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The Democrats’ ‘Russia collusion’ narrative turns on them

The Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton and the mainstream media are being hoisted on their own petard. It was the Democrats, the FBI and John McCain who collaborated with Russia to rig the election. The evidence is so damning that even the CIA-owned, Hillary Clinton-friendly, left-leaning Washington Post had to admit that it was the Democrats and Clintons who colluded with Russian operatives.

The post The Democrats’ ‘Russia collusion’ narrative turns on them appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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Beware of Smishing

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader, According to the FBI, Americans lost $1.3 billion to cybercrime in 2016, and that amount is expected to increase in 2017. This should not come as a surprise. Our lives are becoming more and more integrated with smart technology, and criminals are capitalizing on this, coming up with novel ways […]

The post Beware of Smishing appeared first on Laissez Faire.

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The Comey Fog

Ex-FBI Director Comey released a statement ahead of his appearance before Congress, and it has heads spinning. I’ll tell you how things look through what I call the Persuasion Filter.

There are several related stories swirling around the news that involve Russia, Trump, Trump’s campaign staff, and Comey. All together, the stories are beyond the capacity of the human brain to hold the details and keep them from automatically conflating in our minds and becoming more soup than individual ingredients. When you have this level of complexity, humans reflexively default to using bias over reason. Our capacity for reason isn’t up to the job in this case because all the Russia-Comey-Trump stuff has started to run together in our minds. We would happily use our limited powers of reason in this situation if we could, but the complexity of it all makes that a dream beyond our grasp.

Could a trained lawyer sort out this complexity and at least tell you whether or not a law has been broken? Apparently not. Otherwise the lawyers on both sides would agree. They don’t.

So what we are seeing is a super-clean example of what I call two movies on one screen. The anti-Trump media and citizens are peering into the Comey fog and seeing some serious Trump-related wrongdoing that is impeachable at the very least, and treasonous at worst. Meanwhile, Trump supporters are looking at the SAME FACTS and seeing nothing illegal except for some leaking by anti-Trumpers.

Now add to the Comey fog the recent news of how President Trump worded his conversations. The nation will be word-thinking like crazy today, trying to figure out whether “honest” and “hope” mean something. That’s just enough ambiguity to create confirmation bias in literally every observer. (Including me, of course.) We’re all seeing what we want to see at this point.

I’m not a lawyer, and I’m as biased as the rest of you on this topic. But for what it’s worth, I’ll tell you what I’m seeing through my filter.

“Honest Loyalty”

Comey reports that Trump asked him during a private meeting for “loyalty.” Comey promised “honesty” instead. When Trump pressed the point a second time, Comey said he would give “honest loyalty.” Trump agreed that “honest loyalty” is what he wanted. The way you interpret this conversation depends on whether you think Trump or his associates are guilty of anything. If you think Trump is guilty of a crime, the conversation sounds like a Mafia-style threat. But if you believe Trump and his associates are innocent of any crimes, you probably see honesty and loyalty as the same thing in this situation. Innocent people want law enforcement to be honest. For the FBI to act otherwise would be disloyal to both the Constitution and any citizens involved in the investigation. In the context of an investigation of an innocent citizen, honesty and loyalty from law enforcement are the same thing.

“Hope you can let it go”

Regarding the FBI investigation of Flynn, if you think there was wrongdoing by Flynn, Trump’s expression of hope that the FBI can “let it go” sounds like a gangster sending a threat. But if you believe Flynn was innocent of everything but lying to Pence (for which he was fired) then you see it as entirely reasonable that Flynn’s friend (Trump) would “hope” Comey could “let it go.” The alternative would be hoping that Flynn was harmed for no reason, and the government continued to be distracted over nonsense. Does anyone hope for that outcome?

I won’t defend what President Trump said or did on this issue. Clearly it was problematic because we’re discussing it instead of something more useful. But I don’t see a broken law.

Persuading Comey

Was President Trump trying to persuade Comey in any of their private conversations? Of course he was. In a political context, all conversations are about persuasion. Comey was trying to persuade Trump that Comey was a competent and capable player with no bias. Trump was expressing his preferences from a power position, which is persuasive by its nature. 

Persuasion isn’t inherently good or bad. Persuasion is a tool. It’s goodness or badness depends on the context of its use. If you believe Trump knows he and his associates were innocent of any wrongdoing, and you observe that the investigations are making the government less effective, it feels entirely legitimate for the President to persuade in a direction that is a benefit for all citizens. No one wants to waste time, money, or energy on a useless investigation. But if you think there is some wrongdoing yet uncovered, presidential persuasion would be wildly inappropriate in this case, even if technically legal.

I haven’t seen evidence of any crimes on the Trump side, so my filter sees a president trying to remove some obstacles that are not serving him or the American public. That kind of persuasion doesn’t feel wrong to me. 

If new information emerges, I’m happy to update my opinion.

You might enjoy reading my book because I it is chock-full of honest loyalty. 

I’m also on…

Twitter (includes Periscope): @scottadamssays​

YouTube: At this link.

Instagram: ScottAdams925

Facebook Official Page: fb.me/ScottAdamsOfficial

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Comey’s war on Trump

The American criminal justice system is rightly named. It is criminal and run by criminals and justice is what those criminals say it is. At the top of the criminal justice system’s enforcement division is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And at the top of that, until May 9, was James Comey, who was fired by Donald Trump.

The post Comey’s war on Trump appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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Trump troubles: Some GOP lawmakers call for investigations, use the ‘I’ word

A handful of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are growing increasingly suspicious of the Trump administration over allegations that the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was an effort to stymie a probe of former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

The post Trump troubles: Some GOP lawmakers call for investigations, use the ‘I’ word appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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A Spy’s Eye View

Surveillance is a big part of intelligence gathering. Agents spend long days and even longer nights listening, watching and waiting. But what if there were a simpler solution? What if intelligence officers could record information with their eye? Let’s discuss.

The post A Spy’s Eye View appeared first on Laissez Faire.

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A history of the U.S. government’s war on its people

Western culture has been so sedated by state worship propaganda, the organized church and “democracy” that they can’t believe that they live under the influence of an evil empire. But the system does have its change agents and agents provocateurs. Agents provocateurs actually worm into situations and plant evidence, create strife and commit murder. The press accommodates by making it all appear spontaneous and the work of revolutionaries, misfits and crackpots.

The post A history of the U.S. government’s war on its people appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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Politics and American Surveillance

Editor: Today is the publication date of the Independent Institute’s newest book, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory (Research Fellow, Independent Institute). Published for Independent by the University of Wisconsin Press, this widely acclaimed new book traces the history of government surveillance in the U.S. that transcends party divides,…
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