False Flag or Not

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. [Wikipedia]

Think of a time when you acted on false information. You knew it might be false, but you acted as if it was true. Why did you do that?

As absurd as it seems, people do this all the time. People behave as if something were true even though it might not be true.

Think about runaway stocks. Remember the Iomega Zip Drive stock surge of the 1990s?

A lot of people thought Iomega would become bigger than Apple or Microsoft. I know of a man who sold all of his investments in 1995 to buy Iomega and only Iomega. He said at the time, “this will be the most valuable company of all time.”

Was he right?

From a technology standpoint, no. I was a techie back then, and I knew that Iomega Zip Drives would have a short life expectancy. Maybe two or three years tops. Rewritable CD-ROMs and massive online storage would soon make the Zip Drive a clunky burden. The Zip Drive would die fast.

But in 1995, everybody knew Iomega was the king. In fact, the Zip Drive remains to this day the number one selling computer peripheral of all time.

Because the mid-90s were the peak of nerd-worship, anyone in the tech business learned what everyone thought about technology. At family gatherings, everybody wanted to talk to me about computers. People wanted to know more, and they saw me as an expert. They also wanted to share with me their knowledge. So I learned what people were thinking.

That’s how I learned that a senior vice president at a very large corporation, a man with an MBA from a school you’ve heard of, took his life savings and bought Iomega.

Well, Motley Fool also bought a lot of IOM in 1995. And the value of their Iomega stock rose 1,500% in the next 13 months.

I ask again, did my acquaintance make the right move on IOM?

To answer the question, you need more information. You also need an understanding of the game theory concept of “common knowledge.” For that, I’ll let genius Ben Hunt of Salient Partners explain:

Your feelings about a stock, as opposed to your feelings about a company, should be completely determined by your beliefs about other investors and their feelings about the stock. In the lingo … your preference functions for stocks qua stocks are entirely exogenously derived and epiphenomenal. There is no rational internally-developed preference for one stock versus another stock, any more than I prefer a $5 chip from Harrah’s to a $5 chip from Caesar’s Palace. The only thing I care about is whether other investors, for whatever reason, will value the Harrah’s chip at $6 tomorrow.

Common knowledge is something everyone knows and everyone knows everyone knows. It’s information on which you can expect other people to act a certain way.

For example, imagine that on a Thursday NOAA and the local weather fearmongers bombard St. Louis with news of the “winter storm of the millennium” scheduled to begin the following Tuesday. You can bet store shelves will be devoid of bread, milk, eggs, and rock salt by midday next Monday. It doesn’t matter whether the prediction is right. What matters is that most people will behave as if it’s right. If you need bread or milk, you better get it on Sunday.

Except . . . other people will also think ahead, so you better beat them by shopping on Saturday. But what if a lot of people also think about shopping on Saturday? So you decide to shop on Friday.

Until . . . you think of all the other people who might be reasoning backward like you are. So, you stop at Schnuck’s on your way home from work Thursday and find bread, milk, and salt already running low. You buy three gallons of milk, three loaves of bread, and 100 pounds of rock salt. The perishables will go bad before you finish them, but that doesn’t matter. You beat both the storms and the common knowledge game. And if worse comes to worst, you can always sell your excess milk and bread to desperate, short-sighted neighbors at a high price.

That’s common knowledge. Again, it doesn’t matter whether the forecast is right. What matters is what everyone else will do in response to the forecast.

Now, back to Dr. Hunt and the old newspaper beauty queen contests:

[The 1930s was] the heyday of the Miss America contest and “bathing beauty” pageants everywhere), less so to us. Here’s how it works.

A newspaper would run a page of photographs of pretty girls, and readers were invited to mail in a ballot with their choice of the prettiest. If you picked the girl who got the most votes, you were entered into a drawing for some sort of prize. Voting for the girl you think is the prettiest is what Keynes would call the first degree of decision-making.

