Olive Branch Petition

College of Political Knowledge

The weekend arrives and the old professor wants to extend the readers knowledge of the founding of this country.

The year is 1775, a year before the DoI, and the rebellion stew in the Colonies is starting to boil.

The Founding Fathers tried to head off any armed rebellion by offering England a document to prevent a war……known as the “Olive Branch Petition……

On July 8, 1775, the Continental Congress, forerunner of what would become the government of the United States, signed the so called “Olive Branch Petition,” a last ditch effort to prevent a war of independence against Britain by the American Colonies.   Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 5th, the signing made this last effort at peace official.  The acceptance of this American overture to the British government had little chance of success, especially since the Continental Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada and on July 6, 1775, had issued a “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms,” a justification for the American Colonies to take up arms against their British overlords.

The British response to the actions and words of American patriots was to issue “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition,” a notice by King George III of Britain that the Americans were considered in rebellion and that such rebellion would be put down by military and law enforcement action, the rebels being treated as traitors to the crown.  The Battle of Bunker Hill had already taken place on June 17, 1775, enraging the King George III, and with the state of communications in those days being limited by how quickly ships could transit the Atlantic Ocean, events could easily outstrip the ability of leaders to consider actions and send replies to communications and events.  Thus, the Olive Branch Petition was basically doomed to failure to prevent the American Revolutionary War (of Independence) from the start.

July 8, 1775: Last Chance to Avoid American Revolution (Olive Branch Petition Signed)

Few are taught that war was tried to be avoided……

Next was the Revolutionary War a mistake?

Interesting question, right?

Of course, evaluating the wisdom of the American Revolution means dealing with counterfactuals. As any historian would tell you, this is a messy business. We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.

But I’m reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.

https://www.vox.com/2015/7/2/8884885/american-revolution-mistake

There is so much more to the Founding of this country than most Americans are unaware of….other than the DoI and the Constitution and the knowledge stops there.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gerrymandering–The Big Bug-A-Boo

The new data from the census is out and the rush by the GOP to redraw voting districts has begun…it is called gerrymandering.

For those that do not understand the term……

Gerrymandering is the act of politicians manipulating the redrawing of legislative district lines in order to help their friends and hurt their enemies. They may seek to help one party win extra seats (a partisan gerrymander), make incumbents of both parties safer (an incumbent-protection gerrymander) or target particular incumbents who have fallen out of favor.

Those engaged in gerrymandering rely heavily on winner-take-all voting rules. That is, when 51% of voters earn 100% of representation, those drawing districts can pack, stack and crack the population in order to make some votes count to their full potential and waste other votes. Gerrymandering has become easier today due to a combination of new technology to precisely draw districts and greater voter partisan rigidity that makes it easier to project the outcome of new districts.

Basically and simply….it is how politicians pick their votes instead of the voter picking their candidates….

The 2020 census has set up a political battle….

… the stage is set for rampant partisan gerrymandering to skew many of those maps in favor of politicians’ preferences over the public’s. 

This undemocratic process has a real impact on the balance of power in Congress and many state legislatures. We saw it at the federal level in the 2010s, when extreme partisan bias in congressional maps gave Republicans a net advantage of some 16 seats in the House. The same has happened on the state level. For example, in 2018 Wisconsin Democrats won the majority of the statewide vote but only 36 of 99 state assembly seats.

Although partisan gerrymandering hurts everyone, often communities of color bear the brunt. Racially polarized voting patterns and residential segregation mean that targeting communities of color can be an effective tool for creating advantages for the party that controls redistricting— whether that party is the Democrats or Republicans.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/08/11/gerrymandering-upcoming-redistricting-battle

Texas (go figure) was the first to slither its policies into law……

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, while much of the country slept, the Republican-dominated Texas House approved a heavily gerrymandered district map that critics have denounced as part of an anti-democratic and racist GOP power grab—one that right-wing lawmakers could try to replicate across the United States.

At around 3:30 am local time, Texas lawmakers passed the GOP’s state House redistricting proposal in a largely party-line vote after roughly 14 hours of debate. The bill, authored by state Rep. Todd Hunter (R-32) and designed to set boundaries for the 150 Texas House districts, now heads to state’s Republican-controlled Senate.

On top of a slew of other right-wing priorities, the Texas legislature is racing to approve state House, state Senate, and congressional district maps before its third special session of the year expires on October 19.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/13/dead-night-texas-house-approves-gops-gerrymandered-map

Gerrymandering hurts ALL voters….

