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A basic citation template I like to use.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
This is good practice indeed. I also like that you use some breathing space between parameters, that makes citations much easier to read and update. Let me suggest an improvement: when you cite a newspaper, replace cite web by cite news, and use newspaper=The Guardian instead of website=The Guardian. There are handy substitutes for "newspaper": you may equivalently use "magazine" or the generic "work" (which I tend to use because it's shorter and always valid). It's also nice to link to the article of the cited newspaper, such as [[The Guardian]]. Be careful that piped links in citations need to be made explicit, so that you need to type work=[[Time (magazine)|Time]], not just work=[[Time (magazine)|]]. Finally, ISO date is better practice because of the confusion that often arises between US and British ordering of months and days. Hope this helps; feel free to discard this message. — JFG talk 06:14, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Heck no! I'm keeping this great message. Thanks. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:48, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ Harding, Luke (November 15, 2017). "How Trump walked into Putin's web". The Guardian. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
Notable quotes
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


Talk page negotiation table

"The best content is developed through civil collaboration between editors who hold opposing points of view."
by BullRangifer. From WP:NEUTRALEDITOR

When all else fails, AGF and remember that

We Just Disagree
So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye.
There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy.
There's only you and me, and we just disagree.

by Dave Mason (Listen)


User:MastCell/Quotes Awesome! -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 22:56, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Trump's dubious relationship to truthEdit

We should just follow what RS say, and that will usually be "anti-Trump" and factual. That's just the way it works. At other times and with other presidents it might be otherwise. He just happens to be on the wrong side of facts much of the time, and since RS document that, it appears they are being "anti-Trump", when they are just defending facts.

Here are just a few of the myriad RS (I have saved literally hundreds of very RS on the subject) which document Trump's dubious relationship to truth (completely off-the-charts, beyond anything fact checkers have ever encountered):

  • "I think this idea that there is no truth is the thread that will run through the rest of the Trump presidency, as it has his entire candidacy and his presidency so far." -- Nicolle Wallace[1]
  • "Let's just assume Trump's always lying and fact check him backward."[2]
  • President Trump has made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims.[3]
  • Time to stop counting Trump's lies. We've hit the total for 'compulsive liar.'[4]
  • "...what's even more amazing than a President who is averaging -- repeat: averaging -- more than eight untruths a day is this: Trump's penchant for saying false things is exponentially increasing as his presidency wears on."[5]
  • "[W]hat we have never had is a president of the United States who uses lying and untruth as a basic method to promote his policies, his beliefs and his way of approaching the American people and engaging in the world.... Uniquely, we have a president who does not believe in truth." -- Carl Bernstein[6]

  1. ^ Folkenflik, David (August 20, 2018). "Rudy Giuliani Stuns Politicians And Philosophers With 'Truth Isn't Truth' Statement". NPR. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Zurawik, David (August 26, 2018). "Zurawik: Let's just assume Trump's always lying and fact check him backward". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Kessler, Glenn; Rizzo, Salvador; Kelly, Meg (September 13, 2018). "President Trump has made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Toles, Tom (September 13, 2018). "Time to stop counting Trump's lies. We've hit the total for 'compulsive liar.'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Cillizza, Chris (September 13, 2018). "Donald Trump's absolutely mind-boggling assault on facts is actually picking up steam". CNN. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Keller, Megan (October 21, 2018). "Carl Bernstein: Trump 'uses lying and untruth as a basic method'". The Hill. Retrieved October 29, 2018.

Trump's falsehoodsEdit

"I think this idea that there is no truth is the thread that will run through the rest of the Trump presidency, as it has his entire candidacy and his presidency so far." -- Nicolle Wallace[1]

As president, Trump has frequently made false statements in public speeches and remarks,[2][3][4][5][6] and experience teaches that, quoting David Zurawik, we should "just assume Trump's always lying and fact check him backwards"[7] because he's a "habitual liar".[8] In general, news organizations have been hesitant to label these statements as "lies".[9][10][5]

Fact checkers have kept a close tally of his falsehoods, and, according to one study, the rate of false statements has increased, with the percentage of his words that are part of a false claim rising over the course of his presidency.[5] According to The New York Times, Trump uttered "at least one false or misleading claim per day on 91 of his first 99 days" in office,[2] 1,318 total in his first 263 days in office according to the "Fact Checker" political analysis column of The Washington Post,[11] and 1,628 total in his first 298 days in office according to the "Fact Checker" analysis of The Washington Post, or an average of 5.5 per day.[12] After 558 days in office, the tally was at 4,229 false or misleading claims, and it had risen to an average of 7.6 per day from 4.9 during Trump's first 100 days in office.[13]

Glenn Kessler, a fact checker for The Washington Post, told Dana Milbank that, in his six years on the job, "'there's no comparison' between Trump and other politicians. Kessler says politicians' statements get his worst rating — four Pinocchios — 15 percent to 20 percent of the time. Clinton is about 15 percent. Trump is 63 percent to 65 percent."[14] Kessler also wrote: "President Trump is the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered ... the pace and volume of the president's misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up."[3]

Maria Konnikova, writing in Politico Magazine, wrote: "All Presidents lie.... But Donald Trump is in a different category. The sheer frequency, spontaneity and seeming irrelevance of his lies have no precedent.... Trump seems to lie for the pure joy of it. A whopping 70 percent of Trump’s statements that PolitiFact checked during the campaign were false, while only 4 percent were completely true, and 11 percent mostly true."[15]

Senior administration officials have also regularly given false, misleading or tortured statements to the media.[16] By May 2017, Politico reported that the repeated untruths by senior officials made it difficult for the media to take official statements seriously.[16]

Trump's presidency started out with a series of falsehoods initiated by Trump himself. The day after his inauguration, he falsely accused the media of lying about the size of the inauguration crowd. Then he proceeded to exaggerate the size, and Sean Spicer backed up his claims.[17][18][19][20] When Spicer was accused of intentionally misstating the figures,[21][22][23] Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, defended Spicer by stating that he merely presented "alternative facts".[24] Todd responded by saying "alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods."[25]

Author, social scientist, and researcher Bella DePaulo, an expert on the psychology of lying, stated: "I study liars. I've never seen one like President Trump." Trump outpaced "even the biggest liars in our research."[26] She compared the research on lying with his lies, finding that his lies differed from those told by others in several ways: Trump's total rate of lying is higher than for others; He tells 6.6 times as many self-serving lies as kind lies, whereas ordinary people tell 2 times as many self-serving lies as kind lies. 50% of Trump's lies are cruel lies, while it's 1-2% for others. 10% of Trump's lies are kind lies, while it's 25% for others. His lies often "served several purposes simultaneously", and he doesn't "seem to care whether he can defend his lies as truthful".[27]

In a Scientific American article, Jeremy Adam Smith sought to answer the question of how Trump could get away with making so many false statements and still maintain support among his followers. He proposed that "Trump is telling 'blue' lies—a psychologist's term for falsehoods, told on behalf of a group, that can actually strengthen the bonds among the members of that group.... From this perspective, lying is a feature, not a bug, of Trump's campaign and presidency."[28]

David Fahrenthold has investigated Trump's claims about his charitable giving and found little evidence the claims are true.[29][30] Following Fahrenthold's reporting, the Attorney General of New York opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation's fundraising practices, and ultimately issued a "notice of violation" ordering the Foundation to stop raising money in New York.[31] The Foundation had to admit it engaged in self-dealing practices to benefit Trump, his family, and businesses.[32] Fahrenthold won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for his coverage of Trump's claimed charitable giving[33] and casting "doubt on Donald Trump's assertions of generosity toward charities."[34]

Here are a few of Trump's notable claims which fact checkers have rated false: that Obama wasn't born in the United States and that Hillary Clinton started the Obama "birther" movement;[35][36] that his electoral college victory was a "landslide";[37][38][39] that Hillary Clinton received 3-5 million illegal votes;[40][41] and that he was "totally against the war in Iraq".[42][43][44]

A poll in May 2018 found that "just 13 percent of Americans consider Trump honest and trustworthy".[45]

The Editorial Board of The New York Times took this telling sideswipe at Trump when commenting on the unfitness of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court: "A perfect nominee for a president with no clear relation to the truth."[46]

Other sources
  • "The First 100 Lies: The Trump Team's Flurry Of Falsehoods. The president and his aides succeeded in reaching the mark in just 36 days." Igor Bobic[47]
  • "Killing the Truth: How Trump's Attack on the Free Press Endangers Democracy" Philip Kotler[49]
  • The New Yorker has published a series of 14 essays entitled "Trump and the Truth". They "examine the untruths that have fueled Donald Trump's Presidential campaign."[50]
  • The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board wrote a seven-part series about Trump's dishonesty, starting with the article "Our Dishonest President".[51]

Fact checking TrumpEdit

Trump's incessant attacks on the media, reliable sources, and truth have kept an army of fact checkers busy, the latter having never encountered a more deceptive public person. Tony Burman wrote: "The falsehoods and distortions uttered by Trump and his senior officials have particularly inflamed journalists and have been challenged — resulting in a growing prominence of 'fact-checkers' and investigative reporting."[52]

Professor Robert Prentice summarized the views of many fact checkers:

"Here's the problem: As fact checker Glenn Kessler noted in August, whereas Clinton lies as much as the average politician, President Donald Trump's lying is "off the charts." No prominent politician in memory bests Trump for spouting spectacular, egregious, easily disproved lies. The birther claim. The vote fraud claim. The attendance at the inauguration claim. And on and on and on. Every fact checker — Kessler,,, PolitiFact — finds a level of mendacity unequaled by any politician ever scrutinized. For instance, 70 percent of his campaign statements checked by PolitiFact were mostly false, totally false, or "pants on fire" false."[53]
  • "Comparing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter"[54]
  • "Donald Trump's file"[55]
  • "PolitiFact designates the many campaign misstatements of Donald Trump as our 2015 Lie of the Year."[56]
  • "Fact-checking Trump's TIME interview on truths and falsehoods."[57]
  • "7 whoppers from President Trump's first 100 days in office."[58]
  • Donald Trump's file[59]
  • "100 Days of Whoppers. Donald Trump, the candidate we dubbed the 'King of Whoppers' in 2015, has held true to form as president."[60]
  • "The Whoppers of 2017. President Trump monopolizes our list of the year's worst falsehoods and bogus claims."[61]
The Washington Post
  • "Throughout President Trump's first 100 days, the Fact Checker team will be tracking false and misleading claims made by the president since Jan. 20. In the 33 days so far, we've counted 132 false or misleading claims."[62]
  • "Fact-checking President Trump's claims on the Paris climate change deal"[63]
  • President Trump has made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims[64]
Toronto Star

The Star's Washington Bureau Chief, Daniel Dale, has been following Donald Trump's campaign for months. He has fact checked thousands of statements and found hundreds of falsehoods:

  • "Donald Trump: The unauthorized database of false things."[65]
  • "Confessions of a Trump Fact-Checker"[66]
  • "The Star's running tally of the straight-up lies, exaggerations and deceptions the president of the United States of America has said, so far."[67]
The Guardian
  • "How does Donald Trump lie? A fact checker's final guide."[68]
  • "Smoke and mirrors: how Trump manipulates the media and opponents."[69]

NOTE: Many of the sources above are older. The situation has not improved, but is rapidly getting much worse, as described by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Ashley Parker: "President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren't true."[70]

As Trump rapidly accelerates the rate of his false statements, one suspects he is following the advice of his friend and advisor, Steve Bannon:

"The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit."[71]

