School Walkouts: An Irresponsible Tool of Mob Rule (Ochlocracy)

Photo: 1969 Harvard Walkout

There are many ways to demonstrate for policy change. We would expect places of learning for intelligent students led by mature and erudite teachers, to choose methods like debates, briefings, seminars, and councils. The school walkout is not new, nor is it clever, nor does it present its teachers and students in a respectable manner. It is nothing more than the schoolhouse version of the syndicalists’
general strike. Consequently, it should not shock anyone that the 2018 school walkouts are “astroturfed” by unions through their Women’s March influence operation.

Observant citizens will recall the marketing style, branding, sponsors, and partners of the One Nation Rally from the Obama years. The “Women’s March” is just a new face on the same organizations and ideological interests. The confluence of interests includes radical environmentalists, feminists, communists, democratic socialists, SEIU, AFL-CIO, syndicalists, social justice redistributionists, abortion advocates, racial activists, LGBT activists, felon activists, and public-school unions. Their goal? To elect democrats, and shepherd the democratic party towards their interests. To use a phrase from one of their most popular communist bands:

“Ain’t the new sound
just like the old sound
just like the noose wound
over the burning ground”

A school walkout is the childhood emulation of a general strike. The syndicalist general strike punishes consumers, business owners, the government, and the workers themselves. It’s an act of passive aggression writ large. The workers most likely were perpetrating level-one-and-two passive aggression in their workplace (temporary compliance, intentional inefficiency). In the general strike, they escalate to levels three, four, and five (problem instigation, hidden revenge, self-harm).

Acknowledging the behavioral and social manipulation of the general strike, it’s easy to understand the uncreative and irresponsible school walkout. The activist teachers and their student pawns seek to punish school administrators, school boards, parents, and the students and teachers themselves. Inspiring a minor to forego precious instruction time in order to parrot the democratic party activism of their teachers and parents is the height of irresponsibility.

Instigating school walkouts seeks to use the natural restlessness of youth, which would prefer to be whimsical and unproductive, and direct it towards rebellious mob activism. Would most students prefer to quietly and tediously solve math equations, or would they prefer to chit chat and fool around with friends in a circus atmosphere? What kind of political party would abuse the education of children for their own policy agendas? The democratic party should sanction the partners of the Women’s March and disavow this terrible influence operation.

Even worse, the school walkout can potentially turn students against their parents, their communities, and indoctrinates them with collectivism. They have not earned the moral justification for activism by first reviewing all of the evidence and opposing arguments. Like many foolish adults, they are consequently just parrots of whichever influencer they trust. The school teacher is gifted a near-monopoly of trust by the community and parents, and in that abused gift lies the betrayal of a teacher who instigates school walkouts.

If we agree that these acts of passive aggression are damaging to children, and that the teachers and parents who enlist child-pawns to do their political bidding are grossly abusing their power – then the question becomes, how do we confront this gaggle of lost souls? Our constitution affirms our natural rights to free association and assembly. That should apply to people within schools, businesses, and unions equally. In the workplace scenario, so long as right-to-work laws are advanced, the coercive aspects of union membership will be balanced by those of non-members.

Likewise, students should have the right-to-learn:

  1. A student should be free to walk out – and they should be subject to the same consequences for walking out as any other reason.
  2. A teacher should be free to incite her students towards her own ideological crusade and choose an unexcused absence from her job – and she should be subject to the same consequences for incitement and absenteeism as any other reason.
  3. The school administrators should be free to use their school as a tool of democratic party activism, by either permitting the walkouts without consequence, or by advocating them directly – and the school board and voters should then replace the administrators with ones who actually respect education.

A school under my management would never use education time for biased activism, even if we would encourage civic engagement in other ways. Nor would we harbor, protect, and apologize for deranged young killers who might someday come upon the tools of arson, shootings, or vehicular homicide.

Considering that this school walkout is a leftwing influence operation to scapegoat guns for failures of law enforcement, schools, and mental health professionals, it is egotistically self-serving in its whitewashing of teachers’ and school administrators’ responsibility to detect, isolate, correct, and neutralize predatory students – who could choose any weapon of mass killing. That is why the confluence of democratic party interests are astroturfing the event. Their sacred belief in the public education model is currently at risk, so they must deflect at all costs – in this case, towards their profane item of self-defense: guns.

While the actual policy goals are laughable and cannot stand against rigorous debate, the school walkout is a more insidious beast, using tax-funded education to inculcate a mob mentality in our youth. A healthy nation prefers academics to enlighten with reason, civility, and evidence, rather than to incite with propaganda, disobedience, and emotion. Perhaps the Women’s March and its affiliates use these methods because they know that their gun control agenda would never survive an honest, civil, and intellectual contest.

The front-persons of the Women’s March (Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland)

The partners of the Women’s March:

The misguided influence operation of the Women’s March:


SOTU Viewership 1993 to 2018: Trump Beats Obama, 2008 Baffles the Erudite

On January 30, 2018, President Donald J. Trump delivers his first State of the Union Address

Trump’s detractors want to present his SOTU viewership statistics in a way that deflates his influence. Trump’s enthusiasts want to present the numbers in a way that aggrandizes his influence. Alvarism just wants to know the truth in order to best advise our office holders. No other analyst to our knowledge adjusted for population growth or added digital viewers. The result of our analysis shows that nothing much has changed in nearly 30 years except for how viewers choose to watch the speech. When digital viewer projections are added to the numbers, Trump has beaten Obama’s equivalently-phased viewership by about 11% in 2017 and 2018:

The implication? Whether you love or hate Trump, curb your enthusiasm – the trend shows nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps the most alarming thing about this chart is that the Islamist terror attacks of 9/11, dot-com bust, and Iraq War gave crescendo to Bush’s 2003 record engagement, but the housing bust didn’t bump viewership in 2008 to the highest point on this chart. In fact, 2008 was the lowest viewership except for Clinton’s last year in office. It seems as though the long-term and egregious impact of the housing bust was never appreciated and remains obfuscated.

