Saturday, July 14, 2018

What Exactly Was That "Ghost Particle" And How Was It Detected?

No automatic alt text available.
Artist's conception of the blazar in Orion  that emitted the ghost particle (aka neutrino) detected at the Ice Cube facility in Antarctica.

As usual, the media in stories about this "revolutionary" astrophysical find, chooses terms like "ghost particle" aiming to elicit plenty of clicks.  In fact, the term can apply to any neutrino precisely because one of the properties of these near massless particles is the ability to pass through an enormous amount of matter without causing any reaction. Like the cartoon character "Caspar the friendly ghost",  they can literally pass through walls. In fact, only about 1 in ten billion neutrinos traversing a matter barrier equal to Earth's diameter, reacts with even a proton or neutron.

Hence, by virtue of being unaffected by normal matter, radiation or gravity we have "ghostly neutrinos". 

In the case of the recent discovery-  announced Thursday at the National Science Foundation- we learned one and only one neutrino "made the cut"  in being detected by Ice Cube. This neutrino arrived from a "blazar" - a hyper active galaxy in the constellation Orion, 3.7 billion light years distant - and hurling neutrinos like particles from a cosmic ray gun.  Indeed, the international team assembled in D.C. for the announcement believes the neutrino- spewing blazar to be the first known source of higher energy cosmic rays to reach Earth.  See also:

This particular neutrino intercepted the Ice Cube detector in September, 2017, with an energy of 290 terra electron volts. (Recall here that 1 eV = 1.6 x 10 -19 J) . That energy is some 40 times greater than similar particles produced in the Large Hadron collider.   But how do we know, what signature do we have, that it was a neutrino?  Also what type of neutrino?  Recall I had discussed three different types in an earlier post, the electron neutrino, tau neutrino and muon neutrino, e.g.

In the current single neutrino case from the blazar, it appears we have a muon neutrino - based also on archival data. We suspect it is an actual neutrino because the little bugger generated Cherenkov radiation, and hence are able to move faster than the speed of light c, in ice.   Some accounts have the muons moving faster than light, period, which is incorrect. It is faster than light in the ice, e.g. forming the Ice Cube detector.   Moving faster than light through a medium like ice, the muons, electrons spun off, glow or flare.   It is the sensors in the ice of the Ice Cube that "spotted" the flares and from that - and some useful statistical analysis (see bottom of post) the neutrino interaction was deduced.   The initial discovery was confirmed by astronomers at 20 different observatories. The find itself caps almost 20 years of work by a collaboration comprising 300 astrophysicists and astronomers (you can more easily see their names appended to the pdf version  of one of the papers accessible at the end.)

OK, so how did the above reference "confirmation" take place? Well, lo and behold, at nearly the same time , the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope   detected an increase in energetic activity from the same direction as the blazar. Coincidence? Nope, the contributing researchers don't buy it, mainly because the rigorous statistics indicates a physical connection. Readers can read the end conclusion in the paper for yourselves. (Of course, the uncertainty is measured in so many standard deviations and these measurements aren't entirely free of them so the participating team members can't be 100 percent sure, but they're maybe at least 70-80 percent sure. Which is a pretty good marker in astrophysical research!

Some 8 years ago, I wrote at the end of a post ('Neutrinos Then And Now',  Oct. 26, 2010  about the planned construction of the "Ice Cube" neutrino detector in Antarctica. I wrote at the time:

"Many other physicists and astronomers are interested in detecting neutrinos from much more distant objects, such as supernovas, and colliding galaxies. To that end, an enormous neutrino telescope detector called "Ice Cube" is being constructed inside an ice field in Antarctica. (See attached image). Its sensors will be aimed not only at the sky but toward the ground to detect neutrinos from the Sun and outer space that are coming through the planet"

The image shown at the time was extremely crude with virtually no details, but the one I show below basically indicates the most critical aspects.