Now it doesn’t take a lot of thought before you realize that choosing the girl who you truly believe is the prettiest is probably not a winning strategy. To win, you need to choose the girl who gets the most votes as the prettiest, and your personal preferences aren’t nearly as useful in that task as figuring out who everyone else is going to vote for as the prettiest. Voting for the girl you anticipate more people will consider to be the prettiest is what Keynes would call the second degree of decision-making.

But there’s a big problem with the second degree. It assumes that everyone else is making a first degree decision, that everyone else is making a choice “on the merits” of the photographs and you’re the only one smart enough to think about the average preference of the group. As a result, you quickly realize that everyone will be thinking exactly like you are, so you need to make a third-degree decision – who will get the most votes when all the voters are basing their votes on who they think will get the most votes? This is the Sentiment game!

Note that this third-level decision probably has nothing to do with the relative or objective prettiness of the girls. If “everyone knows” that the brunette with the biggest smile tends to win, then that’s where you should place your vote regardless of your personal preference or your knowledge of everyone else’s personal preferences. It’s the “everyone knows” component of the contest – regardless of what the contest is fundamentally supposed to be about – that determines voting behavior and contest winners. To get beyond the third degree of decision-making requires a superior identification of whatever it is that “everyone knows”. As Keynes wrote, “We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.”

Just like shopping for staples before the snow storm, winning these beauty pageant contests required knowing what everyone else knows and anticipating their behavior.

My friend with all the Iomega stock was smart to buy when he did. If he sold near the peak, he was brilliant. If not, he might have lost a lot. Either way, though, he bought Iomega for the wrong reason. He bought Iomega because he loved the company, not because he expected everyone else to buy the stock. He wasn’t playing the common knowledge game. He was playing the corporate strategy game. My guess is he held onto the stock all the way to bottom. Unless he learned about game theory before the crash.

When you’re in a game like stocks, shopping for stables, or geopolitics (and geopolitics is a formal game), common knowledge must determine your moves. And common knowledge means you must behave as if everyone else will behave as if the key information were true even if it’s not.

Which brings us to Michael Savage and the Syrian sarin gas attack.

Dr. Savage has determined that the sarin gas attack was a false flag. Dr. Savage is not alone.

Now, let’s pretend Dr. Savage is right. Let’s just pretend that the sarin gas attack was a false flag. In other words, let’s pretend the Russians were right and there was no gas attack. Instead, anti-Assad forces staged the whole thing.

Remember, this is just make-believe, so don’t assume I’m a false-flagger. And don’t believe I’m not, either. Instead, ask yourself this: should the US response be different if Savage is right?

Your immediate answer will probably be, “Yes, of course.” You will probably tell yourself that, if the sarin attack was a false flag perpetrated by the rebels, then we should punish the rebels instead of Assad. That’s the logical and moral answer.

But is that the game theory answer?

Well, how many people besides Michael Savage and a few others believe the sarin attack was a false flag? Of those people who believe in the false-flag theory, what is their role in the game of geopolitics? Are they heads of state or of government? Do they have armies? Are they in the mass media, broadcasting into billions of brains 24/7?

Dr. Hunt reminds us what’s most important in the common knowledge game:

But the more precise answer is that the role of the Missionary is served by any signal that is propagated widely enough and publicly enough so that everyone thinks that everyone has heard the signal. The important thing is NOT that lots of people actually hear the signal. The important thing is that lots of people believe that lots of people heard the signal. The power source of Common Knowledge is not the crowd seeing an announcement or a press conference. The power source of Common Knowledge is the crowd seeing the crowd seeing an announcement or a press conference. This is why sitcom laugh tracks exist. This is why American Idol is filmed in front of an audience. This is why the Chinese government still bans any media mention of the Tiananmen Square protests more than 20 years after they occurred. The power of a crowd seeing a crowd is one of the most awesome forces in human society. It topples governments. It launches Crusades. It builds cathedrals. And it darn sure moves markets.