The point about the housing bust is critical. People are apt to tune in when they are either concerned or enthused; therefore, using SOTU viewership as a gauge of Presidential approval is fairly banal. The amount of grand concern over the housing bust should have shot 2008 viewership through the ceiling. Meanwhile some claim Obama’s 2009 reception was “historic” when in fact, it doesn’t even rise to the engagement in 2003 because of the Iraq War, and when Trump has exceeded him by eleven percent.

I’m personally not a fan of modern political speeches, even delivered by politicians that I favor. Carefully constructed emotive content, exploitation of poster children, propaganda techniques, fallacies, and fact-challenged assertions combine into an onslaught of insults against our intelligence and virtues. There’s not some grand conspiracy, it’s just that these techniques have proven to be effective, so all parties hire speechwriters who use them. This modern reality seems to turn Edward Bernays’ Propaganda, Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion, and Bertrand Russell’s The Impact of Science on Society into prophecy.

On the other hand, what I am incredibly interested in, is how effective political teams are at constructing public relations (PR), including speeches. Business PR is not so different from political PR. Businesses are responding to market demands, and engaging buyers. Politicians are responding to civic demands, and engaging voters. The market of American civics is massively diverse. There are so many caucuses, nonprofits, third-parties, and thousands of lobbyists moving policy and ideology in the USA, that party-line devotees to the Democrats or Republicans are often disillusioned by legislation and agency actions that don’t seem “pure” to the party-line. If one politician could achieve everything they intend within our system of checks-and-balances, then our government might look more like a pantheon of warring pagan gods than a Republic with compromise and deference.

The current state of the union tradition was created for mass media broadcast over radio and terrestrial television. For most of our history, it was simply a written report. In the information age, the Constitution’s intent should be fulfilled with modern tools. A stream of well-curated reports and data should be given to congress from the President on a quarterly basis. The President should open his engagement to formal exchanges between party and caucus leaders, and the American public should tune in to those proceedings, rather than emotive speeches decorated by a circus environment of phrase-by-phrase congressional adulation-clapping and protestation-sitting. The Constitutional intent was to create understanding and synergy between the Executive and Legislative branches of our government. It remains unclear how that goal is achieved by foisting 20th century mass media artifacts, mass psychology tactics, and emotive manipulation upon the electorate.

If this widespread distortion of the SOTU historical ratings are indicative – very few Americans are aware of the facts and concepts presented here.

Some sources used in this analysis:

Nielsen ratings:

Age demographics:

Streaming TV Trends:

Streaming TV and Age Demographics:

Traditional TV Trends:

2018 Economic Sovereignty Presentations

What’s better than a one-of-a-kind book that condenses volumes of socioeconomic intrigue, concepts, research, and discoveries into a few hundred pages? It’s a presentation of the findings by the author, with Q&A, and book signing! Economic and financial issues change year-to-year, but the discoveries and concepts in Economic Sovereignty: Prosperity in a Free Society remain the same. In 2018, Alvarism has added an assessment of the new GOP Tax Bill to the Economic Sovereignty presentations.


Use our contact form to RSVP, or private message Alvarism LLC or Thomas Kurek on Facebook.

Please RSVP five days before the event to allow organizers to scale their accommodations. The venue address will be disclosed upon RSVP.

Current Presentation Dates

February 13th, 2018 6:30 PM – Fairfax County, VA
February 25th, 2018 12:30 PM – Sterling, VA

Event Description
Financial self-determination, economic misconceptions, class warfare, and the “managed decline” of the US economy revealed. New GOP tax bill assessed.

What do federal and state governments spend our taxes on? How has government spending changed over the years? What does poverty and prosperity look like in America – by numbers and in lifestyle?

The TEA Party, Occupy Wall Street, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and economists from different schools of analysis have different visions of the American economy. Economic Sovereignty looks at the economy by the hard numbers, evaluates income dynamics, and juxtaposes American economic performance against the global economy. It also evaluates political ideology that biases economic assertions.

This research arrives at concepts for personal financial independence and policy suggestions for the government to eliminate the debt and restore economic self-determination to American citizens. Join the author in a presentation of the key findings and discover this uncommon knowledge with a personal touch.

Author and speaker Thomas Kurek founded Alvarism LLC, a think tank for economic and sociological analysis based upon empirical, rational and perennial knowledge paradigms. His services were commissioned by the State Department, global hospitality and tourism, ecommerce, healthcare, state government, FBI, and Department of Defense.

Revealed: Economic Sovereignty Cover & Graphic Design Decisions

Full cover of Economic Sovereignty – back, spine, front

The graphic art in Economic Sovereignty: Prosperity in a Free Society is fairly suggestive for a nonfiction book in the socioeconomics, political science, political economy, and comparative economics categories. The first requirements were practical – the images must be obtainable in acceptable-quality resolution, and copyright-free. Although this work is academic, educational, journalistic, and not-for-profit – giving us legal fair use for most copyrighted content – there is no good reason to wantonly frustrate our neighbors’ intellectual property claims.

The cover photo was taken by accident during an uncommon blizzard in the suburbs of Washington DC. The photographer, Ms. Jennifer Serrano, was visiting the area to collaborate on the book and investigate prospects for her career. As a California girl who had never seen such an idyllic winter wonderland, she was mesmerized. Unlike we northeastern snow-goers, who tend to call the snow something along the lines of “fluffy white expletives,” dumping upon us only to crash our cars, make our elderly fall on the pavement, and delay our transportation, Jennifer looked at the snow much like a child making igloos and snowmen. I thought she was going to max-out her cloud storage with all the photos she was taking, but her enthusiasm was a fun reminder of what’s loveable in snow.