The Ice Cube detector:
 The 'IceCube' trap uses 5,106 sensors to track flashes of light given off by neutrinos interacting with atomic nuclei in the ice water

The Observatory seen in macro-frame:

Key aspects:

-In-Ice Sensor Network.   Engineers used hot water to melt 86 different holes a mile deep or more into the ice. There they lowered also 5,160 electric-optical sensors  then allowed them to freeze in place.

- Deep core:  The sensors are able to detect the flare (glow) from a rare neutrino- normal atom collision as the neutrino speeds through the array. The signal is then relayed to the surface, accurate to within 5 billionths of a second.

-The sensors start at a depth of 4,593 feet.

- When the neutrino collides with a proton or neuron a particle called a muon emerges. It radiates blue light as it moves through the ice along the same path as the neutrino.

 The full paper of the discovery referencing one aspect (using an analysis based on self-correlation of multiple neutrinos, prior to the specific Ice Cube Alert)  for those interested may be found here:

 The key conclusion to note is:

The analysis of the Ice Cube-170922A event in (20) relies on correlation of a single neutrino with electromagnetic activity, whereas the analysis presented here relies only on self-correlation of multiple neutrinos. The coincidence of an Ice Cube alert with a flaring blazar, combined with a neutrino flare from the same object in archival Ice Cube data, pinpoints a likely source of high-energy cosmic rays.
The other paper referencing the single neutrino capture based on the simultaneous Fermi gamma ray Space telescope detection - prompting the Ice Cube alert-  can be found here:

Of  course, there are always going to be pseudo conspiracy wackos who try to skew scientific or astrophysical finds into spurious conspiracy ideations, like this:


Let's review again these neutrino flavors for good measure. If there are three flavors: electron, muon and tau, then there must be three different corresponding neutrino masses which we can call: m1, m2 and m3.Further, the three "flavors" are really different superpositions of the 3 basic neutrino mass states.  Moreover, and to make it more complex, we know that quantum interference between mass states means a neutrino originating in one "flavor" can transmogrify to another over its transit.
Because of the oscillations and quantum interference we need to reckon in a "misalignment" between flavor and the basic neutrino masses. This is done by reference to three independent "mixing angles": Θ_12 , Θ_23  and Θ_13. To a good approximation, oscillation in any one regime is characterized by just one Θ_ij and a corresponding mass difference, defined:
 D m ij2 = [m j2 - m i2]
As an example, the probability that a muon neutrino of energy E acquires a different flavor after traversing distance L is:
P = sin2 Θ 23  sin2 (l23)
where l23 is the energy -dependent oscillation length, given by:
4ħ E c /  (D m 322)
How well do we know the parameters? Atmospheric neutrino observations yield:
 Θ 23  ~ 45 degrees, while D m 322 = 0.0024 eV2. Meanwhile, solar neutrino data yield roughly 33 degrees for Θ12 and  D m 212 = 0.00008 eV2. (Note: ħ is the Planck constant of action divided by 2 π)  If then:
D m 312  =  [D m 212    +  D m 322 ] = 0.00008 eV2 + 0.0024 eV2
We know, D m 312  =  0.00248
which is close to D m 322

Trump - Officially A Pawn & Intel Asset For Putin And The Russsians

The Traitor-in- Chief - Putin's Personal Puppet - who will do or say anything to provide cover for his master.

"The attempts by Giuliani and others to say 'oh no American involvement', is one hundred percent wrong. We now have it documented what transpired now on the Russian side, but we are within kissing distance of the final hook between the Russian government and the Trump campaign."

Harry Litman, former U.S. Attorney on All In last  night.

