Friday, February 27, 2015

Readers, I need your input...

Regular readers know that the "mascot" of this blog is my dog Bella. She's an older dog with health issues, and there have been a couple of occasions in recent years when I feared that we were close to losing her. Fortunately, she has always pulled through. (A couple of years ago, when she needed an operation to remove two tumors, my readers were so generous that everyone in this household wept -- even yours truly, and I'm a surly old bastard.)

Today, I came home from lunch to discover a truly disturbing phenomenon: Bella was wandering around frantically, bumping into walls and chairs and everything else. I don't think she has gone blind, but I cannot be sure. She reacts to the sound of my voice only when I yell her name.

The dog seems to have completely lost her balance, as though her inner ear has completely malfunctioned. Worse, she would not stop moving -- she keeps trying to explore her world and get her bearings. Right now, I have her enclosed in an area consisting mostly of soft blankets.

There was also vaginal discharge, which has been a recurrent problem for the past couple of years.

I gave her an amoxicillin (an antibiotic, which she does not receive regularly) and a benadryl, which is usually enough to put her to sleep -- hell, it puts me to sleep. (On a  previous occasion, the vet once suggested benadryl, so I am presuming that it is safe for dogs.) For about half an hour, she kept wandering about in a very confused manner and had a difficult time staying still. I've also made sure that she has had plenty of water to drink.

Lately, her diet has consisted mostly of tuna. This morning, she had chicken and rice.

I'm writing this post to ask my readers if they have ever seen anything like this happen to their own dogs. Is this condition temporary?

I'll take her to the vet when I have the money, but right now, all I can do is try to keep her safe and calm.

One of my enemies once accused me of caring only about my dog and not about people. There's some truth in this. It's not that I dislike people, but I cannot deny my Bella is the truest joy in my existence.  Alas, she has reached the age where all I can do is plead for just one more year.

If anyone out there knows what is going on, please let me know. Her current disorientation is so difficult to watch.

This weekend, I was going to write part two of my memories of the Santa Susannah pass -- the rocky area that the Manson gang once called home. On my last trip there, I took Bella to explore those wonderful red rocks. She would leap from boulder to boulder like the Amazing Spider-Dog. What a great canine athlete!
Are her eyes "pinballing"? That is, sort of wildly rolling around. My older dog awoke one night with symptoms very similar to Bella's. It was an inner ear problem. (I feared a stroke). I believe it took a week or so for her to recover. Google "Old Dog Ear Syndrome" or vestibular disease to see if the symptoms match Bella's
I'm thinking that may be it...
I agree with Old Dog ear syndrome. I think they usually prescribe something like prednisone to bring it under control.

Good luck. Scary to watch but not deadly.
I am really grateful for the input. She doesn't have the eye twitch that (I have read) is common with vestibular syndrome, and her head is not tilted. She is eating, drinking a lot, but is incredibly restless.
Wow, I have never heard of Old dog ear syndrome. I'm hoping that Bella has that and will recover with treatment.

My brother's dog did go blind and was constantly bumping into things, but was not "restless."

My first dog, a doxie, did have a stroke. When we took her to the vet, she had a second stroke.

She then became restless, and was probably blind, to boot. It was a nightmare. She whimpered, she wouldn't sleep, she didn't seem to be able to be comforted. I stayed up with her, by her side and tucked her in, but she would not stay put. I stayed up all night for a couple of days till I was hallucinating, then finally gave the OK to put her down. :/

It doesn't sound as if Bella has the same symptoms, so I'm hoping it's this ear syndrome.

On my own hound-front, my darling doxie had his toe amputation, which was confirmed cancerous. But a slow-growing cancer, which likely was successfully excised. I'd never heard of toe cancer, either, but apparently it's common in canines?

"Half-paw" as I affectionately call him now, is finally feeling better, and walking on his healed paw. He had the "duck feet" that are "not considered a flaw" in dachshunds, so his half-paw actually looks like a normal paw compared to his natural oversized ones!

Keep us posted on Bella! Our canine companions are worth it!
I am so glad that the operation was successful with your doxie, zee. I've known dogs who have dealt with more severe amputations and adapted well.