Consequently, the cover photo was not planned at all. I just remembered it when reviewing dozens of candidates. Winter was the perfect landscape for Economic Sovereignty, because the harsh weather and desolation represent economic erosion perfectly. The blacks, whites, and greys symbolize the continuum of ideology between the valorists and the institutionalists. The green, gold, and red use color psychology that I learned while branding our music technology company, MYnstrel.

As for the subject? A solitary man marches forth, determined, and persevering through the elements, despite the conditions. A sidewalk to his right is covered to his waist in snow – he takes whatever path is available and yields to the occasional car passing to avoid an untimely accident. His heavy briefcase is a mobile office-in-a-bag – running database servers, web servers, software development environments, Microsoft office, internet, graphics design, and video production. A woman who once tried to carry it needed both arms and had to take a break after less than a block of walking. Despite the icy roads, one way or the other, the meeting was going to be held and the work would get done.

The profligate government had no such incentive to get their work done. Even though most roads were more traversable than mine on the day of that photograph, the schools and government were closed in a purely lazy capitulation to lawyers’ liability intimidations. This lack of ruggedness would make our forefathers ashamed of us, recalling Valley Forge:

Luckily, this business warrior had only economic targets and did not have to risk life and limb for his job. What a privilege it is to pursue prosperity in peace without crime and war. This solitary walking man marching uphill, illustrates the individual prosperity considerations and career choices that every American must make for themselves as they try to add value for their neighbors. Nothing needs to be done to create poverty and ignorance; it is the natural state of mankind. Only the willpower and virtue of individual human beings can fight poverty and ignorance.

With all of this in mind, it was the perfect cover photo.

On the back cover, the Hindenburg disaster is shown to illustrate the coming economic crises, and the historical crises in general that are discussed in the book. Few know that the creators of the Hindenburg warned its operators not to fly it during conditions favorable to static electricity. The operators ignored the warning and it exploded when they dropped the metal cables to the ground. Likewise, this book is a warning about the financial decisions that lead to economic disaster – on a personal and national level.

The photo of Warsaw Poland in the aftermath of World War 2 shows a woman and man making their photo to look as the city did before the destruction. It is a reminder that such rose-colored glasses can be useful in the aftermath of any tragedy, so that people can pick up the pieces and make the best of what comes next. But to what extent does this idealism hinder the accurate perception that’s needed to make the right choices?

The honeycomb and honey pictures on the spine represent the brand of the Alvarian Press and its motto: “Hive mind resigned, honeybee set free.” It is a reminder of the Barberini family’s paternalistic view of its subjects in 17th century Italy, as they opposed the Medici family. Cardinal Maffeo Barberini was elected as Pope, and he put the honeybees of his coat of arms on his monuments. John Bargrave said of Pope Urban VIII:

“Upon his elevation, his kindred flew from Florence to Rome like so many bees (which are the Barberini’s arms), to suck the honey of the Church, which they did excessively.”

In the context of the time, honey was a symbol of God’s favor in the promised land, and the hive represented a well-ruled Church. Later, bees were used often on the seals of savings and loans institutes. Alvarism wants to spread the honey, and rejoices in the liberated thinking that guards against Barberini-styled nepotism and collectivism that was encouraged by so many institutionalists in history. In ideological terms – we are erasing the patronizing symbolism of the hive and bees by appropriating it for its opposite meaning. If the Medici family could laugh from beyond the grave, this sardonic imagery would be their punch line.

The cover is definitely not the crowning achievement of Economic Sovereignty compared to the actual research, but it’s a great illustration and enhancement. There is meaning and purpose behind every detail.

But Economic Sovereignty today! Click here for more details!

Alvarism Activities Update

A sarcastically hysterical meme about priorities of innovators

The project load and task lists of Alvarism never grow shorter. Here is a quick update on recent activities:

  1. Thomas Kurek’s labor was required to maintain MYnstrel, Inc.’s trademark with the USPTO. The Office Action response was completed and submitted last weekend
  2. MYnstrel Inc.’s old website was stunning, but newer and more efficient platforms exist today for basic communications. The site is transitioning to a WordPress platform, and partners are updating the migrated content. The old site will be available on one of our domains within the next few weeks.
  3. The final pieces of the series, The Dangerous Fake Narratives of Hackers, Internet Trolls, and Spies, will not be published until congressional Republicans decide how to shape a commission that decouples the realistic election results from the foreign influence operations. If it is delayed past Q1, we will publish an update.
  4. The Civic Social Network – the next generation of social networking that empowers news consumers, activists, nonprofits, government liaisons, and academic researchers – is on its way towards financing. Thomas Kurek is personally designing the system, using Sparx Enterprise Architect.
  5. News2Share has requested that Thomas Kurek appear in a documentary on transhumanism. Alvarism is preparing a briefing on the economic implications of transhumanism – focusing on implications for the division of labor, political economy, prosperity incidence, disruptive innovation, and the disutility of labor. The interview is tentatively scheduled for the end of February. The documentary is not advocacy, but aims to present an objective treatment of the topic.
  6. The second Alvarism book is scheduled for release at the end of 2017. It educates readers on the economic support industries – healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, national security, and culture (religion, education, civics, journalism, entertainment). It also chronicles those industries by the numbers with the same rigor as Economic Sovereignty. There are reams of major discoveries. A teaser: based upon democide and troop casualty data, the US is one of the most peaceful nations in history. Reagan’s rejuvenation of peace through strength was not just fanciful rhetoric. Also, Americans spend much more on culture than healthcare and energy. Here is a challenge that emerged: how does a person find statistics on homicide, broken down by the type of killing? Can you find historical data on prosecutions for first-degree, second-degree, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and felony murder? If you can, please contact us and let us know! You will be shocked at how American crime and imprisonment has changed over the years. Once you get to know the economic support industries, you will have a powerful understanding of some of the most important experiences in our lives – war, peace, crime, punishment, health, and culture. You will also see how these industries can either enhance or degrade prosperity.
  7. Requested public speaking engagements have been postponed until Q2-Q3 due to priorities
  8. New content will be published to the website throughout Q1

Onwards and upwards!