Even as the Trump protection media insist he is a king  -  e.g. Kimberly Strassel's WSJ op-ed Friday, that "King" Trump can cut taxes on his own without congress, and today's WSJ  editorial ('After The Strzok Stonewall', p. A12) that  Pete Strzok "stonewalled" so Trump can declassify any and all files  "to learn the truth of what really happened in 2016". In fact,  we already know what happened from the Mueller probe indictment of 12 officers from the GRU intelligence directorate,  yesterday. So the Trump protection alliance can spin all the BS it wants but no one with sense and an IQ over room temperature is buying it.  Trump supporters, voters excepted, who as Harvard Professor Harvey Mansfield put it, "come from the lower half of the IQ curve".(WSJ,  Weekend Interview, March 31).

Let's cut all the Foxite balderdash and cut to the chase: Anyone with more than air between their ears now KNOWS Trump is a goddamned traitor and deserves hanging from the nearest tree, especially if he now goes on to meet Vladimir Putin in secret. This isn't "hyperbole"  or unfair characterization but calling a spade a spade. It is straight unvarnished reality after the orange ape tried to cover for his Russkie collaborators by tossing out the "witch hunt" sound bite on being informed (2 days in advance of its public release) of the latest Mueller indictment.  This was of 12 Russian Military Intelligence officers for whom the names, ranks and roles were even specified . This,  barely 72 hours before the traitor was to hold his one -on- one with Putin.  And despite calls for Trump to cancel his coming secret meet with Putin, we know a traitor never surrenders his cover unless he's caught flat- footed, to the extent he can be hung without question.

True to a Traitor's form, instead of obeying the demands to cancel the covert Putin meeting, in which we'll have no remote idea what he's giving away, Trump doubled down his cover (see David Corn's take at end of post).  Rather than acknowledge the detrimental optics for a private Putin meet, like a true traitor he disparaged the news of the Mueller indictment at a press conference with Therese May;

"I think I have a very good relationship with President Putin.  I think we're being hurt very badly by this witch hunt, I would call it the rigged witch hunt. You know,  in the United States we have this pure stupidity but it makes it very hard to do something with Russia"

Oh, you mean like removing all sanctions imposed, without drawing scrutiny and hyper attention? Is that what's made 'very hard', Mr. Traitor?   Or, do you mean it will be very hard for Russia to help you win in 2020?   Hopefully, maybe by then you'll be hanging from the tallest tree in D.C.

As former assistant Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks put it on All In: "We have no witches here, but we do have a male WARLOCK and his head is almost in the noose. Along with his other warlocks.":

Interestingly,  Mueller's indictment -   the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the Russian government’s 2016 election interference - came mere hours before Londoners protested the arrival of the treasonous orange maggot in their country,  with an inflatable Baby Trump blimp, e.g.

Donald Trump

The Baby Trump captured everything odious about this degenerate, from his infantile, narcissistic nature, to his hideous orange hue via fake tanning creams,  to the incessant need to have his Twitter feed at hand. And his big open yap which never ceases bloviating bullshit and self inflation.

Meanwhile, Mueller's indictment revealed for the first time that a team of Russian Military Intelligence hackers- members of the GRU-  initiated their disruption efforts as early as March, 2016,  or 8 months before the election, and targeting 300 people. This was also around the same time Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos  learned from an Aussie diplomat the Russians possessed "dirt" on Clinton.

Mueller released the indictment day before Trump's planned secret sit down with Putin, obviously as a warning shot over Trump's bow, to behave himself. Or else.  According to the indictment:

"On or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts on a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. They also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign. '

Most interesting, this happened on the very same day Traitor Trump appeared in front of the media cameras and pleaded with Russia to hack Hillary's emails.  In front of millions, the Orange Turd had baldly blurted:

"I will tell you this, Russia if you're listening, I hope that you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. You will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."

So Trump, in full public view, asked Russia to hack his political opponent.  Did this just come out of the blue as a brain fart blurt? Not at all, given we know Russia has been funding Trump since the late 1980s.  On account of that funding and other Kompromat materials (e.g. the piss video revealed in the Steele dossier), we know Donnie Dotard is  Putin's puppet,  with multiple strings that can be puled at will.

