DONNA BRAZILE SAYS SHE “FEARED FOR HER LIFE” AFTER SETH RICH WAS KILLED

Just the fact that Brazile says she, too, suspected that something nefarious might’ve been afoot is reason enough to take a second look at Rich’s death

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Perhaps the most shocking revelation contained in the excerpts from former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile’s book was, unsurprisingly, buried in a Washington Post overview of the various allegations (and frankly, we’re surprised the Post, given its status as a protector of the Washington establishment, deigned to publish it).

In the aftermath of Wikileaks’ decision to publish a cache of emails stolen from the DNC’s servers, Donna Brazile says she became increasingly paranoid about both possible Russian efforts to sway the election. Surprisingly, she says top Democrats initially instructed her not to discuss her concerns with others.

But even more than the Russians, Brazile says she feared possible retribution from shadowy elements within the campaign and the Democratic Party who might blame her for the leak. Her fears only intensified, she says, after the mysterious shooting of former campaign staffer Seth Rich, who the authorities said was killed during a robbery, though many so-called conspiracy theorists have speculated about a possible Democratic plot to kill Rich for his role in leaking the stash of DNC emails to Wikileaks. Brazile’s anxiety eventually spiraled out of control, to the point where she feared for her own life while serving as interim chairwoman of the DNC.

Brazile describes her mounting anxiety about Russia’s theft of emails and other data from DNC servers, the slow process of discovering the full extent of the cyberattacks and the personal fallout. She likens the feeling to having rats in your basement: “You take measures to get rid of them, but knowing they are there, or have been there, means you never feel truly at peace.”
Brazile writes that she was haunted by the still-unsolved murder of DNC data staffer Seth Rich and feared for her own life, shutting the blinds to her office window so snipers could not see her and installing surveillance cameras at her home. She wonders whether Russians had placed a listening device in plants in the DNC executive suite.

At first, Brazile writes of the hacking, top Democratic officials were “encouraging us not to talk about it.” But she says a wake-up moment came when she visited the White House in August 2016, for President Obama’s 55th birthday party. National security adviser Susan E. Rice and former attorney general Eric Holder separately pulled her aside quietly to urge her to take the Russian hacking seriously, which she did, she writes.

While she doesn’t elaborate on her reasons for suspecting that Rich’s death may have been a homicide, just the fact that Brazile says she, too, suspected that something nefarious might’ve been afoot is reason enough to take a second look at Rich’s death. Of course, if it’s true that Rich was killed as punishment for leaking the emails, then that would of course invalidata most of the evidence supporting the Russia interference narrative that has been propagated by the Democrats and their partners in the intelligence community.

The thread of hypertextuality


it's a small web

Hypertext has changed the way we consume information. Long gone is the linearity of printed narratives; we, web addicts, enjoy the content-hopping experience of following links ad infinitum.

It has been a paradigm shift. It has been central to postmodern literary theory. And now it finds its way back to the printed book.Traumgedanken, the hypertextual bookTraumgedanken (Thoughts on dreams) is a book by information designer Maria Fischer. It is an anthology of literary, psychological, philosophical and scientific essays on dreams. But each topic, or content node, is connected to other instances of itself in the book by a colorful thread. By following the various threads you practically navigate the book in a hypertextual way, creating your own narratives.

traumgedanken, the hypertextual book

I need to hold it in my hands, but it does look like a successful analog implementation of a digital concept. And, what’s more, it is really beautiful. I am impressed.

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President Trump Arrives In Japan On First Official Visit To Asia

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – President Donald Trump has arrived in Japan for the first leg of his five-nation tour of Asia.

The president and first lady touched down at Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo, where he addressed U.S. and Japanese troops.

“Our alliance is a testament to the transformative power of freedom,” Trump said. “Today, nations that once waged war now stand together as friends and partners in pursuit of a much better world.”

This will be the president’s longest trip abroad so far, with stops in South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

One of his most anticipated stops will be in Beijing, where he will meet with China’s president to discuss North Korea and trade.


FBI Turns Over Documents to Senate Investigators on Handling of Clinton Email Case

Written by  Kristina Wong

FBI Turns Over Documents to Senate Investigators on Handling of Clinton Email Case

The FBI has begun turning over hundreds of pages of memos regarding its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server to Senate investigators, according to a new report.

The Justice Department notified the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday and began transmitting the memos soon after to aid in the committee’s review of former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton case, according to The Hill.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley revealed earlier this year that Comey drafted a statement exonerating Clinton before interviewing her and more than a dozen key witnesses.

The memos reportedly detail how and when the bureau’s leadership decided not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for transmitting classified information on her private email server.