The Dangerous Fake Narratives of Hackers, Internet Trolls, and Spies: Part 2

Nathan Hale is Executed by the British on September 22, 1776 for Spying

In part one of this essay, we reviewed Russian and American political influence scuffles reported by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, New York Times, and Washington Post. Without context that includes the 2011 Russian election fraud and the Trolls from Olgino, an observer may be incredibly confused upon hearing of alleged Russian hacking. Conflating Wikileaks and its source with the hacking entity is a popular misnomer. But before we turn to hacking, we need to complete the story of Russian trolling, disinformation, and “fake news.” Without this knowledge, we have no context for the greater Russo-American political influence scuffle to which these events contribute. How did the United States respond to coordinated Russian disinformation in 2014? Why would Russian trolls shift from fanning the flames of leftist narratives to supporting Trump?

2014: The US Counter-Disinformation Team

Rick Stengel, US State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy

The US State Department was tired of Russia meddling with American public opinion. Secretary of State John Kerry called the Russian state-sponsored news media in the West, Russia Today (RT), a Kremlin propaganda arm. His Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, Richard Stengel wrote that RT engages in disinformation.

Under the Bureau of International Information Programs, the US State Department created a Counter-Disinformation Team, modeled after the Reagan Administration’s Active Measures Working Group. With a beta website and hired staff, the project was scrapped after only eight months. Counterintelligence officer John R. Schindler said that the Obama administration decided that the project would antagonize Russia. An anonymous official inside of the US State Department said that the Obama administration simply refused to take Russian disinformation seriously. Both are likely to be true – the Obama Administration likely had the mentality – “why are we going to antagonize a foreign nation by responding to a threat that we don’t believe can seriously impact America?”

Perhaps one of the most glaring political contradictions of this story is that we do not hear a clamor from Democrats about the Counter-Disinformation Team. Top Democrat officials with the power to confront Russian meddling, identified the threat in 2014 and then summarily scrapped the program. Now they speak of “fake news,” disinformation, and hacking, only after they lost an election. There’s nary a whisper to be heard in Democrat circles, saying, “Who were the people that promoted the Counter-Disinformation Team? Which of Obama’s appointees scrapped the program? That project would have preempted this issue.”

On the other hand, the question of whether government intelligence teams are the best tools to confront disinformation is much more important and will be discussed at the end of this series.

2015: Russian Trolls for Trump

After exacerbating American racial and class tensions with leftist groups like La Raza, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy Wall Street, Russian disinformation shifted to promoting Trump and denigrating Hillary Clinton. The Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, RAND Corporation, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute agreed that Russia was using social media, paid internet trolls, botnets, and websites to criticize Clinton and support Trump. But why would they support Trump? Was this just the Putin Administration’s revenge on American Democrats for shedding light on his party’s corruption in 2011?

Knowing the biography of the Putin Administration, we can say that it was a delightful three-for-one deal: revenge/intimidation, shifting US/Russian loyalties abroad, and chaos in US civics. Their emotional side relished the thought of getting revenge against Hillary Clinton. Their rational side perceived an opportunity to serve Russian state objectives.

The Russian government does not care who wins US elections. Their goal is to erode faith in the United States government, its policies, and its interests, in order to pave a path for Russian influence, culture, deals, and policies abroad. Russia has adopted a part-mercantilist and part-Eurasianist stance, and its competitor is “Atlanticism,” led by the United States. Russian interference in US civics will always fight Atlanticism, and support their mercantilist and Eurasianist positions. The research of RAND, Elliot School, and FPRI was corroborated after the election, when Russian officials were caught celebrating Trump’s victory by NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT). This suggests that Putin’s Administration truly believes that Trump will be better for its mercantilist and Eurasianist agenda and worse for Atlanticism. Whether or not that is true – a separate issue. Russia has been wrong about most concepts in politics, economy, and culture for over a century. It also suggests that the Russian trolling for Trump was not motivated by revenge or disruption of US civics alone.

A third motivation is to spread chaos in United States civic discourse via disinformation, so that Americans have a harder time arriving at a sensible understanding of their own interests. Disinformation (black propaganda) does not induce emotional support like standard propaganda. It is an intentionally false narrative, supported by some truths, which poisons open communication channels by lowering the signal-to-noise ratio (valid information is the signal, disinformation is the noise). Disinformation fills the citizen’s head with lies, and it also creates noise and chaos. People then become cynical and paranoid about the communication channel itself, and they have a harder time participating in free, honest, and open information exchange. Most people lose interest in listening to the communication because picking out the signals from the noise becomes too tedious.

Intelligence is ultimately a preparation of the battlespace. The battle can take the form of a conventional war, or economic, monetary, trade, or cultural conflict. Exacerbating racial, religious, ideological, and class tensions, dramatizing and exaggerating corruption in the US government, and filling American heads with fiction serves the same goal – weakening American civics. That cannot be achieved by exclusively playing for one side of the tension.

With this in mind, many casual observers are misled to believe that Russian trolls promoted Trump because they are incredibly excited about his policies. When we understand that the goal is to make American civics “stink” so that normal people do not like touching it, it makes perfect sense that Russian trolls would fan the flames of the Black Lives Matter, La Raza, Occupy Wall Street, and Corrupt-Hillary narratives. Soiling Trump with mountains of polemic did not need extra help. Popular US news media was doing passionate work on that task. To soil all candidates involved and produce the sentiment that the entire election is disgusting required dirt on Hillary Clinton. And quite frankly, digging up dirt on established political dynasties like the Clintons is not a difficult endeavor.

