Friday, July 13, 2018

The Trump Coup is Complete

Trump already seems to have his own private state department in the form of his children, and his own intelligence service in the form of Erik Prince's guys, and the GOP guys in Congress and Senate are his slaves but something happened a few days ago that IMHO completes the Trump Coup.

A few days ago, the hiring procedures for Immigration Court judges were changed to remove the requirements for competitive hiring. At this time, the Immigration Court judges will serve only at the pleasure of Donald Trump and if they fail to satisfy him, they will be fired and replaced by Trump's handpicked appointees.

When I read this - I was shocked.

The Immigration Court is NOT part of the judiciary. It comes under the executive branch and only adjudicates matters of administrative law. The remit of this court was historically limited to matters affecting people that turn up in immigration proceedings - i.e. asylum cases, deportation etc...  The geographical extent of their power was limited to ports of entry and specific zones where CBP or ICE had jurisdiction.

There was a reason why the Immigration Court was kept so tightly constrained - the thing is - in matters of administrative law - the appellants rights were effectively suspended pending the completion of the administrative processing. Legal experts everywhere recognized that "Administrative Law" represented a defect in the US legal system - but so long as the defect was kept confined, there was little cause to change it.

With the shift in the hiring procedures for Immigration court judges - three apparently disconnected items have shifted into a terrifying alignment.

1) The Trump Admin had recently expanded ICE/CBP jurisdiction to cover 200 miles from any border. As ICE/CBP are not limited by any of the usual probable cause ideas that limit the operations of police forces, the Fourth Amendment rights of all citizens (70% of the total US population) are effectively suspended.

2) The Real ID act allowed states a period of time in which to reach compliance of their respective State ID (Driver's licences etc...) with the Federal guidelines. Most states took their own sweet time, and as a result several high population density states have norms that lag the Federal ID standards. Citizens in these states could apply for passports and have IDs that are compliant with the Real ID act, but if they don't choose to do that, a Federal officer (such as ICE/CBP) could rule their ID insufficient to prove their citizenship. This applies equally well to naturalized or natural born citizens - all the Federal officer would need is to ask for your ID and if they didn't like you they could deem it insufficient proof of your citizenship and take you into custody as a suspected illegal immigrant.

3) Once detained by the ICE/CBP officer you would be subject to the administrative processing typically adjudicated by the Immigration Court (now filled with Trump appointees) and this would completely suspend your rights pending the resolution of the process. In the event you resisted, additional charges would be applied. During the processing period - your children could be separated from you and your property seized. If you are a citizen, then if the process were to complete your citizenship would be established, but if the process doesn't complete - the likelihood of you losing your house, savings, children etc... (just like those poor folks on the Southern border right now) would increase.

Given the effort that has clearly gone into producing this complex alignment, it is unlikely anyone would do this just to harass ordinary people.

It seems to me that the only reason one would raise a parallel government like this would be do use as a weapon against the real government and judicial process.

Trump has created this parallel government with the specific aim of undermining the OSC investigation.

The OSC investigation is reaching a fork in the road. OSC Mueller has to interview Trump and Trump is dodging the request. This puts OSC Mueller in a spot, given how long this has gone on OSC Mueller has to issue a sub peona or a material witness warrant. Once that is issued, Trump will lose. If he answers the subpeona, he will be forced to tell the truth about the matter before a Grand Jury, or he will perjure himself or he will have to ignore the subpeona or request to quash it. Either ways he will validate the charge of obstruction.

This is a situation Trump cannot afford to have happen. It will put the onus on the GOP to impeach Trump before the November election. The issuing of this subpeona will be the end of Trump.

There is desperation in the Trump camp and the GOP to find out what OSC Mueller's true intentions are. Absent knowledge of these intentions, there is no likelihood that either group can chart its own political future.

That is why Peter Strzok was threatened with contempt yesterday. It was a rhetorical device used to apply pressure to the FBI.

We can expect the same from Trump's parallel government.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trump trashes NATO in a bid to appease Putin

Trump's really gone to town on NATO. He has lied, obfuscated and generally put on a big show about how the US is going to leave NATO. This will obviously have a negative impact on European and US security.