Comey concluded that although Clinton was careless, there was no criminal “intent.”

Senate investigators are also interested in the role that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe played in the investigation. New documents on Friday revealed that McCabe recused himself from the Clinton investigation only about a week before the election.

McCabe recused himself over a possible conflict of interest since hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Clinton ally had flowed to his wife’s political campaign.

Before then, he had supervised the Clinton investigation for months, despite Clinton ally Virginia Gov.


NORTH KOREA ASSASSINS BUMPED OFF KIM JONG UN’S BROTHER WITH DEADLY NERVE AGENT THAT COULD KILL ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ IN CHEMICAL WAR: PENTAGON REPORT

North Korea is prepared to use its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if war broke out with the U.S. and its allies, according to a letter Pentagon chiefs sent to lawmakers.

The letter, written by Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, the vice director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, details how a conflict between North Korea and the U.S. could play out. Amid rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, the letter notes the difficulty of establishing the “‘best- or worst-case casualty scenarios'” should war break out with North Korea, given the proximity of South Korean capital Seoul to the de-militarised zone and uncertainty over how much warning the U.S. would have of a North Korean attack.

North Korean missilesThis undated picture released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on March 7, 2017 shows the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea.AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS/STR/SOUTH KOREA

Addressed to Democrat Congressmen Ted Lieu and Ruben Gallego, the letter lays out the stark potential consequences of conflict with the rogue state, and says that North Korea could resort to using its stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

The letter also said that Pentagon leaders “assess that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons” and that the country “has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents.”

It offers lawmakers a classified briefing on plans the U.S. has in place to counter a chemical weapons attack from North Korea.

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies estimates North Korea has between 2,500 and 5,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, including a large supply of VX, the deadliest nerve agent ever created. VX was used by two alleged North Korean assassins to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother in a Malaysian airport in February.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commanding officer of the U.K. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment (CBRN) and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, has warned that tens of thousands could be killed in the event of a North Korean VX attack.

“I think we now know that they have 5,000 tons of VX,” de Bretton-Gordon said, speaking to NBC News in September. “We know they have missiles capable of firing 4,000 to 6,000 miles, probably with a payload of half a ton, so half a ton of VX in those missiles could kill tens of thousands of people, and they could do that now, so that is a genuine concern.”

In a June article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the military historian Reid Kirby said the types of artillery along the demilitarized zone, and vulnerability of children and the elderly, meant that a North Korean attack using the nerve agent Sarin could kill as many as 2.5 million people in Seoul and injure millions more.

North Korea is not a signatory of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, outlawing chemical weapons. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned in April that North Korea could target Japan with a missile loaded with Sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent.

The letter affirms the Pentagon’s backing for the sanctions regime imposed on North Korea and diplomatic pressure, and  “change in the offensive posture of North Korea’s forces.”

“We remain postured to respond in the event of a provocation or conflict, and we have taken all appropriate measures to protect our allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, and U.S. Forces in those countries,” the letter reads.

The letter was a response to a request to Defense Secretary James Mattis from Lieu and Gallego, in which they requested estimated Pentagon casualty figures from a war with North Korea.

President Donald Trump arrived in Japan Saturday for his first trip to Asia as U.S. president, with North Korea likely to be among the major topics under discussion.

As part of the 12-day trip, Trump will also visit South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Russian collusion matra may sink the Democratic Party


The Twisted Web of Russian Collusion Leads Back to Hillary Clinton and the DNC

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Of late, a particular document that’s been in the news on and off since January— the so-called “Dirty Dossier” compiled on President Trump by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele for his firm Orbis Business Intelligence.

Among many other spurious and unsubstantiated claims, the Dossier stated that Trump hired prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed once slept in by ex-President Barack Obama. It also stated that Michael Cohen, a personal attorney for Trump, had meetings in Russia and Prague with Russian officials. (Since the Dossier’s release, Cohen has denied he’s been in either place in his life.)

The Dirty Dossier was originally funded by conservative website The Washington Free Beacon, in conjunction with an anonymous Republican donor, to gather previously unknown information on all Republican candidates for president. The Beacon, in turn, hired a research firm called Fusion GPS, and it dug up what it could on Trump and the other Republican candidates who ran against him.

When Trump became the Republican Party nominee for president, this research ended. However, Fusion GPS likely saw an opportunity to continue making money from this project, so in April 2016, it turned to Marc Elias, the attorney for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), both of which paid Elias’ law firm for Fusion GPS’ continued efforts. It’s since been revealed that this law firm, Perkins Coie, received $9 million from the Clinton campaign and from the DNC, but it’s unknown how much of this money went to funding the Dossier.