I now don't think Bella has the ear syndrome because her eyes are not twitching. But she is definitely restless. She may have been blind for a while; I understand that this can happen after a stroke. Benadryl helps her rest, but there is only so much I can safely give her.
Take your lady to the vet, Joe.
See if there are any low-fee animal clinics or organizations in your area. I had a cat fixed by one of these places that actually drives a huge hospital on wheels throughout the city.She had the operation and shots for far less than my regular vet would charge and she recuperated much faster.
Don't give her the amoxycillin, Joe: first off, it goes bad after a while, or at least less effective. But more important, you need to give antibiotics for a definite time-span to kill off the baddies, and if you don't knock ALL of them out, the resistant ones will take over and REALLY do a number on her.

More important, please do take her to the vet, whatever the cost. The proper treatment may be very simple, but you'll never know otherwise, and she's likely to suffer as a result. I'm sure people here will be happy to help you -- and she's sure worth it!
Put up a tip jar, Joe. Don't be proud. We all love Bella.
Hoping for the best for you and Bella. Sending love from me and my friends. Please make that donate button work.
There is a vet on wheels in Baltimore....
hope all is well with bella joe..
I'm with Lincoln - Bella's mishpacha, Joe. Put up a damned tip jar and let us help.
Our Shitzu started drinking A LOT when I began feeding her blue buffalo several years ago.
I think too many sulfates in food can cause excessive drinking. I stopped feeding it to her and her excessive thirst went away.

The weird thing is all that drinking may be flushing out the kidneys which is not necessarily a bad thing in the short term, however all that drinking probably is excreting essential vitamins and nutrients as well which is probably not a good thing, especially if the excessive drinking continues.\

Any opinions out there on giving CoQ10 to Bella?
Afraid the best help you're going to get is going to come with cost. Find a vet, be honest about what you can afford, and see what comes of it.

She's an old dog, and has had a full life. Hope this ends positively for all of you.
Alessandro, when Blue Buffalo first came out I was giving demos for them and tried it out with my doxie. He didn't like it (and is generally a nonfussy eater). I was less than impressed with them and quit working for them, because I'm quaint in that I have to believe in a product I'm promoting. After your comment I gave a look-see for other reviews, and am astounded to see a class action against them. They're actually causing pet deaths and disorders....and they now source some of their ingredients from China!!! I spend hours to make sure my pet is not getting anything from China. Thank goodness you kept your pet off BB. Apparently the problem has gotten worse in the past few months.

As to CoQ10, again, I've worked for one brand, Qunol, to promote CoQ10 in Costco. I had regular customers who bought it for their dogs. I gave some to my mom, and now she doesn't miss a day and swears by it....she's on statins, so it's particularly vital for her. Be sure your CoQ10 says "ubiquinol" which is the more accessible form of the enzyme. It's good support for your heart, energy level, leg cramps and blood pressure. It would not harm a dog and may help with energy level. It may affect the bowels...I can't speak to that because I've not tried it on my dog. It's expensive!
Sorry to hear this, Joseph. My dogs have all lived long lives. But it's always too short and doesn't get any easier no matter how many times you go through it. The disorientation reminds me of our 12 year old collie who [towards the end of things] knew where her feed bowl was and the AC vent in the hallway. Just the essentials!

Can't offer any advice other than making her as comfortable as possible. That may mean a vet trip where they can hook her up to IV fluids. If it's her inner ear that would be treatable. But the symptoms could be indicative of a stroke or a spreading cancer. Or just an aging body which gets us all on the end, one way or the other.

Best to you and Bella. I know this hurts like hell. Been there.


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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Around and about on a cold winter eve...

The video above, by Ben Swann, provides a clear, fast-moving (downright zippy) explanation of the origin of ISIS. Swann dares to say that which the mainstream media refuses to say: That ISIS was, in large part, created by the United States.

Actually, Swann does not merely say it -- he proves it. I've made the same point in many previous posts, and so have a lot of other writers.

I'm not an uncritical fan of Mr. Swann, who is far too close to the Ron Paultards and the libertarians. But on this issue, he has it right. In particular, you should pay attention to the questions asked around the nine-minute mark.

The video embedded above is not just a must-see, it's a must-share. Get the word out!

