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Thread: Hello and hope everyone is well

  1. #61
    XCR Guru TexasChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjorin View Post
    My cousin went through 12 hours of facial surgery two days ago. It went very well. He was setting up. He is doing rather well. Has some more surgery today. And looks like he'll be home this coming weekend. Safer there than the hospital. Several surgeries to go, but doing amazingly well. Thanks for the prayers fellas! We had a family prayer at 8pm last Friday in our respective homes. We had well over 100 family members all praying at the same time. That was a real highlight!
    Outstanding bro. That had to be hairy going in. Hope his recovery continues to go rapid and smooth.
    Do what you've always done, get what you've always got. ----- Have gun. Will travel.

  2. #62
    XCR Guru fmunk's Avatar
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    So I've been seeing (annoyed by) so many ads for The Epoch Times, I finally decided to look them up for good. And I didn't need to look far. This is from Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Epoch_Times):

    The Epoch Times is a multi-language newspaper and media extension of the Falun Gong new religious movement.[2][3] The newspaper is part of the Epoch Media Group, which also operates New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD).[4] For its articles, the publication draws from a network within China, as well as staff living in the West.[5][6][7] The Epoch Times has been publishing in Chinese since May 2000. It is either sold or distributed free-of-charge in 35 countries, including various international regional editions. The Epoch Times websites are blocked in mainland China.

    The media outlet is primarily known for promoting far-right politicians across Europe and the United States, and in particular for its promotion of U.S. President Donald Trump; a 2019 report showed it to be the second-largest funder of pro-Trump Facebook advertising after the Trump campaign.[8][9][4][10][11][12][13] The group's news sites and YouTube channels have spread conspiracy theories such as QAnon and anti-vaccination propaganda.[4][14][15]
    Falun Gong is an exiled religious cult that is banned and persecuted by the Communist Chinese Party. Epoch Times is part of their campaign to use social media and other legitimate looking platforms to influence nations (and foreign policies towards China). It is another influence op for foreign origin. And just like other influence ops, it doesn't care about collateral damage from its activities, as long as it is the sole beneficiary.

    As palatable as the content/theories might be to you (that's the point of every influence op!), you cannot ignore who the authors are and their [hidden] agenda. Even a marionet knows who is pulling its strings.
    Last edited by fmunk; 04-28-2020 at 12:31 AM.
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    Fool-proofing serves only one purpose: identify bigger fools.

  3. #63
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmunk View Post
    So I've been seeing (annoyed by) so many ads for The Epoch Times, I finally decided to look them up for good. And I didn't need to look far. This is from Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Epoch_Times):



    Falun Gong is an exiled religious cult that is banned and persecuted by the Communist Chinese Party. Epoch Times is part of their campaign to use social media and other legitimate looking platforms to influence nations (and foreign policies towards China). It is another influence op for foreign origin. And just like other influence ops, it doesn't care about collateral damage from its activities, as long as it is the sole beneficiary.

    As palatable as the content/theories might be to you (that's the point of every influence op!), you cannot ignore who the authors are and their [hidden] agenda. Even a marionet knows who is pulling its strings.
    They definitely would have an ax to grind, but that doesn't mean there isn't an element of truth to what they're saying.


    In this case, I think the truth is more likely that this wasn't a bioweapon....simply an attempt at a vaccine that got out from Wuhan's facility that was known to have poor protocols. The fact that the young female researcher who is alleged to be patient zero has been scrubbed from the internet and the fact that the CCP has been far less than transparent about this virus would heavily point towards a cover up.

    Doesn't much matter regardless. The damage has been done...and China was never an ally; they were at best a competitor...more likely an enemy adversary. That tension will continue to grow and this event will stoke the animosity....but frankly, it's long overdue on the part of Americans who have for far too long tolerated incessant IP theft, hacking, patent infringement and manipulation of markets.....but that's not entirely China's fault (and definitely not the Chinese people's)...since our government was quick to sell us out giving out favorable, unbalanced trade deals and international corporations have been more than willing to offshore the jobs and manufacturing equipment. It's environmental and wage arbitrage writ large.

    Sorry...just rambling.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

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  5. #64
    XCR Guru TomAiello's Avatar
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    Remember that it was the government of Taiwan (not the Falun Gong or Epoch Times) who was blown off by The Who (at Chinese urging) when they tried to sound the alarm on human-to-human transmission back in January.

    I'd say the Taiwanese government definitely has an axe to grind the Communist Party and the PRC. That doesn't mean they are lying, or that we should be disregarding their information.