  1. ^ Folkenflik, David (August 20, 2018). "Rudy Giuliani Stuns Politicians And Philosophers With 'Truth Isn't Truth' Statement". NPR. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Qiu, Linda (April 29, 2017). "Fact-Checking President Trump Through His First 100 Days". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b Kessler, Glenn; Lee, Michelle Ye Hee (May 1, 2017). "President Trump's first 100 days: The fact check tally". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ Qiu, Linda (June 22, 2017). "In One Rally, 12 Inaccurate Claims From Trump". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b c Dale, Daniel (July 14, 2018). "Trump has said 1,340,330 words as president. They're getting more dishonest, a Star study shows". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  6. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (August 7, 2017). "Many Politicians Lie. But Trump Has Elevated the Art of Fabrication". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Zurawik, David (August 26, 2018). "Zurawik: Let's just assume Trump's always lying and fact check him backward". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Stelter, Brian; Bernstein, Carl; Sullivan, Margaret; Zurawik, David (August 26, 2018). "How to cover a habitual liar". CNN. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  9. ^ The New York Times (June 25, 2018). "Lies? False Claims? When Trump's Statements Aren't True". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Dale, Daniel (December 22, 2017). "Donald Trump has spent a year lying shamelessly. It hasn't worked". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Lee, Michelle Ye Hee; Kessler, Glenn; Kelly, Meg (October 10, 2017). "President Trump has made 1,318 false or misleading claims over 263 days". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Glenn Kessler, Meg Kelly and Nicole Lewis (November 14, 2017). "President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  13. ^ Kessler, Glenn; Rizzo, Salvador; Kelly, Meg (August 1, 2018). "President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  14. ^ Milbank, Dana (July 1, 2016). "The facts behind Donald Trump's many falsehoods". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  15. ^ Konnikova, Maria (January 20, 2017). "Trump's Lies vs. Your Brain". Politico. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Trump's trust problem". Politico. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  17. ^ "From the archives: Sean Spicer on Inauguration Day crowds". PolitiFact. January 21, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "FACT CHECK: Was Donald Trump's Inauguration the Most Viewed in History?". Snopes. January 22, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Facts on Crowd Size". January 23, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Rein, Lisa (March 6, 2017). "Here are the photos that show Obama's inauguration crowd was bigger than Trump's". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  21. ^ Hirschfeld Davis, Julie; Rosenberg, Matthew (January 21, 2017). "With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  22. ^ Makarechi, Kia (January 2, 2014). "Trump Spokesman Sean Spicer's Lecture on Media Accuracy Is Peppered With Lies". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Kessler, Glenn. "Spicer earns Four Pinocchios for false claims on inauguration crowd size". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  24. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra. "Kellyanne Conway: WH Spokesman Gave 'Alternative Facts' on Inauguration Crowd". NBC News. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 22, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump's team has 'alternative facts.' Which pretty much says it all". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  26. ^ DePaulo, Bella (December 7, 2017). "Perspective - I study liars. I've never seen one like President Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  27. ^ DePaulo, Bella (December 9, 2017). "How President Trump's Lies Are Different From Other People's". Psychology Today. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  28. ^ Smith, Jeremy Adam (March 24, 2017). "How the Science of "Blue Lies" May Explain Trump's Support". Scientific American. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  29. ^ Fahrenthold, David (October 4, 2016). "Trump's co-author on 'The Art of the Deal' donates $55,000 royalty check to charity". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  30. ^ Terry Gross, David Fahrenthold (September 28, 2016). "Journalist Says Trump Foundation May Have Engaged In 'Self-Dealing'". NPR. Retrieved March 1, 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  31. ^ Eder, Steve (October 3, 2016). "State Attorney General Orders Trump Foundation to Cease Raising Money in New York". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  32. ^ Fahrenthold, David A. (November 22, 2016). "Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on 'self-dealing,' new filing to IRS shows". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  33. ^ Farhi, Paul (April 10, 2017). "Washington Post's David Fahrenthold wins Pulitzer Prize for dogged reporting of Trump's philanthropy". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  34. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes (April 10, 2017). "2017 Pulitzer Prize: National Reporting". Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  35. ^ "Trump on Birtherism: Wrong, and Wrong". September 16, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  36. ^ "Trump's False claim Clinton started Obama birther talk". PolitiFact. September 16, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  37. ^ "Trump's electoral college victory not a 'massive landslide'". PolitiFact. December 11, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  38. ^ "Trump Landslide? Nope". November 29, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  39. ^ Seipel, Arnie (December 11, 2016). "FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Claims A 'Massive Landslide Victory'". NPR. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  40. ^ "Pants on Fire for Trump claim that millions voted illegally". PolitiFact. November 27, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  41. ^ "Trump Claims Without Evidence that 3 to 5 Million Voted Illegally, Vows Investigation". Snopes. January 25, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  42. ^ "FALSE: Donald Trump Opposed the Iraq War from the Beginning". Snopes. September 27, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  43. ^ "Trump repeats wrong claim that he opposed Iraq War". PolitiFact. September 7, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  44. ^ "Donald Trump and the Iraq War". February 19, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  45. ^ Manchester, Julia (May 17, 2018). "Poll: Just 13 percent of Americans consider Trump honest and trustworthy". The Hill. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  46. ^ Editorial Board (September 7, 2018). "Opinion - Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Can't Be Trusted". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  47. ^ Bobic, Igor (February 26, 2017). "The First 100 Lies: The Trump Team's Flurry Of Falsehoods". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  48. ^ Zakaria, Fareed (August 4, 2016). "The unbearable stench of Trump's B.S." The Washington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  49. ^ Kotler, Philip (March 4, 2017). "Killing the Truth: How Trump's Attack on the Free Press Endangers Democracy". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  50. ^ "Trump and the Truth. A series of [14] reported essays that examine the untruths that have fueled Donald Trump's Presidential campaign". The New Yorker. September 2, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  51. ^ Editorial Board (April 2, 2017). "Our Dishonest President". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  52. ^ Burman, Tony (February 11, 2017). "With Trump, the media faces a yuuge challenge". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  53. ^ Prentice, Robert (February 10, 2017). "Being a liar doesn't mean you can't be a good president, but this is crazy". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  54. ^ PolitiFact. "Comparing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  55. ^ PolitiFact (November 8, 2016). "Donald Trump's file". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  56. ^ PolitiFact (December 21, 2015). "2015 Lie of the Year: Donald Trump's campaign misstatements". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  57. ^ Carroll, Lauren; Jacobson, Louis (March 23, 2017). "Fact-checking Trump's TIME interview on truth and falsehoods". PolitiFact. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  58. ^ Healy, Gabrielle (April 28, 2017). "7 whoppers from President Trump's first 100 days in office". PolitiFact. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  59. ^ (February 10, 2017). "Donald Trump archive". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  60. ^ Jackson, Brooks (April 29, 2017). "100 Days of Whoppers". Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  61. ^ Kiely, Eugene; Robertson, Lori; Farley, Robert; Gore, D'Angelo (December 20, 2017). "The Whoppers of 2017". Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  62. ^ Ye Hee Lee, Michelle; Kessler, Glenn; Shapiro, Leslie (February 21, 2017). "100 days of Trump claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  63. ^ Kessler, Glenn; Lee, Michelle Ye Hee (June 1, 2017). "Fact-checking President Trump's claims on the Paris climate change deal". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  64. ^ Kessler, Glenn; Rizzo, Salvador; Kelly, Meg (September 13, 2018). "President Trump has made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  65. ^ Dale, Daniel (November 4, 2016). "Donald Trump: The unauthorized database of false things". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  66. ^ Dale, Daniel (October 19, 2016). "One Month, 253 Trump Untruths". Politico Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  67. ^ Dale, Daniel (May 29, 2017). "Trump said just 6 false things in the last 10 days, his least dishonest stretch as president". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  68. ^ Yuhas, Alan (November 7, 2016). "How does Donald Trump lie? A fact checker's final guide". The Guardian. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  69. ^ Yuhas, Alan (January 18, 2017). "Smoke and mirrors: how Trump manipulates the media and opponents". The Guardian. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  70. ^ Parker, Ashley (June 19, 2018). "President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren't true". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  71. ^ Lewis, Michael (February 9, 2018). "Has Anyone Seen the President? Michael Lewis goes to Washington in search of Trump and winds up watching the State of the Union with Steve Bannon". Bloomberg News. Retrieved August 26, 2018.

ALLEGED interference? SMH!!Edit

How is it possible that we allow people to edit political articles who ignore the following facts? They should be topic banned.

Allied foreign intelligence agencies were spying on Russians, not on the Trump campaign, and they overheard Russians discussing how the Trump campaign was illegally working with them to sabotage Hillary & steal the election. That alarmed our allies, as it should. What else should they have done but report it to the FBI? They did the right thing.

These editors reveal their lack of competence here:

SMH! -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 20:02, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Sergei MillianEdit

We don't mention Sergei Millian (Sergei Kukut) at all, and yet he has been identified as the Dossier's Source D (and E), and many RS have discussed him and his proven and unproven roles in the Trump-Russia affairs and dossier (as Source D/E). Articles which mention him by name in connection with the dossier (after the release of the dossier) and/or just as Source D/E (both before and after release of the dossier) are fair game in this article.

RS reveal that his Trumpian tendency to hyperbole and self-promotion have rendered him an unwitting "loose lips" witness, similar to Papadopoulos, Giuliani, etc. Such people are very useful witnesses, much to Trump's chagrin. Later, when their revealings are seen as embarrassing, they try to deny, downplay, and even scrub the information, but history usually reveals they have exposed facts that should have been kept hidden, at least from the viewpoint of the Trump administration. They have thus placed themselves firmly in the center of Mueller's net for potential witnesses.

There is likely enough for an article about him, so I'm including a few articles from before release of the dossier.

Before release of dossier
  • September 8, 2016[1]
  • November 1, 2016[2]
After release of dossier
  • January 19, 2017[3]
  • January 24, 2017[4]
  • January 30, 2017[5]
  • March 29, 2017[6]
  • November 17, 2017[7]
  • January 19, 2018[8]
  • February 20, 2018[9]
  • September 8, 2018[12]
Not a RS for Wikipedia, but accurate and useful for research, linking to many RS

  1. ^ Zavadski, Katie; Mak, Tim (September 8, 2016). "Meet The Man Who Is Spinning For Donald Trump In Russia". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Belton, Catherine (November 1, 2016). "The shadowy Russian émigré touting Trump". Financial Times. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Corn, David (January 19, 2017). "Investigators on the Trump-Russia Beat Should Talk to This Man". Mother Jones. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  4. ^ Maremont, Mark (January 24, 2017). "Key Claims in Trump Dossier Said to Come From Head of Russian-American Business Group". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Ross, Brian; Mosk, Matthew (January 30, 2017). "US-Russian Businessman Said to be Source of Key Trump Dossier Claims". ABC News. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Helderman, Rosalind S.; Hamburger, Tom (March 29, 2017). "Who is 'Source D'? The man said to be behind the Trump-Russia dossier's most salacious claim". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (November 17, 2017). "Kushner received emails from Sergei Millian — an alleged dossier source who was in touch with George Papadopoulos". Business Insider. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  8. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (January 19, 2018). "Fusion GPS testimony brings alleged dossier source Sergei Millian back into the spotlight". Business Insider. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Mosk, Matthew (February 20, 2018). "Congress's Trump-Russia investigators hunt for mystery man". ABC News. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Prokop, Andrew (April 15, 2018). "Everything you wanted to know about the unverified Trump "pee tape" claim but were too embarrassed to ask". Vox. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Mosk, Matthew; Santucci, John (August 28, 2018). "Mysterious 'key figure' in Russia probe sought Trump team contacts". ABC News. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  12. ^ Kwong, Jessica (September 8, 2018). "Donald Trump Had 'Tricks Up His Sleeve' to Win Presidential Election, Alleged Steele Dossier Source Said". Newsweek.

BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 17:12, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories about Trump-Russia DossierEdit

Hi, BR. About that essay-sized edit you were proposing to make to the dossier article (and I admit I didn't read all of it, and probably nobody did; it kind of defines TL/DR): I am willing to see if it can be trimmed down to a usable section in the article. Where do you propose I do that? Not at the talk page, certainly, but someplace where we can both work on it and talk about it. How about putting it in a user space draft under your own name? Might you consider first trying, yourself, to look at it with a critical eye toward trimming it?