Geopolitics is a different game than national or local politics. But it’s still a game like stock markets. Geopolitics influences local politics, and vice versa. But it’s not a direct influence. And it’s imbalanced. Geopolitics has an immediate and ubiquitous effect on local politics, while local politics has a very slow, very gradual, and muted effect on geopolitics. Until those local events reach a tipping point.

WWII was a geopolitical event that affected the local politics of just about every country in the world. But WWII resulted from local political developments over the previous 30 years. It took a long time for local events in Germany and Japan to hit the world stage. And those local events in two countries had little influence on local politics in the USA. Until December 7, 1941, of course. Then everything changed.

Just as we stipulated that Savage was right about the false flag, let’s stipulate that all of the players in the geopolitical game will behave as if Savage was wrong. They might all know he’s right, but they also know that all the other players will behave as if he’s wrong. Like the beauty contest players, picking the prettiest girl isn’t the game. Picking the girl who will get the most votes is the game.

In Syria, the crowd saw the crowd seeing Bashar al-Assad gas babies, little babies. And that’s all that matters.

The US response, then, must be appropriate to a game in which all the other players will behave as if Assad gassed his own people. Who actually did it, if it was done at all, matters morally but not strategically.

If this story leaves you feeling dissatisfied. I’ll give you a thought experiment. What would happen if Trump had acted as if the Savage was right? How might that game unfold?

You may have your say in the comments below.

P.S. Even if you’re not interested in stocks, markets, and investments, Ben Hunt’s Epsilon Theory is a must-read site for anyone who likes to learn and think.

 

Obama Admin Wiretapped Trump *UPDATE 2*

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Now you know. You can stop doubting. You have more than hope.

The Obama administration spied on Donald Trump and his campaign and transition teams. There is no longer any doubt.

The questions that remain are:

  • Who ordered and authorized the illegal wiretaps?
  • Who illegally received and disseminated the intelligence?
  • What did Obama know?

It’s easy to declare the Obama Admin guilty after Evelyn Farkas’s admissions on MSNBC. Her admissions indicate:

  • Obama admin illegally spied on Trump team
  • She urges Obama intelligence officials to disseminate raw intelligence to Congress and the press
  • Her motivation was purely political

After admitting to possible felonies, Farkas has tried to erase her admissions. PowerLine describes her as “going Sergeant Schultz.” But the deeper you go, the dirty she looks.

Adding to Farkas’s admission, we know now that Rep. Devin Nunes knew about the wiretaps as far back as January. His attempts to see the documents were stonewalled by Obama holdovers in the intelligence community.

Now, even Democrats have access to those damning documents that could send Farkas and many other Obama officials to prison. They can’t hide the truth much longer.

Meanwhile, the CIA’s case against Trump just turned into the people’s case against the CIA. Wikileaks published the source code the CIA uses to hack into private servers (like the DNC’s) and leave “fingerprints” of Russian hackers. It now looks to everyone like the whole “Russia did it” narrative was contrived and executed by criminals in the CIA. Criminals in the CIA. Just like the Watergate days.

Turns out, again, that the more outlandish Trump’s proclamations, the more right they are. As I told you. Trust Trump. He’s more accurate than CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today combined. Trump only sounds crazy because he’s the only one telling you the truth. In a sea of lies, the truth sounds crazy.

Everyone who mocked or doubted Trump’s “wiretap” tweets owes President Trump an apology. That includes Obama sympathizers in the GOP, like Senator John “Songbird” McCain.

UPDATE Fox News has learned that the official who illegally “unmasked” Trump associates was “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world.” More from Fox:

Intelligence and House sources with direct knowledge of the disclosure of classified names told Fox News that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., now knows who is responsible — and that person is not in the FBI.

For a private citizen to be “unmasked,” or named, in an intelligence report is extremely rare. Typically, the American is a suspect in a crime, is in danger or has to be named to explain the context of the report.

Democrats might do a Friday document dump this afternoon. They’re realizing the game is over. People will go to prison for this.