Finally, the Putin Administration’s Information Operations/Information Warfare (IO/IW) achieved classic mafia-like intimidation in addition to revenge and deranged American civic infighting. It sent a dire intimidation to American politicians of all parties: “Do not dare bring attention to Russian corruption, or assist Russian opposition politics, or else you will be the next target of destruction by disinformation, hacking, and IO/IW in general.” The Trump administration has received this message loud and clear. It will be interesting to see how it responds to the intimidation. Cowardly denial and avoidance? Brazen retaliation? Or giving Russia lip service while taking countermeasures behind the curtain?

Russia had an axe to grind with America after they blamed “the West” for their own civil unrest in response to the 2011 Russian election fraud. They started grinding that axe with the Trolls of Olgino. But trolling is not rocket science. Russia’s state-sponsored trolling surely was emulated by thousands of Russophilic sycophantic parrots across the globe with too much time on their hands. In this way, state-sponsored disinformation made by a few hundred agents can snowball into viral internet content. Former US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, put it perfectly when he characterized Russian trolling as seeking to weaken opponents and critics. He said, “They don’t try to win the argument. It’s to make everything seem relative. It’s kind of an appeal to cynicism.”

With the background of Russian-American political influence scuffles, the subsequent trolling, disinformation, and counter-disinformation stories elaborated, we have the context to ask each American: how can you confront trolls and disinformation?

Unprecedented statistical analysis of crime, warfare, terrorism, and espionage is presented in a chapter of Alvarism Book Two, which is not yet published. This essay supplements that chapter.

The Dangerous Fake Narratives of Hackers, Internet Trolls, and Spies: Part 1

A Joke Referring to Russian Alaska Day, Galvanizing Russian Patriotism by Fabricating Historical Resentment

News coverage of the Russian/American dance of political intrigue, including hacking, internet trolling, and propaganda has been mostly myopic. The braided conversation is currently filled with everything that makes our modern news environment toxic. Conflicting groups mingle twisted psychology with international espionage deceptions into a maelstrom of fiction. Many Democrats have used Russia as a scapegoat for their political repudiation at the polls, in complete denial of their failures. For those whose memories extend beyond four years, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party peddled a similar narrative about United States’ alleged interference with Russian elections in 2011. Meanwhile, many Republicans have denied Russian involvement, cynically asserting that Russian hacking is just a fabrication to stain the legitimacy of Trump and his rightwing appointees. Conspiracy theories abound. Some of the most fanciful: Obama sabotaged Hillary Clinton for his own personal gain, Israel hacked the DNC, and our own intelligence agencies carried out the hacks. Where are the professional, nuanced, and honest presentations of facts and context?

Because this saga of global intrigue requires uncommon knowledge of espionage, politics, public relations, and ideology, and spans complex ongoing events since 2011, the story could not be told in one-thousand words. In this three-part essay we will discuss the first volley during the Russian election of 2011, the Russian disinformation response via The Trolls of Olgino, the failed United States countermeasure in John Kerry’s scrapped Counter-Disinformation Team, the evolving Russian disinformation objectives, the alleged Russian hacking of US political parties, and finally what impact, if any, Russian activities had on the election outcome, and whether they achieved their intelligence objectives (two separate concerns). We will close with some practical advice on confronting internet trolls of all sorts, and how America should respond to disinformation in general, whether it comes from a particular foreign intelligence program, useful idiots, or domestic institutions.

Citizen Confirmation Bias

To be clear, all intelligence operations are conspiracies, but armchair activists who have never so much as read a single textbook on intelligence, are always way out of their league when they speculate about espionage events. Successful deception relies upon telling the asset or target what they want to hear; nearly every bogus narrative and distortion of these complex events can be reduced to confirmation bias. Democrats do not want to believe the voters rejected their offerings in 2016. Republicans do not want to believe that Trump benefited from foreign hostilities. If the prevailing fears are of Obama, Israel, or the US intelligence community, then they must be the conspirators. In the absence of certainty, mobs of jokers are chanting, “hubba, hubba, hubba, who do ya trust?”

The least psychologically rewarding conspirator is Russia. Very few Americans are satisfied by thinking that their elections are vulnerable to foreign meddling, and in 2016, America is weary of foreign entanglement. The notion of a new major conflict does not reduce the cost of healthcare, college, and taxes, nor does it increase job opportunities and returns on investments. Americans are much more apt to indict corruption in their own government than to admit a foreign government has the power to trounce the American government in a significant way.

Unfortunately for Citizen Confirmation Bias, who relishes shoving his fingers in his ears as he swallows the banal narrative that suits his ego most favorably, getting the story right is his only cure. Misdirected hostility against fellow Americans, and the whitewashing of foreign hostilities can lead to diplomatic and security nightmares – at worst, economic turmoil and proxy wars. We must review the major players, their interests, evidence, and implications to understand these critical events.

The 2011 Russian Election Fraud

Tens of thousands of Russians protest election fraud in 2011

The story begins in 2011 when Russian election monitors reported pervasive fraud – suggesting that Vladimir Putin’s United Russia was saved by cheating. Russian opposition websites were hacked. Russia’s Interior Ministry pursued three criminal cases, and cited hundreds of electoral breaches. Massive protests ensued. If Americans thought that their election of 2016 was a Barnum & Bailey Circus, then the Russian election of 2011 was an international tour of Cirque du Soleil.

From her US State Department officialdom, Hillary Clinton twisted the knife protruding from United Russia’s belly, calling for investigations into Russian election fraud and the Putin Administration’s intimidation. She characterized the Russian election as “neither free nor fair.” Putin and Medvedev reacted to the allegations with denial, despite dozens-of-thousands of Russian protestors and official indictments by the Russian government itself. Medvedev said, “I consider such statements absolutely irresponsible, deceitful, and even provocative.” Putin blamed the protests on Hillary Clinton’s “signal,” as he derided his Russian protestors – calling their white ribbons “condoms” and accusing them of being paid agents of the West.