P.S. Oh, I found it: it's in sandbox 5, right? Where we can see that it would add another 30 kb if added to the article. -- MelanieN (talk) 01:10, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes, you got my ping, I assume.   Please read the whole thing before you start. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 04:15, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

As you can see I have been working today on trying to trim some of the bloat from the article, which at 225 kb is much, much bigger than it should be. For comparison the entire Donald Trump article is 386 kb. There is a lot of unnecessary detail, and some redundancy because the same subject is discussed in several places. I'm inclined to continue working on that, a section at a time, and maybe tackle the conspiracy theories material later. -- MelanieN (talk) 01:08, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

I think we need to keep something in mind when comparing article size. Trump has a million subarticles, whereas this is just one article to cover a very notable subject that's still mentioned every single day. It is the key and roadmap for the whole Russia investigation. Just keep that in mind. It's very important. Also try to save the references. Such BLP sensitive stuff must have multiple sources, per WP:PUBLICFIGURE. Otherwise, simplifying is often welcome. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 04:15, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

Some questions for Trump supportersEdit

I don't want to misunderstand any of you, but to avoid doing so in further discussions, do you believe/deny that:

  1. there was Russian interference in the election?
  2. that it was for the purpose of helping Trump win?
  3. that there were numerous secretive meetings and connections between Trump family/campaign members and Russians/Russian agents?
  4. that they (including Trump himself) lied again and again about these meetings?
  5. that several have been convicted for doing so?
  6. that these meetings and lies were sufficient to justify strong suspicions of (a) conspiracy/collusion, (b) that it might have affected the election results in an unfair manner, and (c) that Trump might be a witting or unwitting Russian asset?
  7. and that it would have been very negligent of intelligence agencies (American and foreign allies were doing this) to not react by starting perfectly proper investigations of the (a) interference, (b) roles of Trump campaign and Russians, and (3) whether Trump was (and still) is acting just like a Russian asset, wittingly or unwittingly?

What's your position on these very well-established facts? Feel free to use the relevant numbers for your answers. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 17:35, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

How the dossier's allegations are related to proven realityEdit

The dossier's main allegation of Russian interference to help Trump remains a proven fact.

Here's an attempted illustration of how the dossier's allegations are related to proven reality. A friend (a dossier source you can't name) tells you (Steele) they were visiting an uncle (a known Russian agent) on a certain day and quietly listened at the door as he told a known friend (a Trump campaigner alleged to be involved in suspicious activity) to "bury the loot in the park, beside the swings." (Later, the police can prove that your friend (they can't identify your friend in their surveillance video) and that known third person (Trump's campaigner) were indeed in that house with the uncle on that date. (House, date, occupants...all accurate.) Why was a Trump campaigner with a Russian agent on that date? It's a proven fact they were together then and there, but the campaigner tells conflicting stories about what they were doing, and is caught changing their story about the meeting.

This looks bad, so you (Steele) do the right thing and immediately go to the police (FBI) with that information. They say they don't know of any crime committed by the uncle's friend. They then go and dig up the park and find the loot from a robbery, one which they knew about but didn't know was committed by the uncle and their friend, until now.

The problem is that your friend is the only "witness", and he can't be found, ergo no one can connect the uncle to the crime, unless you identify your friend, whom you know will be killed if you do so, because the police have a mole who reports to these criminals. The evidence won't stand up in court. Therefore the police cannot, and do not, charge the uncle of a crime ("no collusion"), but they do place him under surveillance because this isn't the first time he has been known to hang around with known criminals. The crime did occur. That much we know for certain.

Now, any reasonable person who hears this story (who was not an ally of your uncle and their friend, and thus would defend them, no matter what crime they might commit, such as shooting someone on Fifth Avenue) would lend you (Steele) and your friend (the unnamed source) a lot of credence, because they knew, before anyone else, that a crime had been committed, knew where the loot was buried, and knew who was involved. How else could they know without being good sources? (When it has been possible to examine Steele's stories, they hold up to investigation. His information has nearly always been right. That's why he's had such success in his career and is highly respected.)

The crime was committed. Proven fact. Steele says that a source revealed that certain persons (he names in the dossier) planned that crime and stood behind it. Any logical person would connect the dots. Intelligence agencies who checked out some of the dossier's claims found some of the information to be accurate. This secret information was found to be accurate, so this increased the dossier's credence in their eyes, even while they remained skeptical of the ONE salacious claim, a very small part of the dossier. Most of the claims are not salacious. These sources had advanced knowledge of crimes. They should be trusted, at least to some degree.

Trump supporters refuse to give any credence to the dossier, even though many of its allegations are proven true. They wouldn't even believe anything in the dossier if the name of the source was given, and a recheck of the information proved the story beyond a shadow of a doubt. (The source gets killed if this happens, and that reliable source of information no longer exists.)

I'm not certain if my illustration is entirely accurate, but you get the gist of it. The trustworthiness of a source is not dependent on their identity, but on their advanced knowledge of events later proven to be true.

Page's actions are largely analogous to the story above. We can't prove that the exact words in the dossier about what actually happened in those secret meetings between Page and Rosneft officials (which Page lied about) were spoken, but all external events tend to back up that the story in the dossier is very likely true: The GOP platform did indeed get changed; Manafort was indeed paid $12.7 million; Rosneft was indeed liquidated and 19.5% was transferred to a secret Cayman Islands account; Trump did indeed try, as one of his very first actions, to lift the sanctions, he has kept trying, and recently lifted the sanctions on Deripaska; and Page did lie about it all and kept changing his story, and finally, under oath, partially affirmed it. All of this is public record in RS.

Here's the dilemma: The dossier describes the backstory. Should we trust that story? Logical people would tend to do so. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 06:20, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Actual text of sanctionEdit

See here.

For the record and to help me and others know the exact wording of this sanction at the time it was applied, I'm placing it here:

===No personal comments===

On Article Talk pages within the topic area, you may not make personal comments accusing editors or groups of editors of doing things like assuming bad faith, making personal attacks, casting aspersions, being biased, or being uncivil. In other words you should basically just focus on article content instead of other users.

If another editor notifies you that you are in violation of this sanction you can remedy the problem by removing the comment, editing it with the appropriate strike and underline markup, or hatting the comment. If the comment was genuinely not intended as a personal comment you can explain how it was a miscommunication and apologize/refactor as necessary. Personal comments in edit summaries can also be resolved via apology. Be aware however that if you are subsequently reported to an administrator it will be the administrator who will judge whether the comment was personal or not and whether reparation attempts were adequate.

Users reporting violations of this sanction must follow the instructions here.

This is a civility-type sanction and is very good. I like it. It's good to be reminded of this type of thing, because, human nature being what it is, in the heat of the moment and when one is being attacked, it's easy to react/respond by sliding toward this type of offensive behavior, even when one has good intentions and does it to defend Wikipedia against attempts to undermine its policies. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:17, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

More about this sanction. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:31, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

The Media Bias Chart and how it rates sourcesEdit

If you're interested in fact checking and evaluation of sources for accuracy and bias, check out both of these links. This happens to be the best media bias chart I know of:

"Most people don’t visit 40 sites about one story to compare bias and quality, but that’s one of the things we do here, so we hope it helps you get a better sense of the universe of reporting."

"Junk news (by which we mean anything falling in the hyper-partisan (-18 to +18) and beyond categories, and anything below 40 on our quality scale) mostly serves to satisfy people’s craving to be right and confirm their existing beliefs."

I like to regularly check the chart to ensure I only use the best sources and keep track of which are good for facts and which are good for opinions, noting that it's important to check both the left and right sides of the spectrum for how their bias is related to the facts. If their bias hasn't caused them to twist the facts and engage in whitewashing or propaganda, then they can still be used. Both sides are guilty of that at times, while at other times their bias leaves the facts intact. It's pretty fascinating. Have fun. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:18, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Mueller Report footnote about pee tapeEdit

Here is the Mueller Report footnote 112 (pages 27 and 28, Volume 2) to content about Comey's briefing of Trump about the pee tape:

112 Corney 1/7/17 Memorandum, at 1-2; Corney 11/15/17 302, at 3. Corney's briefing included the Steele reporting's unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant. During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump. On October 30, 20 I6, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, "Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there' s anything else. Just so you know " 10/30/16 Text Message, Rtskhiladze to Cohen. Rtskhiladze said "tapes" referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia. Rtskhiladze 4/4/ l 8 30 2, at 12. Coh en said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhilad ze. Cohen 9/12/18 302 , at 13. Rts khiladz e said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen. Rtskhiladze 5/ l0/18 302, at 7.

p. 27-28


Later events:

Rtskhiladze has tried to backtrack his comments, but he treated them as real when he "stopped the flow". He stopped something. That's what he told Cohen and Mueller. To later say it was rumors, etc, is disingenuous.


This one could be used in the Trump-Russia dossier article:

  • "Rtskhiladze’s description of the tapes’ content tracks with the unverified information included in the Steele dossier, ..."


These probably parse things correctly, but are also sensational, so sources below are better:



The opinions are all over the map, some ignoring the disconnect between Rtskhiladze's backtracking and what he actually did (stopped the flow of embarrassing tapes for Cohen, whose job it was to bury this type of thing): — Preceding unsigned comment added by BullRangifer (talkcontribs) 23:23, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

See Bloomberg's coverage of "tapes rumor": talk 10:24, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I have. It's listed above. The coverage in RS is all over the map. I hope more sources analyze this and things settle down a bit. -- BullRangifer (talk) 13:41, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

Trump's foreign policy treatment of Russia and PutinEdit

Saving some useful sources here.