From Trump's tone - we can tell he is upset about two things -

1) He feels that NATO countries all have ties to Russia but they are focusing too much on his own ties. Germany is singled out because it seems that Deutsche Bank and its Maltese/Cypriot friends served as a way to funnel RIS payoffs to Trump. The gist of this is known to the public, the details are still secret. The public at large (including most Trump supporters) remain uneducated about the manner in which DB's setup was used by Trump to grease the palms of people like SCOTUS Kennedy's son.

2) He feels that NATO costing the US too much. By the US he means *himself* (Trumpers make the mistake of thinking he is talking about *them* - because they like to think of themselves as "Real Americans" but the reality is that Trump only thinks about *himself*). This suggests that Trump is somehow paying people in the EU to hold back details of the aforementioned Russia ties from US investigating authorities.

Trump is S.O.L when it comes to dealing with Europe. Putin can't help him there as European intelligence services are more than a match for Putin's RIS guys. And if he pulls this Novichok stuff in Europe - the riposte in Moscow will knock Putin off his chair. The only ones he can pull this stuff on is UK, that because they are largely a soft state coping with the Brexit imposed economic collapse.

The peculiar fact right now is that barring the RIS backed Right Wing anti Immigration groups in Europe, the bulk of the EU polity has no interest in returning to living under either the fascist or chekist boots. Having lived through the horror of the Second World War and the Soviet Occupation, the European population remains disinclined to be used as an ass-wipe by Putin. America has yet to learn this lesson - so it will unfortunately go through a period when Putin rules the US by proxy.

The likelihood of some kind of "grand bargain" with Russia at Helsinki increases. Such a grand bargain will doubtlessly open the gates to the official removal of sanctions on Putin's regime. The sanctions are currently effectively removed at the legal level because Trump has indicated he will not enforce them (see his response to the latest sanctions bill passed by the House and Senate). The real problem right now is that the EU and UK's main banks do not want to host the cash flow associated with this.

Russia sells ONG to various countries - they pay Russia back through channels that are high-risk. These channels carry higher risk premiums - those premiums cut into the Putin Cartel's "10%" cut on  all transaction. If the main banks in the EU and UK agree to host these payments, then Putin's Cartel can increase its take. So Putin has worked hard to ensure that Trump delivers on his promise to rid Russia of sanctions.

There is however a fatal flaw in this approach.

Once the sanctions are lifted, the Putin Cartel will move all the money it has stashed in the US stock market and real-estate sector back to Russia. This is needed to stabilize the Putin regime. The resulting fluctuation in the stock market will be so large that it will trigger a market collapse. This has happened before (two months prior to Putin's "re-election" the DJIA mysteriously dropped). Should this repeat after the Helsinki meeting, the resulting collapse will be severely complicated by the tariffs that Trump has introduced - complications that will frustrate the ability of the Putin Cartel to move its money around.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of a KGB education is the inability to understand how the market works. Sadly - one cannot correct this failure.

Monday, July 09, 2018

The Upcoming US Surrender at Helsinki

Trump and GOP seem to plan to completely surrender US interests to Putin in Helsinki.

Based on the thread of conversations, it seems Trump will go to any lengths to appease his owner Putin and the GOP will go to any lengths to polish turds coming out of Trump's rear - so literally anything is possible.

The NYT has a piece about a Trump brokered peace between Bibi and Putin in Syria. In exchange for a reduction of RuAF interference in IDFAF operations, Bibi agreed to leave Assad in place and promise not to kill any Russians on the ground if they can help it. This IMHO is a net loss for Bibi, as IDF now has to jump whenever Putin wants it to - but Bibi is too caught up in looking like a success to get it.

Trump for his part has agreed to withdraw US troops in the region and reverse the US policy to remove Assad.  As the Assad-Putin relationship is a bellwether for Putin's personalized foreign policy - the decision to step away from unseating Assad is a very big deal for Putin's foreign policy. If the US remained committed to unseat Assad, Putin's allies would feel the risk US opposition and keep a safer distance from Putin. Now there is little chance of that. So that is a win for Putin.

Apart from this - there is the rising pressure on NATO. Trump basically wants to chop it up and sell it piece by piece to Putin. I would not be surprised if he pulls out of NATO or withdraws the Iron Brigade and the Norway Brigade.