In June of 2016, the DNC claimed its computers had been broken into by Russian hackers; embarrassing DNC emails were posted by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Because of the alleged Russian connection, Fusion GPS turned to Orbis Intelligence in England because Orbis co-founder Christopher Steele once headed the Russia desk at English spy agency MI6 — the British agency charged with external espionage, similar to the CIA in America.

Steele soon claimed that he’d uncovered significant connections between Trump and members of the Russian government. As Steele later told liberal magazine Mother Jones, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.’” Steele said it was “an extraordinary situation” that was “sufficiently serious” enough to warrant sharing the information with the FBI in the United States, an act he engaged in while keeping Fusion GPS in the dark about this other recipient of his information (according to Steele).

At some point, the FBI began paying Steele for his reports. From June until December of 2016, Steele shared his information with both Fusion and the FBI. Even after Trump was elected in November, Steele continued compiling more data on the president-elect. The DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign stopped paying for this data as of Election Day, but Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, started putting his own money into the research.

In the meantime, Steele was getting frustrated that the FBI seemed not to care too much about the information he had passed along. He suspected that the FBI’s New York office was “compromised” regarding Trump because of close ties it had with former New York City mayor-turned-security consultant (and close Trump friend) Rudy Giuliani.

In December 2016, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona met with former British ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood. Wood told McCain about the Dossier’s existence and arranged for McCain to get a copy to give directly to FBI Director James Comey, bypassing the FBI’s office in New York. McCain used David Kramer, one of the directors of the McCain Institute — a globalist Washington, D.C. think tank — to hand the Dossier to Comey. Kramer, in addition to being a one-time fellow of the 9/11-related Project for a New American Century, is an expert on Russia (formerly lecturing at Harvard about the subject) who set up a Moscow office for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

After Comey received the Dossier, both former President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were briefed about its existence. In January, website Buzzfeed published a leaked copy of the Dossier, which was widely reported on CNN and other outlets. Immediately, the sources for Steele’s information were attacked for their lack of credibility. Although Steele’s name was not initially revealed, he and his family went into hiding because he feared possible retribution from the Russian government.

Around the New Year, a former KGB general, Oleg Erovinkin, was found dead of undeclared causes in his car in Moscow. Erovinkin was a key intermediary between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Igor Sechin, the head of Russian state oil company Rosneft. Steele admitted that much of the Dossier’s information came from sources close to Sechin.

In June 2016, Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who claimed to have incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. However, when the group got together, Veselnitskaya did not have information to share about Clinton, but instead wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act.

The Magnitsky Act is American legislation that banned certain Russian government officials from entering the United States and using American financial institutions in the wake of a Russian tax scandal involving an American businessman named Bill Browder in Russia. Browder’s firm, Hermitage Capital Management, lost many millions of dollars that were later determined to have been stolen by Russian tax authorities.

As it turns out, Fusion GPS has done much lobbying work trying to get the Magnitsky Act overturned on behalf of Russian clients — one of whom is Rinat Akmetshin, who’s one of the people who came to the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Thus, the “Russian collusion” that the Democrats and the press have been going on about for nearly a year is in many ways tied to a research firm that’s been given unknown sums by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats themselves.

Although Fusion GPS founder Simpson was grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours this past August, that hearing was held behind closed doors, so it’s not known what valuable information was disclosed, if any. But certainly, the connections between Fusion and Clinton, the DNC and the administration of former President Obama should most likely be examined in much further detail, because if there’s any “Russian collusion” at all to be found, it likely lies here.

‘Russian collusion’ mantra may sink the Democratic Party


The Twisted Web of Russian Collusion Leads Back to Hillary Clinton and the DNC

 13  4  0  8  27

 2

Of late, a particular document that’s been in the news on and off since January— the so-called “Dirty Dossier” compiled on President Trump by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele for his firm Orbis Business Intelligence.

Among many other spurious and unsubstantiated claims, the Dossier stated that Trump hired prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed once slept in by ex-President Barack Obama. It also stated that Michael Cohen, a personal attorney for Trump, had meetings in Russia and Prague with Russian officials. (Since the Dossier’s release, Cohen has denied he’s been in either place in his life.)

The Dirty Dossier was originally funded by conservative website The Washington Free Beacon, in conjunction with an anonymous Republican donor, to gather previously unknown information on all Republican candidates for president. The Beacon, in turn, hired a research firm called Fusion GPS, and it dug up what it could on Trump and the other Republican candidates who ran against him.

