Sorry this is so horribly late. I’ve been trying to finish a few commissioned covers so I can close that to do list before the end of the year.
I actually meant to write this yesterday, but was fairly useless by the end of the evening and knew I wouldn’t find the right words.
I’ve got bad news and good news.
The bad news is that having figured out two more or less permanent burrs and occasional (very occasional) posters on this blog are actually trolls and probably paid, one of them for sure Turkish (and probably not the one I said so) the other one just a Johnny-one-note who has been calling for blood and guts and inciting physical revolution everywhere he posts and frankly apropos nothing much, I realized it’s going to get much much worse. Which means things are going to get very confused. And it’s all going to ramp up to 11 in the lead up to the election. Which means there’s a few things we must establish up front, if this blog is going to be any use.
Softheads – When I talk about softheads, it’s not necessarily an insult. Some people are more prone to emotional manipulation than others, particularly emotional manipulation in one direction.
This has nothing to do with intellectual capacity. In fact, some of the most susceptible to emotional manipulation are really brilliant people. I’m one of those people, give or take the brilliance (meh) because I tend to try to be rational, which means emotion gets in under my guard. For instance, until Trump won in 2016 I didn’t realize how depressed — despairing, in fact — I’d been.
Yeah, if you go back and read my posts, it doesn’t come across that way, but trust me, it was as though a weight lifted off my mind, such a weight that I hadn’t been able to think straight around it.
But I’m a depressive. As a depressive, I have to be aware of the “burn it all down” and “let’s light the funeral pyre” impulses. I have to, because I had to learn to compensate for those, or I’d never have lived past my teenage years. (And the explosion would have been EPIC.)
Can I be a softhead though? Oh, sure. Until two friends, one a Libertarian icon and one a Conservative icon, (in amazing agreement) sat me down separately and made the case for Trump, I was ready to get locked into never-Trump land. It was only after they talked to me that I took a look at who my companions were on that side, and recoiled. Though even now I’m saddened and mildly angry at how many people I used to trust are all ready to vote for a commie instead of for a president who has turned out much better than even his supporters could have anticipated (except Scott Adams, of course.)
And how many of them are actual embedded leftist agents, and how many are softheads? I doubt they themselves know. When you are subjected to a lot of push from everyone around you, and people you are used to trust and think reasonable, you tend to go along and have trouble breaking out of it.
Humans are social creatures. None of us is immune.
Trolls – I always knew we had a few trolls here. Some of them are just people who hate me, personally (bats eyelashes. One only knows why! Me, who am all sweetness and light) and some are people with a deep agenda. Some are even very subtle. Normally I only block people when they really get on my nerves. RES (it’s all the wallaby’s fault) and I had a discussion about blocking, must be six? years ago now. He gave me the key to blocking, which is “block people who act like the drunk uncle at a wedding” and therefore diminish everyone’s ability to communicate.
But I might have to do more work, in the future, like search those people who seem to have a specific agenda (which is how I found belisarios whatever has a Turkish last name, and the twitter under his email is in Turkish (and also sells dubious copies of CDs and DVDs.) So it seems to be obvious that we are dealing with paid (a friend who works in the field of well… fraud, tells me Turkish trolls are cheap) elements, spreading a specific message.
And the message, honestly is “All is lost, let you and him fight.”
Anyway, I’ll have to get more proactive on that.
Disinformation campaigns – it has become obvious that there are several disinformation campaigns going on. The Steele Dossier might be the most innocent of those because it was aimed at the press and high level political stuff. But look, in a global world, where trolls can be had for very cheap abroad, and where the opinion making is moving off the main stream media and onto blogs and websites, the enemies of the US both internal and external (FYI most of them are a continuum, honestly) WILL use cheap trolls for disinformation but more importantly to shape mood and influence reactions (Facebook ran studies on this since 2015. WHAT do you think it’s being used for?)
We’re no longer in the land of the copy-pasta trolls we’ve all known since 9/11. These are highly sophisticated and can make softheads of some fairly smart and influential people.
You can tell it’s a campaign though through several signals:
The first and most important is that it comes LITERALLY out of nowhere. I.e. it might be a perennial issue, and one the right roughly agrees on, but suddenly it’s EVERYWHERE at once.
The recent “ahhhhhh porn!” campaign is typical of this. Suddenly, it was everywhere. Friends (okay, okay, acquaintances. Those people are nuts) who are on the chans tell me these are tested there first, and from there appear in fringe blogs that are … uh…. not necessarily what they seem to be. Or at least some of them aren’t.
And then with amazing suddenness it’s everywhere, including the most respectable sites on the right/libertarian spectrum.