The Supreme Court poised to end Obamacare. Looks like this may really be it...
But the stakes in King v. Burwell, which the court will hear on March 4, could scarcely be higher: If the plaintiffs prevail, millions of people in 34 states who bought insurance on federal exchanges would suddenly lose the subsidies that make it affordable. Consequently, most would lose their coverage. A Rand study pegged the number at 9.6 million people, with premiums soaring 47 percent for those still able to afford them.
My take: The Republicans would be hit hard. People who, at the moment, say that they don't like the ACA will suddenly realize that the Repulicans want to toss them back into a world where working people have to pay a lot more money.

Democrats will be able to argue -- soundly -- that we all need to rally around the party in the 2016 election, however disappointing the candidate might be. The Supreme Court factor would outweigh all other concerns.

Elections. Brad Friedman has a blockbuster story in Salon...
Electoral integrity has not improved in the U.S. over the past year, according to a new study. In fact, elections in Mexico now have more integrity than ours, the new survey, based on the observations of some 1,400 international election experts, finds.
(I think that last sentence would have read better if the verb had showed up earlier, but perhaps German Brad has been studying.)
Computerized voting systems — such as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines — are 100% impossible to verify for accuracy after polls have closed. Yet, they are still used in about one-third of the country, and elsewhere around the world.

Hand-marked paper ballots can be examined after an election, but most jurisdictions in the U.S. tally those ballots by computerized optical-scan systems which either report results accurately or not. Without a human examination of those paper ballots — only sometimes allowed in the rare event a recount — it’s impossible to know whether results have been accurately tallied and reported.

By way of just one recent example, which citizens happened to notice, a November 2014 referendum in a small Wisconsin town, tallied by a computerized optical-scan system last year, reported only 16 votes cast by some 5,350 voters. Luckily, the problem was so obvious, attributed to a programming error by a local election official, it was too ridiculous to be overlooked. The correct results were eventually determined by publicly hand-counting the hand-marked paper ballots.

But what of malfunction or malfeasance in vote counts that are not so easily discovered, thanks to a lack of human-verified results? For example, a computer optical-scan system in Palm Beach County, FL announced the “winners” of four different elections incorrectly in 2012. Only a sharp-eyed election official and an eventual court-sanction hand-count determined that three of four of the originally announced “winners” were actually the losers of their races.
There simply has to be a better system. There simply is no reason why elections cannot produce a paper trail, and no reason why the parties cannot agree on a means of keeping that paperwork under secure lock and key.
A better electoral system for whom? It worked for Bush, and Anonymous claims that if they hadn't shut down Rove's secret system, Ohio would have gone for Romney.
>>I think that last sentence would have read better if the verb had showed up earlier, but perhaps German Brad has been studying.<< Thanks for this clever Teutonic aside.
Molly in D-land
Yeah, I don't think our "officials" are very interested in fixing this. I'm not sure how voters can fix it when their votes are either not being counted, or are counted incorrectly (not to mention the endless drive to fix imaginary "vote fraud"). I'm actually surprised that only a 3rd of the country uses the electronic machines (my area does not, but it does use the vote tallying machines, which are almost as bad).
I'll say it until they send me to the new gulag in Alaska: Without fair elections-- from districting, to voter ID to transparent tabulation--deomocracy does not exist. Fair elections should be issue #1 for anyone claiming to be a Democrat.

Interesting case that seems to be up your alley. This blogger appears to have nailed it in his title.
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Update on the BillCaseyHoneyPot mystery

If you don't know who "BillCaseyHoneyPot" is, read or skim the preceding post, then come back.

That investigation had me careening back and forth for an entire day. At first, I suspected that our mystery man was just a crackpot, then I learned a few things which suggested that he might really be someone with inside information about "spooky" matters, and that he had reason to adopt an exceedingly cryptic writing style. 

Well, it turns out that the mystery man is just a 46 year-old Pennsylvanian named Timothy Felix Miltz, an unsuccessful former software developer who lives (or lived) in a small, quaint green house in Indiana, Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, he likes to send lengthy comments to various websites. He usually talks about parapolitical matters, in a style best described as intriguing but not very comprehensible. Often, he adopts bizarre pseudonyms. Last year, he sent a series of messages to the Time Magazine website which appeared to threaten Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor who brought down Aaron Swartz.

