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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
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Talk page negotiation table

"The best content is developed through civil collaboration between editors who hold opposing points of view."

-- BullRangifer. From WP:NEUTRALEDITOR

Saved stuff.
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Saved stuff. The TOC shows what's in here.Edit

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 falsehoods
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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.


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

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. Face-wink.svg 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)

Talk:Kirstjen Nielsen "Future employability"Edit

I hear what you are saying ~ I have not had the chance to research Maggie Haberman ~ I hope to learn a lot from you ~ you sound like a very well educated person and I am always looking to learn but BLP seems to be a hot spot for me. I am only trying not to curve peoples judgments about a living person ~ especially one who was caught of guard by losing her job ~ thanks again ~ Mitch ~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 01:21, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Mitchellhobbs, I've been here since 2003, and got an account in 2005, so I've seen a bit here, and my fingerprints and wordings are in a number of our most important policies. Our job is not to protect people, but to document what RS say. In cases of doubt, we tend to do some sort of protection, such as not including negative information that is trivial and not covered by RS, but only by gossip sources. We are especially protective of children.
For really negative allegations that are covered by multiple RS, even when false and libelous, we are required to include (see WP:PUBLICFIGURE) such information (failure to do so would be whitewashing and a serious violation of editorial neutrality, which is what NPOV is about). We must also include their denials, even when they are self-serving lies. (Criminals always deny.) Including denials is my contribution to that policy.
In this case, and I haven't been following very closely, it appears that RS are paying attention and commenting, so we may need to add it. In most cases involving politically-motivated boycotts, such as when Republicans or Democrats target the opposition to make life hard for them (both sides do it), the person's personal integrity ends up being their best defense.
If an otherwise honest person is targetted by a boycott, it only has a temporary effect and no real effect for future employment possibilities, since employers understand what's going on and ignore the smoke and noise. They know the person is honest and good, so they may hire them. By contrast, for people who are associated with nastiness, corruption, lying, etc, IOW nearly all those whom Trump has chosen to hire and associate with (he's always been this way), their poor reputation is well-deserved and a boycott just serves to put a magnifying glass up to their atrocious actions and bad character qualities. Many are literal criminals who have been convicted or are about to be. In such a case, the boycott may have a strong effect, as employers will look at the situation and think "Do I really want my company associated with someone who did those things, who has been rightly accused of those crimes, and who has been associated with Trump?" Wise employers will say "No way." -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 01:03, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks it helps me to understand. Hey while I have you on the line can you look at Talk:LPL Financial legal section and tell me what you think, no rush not trying to take your time away ~ thanks again ~ mitch ~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 01:13, 12 April 2019 (UTC)


There is a discussion involving you at Arbitration Enforcement--Rusf10 (talk) 18:43, April 12, 2019‎ (UTC)

Your intense obsession with me is more than creepy. You are also abusing the AE/DS system by jumping over every link in the dispute resolution process and going directly to the top as your first reaction. You are showing very bad faith and no collaborative spirit here. BTW, MrErnie and Phmoreno are able to handle their own affairs and answer for themselves. They don't need your help. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 21:00, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
BR - I think you need to take a step back from the Bill Barr claims - I've seen you criticize his credibility a few days ago, diff here. To most people, Barr is a highly respected lawyer who knows what he is doing. He also knows how to be the AG, as he's done it before. We will know more when the (redacted) Mueller report is released and IG Horowitz is finished with his investigation. Mueller and Barr are very close and have great respect for one another - if Barr misrepresented anything I would hope Mueller would have called him out about it. Mr Ernie (talk) 21:33, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Just in case you didn't notice when I did it, I modified a comment about Barr. As far as criticizing Barr, RS do plenty of that, and I don't say anything not found in RS, including the statement I modified. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 21:49, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

Notice of arbitration enforcement sanctionEdit

 The following sanction now applies to you:

You are subject to the sanction listed at User:Awilley/Discretionary_sanctions#No_personal_comments for a period of 1 year.

You have been sanctioned for continuing to use article talk pages to make derogatory comments about the motivations of other editors despite warnings. (Warnings: [4] [5], latest example of personal comments: [6])

This sanction is imposed in my capacity as an uninvolved administrator under the authority of the Arbitration Committee's decision at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics 2#Final decision and, if applicable, the procedure described at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions. This sanction has been recorded in the log of sanctions. If the sanction includes a ban, please read the banning policy to ensure you understand what this means. If you do not comply with this sanction, you may be blocked for an extended period, by way of enforcement of this sanction—and you may also be made subject to further sanctions.

You may appeal this sanction using the process described here. I recommend that you use the arbitration enforcement appeals template if you wish to submit an appeal to the arbitration enforcement noticeboard. You may also appeal directly to me (on my talk page), before or instead of appealing to the noticeboard. Even if you appeal this sanction, you remain bound by it until you are notified by an uninvolved administrator that the appeal has been successful. You are also free to contact me on my talk page if anything of the above is unclear to you. ~Awilley (talk) 17:54, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Please consider a blanket reversal of these restrictions on both editors. This is a contentious topic. We are working through it on the talk page. Mr Ernie (talk) 18:38, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @BR. This is really a very light editing restriction that concerns only article talk pages. Furthermore, this is something everyone should follow by default. It does not make more difficult your participation in this subject area. Quite the opposite, actually. My very best wishes (talk) 22:41, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This is pretty disheartening. It comes at a really bad time after all the recent disruption in our lives. We lost everything in the Camp Fire. November 8, 2018, was the day that hell visited Paradise and burned it all to the ground. It was the most expensive disaster in the world in 2018. 86 people burned to death. Nearly the whole town (and smaller communities) was burned (Paradise (30,000) and Magalia (11,000)), and about 52,000 people were evacuated within a few hours. We got out alive, but it was close.