This event is significant because it formed the motivation for the latest volley of Information Operations/Information Warfare (IO/IW) between the United States and Russia. Russian internal corruption, in which Putin’s government perpetrated intimidation, fraud, and cheating, while political parties jostled and hacked each other, was simply called out by Hillary Clinton from an official capacity. America became an easy target for Putin’s Administration when they accused Hillary Clinton of “deceit and provocation,” and their domestic opponents of being paid Western agents. Putin’s political entourage had secured their scapegoats for civil unrest in the wake of their contaminated democratic proceedings.

The 2013 Trolls from Olgino

It wasn’t long before Vladimir Putin’s first deputy, Vyacheslav Volodin, created a troll farm named the Internet Research Agency Ltd., also known as The Trolls from Olgino. In the summer of 2013, it was time for Putin and his cohorts to retaliate against “Atlanticism” of which the United States is the purported head in Russian ideological parlance. Hundreds of paid trolls made blog posts, comments, infographics, and viral videos on behalf of Russian interests. But these influence agents are not just out to spread pro-Russian propaganda. Their main goal is to perpetrate campaigns of hate, disinformation, and harassment. Investigative Journalist Adrian Chen said, “They seek to overwhelm social media with a flood of fake content, seeding doubt and paranoia, and destroying the possibility of using the internet as a democratic space.” He added a disclosure from Leonid Volkov, “The point is to spoil it, to create the atmosphere of hate, to make it so stinky that normal people won’t want to touch it.” In other words, Russian intelligence wants us to be looking at kitty cat memes instead of evidence-based articles like this.

Western investigative journalists claimed that the Russian trolls were ideologically blind. Sometimes they would promote American racial tensions with Black Lives Matter or La Raza narratives, and class warfare with Occupy Wall Street narratives. Other times, the trolls would incite ideological division in the USA by jumping onto naturally dirty American political battles with election disinformation and hacking disclosures. As we will discover by the end of this piece, the Russian paid trolls are not ideologically blind. Western observers simply do not tend to read the ideological doctrines disseminated to Russian leaders through their training and education, and they try to force-fit Russian ideology into their own Western political categories.

In the next article, we will discuss the US response to the Trolls of Olgino, the trolls’ shift to exacerbating ideological division, and the arguments for-and-against Russian hacking.

Unprecedented statistical analysis of crime, warfare, terrorism, and espionage is presented in a chapter of Alvarism Book Two, which is not yet published. This essay supplements that chapter.

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A Eulogy for Gregory Tong

His pen was an extension of his zealous and insatiable mind, that never stopped scrawling. That’s how I’ll remember my dear friend Gregory Tong. He had many passions in life, but it was his passion for civics that brought us together. We met at one of my public briefings on the Alvarian Cultural Framework. He attended three in total, and we spent many months exchanging thoughts on these deep topics. I was enamored by his perceptive insights and serene persona. He was constantly enthused, with a joyous smile that was never overstated, but never seemed to leave his face.

That grace is an uncommon feature in today’s society. We were kindred spirits in that regard, sharing the same virtues and values, so connection was very easy. He was not fond of television. He did not even own one until he was married, and he got rid of it when his beloved spouse passed on from cancer in 2008. He said that it brought mind-poison into his home – another sentiment that we shared. No wonder life was so magical to him, shielded from the cultural cacophony of nutty Californian scriptwriters. But not everything in California was anathema to Greg. He attended a magnet school for the gifted, and proceeded to Carnegie-Mellon at the beginning of his path in life as a polymath.

He housed those varied talents and skills within a five-foot-eight, thin Cantonese frame. His jet black hair never dangled passed his slightly-too-large wire rimmed glasses. He looked like a blend between Ho Chi Minh and Chiang Kai-shek, but his valorous and deep Christian goodness set him on the other side of the universe from those men in every other way. Greg ate heartily, loved herbal tea, but never drank alcohol or coffee. He tended to blend in, with a natural eccentricity in his persona that was only perceptible face-to-face. Indifferent to fashion, he wore the same blue or white plain long sleeve shirts with left side breast pockets housing two mechanical pencils. He wore black or navy casual pants, black Florsheim-type shoes, and a stainless steel wrist watch. His car was frugal as well, a grey Toyota commuter sedan. With such a vivid mind, there was no need for frivolous embellishments. He knew much about the Bible, Christianity, history, political science, education, business management, engineering, land use, water purification, food production, software systems, and nature.

Versatile knowledge and civics were not Greg’s only passion. Mayuree Tong, also known as “honeybun,” was the love of his life, and wife of twenty years. He talked about her every time we met, with joy and love leaping from his face whenever he spoke her name, and how they would someday be reunited in God’s presence. They lost their first child to a miscarriage, and Mayuree couldn’t have kids thereafter. They felt as if God had designed each for the other, and they grew closer to God through each other.

I know that Greg was an amazing husband, and a pleasure to live with, because he had mastered the seven virtues. People with his moral goodness are rare, and it certainly came out during a few intellectual arguments. As a doubting-Thomas, true to my namesake, seeing is believing. Contrarily, Greg thought about grand events and tectonic shifts in humankind. His ideas were fascinating, and despite our differences, his civility and virtue in every exchange was inspiring.

His congregation at McLean Bible Church described him as mild-mannered, quiet, thoughtful, and studious, with a Godly heart. Rob Thomson’s church group was a blessing to Greg after he lost Mayuree in 2008. The Wallwork family – Carol, Jim, Claire, and Molly – were dear to Greg and we shared some fond memories in their home. Any family would be proud to call him son, brother, or nephew. There was not an ounce of pettiness in his spirit, and much nobility.