Quite frankly I would not be too shocked if Trump delays the deployment of US countermeasures when Putin launches his much awaited first strike.

The GOP for its part has bathed itself in Putin's piss in Moscow last week. The tone of the GOP's pronouncements in Moscow are so completely in line with the Putinist vision of the World Order that one wonders if the GOP leadership will be moving to Moscwo soon to finalize the integration of the America Oblast of Russia!

Meetings without interpreters or staff present, vague public posturing, false claims in public statements and limitless gaslighting - with these policies forming the cornerstone of the Trump agency (And it is just that - an agency - a Sluzhba) - there is no limit to what can be said or promised to Russia or how many American lives will be lost delivering on those aims.

As the "fantastic success" (as in it is fucking fantastic that even Trump thinks of this as a success) of the Kim-Trump Singapore Meeting indicates - there is no limit to what "records" Trump will attempt to break at Helsinki. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

My Hypersonic Skepticism

I am going to post about something that I don't usually post about because I prefer to steer clear of sensitive IP matters.

But there is a lot of back and forth going on about the hypersonic flight issue and as one of those "skeptical technologists" (described in this article) , I feel like my point of view is under attack from a vicious hype cycle that is corrosive to the people who actually work in this field. I am deeply disturbed by the manner in which Trump and his enablers weaponize stupidity to their own political advantage.

Briefly - I believe the whole idea of a weapon based on maneuverability at hypersonic speeds is bullshit. I think claims of having constructed such devices are hype - much like the "Star Wars" program that Reagan and other vested interests (Teller!) touted about.

A while ago, I sat down with a black piece of paper and asked my how I would design a hypersonic vehicle and I went through that thought exercise I came up with the following conclusions.

1) The vehicle would only be viable if I didn't have to carry the oxygen. (see the part in the article about "air breathing" & "boost glide").

2) Endurance and maneuver would critically depend on the ability to achieve a very high combustion efficiency (see that part of the article about "inlets, ducts & holes") and intelligently managing extremely high levels of aerothermodynamic heating.

3) Managing aerothermodynamic heating effects in these platforms would require a new class of materials with unique properties like perspiration or extraordinarily high levels of structured heat conduction.

4) The costs associated with the engineering of such advanced "smart" materials would make this vehicle unsuitable for military applications which require cheap disposable platforms.

Based on my own analysis (which only focused on the physics of materials and the coupled nature of the heat transport and Navier-Stokes equations) - I felt that outside of a niche application in a highly specialized sub-field of weapons technology the hypersonic vehicle would be unlikely to have the kind of mass applications that were projected by the technology's proponents.

After the technical study, I attempted to trawl thru what Chinese and Russian literature was on the web and I could not make head or tail of their claims. I sensed that they were keen to show that they possessed a technology that could defeat the US lead in missile defense platforms. The Russians with their aging nuclear missiles (which never had great guidance systems to begin with) and the Chinese with their limited arsenal were very eager to prove to their own Nat Sec community that US advances in Ballistic Missile Defense were not really a big deal.

The Russian and Chinese information operations, however appeared to have had an unusual by product. As the US was keeping most of its own hypersonic research a closely guarded secret, it could not respond publicly to Russian and Chinese claims. And with that vacuum came a politicized hype cycle. The Chicken-hawks in the US Nat Sec community charged ahead into claims that their political adversaries were holding the US back.

To my mind - the Russian and Chinese information operations may also have intended to force the US to come out with more information about its own advances in hypersonic technology and given how much Trump and the GOP bend over backwards to accomodate Chinese and Russian interests, I  am worried what new stupid stunt is in the works right now. Who knows what will be shared in the private meeting between Trump and Putin at Helsinki!

As far as I am concerned, the only thing that the Russians and Chinese need to know is publicly available outcome of BMD tests. They can take averages as easily as I can and work out how much it has altered the OAR of their platforms.

There is no need to push this issue into a state where no technological resolution is meaningful. A roadmap can be made as long as it not filled with nonsensical ideas. And by that I mean this kind of stuff (see the linked article).

 “if you let [hypersonic weapons] get into terminal phase, where we’ve observed that they can pull many G’s, then that becomes a hard target,” Griffin allowed. “If you allow an attacking vehicle to get close enough to begin its terminal dive …and [that] might be from 100,000 feet … you’re probably dead meat because that’s a very hard intercept problem... at that point.”