 Update 2:  via The Gateway Pundit:

Senior Fox News Correspondent, Adam Housley revealed today that Intel Chair Devin Nunes knows who unmasked Trump and his associates. Sources also told him that the unmasking was purely for political purposes to embarrass Trump and had NOTHING to do with national security. 

 

Donald Trump’s Crazy Ivan

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cold War submarine lore. I can’t go into all of it here, but I can tell you about one bit of that lore: the Crazy Ivan.

Modern submarines have incredible passive sonar arrays. They can hear everything in the ocean for hundreds of miles around. Everything.

Everything except something directly behind them. Behind a submarine is a big propeller or “screw.” It turns. It pushes water abaft. The noise and the motion combine to prevent sound waves from reaching the sensors. That shaded zone is the baffle area.

 

Photobucket. Uploaded by: cbleyte

To check for enemy submarines that might be following directly behind you, you have to turn the ship to a new course. And you have to do it fast. If you turn too slowly, the enemy can respond with his own change in course and speed to stay inside your baffle zone. But if you’re traveling too fast and you turn too hard, you risk colliding with your enemy. That’s bad for both boats.

Old submariners had a story. Russian submarine captains traveling at high speed were under orders to clear baffles with a hard rudder. Dangerous as hell. No time to evade. American submarines called this risky maneuver “the Crazy Ivan.”

The phrase “Crazy Ivan” hadn’t crossed my mind since 1994. That’s when I left the submarine service. December 1994. But “Crazy Ivan” was the first thing I thought of when I read this story on The Gateway Pundit today:

Trump is clearing his baffles.

The Russian hacker story broke when, do you remember?

October. The media, in collusion with Obama’s FBI, CIA, DOJ, and Homeland Security leaked stories of a massive Russian conspiracy to throw the election to Trump. It was a topic in the last debate between Trump and Clinton you’ll recall.

The Russian story was a cover for Comey’s letter to Congress. The letter stating he’d reopened his investigation of Hillary’s illegal servers. Hillary needed cover. The Deep State provided.

If the story had worked, if Clinton had won, you’d have never heard another word about Russian hackers. The “evidence” would have been swept into the dustbin of history.

But the narrative failed. Trump won. And people who believed the Russian hacker story kept it alive. People who weren’t privy the story’s trumped-up origins. The stories in October were probably bullshit. But the geniuses at the CIA covered the bullshit with just enough molasses to hide the smell. The media bit. And the stories only grew.

On January 19, Michael Schmidt of the New York Times wrote a story about US government wiretaps. Those wiretaps, he claimed, implicated Trump lieutenants in the (phony) Russian hacker fiction. The story was timed to embarrass and discredit our new president.

Look for yourself. Here’s the change history of that article. In every version of the headline, the word “wiretap” appears.

Now, Michael Schmidt seems to claim he never wrote that story, that the New York Times never published it. The New York Times wants you to believe the headline you just read never happened.

Michael Schmidt would tell such an obvious lie for only one reason: panic.

Schmidt’s panicking. He’s panicking because Trump pulled a Crazy Ivan on his ass. Schmidt wasn’t ready for that. Politicians don’t pull Crazy Ivans. Politicians make safe turns to clear baffles. But Trump ain’t no politician.

When Trump tweeted about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower, he really just fed the media’s lies right back to them. Molasses and all. The media can’t deny Trump’s allegations without denying their own reporting on the Russian hack. Reporting they’ve done every day since mid-October. Breitbart has more evidence that the media created the Obama wiretap narrative.

That headline, “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides,” was most assuredly not a right-wing production, and it’s not even slightly ambiguous about the existence of wiretapping. Jeff Dunetz at The Lid couldn’t help noticing that the exact same reporter who wrote that New York Times piece in January is now claiming, right in his headlines, that Trump has “no evidence” of the very same wiretaps he reported as established fact just two months ago.

If Trump’s wrong, then there is no evidence of collaboration with Russia. None. Nowhere. Never was. The media is exposed as a bunch of horrible liars.

But if Trump is right, Obama is going to prison.