  • Fewer competitive U.S. House districts and safe incumbents after redistricting: In 2010, 70 of 435 U.S. House districts had a competitive partisan balance of 47% to 53%. That was small, but after redistricting in 2011, the number of competitive districts declined to only 53. That number dropped again to 47 seats (only 11% of all seats) after the 2012 election due to shifts in voting behavior. Of 31 vulnerable incumbents (those who won by less than 10% in 2010) affected by redistricting (with a new district drawn with partisanship changing by more than 3%), 26 had their district made safer and only five less safe.
  • Partisan distortions in politically drawn plans: In 2011, Republican lawmakers drew new district lines in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In 2012, Democratic U.S. House candidates won more than Republican candidates in both states, but won only 9 of 31 seats.
  • Partisan distortions in commission drawn plans: In 2011, an independent redistricting commission drew lines in California and a bipartisan commission with a public interest “swing vote” drew lines in New Jersey. In 2013, Republican candidates for the New Jersey assembly won 51% of the vote, but only 32 (40%) of 80 seats. In 2014, Democratic U.S. House candidates won 57% of votes in California’s 53 U.S. House races, but 74% of seats.

Changing this election fixing has only one sure solution….

The only sure way to eliminate gerrymandering – both intentional and unintentional – from American elections is to abandon single-member plurality arrangements and adopt proportional representation. Indeed, the whole purpose of PR is to minimize wasted votes and ensure that the parties are represented in proportion to the votes they receive. This eliminates the possibilities of unfair representation produced by gerrymandering. The key to eliminating partisan gerrymandering is the large multimember districts used in PR systems. As numerous studies have shown, as long as a PR system has at least five seats in every district, it is effectively immune from gerrymandering. These districts largely eliminate the wasted votes that make gerrymandering possible. In such districts, even small political minorities do not waste their votes and are able to elect their fair share of representatives. Thus, under PR arrangements, where voters live or how district lines are drawn makes no difference – fair representation will result.

This political tool will be with us for a very long time for one party has learned just how valuable it is…..

For further info read this…..https://www.fairvote.org/how_proportional_representation_would_finally

More to explain this situation…..https://www.vox.com/22632427/redistricting-gerrymandering-house-republicans

Any ideas how to solve this problem to our elections?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–11Oct21

Today is Columbus Day, a Federal holiday….so why not look into the naming of ‘America”?

“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”…….

Every child knows the tale of Columbus and his discovering of American….the fact is that he may have set sail but the closest he ever got to American was the Bahamas……so what is the truth of the discovery?

If you’re like most people, you’ll dimly recall from your school days that the name America has something to do with Amerigo Vespucci, a merchant and explorer from Florence. You may also recall feeling that this is more than a little odd — that if any European earned the “right” to have his name attached to the New World, surely it should have been Christopher Columbus, who crossed the Atlantic years before Vespucci did.

But Vespucci, it turns out, had no direct role in the naming of America. He probably died without ever having seen or heard the name. A closer look at how the name was coined and first put on a map, in 1507, suggests that, in fact, the person responsible was a figure almost nobody’s heard of: a young Alsatian proofreader named Matthias Ringmann.

How did a minor scholar working in the landlocked mountains of eastern France manage to beat all explorers to the punch and give the New World its name? The answer is more than just an obscure bit of history, because Ringmann deliberately invested the name America with ideas that still make up important parts of our national psyche: powerful notions of westward expansion, self-reinvention, and even manifest destiny.

And he did it, in part, as a high-minded joke.

Matthias Ringmann was born in an Alsatian village in 1482. After studying the classics at university he settled in the Strasbourg area, where he began to eke out a living by proofing texts for local printers and teaching school. It was a forgettable life, of a sort that countless others like him were leading. But sometime in early 1505, Ringmann came across a recently published pamphlet titled “Mundus Novus,” and that changed everything.

The pamphlet contained a letter purportedly sent by Amerigo Vespucci a few years earlier to his patron in Florence. Vespucci wrote that he had just completed a voyage of western discovery and had big news to report. On the other side of the Atlantic, he announced, he had found “a new world.”

The phrase would stick, of course. But it didn’t mean to Vespucci what it means to us today: a new continent. Europeans of the time often used the phrase simply to describe regions of the world they had not known about before. Another Italian merchant had used the very same phrase, for example, to describe parts of southern Africa recently explored by the Portuguese.

