Querulous Questions Quickly

Funny thing about it is that I did not pay any attention to Q (#QAnon) – I was barely even aware of the phenomenon – until key elements of the extremely anti-@realDonaldTrump mainstream media freaked out over it after some folks turned up at a Trump rally wearing Q-related t-shirts.

What caught my attention were a number of virtually simultaneous denunciations of QAnon as a dangerous, right-wing conspiracy theory that broke out like rashes after a naked orgy in a bed of poison ivy on the thin skins of well-known fake news media including CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

It was immediately clear to me that anything that could so totally get their knickers in a twist was something I should surely pay more attention to than I had previously (which was, in effect, none at all).

Having put in a fair amount of time checking it out, I have no doubt that, at the very least, there is some serious there there! Q/QAnon is an important element in the unfolding drama that is the highly entertaining and amusing Reality TV show that is not just American politics, but world affairs today.

We’ll have more to say about it later but, for now, my advice to anyone who wants to have a clue about what’s going on in the world is: Check it out!

Here are a few links for the Qurious:

A mother lode of Q posts: https://qanon.pub/

Another: https://qmap.pub

A good (and reasonably sane) beginners guide to Q: 

A sort of ‘founding document’ explanation: 

A typical MSM denunciation of Q: 

A good recent (7 September 2018) update analysis: 

Another interesting perspective here:

A Contrarian Hypothesis Re: Michael Cohen

In a very interesting interview article by Isaac Chotiner with former Starr investigation attorney Paul Rosenzweig in Slate titled “What is Michael Cohen’s Endgame?” Rosenzweig expresses skepticism about the likelihood of Cohen cutting a plea bargain deal favorable to himself with prosecutors assuming, as seems likely, that he will eventually be charged with something or other. Like virtually all coverage to date, Chotiner’s article and Rosenzweig’s comments rest on the assumption that it is the Mueller investigation that is the primary mover behind the search warrant on Cohen. That looks like a reasonable assumption.

It is not, however, the only possibility. Cohen’s office was searched and documents and recordings were seized under a search warrant on April 9, 2018. President Trump terminated Cohen as (one of his) attorney(s) shortly thereafter, in May 2018. The mainstream media (MSM) immediately assumed this was somehow going to be very bad for Trump.

Recent events, however, hint at what might be a very different scenario:

First, Cohen’s own oddly public discussion(s) of the matter and his leaking of a partial recording (consistently referred to by the MSM as a ‘tape’ though more likely made with a digital voice recorder) of a phone conversation with Trump are, as Rosenzweig points out in the article cited above, extremely bizarre behavior for anyone with a real possibility of cutting a deal with prosecutors who are out to get Trump.

Second, Trump’s attorneys willingly and quickly waved attorney-client privilege with regard to all the recordings seized from Cohen’s office. This, even though the recordings of Trump were classified as privileged by the court and could have remained so if Trump’s attorneys wanted them to.

Third, Trump’s highly visible ‘spokes-attorney’ Rudy Giuliani has recently, in a Fox News interview, said that a) he expects all of Cohen’s recordings will eventually be made public and that b) he’d be happy to have them all made public immediately! Giuliani was obviously cheerful and very much enjoying himself in that interview, clearly expecting that release of all the tapes would reflect negatively on Cohen and pose no problem whatsoever for President Trump.

Fourth, Giuliani and others have hinted that many of Cohen’s recordings were with members of the press. Recall that the Trump administration was, early on, plagued by unfavorable leaks from ‘inside the White House’ to hostile members of the media. Such leaks began considerably to diminish in frequency and severity starting late in the spring of 2017.

Fifth, and finally, the search warrant against Cohen was issued as part of a criminal investigation by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York , not directly by the Mueller investigation. Note, too, that it is said to have been pressure from that very office that led James Comey to decide he had to reverse Peter Strzok‘s month-long ignoring of the issue of the presence of Hillary Clinton‘s emails on Anthony Wiener‘s laptop and to publicly address the matter just a week before the 2016 election.

Add it all up and a very interesting possibility emerges: The possibility that it was not Mueller but, rather, the Trump administration that was the real driver behind the investigation of Michael Cohen.

Perhaps Trump or Trump’s people began to suspect that Michael Cohen was the source of many of the damaging leaks to the hostile media and perhaps also working against his client’s (President Trump’s) interests in other ways as well. Perhaps they suspected him of disloyalty and betrayal, maybe even collusion with the #neverTrump movement.

Admittedly this is very speculative at this point, however it is an alternative way for “Reading the Signs of the Times” that is remarkably consistent with the five points noted above. I’m just sayin’ . . ..