Although Miltz claims to be a child prodigy who attended college at the age of 12, his name does not appear on any website that discusses prodigies.

(As a side note, I did some basic homework on the topic of child prodigies, and was surprised to learn how many of them have had sad lives. A man with a reputed IQ of 250-to-300 -- yes, 300 -- ended up working a string of crappy blue-collar jobs. And then there's the Unabomber...)

Ah well. A writer must pursue the occasional long shot, or there's no fun to be had. The day will come when one of my long shots will pay off. But yesterday was not that day.

Incidentally, a kind reader informs us that the "Roman" mentioned so prominently in Mr. Miltz' ramblings is probably Khalil Roman, the former chief aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The BillCaseyHoneyPot mystery (updated)

(Please spread the word about this enigma! Someone who is not a regular reader of this blog may be able to offer a solution.)
If you're looking for a spooky head-scratcher, you may want to study the mysterious case of BillCaseyHoneyPot. At this writing, I don't know if we are dealing with an important matter or a complete waste of time. All I can do is give you the basics.

A couple of days ago, the Washington Post published an article on a device called Stingray, a suitcase-sized cell phone tower spoofer meant to help cops gather signals from a suspected miscreant. This technology is controversial for a number of reasons -- for one thing, it also scoops up data from non-suspects in the area.   

Although worrisome in and of itself, Stingray is not the focus of this particular post. What interests us here is the way one person reacted to the WP article.

That person goes by the handle BillCaseyHoneyPot. He flooded the WP website with a series of lengthy cryptic comments which strayed far from the original Stingray story. These comments, which frequently referenced the CIA and its leaders, were soon "disappeared" by the powers-that-be at the Post. Fortunately, Cryptome collected many of these communications before they vanished.  

BillCaseyHoneyPot may be a hacker, or he may be an intelligence insider. Possibly both. It is also possible that he is simply a leg-puller who has read a lot of stuff about spies. He could even be a total fruitcake.

I'm sure of only one thing: This fellow tries very hard to come across as someone who knows where all of the proverbial bodies are proverbially buried. 

Thom Hartmann's website is one of the very few to take note of BCHP (if I may be allowed to shorten his name). Here's an example of the mystery man's wit and wisdom...



and yet - sits on a 3/4 inch tape - TAKEN by a 12 year old - at a University in Pennsylvania -



I'll tell you THIS MUCH

Henry Kissinger should be on death row -

Porter Goss should be on death row







That last phrase -- "AND IT'S CURRENCY" -- indicates to me that we are not dealing with an intelligence professional. For one thing, most professionals would know when to use an apostrophe. (Someone who attended the University of Pennsylvania certainly would know that.) More importantly, BCHP sounds like one of those tiresome gold bugs. You know the kind: They are always ranting and raving about the insubstantial nature of paper money, and they often end up pitching an investment in gold mine shares. I stopped listening to those loons decades ago.

Nevertheless, some of BCHP's comments remind me of what Polonius said of Hamlet: How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on...
Big Bird was a WONDERFUL project though-

the optic was TERRIFIC - I celebrated being able to read a label off of a GOLF BALL From geo synch-



This article on WAPO is a simple focus on triangulation of EM fields -



and yet ? GROVER HAS BEEN LIVE - what ? 11 years?


No - not in this world .......


I do not believe that "GROVER" refers to Grover Norquist. Context indicates that the term may refer to a new NSA program or technology.

(Added note: A commenter who seems to know what he is talking about suggests that "Grover" refers to an app called GeoRover, produced by SAIC. See here.)

Here are a few more examples...


and SK-91 will pass over my head 3 times a day - until it is engulfed -


I have no idea what an SK-91 is; initial googling provided nothing useful. This next one is particularly fun:





I'll show you a war you can't win
Just for jolly, I googled that "key." The three hits all traced back to this Cryptome story.
I will give a HINT -


If you want PROPER OPTIC - as Phil Mudd would say at CIA - retired....

Sorry Phil- I KNOW this is NOT your message - HOWEVER -

Imagine what Enron did to California - with metered energy resources context to electricity?