When I see a person scrawling notes in the front row of a briefing, I’ll think of Greg, although I don’t think I’ll ever find his type of grace and zeal in that note-taking intellectual. Greg showed me the endurance of America’s forefathers across cultures, with his living example of Benjamin Franklin’s Way to Wealth, and embodiment of traditional American and Christian culture. I will miss the rare combination of gentleness, confidence, and zeal in his voice, which reminded me of my grandfather. He did great things for America with his talents, and humanity has lost one of its precious gifts this year, but heaven and Mayuree are much richer. I’m happy for them, and I’m grateful to have known Greg.

Will Swindled Middle Class Americans Ever Reclaim Their Liberty?

Plato asserted, “Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.” As middle class Americans scurry about under the weight of their enormous debts, overpriced education, inflated mortgages, unaffordable healthcare, and crushing taxation, they remain captivated by the spells of unworthy leaders. Economic deception is omnipresent within news articles, political speeches, classrooms, and movie scripts. In addition, normalcy bias and willful denial impels us to disparage anyone who conveys unpleasant truths. Consequently, the majority is stupefied whenever economic calamities strike. But middle class Americans do not need an education in economics to realize that the American dream is bending like the elbow of an inebriated politician charging his bar tab to the taxpayers. The American dream envisions a chance for everybody to gain prosperity with hard work, natural talent, and a little luck. It presumes a fair system of compensation for productivity, where the customer is king, and we direct our productive energies to wherever our neighbors vote with every dollar they spend.

The envy-mongering propagandists who weave fairy tales of inequality, have no respect for that liberty. Nor do they respect cognizant Americans who observe equal lifestyles in their communities that make Karl Marx throw parties in his grave. They are poverty hustlers, using terms like the one-percent along with fake statistics to induce wrong beliefs about prosperity incidence, which they incorrectly refer to as wealth distribution. They deceive people with more than inaccurate terminology; they distort basic concepts. Prosperity and poverty is defined by material concerns alone, but they create poetic distortions such as a poverty of spirit, family, love, or culture, as if social dysfunctions can be ameliorated with money. They must not have listened to the radio in the last century to hear song choruses like “can’t buy me love.” They also have not studied the eternal ancient wisdom of Claudius Claudianus, who said, “whoever desires is always poor.”

On the other hand, perhaps they do understand this wisdom, since they frequently inspire malformed desires in the minds of their audiences. The people that they call “poor” have video games, air conditioning, cable television, washing machines, cell phones, and computers. They eat what they want to, and have an infinitesimal chance of homelessness. Legal privileges and redistribution bring them into the same neighborhoods as middle class Americans who can barely afford to pay their bills. They live in the same places, eat at the same restaurants, go to the same schools, and visit the same doctors. They report only $15,000 in income but they spend $39,000. The poverty hustlers exclude the value of public housing, Medicaid, food stamps, and other subsidies. They do not adjust for cost of living, and they make comparisons to before-tax income. Between 96% and 99% of Americans have had reasonable access to healthcare since the 1980s. The proportion of Americans who live in statistically falsified, fake poverty is 14.3%, while 20% of middle class Americans use welfare for perks. Only one-percent of Americans are actually destitute – truly impoverished with inadequate shelter, food, or clothing. They suffer because of the fake poor and their poverty hustlers – not because of inadequate taxation. In this redistributionist society, equality is plentiful and justice is scarce.

How can we better envision this crushing level of equality
within which we are immersed? Death is the great equalizer, but the same could be said about traffic. Since America is over 80% urbanized, we often sit in traffic observing the cars around us. Who is prosperous? The guy in the Mercedes Benz is in debt by $800,000 after his mortgage, car, and student loans. His profligate debt is not prosperity. The guy next to him in the Porsche is a violent drug dealer, one step away from prison. The guy behind him in the Corvette sold his no-interest-loan house for a fortune, stealing from his neighbors through the government bailouts, banking policies, and subsidies that artificially bubbled rental and mortgage prices to the stratosphere. The woman beside him in the Lexus is unemployed, and drawing $70,000 per year from welfare and subsidies while her children crawl around barefoot. The woman at the front of the line in the luxury SUV spends her days as a government bureaucrat barely doing four hours of work a day; she fills the rest of her “work hours” surfing the internet, perusing social networks, and texting friends and family.

One lane over, a college student in a Toyota Prius is living off of her parents and loans. The statistics say she is “poor,” but the thousands of dollars of tattoos on her skin and spring break vacations say that she is rich. A millionaire computer genius in a beat-up economy car slowly approaches the back of the line, sporting his clearance-rack button-down shirt, and tattered loafers. Next to him is a local café barista in a used Mustang. He barely makes above minimum wage, but his lifestyle is similar to that of the “rich” people in his neighborhood because they are paying for most of his rent, schooling, and healthcare through government programs.

It is difficult to discern those who earn their living honestly from those who feed from ubiquitous redistribution. Some acquire wealth from marrying, inheriting, or coercive law suits. Blue-collar union laborers are paid much more than some of their college-educated peers. Teachers, soldiers, and government employees take their compensation through enormous benefits instead of large salaries; consequently, they take a king’s ransom of prosperity in tax avoidance on top of the unstated value of their benefits. Investors reap private gains with public losses due to bank bailouts and government expenditures that salvage their failures. No decent person would claim that a wealthy prostitute, thief, corrupt businessman, or drug dealer is successful in life. They steal their prosperity through illicit actions.