Now that the main Russian interference investigation and Mueller investigation have ended, many smaller parts are still ongoing at the state attorneys general level. Whether there is a continuing ultra-secret FBI investigation is unknown to the public, as it should be, but I doubt it for the following reason. Trump's DOJ controls these things and will be able to squash any further investigations at the FBI. In effect, the FBI is blocked from protecting us from the ongoing Russian interference. Strzok did an excellent job as head of the FBI's counterespionage efforts, but he was a threat to Russian interference and he's gone. (David Archey replaced him.) This is all consistent with Trump's current foreign policy treatment of Russia and Putin. The latest proof is Trump's 1 1/2 hour phone call with Putin where Trump didn't even broach the subject except to call Russian interference in the election a "hoax". When he denies what has been proven to have happened and is ongoing, he is treating Russian interference as an acceptable and welcome help from America's enemy to keep him in power. What's the point of holding elections if we can't trust them?[6][7][8][9] -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:52, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Speaking in historical context, one can never blame a single man for everything, even such as, for example, Joseph Stalin. The president was elected by American people, and they will likely re-elect him again. And BTW, one of characters by Guy de Maupassant argued that the crowd or ordinary people will always make wrong choice during free elections (hence he argued for a political system where almost nothing will depend on the elected officials). My very best wishes (talk) 23:23, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
There is much truth there. Democracy stops working when some of these things happen, as now: political corruption (big money and lobbyists corrupt it); the separation of powers is broken; one party is not doing its duty to serve the people and not the president; gerrymandering ensures that one party always wins, even when they get far fewer votes than the other party; manipulation of voter roles and voter disenfranchisement; courts are packed to serve one party and not to serve justice, etc. You get the picture. When democracy is healthy and voters really have the power and are properly represented, it works great. Denmark has such a system. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:36, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Even JFK cheated to get into office. They all cheat and the better cheaters win. They all believe the cheating ultimately benefits the country, and they all rationalize the cheating as "ends justify means". Stop pretending American politics is a battle between Good and Evil along party lines. More accurately, stop believing that. It's not true, and that means it's not helpful. I'd say exactly the same thing to a Republican using the reverse of that faulty reasoning, if I thought it might do some good. ―Mandruss  00:20, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, cheating is nothing new, and some of the earliest politicians and presidents were very sneaky and would run circles around many of our modern ones. What's different now, to the best of my knowledge, is that a President and his administration has never before sought and accepted help from the nation's foremost foreign enemy. This is different, as it gives the enemy myriad blackmail angles and ways to manipulate and control what happens. Also, Trump is not even stopping the interference or admitting it happened. He calls it a "hoax". Trump should have done what Obama did when he found out what Russia was doing. Obama told Putin to stop it and punished them with sanctions, and Trump should have gotten on the phone and said "Stop it. I will not accept your help. Get lost." Even now he won't do it. Instead Trump denied it happened and tried to lift the sanctions as soon as he was elected. Recently he lifted the sanctions on Deripaska. No, this whole situation is very different from any kind of cheating we've ever seen before.
I'm not sure why you think that I think it's all "a battle between Good and Evil along party lines." I think anyone who cheats is wrong to do it, and any party who disenfranchises voters and discourages voters from voting is wrong, and any party who accepts help from the enemy is acting traitorously and opening themselves up to blackmail. I'll take the other side, regardless of which one. Neither side is perfect or completely clean. Sometimes the Dems are more wrong, and sometimes the Repubs are more wrong. I think we can agree on that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:37, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
That's your view of the situation and you're entitled to it as we all are. Just don't believe it's objective truth, since objective truth is pure illusion. The difference is important, since it affects how we edit Wikipedia. A belief that Wikipedia policy is sufficient to protect the encyclopedia from that "objective truth" mind-set is simply false, resulting from a failure to understand the considerable capacity of the human mind to deceive itself. ―Mandruss  02:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't even know what "your [my] view" refers to, but I have long said that there is no limit to the capacity for humans to deceive, be deceived, and deceive themselves. We tend to believe that which we wish to be true, and that is a fatal flaw. Never believe that something is true because you think it. That's what's really wrong with the Boyzone song "No Matter What": "No matter what they tell us. No matter what they do. No matter what they teach us. What we believe is true." That's utter BS. (Yes, I know it's an emotional love song, so maybe we should give them a break.  )
The scientific mindset, from which I come, deals with this flaw head-on by habitually using the skeptical approach to new information, especially if it's unusual. Doubt it, double-check it, etc. I do depend on RS to help me, and if they get it wrong, then I will likely get it wrong too, but since they self-correct fairly quickly, I get saved.
That's also why I won't habitually read right-wing sources, as research has shown that they tend to share fake news more often than left-wing sources, perpetuate such stories, self-correct much less, and right-wingers tend to seek out such misinformation much more than left-wingers. Our Fake news article has some pretty shocking statistics about this.
There is no documentation that the left-wing has such a systemic problem. That doesn't mean that left-wing sources never get it wrong, or occasionally share a fake news story, but they self-correct very quickly, often because other left-wing sources criticize them. Right-wing sources don't criticize each other in this way, at least not as often, instead they copy and amplify the falsehood.
Another important difference is the use of fact-checkers. Trump told his followers not to trust fact-checkers or RS, while left-wingers use them all the time. That's a significant difference.
In summary, since we are all prone to self-deception, regardless of our political standpoints, it is even more important to stay as close to RS as possible and not read unreliable sources (except for research). -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:47, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Are you still blind? In November 2018, The Guardian falsely claimed that Manafort had visited Assange multiple times, and they still haven't retracted the information in spite of general backlash. The incident was called the "biggest gaffe of the year". How's that for a left-wing publication correcting the record? And of course Buzzfeed published the Steele Dossier, which every other news outlet didn't want to touch, and has led to two years of wasted energy. How about when Gawker smeared Hulk Hogan? Have they apologized before being sued out of existence? Really, if you think left-wing papers are any less dishonest than right-wing papers, you are buried deep deep in your echo chamber. — JFG talk 03:36, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Read those statistics I mentioned. They are in our Fake news article. What I wrote are facts, and yes, there are unfortunate exceptions, but when it comes to factual accuracy and relationship to fake news, there is a huge difference between left- and right-wing sources and audiences They are very different. I suspect much of it has to do with the fact that left-wingers tend to be better educated and use fact-checkers. Those too are facts, but there are also exceptions to that. There are plenty of well-educated right-wingers.
That's really sad about The Guardian, and a good example of the exception that proves the rule. I don't know, but they may have information which can't be released which convinces them that it is still true, so it's a question of integrity for them. Their story has not been proven wrong, just as the stories about Cohen being in Prague and Trump accepting (not paying) the offered prostitutes in Moscow. None of those stories have been proven wrong. We just don't know. The Mueller Report does confirm that a Georgian business associate of Cohen's was communicating with Cohen about compromising tapes of Trump, and he said that he had "stopped the flow of tapes" from Russian (which he told Mueller were compromising tapes), which confirms that Russians do have some sort of tapes on Trump. (He tried to backtrack later, but his story makes no sense, as he did "stop the flow of tapes" and wasn't joking at the time.)
The release of the Steele dossier is in a totally different category. Buzzfeed made no claims that it was accurate, and they published it with a huge disclaimer. The judge backed up the justification for their release of the dossier, as it was in the public good to do so. Then, when the FBI investigated it, they found outside information which corroborated enough of it that they used it as their roadmap for the investigation. They were obligated to investigate its claims to see if more of them were correct, and in some cases were unable to find more information. That is not a disproof, but a lack of confirmation. Ergo, they don't know if the claims are true, false, or somewhere in between.
Gawker...sensationlist rag? Hardly a typical left or right wing source, but then I never read it. Were they some sort of weird fringe left-wing counterweight to The National Enquirer on the right, which is a staunch Trump defender? I've never seen Gawker described as either left or right, and our article doesn't mention any bias either. They were sort of like The Hollywood Reporter, not exactly a RS, and not a source anymore, so a moot point. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:44, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanations that support your point of view. Fair enough. I didn't mean to argue the left-vs-right evilness at length, or the education level of their readers, and I'll stop here. — JFG talk 11:32, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Trump's DOJ works for him, and not for America. This kind of political opinion statement belongs on your blog or on Twitter, not on Wikipedia. See WP:POLEMIC. It's also a BLP violation, which is not allowed even on private user pages. — JFG talk 21:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Good catch. Rather than provide the RS which say that, I'll just completely remove it. Thanks. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:37, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
BTW, while I've "got you on the line," I may not participate much in the current discussions at Talk:Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Other eyes can look at it and do the work of sorting it out. I have never contributed very much to that article anyway, so editors with more experience there might do it better. I still reserve the right to participate if I feel the desire, but right now I feel a bit burned out on that article. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:42, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I understand the feeling. This timeline is already overwhelming in length, scope and detail, and it is now being expanded with all kinds of minutiae from the Mueller Report. I'm not sure it will ever be reduced to something actually informative to readers. — JFG talk 00:24, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Actually, I think the list is extremely informative. I found a few interesting details after looking for a few minutes. This is not a wall of text, but a list. If a list is well organized, the size does not really matter. My very best wishes (talk) 02:44, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Large size is less of a problem with a list than with a prose article. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
In my opinion, big pages are fine if they are properly structured. It does not mean that unimportant content should be kept. A couple of comments above by someone else brought my attention. They all cheat and the better cheaters win [implicitly implying that nothing was changed in US politics]. No, there was never nothing like the today's situation in US politics. Stop pretending American politics is a battle between Good and Evil along party lines. That sounds right, but as long as politicians act themselves along the "party lines", they will and should be treated by electorate along the party lines. My very best wishes (talk) 16:49, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Make the goal accuracy while adhering strictly to NPOV, NEWSORG and RECENTISM. BR, I know you acted in GF and took what MSM reported at face value. I think we've all learned a valuable lesson in retrospect. Glance back to when MelanieN nominated the article at AfD. Hindsight is 20-20 vision but retrospect helps us learn from our mistakes. MelanieN was right. The concerns I expressed May 20, 2018 and earlier...[10], [11] also speak volumes (and unfortunately, led to my t-ban from AP2 because I over-emphasized the need for accuracy & caution). I won't belabor the point and will end by saying that the editors who crafted our PAGs about NEWSORG, NOTNEWS, and RECENTISM were wise. I hope it serves to make us more cautious in the future and not let biases get in the way of accuracy and NPOV in our contributions. Atsme Talk 📧 01:39, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I would never dispute the need for following those policies and guidelines, but they would have zero effect on the fact that Wikipedia's rules also required that we create the Trump–Russia dossier. (BTW, I didn't create it.) We are required to document the sum total of human knowledge, and the whole dossier business was widely covered in RS, and it is mentioned every single day, even now. Like it or not, it's a very important document.
To quote you, editors are not allowed to "let biases get in the way of" documenting the existence, content, and controversies of such a widely reported document. You often mention those other PAG, but you keep forgetting the criteria for the creation of articles. We must also follow them, and if an article meets those criteria, it MUST not be AfDed. That would be an attack on policy. The article belongs here whether we like the subject or not.
We document many types of things here, including conspiracy theories, controversies, and scandals. Many editors might place the dossier in one or more of those categories, but the evidence shows that its main themes have been proven true and much of it has been backed up by other independent evidence. At the same time, one should always remember the cautionary message Buzzfeed wrote when they published it. It was never to be considered a finished product or necessarily all true. Much has been proven true, other parts are unproven, but nothing serious has been proven false. That is still the verdict from RS, including the Mueller Report. Even the Mueller Report's mention (Mueller did not investigate this matter) of Cohen's alleged visit to Prague is told in Cohen's inaccurate words (Cohen had indeed been to Prague much earlier). Mueller offers no independent verdict or further evidence on that matter. We still don't know for sure if it happened. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Funny to see some media called the dossier "Pissgate" in the early days.[12] It was indeed piss-poor spying if you ask me.[FBDB]JFG talk 22:17, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
That's hilarious! For some reason that one allegation, which is just one small part of the dossier, dominated the media. People love sensation. There are so many false descriptions of the allegation. There is nothing in it that indicates that Trump "paid" any prostitutes. We know for a fact that they were offered to him by someone with Emin Agalarov, and that he supposedly refused them. There is also nothing in the allegation to indicate that Trump participated in sex acts, romped with them, or was pissed on by them. The Mueller Report does confirm that compromising tapes of Trump are possessed by Russians, but we still don't know if this Moscow hotel incident ever happened or exists as a tape. It's just titillating and grabs people's attention, likely because there is nothing in Trump's character or history that tells us he wouldn't do this. It would be totally in character. Comey was initially a disbeliever, but after talking to Trump, and having Trump lie repeatedly about it, Comey left the meetings with the belief that it might actually have happened. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:27, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Donald Trump's Foreign Policy 'Is One Where Russia Has Leverage Over Him,' Former CIA Official Says, By Jason Lemon, May 6, 2019, Newsweek