Imagine the UNNAMED - YET to be given name - as to ANTI TRUST Sherman - Clayton -

ENTER STAGE LEFT - to this theatrical venue - CIA

Enter Stage RIGHT - United States Department of State

We're going to have a party
Philip Mudd is the former Deputy Director of counterintelligence for CIA. (Wasn't that Ray Rocca's old gig? I wonder if the ghost of "Mother" still roams the halls of the second floor...) Mudd once showed up on Colbert's show and offered the opinion that teevee turns viewers' brains into cotton candy. I kind of like this guy.


PORTER should be VERY GRATEFUL ROMAN is controlled.
The first line seems reasonable enough. I have no idea who "ROMAN" is. (If Gordon Novel were still alive, I might note that "roman" is French for "novel.")
THE BEST PART of all of this?

It's not what is MONITORED - realtime NOW in 2015

WHAT IS THE BEST is what was STORED in 1973

on a 3/4 tape

and FOR WHATEVER REASON - it just happened to be THE TAPE I said as a child - WOW - that looks cool - let's TAKE IT.
Turn your back on your nation? Ed would agree - maybe you're a traitor

but - turn your back on your species ? THAT IS TABOO.

Poor Ed, I keep calling him Eric in game - lol

I'm sure he's okay with it - I KNOW HE IS.
A reference to Ed Snowden? I believe so.

(By the way, Neil Patrick Harris got on my shitlist when he made that "for some treason" remark during the Oscars. But that's a topic for another time.)

however- Zabiullah Mujahid?

STILL SITS - phone UNTRIANGULATED by this what was it ? the ZINGER?
the WHAT ?

oh yeah - Stinger -hahahaha

Triangulation is SO 1998.

"Llamacoin" seems to refer to someone or something in the Bitcoin universe; see here.

Zabiullah Mujahid is a spokesperson for the Taliban; he lives in Pakistan. (He has a Twitter account, although clicking on that link might bring you to the attention of the NSA.) Interestingly, some people think that "Zabiullah Mujahid" is a group name used by multiple people.

"Loftus" probably refers to John Loftus, a writer on intelligence matters (and on Nazis) who is widely thought to have Mossad links.

WHAT WE don't know?

16 people SHOT - doesn't matter....

phones triangulated-


Though you've seen it?


US Department of State behind THIS ONE -





and yet?





I'll demonstrate...

DOJ can't TOUCH ME ON IT - why ?

Because - silly- DOS will sit there DAY IN DAY OUT -

saying it just ain't so.

LONELINESS TIMMY - isn't it- a troublesome problem...

How's that POST K Street - LIFE - TOWELL? WORKING OUT?

Hillary gives you an award as you tie a man up to your bed?


This last bit is particularly boggling. Towell is a former ambassador to Paraguay who, in 2009, was accused of sexually forcing himself on an 18 year-old male. Towell was in his 70s at the time. In case you are wondering how a man that age could overpower an 18 year-old, I should mention that a gun and a machete were involved. Allegedly.

Towell's ambassadorial stint occurred in the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Later, Towell was tied to "the great Paraguay mystery" which was once a hot topic throughout blogland...
In October 2006, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina and Paraguayan and other Latin American newspapers reported that Towell was the administrator of a 173,000 acre ranch in the Chaco region of Paraguay on behalf of former President George H. W. Bush, under whom Towell served as U.S. ambassador to the country.
See here, here, and here. Although the Paraguay/Bush allegation was always quite fascinating, I see no evidence of a tie between Towell and Hillary Clinton.

Incidentally, Balochistan is a province in Pakistan where the CIA leases the Shamsi Airfield, from which drone strikes are launched. There has long been an independence movement in Balochistan, and one of the leading figures in that movement goes by the nomme-de-guerre "Baloch Sister."

Let's get back to BillCaseyHoneyPot. Is he a spook? A hacker? A crackpot? Or -- odd thought! -- some combination of all three?

My big problem here is the simple fact that BCHP has not given us a comprehensible linear narrative. Nothing here makes sense. We don't have a story.

BCHP has given us nothing but an unorganized collection of intriguing names. His penchant for bizarre linkages and schizy repetition hardly contributes to his credibility.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the theory that we're dealing with a crackpot. But I'm willing to be talked out of that stance. Do you have any insights into this matter?