That one, shocked the heck out of me, with how rapidly it propagated and has me questioning the softhead/infiltrator continuum. (though honestly it could be just susceptibility.)
It was a campaign designed to divide the right, specifically; one that’s hard to answer, because honestly who is PRO porn; and one that was designed to weaken the first amendment, which is congruent with the left’s aims. (Give government a chance to regulate porn, and everything from “gun porn” to “religious porn” can be forbidden. In fact, China bans “unrealistic” stories under that heading. Think about it.)
Also, note, when most of the right from libertarians to conservatives went “wait, what” the entire topic went away, very rapidly.
But mostly, mostly, the main thing to look at is “What in heck brought this obsession about?” “What brought this up, all of a sudden?”
In the same way, before the election in 16 there was something like it with “burn it all down” without waiting for the election. It wasn’t as blatant, and it didn’t get to the best sites overnight. But it was … curiously out of tune with the times. Even those like me who were sure it was all lost (but was trying not to betray it) thought it was a little weird that it was coming out of nowhere and insisting we burn it all down before the election.
The definite bad news is that it’s gotten much worse and the trolls/agents have gotten much better at their job.
The good news is that the reason this is happening is that Trump has turned out much much better than expected, and that his policies are good for America which means they’re making rivals and enemies of America deeply uncomfortable and scared.
Take fracking, which has made us net energy exporters. This is going to hurt a broad range of countries from the Middle East to Russia. And some of them have no way to save themselves if the price of oil won’t come back up.
The idea of Trump being re-elected is an existential threat to them. And most of them can’t face the American armed forces, but they can get Americans at each other’s throats.
They are probably doing this to the left as well, which explains the utterly crazy-cakes shampeachment, not to mention the insane candidates the left is fielding.
Both of which also fall under evil will oft evil mar. I.e. if the left weren’t fielding such insane candidates, there wouldn’t be the need for a campaign to start the boogaloo NOW before Trump gets reelected. But then, these people don’t understand Americans very well.
The more it looks like Trump will be re-elected, the worse the disinformation via trolls and agents will get, and the louder the calls to start the boogaloo now, as well as branding anyone who says “the heck” as a coward or an enemy agent.
But I want you to pause and think about it: all of us who AREN’T Never-Trumpers agree that Trump fights. And that he’s not a coward. And yet, has he fielded armies? No? Then maybe it’s not a time for a physical fight.
Yes, the situation in Virginia is worrisome. Yes, the possibility of massive fraud come November has me using up a lot of hair dye. BUT neither of of those has come to a point yet where the calls to boogaloo make any sense. Virginia might. They’re tap-dancing on a powder barrel. But it hasn’t YET. And as for election fraud a) the president and various groups have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. b) does anyone think Trump will take fraud lying down. c) the left has no clue how to act by stealth anymore. They counted on a complicit press. They’re sure to botch it. They’re sure to be obvious.
The shampeachment? It’s bizarre and indicates a level of disconnect from reality that has most of us going “Wait, what?” but I think in the end it’s a leftist own-goal.
So, as I said before, there might be a time for this word. The time is not now. And anyone screaming for it now is either being paid to (I find it interesting two of the almost-for-sure paid people were screaming for just that) or are people whose (usually depressive) tone of mind predisposes them to buy what the left is selling (just like the very moral fell for the “urgency of hampering the first amendment to stop porn.”)
If you’re a regular here, and I’ve known you for years, much less if you’re someone I’ve considered a friend, if I smack your nose when you start repeating whatever the campaign of the day is, it’s not personal. Unless someone has stolen your account (it happens, we’ve had two cases here of someone impersonating a regular, some years ago) I know you’re not a troll. If someone makes you think I’m attacking you (and hey, it could be word press. Some threads are hard to track) that person probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart. That said, I might smack noses. The person who smacks your nose to keep you running off the ledge is not an enemy. (I got my nose smacked hard, granted in private, in the run up to 2016. In private, in one case, in public but in person in another.) If you think I smacked your nose unduly hard, you probably have my email. You wouldn’t be the first one to email me and go “I really am not a troll and I don’t know why my IP shows THAT.”
BUT more importantly, I’d appreciate it if you discuss the subjects rationally and allow yourself not just to reconsider your positions, but to consider what I’m saying, and also where you might have got the ideas/influence pushing you the other way.
Because the campaigns are going to get worse, and the trolls more subtle leading up to November. As I said, Trump’s reelection is an existential threat to foreign and domestic enemies, who might not be able to hold on another 4 years.
And that later is the very good news.
They’re fighting very hard to divide and us and get us to destroy ourselves because they’re losing power. And they’re afraid of losing permanently.
Be not afraid and do not fall into despair.