Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sorting Truth on Seth Rich Murder and Wikkileaks Source

I have never seen the establishment close ranks so fast on a story as they have with the Seth Rich murder. Even though there are enough facts out there so that real journalists ought to be curious and ask questions as to whether the official story adds up, I don't see one iota of curiosity about it from the establishment media. Instead, they seem like they are in a frenzy to attack whoever raises questions about it.

Relations with Russia are deteriorating, and while we can feel sympathy for what the parents want to believe about their son, many more lives are potentially at stake and the moral thing to do is continue to seek the truth about this story. Right now the Russians are getting the blame, which they deny, and tensions are high. If they are innocent of this act and it really was Rich doing the leaking, some of that pressure for conflict can be released.

A major question in the investigation is whether or not Seth Rich was the source of Wikkileaks documents from the Democratic party which were damaging to Hillary Clinton in the closing days of the 2016 campaign. Specifically proof that DNC officials colluded to cheat Senator Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. Where did Wikkileaks get the data? The two leading theories are 1) Russian Hackers and 2) the worst stuff did not come from a hack at all but rather was a "leak" from a disgruntled insider.

The biggest support for theory #1 is that government spook (and proven liar) James Clapper testified before congress that all the Federal intelligence agencies agreed that the data came from a Russian hack. That version of events is repeated endlessly by the media. The biggest knock against the biggest support for theory #1 is that Federal intelligence agencies in general, and James Clapper in particular, are well-documented liars. Having already led us into a war with Iraq based on politically motivated faulty intelligence, we would have to be fools to take them solely on their word with a line of investigation which could take us into conflict with nuclear super-power Russia.

And yet, all they are offering us is their word and most of that anonymously. The intelligence agencies have provided no proof to back their assertions that the Wikkileaks information came from Russia. So what we have are the word of known liars. It is not like they have some super-secret evidence they can show to Congress but not us either. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is about as conservative as the come, and he says even the Intelligence Agencies' report to them has no hard evidence  to show the connection,

"I do not believe that the evidence at this time proves that the Russians are the ones who hacked the DNC. We have heard every report from the intelligence groups that are making their reports and they have weasel words in them, and they are based on opinion based on someone who is probably a strong liberal democrat,”

The strongest evidence against the Russians being the source- and thus Rich being the likely source, is that Assange himself steadfastly denied that his source was a state actor. Further, he strongly implied that Rich was the leaker and has offered a reward for information leading to the capture of the killer. So far as we know Assange has never lied to the American people. In addition a former British Ambassador, Craig Murray, said he went to Washington and picked up the leak documents and it was an inside leak and not a hack. A shadier character, a hacker from New Zealand named "Kim Dotcom" claims that he knows that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaks DNC leaker and that he helped him. That would explain how Rich, who was in the IT department for the DNC but would not normally have access to all of that leaked info in the course of his regular duties, gathered the emails.

The Rich family then attacked Dotcom and claimed that Dotcom tried to hack their dead son's email account, prompting Dotcom to issue a statement warning them against defamation. Dotcom has offered to provide his evidence "to the authorities" but since he is under indictment in the U.S. it is plausible to assume he is angling for those charges to be dropped in exchange. The joke is on him, no one in the ruling class on either side seems the least bit interested in even solving the murder.

That is the other bizarre thing. It seems like it would be very easy to catch the killer. Rich was conscious and talking when police got there. It seems like he could have told them something about who attacked him, yet the PD has not given us any hint of a description of an assailant. In addition, the police were wearing body cams. That footage seems to be missing. There were also cameras filming every possible entry Rich could have used to get to the spot where he was gunned down- though none in the two block area where the crime happened. Whoever did it either was caught on those cameras entering or leaving the crime scene or they took just the right path to avoid being caught on camera - not exactly consistent with the incompetence of a "botched robbery" hypothesis. You have a still-living victim talking to police who could have at least told them which way the suspects went, and cameras nearby on most avenues of escape. Yet despite all of this there is not even a mention of a "person of interest".

The other wild card in this is the "hacker" known as Guccifer 2.0. The original Guccifer was a Romanian hacker. This one claimed to be but not only does that appear to be untrue, there is considerable evidence that he is not even a hacker. Read this report if you want to examine the detailed evidence, but it appears to me that Guccifer 2.0 only came on the scene after the DNC realized that it had been hacked. No documents that Guccifer 2.0 released on his own proved to be damaging to the Democrats. I examined the evidence and it looks like Guccifer is a front for the DNC trying to make their leak look like a Russian hack. No matter what version of events Guccifer told, the common thread was that the Russians were behind it. Even the version where Guccifer 2.0 said that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaks leaker, the Russians were inserted into the chain of events.