As per The New Republic (Aug./Sept. 2017, . p. 29):

"A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, or even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money .....Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics....It's entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters."
 And his July 27 invitation to hack Hillary's emails disclosed he was also by then (likely even before) a convenient gopher, puppet and collaborator to the Russkies, who he hoped would help deliver the White House via enough electoral votes in key swing states. Hell, it's been known since earlier this year that Mueller's investigators have been asking witnesses if Trump was advised to make the comment about the Clinton emails from someone outside his campaign.  So Trump tried to coordinate the release of the emails to do the most damage to Clinton, and the GRU provided him with all the material.
In the indictment (see  end of post) we now know one GRU unit engaged in active cyber operations by stealing information, while a second, different unit was responsible for disseminating the stolen information.  Much of this was done via the entity known as "Guccifer 2.0" - who then passed the information on to Wikileaks.

I admit that at the time the initial  (DNC) hacking incidents were exposed (two days before the Clinton email hacks), I wasn't 100 percent convinced it was the Russians, I posted about it (e.g. July 25th, 2016) and wrote at the time:

There was a "claim" - still no evidence - by a DNC -hired bunch of "experts" ('CrowdStrike") that the DNC's email system was breached by "Russian hackers". Even if true, and I haven't seen anything to convince me yet, this doesn't mean the Russian government or Putin was behind it. Further, people need to read this before they jump on that suspicious political meme bandwagon:

So, until the illustrious 'CrowdStrike' team can provide firm evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was in fact Russian or the "Russian hackers" I will withhold accepting the DNC claim."

However, I now believe the case has been made and the details in the indictment have convinced me (at last) we can blame the Russkies for those early hacks.  Also, that Wikileaks was collaborating as when they responded to Guccifer 2.0", i.e.:

"Send any new material (stolen from the DNC) here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact then what you are doing."

That single statement totally altered my perceptions of Wikileaks, from a respectable group  of global citizens out to get the truth (as when they exposed the horrific videos of U.S. helicopter gunships slaughtering civilian Iraqis some 10 years ago), to a detestable bunch of vermin cooperating to undermine a U.S. election.

We now return to the core issue: Was the  July 27, 2016  televised Trump invitation to the Russkies a signal sent to the GRU to launch its hack attack? We don't know, but it sure appears there's enough 'smoke' to infer a fire, one started by the Donald.

According to journalist David Corn, appearing on All In last night, made these remarks concerning the Mueller indictments:

"What this is is a reminder of reality.  Trump and his minions have kept saying this didn't really happen, so in a lot of ways this is an indictment of Donald Trump, of all the people who said the Russia attack never happened. Here we have it in granular detail.  Read between the lines of this iindictment and there's the other half of the equation. That throughout the campaign, and while the attack was going on, Donald Trump and his lieutenants were saying it's not happening. Even when he was briefed by U.S. intelligence he came out and said, 'nope, nothing happening, could be a 400 pound guy, we don't know that it's Russia'

Well, now we know it's Russia. Now we know while they were doing this he was providing cover, he was covering up what they were doing, which was for his benefit. "

In other words, Trump - aka "the Donald" - is effectively a Russian intelligence asset and blatant actor on Putin's behalf, to undermine the U.S. national security interests. This is by way of enabling meddling in our elections to propel Trump to power and act as said agent on Putin's behalf, as well as disrupting friendly alliances and kowtowing to autocrats and dictators - especially Putin.

Readers can believe what they will, I believe this guy should be hung.

[Read the indictment here.]

See also:


"The president has known for days about this and he did not pivot in the press conference today to change his message nor is he changing the meeting," he continued. "And what Americans should feel today — and I say this carefully — but we should feel fear. The Department of Justice today issued a statement on behalf of the United States government saying that one of our greatest adversaries in the world, Russia, had intelligence agents interfere with our elections. ... We should be fearful about the allegation. We should be fearful about the statement of facts. At the end of the day, we should be fearful we have a president who has known about this and did not change his behavior."