Like Columbus, Vespucci believed the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia. He also knew that the world was round, a fact that had been common knowledge since antiquity. This meant, he realized, that if one could sail far enough to the west of Europe, one would reach the Far East.

https://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/04/where_america_really_came_from/

Have a great holiday it you are celebrating…..but remember Columbus did not discover America.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Burger

Nothing is more American than the hamburger, right?

Personally I truly love a good burger…..and there are more crappy ones than good…..mine is about 8 oz cooked on a grill….served with a bun with brown mustard and mayo…..the garden is served on the side with blue cheese dressing…..cheese is optional……

All that said I thought I would look at the origins and the history of that all-American burger………..

1200s  The earliest burger ancestor is invented (modern historians surmise) by Mongol horsemen, who stash raw meat under their saddles while wreaking havoc across Asia. Postride, the pounded meat is tender enough for the cavalry to eat raw.

1747  A hamburger prototype—called Hamburg sausage—crops up in the pages of Hannah Glasse’s English cookbook, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy. The recipe calls for minced beef seasoned with suet, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, wine vinegar, bay salt, red wine and rum, smoked for a week in a chimney. 

1802  The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Hamburg steak as a “hard slab of salted, minced beef, often slightly smoked, mixed with onions and bread crumbs.”

1829  The first documented patent for a mechanical meat cutter is granted to someone now known only as E. Wade. One G.A. Coffman of Virginia improves on Wade’s invention, receiving a patent 16 years later for his meat-grinding apparatus. 

1840s  Sailing on the Hamburg-America Line, German emigrants chow on minced, salted beefsteak, a recipe borrowed from the Russians. The dish becomes known as the Hamburg steak and later goes mainstream in the U.S.

1873Delmonico’s in NYC advertises a Hamburg steak on its dinner menu—the first printed menu in America—for the then-princely price of ten cents.

1885  Running out of pork, Frank and Charles Menches make do by serving a ground-beef sandwich at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York. The brothers claim to have invented the hamburger, as does 15-year-old Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin, who delivers a similar sammie at the Outagamie County Fair that same year.

1900  Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven serves ground beef cooked on a vertical boiler and sandwiched between two slices of toast. A century later, the Library of Congress officially credits Louis’ Lunch for selling the first hamburger in the States.

1904  The hamburger makes its national debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair, thanks to a burger stand by Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas.

1916  A fry cook named Walter Anderson creates a short, squat bun specifically made for hamburgers. Five years later, Anderson cofounds White Castle, the world’s first burger chain.

1928  An early example of a cheeseburger turns up on the menu at O’Dells diner in Los Angeles, served with cheese and chili for 25 cents.

1935  The trademark for the word cheeseburger is awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver. However, good-guy Ballast never enforces his exclusivity rights, leading to widespread use of the term.

1940  Richard and Maurice McDonald open McDonald’s Bar-B-Que in San Bernardino, California. Eight years later, the brothers renovate the restaurant, refocusing the menu on their 15-cent hamburger.

1948  With the launch of In-N-Out in Baldwin Park, California, Harry and Esther Snyder open the first drive-through burger joint. In 1976, the Snyders’ son Rich takes over the family business. A devout Christian, Rich starts printing discreet references to Bible verses on the chain’s paper containers (e.g., John 3:16 shows up on the bottom of beverage cups and Revelation 3:20 on the crease of burger wrappers).

1950s  New York’s ‘21’ Club unveils the first “haute” burger, made with duck fat and fennel seeds. It costs $2.75 (today, it sells for $30). Fifty years later, Daniel Boulud introduces the $32 foie gras– and truffle-laced DB Burger to the menu at DB Bistro Moderne.

1968  The world gets a taste of McDonald’s newest creation, the Big Mac, sold for 49 cents.

1984  Wendy’s debuts its famous “Where’s the beef?” commercial, starring Clara Peller. The memorable catchphrase is borrowed by former Vice President Walter Mondale during that year’s presidential election.

1989  Seymour, Wisconsin’s Burger Fest serves the world’s largest hamburger, weighing a whopping 5,520 pounds (a record that still holds). A forklift is used to place cheese atop the behemoth patty, enjoyed by an estimated 13,000 diners.

1994  Quentin Tarantino releases the cult classic Pulp Fiction and John Travolta schools the world on the “Royale with cheese.”