We have had to endure a sudden loss of home and belongings, shelter, jobs, and personal independence. We experienced displacement, short-term extreme poverty, forced to accept aid from organizations and kind individuals (some from Wikipedia), fear, worry, depression, hopelessness, insomnia, acute hospitalizations for stress-related conditions, and a whole host of crap.

Fortunately, we are getting back on our feet in a totally different part of the country, and we are seeing hope at the end of the tunnel. Life will never be the same. Our friendships and social contacts are fractured and spread all over the place, quite literally. Suddenly we are never going to see most of the people we daily saw and loved. Now we are all suddenly living and working in different parts of the country and world. I never imagined I would once again live in the South. I lived in Tennessee and Alabama for short periods when I was younger, and this California boy never could get used to the extreme humidity, and, especially outside the larger cities, the ignorance and racist mentality. It's like going back in time 100 years. I hate it, but now am back here, but with family nearby. We'll just have to make the best of it, as there is literally nothing left to go back to.

I really try to do a good job here, and that means that sometimes Wikipedia and its policies need to be defended against editors who constantly attack them. I feel that is the duty of every good Wikipedian. That is not battleground behavior, even though, at a superficial glance, it might appear so. I used to get barnstars for Defending Wikipedia. Now I get punished. Times have indeed changed.

Not all of the same actions by different editors are equal. One must look at the type of editor, their track record, and whether they are working with or against our policies. The use of unreliable sources (even on talk pages), pushing of conspiracy theories, and attacks on mainstream editors who use RS should not be tolerated. I don't care if a Trump believer uses reliable sources 95% of the time in their article editing. They should still never advocate or depend on unreliable sources, or call RS "fake news", although they are emulating Trump by doing so.

Personally, for my own sake, the sanction can have a positive effect. OTOH, what I feared most about the sanction I have received has already been confirmed: it was received by my accuser as a clear signal that their hounding and harassment of me at AE was justified, and that their actions which I criticized were also justified. That is how they have reacted to the sanction I received, and they feel that their sanction was unjust. I don't know who will fix that situation, but something needs to be done.

Personally, on the constructive side, I fully intend to take the cautionary advice about my personal comments to heart and do better. That advice is very proper. It's something I've been working on for some time and have made progress in that direction in the last few years, but there is always room for improvement. I really appreciate all the support, and I truly appreciate constructive criticism. I need advice both here and by email. Please continue to help me become a better Wikipedian. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 01:06, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

User talk:BullRangifer ~ you taught me a lot of how to properly edit ~ I am shocked at the action ~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 02:00, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Mitchellhobbs, thanks for your concern. Much appreciated. This place can be treacherous, and there are vipers, traps, and travails hidden around here. It's a complicated place, so tread lightly, try not to offend anyone, and stay very close to policies.
Your integrity and reputation are your most important currency here. They can carry you through many a difficulty. We all make mistakes, but if other editors and admins know we have a good track record, are constructive, and have a positive learning curve, they are more likely to understand our actions and imperfections better. I hope you have a positive experience here and learn a whole lot.
Editing here is like having a reserved seat in the university train car on the bullet train of knowledge. Your skull will need to expand. I love it. Ever since I can first remember anything, I've had an insatiable craving for knowledge and learning, and my family background really encouraged that. Even my grandparents (grandfather born in 1880 and died in 1981) were college grads. Every single member of my family in at least three directions are college grads, many with advanced degrees. So, if you really want to learn, this is "where it's at." -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 02:48, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
please don't leave User:BullRangifer I really had a wonderful time arguing the point ~ we did it on the talk page and if an editor can not express their opinion on a talk page what good is a wiki's talk page ~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitchellhobbs (talkcontribs) 02:58, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

~Sorry I forgot to sign it ~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 03:16, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Actual text of sanctionEdit

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)

Is the Russia investigation a RICO investigation?Edit

Just exactly what is an "enterprise CI [counterintelligence] investigation"? Would it be proper to call the Russia investigation a RICO investigation?

From Spygate (conspiracy theory by Donald Trump):

In April 2018, the House Intelligence Committee, then in Republican control, released a final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which stated that the House Intelligence Committee found that "in late July 2016, the FBI opened an enterprise CI [counterintelligence] investigation into the Trump campaign following the receipt of derogatory information about foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos."[1][2][3] Bold added.


A. Racketeering Enterprise Investigations

This section focuses on investigations of organized crime. It is concerned with investigation of entire enterprises, rather than individual participants in specific criminal acts, and authorizes investigations to determine the structure and scope of the enterprise as well as the relationship of the members. Except as specified below, this authority may be exercised only when the activity engaged in by the racketeering enterprise involves violence, extortion, narcotics, or systematic public corruption.

1. Definitions
Racketeering activity is any offense, including the violation of state law, encompassed by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1961(1).[4] Bold added.

I have bolded the part that seems to apply, as there has been no indication that the Trump campaign has been involved in "violence, extortion, narcotics", whereas "systematic public corruption" would seem to fit.