Friday, July 13, 2018

Patriot Peter Strzok Guts Gowdy & House GOP Quislings In Fiery Joint Committee Hearing

Patriot and FBI agent  Peter Strzok prepares to defend himself and the Bureau in the GOP 'lion's den'.....errrr,  circus, yesterday.

"They say, Mr. Strzok, you  are at the heart a deep state conspiracy to stop Donald Trump. But to make this claim they have to ignore the fact you were an equal opportunity insulter of politicians. You had choice negative words for democrats and independents, like Bernie Sanders, who you called an idiot. Like Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley who you called a freak show.  But hey, there is a first amendment here in America and you can still insult government officials without being thrown into jail or held in contempt of congress, at least by our side."  Rep. Jamie Raskin (D- MD) yesterday

Quisling:  def.  A traitor who collaborates with an enemy occupying their country.

Yesterday, an actual American patriot - Peter Strzok - stepped into the debased Joint House Intelligence- Judiciary committees circus and faced down a host of GOP quislings seeking to continue to besmirch his reputation even as they discredit the Mueller Russia probe. But in terms of honesty, integrity and upholding our nation's principles, this was no contest. By the end, Strzok was still composed and standing while the quislings and poltroons had been exposed as the vile filth they are - only fit to be hung, drawn and quartered then burned to cinders.  That is what used to be done to traitors and their enablers in Old England.  In the US of A now, Russian assets have the GOP enabling them, and these "hearings" disclosed the extent to which the House Repukes have kowtowed to that mandate - as they sought to take down a patriot. More on that to come!

For sheer spectacle you couldn't assemble a more loathsome, vitriolic gaggle of  Republican reps,  whose constituents ought to be ashamed to have them speaking in their name.  From chairman Bozo Bob Goodlatte, to the deformed Tea Party gnome  Louis Gohmert, to Trump's barking  lapdog Trey Gowdy -  who "dripped so much venom against Strzok he needed a bedpan under his foaming lips"* - we beheld a circus extraordinaire.  Gowdy himself tried to challenge Strzok on his late-night texts to Lisa Page and ended up looking as goofy, desperate, fake and pathetic as Gerald Ford after he tried to alter the autopsy report on JFK's back wounds.

* (In the words of blogger P.M. Carpenter)

  As Matt Miller put it, "this hearing was an appalling embarrassment".

Recall Peter Strzok is the embattled F.B.I. agent  - the Bureau's  No. 1 counter intelligence specialist-  who oversaw the opening of the Russia investigation and has since had to endure seeing his reputation dragged through the media mud by the Repuke traitor  slime.  This was after they snared his personal text communications with then FBI lawyer Lisa Page. 

The Reeptards, who fully lived up to that monicker, tried desperately to tie Strzok's  texts to having a "plan of action" to take down Trump.  Goofy Gowdy seemed especially incensed and self-righteous when Strzok replied to  one of Lisa Page's texts with a curt  "We'll stop him."  (See  Strzok's extended response below in an exchange with Gowdy).

Never processing that Strzok had the power to make one phone call in the fall of 2016 to blow the Russia connections to Trump wide open and sink his candidacy one time,  but didn't.  Not long after candidate Trump looked into a camera and begged Putin to hack Hillary's emails it was Peter Strzok who helped open the counterintelligence probe to ascertain whether a foreign adversary engaged in a criminal conspiracy to sabotage a U.S. election.

Even though Strzok wasn't a fan of Trump and despite sending derogatory texts, Strzok held his hand and never blurted a word, even as then FBI head Comey dumped all over Hillary. Indeed, the GOP House clowns in such high dudgeon over Strzok's "guilty" texts yesterday ought to have been cleaning his wingtips with their tongues.  I mean, in the midst of  Comey's antics and despite tons of information forming about perhaps the most explosive investigation in American history, Strzok never leaked one single word.  That's how much they owe him for actually bringing the reign of their orange master into manifestation.