 

 

Understanding Donald Trump

Although many, perhaps most, Americans clearly have strong opinions about President Donald J. Trump, pro and con, few really understand him. This is true not only for his #neverTrump haters, deeply afflicted with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) as they undoubtedly are, but for the majority of his more-or-less supporters as well.

This was egregiously demonstrated by some generally pro-Trump Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Trey Gowdy who at least briefly joined the Democrats and the MSM (mainstream media) in their cringing, hand-wringing reaction to Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin. Gingrich and Gowdy clearly failed to understand what, in fact, President Trump was (and is) doing with Putin (and the EU, NATO, North Korea and much more), why, and how he is doing it. They just don’t get it.

The key to understanding Trump is actually quite easy; quite simple. But it is so different from contemporary ‘conventional wisdom’ that for most folks, it is like the late Chicago comedian Lord Buckley‘s characterization of the bear dance in his delightful “God’s Own Drunk” comedy monologue about the whiskey still: “It was like the jitterbug. It was so simple it evaded me!”

We actually indicated the key to understanding Trump in the very first post here on semiotic.com back in the wee hours of the night on December 16, 2015 when we confidently (and correctly) said:

The Professional Pontificators got it wrong, again. They are all over the place trying to make sense of last night’s (Tuesday, 15 December, 2015) Republican debate and they are as clueless as ever. Trump is going to win. He’s going to win the Republican nomination. He’s going to win the general election in November 2016. And he’s going to win by a lot. Here’s why (and how).

Adding:

He is also not the least bit crazy, erratic, impulsive, or reckless. His ‘crazy’ is entirely as in “crazy like a fox”. It is deliberate, conscious, carefully crafted, and used as an instrument (or, when necessary, weapon) to get the results he aims to get. Whether he has ever read it or not, he embodies the practical wisdom described in Thomas Cleary’s “Thunder in the Sky: Secrets on the Acquisition and Exercise of Power”, a brilliant translation of two Chinese Taoist classics: “The Master of Demon Valley” and “The Master of the Hidden Storehouse.”

But the most concise statement of the real key to understanding Trump is in another of Cleary’s books: The Book of Leadership and Strategy,  a translation from the Huainanzi, characterized on Wikipedia as “an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of essays that resulted from a series of scholarly debates held at the court of Liu AnKing of Huainan, sometime before 139 BC.”

The most concise key to understanding Trump may be found on page 69 of  The Book of Leadership and Strategy. It is as follows:

The way of the warrior is to show others softness but meet them with firmness, to show others weakness but to surmount them with strength, to shrink back from them but reach out to counter them.

When where you are coming from is not where you are going, and what you show is not what you plan, then no one can tell what you are doing. You are like lightning — no one can anticipate where it will strike, and it never strikes twice in the same place.

Therefore, your victories can be one hundred percent complete, in communion with hidden knowledge. When no one knows your door, this is called supreme genius.

Trump’s enemies (foreign as well as domestic) and even most of his friends simply do not understand this. Most never will.

 

 

Trump, Putin, US Law, and China

The single most important news out of today’s (Monday, July 16, 2018) summit is the importance of the 1999 “Treaty with Russia on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” (which, under the US Constitution, is as much a part of US law as any laws passed by Congress!) and its impact on the Meuller Investigation (a.k.a. “@neverTrump anti-@realDonaldTrump witch hunt”).

You can read the full text of the treaty here: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/123676.pdf

Propaganda, Fake News, and the Deep State

‘Fake news’ is far from being the Internet-induced innovation that contemporary historically ignorant pontificators make it out to be. On the contrary it is, like propaganda and the ‘deep state’, as old as human society on this planet. The external aspects change over time, but the underlying forms remain as they long have been

The Road to November (2018)

The Road to November (2018): There will, no doubt, be much to keep us amused and entertained on the political front over the next six months but nothing, no single story, is as likely to be directly decisive for the future course of the USA (and the world) as the mid-term US elections that will be held exactly six months from today (May 6, 2018) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018! Stay tuned

 

Spy Versus Spy

There seems to be a major ‘spy vs. spy’ aspect of Mueller’s attempted ‘soft coup’ to depose President Donald J. Trump that is merely the superficial tip of the iceberg of long-standing battles between sharply divided rival ‘deep state’ factions within the US military, intelligence, and foreign relations/policy establishment.

 

The Russians Did It! Or did they?

Despite the presently widely uncontested ‘fact’ that the Russians hacked the US election in 2016 on orders from Vladimir Putin, there is as yet no factual evidence to prove they did. Maybe they did. But maybe they did not. Stay tuned . . .