This problem is not unique to a hypersonic cruise missile - this is equally applicable to a ballistic missile in the terminal phase too (which incidentally is also hypersonic). So why pass it off as something unique to the hypersonic cruise weapons issue.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

What Trumpers really mean when they talk of a globalist cabal ruling the Deep State.


A lot of you have probably come across Trumpers who claim that a globalist cabal is controlling the Deep State and working to undermine Americans as a whole. The verbiage of this claim has its roots in a web of conspiracy websites - and this stuff has been slowly injected into the brains of Trumpers over a decade via Reddit and 4Chan.

Most of the Trumpers you will come across have no fucking clue what they are talking about. They are idiots - and nothing you say to them will change that. It is best to leave them in their evacuated state of mind. Even if you try to teach them something, one visit to a Trump rally - and all of it will be gone replaced by cries of "Seig Heil". Trump's tariffs and the attendant collapse of social security and medicare will physically exterminate this group of people. And no surprises - they will see "Death by Trump" as a blessing*.

While it is impossible to distinguish between such blood libel against the USIC and a garden variety agitprop operation launched by the RIS, it is important to note that a substantial fraction of this narrative comes from former NSC operators that emerged in the public eye after the Iran Contra affair.

This is old poison, I came across it two decades ago, but it is still quite potent. I mistakenly assumed that it was a Clintonite formulation aimed at destabilizing Bush era controls in the IC, but it seems to have had a life of its own.

The re-dubbed version of this old venom is that Trump is fighting a globalist cabal of child molesting evil doers led by an AI (see how that part slipped in). And Trump is going to fix all these problems  And curiously enough proposals are floating around pushed by Erik Prince's allies in the White House for turning the NSC into a de-facto and illegal intelligence agency [1].

Most of you probably remember Prince as a flashy IC operator with a flair for self-aggrandizing but failed "wet work" - but he was actually once seen as a competent person and viewed with considerable hope. He was seen as the logical successor to the traditional kings of the IC Underworld. I do not know what he precisely did to earn this support, but many in the IC had a very positive view of him. Perhaps they were all worried who would lead the community in the years ahead and he looked like someone that had done it before, but they liked him back there. It could be that they were faking it - but it didn't seem so a decade or so ago. 

Then it all went south. Some say the fame went to his head. Others say he became sloppy because he bit off more than he could chew. Either ways - he fell out of favor. The collateral associated with his actions was deemed too high. Several high profile court cases later - he and his operation was practically disavowed. Needless to say he didn't like it - and it is rumored he developed a somewhat personal dislike of DCIA Leon Panetta and his boss President Barack Obama. He ended up scraping a living in buttholes of the world.

This kind of thing is NOT novel. Very briefly - periodically the intelligence community of every nation on earth spawns a spare arm to do things it cannot be seen to do. When the job is done, the arm is cut off. That is the unspoken, unwritten law of the intelligence world and if you sign up for the job - you sign up for either being the arm that is cut off or the one that cuts it off. It is literally in your contract and the oath you take when you join.

Prince does not seem to have liked the cutting off process. His demeanor suggests he feels he has been denied what was due. Perhaps he believed he was more than asset, that he was a valued employee and he should have been given a better severance. I don't know - such feelings would be natural. No one likes to be treated in this fashion. Though curiously Prince of all people can't claim he didn't know this was coming - I mean - he is was literally using the same routine with various US contractors in his organization.

It appears to me that Trump has promised to crown Erik Prince as the King of the Deep State. And I think as with all promises that Trump makes - there is no sincerity there - it is just something he has to say to get his way at that moment. There is no framework to manage his collapsing debt - so he just keeps rolling it over on to the next desperate chump he finds in the trash bin below him.

Trump doesn't get to appoint anyone King like that - I don't think that is how it works. That position is earned through sustained engagement within the system. You can't be an outsider and expect to be treated as an insider at the same time. The real struggle of any IC is to produce actionable intelligence with vanishing overheads - NOT to kill random people. Most ICs studiously avoid making a habit of killing - it is very hard to break that habit.