As Strzok put it out there  yesterday:

"In the summer of 2016 I was one of only a few people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to quite possibly derail and defeat Mr. Trump but hte thought of expressing that or exposing that information never crossed my mind."

  That  solemn counsel showed Peter Strzok was keeping whatever personal animus he had toward the Orange ape to himself. Hence,  when he told the assembled GOOPr misfits that his texting had no bearing on his duties as an agent, he was telling the absolute truth.  But as usual, these fucktards were  too committed to protecting their treasonous master to let up.   Even Tea bagger Jim Jordan (near the center of an Ohio Buckeye sex scandal) had the balls to show up and try to deliver his 2 cents of insults to protect Traitor Trump - who soon will be in a 1 on 1 meet with Vlad Putin, with no one else allowed (except translators) and no notes to be taken.

 What Janice and I most appreciated is that despite all the hollow, howler GOOP efforts, snark and posturing Strzok more than held his ground. In fact, in a relentlessly calm and reasoned tone - articulate and detailed to a fault- he reduced these poltroons to the state of impotent  buffoons.  One such response to one GOP Inquisitor:

Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took."

And later, on reflection of the vitriolic show circus in which he'd found himself: "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in this."

Not once, but multiple times, Strzok mounted an aggressive personal defense, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and labeling Republican attacks on him “another victory notch in Putin’s belt.”  (See below)

The Reepo quislings were  either too dumb or too distracted by their own hubris to see he was effectively calling them traitors. Quislings - after Vidkun Quisling -  one of the original traitors

Janice's ire particularly went through the roof when the odious, reeking of rhetorical vomit, Louis Gohmert (TX) took his turn to yap:

The disgrace that this man has done....the disgrace...and it won't be recaptured anytime soon, because of the damage you've done to the j-j-jutsis system!  Now, I've talked to FBI agents around the country. You’ve embarrassed them. You’ve embarrassed yourself. And I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?”

Janice screamed unmentionable epithets to do with Gohmert's questionable species' origins and then maybe how a live vivisection might be needed to confirm his human bonafides. But her initial rage quickly subsided when one of the Dems - Rep. Bonnie Watson- Coleman, chided Gohmert: "You need your medication!"  One of Chris Hayes' guests (former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards)  on All In was even more blunt,  opining: "He needs to be locked up!"  Hmmm....where is Dr. Pat Bannister when we need her to confine the deformed, backward little tea bagger gnome to a rubber room at Jenkins' Mental Hospital, in Barbados?

Despite all the wacko, unhinged Reeptard assaults on Strzok and his character, even at one point threatening him with "contempt of congress" if he didn't answer a specific question (when he was forbidden to do so by the FBI), he kept his cool. In fact, more than kept his cool, in powerful, articulate rebuttals,  basically gutting all the GOP mean-spirited minnows with each response.

Make no mistake there was no more vitriolic viper and  Trump Traitor toady on display than the animated, bipedal cow manure from South Carolina, Trey Gowdy:.

 Gowdy in performance mode, trying to get the better of Pete Strzok.

After numerous misrepresentations of Pete's  statements, he could take no more. This particular exchange is illustrative of his integrity and refusal to be slimed by a maggot like Gowdy:

Gowdy: "Did you write that text?"

Strzok: "I did write it, sir. A political expression, I was engaging in hyperbole. "

Gowdy: "Were you under duress?"

Dem Rep: "It was asked and answered over and over again,"

Gowdy: "Your testimony is that Bob Mueller did not kick you off because of the content of your texts, He kicked you off because of some appearance that he was worried about."

Strzok: "It is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias. It was done based on the appearance. If you want to represent what he said accurately, I'm happy to answer that question. But I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed."

Gowdy: "I don't give a damn what you appreciate, agent Strzok. I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two independent investigations in 2016."