Until the U.S. intelligence services provide us a report with evidence pointing to the Russians that is as convincing as the report I linked to above indicating Guccifer 2.0 is a fraud, the most reasonable conclusion is that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaker- without Russia or Guccifer 2.o anywhere in the chain. The other thing that could tip the balance away from that conclusion is that the D.C. police solve the murder and it turns out to be someone who had robbed other people in the past.

When the fact change, my opinion will change. My opinion will not change because people who are less interested in truth than I am snarl at me or call me names because I won't switch my views to those the media insist I have on this issue regardless of the quality of the evidence. This could be a random tragedy, or it could be something really big.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Either a Patriarch or a Case Worker

I think a lot of Arkansans have been moved- in all sorts of directions - by the sad case of the baby attacked by rats in Magnolia. The teenage parents (Erica Shryock and Charles Elliot) are now being prosecuted for neglect leading to abuse. The facts of the case are still being gathered, but my initial take on the situation is that these are not particularly evil people but they are particularly incompetent people. They look like a couple of not-very-bright teenage screw-ups to me. I don't think they have the wherewithal to manage their own lives in today's complex society, much less raise children on their own.

They will probably have to go to prison. If they were a member of the ruling class they might get off- like Judge Wade Naramore did when he left his two year old son to die in a hot car. But he had the assistance of a Hot Springs police department which conveniently "lost" the video tape evidence showing the child's last agonizing hour of life. Without visual evidence of the child's pain all the jury sees is the parent's pain so it is harder to convict. I promise you the system will not "lose" the evidence when they prosecute these two clueless kids.

I think there are a lot of people like that in prison. Not particularly evil, just terrible screw-ups who cannot manage their own affairs without hurting themselves or others. There are a lot of people like that who are not in prison too. People like this are the heart of the argument for the paternalistic welfare state. I want you to zoom out a minute and use this tragic event to make some larger connections. Here is a quote from the famous Ronald Reagan speech in 1964 called "A Time For Choosing"....
This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
Here is the thing, I am totally with Reagan in principle on the idea of people running their own lives better than experts can run them. But that's me as I am now. That's the people I work with and politic with. It's not these kids or the people like them. Left and right are shouting past each other. The left is screaming that we need bigger budgets and more programs so that people like this don't wind up in situations like the one they are in. The right hollers back that we don't need our taxes raised so that (as Gingrich put it) "the government can hire our cousin to tell us what to do."

The right is exactly correct- for them and their friends. There is an underclass though for which that is not quite right, at least until they get older and wiser. There is going to be a slice of every population which is going to need either a patriarch or a case worker.  Today the system and the laws and the economy and culture are totally one-sided in favor of the "solution" being the case worker rather than the patriarch. That is partially the fault of the right, for their side of the argument of late has been to show how they do not need more government regulations and overseers.

What the caring-right should be arguing is that the poor don't need a case-worker, but that they need a patriarch. We don't need programs to provide housing at taxpayer expense to screw-ups. Victorian England did a lot wrong, but in one respect they had a better solution. That is, a culture and economy where young people like that were household servants of some successful person. They did not live in a slum somewhere and onlt showed up to trim the yard or clean the house. They lived on the same grounds as the owners. There these young people can see how successful people operate. They can have access to the resources they need- including someone to make big decisions for them. In return, they could relieve the Patriarch (or Matriarch) of the day-to-day stress of all of those errands and household tasks that today's person on the go does not have time to deal with.

To take a specific example, this young couple did not have the wherewithal to manage their own lives and Judge Wade Naramore had so much going on that he tragically forgot his own child in the back of a hot car. I submit to you if the Naramores had taken in these young people as their household servants then both tragedies would have been avoided. Shryrock would have, with guidance, been a loving nanny even as she is a loving mother. She is just not competent as a stand-alone mother in a house full of viscous rats. If the Naramores had constant access to someone who could watch the kids a bit while they were off attending to their high-powered duties then their own child would not have been lost. We are only going to see more tragedies of both of these kinds until we make some changes- starting with the way we view patriarchy.

Right now the tax laws are not set up to encourage that- in fact they discourage it. The same with liability laws. The culture has twisted the lower class until a lot of them consider that it is a disgrace to live in a comparative mansion as the household servant of a power couple. The reality is that is much better for them than living in a rat-infested dump with no clue or access to a way to become a successful person. The poor would be much better off with a patriarch (or matriarch) than a case-worker. But the other problem is that our ruling class is tilting toward social Darwinism rather than Christian duty. The latter encourages caring patriarchy, the latter disdains it. We have an unworkable and unsustainable society because of the present condition of our hearts and heads. Both rich and poor are going to have to rethink things.