The biggest challenge before the IC remains handling the data it collects properly.We are not in a world where people are unwilling to part with information - they readily post everything on the internet and we have to sort through it and find true information. All this hammer and saw work is a little dated. And frankly I don't see a way to process this much data without AIs (so now you see the link back to the latest Trump legend?). Again I understand AIs have their limits and we need to have a human validation to make sure there is accuracy. I also understand the role that provocations could play in such a validation (i.e. fake data/test data), but I feel like experience in murder for hire, sexual exploitation, extortion etc... is all very well - but somehow it doesn't seem relevant right now.

The lack of relevant experience never stops someone from aspiring to be King. From the perspective of the IC, everyone who openly espouses such thoughts is a lunatic because who in their right mind would want such responsibility? Also if it is a disgraced former employee then it is reasonable to assume that this desire is more an expression of spite. So again that doesn't work in Prince's favor.

I am not a part of the traditional setup - so I can afford to be open minded. I am reluctant to award/deny opportunity to anyone based on their past alone**.

A simple test for me would be if those who wish to see themselves as Kings is do you have a real solution to the problem of Fentanyl abuse.

The Kings of old tamed the twin demons of Heroin and Cocaine. These raging rivers of sorrow were brought to heel under their guardianship.

Is there someone who will slay the Fentanyl Dragon?

Or will knights in shining armor only tilt at "immigration" and "ISIS" windmills?

* They practically eat his turds for breakfast and drink his piss like it is morning coffee. If the Russians release the Pee tape via Assange. Trumpers will line up at the hotel in Russia to lick sloppy seconds off the floor of the room in which the video was made.

** I am a Brahmin (the Indian equivalent of America's White Men) and we have a very dark history of denying people stuff based on birth and awarding it to incompetents based on birth. I can't possibly be part of any such schemes.

Monday, July 02, 2018

What he promised to win.

This is what it looks like - it may be wrong - but that's what it looks like from the outside.

He made five promises to powerful groups in exchange for help to be elected and this the only place where his delivery matters.

1) Bibi was told his hold Judea and Samaria would become unquestionable and the Palestinian leaders would be paid off to look the other way. (Not working out as planned)

2) A Prince was told he would become King. (But the Prince can't become King unless he defeats the  Fentanyl dragon. I am open to watching a Bilbo on Smaug action but it seems that the "Deep State" is not interested in crowning a failed former asset as its ruler.)

3) The GOP Swamp Things were told they would get to appoint judges that would prevent them from being jailed for their corruption. (Yeah - seems like they gave themselves a tax cut, and are looting the place blind, but that's not going to work out in the long run. Whatever GOP does to compromise the judges can be repeated by others who seek to hold them accountable).

4) Putin was told the sanctions would end. (Doesn't seem to be really happening, despite the selective implementation of the Sanctions Act passed by Congress last year. Trump keeps begging EU to trade with Russia saying he won't target them with the Sanctions, and EU says they don't believe him. Putin is unhappy and asked Emin to let his unhappiness be known in a music video).

5) Nazis were told their safe spaces would expand.  (Seems to be working out great so far- but looks like they are losing their jobs when they come out into the open, not sure if that's what they were looking forward to).

The rest of the people that actually voted for him were useful idiots who didn't realize they were going to be shafted as they had no leverage.

They genuinely don't count. Sorry Trumpers - he is just not that in to you.

A fairly detailed writeup on cost of entering the US illegally from Latin America

This article in the NYT tells a very compelling personal story of an illegal immigrant and the costs associated with the journey. It costs something like $10K to go from El Salvador to Houston illegally.  

It is staggering when you normalize the cost of the journey with the per-capita income (it is basically several years wages) and the ROI is minimal given how little the average illegal is paid in the US (roughly a third of what a legal worker/citizen is paid). 

If one were to take this amount as a personal loan, it would take several decades to pay off the interest alone. These people are basically slaves. They cannot afford to pay back the cost of the trip unless they work in the US and make enough money to pay off the debt. The likelihood of that happening are extremely slim. 

This is just bad debt. And if the pressure on the immigration pathways is increased - then it will only increase the amount of bad debt in the system. 

Unfortunately given the mess left behind in South and Central America by all the failed drug wars, there does not appear to be a way to stem the flow of immigration all together. 