Does anyone know more about this? I'm not interested in including any OR anywhere, so am seeking help from others who know more and who might know of other relevant sources which can be used. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:22, 15 April 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Yen, Hope; Woodward, Calvin; Tucker, Eric (April 1, 2019). "AP Fact Check: Trump's exaggerations about the Russia probe". Associated Press. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Qiu, Linda (May 21, 2018). "Trump Falsely Claims Russia Investigation Started Because of Steele Dossier". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. ^ "Report on Active Russian Measures" (PDF). House Intelligence Committee. March 22, 2018. p. 47. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 2, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2019. Finding #17, page 5

Vandalism on Jimmy John's ~Edit

Good afternoon BullRangifer, can you tell me how to ask for a block of an IP ~

Revision as of 14:42, 17 April 2019 (edit) (undo) (talk)
Revision as of 17:44, 10 April 2019 (edit) (talk)
  • Category:Armoured fighting vehicles of the Cold War
Revision as of 17:11, 10 April 2019 (edit) (undo) (talk)

Mitchellhobbs (talk) 17:16, April 17, 2019‎ (UTC)

Start by getting your diffs formatted correctly, like this one:
In a case like this, where you're dealing with an IP, it should be easy to get the page semi-protected without providing any evidence because the problem will be evident from the article's history. Go to Wikipedia:Requests for page protection and file a complaint. If your complaint is legitimate (more than just one or two examples of vandalism), an admin will then go to the article and will often protect it so that IPs and very new users can't edit it. BTW, I added your missing sig. Remember those four tildes. -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:57, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks I'm horrible ~ I learned to twinkle ~ after taking the warning very seriously Mitchellhobbs (talk) 19:51, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

Volume 2 is within the ReportEdit


Just noticed your recent edit and comment here and just wanted to say that Volume 1 and Volume 2 is within the same report. Earlier yesterday, I was confused as well a little bit. And if you are looking for a searchable (CTRL+SHIFT+F or COMMAND F) PDF of the report, here is this version. It is good for the most part but, for example, "Comey" is "Corney and "FBI" is "FBl. Not 100% of the time but quite often. Cheers! Aviartm (talk) 07:58, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks so much! The way the title provided a volume number, I expected Volume 2 to be separate. -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:54, 19 April 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)

Draft:GPS HospitalityEdit

Good morning BullRangifer Hope you had your coffee,

I sent this draft for review, If you are the reviewer please let me know what I have to do to improve in order to be accepted, also there is a section in Burger King franchises (at the bottom) and GPS Hospitality for ref of why I started this article ~ thanks ~ mitch ~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 16:43, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

GPS Hospitality Thank you ~ BullRangifer for all you help ~ mitch~ Mitchellhobbs (talk) 20:41, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

2018-2019 Sudanese protestsEdit

I gather you are interested in Russian interference type stories and might like a break from the intensive focus/fighting in AmPol. Would you like to look into a story about a Russian company's activities in Sudan that CNN & Salon are reporting? Here are the refs in case it interests you: [7], [8]. The first is a video, and the second seemed a bit confused. You may find more in the Radio Dabanga references in the entry cited above... I thought I'd ask you since you like to work on the subject. I don't have a lot of time to tease out that story, as the workweek is starting soon. If not, I understand, of course. Best, SashiRolls t · c 19:54, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

It's on my watchlist now. Thanks. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:31, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

The Signpost: 30 April 2019Edit


Your comment violates this sanction. Atsme Talk 📧 14:55, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

I’d love to see you try to argue that at ANI. Roxy, the dog. wooF 15:08, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Reporting procedures. Atsme Talk 📧 15:39, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I have stricken the only part that might remotely be considered offensive by a reasonable person. Edit summary: "Striking part that has offended. The rest is perfectly legitimate, especially considering the nature of the previous comment and the support for my comment that followed.."
Before your comment above I wasn't even aware of this, but right now you seem to be fighting off (and even deleting) comments from several esteemed editors who find your comments quite offensive, contrary to policy, and a resumption of the behaviors which got you topic banned. Do you really want that topic ban reinstalled, but made permanent?
The now-deleted thread on your talk page is instructive, as is the way you treat the comments, as seen in your edit history there.
I suggest that when you have gotten yourself in trouble, don't flounder about trying to find such tidbits to get other editors in trouble. That kind of deflection and unconstructive flailing about is battleground behavior and undermines the collaborative atmosphere we try to maintain. Instead, own your own problems and deal with them without trying to deflect attention by pointing at others. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:33, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I would argue that making accusations of stonewalling[9] is not a particularly wise move less than 24 hours after calling someone out for making accusations of stonewalling. Hypocrisy bad. ―Mandruss  19:04, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
LOL! I appreciate the irony, but you've just got it backwards (and maybe got the wording twisted around? Maybe "after calling" should be "before calling"? Also, I didn't accuse her of stonewalling. She's the one who made that accusation.). I wasn't really responding to just one comment, but responding to an escalation of increasingly problematic comments by Atsme (mostly undermining our RS policy), ending with her comment: "I'm not going to feed the stonewalling. Read NPOV."
Without really thinking about that word specifically, I was responding to that comment which just happened to contain the word "stonewalling". That's pretty ironic, if I had been thinking about only that word, but I wasn't. I was just trying to put a stop to a train that was starting to run away. All that aside, and ignoring my thinking at the time, it would superficially appear that I was calling out her use of the word after using it myself "less than 24 hours" before, which does sound pretty hypocritical. The irony there is thick, but only if one ignores my thinking and sees my comment as a response to only one comment, which just happened to contain that word.
Now let's not allow this to distract from the issue at hand, unless there should be sanctions for "incorrect thinking", "holding wrong opinions", "hypocrisy" and "the appearance of hypocrisy". Yes! Let's make templates against those human frailties and make them subject to DS sanctions.   ("Why Wikipedia Blocked All Editors in Less than 48 Hours", The New York Times) -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:20, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────BR - I came to your TP out of courtesy to you because you violated your DS imposed by Awilley. I didn't expect you to respond the way you did, and it is very disappointing. I only know that things elevated after you accused me of bad faith and started the beehive effect. I'm not the one who is "in trouble" BR - your edit summaries tell the story: /* Heads-up */ Stricken, and some advice, unless you really want your topic ban made permanent. and (Striking part that has offended. The rest is perfectly legitimate, especially considering the nature of the previous comment and the support for my comment that followed.) You keep violating the imposed DS. The evidence at the article TP unambiguously demonstrates WP:STONEWALL beginning here and moving down the page well past here. And your commment and threats of WP:SANCTIONGAME aimed at me by you based on nothing more than WP:DONTLIKEIT regarding my proposed changes to update/improve the article with the inclusion of AG Barr's summary. You said here (my bold), "There is no consensus for including this content yet, at least not that I know of. We are still discussing whether to add such material, which would radically change the scope of the article.. Having been a previous target of such tactics, I am better able to recognize what's happening before it creates a problem. There is a WP:OWN issue at that article as well. I did nothing wrong on the article TP but was wrongfully accused of it. I even took precautions by striking my evaluation on the advice of another editor. I am doing my best to keep my hands clean. The case against me at ANI was closed and dismissed before the OP and others were boomeranged - there was obviously no disruption and no policy vios. As for my TP - I did what was necessary to stop harrassment. THE END. I have other work to do, and really don't give a flying flip about what happens here now, or at that article. It will all come out in the wash. Atsme Talk 📧 19:43, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