As Scott Adams points out, Trump often gives himself two ways to win and no way to lose.

Two Ways to Win: We often see Trump choose strategies that have two ways to win and no way to lose. That’s the best risk management of all. For example, when Trump warned that Iran should release American prisoners before he gets elected, he created two ways to win and no way to lose. If the prisoners were released (and they were), Trump could claim his threat was effective. (He did.) If Iran kept the prisoners, Trump could say the United States needs a bad-ass President like him to deal with Iran.

He’s done it again.

Pass the popcorn. Then watch our friend Ed Martin dig into this subject on Fox Business News.

How to Spot Journalism’s Psychosis

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When your brain automatically alters perceptions, there’s something wrong with you.

Reporters have this psychosis. Journalists. They have very bad ADHD it seems. They can’t pay attention. Like kids with ADHD. Chuck Todd and everybody at Business Insider should probably take Ritalin or something.

Reporters are also narcissists. No one goes into journalism unless they have a pathologically inflated ego. No one.

So I’m going to walk you through the proof, slowly, so even our narcissistic, hyperactive, attention-deficit-disordered journalists can understand that Sean Spicer played with them like a cat pawing a dying moth.

The press is making much ballyhoo over Sean Spicer’s first press statement Saturday. Even the crooked liars at PolitiFact have gotten into the fray. But the press and PolitiFact are “verifying” the facts of something Spicer didn’t say. In other words, because of their maniacal hatred of Donald Trump and his voters, the narcissists in the press are verifying a “fact” that doesn’t exist.

First, let’s look at what the press heard Spicer say, then we’ll see what Spicer actually said.

The idiots in the press heard Spicer say “This was the largest audience to ever to attend an inauguration — PERIOD.”

To refute what their brains invented, the press posted about 7 terabytes of photos comparing the Washington Mall on January 20, 2009, to the same Mall on January 20, 2017. In their self-deception, they say “Hah! Spicer’s WRONG!” Then they go off to congratulate themselves.

Had Spicer said what the press heard, the press would be right. But journalist’s brains don’t register what’s said, even when the journalists write the words themselves.

Here’s what Spicer actually said: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — PERIOD.

Over 30 million people witnessed the inauguration of Donald J. Trump–the second-most in history.  But many millions more live streamed this inauguration, like me, meaning far more people watch Trump’s inauguration than any other past President. CNN.com registered 16 million live stream viewers alone. Here’s what Entertainment Weekly said:

And actually, Trump could have been seen by more viewers than either Obama or Reagan. Nielsen ratings do not account for online viewing, which has grown sharply in recent years and is far more commonplace than even four years ago. CNN.com, for example, clocked 16.9 million live streams, tying with its Election Day coverage for the site’s top event (live stream tallies are typically not apples-to-apples with Nielsen’s strict methodology of counting average viewers, but are still additive). Plus, portals like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter offered live streams as well.

What Spicer actually said was accurate. But accuracy was never important to a journalist.

Journalists’ brains don’t work right. They’re not right in the head, as Carl Childers might say. Even when they’re staring at Spicer’s actual words, their brains substitute “attended” for “witness.” And even when I point this out to them, they are psychologically incapable of processing the actual words. Even Chris Wallace’s brain said “attend” while his eyes were reading “witness.” That’s how powerful this journalistic psychosis is. Here’s what Wallace read today on Fox News Sunday (transcript):

And then through Spicer he [Trump] said that this was the biggest audience ever to *attend* an inauguration. That’s also not true.

See how pervasive this psychosis is? Chris Wallace’s eyes saw the word “witness,” but his mind read “attend.” The two words don’t even look like each other. Dyslexia can’t account for such a word scramble. Only psychosis explains it. Only psychosis.

In the meantime, the hags who marched on Washington yesterday got kicked below the fold because the moronic press obsessed over a word substitution in their disordered brains.

Sad!

3 Ways President Trump Changes Everything

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Trump’s win is far bigger than the vote. As British General Cornwallis said at the end of  the movie ‘The Patriot,’ “Everything will change . . . everything has changed.”

