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Has Joshua Foust Contracted Syphilis from Dominican Prostitutes?

7:58 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Has Joshua Foust contracted syphilis from prostitutes in the Dominican Republic? It only seems fair to ask this since he, in finest Peggy Noonan evidence-free fashion, has seen fit to type the following bit of speculation, in an article titled “Has Wikileaks Been Infiltrated by Russian Spies?”, that could very well have come from the keyboard of someone in the mind-chewing grip of end-stage syphilitic paresis:

It might sound strange, but has Wikileaks been infiltrated by Russia’s Federal Security Bureau, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB? Based on media accounts and first person testimonies, there are signs that Edward Snowden’s flight to Russia, eventually seeking asylum there, was organized by Russian intelligence. So was his defection a Russian intel op?

Answering that question can be difficult — after all, none of the parties involved would simply announce such a thing. Moreover, Snowden seems to have made the decision to leak his cache of documents independently of any sympathy with Russia. Nevertheless, the chain of events leading up to Snowden’s flight, and his decision in Hong Kong to flee to Russia, of all places, strongly suggest that Russian intel has co-opted him to a remarkable degree.

And on and on in this vein for several insinuation-heavy paragraphs straight out of the Howard Kurtz Handbook for Insinuatory and Twisted Writing.

Persons familiar with the RationalWiki will recognize Foust’s gambit at once. They know it as “JAQing off”: “JAQing off is the act of spouting accusations while hiding behind the claim that one is ‘Just Asking Questions.’ The strategy is to keep asking leading questions in an attempt to influence listeners’ views; the term is derived from the frequent claim by the questioner that they are “just asking questions,” albeit in a manner much the same as political push polls.”

What’s particularly humorous, or infuriating, depending on your viewpoint, is the little tacked-on disclaimer that ran after this exercise in Noonanism, dolphinlike in its delights, had been up and published long enough to attract some stingingly factual critiques:

This story has been revised slightly to emphasize that our assertions are conjecture.

But the assertions, including the one in the header, are left intact.

Quelle surprise.

Russians in Syria, US Backing Rebels: Will World War III be World War I Redux?

6:28 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Bayrische Pickelhaube

Things are getting more “interesting” (and when I say “interesting” I mean “scary”) in Syria:

Russian military advisers are manning some of Syria’s more sophisticated air defences – something that would complicate any future US-led intervention, the Guardian has learned.

The advisers have been deployed with new surface-to-air systems and upgrades of old systems, which Moscow has supplied to the Assad regime since the Syrian revolution broke out 21 months ago.

The depth and complexity of Syria’s anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky.

Air strikes against chemical weapon depots would potentially disperse lethal gases over a vast area, triggering a humanitarian disaster. US and allied special forces have been trained to seize the air bases where the warheads are kept, but it is unclear what the next step would be. It would be physically impossible to fly the hundreds of warheads out of the country, while it would take thousands of troops to guard the arsenal for what could be many months.

Chemical weapons potential: Check.
Smaller nations and rebel groups used as proxies by Great Powers: Check.
Potential for other nations to be sucked into the conflict: Check.

All that’s missing is for somebody to wear the Pickelhaube and someone to wear the poppy. Read the rest of this entry →

GOP/Media Complex Blows Smoke In RE: Obama and Poland and Russia

6:49 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

All Friday afternoon, NPR, CBS, and the rest of the Traditional Media were busy pretending that OMG OMG THAT DAMN BLACK GUY OBAMA JUST GAVE POLAND TO RUSSIA!!! Quotes from various Polish political figures were trotted out as evidence that the Poles hate both the decision and Obama and the US now forever and ever and ever, Amen.

Which is why this Polish opinion poll hasn’t got much US media play outside of Attackerman and The Politico. Here’s my cleaned-up version of the Google Polish-to-English translation thereof:

The GfK Polonia survey for [the Polish publication] "Rom" shows that although the Poles are divided on the missile program, its opponents have a considerable advantage. 48 percent think it’s a good thing for Poland, whereas only 31 percent consider this decision as bad.

As many as 58 percent of respondents believed that the lack of U.S. missiles did not affect the level of Polish security.

Of course, it helps that Russia has immediately responded to Obama’s decision by cancelling its plan to deploy missiles near Poland — thus making Poland safer than before — but that’s another thing you won’t be hearing on NPR or CBS or anywhere else in the TradMed this weekend.