Still unwilling to acknowledge that with one phone call to the media,  Strzok could have busted the snot out of Dotard's campaign and sunk it as effectively as Comey sunk Hillary's with his blurtations.

After Gowdy's outburst about animus the NY Dem Rep called out for the witness to be able to answer, and this was Strzok's reply:

Srrzok: "In terms of the text, 'we will stop it', you need to understand that was written off the cuff and in response to a series of events that dated from insulting an immigrant family whose son was a war hero.  And my presumption, based on this disgusting behavior, is that the American population would not allow someone demonstrating that behavior to become president of the United States. It was in no way, unequivocally, with any suggestion,  that me or the FBI would take any action to improperly impact the electoral process.  For any candidate. So I take great disagreement to your assertion to what that text was or wasn't.  That was clearly a statement made in jest and using hyperbole, realizing that millions of Americans were likely to vote for candidate Trump and I acknowledge that is absolutely in their right and that is what makes our democracy the process that it is.

But to expect to parse down a text like it's some sort of contract or talk is simply not consistent with my or most people's use of text messaging.

I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs enter into the realm of any action I took. Furthermore, this isn't just me sitting here, so you don't have to take my word for it.  At every step, at every investigative decision, there were multiple layers of people above me, assistant director, deputy director, director of the F.B.I., and multiple layers of people below me, section chiefs, unit chiefs and analysts, all of whom were involved in all of these decisions. They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them. That is who we are as the FBI. And the suggestion that I, in some dark chamber in the F.B.I., would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me.  It simply couldn’t happen. And the proposition that that is going on and it might occur anywhere in the FBI deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society. The effectiveness of their mission and it is deeply destructive."”

And  his most damning indictment of the day:

I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity. I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.'

At the end Janice screamed with unconcealed delight: "That's the way, Pete! Put these shitheads in their place!"  My language was a tad more colorful.

The House Committee Democrats in general did a creditable job  running interference for Strzok, using parliamentary points of order and other tactics to protect him from Republican prying.  For example, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, addressed Mr. Strzok at one point:

All of these inquiries about your political opinions as revealed by these text messages are irrelevant and wrong, unless it can be shown — as it has not been shown, as was found definitively not to be the case in the Hillary investigation and has not been shown in the Russia investigation — that they affected any decisions in the investigation,”

But the Republican goons and clowns were determined from the get go to provide cover for their traitor master and thus were intent on painting Strzok as so seething with contempt for Trump and his supporters that he meddled with the campaign.  These degenerates also, by implication, sought to paint the agency’s investigation of the president as motivated by a similar anti-Dotard animus.

Strzok, to his credit, was defiant and  just as intent on defending the F.B.I.’s actions, the integrity of the Russia investigation and his own behavior - as he should have been. And wifey and I cheered as loudly each time Peter got his say as we would for our respective NFL teams, especially each time he took the 'wood' to Gowdy or the chief quisling Chairman, Bozo Bob Goodlatte  A guy who could no more walk and chew gum at the same time than another Reep Poltroon, Gerry Ford.  E.g. "Point of order, Mr. Chairman!"  Goodlatte: "Uh, uh, that is not an appealable ruling...."   "But I require the vote! Is it a sustainable ruling!"  "The g-gentleman from New York has not cited a rule of the House that is being violated therefore it is not a point of order".  (Transl. I can make my own rules sitting in this chair so fuck you!)

Some of the comments in the wake of this 10-plus hour House hearings farce were noteworthy and included:

 Matt Miller (former DOJ spokesman):

"You know I've sat through a lot of hearings of these two committees (Judiciary and Intelligence) which met jointly today and on a good day they're pretty bad. This was not a good day. This was one of the most embarrassing moments I've ever seen from either of these two committees.