One should take it with a pinch of salt. Let's admit it: none of US administrations was tough on Russia or even on North Korea. The only difference: that president does ignore most of the intelligence. But Putin is different. According to Russian political commentators, he reads three folders which are prepared every day by SVR, FSB and FSO, respectively. No wonder, after reading all that "info" by spooks, he has very dark views on the intentions by his "adversaries" and get ready for a nuclear confrontation. My very best wishes (talk) 20:41, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't recall any recent presidents being vulnerable to Russian blackmail in the way that Trump is vulnerable, and he doesn't seem to care that his past history with women, his business dealings, his alleged laundering of Russian oligarchs' money through real estate deals, etc. are all things Putin can, and do doubt is, using to pressure him. The very act of keeping his conversations with Trump secret automatically gives Putin the upper hand. That's why our presidents have always had their own translator along who can be a witness to everything that is said.
Even JFK and Bill Clinton, who were notorious womanizers, never gave any indication that they were being blackmailed by Russia, whereas everything about Trump's relationship with Putin raises such suspicions. Even our top intelligence chiefs have said that they believe he is acting as if he is being blackmailed by Putin.
Obama did react fairly quickly to the Russian interference by directly telling Putin to stop it, by enacting some pretty touch sanctions that hit the pocketbooks of Putin and many powerful Russians, by arresting, expelling, and charging numerous Russian spooks, and by confiscating Russian property in America. He confronted Putin head-on.
Trump eschews intelligence briefings, ridicules our intelligence agencies, and instead gets his views from Diamond and Silk, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends, Breitbart, Daily Caller, etc, which is sometimes recycled Russian propaganda from RT.
Putin is indeed a foe to be feared. He is a hardcore, old style, Soviet Russian, very well-informed, an experienced super sleuth, and tactically far superior to any of our recent presidents, especially Trump. That's why presidents depend on and treasure the work of our intelligence agencies. Obama was known to study intelligence briefings very carefully and stay on top of such matters. He valued our intelligence agencies. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I saw this. Perhaps one should not blame the previous administrations, even though they did not do anything effective. And yes, I agree that P. should be feared, but not because he is clever. According to Russian military commentators and others [13], he is definitely planning some action under coverage of the "nuclear umbrella", some kind of "nuclear poker". My very best wishes (talk) 22:29, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
That is indeed scary. Putin hates America and has said "I Could Destroy U.S. In Less Than 30 Min!" He recently said something about a new type of nuclear weapon. I have no doubt that Russia could pretty much level the most important parts of the USA. The results would create international pandemonium and a collapse of economies. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:36, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Unfortunately, with modern politicians (I am not saying this is one person, it takes two or more to tango), this is a very real possibility. One should read Nuclear War Survival Skills and buy dosimeter. My very best wishes (talk) 04:10, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
BTW, a sure sign of the rising totalitarianism and future wars is militarizing and brainwashing children (here is Russian version). Vitaly Mansky managed to shot a movie which documents, among other things, how this is done in North Korea [14]. Watching them is heartbreaking, especially for someone who was an object of such manipulations himself. My very best wishes (talk) 00:14, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
See this. Just as many years ago, they are using "proxies", and even exactly the same proxies. How do you think North Korea had developed their nuclear weapons at the first place? My very best wishes (talk) 05:21, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Christopher Steele stuffEdit

This might be of interest to you. Bear in mind that it was uploaded by John Solomon, so its authenticity is questionable. It's currently bouncing around the conservative echo chamber as evidence that the FBI was warned that Steele wasn't credible. (Ex: [15]) That seems very far-fetched to me. However if this document is real it might serve another purpose, to shed a little more light on the dossier allegations and how Steele arrived at them. R2 (bleep) 18:49, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

This will have to be quick.... I saw that on Twitter, but the thread immediately devolved into conspiracy mongering, so I stopped reading. I know about that allegation, but it's not new, just a twist on what we already knew, AFAIK. We have always known that Steele quickly developed a strong dislike for Trump (what normal person wouldn't?); that the dossier was raw intelligence, IOW unedited and largely unverified; that it was possible that some of it was even accidentally picked up disinformation from Russian intelligence, unlike most of it where "Steele spied against Russia to get info Russia did not want released; Don Jr took a mtg to get info Russians wanted to give.", IOW they could have also given Don Jr. misinformation, etc. This is no secret, and both Steele and BuzzFeed made this plain from the very beginning. Is there anything really new here? -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:42, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Look at it from a different angle. It's much more interesting in how it fills out our understanding of the dossier allegations than in how it does (or rather, doesn't) support the Spygate theorists. For instance Steele explained why the pee tape allegations were credible. R2 (bleep) 21:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. There are several interesting things about the pee tape allegation that make me tend to believe it might be true:
  1. Trump has no alibi.
  2. Even Schiller, his bodyguard, wouldn't give that to him.
  3. He was offered the prostitutes.
  4. It would be totally in character for him to consort with prostitutes.
  5. It's also in character for him to have them defile that bed. He hates Obama that much as a president and as a black man. His racism is a well-documented family thing.
  6. Comey is a trained professional at sniffing out BS and lying. Comey was a disbeliever until he talked to Trump. That changed him into a "maybe peeliever," and he's the expert.
  7. Trump lied more than once in different ways about this.
  8. He did it when lying wasn't even necessary or provoked, IOW clear consciousness of guilt.
  9. There is no reason not to believe it. This is Occam's razor stuff. Belief is the more logical option.
Now we've got more about it? Wow! Will this never end? I can't wait for the movie.   -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Now I'm on my phone with a lousy connection and just waiting... One thing interesting about this is that Steele did not intend for the dossier, as we have it, to be published. He wasn't happy about that.
We also know that the dossier was shared with journalists and is just a small part of his finds. Look at the page numbering and you'll see there's a whole lot missing. That was probably too sensitive to share with journalists, but the FBI no doubt has it and has been researching it and maybe following leads.
This is most likely some of that "missing" stuff. Interesting! It's what's NOT in the dossier that should scare Trump. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:13, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Why is Spygate called a "conspiracy theory"?Edit

SIPPINONTECH, while I was away I see a whole spat occurred. I'm glad I missed it. There was a lot of bad faith commenting, some of the worst battleground behavior I've seen in a long time, participation from a known disruptive sock puppet/POV warrior who got blocked, and the discussion closed. All well and good. That was a disgrace.

You do deserve an answer to your question here. You wrote:

You need to be specific about which claims exactly you are referring to with respect to Halper. Because at the very least there is RS material that indicates that, in fact, Halper was spying on members of Trump's campaign.[1] The use of a covert government agent to collect information on people under an assumed name is spying. The FBI did use a covert government agent to collect information on Papadapolous, via Halper. So I'm not understanding which claims made by Trump, specifically, you claim are false... SIPPINONTECH (talk) 18:10, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

The article has a specific historic background which was notable enough to justify its creation. Since then Trump has broadened his use of the terms Spygate and spying to apply to any and all investigations and surveillance of him and his campaign members, even though they were all legal, necessary, and apolitical.

Regardless of whether one calls it an investigation, surveillance, or spying, the Trump campaign was indeed surveilled as part of the Russia investigation, as it should have been. All conspiracy theories contain some true elements, and this is the true part. Calling it "spying" is political rebranding, as admitted by Trump. It's deceptive, but whatever.

The investigations and surveillance were absolutely warranted when one studies their background. See here:

You are one of those who would like to co-opt the article for use as a broad discussion of "spying" and later misuses of the term Spygate. I obviously oppose that, and we're unlikely to change each other's minds, so I'll just do you the service of answering your question so you know what I meant. You may not agree, but at least you'll know where I'm coming from.

Trump made several false claims about Halper's work as an informant when he made contacts with three members of Trump's campaign. Those claims were as follows:

  1. That a (as in ONE) spy was implanted in his 2016 presidential campaign. (Trump had just learned about Halper and tweeted about him without naming him.)
  2. That it was for political purposes.
  3. That the spy was "placed very early into my campaign", later defined as December 2015.
  4. That a counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign had been running since December 2015.


  1. No spy was "implanted" in the campaign.
  2. It was part of the investigation into Russian interference, IOW for national security purposes.
  3. Halper first started his investigations in July 2016.
  4. The Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign's relations to the Russian election interference started on July 31, 2016. There was no investigation of the Trump campaign before this, only of Russians.

So far no evidence has been produced to support Trump's claims.

A whole different article should be created to deal with the whole subject of "spying". That would give you a much better forum for discussing the subject in depth. We don't co-opt existing articles which have a limited, notable, and specific scope. Instead, we create a new article. Go for it! -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:00, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

This seems to me like a nice explanation of why some of Trump's claims related to this topic are unsubstantiated. It does not seem like an effective argument that they are either false or that they amount to a conspiracy theory. Nor, I suggest, can you find significant news reports that say these things. Several of his claims are unsubstantiated. That's it! Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:04, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, that brings us back to what RS say. They label his claims false, and you'll rarely find news sources saying it's a "conspiracy theory". That's something you'll find in news analysis and opinion articles, which are also RS. Therefore it's a red herring to want or expect us to source that to news sources, and I hope you stop doing that. That's not what they do. They just report the news, and sometimes also synthesize by juxtaposing the false statement with the contrary facts to show that the claim is indeed false. We can't make such a synthesis, but they can, and we're glad they do that work for us. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:15, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
That view I hold about "news analysis" isn't a red herring. It's one view on the issue currently under discussion at RSN, it is a view shared by some editors around here, it is clearly rooted in the plain language of the RS policy, and, if it were consensus, it would directly undermine the sourcing for the current Spygate article. So it's highly relevant and not a red herring at all.
But suppose it's wrong and we take your view of the matter. Can you point to a news report that calls any of his claims false, as opposed to unsubstantiated, or "asserted without evidence" or some such? I am only aware of news analysis pieces like that. Also, I thought your view was that when analysis pieces state contentious or opinionated claims, they should be attributed. Is it your position that it is non contentious or controversial to call Trump's claims a conspiracy theory? If so, what an odd view! If not, then you should agree with me that those sources are being used inappropriately, since they're repeatedly used in the article unattributed. Shinealittlelight (talk) 21:12, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
You ask "Is it your position that it is non contentious or controversial to call Trump's claims a conspiracy theory?" Not really, but that depends on one's views of Trump.   No, seriously, I understand that it's seen as controversial by those who support Trump, so I wouldn't oppose attributing the statements. Normally, the fact that some editors find it controversial does not mean we need attribution, because that's a matter controlled by RS, IOW we'd need evidence that RS consider it controversial. I don't recall any of that type. (Fringe sources don't count.) But I'm a pragmatic guy who's willing to bend the rules to avoid too much friction here, so I often include sourcing to the lead, even if it's already in the body of an article, and I'll also add attribution to stop long and fruitless discussions. It's the type of compromise I often make. It's not really in harmony with policy, but it is in harmony with our attempts to be collegial here. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:33, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I think that it's going to be rare to be able to source the view that some claim is contentious to RS. As I understood the view you and some others were proposing, it was that we have to make that determination on a case-by-case basis, not that we have to back that up with sources. And of course I think it's obvious that calling Spygate a conspiracy theory is contentious. But anyway, in this case, we do have some reliable sources that do not call it a conspiracy theory but say that this is what Democrats call it. That seems to me to come close to showing that such sources regard the claim as at least somewhat contentious. So maybe that will convince you? The problem with attribution in this case is that the claim occurs in the title of the article!
The larger point, as I'm now seeing it, is that the broad range of news reports do not present the theory the way that the current article does. They present it as an unsubstantiated theory that Trump put forward to discredit the Mueller investigation, and they do not call it false or a conspiracy theory. You can find this characterization over and over in RS. Then you have two news reports--one from LA Times, and one from Haaretz--that call it a conspiracy theory. And so the current article cherry picks. So it seems to me. Anyway, I appreciate your willingness to discuss these things, and even to compromise. I don't want to bend the rules, for what it's worth, and I don't expect the article to read as a conservative would write it. I just want it to have the normal level of left-lean that you would expect for an article based on mainstream media sources! Shinealittlelight (talk) 12:14, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

When there is proof that no astronauts landed on the moon, only then do the Moon landing conspiracy theories cease to be conspiracy theories.

When there is proof that the Bush administration was behind the September 11 attacks, only then do parts of the 9/11 conspiracy theories cease to be conspiracy theories.

When there is proof that Obama was not born in the United States, only then do the Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories cease to be conspiracy theories.