The criminal syndicates left behind in South and Central America control a vast portion of the US bound drug trade. They are persistent and they thrive off dramatically reducing the standard of living in these places. With no end to US drug consumption in sight, the Cartels will remain powerful for the foreseeable future. And with that there will be no end to the flow of immigrants from their nations as people do whatever is possible to get away from the Cartels. 

I feel any attempt to destabilize the flow of immigration from these countries will only increase the power of the Cartels in those nations. 

There is only one scenario where the flow of immigration has ebbed, and that was the 2008 economic collapse. The supply of illegal construction labor from Mexico had risen to keep up with the construction boom but as the real estate section in the US collapsed, the flow ebbed. It is also notable that the cost of illegal immigration in this fashion rose about 10x in President Obama's time - earning him the "Deporter-in-Chief" title. I am guessing but that is a fact that most Trumpers don't want to face up to. 

A collapse of Agriculture in the US would produce a similar effect, however it would also be accompanied by a famine in the US which would leave a hundred million or so Americans dead (famines usually kill the children and the elderly). 

It is unclear if the proponents of anti-immigration agendas are aware of the link between cheap food and  illegal immigrant labor. 

And since stupid is as stupid does - one can expect no surprises on this front. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pressure builds within the Democratic Party for radical action

It has been widely noted that there GOP does not intend to offer any real resistance to Donald Trump as it believes that between the gerrymandering, race baiting and anti-GOTV operations that they can run with Donald Trump and Russian support - there is no way it can lose the upcoming elections. Even in the limit where there is a massive public tilt away from the GOP, the GOPers themselves will pocket a significant chunk of cash and be protected by armies of lawyers against accountability for their actions. This is the "Red Wave" phenomenon that Trump keeps tweeting about and Russian bots keep amplifying.

This may actually be true, though not everyone (even Republican) agrees with it.

The Democrats (especially the older and established ones) are under a great deal of pressure to do more. A lot of people attribute Donald Trump's "victory" to the inability of the Democratic party leadership to inspire confidence in younger radical voters.  The argument made is that while Sanders was a Democratic version of Donald Trump, his message resonated with young voters who felt drawn to the vision of radical change.

Whether the GOP likes it or not, the Democratic Party may be forced to take a page out of the GOP's book. Essentially repeat the GOP's Tea Partyism and McConnellism - clearly they have been shown to work in the past - so there is at least that going for them.

The victory of   Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is indicative of the rising tension within the Democratic Party.

Trump seems to see this as a signal that the Democratic establishment will become more malleable to his point of view. But as with all things Trump - this is most likely a case of him trying to find solace in a world that increasingly seems to make him inconsolable. With conviction by Mueller seeming increasingly likely - it is difficult to see how Trump won't jump at any random indicator of victory.

It is possible that the RIS would be able to run an interference operation in the Democratic Party - clearly the DNC leaks were effective back in the day at polarizing the Bernie Bros, but the corrosive nature of even indirectly supporting Trump will soon become obvious as the US economy reels under the twin blows of cutting access to cheap illegal Mexican labor and imposition of counter tariffs.

In other news Emin Algarov* has a made a catchy music video, You Got Me Good.

I will hand it to you KGB boys - you definitely have balls! but it seems to me that Putin has told Trump to either end sanctions or end his presidency or both...

What else can one read into the words,

"The things that you told me, Made it so hard to read your mind."

and 

that last scene with the poker table with Trump, HRC, Stormy Daniels and Emin (representing Putin)?

I don't understand what you are doing, but hopefully Trumpers are ready for when Julian Assange drops the dime on Trump. It is going to look very bad coming a month before the 2018 elections. 

Also are you absolutely certain that your nuclear missile forces are at a sustainably high level of alert? because we all know unless you can launch all your nuclear missiles at once, there is no hope of you prevailing against the BMD system.

And are you planning to plant nuclear device along the cables that carry the vital signals between the US nuclear command networks? Is that why your research ships and diplomatic envoys keep getting so close to the buried cables? 

* Emin is Trump's partner in all his "no business" in Russia. His dad is a Jefe in the Putin Cartel. Putin can't survive in Moscow for much longer unless he can get the sanctions lifted at least a teensy bit.