As I see it, there is simply a difference of opinion, not stonewalling, as to whether we should radically change the scope of the article. Except for the interjections of the block evading IP, and then your labeling of the discussion as "stonewalling", we had been having a civil discussion. We are trying to work it out. That's not stonewalling. Changing the entire scope of an article is a pretty serious matter, and not to be taken lightly. Why you seem to single out my very civil and explanatory comments (your diffs above) as stonewalling is beyond me. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:54, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
BTW, did you notice my suggestion to use (after refinements) what's in my sandbox as part of the Spygate article, or as a separate disambig page? What do you think of that idea? It definitely isn't ready for use yet, but with some work it might be usable. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:58, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

BR, I have to apologize, I was wrong. As this thread clearly shows, the editing restriction by Awilley did not make your life easier. To the contrary. Here is how this can be handled. (1) Let's notice for ourselves that behavior by many users in difficult subject areas is indeed problematic: biases, bad faith, stonewalling, whatever. (2) Let's admit there is little we can do about it. (3) Let's say nothing about it on article talk page. (4) If this is too difficult (I do not think this is too difficult), let's go edit a slightly less controversial page. Why not? My very best wishes (talk) 02:50, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

My very best wishes, you are more right than you know. This is an extra-policy based sanction. It doesn't just enforce existing policy, it goes beyond. I cannot do what is allowed for everyone else. Yes, it's good to be careful what one says about other editors, and I have erred on that point, but no more than most other editors. I just came on the radar because of one editor's harassment (for which he was rewarded), not because I had committed a horrible sin. Other admins thought I shouldn't be sanctioned, but it happened anyway. No, it's not a trivial thing at all.
Improving my behavior isn't the problem, it's the being treated worse than others when I'm not worse than others part that really cuts deep and causes depression and dark thoughts. Losing face (to be humiliated, experience public disgrace, to be treated unfairly) and the related consequences of depression and Harikiri (I'm Caucasian American with Japanese and Korean cultural upbringing), is a big thing in my family, so this public blotch on my honor has some far-reaching consequences. It makes life more difficult. It's not fair, especially when one realizes that the search for, and promotion of, justice is a big focus of my life. Social justice is related, and why Les Misérables is my favorite book. Single acts have vastly different consequences. The book shows how a single act of forgiveness can transform a person and change the course of their life. The same can be said for a single act of injustice, especially for someone prone to chronic depression. I'm still pondering how to resolve this situation because it's intolerable. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:54, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
One advice is just to take it easy and do something else. Speaking more seriously, reading and understanding the Sermon on the Mount can help. At one point I read a good translation of the Bible with explanations by theologians and found its ideas very interesting, may be true, even looking under the angle of science or rather science fiction. Yes, I like Victor Hugo. As about modern politics, it can drive anyone to depression. One could easily blame several US administrations of "collusion" [10]. My very best wishes (talk) 01:40, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Good advice. I'm a preacher's kid, so I'm very familiar with that sermon, and it's really choice. Everyone should read it. The world would be a much better place if we followed those principles. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:03, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

(edit conflict with MVBW, who I think is saying essentially the same thing as I am.)

