98. @anon
    Neither 5371 nor AP referred to you when they talked about that Pole. In repsonse to being called unintelligent you did something very unintelligent. Namely, you assumed that they talked about you when they obviously didn't. I think that's pretty funny.

    And judging from your last repsonse you still haven't understood what exactly your mistake was.

    I think our brilliant friend “HA” is attempting to confess, in as straightforward a way as he can manage, that he himself is another sockpuppet of the same mastermind responsible for ”AP” and ”Dr. Preobrazhensky”.

    • Replies: @HA
    "I think our brilliant friend “HA” is attempting to confess,..."

    Thanks for admitting that I am indeed the semi-imaginary (or sock puppet) Pole in question. I doubt that will get 'anon' to shut up, or to admit that perhaps he's not the ultimate authority of what is on other people's minds, but there are asylums that specialize in treating conditions like that.

    And as for Hasbara/Pole/AP-sock-puppet or whatever else I'm supposed to be today, you guys are 0 for 3. Like I said, sometimes the only thing necessary to win the opinion wars is to ensure that the loony conspiracy theorists are mostly on the other side.

  99. @inertial
    Congratulations, you have discovered Russian attention-seeking clowns.

    Congratulations, you have discovered Russian attention-seeking clowns.

    Yup, I also found North Korean attention-seeking clowns:

  100. @anon
    Israel spends money on Hasbara not because blog comments change a lot of minds but because all the real mind-shaping instruments - big Western media companies - are already pro-Israel. Blog presence is mopping up after the big battle.

    I'm sure that an oligarch connected to the Kremlin would not be able to buy a big Western media company for any price. Western elites only pretend to be capitalist. Ideology always trumps profit with them. So Russia isn't really a participant in the big media battles in the West. I don't think my cable company even carries RT. Is Russia a participant in the nearly-irrelevant blog comment skirmishes? Its enemies say that it is. Doesn't mean that's true. But I guess it could be. My point is that that's not where the big game is played.

    Yep all all western media outlets are pro Israel, the BBC being the most obvious example. It’s actually amazing how parochial some Americans are.

  101. HA says:
    @5371
    I think our brilliant friend "HA" is attempting to confess, in as straightforward a way as he can manage, that he himself is another sockpuppet of the same mastermind responsible for ''AP'' and ''Dr. Preobrazhensky''.

    “I think our brilliant friend “HA” is attempting to confess,…”

    Thanks for admitting that I am indeed the semi-imaginary (or sock puppet) Pole in question. I doubt that will get ‘anon’ to shut up, or to admit that perhaps he’s not the ultimate authority of what is on other people’s minds, but there are asylums that specialize in treating conditions like that.

    And as for Hasbara/Pole/AP-sock-puppet or whatever else I’m supposed to be today, you guys are 0 for 3. Like I said, sometimes the only thing necessary to win the opinion wars is to ensure that the loony conspiracy theorists are mostly on the other side.

  102. @anon
    HA, I'm going to try to explain this to you in simple sentences. By the way, please tell me that you're not 85 years old or something. I'd feel bad about making fun of old-age dementia. I really would.

    You said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole. And you pasted a link to support that claim. The link was to a comment by "5371". In it he addressed another commenter named AP. AP had earlier told a story about a Polish friend of his. 5371 doubted the veracity of that story and implied that AP might have invented his Polish friend. By the way, I personally have no reason to doubt the veracity of AP's story.

    Anyway, neither AP nor 5371 ever implied that this Pole was you. When you said that others have called you a semi-imaginary Pole, you were wrong.

    Then again, perhaps I’m overthinking this and your conjecture of cerebral lesions is closer to the mark.

  103. @Rob McX
    Your reports from these quarters are interesting. I wonder why the Ukrainian page has not been modified since 2013 - is there a technical problem, by any chance? If not, I have to say there's some hope for a country with such supreme indifference to this freak show.

    I’m happy to report that the Ukrainian page has been updated to report the big news. So far, the verbs etc are all masculine.

    Not updating an article is indeed a sign of indifference, but an even stronger sign is not having an article at all. As it happens, yesterday there was no Bruce/Caitlin Jenner page in Arabic or Persian. As of today we have those too.

  104. @Wilkey
    "In his place, I wouldn’t have deleted your comment, but he did you a favor not letting you make a fool of yourself. The passengers on the St Louis were fleeing a country — Germany — that was determined to kill every last one of them. African migrants into Israel are hardly in that situation."

    SFAIK, he was not deleting my comments. He certainly never stated that he was doing it. It's extremely easy for users to block a comment on Instapundit, even accidentally, since the like button is right next to the report button. Even top-rated comments occasionally get blocked by mistake. IIRC, it only takes two commenters to do it.

    But as for your claim of me making a fool of myself, you are wrong. I won't link to it, but feel free to Google the column by Phyllis Chesler. It is brazenly dishonest in every respect. She falsely reports the number of St. Louis passengers who died in the Holocaust and claims that only some of them were accepted by other countries. She does not mention that the passengers did not seek refuge in the Dominican Republic, despite that countries offer to accept 100,000 Jewish refugees (must have been afraid of vibrant Dominican neighborhoods).

    Her article mentions both boat people and the current situation in the Middle East, but does not mention that Israel ain't taking in a single goddamned one of them, while viciously criticizing FDR and America for not taking in a few Jewish refugees 76 years ago. She attacks American anti-Semitism but mentions the Syrian Jewish community in New York without noting their viciously racist practices which Steve has posted on over the years. She insinuates that American immigration policies of yesteryear were racist without mentioning how rich, corrupt Jews have used their money and influence to secure favorable immigration rights for themselves - see the Cremieux Decree, the Lautenberg Amendment, etc., etc.

    I fail to see how the current situation isn't relevant. We didn't have any better information regarding the dangers to Germany's Jews back in 1939 than we have on today's refugees, and Israel has as much moral obligation as Europe to take them in.

    8

    We didn’t have any better information regarding the dangers to Germany’s Jews back in 1939 than we have on today’s refugees,

    You should read up on Kristallnacht. I, meanwhile, will look into why indeed the St. Louis didn’t head for the Dominican Republic. About that, Wikipedia says only that it’s not known why. If you can suggest some better sources I’d appreciate that.

    In any event, the Dominican Republic was not a bad place then, the captain was still in charge of the ship anyway, and the degree of desperation was great enough that he considered running the ship aground in Florida (a dangerous maneuver as we learned most recently with the Costa Concordia).

    and Israel has as much moral obligation as Europe to take them in.

    Israel taking in Syrians would be problematic, as Syria and Israel are still technically in a state of war. As for Africans, I think you and I and most of Steve’s other readers can agree that those aren’t refugees in any meaningul sense, and moreover that Europe has zero moral obligation to them. Israel’s obligation to them is about the same.

  105. @iSteveFan

    At most, they’re escaping home countries that have a lot of violent chaos and random murder, and in any case once they reach Israel they’ve crossed through at least one more country (Egypt and possibly Sudan too) so technically they’ve already escaped their home country.
     
    Couldn't the same be said about German Jews in the 1930's? Once they got out of Germany, they escaped. Granted they might not have been safe in a neighboring European nation, but once they got onto the ships and headed to the Atlantic, they could have sailed to several other nations besides the USA and been perfectly safe. Or, they could have skipped the boats and made the relatively short journey to Turkey.

    A ship at sea is hardly a new home. And though there were indeed many countries they could have sailed to, the problem was being allowed to land. And no, Turkey was no different.

    For more, please see my response to Wlkey on this thread.

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