When Trump became the Republican Party nominee for president, this research ended. However, Fusion GPS likely saw an opportunity to continue making money from this project, so in April 2016, it turned to Marc Elias, the attorney for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), both of which paid Elias’ law firm for Fusion GPS’ continued efforts. It’s since been revealed that this law firm, Perkins Coie, received $9 million from the Clinton campaign and from the DNC, but it’s unknown how much of this money went to funding the Dossier.

In June of 2016, the DNC claimed its computers had been broken into by Russian hackers; embarrassing DNC emails were posted by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Because of the alleged Russian connection, Fusion GPS turned to Orbis Intelligence in England because Orbis co-founder Christopher Steele once headed the Russia desk at English spy agency MI6 — the British agency charged with external espionage, similar to the CIA in America.

Steele soon claimed that he’d uncovered significant connections between Trump and members of the Russian government. As Steele later told liberal magazine Mother Jones, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.’” Steele said it was “an extraordinary situation” that was “sufficiently serious” enough to warrant sharing the information with the FBI in the United States, an act he engaged in while keeping Fusion GPS in the dark about this other recipient of his information (according to Steele).

At some point, the FBI began paying Steele for his reports. From June until December of 2016, Steele shared his information with both Fusion and the FBI. Even after Trump was elected in November, Steele continued compiling more data on the president-elect. The DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign stopped paying for this data as of Election Day, but Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, started putting his own money into the research.

In the meantime, Steele was getting frustrated that the FBI seemed not to care too much about the information he had passed along. He suspected that the FBI’s New York office was “compromised” regarding Trump because of close ties it had with former New York City mayor-turned-security consultant (and close Trump friend) Rudy Giuliani.

In December 2016, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona met with former British ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood. Wood told McCain about the Dossier’s existence and arranged for McCain to get a copy to give directly to FBI Director James Comey, bypassing the FBI’s office in New York. McCain used David Kramer, one of the directors of the McCain Institute — a globalist Washington, D.C. think tank — to hand the Dossier to Comey. Kramer, in addition to being a one-time fellow of the 9/11-related Project for a New American Century, is an expert on Russia (formerly lecturing at Harvard about the subject) who set up a Moscow office for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

After Comey received the Dossier, both former President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were briefed about its existence. In January, website Buzzfeed published a leaked copy of the Dossier, which was widely reported on CNN and other outlets. Immediately, the sources for Steele’s information were attacked for their lack of credibility. Although Steele’s name was not initially revealed, he and his family went into hiding because he feared possible retribution from the Russian government.

Around the New Year, a former KGB general, Oleg Erovinkin, was found dead of undeclared causes in his car in Moscow. Erovinkin was a key intermediary between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Igor Sechin, the head of Russian state oil company Rosneft. Steele admitted that much of the Dossier’s information came from sources close to Sechin.

In June 2016, Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who claimed to have incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. However, when the group got together, Veselnitskaya did not have information to share about Clinton, but instead wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act.

The Magnitsky Act is American legislation that banned certain Russian government officials from entering the United States and using American financial institutions in the wake of a Russian tax scandal involving an American businessman named Bill Browder in Russia. Browder’s firm, Hermitage Capital Management, lost many millions of dollars that were later determined to have been stolen by Russian tax authorities.

As it turns out, Fusion GPS has done much lobbying work trying to get the Magnitsky Act overturned on behalf of Russian clients — one of whom is Rinat Akmetshin, who’s one of the people who came to the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Thus, the “Russian collusion” that the Democrats and the press have been going on about for nearly a year is in many ways tied to a research firm that’s been given unknown sums by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats themselves.

Although Fusion GPS founder Simpson was grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours this past August, that hearing was held behind closed doors, so it’s not known what valuable information was disclosed, if any. But certainly, the connections between Fusion and Clinton, the DNC and the administration of former President Obama should most likely be examined in much further detail, because if there’s any “Russian collusion” at all to be found, it likely lies here.

What I Did Way Back BW (Before Writing) Part 2


The Write Stuff

dexter2small

If you read Part 1 of this post, you know that I used to paint for a living. WET paint, that is. Then I discovered the joy of digital painting, using a Wacom tablet and an electronic pen. (You draw on the tablet, and it appears on your computer screen.) It was the most fun I ever had painting. You can work in layers, so it’s easy to take out things that you don’t like, or add new ones, without messing anything up. And you can use all sorts of digital “brushes” for blending effects, oil and watercolor effects, and much, much more. The above is a portrait I did of my daughter’s Dalmation, Dexter.

My cousin’s dachshund, Greta, was one of my first efforts. I’ve broken it down so you can see that you work it just like a real (wet) painting. First there’s a sketch.

gretastage1

Because the background is on…

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