There is no way of dealing with this topic area without becoming over- emotional if one feels any kind of a political commitment. I cannot even read the discussions between the people trying to edit here without becoming angry--it's not anger at the editors, it's anger at the situation of my country, which will spill over into anger at anything related. That doesn't mean I shy away from reading the news, or reading WP articles on the topic--it does mean I avoid arguments about the news, or about WP's coverage of the topic.
BR, you are right that you have been treated unjustly. As I see it , all the editors involved here have been treated unjustly by other editors, and all of them have reason to complain that the sanctions regarding them are unfair; your joke above ""Why Wikipedia Blocked All Editors in Less than 48 Hours"" is very much to the point.
Nobody should leave WP because of this, or take it personally--it's inherent to editing in any topic where one has strong feelings, and especially one where the feelings are justified by the direct real world implications of extreme danger.
the only solution I can see is that all the people involved in this should step back, and edit other topics. But who will then edit these articles? Perhaps people who regard all sides of US politics as the actions of dangerous but amusing creatures to be watched from a safe distance. And they too should do this only for a short while, because if they keep at it they cannot help but become emotionally invested also. DGG ( talk ) 01:48, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the topic can get under one's skin, but I don't get that emotionally involved about it. It just concerns me that our country is under attack and Trump isn't doing anything to stop it because it helped him, and now he's gotten the green light to openly accept any and all help from an enemy foreign power. This is really bizarre. Every branch of government has been compromised. We've never seen this happen before.
What irks me is the sanction's application, not the principle behind it. The idea is good enough, but it shouldn't penalize an editor above and beyond what our policies require, while its application to me rewarded the offender for being a busy body who repeatedly harassed me and abused the system by reporting me, the last time for something which didn't even involve him. (The one it involved is indeffed, and other editors thought my comment was justified, but that's another matter...) The admins there thought I shouldn't be sanctioned, but it happened. It came as a shock. Meritless reports should be boomeranged back and their victim let go without sanction, especially when the reporter has exaggerated some common misbehavior into a capital offense, making it seem like it was something I did all the time. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:03, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry to partly disagree, but I do not think that US is "under attack" by any foreign power. This is a serious internal crisis of the US democracy itself, with the executive branch taking over the power and eliminating the oversight by the legislative branch (a standard scenario on the path to dictatorships). I can only hope this will be properly resolved. My very best wishes (talk) 17:33, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
I suspect we actually agree that what you mention is clearly happening at the same time as Russians (and others) are supporting it (with acceptance of that help), fomenting division (also accepted), and carrying on cyber warfare (little done to stop it). Our democracy, government institutions, Constitution, and Separation of Powers are all under attack by both domestic and foreign adversaries. Under this administration, every official government agency seems to have been compromised and crippled. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:45, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
But still, US is a wonderful place, compare to many other countries. Let's enjoy by whatever we have and love our "enemies". My very best wishes (talk) 20:54, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Definitely. I've lived in six different countries, and America, with all its faults, is still where I consider "home". That's why I care so much about when we aren't living up to our potential for good and when we are attacked. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:10, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
(Un)fortunately, I can not consider Russia my "home" any longer. Speaking about editing here, unfortunately, this looks to me as a waste of time. At the very least, I can do something more important for humanity. You some others are doing very good work around here. Good luck! My very best wishes (talk) 02:30, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Move revertEdit

Greetings BullRangifer. I have reverted your recent move of Links between Trump associates and Russian officials to Links between Trump associates and Russians.[11] I have no opinion on the merits yet, but the retitling may be controversial. Please use the WP:Move request process if you want to press ahead. — JFG talk 22:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

I just left a message on your page while you were writing the above. Let's discuss it there. -- BullRangifer (talk) 22:08, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Please refrain from lecturing other editorsEdit

With this edit it seems to me that you are touching the edge of the WP:No personal comments sanction. While you did not directly engage in "accusing editors [of] assuming bad faith, making personal attacks, casting aspersions, being biased, or being uncivil", it seems to me that the spirit of the sanction should nudge you to refrain from lecturing other editors about the way they assert their position on any issue under discussion. The sanction text does say: In other words you should basically just focus on article content instead of other users. This part of your comment:

Now you, one solo editor, comes along and slaps ALL THOSE EDITORS in the face and says to them: "You're all wrong, only I am right, and I'm going to trash all your hard work." Stop and think about how demoralizing and disruptive that type of action is to what we all do here.

