"... when you see someone going on about 'Russian hacking' or 'Russian aggression' be merciful and charitable toward them as individuals, because they are temporarily incapacitated, but do not acknowledge their mad ranting, and instead try to coax them into learning to control it."
I’ve been experiencing some difficulties with commenting on the current political situation in the US, because it’s been a little too funny, whereas this is a very serious blog. But I have decided that I must try my best. Now, these are serious matters, so as you read this, please refrain from any and all levity and mirth.
You may have heard by now that the Russians stole the US presidential election; if it wasn’t for them, Hillary Clinton would have been president-elect, but because of their meddling we are now stuck with Donald Trump and his 1001 oligarchs running the federal government for the next four years.
There are two ways to approach this question. One is to take the accusation of Russian hacking of the US elections at face value, and we will certainly do that. But first let’s try another way, because it’s quicker. Let’s consider the accusation itself as a symptom of some unrelated disorder. This is often the best way forward. Suppose a person walks into a doctor’s office, and says, “Doctor, I believe I have schizophrenium poisoning.” Should the doctor summon the hazmat team, or check for schizophrenia first?
And so let’s first consider that this “Russians did it” refrain we keep hearing is a symptom of something else, of which Russians are not the cause. My working hypothesis is that this behavior is being caused by a brain parasite. Yes, this may seem outlandish at first, but as we’ll see later the theory that the Russians stole the election is no less outlandish.
Brain parasites are known to alter the behavior of the organisms they infest in a variety of subtle ways. For instance, Toxicoplasma gondii alters the behavior of rodents, causing them to lose fear of cats and to become attracted to the smell of cat urine, making it easy for the cats to catch them. It also alters the behavior of humans, causing them to lavish excessive affection on cats and to compulsively download photographs of cute kittens playing with yarn.
My hypothesis is that this particular brain parasite was specifically bioengineered by the US to make those it infects hate Russia. I suspect that the neurological trigger it uses is Putin’s face, which the parasite somehow wires into the visual cortex. This virus was first unleashed on the unsuspecting Ukrainians, where its effect was plain to see. This historically Russian, majority Russian-speaking, culturally Russian and religiously Russian Orthodox region suddenly erupted in an epidemic of Russophobia. The Ukraine cut economic ties with Russia, sending its economy into a tailspin, and started a war with its eastern regions, which were quite recently part of Russia and wish to become part of Russia again.
So far so good: the American bioengineers who created this virus achieved the effect they wanted, turning a Russian region into an anti-Russian region. But as happens so often with biological agents, it turned out to be hard to keep under control. Its next victims turned out to be NATO and the Pentagon, whose leadership started compulsively uttering the phrase “Russian aggression” in a manner suggestive of Tourette‘s Syndrome, entirely undeterred by the complete absence of evidence of any such aggression that they could present for objective analysis. They, along with the by now fit-to-be-tied Ukrainians, kept prattling on about “Russian invasion,” waving about decades-old pictures of Russian tanks they downloaded from their friends on Facebook.
From there the brain parasite spread to the White House, the Clinton presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and its attendant press corps, who are now all chattering away about “Russian hacking.” The few knowledgeable voices who point out that there is absolutely no hard evidence of any such “Russian hacking” are being drowned out by the Bedlam din of the rest.
This, to me, seems like the simplest explanation that fits the facts. But to be fair and balanced, let us also examine the other perspective: that claims of “Russian hacking” should be taken at face value. The first difficulty we encounter is that what is being termed “Russian hacking” is not hacks but leaks. Hacks occur where some unauthorized party breaks into a server and steals data. Leaks occur where an insider—a “whistleblower”—violates rules of secrecy and/or confidentiality in order to release into the public domain evidence of wrongdoing. In this case, evidence of leaking is prima facie: Was the data in question evidence of wrongdoing? Yes. Was it released into the public domain? Yes. Has the identity of said leaker or leakers remained secret? Yes, with good reason.
But this does not rule out hacking, because what a leaker can do, a hacker can also do, although with difficulty. Leakers have it easy: you see evidence of wrongdoing, take umbrage at it, copy it onto a thumb drive, smuggle it off premises, and upload it to Wikileaks through a public wifi hotspot from an old laptop you bought off Craislist and then smashed. But what’s a poor hacker to do? You hack into server after server, running the risk of getting caught each time, only to find that the servers contain minutes of public meetings, old press releases, backups of public web sites and—incriminating evidence!—a mother lode of pictures of fluffy kittens playing with yarn downloaded by a secretary afflicted with Toxicoplasma gondii.
The solution, of course, is to create something that’s worth hacking, or leaking, but this is a much harder problem. What the Russians had to do, then, was take the incorruptible, squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes faithful public servant Hillary Clinton, infiltrate the Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and somehow manipulate them all into doing things that, when leaked (or hacked) would reliably turn the electorate against Clinton. Yes Sir, Tovarishch Putin!
Those Russians sure are clever! They managed to turn the DNC into an anti-Bernie Sanders operation, depriving him of electoral votes through a variety of underhanded practices while appealing to anti-Semitic sentiments in certain parts of the country. They managed to manipulate Donna Brazile into handing presidential debate questions to the Clinton campaign. They even managed to convince certain Ukrainian oligarchs and Saudi princes to bestow millions upon the Clinton foundation in exchange for certain future foreign policy concessions. The list of these leak-worthy Russian subterfuges goes on and on… But who can stop them?