It was remarkable in their treatment of this witness today. They started out by threatening him with criminal contempt charges. Referring him to the Department of Justice for criminal charges because he wouldn't answer questions where he was ordered by the FBI - where he is still employed - not to answer. It ended with each GOP member spending all five minutes of their time to attack him and then not letting him respond..

And for all their attacks, they weren't on any search for any truth, or any justice. They wanted a public whipping boy that they could pin these unfounded accusations of bias on. But the problem was
they were never able to connect his very clear feelings about Donald Trump expressed in his texts with any actions he took at the FBI. They were never able to make that critical link that showed that some of the things he felt about Donald Trump influenced anything he did.

And as he eloquently stated, he had the power in the fall of 2016, with one phone call, to derail Donald Trump's campaign and probably prevent him from becoming president. He was one of the only people in the country with that power and he refrained from exercising it.  This is the logical fallacy at the heart of their (GOP) conspiracy that he exposed."

Malcolm Nance: Former Intelligence agent and security specialist:

"I find it fascinating to juxtapose agent Strzok's behavior with that of his boss, James Comey, who should have kept his mouth shut, but didn't. SO we have a guy, in charge of the counterintelligence division, who understood the severity of what was going on. On what could be the single most important investigation in American history and he kept the faith of the Bureau.

You know who this man (Strzok) is? That's America's top spy hunter. He's the man who finds enemies in the United States, whether they are members of Isis, or Al Qaeda or from hostile intelligence agencies.  You have to understand, I think it's important for this administration to take him down  because they're pretty close to foreign intelligence adversaries. We know because they've spoken with those agents.

The Russians must be very, very pleased today."

Former CIA chief John Brennan:

"It's good Peter Strzok can now talk publicly about this and the American people can see his professionalism, as well as what I think is his integrity.  We're all imperfect human beings and I think that while Peter would like to be able to have back some of the actions that he took, there is no indication in anything he said or the Inspector General's report that any personal views had any impact on his professional responsibilities. I think he was able to handle those questions in a very professional manner.

Here's Pete Strzok who's done more for our national security in the last twenty plus years then any of those members of congress put together. He is and has been an outstanding FBI agent and counterintelligence officer who has been responsible personally and directly for the many of the counterintelligence successes this country has enjoyed.

I  was very pleased to see Pete speak very openly about this but it also demonstrated some of the craven politics right now, that unfortunately has infected the national security,  law enforcement realm"

Joyce Vance - Former U.S. Attorney on the GOOP threats to hold Strzok in contempt if he didn't go to his personal lawyer instead of the FBI lawyer.

"Well this was just an exercise in silliness. So they're saying the FBI lawyers can talk to his personal lawyers and then he can talk to his personal lawyers. But he can't talk to the FBI lawyers directly.

Look, this is serious business, about protecting national security related information. And information about the integrity of ongoing investigations. And Strzok should have been permitted to consult with FBI lawyers.

The efforts by congress to engage in this rigamarole designed to make political points at the expense of the FBI's credibility and the important work that they're doing here I thought was a moment of embarrassment  for this body."

Frank Figliuzzi: Former FBI Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence:

"The Counterintelligence professional in the FBI who are watching have probably come to the same conclusion that I have: that there is only one person who can sit and watch this travesty it and his name is Vladimir Putin. The Russian intelligence services have as their goal to sow discord and disarray in our institutions, and that's exactly what we were watching today.

My second thought, as a former counterintelligence agent, was the complete disregard for the sanctity of a pending criminal  investigation. Something we saw today when they're telling Pete Strzok you can't  to consult with FBI counsel to ensure that you are not revealing,  obstructing, or in any way impeding this investigation. That was a travesty!"

Janice and I concur with all the preceding takes and I personally believe my Revolutionary War ancestors (Jacob and Conrad Brumbaugh) would heartily welcome Peter Strzok into their ranks of real - as opposed to paper - patriots, based on the robust defense of liberty, free speech and the Constitution he delivered to self-proclaimed GOP quislings yesterday.