particularly raised my eyebrows. I may be wrong, and would welcome Awilley's opinion. I do know that your occasional patronizing tone with various editors annoys me. All that being said in the spirit of your earlier call to "please tell me frankly how I can improve my interactions".[12] Please ponder this. — JFG talk 20:19, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) I concur. It's a matter of tone. While it's virtually impossible to acquire humility at our advanced ages, we can learn to simulate it. While it's a mathematical requirement that five percent of editors are in the top five percent of editors in terms of editing competence, the collaborative nature of the project requires that they refrain from regularly and aggressively forcing that down other editors' throats. The same ends can be accomplished without the domineering, intimidating tone (more effectively, many times) and that self-moderating social skill is itself part of editing competence.
This is not a lecture and I hope it won't be taken as one. Just one man's viewpoint. I wouldn't even offer it but for the fact that BullRangifer has said he's receptive to constructive criticism and I take that at face value. ―Mandruss  21:19, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
I appreciate hearing how both of you see this matter. For some odd reason I have difficulty seeing myself as others see me.  . I really tried to be civil and point the editor in a different, and hopefully more constructive, direction by suggesting they use ethical, moral, and humanitarian thinking. That's about as far from incivility as possible. I hoped that would work better than just talking about rules and BRD, since even careful explanations weren't working at all.
As I feared, I see that the sanction is being interpreted much more strictly than it is worded, so I'll have to really think about how to absorb this and incorporate it into my thinking. We're now in a fuzzy, unwritten realm above and outside our behavioral guidelines, and that may be hard to navigate.
I don't want to offend unnecessarily, but if even situations where it can't be avoided (there are always people who will take offense at the most reasonable comment to them, and that is their fault, not mine or others who are dealing with them) in the process of trying to explain policies and defend Wikipedia isn't allowed for me, while being allowed for everyone else, well, it's difficult to see any fairness or justice in that. Why should I get in trouble for something that is their fault?
I'm not rejecting your advice. I value it. It's just a hard pill to swallow, and this strikes at my honor and self-worth. Oddly, using fuck repeatedly and very boldly has been officially tried here in a high profile way and is allowed for certain editors, but me, trying to be very civil and constructive, is seen as a horrible person worthy of sanction. The double standard is rancorous. Do you see what I mean? Please help me understand.
My occasional lack of total wisdom and perfect tact is seen as a very evil thing for which I'm punished, while much worse from most other editors who do it regularly (for example incivility or personalizing disputes) is dealt with in the standard way with an admonishment on the talk page to "discuss content, not editors", and everyone then goes on with the discussion, and there is no sanction of any kind. This happens all the time.
Stop and think about why I'm in this situation. It's not because I'm worse than others, but because someone who hounded and pursued me to get me in trouble, took me immediately and directly to the top drama board three times, which is a serious abuse of the board, and the last time for something which did not even involve him. The admins didn't even think I should be sanctioned because they could see where the real problem was, but I got this special type of sanction that is now, quite apparently, worse than regular sanctions which are easier to understand. Now my every move is scrutinized and I'm in constant jeopardy for being imperfect. Is this fair? -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:11, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
You're being way too defensive. You must drop the stick on accusing others and feeling that you are unfairly targeted. That is precisely the kind of behaviour that Awilley cautioned you against. Dozens of people have pointed out your tendency to make assumptions of other editors' motives or competence, or to patronize them, or to feel offended, or to being on a crusade to right great wrongs in the sacred name of the Truth. I know it's hard to see the beam in your own eyes, but try this: sit comfortably and pick a few comments at random from your contribution history over the last three years, on article and user talk pages. Read them aloud, and see how argumentative and self-righteous you appear.
Perhaps you need a break. — JFG talk 05:36, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
You're right, and that's why I think that the wording in Awilley's sanction is quite appropriate, and why I've taken it to heart. It's a civility-type sanction, and that's always a good idea. I have indeed offended some people, and for that I'm sorry. Tact has never been my strong point. I'll just have to play down my talk page interactions. Does that sound like a good place to start? -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:56, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Excellent! Good luck. — JFG talk 13:50, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – May 2019Edit

News and updates for administrators from the past month (April 2019).

  Guideline and policy news

  Technical news

  • XTools Admin Stats, a tool to list admins by administrative actions, has been revamped to support more types of log entries such as AbuseFilter changes. Two additional tools have been integrated into it as well: Steward Stats and Patroller Stats.


  • In response to the continuing compromise of administrator accounts, the Arbitration Committee passed a motion amending the procedures for return of permissions (diff). In such cases, the committee will review all available information to determine whether the administrator followed "appropriate personal security practices" before restoring permissions; administrators found failing to have adequately done so will not be resysopped automatically. All current administrators have been notified of this change.
  • Following a formal ratification process, the arbitration policy has been amended (diff). Specifically, the two-thirds majority required to remove or suspend an arbitrator now excludes (1) the arbitrator facing suspension or removal, and (2) any inactive arbitrator who does not respond within 30 days to attempts to solicit their feedback on the resolution through all known methods of communication.


Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 00:37, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Trump's current foreign policy treatment of Russia and PutinEdit

Saving some useful sources here.

Now that the main Russian interference and Mueller investigations 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?[13][14][15][16] -- 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.
The left-wing has no such 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.
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...[17], [18] 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.[19] 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, romped with, or was pissed on. The Mueller Report does confirm that compromising tapes of Trump are possessed by Russians, but we still don't know if this 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 [20], 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 [21]. 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)


No need to send email, I already know what happened to the investigation as I had stated in edit comment and on talk page. The Special counsel investigation, is specific to the Special Counsel investigation, it does not inherit the names of previous FBI investigations that were absorbed into it. WikiVirusC(talk) 12:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Minor barnstar
Thank you for defending the Timeline. X1\ (talk) 00:37, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
X1\, you're very welcome. It is one of the places where we have good information that can be used in a needed article, Investigation(s) into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, or something like that. It's rather strange we don't have that article. Instead, we have that information spread around in (at least) these lists and articles:
The needed article could be created quite quickly with information copied from those articles, using proper attribution. Much of the work has been done.
Currently, this effort is beginning at Operation Crossfire Hurricane, which seems to be a good faith effort, but with the wrong title. The title should be something along the lines of what I suggest above. We have always referred to the topic by what RS call it, which is nearly always the Russia investigation, or some variation on that theme.
To illustrate the proper way to name such an article, we would never name an article after the code-name used during the secret developmental phase of a product. We'd name it after the product. If Ford's creative team for the Mustang had code-named their secretive work Operation Pony Car, we would certainly mention that fact in the article named Ford Mustang, and then we'd make Operation Pony Car a redirect, as Operation Crossfire Hurricane used to be. Please take a look and help develop that article, and also, if you agree, try to influence a title change. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:27, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
You are more versed in this subject than I am. It is fast moving topic. I am not up on the details at "Operation Crossfire Hurricane". When I first saw the article, I was in agreement with your sentiments of See Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019). But if it is going to stay ... X1\ (talk) 19:42, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