2001  Burgers make up 71 percent of all beef served in commercial restaurants.

2004  Danny Meyer’s burger-stand superstar, Shake Shack, debuts in New York’s Madison Square Park.

2009  PETA offers Hamburg, New York, $15,000 worth of nonmeat patties to change the town’s name to Veggieburg. Hamburg declines.

2013  Maastricht University physiologist Mark Post debuts an “in vitro” burger, a five-ounce patty composed of synthetic meat grown in a Netherlands lab from cow stem cells. The test-tube burger is the world’s most expensive—not to mention the grossest-sounding—coming in at a cool £250,000 (about $385,000).

There you have a short history of the burger….now when you consume your favorite burger you will know the history behind the juicy treat……

In closing I will let Jimmy Buffet  sing you out the door….

Have a great Sunday and enjoy your burger.

I Read.I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

‘This Land Is Your Land’

Everyone has been exposed and.or sang this song about the exceptionalism of America……it was written and sung originally by Woodie Guthrie……

But this song is not what you think it is……(Yep history lesson coming)……

Few songs are more ingrained in the American psyche than “This Land Is Your Land,” the greatest and best-known work by folk icon Woody Guthrie. For decades, it’s been a staple of kindergarten classrooms “from California to the New York island,” as the lyrics go. It’s the musical equivalent of apple pie, though the flavor varies wildly depending on who’s doing the singing.

On its most basic level, “This Land Is Your Land” is a song about inclusion and equality—the American ideal broken down into simple, eloquent language and set to a melody you memorize on first listen. The underlying message, repeated throughout the song, makes the heart swell: “This land was made for you and me.”

But there’s more to “This Land Is Your Land” than many people realize—two verses more, in fact. Guthrie’s original 1940 draft of the song contains six verses, two of which carry progressive political messages that add nuance to the song’s overt patriotism. These controversial verses are generally omitted from children’s songbooks and the like, but they speak volumes about Guthrie’s mindset when he put pen to paper 80 years ago.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-land-is-your-land-the-story-behind-america-s-best-known-protest-song

As you see this was not some chest thumping tune of patriotism or nationalism….it was about the inequalities in American society……and most remain to this very day….

Have A Day….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–08Oct21

There was a day when Americans cared about the possibility of a nuclear war that would destroy our way of life…..now no one seems to care about that possibility…..we use to protest the building of more bombs that kill and the building of more nuclear power plants…..now no one gives a crap. My concern never waned.

So just how many nukes does the US have on hand?

In a reversal of Trump administration policy, the State Department on Tuesday disclosed the number of nuclear weapons in the US stockpile, the AP reports. It said this will aid global efforts to control the spread of such weapons. The number of US weapons, including those in active status as well as those in long-term storage, stood at 3,750 as of September 2020, the department said. That is down from 3,805 a year earlier and 3,785 in 2018. As recently as 2003, the US nuclear weapon total was slightly above 10,000. It peaked at 31,255 in 1967.

The last time the US government released its stockpile number was in March 2018, when it said the total was 3,822 as of September 2017. That was early in the Trump administration, which subsequently kept updated numbers secret and denied a request by the Federation of American Scientists to declassify them. “Back to transparency,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. He said the Biden administration was wise to reverse the prior administration’s policy.

Kristensen said disclosing the stockpile number will assist US diplomats in arms control negotiations and at next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, which will review the disarmament commitment made by nuclear powers who are treaty signatories, including the United States. The Biden administration is conducting a nuclear weapons posture and policy review that is expected to be completed early next year. At the Conference on Disarmament last February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “President Biden has made it clear: the US has a national security imperative and a moral responsibility to reduce and eventually eliminate the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.”

And yet those are NOT enough….the US is building more weapons as an upgrade or so we are told.

I was against nukes in all forms since the late 60s and my position has never faltered…..but I seem to walking that path pretty much alone these days.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Teapot Dome Scandal

The weekend begins and the news is damn boring…..so it is time for one of those darn history posts….

In case your history is a bit hazy….The Teapot Dome Scandal was during the Harding admin in the early 1900s…..

The Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s shocked Americans by revealing an unprecedented level of greed and corruption within the federal government. The scandal involved ornery oil tycoons, poker-playing politicians, illegal liquor sales, a murder-suicide, a womanizing president and a bagful of bribery cash delivered on the sly. In the end, the scandal would empower the Senate to conduct rigorous investigations into government corruption. It also marked the first time a U.S. cabinet official served jail time for a felony committed while in office.

https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/teapot-dome-scandal

With the intro out of the way…..