When there is proof that Halper was actually part of Trump's campaign; that he was planted there by Obama, not the FBI, and for political purposes, not national security reasons; and that he was placed very early into the campaign in 2015, only then does Spygate cease to be a conspiracy theory. None of that has changed. It's still false. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:47, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Question about SpygateEdit

I felt like this was a little forum-ish to ask on the talk page, so I'm asking you here. You have said--and the Spygate article says--that Trump was referring to Halper in his May 22 tweet. Of course he knew that Halper was not a member of his campaign. So do you think that when he said "into the campaign" he was just lying? Or do you think he meant something else by "into the campaign" than "a member of the campaign"? For what it's worth, my view is that I have no idea what Trump was thinking when he wrote that. But I was curious what you would say. Shinealittlelight (talk) 20:08, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

It's not always easy to know what he means because he doesn't always say what he means and usually doesn't mean what he says. His use of hyperbole, manipulative shading, and outright lies make up a disproportionately large percentage of all he says. Psychologists and social scientists who study lying and liars have placed him in a special category, as his lies are far more complex that other liars, that he lies far more than other deceptive people, and his lies are much more self-serving and harmful to others. He's beyond the beyond when it comes to deception. Fact checkers have never encountered a more deceptive person, and a new category of lies has been created because of him, and he's the only person who occupies the Bottomless Pinocchio category.
He says whatever will work at the moment. I suspect this was just a way to gin up a more sinister picture that would stoke the "deep state" conspiracy theory beliefs of his base, but I can't be sure. That's just the effect it had. It drew his followers closer to himself by making it seem he was being persecuted.
He couldn't very well say: "I was being surveilled because I and my associates have acted in myriad ways which create justified suspicions that my campaign is colluding with Russia (and we all lie about it) and that I am acting exactly like a Russian asset." That truth would not fly with his base as it would be an admission that all the investigations and surveillance were his own fault. No, he plays the "it's all their fault, I am innocent" game.
What do you think or guess he meant? -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:29, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I really don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say that he was just not being careful, and he worded his tweet (a freaking tweet, after all) without thinking too hard about it. Maybe "into the campaign" sounded invasive in a way that he liked. I don't think it's very plausible that he was trying to trick anyone into thinking that Halper was a part of his campaign. But again, I really am not sure what he was thinking, and I also suspect that, if you could somehow get him to be totally honest with you, he himself may not know why he worded it just that way. All guesses on my part, though. I'm not sure.
I don't really see him as a bigger liar than other politicians. Prior to Trump, I would have said that almost every politician is a serial liar. So it's really hard to have a sense that he's worse than what came before in this respect. (I recognize he's unprecedented in other ways, of course.) Shinealittlelight (talk) 21:01, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, you don't have to rely on how you see him when it comes to lying. Fact checkers, scholars, and others have done that work for you, and it's as I have described above. I didn't make that up. It's from RS. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:13, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Like lots of people, I think there is ideology, politics, and bias that influence the RSs in our sense. It's particularly bad in recent years. Journalists and scholars are people too, and standards have been eroded for years. There's nothing to be done about this around here--we have to rely on them because they're all we have, and without that this place would be more of a thunderdome than it already is. But certainly when I form my own views, I'm not turning to Kessler or Bump or their ilk. I can think for myself. Shinealittlelight (talk) 23:44, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
While I consider Bump to be a pretty good journalist, Kessler is in a different category. He is a professional fact checker, so we don't really have any right to question his competence when it comes to rating statements into various categories of reliability, truthfulness, etc. He's the expert, and there are many others who come to the same conclusions regarding Trump. When I say "have the right", I mean that we don't have the competence to second guess experts like him, unless we are renowned experts with the same or better qualifications. Otherwise, we do well to learn from them. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:29, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
PS: I couldn't help but notice the discussion above. I just wanted to say that you seem like a nice person, and I have enjoyed our dialogue, even when we have disagreed. Thanks for being willing to talk with me, and for your efforts to improve wikipedia. Shinealittlelight (talk) 01:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, too! I really appreciate this dialogue. It's a good thing to exchange information, learn from each other, and help each other. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:32, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
A little off topic on the spygate talkpage, so I thought I'd follow up here with a question that isn't meant to be challenging: Do you think that editor's judgments play any role in evaluating whether we should use an opinion source with attribution? Here's what I mean: if the NYT (for example) publishes an op-ed by some guy, does the fact that the the editors of the NYT decided to publish it make it more worthy as a source than it would have been if it had been published, say, in GQ? Or does the whole judgment of whether to use that opinion source have nothing to do with editors of the relevant publication, and instead rely only on the wikipedia editors' consensus about the status, qualifications, etc., of the author himself? That's what I guess I'm trying to understand about the policy at this point. Shinealittlelight (talk) 01:17, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
I wish I could give you an authoritative and expert solution that always works, but it's usually done on a case-by-case basis, and when editors still can't agree on what to do, then it goes on up the chain to a place like RS/N. To avoid that time sink, it's often best to just compromise, and that often ends up working best, IOW no one is really satisfied, but they can live with it. That's often the sign of a good consensus.   Everyone sacrifices a bit and progress is made in the general direction of a theoretical ideal state. If one has five demands and gets one or two of them, that's pretty good. Those who demand that one reach that ideal immediately don't last long here. Sometimes it's best and easiest to build a general structure so you have an article, and then fine tune it later toward perfection. Demanding perfection at every step of the way leads to headaches and disruption. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:11, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Media's hesitancy to label Trump a "liar"Edit

Some writers have said he should not be called a "liar" because one cannot know his motives, all while admitting he was very untruthful and had no respect for the truth. Others have declared the situation to be so serious that it was time to dare call a sitting President a "liar". They seemed to focus more on the fact that the consequences of the constant repetition of falsehoods is the same, regardless of motives.

Outlets which use the word "lie"
  • 1/1/2017. The New York Times editorial board has used “lie” to describe Trump’s rampant abuse of facts. And Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin has taken the media to task for not using the word. Other outlets ― including MSNBC, New York Magazine and HuffPost ― will use the word when it’s merited.[1]
'Gerard Baker, WSJ. "I'd be careful about using the word 'lie'."
  • 1/1/2017. On NBC's Meet The Press, January 1, 2017, The Wall Street Journal's Editor in Chief Gerard Baker said the journal wouldn't call Trump's false statements "lies": "I'd be careful about using the word 'lie'. 'Lie' implies much more than just saying something that's false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead."[1]
  • 1/2/2017. Greg Sargent also responded to Baker, stating that "Donald Trump 'lies.' A lot. And news organizations should say so." He also referred to "the nature of Trump's dishonesty — the volume, ostentatiousness, nonchalance, and imperviousness to correction at the hands of factual reality...."[2] Sargent described how Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of The New York Times, wrote that Trump's lies should be called lies "because he has shown a willingness to go beyond the 'normal sort of obfuscation that politicians traffic in.'"[2]
  • 1/3/2017. Veteran reporter Dan Rather strongly disagreed with Baker's position, calling it "deeply disturbing".[3] He proposed a very different approach: "A lie, is a lie, is a lie." He wrote: "These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures." He directly criticized the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and also Donald Trump, for lying, and wrote: "The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before."[4]
  • 1/4/2017. "Trump, 'Lies' and Honest Journalism", Gerard Baker, Jan. 4, 2017

Mr. Trump certainly has a penchant for saying things whose truthfulness is, shall we say for now, challengeable. Much of the traditional media have spent the past year grappling with how to treat Mr. Trump’s utterances.

In a New Year’s Day broadcast on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” moderator Chuck Todd asked whether I, as the editor in chief of the Journal, would be comfortable characterizing in our journalism something Mr. Trump says as a “lie.”

Here’s what I said: “I’d be careful about using the word ‘lie.’ ‘Lie’ implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.”

Note that I said I’d be “careful” in using the word “lie.” I didn’t ban the word from the Journal’s lexicon. Evidently, this carefulness is widely shared in the newsrooms of America. While some of the fresher news organizations have routinely called out Mr. Trump as a liar in their reporting, as far as I can tell, traditional newsrooms—print, digital, television—have used the term sparingly. Given the number of times Mr. Trump seems to have uttered falsehoods, that looks like prima facie evidence of a widespread reluctance to label him a liar.

Why the reluctance? For my part, it’s not because I don’t believe that Mr. Trump has said things that are untrue. Nor is it because I believe that when he says things that are untrue we should refrain from pointing it out. This is exactly what the Journal has done.

Mr. Trump has a record of saying things that are, as far as the available evidence tells us, untruthful...[5]

  • 1/29/2017. "Don't Call Trump a Liar—He Doesn't Even Care About the Truth", Lauren Griffin, Newsweek, January 29, 2017

News outlets are still working through the process of figuring out what to call these mischaracterizations of reality. (“Alternative facts” seems to have been swiftly rejected.)

... [WSJ] Baker’s critics are missing the point. Baker is right. Trump isn’t lying. He’s bullshitting.


Bullshitters, as philosopher Harry Frankfurt wrote in his 1986 essay “On Bullshit,” don’t care whether what they are saying is factually correct or not. Instead, bullshit is characterized by a “lack of connection to a concern with truth [and] indifference to how things really are.” Frankfurt explains that a bullshitter “does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.”[6]

  • 8/24/2017. Why I’m Not Mad at the Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker.

The embattled WSJ editor doesn’t fear his newsroom’s wrath. As long as the paper’s Trump coverage keeps his boss happy, he’s invincible.[7]

  • 1/20/2017. Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, reporter at BuzzFeed, explained why BuzzFeed did not take accusing someone of lying lightly:

A lie isn't just a false statement. It's a false statement whose speaker knows it's false. In these instances, the president — or his administration — have clear reason to know otherwise. Reporters are understandably cautious about using the word — some never do, because it requires speculating on what someone is thinking. The cases we call "lies" are ones where we think it's fair to make that call: Trump is saying something that contradicts clear and widely published information that we have reason to think he's seen. This list also includes bullshit: speech that is — in its academic definition — "unconnected to a concern with the truth."[8]

  • 1/21/2017. "Don’t call Trump a gaslighter: he’s just an inveterate liar", Donald Clarke, Irish Times, January 21, 2017[9]
  • 1/22/2017. Aaron Blake, senior political reporter at The Washington Post explained: "Whether you like Trump or not, it's demonstrably true that he says things that are easily proved false, over and over again. The question the media has regularly confronted is not whether Trump's facts are correct but whether to say he's deliberately lying or not."[10]
  • 1/26/2017. According to Alexandra Whiston-Dew, a lawyer and expert in media law at Mishcon de Reya, the British press does not call Trump a "liar" because of differences in defamation laws. The American press is protected by the First Amendment, whereas the British press has a different burden of proof.[11]
  • 1/27/2017. "Calling Out a Presidential Lie"[12]
  • 1/28/2017. David Greenberg, an author and a professor at Rutgers University, questioned whether one could always know Trump's intent and motives, and he expressed caution about calling Trump a liar, even though he admitted there was a "... barrage of false, duplicitous, dishonest and misleading statements emanating from Donald Trump and the White House in the last week...."[13]
  • 2/4/2017. "Don’t call Donald Trump a liar – even if he is one", John Rentoul, The Independent, February 4, 2017[14]
  • 2/17/2017. "Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at the media watchdog group Media Matters, has a strong message for the media trying to keep up with President Donald Trump: Get ready to call him out, and get ready to call him a liar if you have to.

“I know we’re only three weeks into this, and it’s going to take time because the establishment of DC media has never called a DC president a liar,” Boehlert said on Salon Talks, adding, “You cannot call a lie a claim.”

But for newspapers — like the New York Times, which recently used the word lie in its headline — is adapting slightly. And that’s something that Boehlert thought should happen more often.

“It’s time to get rid of these headlines,” he said. “If it is a demonstrable, proven lie, like his claim that journalists don’t cover terrorists' attacks. He’s lying to journalists about their own work, and they still won’t stand up and say, You’re lying about that.”[15]

  • 6/5/2019. "Lies? The news media is starting to describe Trump's 'falsehoods' that way."[16]

  1. ^ a b Sheppard, Kate (January 1, 2017). "Wall Street Journal Editor Says His Newspaper Won't Call Donald Trump's Lies 'Lies'". HuffPost. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Sargent, Greg (January 2, 2017). "Yes, Donald Trump 'lies.' A lot. And news organizations should say so". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  3. ^ Papenfuss, Mary (January 3, 2017). "Dan Rather Scolds WSJ For Refusing To Call Trump On Lies". HuffPost. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  4. ^ Flood, Brian (January 23, 2017). "Dan Rather Slams President Trump: 'A Lie, Is a Lie, Is a Lie'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  5. ^ Baker, Gerard (January 4, 2017). "Trump, 'Lies' and Honest Journalism". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  6. ^ Griffin, Lauren (January 29, 2017). "Don't Call Trump a Liar—He Doesn't Even Care About the Truth". Newsweek. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Shafer, Jack (August 24, 2017). "Why I'm Not Mad at the Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker". Politico. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Georgantopoulos, Mary Ann (January 20, 2017). "Here's A Running List Of President Trump's Lies And Other Bullshit". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Clarke, Donald (January 21, 2017). "Don't call Trump a gaslighter: he's just an inveterate liar". The Irish Times. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 22, 2017). "Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump's team has 'alternative facts.' Which pretty much says it all". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  11. ^ Temperton, James (January 26, 2017). "Why can't the British press call Trump a 'liar'?". Wired UK. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  12. ^ LaFrance, Adrienne (January 27, 2017). "Calling Out a Presidential Lie". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Greenberg, David (January 28, 2017). "The Perils of Calling Trump a Liar". Politico. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Rentoul, John (February 4, 2017). "Don't call Donald Trump a liar – even if he is one". The Independent. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Binckes, Jeremy (February 13, 2017). ""Donald Trump is forcing the media's hand": Media Matters' Eric Boehlert explains why it's time to change the language of Trump". Salon. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  16. ^ Farhi, Paul (June 5, 2019). "Lies? The news media is starting to describe Trump's 'falsehoods' that way". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2019.