news analysisEdit

Your perspective on this seems pretty reasonable to me, except that (i) the policy seems to disagree with you, since it says (as I read it anyway) that these pieces are not to be relied on as reliable sources for unattributed statements of fact, and (ii) it's in practice going to be very hard to gain a consensus on what is opinion and what is fact. As you know, I'm interested in whether we can rely on this sort of piece in the case of information about "Spygate". A central example: we rely substantially on these pieces in characterizing Spygate as a conspiracy theory. Now, to me, that seems like a controversial opinion. But I imagine that others will disagree with me. Thoughts? Shinealittlelight (talk) 12:15, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

At least you understood my proposalEdit

I'm beginning to wonder if some of our ArbCom members don't realize or perhaps don't remember what's in their own language regarding what counts, and what is sanctionable. Atsme Talk 📧 16:23, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

I have a hard time even finding when I have gotten a DS notice! I wish it was easier. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:35, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Save what Rob explained - start with "View history" --> "Filter revisions" --> type in "discretionary sanctions alert" to the tag filter. Here is yours.   Atsme Talk 📧 21:21, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Cool! Thanks so much. I have to learn to use those filters. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:03, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I've found that (after the first use) I don't have to remember or type the words "discretionary sanctions alert". I just type "d" and I get a drop-down list containing "discretionary sanctions alert", which I can then select using down-arrow and Enter. All that's required is that I remember the letter "d". This may be local to my browser (Firefox), but I doubt it. Like many things, this is quite simple after the first couple of uses. ―Mandruss  23:11, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm using Firefox right now, but that didn't work. I also tried with the first letter capitalized, and that didn't work. Atsme's version worked fine. I'll just have to remember it. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:20, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Have you entered the full thing manually (and clicked the "Show revisions" button) once? That's necessary to get the phrase added to the drop-down list. ―Mandruss  23:25, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I had. Did it again now, and still didn't work. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I see. Well I'm fairly confident it's a matter of some option in Wikipedia or Firefox, but I don't know where it is. I used that search so infrequently that I couldn't remember the exact tag and had to go find the instructions again each time (which I didn't feel was an undue burden itself, rather just an inconvenience that required a bit of resourcefulness and self-sufficiency of me). It's up to you whether it's worth your time in the long term to ask (at WP:VPT) how to make the drop-down list work. ―Mandruss  23:41, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, the text which Atsme supplied seems to work, so I'll just have to remember that. IOW I won't, but I'll remember that Atsme was kind enough to teach me a good trick, and I can then search for her comment.   -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:09, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────BR, SN just pointed to a script that offers all kinds of perks I think you'll enjoy even more! User:Bellezzasolo/Scripts/arb It's easy to add, too. Just click on install in the infobox, and the feature shows up in your TW pull down menu at the top of your page. Awesomeness!! Atsme Talk 📧 13:24, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

That sounds nice. I don't see an install option in the infobox. -- BullRangifer (talk) 13:44, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
You would need User:Enterprisey/script-installer for the install button I think. PackMecEng (talk) 14:14, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Okay. I have added that to this page: User:BullRangifer/vector.js. Could I manually add it there? -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:21, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
If you add something like this edit it might work for ya. PackMecEng (talk) 14:41, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I added it to my vector.js page. Will that work? -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:48, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Defiantly maybe. I have not used it before so I am not sure. Does it work? PackMecEng (talk) 16:28, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
What the page looks like - you will see INSTALL. For me it shows UNINSTALL because I already installed the script. Atsme Talk 📧 18:45, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
User:Bellezzasolo/Scripts/arb.js <--- ??? Atsme Talk 📧 18:22, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Do you have Twinkle checked in Preferences - Gadgets? It's Twinkle related. I'll be uploading what the box looks like - you'll see UNINSTALL at the bottom of the box because I already installed the script and when I get ready to shed it, I'll just click on uninstall. When you go there, you should see INSTALL. I'm in the process of uploading a screen capture of it now. Atsme Talk 📧 18:34, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes, it's checked off, but I don't recall that I use it much. Maybe for reverting vandalism. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:51, 16 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: [22]) 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)

An article you should check outEdit

I would suggest checking out the Wikipedia article on the Gab social network. A certain group of editors has been complaining on the talk page of the article for a while now that the article is biased[23][24][25][26] and even Gab themselves has echoed those claims[27]. I'm not saying I support these editors and Gab, I'm just saying that these editors have been complaining about this for a while now, so It would be nice if you could take a look at the article and those complaints and see what you think of the situation. X-Editor (talk) 18 May 2019, 04:18 (UTC)

It's now on my watchlist. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:30, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: Thanks for checking out the article and putting it on your watchlist, but what do you think of some of the editors and Gab themselves claiming the article is biased? Do you think it is biased and what do you think of the article in general? X-Editor (talk) 18 May 2019, 04:47 (UTC)
You need to stop canvassing. R2 (bleep) 04:44, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
@Ahrtoodeetoo: Fine. X-Editor (talk) 18 May 2019, 04:47 (UTC)