Some historians are saying the 4 years of the Trump admin was worse and more scandalous the the Teapot Dome Scandal….

Scan over the past few years and the stench of corruption wafting from Trump’s orbit is staggering. Campaign chairmen who secretly worked for foreign officials while skimming millions on the side. Presidential lawyers defrauding banks and taxpayers alike, or ushering in whichever foreign patron they could find. All of this while Trump tossed open the doors of his business to any and all comers, regardless of sources of their funds, regardless of whether Americans ever learned any details of their payments. (In a depressing bit of historic resonance, Trump’s first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, resigned in disgrace under a cloud of his own corruption allegations—a move that few will remember, given the cascade of ethics violations and conflicts of interest deluging the administration throughout Trump’s four years.)

Against the past few years, Teapot Dome appears almost quaint—a relic of a bygone, back-slapping era, a time when Americans paid off Americans, all for other Americans’ benefits, all in a neat, tidy circle of domestic graft. It’s not just the magnitude of the Trump-era corruption that challenges our notion of what an American president dedicated to financial misconduct can accomplish. It’s that now, the players are transnational in scope—crossing borders, crossing boundaries, taking full advantage of the financial secrecy tools wherever they may be, and the fecund opportunities that a president like Trump can provide.

Trump-Era Corruption Eclipses Even Teapot Dome

With a do nothing Congress will we ever see justice for the American people for the crimes committed by Trump and his cronies?

Any Thoughts?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Did They Really Do?

As the weekend begins and I am still in the process of cleaning up after Ida and dealing with a screwy family situation…….. I thought a little history would be good.

There are those people in history that are credited with amazing accomplishments…..but did they will do all they are said to have done?

It can be pretty annoying when someone else gets credit for your hard work, particularly when the fakers go down in the history books and become the ones best known for your invention.  

Leading R&D Tax Credit specialists, RIFT Research and Development Ltd, have looked at some of the most famous inventions which are widely believed to have been invented by the wrong people.

10 Famous Inventors That Didn’t Actually Invent Their Famous Finds

Or use this to decide who should be revered……

In today’s world, inventors are among the most revered people of all. We almost can’t help but admire someone who came up with a useful app or created a cool tech solution to a common problem.

That same admiration extends back through history, as well. Few accomplishments throughout history seem as impressive as inventing something that changed the world.

However, inventions often come with a healthy side dose of scandal. A new idea or product might arrive alongside heated debate as to who really came up with it. History has also unfairly credited some well-known inventors with creations that other people made first. We’re here to set the record straight—check out the real stories behind these famous inventors’ legacies.

https://www.mindbounce.com/440096/6-famous-inventors-who-didnt-invent-the-thing-theyre-famous-for/

Throughout history, people have come up with incredible inventions which have achieved global success without reaping the full rewards of their genius. Sir Tim Berners-Lee famously refused to patent his invention more than 30 years ago, and never monetised it, instead gifting it freely to the world. Click or scroll through inventors who definitely could have got rich off their creations but, for various reasons, didn’t.

https://www.lovemoney.com/gallerylist/64992/genius-inventors-who-missed-out-on-millions

Enjoy your weekend….I hope all is well with everyone.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Forgotten War

Closing Thought–23Sep21

The war that time tries to forget….the 1950s and the Korean War……this basically brought down America’s ‘Caesar’, MacArthur…..

For those that have fallen for the erasing of this conflict from American collective memory….I can fill in the blanks…..

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them.  Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

Let’s take a look at the major battles of this conflict…

Korea was under the rule of the Japanese Empire between the year 1910 and the end of World War II. In 1945, the country was liberated by the Soviet Union from the Japanese rule as a result of the agreement with the United States. The Soviet Union settled in the North while the United States settled in the South of Korea. As a result of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two with separate governments in 1949. However, both the government claimed to be the legitimate Korean government. The conflicts between these governments resulted in battles when North Korea moved into South Korea in 1950. The war marked series of wars that were to follow. To this far, no treaty has been signed and the two countries are technically still at war.

16. First Battle of Seoul

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/major-battles-of-the-korean-war.html

AS Americans put this deadly conflict out of their minds the next will be Vietnam….as those vets grow older and pass on there will be few that will keep their memory alive….hopefully people like me will keep Korea and Vietnam in their minds and in their memories.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Return Of Maria Butina

Closing Thought–22Sep21

Or maybe you may remember her as Anna Chapman.

Still nothing?