Acts worthy of indictment or impeachmentEdit

Evidence in Mueller's report of acts worthy of indictment or impeachment

Below is a slightly modified/anonymized version of a section started elsewhere by the illustrious Starship.paint. It's important and worth saving.

It was written in response to these two requests:

  1. show me the evidence in Mueller's report that are worthy of an indictment or impeachment
  2. explain why Mueller didn't point that out specifically to Congress?

This was accompanied by this statement:

Show me the evidence that supports the claim of obstruction and I will more than likely change my position. It's that simple.

Starship.paint then proceeded to say: "Well, that's why I'm here to show you."

Extended content by Starship.paint

On issue (1), the source is 1000+ former federal prosecutors. Primary source. Secondary source.

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:

The President’s efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;

The President’s efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and

The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.

On issue (1), here is the elaboration on each point from the primary source.

Attempts to fire Mueller and then create false evidence

Despite being advised by then-White House Counsel Don McGahn that he could face legal jeopardy for doing so, Trump directed McGahn on multiple occasions to fire Mueller or to gin up false conflicts of interest as a pretext for getting rid of the Special Counsel. When these acts began to come into public view, Trump made “repeated efforts to have McGahn deny the story” — going so far as to tell McGahn to write a letter “for our files” falsely denying that Trump had directed Mueller’s termination.

Firing Mueller would have seriously impeded the investigation of the President and his associates — obstruction in its most literal sense. Directing the creation of false government records in order to prevent or discredit truthful testimony is similarly unlawful. The Special Counsel’s report states: “Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn’s account in order to deflect or prevent scrutiny of the President’s conduct toward the investigation.”

Attempts to limit the Mueller investigation

The report describes multiple efforts by the president to curtail the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation.

First, the President repeatedly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his legally-mandated decision to recuse himself from the investigation. The President’s stated reason was that he wanted an attorney general who would “protect” him, including from the Special Counsel investigation. He also directed then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to fire Sessions and Priebus refused.

Second, after McGahn told the President that he could not contact Sessions himself to discuss the investigation, Trump went outside the White House, instructing his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to carry a demand to Sessions to direct Mueller to confine his investigation to future elections. Lewandowski tried and failed to contact Sessions in private. After a second meeting with Trump, Lewandowski passed Trump’s message to senior White House official Rick Dearborn, who Lewandowski thought would be a better messenger because of his prior relationship with Sessions. Dearborn did not pass along Trump’s message.

As the report explains, “[s]ubstantial evidence indicates that the President’s effort to have Sessions limit the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President’s and his campaign’s conduct” — in other words, the President employed a private citizen to try to get the Attorney General to limit the scope of an ongoing investigation into the President and his associates.

All of this conduct — trying to control and impede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions.

Witness tampering and intimidation

The Special Counsel’s report establishes that the President tried to influence the decisions of both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort with regard to cooperating with investigators. Some of this tampering and intimidation, including the dangling of pardons, was done in plain sight via tweets and public statements; other such behavior was done via private messages through private attorneys, such as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani’s message to Cohen’s lawyer that Cohen should “[s]leep well tonight[], you have friends in high places.”

Of course, these aren’t the only acts of potential obstruction detailed by the Special Counsel. It would be well within the purview of normal prosecutorial judgment also to charge other acts detailed in the report.

We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment. Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. In our system, every accused person is presumed innocent and it is always the government’s burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.

As former federal prosecutors, we recognize that prosecuting obstruction of justice cases is critical because unchecked obstruction — which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished — puts our whole system of justice at risk. We believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.

On issue (2), Mueller would not accuse Trump of a crime, because given that Mueller would not indict Trump per OLC opinion, he felt it would be unfair since Trump cannot clear his name in a court. Source - the Mueller Report itself, Volume II, Page 2. [16].

On issue (2), here is the long version in the Mueller Report

The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person’s conduct “constitutes a federal offense.” U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Justice Manual § 9-27.220(2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.

- The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor’s accusation of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President’s term, OLC reasoned, “it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment’s] secrecy,” and if an indictment became public, “[t]he stigma and opprobrium” could imperil the President’s ability to govern.” Although a prosecutor’s internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report’s public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining that the person’s conduct constitutes a federal offense.” Justice Manual § 9-27.220.

Here is the short version in Mueller's statement: [17]

And second the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.


And beyond department policy we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.

So, I've shown it to you as you requested. Remember, you said Show me the evidence that supports the claim of obstruction and I will more than likely change my position. It's that simple. Cheers. Starship.paint

Here's an add-on to point (1), if a video of more former federal prosecutors [18] would be effective. Starship.paint

Unfortunately, the questioner did not follow through and change their position. Instead, their response to this excellent provision of evidence was the sad sound of a mind slamming shut. -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:23, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Special Barnstar
For your time, patience and calmness with people, Compared to me atleast you have the patience of a saint and so I wanted to say thank you for always being so patient and calm with everyone :),

Happy editing :),
Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 17:30, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. I wish I was always that way, but I fail often. We all just need to learn to collaborate and get better. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:32, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Removal of peer reviewed sources on Face on Mars articleEdit

You have just deleted the Pentad image, which has about 4 or 5 peer reviewed papers commenting on it. I will no undo further, I give up. Likely conspiranoics are right after all, some subjects are forbidden from rational discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Diagramofsymmetry (talkcontribs) 21:06, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

What are these sources? -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:15, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I will flood you with sources in some hours. If they are dismissed, I will apply for you to be expelled from Wikipedia. Science is not democratic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

I saw this added to the list article earlier today. I don't think it rises to the level of pseudoscience, all it is is stupidity really. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 15:15, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

The studies were peer reviewed and the skeptic Greenberger conceded he could not dismiss the evidence. But it is stupidity according to you. Also that a clock delays when set in motion is tremendously stupid and nonsensical. Poor guy, some Einstein. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Diagramofsymmetry (talkcontribs) 16:44, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Late pingsEdit

Late pings don't generate a notification. They only make it appear that one was generated, which can be misleading in certain situations. ―Mandruss  19:03, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Yes, which is why I created a new sig by deleting the old sig and using four new tildes. That essentially made it register as a new comment. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:04, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
That was proven to be myth at User talk:Mandruss/Archive 6#Ping test. ―Mandruss  19:07, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Further proof of mythness:[19][20], unless you received a notification from the second edit. ―Mandruss  19:15, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
I got two pings, which makes sense, as they were two totally different and widely-separated (in time) messages. Try again, but with only one message and no ping. Then wait a couple minutes and edit that couple, adding a ping and a new sig. Let's see what happens.
Oh, this won't work because I automatically get a ping for every single edit to my talk page. Do it from your talk page. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:14, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
That test was from my talk page. ―Mandruss  20:19, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh. I only got the standard pings from your comments above, and nothing from your talk page.
So what's a better way? Should I just make a new comment? -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:26, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
In that situation, probably so. Another option is to self-revert and start over, using copy-and-paste to avoid having to type your comment again. ―Mandruss  20:33, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Okay. I learn several new things here everyday. It seems strange that using a new sig doesn't work. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:38, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
It would seem strange (counter-intuitive, user-unfriendly) to me even if it worked with a new sig. But then I'm a software snob. As a software developer I would never allow my name to be associated with such a sloppy and troublesome design, and I strongly doubt that our developers couldn't do better if they gave it enough priority. That's Wikipedia. On the upside, we can feel superior because we're among the 5% who know this secret.  Mandruss  20:48, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
LMFAO! Shhh.... -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:13, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

You need to create a new line when you ping. It's stated at Template:Ping. Oh, and here's a portion of a video I liked. starship.paint (talk) 09:48, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. Maybe I should also start using that template.
That's an interesting video. The amount of misinformation swallowed, and then spouted, by these Trump supporters is incredible. Watching Fox News has consequences. They are far down the rabbit hole. If they would just read our articles they'd be much better equipped. Amash is very patient. -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:27, 27 June 2019 (UTC)


I ABF and take full responsibility for it. I simply misinterpreted your revert in the edit summary. Don't trust everything you see...even salt looks like sugar, right? I struck my comment and apologized at the article TP. 🕊 Atsme Talk 📧 22:04, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. Much appreciated. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:06, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

When to paraphrase or quote exactly.Edit

When should we paraphrase or quote exactly? Sensitive and controversial statements are best quoted exactly in a quotebox. There should be no possibility for any confusion or misinterpretation to be attributed to editors' attempts at paraphrasing. The only question should be "Did you quote accurately?"

There are a million ways to paraphrase a long and controversial statement, and which paraphrase is the best? Which paraphrase is POV editing? Which paraphrase is whitewashing? Which paraphrase is deceptive? Which paraphrase is too long? Which paraphrase is to short?

Just quote the damn thing. Policy and fair use allow that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:54, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

WP:CEN is now open!Edit

To all interested parties: Now that it has a proper shortcut, the current events noticeboard has now officially opened for discussion!

WP:CEN came about as an idea I explored through a request for comment that closed last March. Recen research has re-opened the debate on Wikipedia's role in a changing faster-paced internet. Questions of WP:NOTNEWS and WP:Recentism are still floating around. That being said, there are still plenty of articles to write and hopefully this noticeboard can positively contribute to that critical process.

Thank you for your participation in the RFC, and I hope to see you at WP:CEN soon! –MJLTalk 17:10, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Donald Trump#Sexual misconduct allegationsEdit

Some say that these are unsubstantiated allegations, but Trump actually substantiated them when he bragged about doing what they alleged he did:

  • "I just start kissing them ... I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... grab 'em by the pussy."

He bragged about doing it and they confirmed that he wasn't lying, except that not all "let him do it." Many women didn't like it and made allegations, but some Trump supporters still don't believe Trump and think the women are lying. Either they are both lying or both telling the truth, and there is nothing in Trump's character or history that indicates he wouldn't do exactly what he claimed to have done repeatedly.