BR - re: this comment. I had to laugh a little with a bit of self-reflection because I've done the same thing from time to time - I'm referring to written text that might be misconstrued, and in this case, specifically the portion wherein you said, ...maybe an AP2 topic ban would be the best solution for everyone.... When I first read it, I thought oh no! BR wants everyone to be t-banned!! You might want to re-phrase it when you get a chance.   Atsme Talk 📧 18:49, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

OMG! That's hilarious. Yes, I'll go back and rephrase that. Good catch. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:17, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
After looking at this, I am too sure there are behavior issues involved. I would not speculate why exactly he/they are doing this, but it does not really matter. My very best wishes (talk) 03:03, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Notice of Dispute resolution noticeboard discussionEdit

This message is being sent to let you know of a discussion at the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding the appropriate scope of our timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Content disputes can hold up article development and make editing difficult for editors. You are not required to participate, but you are both invited and encouraged to help this dispute come to a resolution. The thread is "Talk:Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections". Please join us to help form a consensus. Thank you! — JFG talk 21:32, 18 May 2019 (UTC)


Greetings BR. I feel that you are skirting dangerously close to your "no personal comments" sanction with this remark as part of your arguments in the ongoing DRN process: 123IP seems to be seriously confused, and hold illogical expectations, about the article, its format, and its purpose.[28] Do be careful. — JFG talk 16:16, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

I understand. To make sure we're on the same page, so to speak, let's review the relevant wording of the sanction:
"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."
That DR page is not an article talk page, but a page where replies, where I was directly addressed, require the analysis of an editor's remarks, and such replies are expected and allowed as long as they are civil. Was I uncivil? The sanction applies only to article talk pages within the AP2 topic area, and is a civility-type sanction that essentially sanctions the slightest violation (by me, but no one else...) of the "comment on content, not editors" advice/warning.
Unless I have seriously misunderstood the current thread on that DR page, it is specifically about scope and behavior issues related to discussing that scope. I was responding to some confused/unrealistic/straw man/red herring remarks by 123IP and analyzing exactly how it didn't make sense. Is that really too much? How else can I do that, on a page designed for exactly that type of analysis and comment, without directly citing and commenting on an editor's comments? I don't recall being forbidden to participate on such pages, or that my sanction applies to them.
Awilley can vet this situation best. If I'm mistaken about the application of the sanction in this situation, I will, of course, strike my remarks, realizing that the repetitious harassment tactic used by the currently-silent editor to intimidate me and limit my participation at Wikipedia has worked well. They got what they wanted, even though numerous admins saw through their tactic and said that they, but not I, should be sanctioned. This tactic, reinforced by a sanction, has the effect of turning their occasional, but obsessive, harassment into non-stop harassment-by-proxy, as it now hangs over my head all the time, even on a DR page where the sanction doesn't apply. That's not right. If you placed yourself in my shoes, I think you might get some insight on how this sanction has far-reaching, and no doubt unintended, consequences, as it proxies for that editor by rewarding them for their harassment. A warning to avoid commenting on editors would have worked fine, and that was the recommendation. This is very discouraging and makes one wonder if life is worth this crap. -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:37, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Of course, given that the "no personal comments" restriction only applies to article talk pages, and your comment was rather mild, there is no violation. I just wanted to remind you that your words are under scrutiny, so that you don't get carried away in another discussion and risk an actual sanction. I also do not think there is any conspiracy to silence or intimidate you. It's simply that you are very vocal, and various people will react the same way to things you say or opinions you assert. I see Awilley's sanction as a protective measure from yourself. Which should help you improve your interaction style and live a long and prosperous editing life. — JFG talk 20:21, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I appreciate that. I too see a potentially positive side of the sanction in that light, but a warning would have sufficed. BTW, this is an "actual sanction" that is logged. It's as real as handing out a murder conviction to a jaywalker. I'm now in prison. I'm branded.
Especially under the circumstances, the sanction rewarded disruptive and abusive behavior. It also has a more permanent branding effect which I can't escape. I am branded with a huge scarlet letter that brings me shame every single day. A bucket of shit was poured on me in public. It poisons my life, my self-image, and I lose face all the time. With my Asian cultural background (I'm Caucasian, but have a complex cross-generational upbringing in Asia), this sanction strikes deep.
The actions by my harasser were definitely designed to silence me, and this sanction serves that purpose by proxy. Other admins advised against a sanction, but it happened anyway. That it happened created a proxy relationship between my harasser and the admin. Unintended? No doubt, but the effect on me is the same. Even if my harasser had been indeffed, their proxy sanction on me would still be active here. This is no way to treat loyal long-time editors. It's an injustice I have difficulty living with and the shame and injustice pester real life for me. -- BullRangifer (talk)
I can sympathize with the feeling; aware of "face" in various East-Asian cultures. But most people don't see the sanction, they only see what you write. They will make a mental image of your person based on your exact words, not based on what an admin decided to brand you. Being careful with how you address others, and dialing down your prejudice, should become a habit, and you will have no problems at all. Good luck! — JFG talk 00:01, 22 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)

Do I recall correctlyEdit

...that you do some regular work correcting bare URLs, across the board, in all sorts of articles? If so, the Joanne Kelly article needs a bit of quick attention. If I am mis-recalling, it is just a case of no longer being able to assign the specific thing for which I hold you in high regard. (Please, if not able to address, forward to someone who can?) Also very sorry to hear that Campfire impacted you. Such an awful tragedy, I cannot even imagine being in its midst. Cheers, best wishes. 2601:246:C700:2DB2:7C61:8680:2C67:B888 (talk) 07:49, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

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