Archive for the ‘Russians – Putin’ Category

Red Notice: A timely book to read…

July 20, 2018

One of the early advantages about retirement is finally having time to read books that have little or nothing to do with my courses…

First up: was Red Notice.  Recommended by my son, long before this week’s Russia events and reactions..



This was an engaging read … and provides an interesting back-drop to the current Russia bruhaha…


In a nutshell:

Browder was a brash, recently minted Stanford MBA who moved to Russia and built Hermitage Capital … a hedge fund that rose to prominence as the biggest foreign investor in Russian businesses.

Browder leveraged keen financial analysis to identify market anomalies and undervalued assets … and had brass balls, utilizing aggressive strategies against Russia’s oligarchs and Putin’s government.

Predictably, taking on Putin ended badly.

Browder – and most of his team- got out of Russia, avoiding incarceration and physical harm.

But, one of his lawyers – Sergei Magnitsky – was jailed by the Russians, tortured in an attempt to get him to turn on Browder, and eventually beaten to death.

Browder turned Magnitsky’s death into a human rights case against Russia … and was the driver behind the Magnitsky Act which banned the perpetrators from the U.S. – establishing a blueprint for other human rights violators.


The biggest takeaways were Browder’s keen investment analyses … and his gross underestimation of Russian brutality against perceived enemies of the state.

No doubt about it … Putin is one mean & nasty dude…

Update: For more detail, see today’s WSJ editorial Donald Trump, Meet Bill Browder

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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Rand Paul cuts to the chase re: meddling…

July 18, 2018

Though often annoying, Rand Paul is consistent on a couple of important issues (think privacy and non-intervention) … and has an ability to to hone in on pivotal conclusions.

This week — after the Trump-Putin meeting — Sen. Paul cut to the chase on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections…


What if the undocumented 12 million were Russian … instead of Hispanic ?

March 13, 2018

Would everyone keep their same views re: immigration?  I think not.

When President Trump said “take away the guns (from the mentally ill) and worry about due process later” … the MSM had a field day.

“What if President Obama had said that? Everybody on the right would be screaming that he’s coming for our guns.”

Maybe so, but that’s not the point.

I love playing what I call the “Control H” game … tech talk for replacing one word for another.

You know, substitute Obama (or Clinton) for Trump and ask: “would the press be as outraged?”

Usually the answer is “no.”


I recently played a variation of the Control-H game with a buddy who was spewing all of the left-leaners’ talking points about DACA, Sanctuary cities and immigration laws  in general…


Macedonian bot farms sigh relief …

February 19, 2018

Feds nail Boris & Natasha for trolling the internet.

Seriously, this is like something out of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

Friday was a very, very bad day for the DOJ / FBI.

First, it was disclosed that they failed to act on a very hard tip that the Florida school killer was literally locked, loaded and intending carnage.

Then, in an apparent attempt to deflect attention away from that egregious miss, the DOJ / Special Investigator held a spur-of-the-moment press conference to announce that a handful of Russian companies and individuals were being indicted for “sowing discord” and “meddling” in the Presidential election.


Rather than just taking the talking heads at face value, I decided to read the indictment.

Honestly, it brought back memories … of Dudley Do-Right foiling the feeble plots of Boris and Natasha on Rocky & Bullwinkle.



Let’s go through some of the details …


Intel Report: Like a typical Chinese meal …

January 9, 2017

Fortune cookie was the best part … and I’m hungry again.


Over the weekend, we posted : Intel Report on Russian hacking … my take.

Now that the dust has settled, I’m getting that “where’s the beef feeling”?

Best I can do is:

Key points: Russians were more #NeverHillary than pro-Trump … no evidence that the election was impacted …  none of the purloined emails were fakes or forgeries … Russians held back some of the juicier information-bombs to drop during Clinton’s expected presidency (and, they still have those morsels stockpiled).

click to view report


My questions:

1) How were the sleuths able to able to find cyber-prints in this case but came up empty on the Clinton server (though the FBI reported that there was a high probability the enemy agents hacked that server, too)?

2) Wasn’t there any evidence of other foreign forces hacking into the same information bases, say the Chinese or North Koreans? Or, did our spies succumb to “fixation bias” (with a little “confirmation bias” thrown in) and only looked at a Russian connection? Maybe the problem is bigger and broader than reported.

By the way, what’s up with the Feds failing to haul in the suspect computers & servers and analyzing them for clues and evidence? Geez, on every episode of American Greed, the cops haul off the perp’s computer …

3) What info are the Russians holding in storage, waiting for an opportune time to cause some real havoc? Hmm. Maybe they have some of the classified material that was held safe (?) on Clinton’s and Weiner’s computers. Isn’t anybody worried about that?

Those are the questions that I’d like to see answered.

I’m not holding my breath …


Though it was generally superficial and disappointing, I did ID one useful part of the report (seriously) …


NY Times: FBI clears Trump of Russian ties …

November 1, 2016

… and, says Russian hacking intended to disrupt election, not boost Trump


Trying to shift attention off Weiner’s email stash, Team Clinton started flashing the Russian shiny object yesterday:

You know, Trump and Putin are in collusion.

Well, even the Dem newspaper of record – the NY Times – concedes that there’s no “there” there.


Here’s the relevant snippet from the Times article …