Let’s take a shirt trip in the “Way Back” machine……

The alleged Russian spy capturing most of the media attention today is Anna Chapman. The New York Post describes her as “a flame-haired, 007-worthy beauty” with a “Victoria’s Secret body” who is accused of passing info to Russian handlers weekly since January. Her Facebook page has all kinds of “suggestive self-portraits,” notes Lauren Frayer at AOL News. Chapman is 28, divorced, and reportedly has a master’s in economics and an online real estate business. She lives in a swanky part of New York City’s financial district.

An FBI agent was to set her up by posing as a handler and asking, “Excuse me, but haven’t we met in California last summer?” She was to answer, “No, I think it was the Hamptons.” She never showed up for that rendezvous, however, perhaps because she smelled a rat. Moscow, meanwhile, has acknowledged that some of those arrested are Russian citizens but criticized the State Department for its “Cold War-era spy stories,” reports AP.

After her arrest along with several other members of her American cell the clarity of her mission was exposed….

The US government on continued to flesh out its case against the 29-year-old Siberian woman accused of spying for Russia, and its most recently revealed allegations include offers of sex and contacts with the spy agency that succeeded the KGB. Prosecutors laid out the allegations in documents filed Wednesday in court in an attempt to have Maria Butina detained until her trial; a judge on Wednesday afternoon denied her bail, the Huffington Post reports. Characterizing her as an “extreme” flight risk, the documents noted she has access to money and cited surveillance video that indicated she was actually planning to leave. The AP reports her apartment lease is up at the end of the month and her belongings were already boxed at the time of her arrest. More:

  • The Anna Chapman reference: The FBI uncovered Twitter communications between Butina and a Russian official identified by NPR and CNN as Alexander Torshin, whom the US sanctioned in April. NPR reports he was allegedly her point of contact within the Russian government. One alleged message from Torshin sent in March 2017: “You have upstaged Anna Chapman. She poses with toy pistols while you are being published with real ones.”
  • And another: Butina allegedly sent Torshin a photo showing her near the Capitol on the day of Trump’s inauguration. His alleged reply: “You’re a daredevil girl! What can I say!” The AP reports Butina replied, “Good teachers!”
  • More on Torshin: He was part of a group sanctioned due to their ties to Vladimir Putin and the hand they had in “advancing Russia’s malign activities.” He has been a National Rifle Association life member since 2012.
  • Her other alleged connections: Per CNN, prosecutors allege Butina was in contact with members of the Russian FSB, the successor to the KGB, and that she also communicated with a billionaire who she referred to as her “funder.”
  • What each side alleges: Butina’s lawyer says she was simply a student studying at American University who “at most” was trying to strengthen relations between the US and Russia. Prosecutors allege Butina had been instructed to use contacts she was forging at the NRA and conservative groups to amass info on US officials and politics.
  • Sex: The court papers reference a Person 1 with whom Butina had a relationship; NPR identifies him as political fundraiser Paul Erickson. But the FBI alleges Butina “offered an individual other than Person 1 sex in exchange for a position with a special interest organization. Further, in papers seized by the FBI, Butina complained about living with Person 1.” That organization was not named.

Butina was deported back to Russia where she became an instant personality and national hero……and that brings us to  today……

Butina is running for the Russian parliament with an unusual backer…..

Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina has been elected to the lower house of Parliament in her home country but not in her home city.

BusinessInsider reported Sunday that Butina was elected to represent the rural region of Kirov Oblast, about 2,700 miles from her hometown Barnaul, Altai Krai. When she was just 19, she served on the public council of Altai Krai.

She appeared in the U.S., claiming she was a “gun-rights activist,” focusing on meeting leaders involved in the National Rifle Association (NRA). She connected with GOP officials and political leaders to set up a “back-channel” with the Kremlin. Butina remains to insist she was never a spy for Russia but pleaded guilty to being a Russian foreign agent in 2018.

One of Butina’s big supporters for her election was Patrick Byrne, the supporter of President Donald Trump, who spent a lot of time at the White House as Trump crafted his protest losing the 2020 election. The two had previously been lovers, prior to Paul Erickson. Byrne told Insider that he gave the donation to her political campaign because he had “a desire to let her land on her feet and restart her life in Russia.”

https://www.rawstory.com/maria-butina-patrick-byrne-russian-political-donation/

Interesting, eh?

Why would this American former CEO, a raging Trumper,  care about Russian politics?

Or is she back to her old infiltrate thing?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”