    As long as you check the actual citations and form your own opinions, it's silly to disregard factual information simply because of who presents it.
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  6. #65
    XCR Guru fmunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean K. View Post
    They definitely would have an ax to grind, but that doesn't mean there isn't an element of truth to what they're saying.
    For sure. And they'd stop at nothing to give China a black eye. Just keep in mind that sometimes the effect of telling a half-truth can be the same as telling a lie.

    best a competitor...more likely an enemy adversary.
    That is exactly right. The Communist Chinese came from northern peasants, who were propped up and supported by Russia during WW2 and Japanese invasion of Chinese mainland, which started in 1931 (if you count Manchuria). Russia's influence likely started long before that, when Southeast China was divided up and occupied by various world powers including Japan. After Pearl Harbor, the US and allied powered started limited support of the Chinese Nationalists and arguably did not pay enough attention to what was happening with the Russia and the peasants. Once Japan surrendered there was little interest in war. The Nationalist found themselves unable to push back against the peasants, who had full support of the Kremlin. Nationalists fled to Taiwan, it was only then the US and allied powers recognized the spread of communism and committed to stationing troops on the island as a deterrent. In the process of reorganizing and consolidating power, the Nationalists brutalized the native population of the island and vowed to take back the main land ever since (pipe dream). And the Communist mainland vowed to bring the exiled dissidents to justice and reunify under the communist banner. The allied powers did what they could to isolate China. And China did the same to Taiwan on the international stage. It's a cold war that continues today.


    Quote Originally Posted by TomAiello View Post
    Remember that it was the government of Taiwan (not the Falun Gong or Epoch Times) who was blown off by The Who (at Chinese urging) when they tried to sound the alarm on human-to-human transmission back in January.

    I'd say the Taiwanese government definitely has an axe to grind the Communist Party and the PRC. That doesn't mean they are lying, or that we should be disregarding their information.

    As long as you check the actual citations and form your own opinions, it's silly to disregard factual information simply because of who presents it.

    The retaliatory isolation is precisely the reason the WHO blew off Taiwan and it's nothing new. It's a strategy China has played since 1945. The difference being China hasn't had international leverage until 10-20 year ago, when it began a process of rapid modernization and economic reforms. Diplomatically, it has always sought to isolate Taiwan and persuade other nations to not recognize the breakaway state. It's been a long ugly and petty fight. For example, for as long as I can remember, the Taiwanese delegation to the Olympic Games cannot use their national flag.

    Another example is the history of diplomatic relations of both countries to the African continent. Taiwan spent decades trying to be recognized by the UN without success. When it was the greater economic power of the two, it found success with several African nations. As China's economic wealth surpassed Taiwans, it started to use its money to buy out those African nations. That cold war being waged is probably going to fester and affect interests of other international powers. It would not surprise me if the war gamers at the Pentagon are already looking at it.

    The Taiwanese government definitely has an axe to grind, but they are not Farlun Gong. Two separate entities. Is there sympathy and backchannel support? They have a common threat, so probably. Either way propaganda is propaganda. You have to recognize that and take the information with a critical eye. Even if it's has the appearance of having some truth... because that is exactly how all influence ops work. They use partial truths or plausibility to compel you to accept them as being legitimate and persuade you to lend a sympathetic ear in the process.


    Side note: It's ironic that capitalistic greed of Taiwan's businesses and individuals contributed to China's rise. Also ironic... Independence movement of Taiwan, once suppressed and persecuted by the Nationalist party, is now the ruling majority. And an independent Taiwan, is the last thing China can tolerate.
    Last edited by fmunk; 04-28-2020 at 11:25 AM.
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  7. #66
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmunk View Post
    For sure. And they'd stop at nothing to give China a black eye. Just keep in mind that sometimes the effect of telling a half-truth can be the same as telling a lie.



    That is exactly right. The Communist Chinese came from northern peasants, who were propped up and supported by Russia during WW2 and Japanese invasion of Chinese mainland, which started in 1931 (if you count Manchuria). Russia's influence likely started long before that, when Southeast China was divided up and occupied by various world powers including Japan. After Pearl Harbor, the US and allied powered started limited support of the Chinese Nationalists and arguably did not pay enough attention to what was happening with the Russia and the peasants. Once Japan surrendered there was little interest in war. The Nationalist found themselves unable to push back against the peasants, who had full support of the Kremlin. Nationalists fled to Taiwan, it was only then the US and allied powers recognized the spread of communism and committed to stationing troops on the island as a deterrent. In the process of reorganizing and consolidating power, the Nationalists brutalized the native population of the island and vowed to take back the main land ever since (pipe dream). And the Communist mainland vowed to bring the exiled dissidents to justice and reunify under the communist banner. The allied powers did what they could to isolate China. And China did the same to Taiwan on the international stage. It's a cold war that continues today.