Actually, these are just two sides of the same true story: He said "I did it" and they reply "Yes, he did." -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:19, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:NPOV means neutral editors, not neutral content - excellent reading. Atsme Talk 📧 10:06, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, another one of my essays. Writing essays is a good way to work through our thoughts and develop them. That essay describes something that's much easier in theory than practice. Human beings are not "neutral". None of us is, and that's normal and good. Anyone who claims to be neutral is deluded. We should be conscious of where we stand and why we believe what we believe. Not an easy task.
We all have our own opinions, and they get expressed on talk pages, but we should not allow our biases to add any biased "flavoring" to our editing of articles. When we prepare to edit an article, even in the preparatory research phase, we need to put those biases aside. We need to put on our "editor's hat" before we push that save button. Let me know when I fail in my actual editing. I'll appreciate it. It's good to have some ideals to strive for. Constant improvement is the name of the game. -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:43, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

I can't help but feel that the title can be improved: Wikipedia:NPOV means neutral editing, not neutral content. It's hard for any editor to be 100% neutral. But we must strive for the editors' editing to be neutral. starship.paint (talk) 04:45, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

That's exactly what I mean, but your wording is better. I'll see if it's worth it to change. It's linked lots of places. -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:11, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Oh and in an unrelated matter, in response to the Fram-Twitter incident, WP:WPWIR are working on new social media principles at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red/Outreach/Social media. They are looking for constructive criticism and constructive discussion - if you can provide that. starship.paint (talk) 04:46, 28 June 2019 (UTC)


Lurking around I just fell on an old comment, that went in my personal quotes collection (not online): " ... Wikipedia is not to be used to un-brainwash the masses. ... We inform the masses about your attempts to brainwash them, using RS."[21] Maybe user-box worthy (if I have your permission to borrow and shorten it)... —PaleoNeonate – 21:22, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

Wow! Did I really say that? I didn't even recognize it, and was about to ask who wrote it. It's good you provided the source. You're free to use it. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:20, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, should the box link to the diff, or mention your nickname? —PaleoNeonate – 03:24, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Not sure. Try both. Let's see what you're creating. -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:06, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
{{User:PaleoNeonate/Userboxes/Brainwashing}} —PaleoNeonate – 21:54, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Cool. One suggestion. Try dropping one word, and the last words, so that it looks like this: "Wikipedia is not to be used to un-brainwash the masses. We inform the masses about...attempts to brainwash them." Would that work? -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:04, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Change applied (feel free to play with it too if wanted), —PaleoNeonate – 01:32, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
 Wikipedia is not to be used to un-brainwash the masses. We inform the masses about...attempts to brainwash them.[22]

American presidents and North KoreaEdit

Hey, I saw a nice ~3 minute video about the above subjects. [23] I think it's worth a watch. starship.paint (talk) 01:27, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

Wow! That's quite the video. Talk about hypocrisy. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:40, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Heh. Anyway, I'm out of here. I need a break from Wiki. Not sure when returning. starship.paint (talk) 09:33, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Cheers Bull! starship.paint (talk) 09:42, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I hope you return soon. You have done a great job here and contributed much, but after the way you've been treated, a pause might be necessary. Do what you feel is best. Take a break, then come back and help. Good luck. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:11, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Bull, you take care! starship.paint (talk) 01:15, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I think I understand what they meant thereEdit

Hey there, on Shinealittlelight's NPOV in WWII comment, I... think... I understand the thrust of their statement. They were arguing that supporters of antifascist activity see the resurgence of right authoritarian nationalist and nativist groups as being analogous to the rise of Hitler. They were stating further that as the rise of the Third Reich was seen by its opponents as an existential threat, it'd be impossible to remain neutral. They were then making the transitive claim that those people who support antifascist activity must see this resurgence of nationalism as an existential threat sufficient to compromise their faculty to remain neutral.

Now I will note that while I think I understand what they were trying to say, I vehemently disagree with all of that. As I mentioned at the related AN/I thread, I don't believe a single True Neutral editor exists. We all have POVs, and we arrive at truth through applying the lens of our disparate POVs to an attempt to hammer out a neutral understanding of the world. Anyway, I'm sure they can verify or disagree with this interpretation when they come off block; but I don't think they were claiming to have any current CoI with regard to the Third Reich. Simonm223 (talk) 18:27, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation. I haven't edited alongside them on this subject, so you know best. You may find my latest comment on their talk page to be of interest. -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:38, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes I do. And I appreciate the way that everybody has handled this. I really hope they take this time to reflect on avoiding making such severe personal attacks and come back ready to collaborate again. Simonm223 (talk) 18:44, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Just a quick drive-byEdit

To say Thank You for your participation. Awilley & JFG helped get my alert up and running on my UTP. It works!! If you get a chance, check it out by trying to post a DS alert.   Atsme Talk 📧 00:33, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Congratulations, Atsme! What you've done is truly impressive, as it's generally hard to make substantive changes to such things. I have succeeded in tweaking major policies, but I don't recall ever having any success in actually changing one. Your change will make it easier for some beleaguered editors. You rock! (Sorry for the delay. We've been vacationing in the Trinity Alps. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:06, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Thx, BR. Couldn't have done it without JFG, Awilley and Galobtter. I think it will save a bit of grief and some extra work for editors & admins alike, once they get used to it. (My trigger template lists all of the topics 😊) Oh, Wow!! Trinity Alps - now THAT'S a vacation. Atsme Talk 📧 19:51, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

The User:Mcfnord/sandbox2Edit

Per WP:POLEMIC, you might be interested in this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:13, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Flyer22 Reborn, there is another issue with that editor. They have been using multiple IPs to edit, rather than always logging in. That's wrong. Check the contributors to that sandbox. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:06, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I know. I remember telling him in the edit history of the article to log in, or something like that. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:40, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


I just read about your reindeer hunting on your user page. I was just wondering - is hunting reindeer similar to hunting whitetail deer? And does the meat they have a similar flavor to venison (and yes, I know that deer that eat grass and pine taste a lot different from the grain-fed deer in the Midwest) Just curious. -BattleshipGray (talk) 01:18, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Good questions. I really can't say, as I've never shot any other big game than reindeer. I suspect that the flavor is affected by their diet, as you have alluded to. I recall that the rock ptarmigan we shot in the fall tasted different than the ones in the winter, and that was likely because of a different diet. In the fall they ate lots of blueberries, and in the winter dried seeds and leaves. The meat literally tasted as if it had been (slightly) marinated in blueberry. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:34, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

"Russiagate conspiracy theory" listed at Redirects for discussionEdit

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Russiagate conspiracy theory. Since you had some involvement with the Russiagate conspiracy theory redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. — JFG talk 05:56, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:15, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

"courtesy blanking" left incongruityEdit

Related to the June User talk:BullRangifer/Archive 24#123IP edit at archived DRN: I recently checked the DRN Archive and it appears the volunteer left an error; The "Timeline" is in the TOC and the Archive, but all the items past the "Timeline" are missing even though listed in the TOC. The "blanking" is still in the page's history. Do you know how to proceed in correcting Archive to its proper state? Or with whom to talk? X1\ (talk) 00:15, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I tried to fix it. It looks like a code had been left out a couple places. There is still one long thread that isn't hidden. I'm not sure how to fix that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:33, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Is there an "Archive Admin" or some protector of the Archives? Even though the volunteer edited the Archive (maybe inappropriately?), I don't want to mess with it. X1\ (talk) 22:48, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I fixed the immediate problem you mentioned. Is there more that really needs to be done? -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:25, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

How Russiagate Helped TrumpEdit

Sasha z, I suspect you'll love this article:

I agree with many of their points and suspect that we (you and I) share much common ground. I share some of their concerns. What are your thoughts on it?

BTW, this is my talk page, not an article talk page, so you don't need to fear getting into trouble for advocacy of fringe opinions. Although that applies everywhere at Wikipedia, we generally allow more latitude on personal talk pages, so feel free to share your thoughts. If we understand each other better, there is less likelihood of misunderstanding each other when we edit on the same pages. I've been here since 2003 and know the ropes pretty well, so I can help you. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:33, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

2019 El Paso shootingEdit

~ LOL ~ your number 3 for quest four ~ ~ ~mitch~ (talk) 22:31, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

It seems to be fixed now. I left a comment on the talk page. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:57, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I like yours and MelanieN's edit better ~ I was going to leave one but I got there to late plus mine would not have been as educational. ~ ~mitch~ (talk) 01:36, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

2019 El Paso shooting 2Edit

Damn ~ sorry ~ I thought the edit was calling ~ trump ~ OMG ~ lol ~ well chalk that one up for being stupid ~ ~mitch~ (talk) 05:41, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Nah, an easy mistake to make. I saw that it was going back and forth, so I studied the situation and refs before finally reverting. All's well now. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:54, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories promoted by TrumpEdit

Trump has promoted a number of conspiracy theories that have lacked substance. These have included Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories from 2011 ("birther" theories); that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.[1][2][3] In 2011, Trump took credit for pushing the White House to release Obama's "long-form" birth certificate, while raising doubt about its legitimacy,[4] and in 2016 admitted that Obama was a natural-born citizen from Hawaii.[5] He later falsely stated that Hillary Clinton started the Obama "birther" movement.[5][6][7]

Another in 2016 was that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy; and another was that he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election only because of the "millions" of illegal voters in that election cycle.[8][9]


We have this Category:Conspiracy theories promoted by Donald Trump, but no sub-article or section in an article, at least not that I can find, for this type of content:

This is the man who built a political career by fanning the fringe of American politics with fevered insinuations or allegations, including, but not limited to the baseless theories that:
  • Barack Obama wasn't born in the US
  • A rival's father was in on the John F. Kennedy assassination
  • The 2016 presidential election was rigged against him even though he won
  • Millions voted illegally for Hillary Clinton
  • The US government spied on his campaign
  • There's a deep state of bureaucrats organized against him
  • The special counsel appointed by his Justice Department was actually a witch hunt organized by Democrats
Source: How Trump's paranoia and conspiracy theories become US policy, CNN

The source also describes Trump's promotion of a conspiracy theory about Jeffrey Epstein's death. He's often described using the hashtag #ConspiracyTheoristInChief, with myriad RS mentioning the subject, so where should we cover this subject? Does someone want to consolidate all this info in a sub-article entitled Conspiracy theories promoted by Donald Trump? -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:09, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I can't see this as a separate article, but it should probably be mentioned here briefly, and in a section at Veracity of statements by Donald Trump. Maybe with a redirect to that article. -- MelanieN (talk) 15:15, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:32, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
(ec) Pleeeeez no new article. If it passes WP:DUE, include something at Veracity of statements by Donald Trump, without excessive fretting about how it's not exactly the same thing. It's close enough. And probably nothing here, per #37. ―Mandruss  15:18, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Duh! Of course that's where it belongs. Thanks. There are at least 15 conspiracy theories pushed by Trump and 23 bizarre conspiracy theories Trump has elevated. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:25, 12 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gass, Nick (January 12, 2012). "Trump: I'm still a birther". Politico. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  2. ^ Keneally, Meghan (September 18, 2015). "Trump's History of Raising Birther Questions About Obama". ABC News. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Epps, Garrett (February 26, 2016). "Trump's Birther Libel". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Madison, Lucy (April 27, 2011). "Trump takes credit for Obama birth certificate release, but wonders 'is it real?'". CBS News. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie; Rappeport, Alan (September 16, 2016). "Trump Drops False 'Birther' Theory, but Floats a New One: Clinton Started It". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Farley, Robert (September 16, 2016). "Trump on Birtherism: Wrong, and Wrong". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  7. ^ Greenberg, Jon; Qiu, Linda (September 16, 2016). "Trump's False claim Clinton started Obama birther talk". PolitiFact. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Evans, Greg (May 29, 2018). "8 of the biggest conspiracy theories that Trump has shared". The Independent. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Blake, Aaron (May 23, 2018). "The No. 1 reason Trump's 'spygate' conspiracy theory doesn't make sense". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2018.

sources-talk v. reflist-talkEdit

When I create a Talk section, please don't change my intended Template:reflist-talks to Template:sources-talks, as I find them the opposite of "better". Per my ESs, I want to see the references used. X1\ (talk) 00:26, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I didn't notice who had done it, only that I have been advised by admins to use that code when I write comments. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:48, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Did the admins give a rationale? X1\ (talk) 20:29, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Just less obtrusive. I don't see it as a mandate or rule, just their personal preference. Do whatever you want. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:55, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Option CEdit

Re this, Option C was already introduced and defined to mean "nothing". ―Mandruss  15:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

"Nothing" is too simple, uninformative, and a bit misleading because he is actually anti-exercise, and my version covers the subject quite thoroughly without actually saying "anti-exercise".   -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:58, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Ok, but I oppose two different Options C. ―Mandruss  16:01, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
That makes sense. Feel free to change my "option" to a better letter. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:03, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Please comment on Wikipedia:Reliable sources/NoticeboardEdit

The feedback request service is asking for participation in this request for comment on Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. Legobot (talk) 04:28, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Return to the user page of "BullRangifer".