Whether proper or illicit, all redistribution is essentially something-for-nothing. The measure of success is not necessarily prosperity, but a society that embraces the worst instincts of humanity easily confuses the two. Wasteful activity is encouraged from ubiquitous redistribution, and the economy begins to eat itself alive. Legendary Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises called this subtle process destructionism:

Such a policy of destructionism means the consumption of capital. There are few who recognize this fact. Capital consumption can be detected statistically and can be conceived intellectually, but it is not obvious to everyone. To see the weakness of a policy which raises the consumption of the masses at the cost of existing capital wealth, and thus sacrifices the future to the present, and to recognize the nature of this policy, requires deeper insight than that vouchsafed to statesmen and politicians or to the masses who have put them into power. As long as the walls of the factory buildings stand, and the trains continue to run, it is supposed that all is well with the world. The increasing difficulties of maintaining the higher standard of living are ascribed to various causes, but never to the fact that a policy of capital consumption is being followed…

The policy of [Classical] Liberalism is the procedure of the prudent father who saves and builds for himself and his successors. The policy of destructionism is the policy of the spendthrift who dissipates his inheritance regardless of the future.

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis

As capital is consumed through destructionism, another effect is the perversion of scales and measures. Accurate measure of value, labor, and productivity becomes divorced from compensation as the results of productive labor are collectivized and redistributed. Freedom of opportunity is sacrificed on the altar of equal outcome, burying the productivity of the ambitious and diligent.

The unique blend of economic analysis, political principles, and historical evidence in the book Economic Sovereignty dispel the illusions. The discoveries were made possible by looking at American prosperity from very different assumptions. What have we spent our money on for the past century? How much money is actually in our pockets, after all forms of taxation are considered? What are the forms of redistribution and something-for-nothing in any society? How can we estimate the level of redistribution? How have people actually acquired their prosperity in different careers?

The shocking truths that emerge will vindicate every American whose intuition suspects a subverted American dream, along with unprecedented economic equality. What remains is wealth-by-the-trillions that is trapped in overvalued services, civic expenditures, malinvestments, and real estate. The elucidated economic reality shows that the mobs of people screaming about inequality are pumping their fists in the air over illusions in their heads. If middle class Americans do not wake up to the methods of the swindlers, their liberty will continue to be stolen by criminals, scofflaws, and perfectly law-abiding charlatans.

(This article refers to sections 1.1 and 1.2 in Economic Sovereignty. All citations for the arguments here, are within the book)

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New, Exclusive Facts About America Reveal Economic Blunders

On a Sailing Ship by Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-1840

Information about the American economy suffers from giant barriers, misleading people who sincerely care about prosperity and poverty. News organizations and entertainers must cater to the bias of their audience and the interests of their owners and corporate advertisers. Educators and professors must cater to the ideological trends of their peers, mentors, and school administrators. Government officials must cater to the interests of their lobbyists, nonprofits, voters, and campaign donors. Religious leaders feed from this tornado of misinformation and try to reconcile it with their congregations’ beliefs. The facts revealed in the book Economic Sovereignty circumvented all of those influences by using only the charitable sacrifices of the author and concerned citizens. The true story of the American economy is captured within its pages – which entirely violates popular narratives.

Firstly, a prosperous economy puts more money into services than goods, because raw materials and products become much cheaper than people’s time and labor. High wages and profits follow that condition. Steady savings and investments increase, as citizens choose to use their money for an easier future. Growth in private fixed assets – the items of lasting value that contribute to our infrastructure – increases because people spend money on long-term plans instead of short-lived consumption. More profits drive competitive innovation, which leads to wondrous inventions that help everyone. Housing growth with increased quality, more spending on discretionary goods, and a growing cultural infrastructure manifest, as citizens spend their extra money on the things that gratify their desires instead of their needs. Lastly, large governments emerge with armies of lawyers and bureaucrats and high taxation, as their ability increases to siphon money from a prosperous economy without violent retaliation of the masses.

For the past century, America developed these features rapidly; it is more prosperous than ever! Its success at lifting people out of poverty is unprecedented in human history. The triumph of American liberty, capitalism, profits, innovation, competition, and small government has provided surplus for its people and foreign nations. During the same period, the socialist, imperial, and dirigiste nations across the world were destroying their societies with starvation, tyranny, stagnation, and injustice. America has seen its share of setbacks, but any failure of capitalism was enabled only by anti-capitalist interference – government picking winners and losers, or failing to enforce fair-marketplace rules. Short of a total system breakdown, it is unlikely that America will ever see the kind of poverty that emerged during dustbowl and the Great Depression. Regrettably, as American capitalism has triumphed over poverty and chaos, it has increasingly taken on the institutionalist ideology that simultaneously destroyed other nations and brought great misery to millions of people. If America refuses to trim the size of government at the state, local, and federal levels, it will continue to rot itself from the inside out – in a subtle and systematic process called destructionism.

Nevertheless, comparing America to itself over time does not give us an idea of how exceptional America is compared to the world. Unfortunately, such comprehensive treatments are nowhere to be found except in obscure economic forums. Schools and news media show us “the world” through individual experiences and personal stories that distort our perception. A person who travels to a foreign nation can acquire an emblematic or atypical picture through their tiny experience. Then they will falsely draw generalizations about foreign societies based on their limited experience amongst millions of people. Even living in the New York metropolis for decades could not give a person an accurate understanding of what millions of different people experience just miles from their home. We need to evaluate systemic evidence for any valid generalization.

In Economic Sovereignty, American economic data was compared to global economic data. It revealed that America is incredibly economically exceptional in the world because of environmental, political, and cultural advantages. Other societies have failed to use their resources and labor productively for the past century. Our production, currency stability, energy, infrastructure, technology, transportation, research, cultural publications, national security, immigration, and cultural diversity eclipse the rest of the world. The awful news is that all of these advantages have eroded since our society has increasingly adopted political and social standards that violate the fundamentals of America enshrined in our anthropology and Constitution. Without economic sovereignty, America will certainly give way to one economic blunder after the next, and remove itself from the center of the world stage. Edward Gibbon said that “the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” As America obliviously sails into a typhoon, we are left wondering if there is any navigator left who, first and foremost, demands an accurate compass and a disciplined crew.

(This article refers to sections 1.3 and 1.4 in Economic Sovereignty. All citations for the arguments here, are within the book)

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