    The retaliatory isolation is precisely the reason the WHO blew off Taiwan and it's nothing new. It's a strategy China has played since 1945. The difference being China hasn't had international leverage until 10-20 year ago, when it began a process of rapid modernization and economic reforms. Diplomatically, it has always sought to isolate Taiwan and persuade other nations to not recognize the breakaway state. It's been a long ugly and petty fight. For example, for as long as I can remember, the Taiwanese delegation to the Olympic Games cannot use their national flag.

    Another example is the history of diplomatic relations of both countries to the African continent. Taiwan spent decades trying to be recognized by the UN without success. When it was the greater economic power of the two, it found success with several African nations. As China's economic wealth surpassed Taiwans, it started to use its money to buy out those African nations. That cold war being waged is probably going to fester and affect interests of other international powers. It would not surprise me if the war gamers at the Pentagon are already looking at it.

    The Taiwanese government definitely has an axe to grind, but they are not Farlun Gong. Two separate entities. Is there sympathy and backchannel support? They have a common threat, so probably. Either way propaganda is propaganda. You have to recognize that and take the information with a critical eye. Even if it's has the appearance of having some truth... because that is exactly how all influence ops work. They use partial truths or plausibility to compel you to accept them as being legitimate and persuade you to lend a sympathetic ear in the process.


    Side note: It's ironic that capitalistic greed of Taiwan's businesses and individuals contributed to China's rise. Also ironic... Independence movement of Taiwan, once suppressed and persecuted by the Nationalist party, is now the ruling majority. And an independent Taiwan, is the last thing China can tolerate.

    In response to the bolded part....I will.

    However, it also reminds me of Occam's Razor. Absent another plausible theory for how this all started, the Wuhan Viral Research facility absolutely makes the most sense.
    fmunk likes this.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

  8. #67
    XCR Guru fmunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean K. View Post
    In response to the bolded part....I will.

    However, it also reminds me of Occam's Razor. Absent another plausible theory for how this all started, the Wuhan Viral Research facility absolutely makes the most sense.

    Just to be clear. I'm not saying with 100% certainty that anyone here is wrong. Reality, as we know, is a whole lot of grays. I'm just putting a spotlight on the source and their motivations. Influence and propaganda campaigns are trojan horse ploys, where the plausible/palatable elements is the tangible wooden equine gift. If you are familiar with the tale, you know what is contained within said horse. Truth take time to reveal themselves and sometimes they never do in one's lifetime. In that regard, we're lucky that we know the origins of Stuxnet (another kind of pandemic).
    Last edited by fmunk; 04-28-2020 at 01:27 PM.
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  9. #68
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmunk View Post
    Just to be clear. I'm not saying with 100% certainty that anyone here is wrong. Reality, as we know, is a whole lot of grays. I'm just putting a spotlight on the source and their motivations. Influence and propaganda campaigns are trojan horse ploys, where the plausible/palatable elements is the tangible wooden equine gift. If you are familiar with the tale, you know what is contained within said horse. Truth take time to reveal themselves and sometimes they never do in one's lifetime. In that regard, we're lucky that we know the origins of Stuxnet (another kind of pandemic).


    You know...I think this forum's regular members have figured out that we have a great deal of respect for one another's intelligence....no one here is stupid....we've hashed out our differences in all these years so much so that I know personally I take a whole lot less offense to things people say here b/c I know the sentiment was reasoned/considered before posting. And I respect that about this place.

    Just an observation.
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    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

  10. #69
    XCR Guru mjorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean K. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fmunk View Post
    Just to be clear. I'm not saying with 100% certainty that anyone here is wrong. Reality, as we know, is a whole lot of grays. I'm just putting a spotlight on the source and their motivations. Influence and propaganda campaigns are trojan horse ploys, where the plausible/palatable elements is the tangible wooden equine gift. If you are familiar with the tale, you know what is contained within said horse. Truth take time to reveal themselves and sometimes they never do in one's lifetime. In that regard, we're lucky that we know the origins of Stuxnet (another kind of pandemic).


    You know...I think this forum's regular members have figured out that we have a great deal of respect for one another's intelligence....no one here is stupid....we've hashed out our differences in all these years so much so that I know personally I take a whole lot less offense to things people say here b/c I know the sentiment was reasoned/considered before posting. And I respect that about this place.

    Just an observation.
    Agreed!!!
    Sean K. likes this.
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