And so clearly the Russians had to first corrupt the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, just in order to render them hackworthy. But here we have a problem. You see, if you can hack into a server, so can everyone else. Suppose you leave your front door unlocked and swinging in the breeze, and long thereafter stuff goes missing. Of course you can blame the neighbor you happen to like least, but then why would anyone believe you? Anybody could have walked through that door and taken your shit. And so it is hard to do anything beyond lobbing empty accusations at Russia as far as hacking is concerned; but the charge of corrupting the incorruptible Hillary Clinton is another matter entirely.
Because here the ultimate Russian achievement was in getting Hillary Clinton to refer to over half of her electorate as “a basket of deplorables,” and this was no mean feat. It takes a superpower to orchestrate a political blunder of this magnitude. This she did in front of an LGBT audience in New York. Now, Hillary is no spring chicken when it comes to national politics: she’s been through quite a few federal elections, and she has enough experience to know that pissing off over half of your electorate in one fell swoop is not a particularly smart thing to do. Obviously, she was somehow hypnotized into uttering these words… no doubt by a hyperintelligent space-based Russian operative.
The Russian covert operation into subverting American democracy started with the Russians sending an agent into the hitherto unexplored hinter regions of America, to see what they are like. Hunched over his desk, Putin whipped out a map of the US and a crayon, and lightly shaded in an area south of the Mason-Dixon line, west of New York and Pennsylvania, and east of the Rockies.
Let me come clean. I have split loyalties. I have spent most of my life hobnobbing with transnational elites on the East Coast, but I have also spent quite a few years working for a very large midwestern agricultural equipment company, and a very large midwestern printing company, so I know the culture of the land quite well. I am sure that what this Russian agent reported back is that the land is thickly settled with white people of Anglo-Irish, Scottish, German and Slavic extraction, that they are macho, that their women (for it is quite a male-centric culture) tend to vote same way as the men for the sake of domestic tranquility, that they don’t much like dark-skinned people or gays, and that plenty of them view the East Coast and California as dens of iniquity and corruption, if not modern-day Sodoms and Gomorras.
And what if Vladimir Putin read this report, and issued this order: “Get Clinton to piss them all off.” And so it was done: unbeknownst to her, using nefarious means, Hillary was programmed, under hypnosis, to utter the phrase “a basket of deplorables.” A Russian operative hiding in the audience of LGBT activists flashed a sign triggering the program in Hillary’s overworked brain, and the rest is history. If that’s what actually happened, then Putin should be pronounced Special Ops Officer of the Year, while all the other “world leaders” should quietly sneak out the back entrance, sit down on the ground in the garden and eat some dirt, then puke it up into their hands and rub it into their eyes while wailing, because how on earth can they possibly ever hope to beat that?
Or we can just go back to my brain parasite theory. Doesn’t it seem a whole lot more sane now? Not only is it much simpler and more believable, but it also has certain predictive merits that the “Russian hacking” theory lacks. You see, when there is parasitism involved, there is rarely just one symptom. Usually, there is a whole cluster of symptoms. And so, just for the sake of comparison, let’s look at what has happened to the Ukraine since it was infected with the Ukrainian Brain Parasite, and compare that to what is happening to the US now that the parasite has spread here too.
1. The Ukraine is ruled by an oligarch—Petro Poroshenko, the “candy king”—along with a clique of other oligarchs who have been handed regional governorships and government ministries. And now the US is about to be ruled by an oligarch—Trump, the “casino king”—along with a clique of other oligarchs, from ExxonMobile to Goldman Sachs.
2. The Ukraine has repudiated its trade agreements with Russia, sending its economy into free-fall. And now Trump is promising to repudiate, and perhaps renegotiate, a variety of trade agreements. For a country that has run huge structural trade deficits for decades and pays for them by constantly issuing debt this is not going to be easy or safe.
3. The Ukraine has been subjected to not one but two Color Revolutions, promoted by none other than that odious oligarch George Soros. The US is now facing its own Color Revolution—the Purple Revolution—paid for by that same Soros, with the goal of overturning the results of the presidential election and derailing the inauguration of Donald Trump through a variety of increasingly desperate ploys including paid-for demonstrations, vote recounts and attempts to manipulate the Electoral College.
4. For a couple of years now the Ukraine has been mired in a bloody and futile civil war. To this day the Ukrainian troops (with NATO support) are lobbing missiles into civilian districts in the east of the country, and getting decimated in return. So far, Trump’s victory seems to have appeased the “deplorables,” but should the Purple Revolution succeed, the US may also see major social unrest, possibly escalating into a civil war.
The Ukrainian Brain Parasite has devastated the Ukraine. It is by now too far gone for much of anything to be done about it. All of the best people have left, mostly for Russia, and all that’s left is a rotten, hollow shell. But does it have to end this way for the US? I hope not!
There are, as I see it, two possibilities. One is to view those who are pushing the “Russian hacking” or “Russian aggression” story as political adversaries. Another is to view them as temporarily mentally ill. Yes, their brains are infected with the Ukrainian Brain Parasite, but that just means that their opinions are to be disregarded—until they feel better. And since this particular brain parasite specifically influences social behavior, if we refuse to reward that behavior with positive reinforcement—by acknowledging it—we will suppress its most debilitating symptoms, eventually forcing the parasite to evolve toward a more benign form. As with many infectious diseases, the fight against them starts with improved hygiene—in this case, mental hygiene.
And so that is my prescription: when you see someone going on about “Russian hacking” or “Russian aggression” be merciful and charitable toward them as individuals, because they are temporarily incapacitated, but do not acknowledge their mad ranting, and instead try to coax them into learning to control it.
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