If you’ve been thinking about policy, you’re thinking really, really small. Trump’s influence is way bigger. Here are three ways Trump will change America for a generation.

A Change of Uniform

Since the late 1990s, American business and social life have gone uber casual. That’s about to change. As I predicted awhile back, some big company famous for casual dress will impose a new dress code that looks like Mad Men. Women will dress better. Men will dress better. You might find yourself uncomfortably underdressed at some social event very soon.

Did you see how the Trump kids looked at the convention? They looked great, didn’t they? And they were all in semi-formal attire. You never see them in casual attire. It’s as if they were born in suits and dresses.

That influence will hit the back of people’s brains, and people will start dressing up more. Watch. Look around at church in a few weeks and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Count the number of men in ties every day, and the number will start trending up soon. So you might want to go shopping.

A Change of Family

America and much of the Western world have seen record low birth rates and fertility rates for years. That’s about to change. Family formation and childbirth is about to skyrocket.

Donald Trump exudes fertility. He’s married to a smoking hot former model who’s in her 40s but looks 15 years younger. And the Trump kids remind you of fertility. Ivanka has more kids than the average American already, and she might not be done. And they all look great.

Trump drops sexually suggestive words and phrases into his speeches and comments all the time. You don’t cognitively think “sex,” but the part of your brain responsible for sex drive catches those bombs. You can’t help but think about mating more often. The same thing happened when Kennedy took office, and the birth rate actually surged from 1962 to 1964 before petering out.

Those rising fertility rates will have a huge impact on the economy. Bigger than any policy change. Trump will get credit for the economy, but not for the birthrate. You’ve read it here, though, so you’ll know what happened.

A Change of Legacy

Every president since Richard Nixon has established a legacy based on very ethereal accomplishments like legislation and programs. Nixon’s was détente. Barack Obama had ObamaCare and the Iran nuclear deal.  W had TARP and No Child Left Behind. The exception to this soft-legacy trend was Reagan who’s remembered for tearing down the Berlin Wall even though that happened after Reagan left office. We all know Ronnie swung the first sledge hammer.

Donald Trump is not a legislator. He’s a builder. He is going to build a legacy that can’t be overturned by the next Congress. Trump plans to do what he’s always done: build amazing things. He’s going to build a wall and he’s going to rebuild a lot of infrastructure. Stuff that sticks around. Stuff you can put people’s names on. Names like Gingrich, Carson, Giuliani, and, of course T R U M P.

Trump’s legacy is not only Congress-proof, it’s concrete. Brick and mortar.  You’ll be able to use Trump’s legacy. Plus, you need people to build things, so Trump will put a lot of people to work. A lot of jobs for the kind of people who normally vote Democrat but decided to take a chance on the Republican Trump this time. When Trump said “make America great again,” he meant it, and he meant you’ll be able see America’s greatness with your own eyes. That’s incredibly bold.

If you don’t think America’s in for some major changes, just remember this post the next time you buy a tie or a pair of dress shoes. Or when you hear somebody’s getting married. Or having a baby.

 

 

Entrepreneur vs. Empress

Reading Time: 1 minutes

Adam Carolla noticed something I didn’t.

Carolla’s first reaction to the election results was this. Hillary Clinton built herself a Logan’s Run type palace for her would-be coronation. Donald Trump accepted the presidency in a room that might double as a Hometown Buffet.

Put another way, here’s what the winner’s auditorium:

Image clipped from UPI

And here’s the winner’s ballroom:

Let that contrast sink in.

Every penny of the Clintons’ hundreds of millions came from taxpayers one way or another.

Donald Trump made billions building things in the private sector.

Hillary spent a fortune to honor herself.

Trump spent a little, and it all honors America.

Those conservatives who never jumped onto the Trump train should take heart. If Donald Trump runs government as frugally as he ran his campaign, the budget deficit might go away in 2018.

And everyone should ask themselves this: who was the narcissist in this race?