(Added note: This post has attracted some striking commentary which now has me leaning away from the "crackpot" theory.)

(Bill-O, if you're reading these words, here's some advice: Try expressing yourself more clearly. These Dan Brownian games of peekaboo cannot possibly help anyone.)
I have my suspicions of who this is...he is talking on several levels to several factions. It is coded with clues and innuendo, for whoever bites and whoever is "watching." Someone was watching enough to have it removed- I am sure he is happy to have gotten their goat, so to speak. The rest is open to speculation, but I am familiar with
Anon, could you offer any further details? Anything at all?

I am all attention...
I really can't be sure of anything, and it could be that this person, knows the person I think this is-and they have the same history and training....but I recognize that writing as a style of someone. Most of his errors are done with purpose-won't get into it here, but there is a reason he does typos and grammar errors...
There are veiled threats in these messages-that may be true, but could just be a warning shot. I don't expect more to develop than this...they took it down, they were warned. Or at least that is how he will see it, for now.
It is a bit like a game of cat and mouse...the world trudges on...and we will never know his whole purpose in the warning. I could find it entertaining for awhile, but the mystery is pretty much going to remain a mystery. Nothing ever changes- ya know? That is my final take away.
Essentially- he isn't talking to us-not really. We are just a tool to speak to his true audience. Hope that makes sense. If you want more info- I might send a pm, but I don't really like getting too into these things on the internet nowadays.
I have to resist getting too dragged into this...but I will give you an idea of how his errors work-they are a mental test for the reader... Grover is probably GeoRover. Find GeoRover and you start to see more about him--it is a game for the reader too. He gave you a clue geosync....and then Grover. But again--I am too busy to be lured into this now.
I agree that sometimes punctuation and grammar and spellings errors are deliberate, to defeat style-analyzing bots that might otherwise connect the sensitive communication to other communications on the net. It's like disguising your handwriting.
/NOW as sure as the SUN WILL CROSS THE SKY
/and SK-91 will pass over my head 3 times a day - until it is engulfed -

(I have taken the liberty of inserting /s for poetic effect.)

"Engulfed"? "Skimps"? At least he doesn't talk about sodium morphate or apple pie.

Maybe this Twitter account, accountname "sk1mp", screenname "skimp", leads somewhere? The user appears to be interested in Wikileaks, NSA, French and US covert ops in Central Africa, and fascist doings in the US and elsewhere.


-> Las Vegas

-> a landline phone number in Maryland
I was going to comment that the "it's" seemed very purposeful and found that Anonymous had specific knowledge of that, so why it stood out to me is irrelevant. Interesting, tho!
Oh god I hope this is legit. The cabal running things behind the scenes - using violence and blackmail to avoid detection or widespread exposure - needs to have its wings clipped.

Whether or not anything will ever come of any of this basically comes down to whether or not there are still any institutions of power which haven't been completely corrupted yet.

Fingers crossed.
Just putting together some connections -
1973 + Kissinger + Helms (CIA)= Chile coup against Allende

Passports for Michael Townley et al through Paraguay before Orlando Letellier assassination, G.W. Bush was CIA director

Currency, gold-bug issue - 1973 Bretton Woods disolved by Nixon.

I can't help but wonder if the Helms tape refers to Kennedy, and that Pakistan ISI may have something to do with the alleged killing of Bin Laden.

Maybe he is suggesting that something - if revealed could shake the faith in the U.S. dollar.

Just thinkin'
There are numerous song lyric references in there......some complete, some modified. Not sure what significance this has. I do know that the last comment of his, or excerpt of a comment, that you posted has a few references to the lyrics of Starship Trooper, by the band Yes:


WHAT WE don't know?"

They actual lyrics are Sister Bluebird, while the second line is verbatim.

"Though you've seen it?


Again, verbatim lyrics from the song.



More verbatim lyrics from the same song.

There are different song lyrics interwoven in the other comments. I assume this would be part of the code he is using, but it's interesting to me. All the songs were pretty common on rock radio in the 70's and 80's.

BCHP identifies himself as a 46-year old in the complete rant - and at 12 years old (1981?) he went to Indiana University of PA where he saw spotted a 3/4" U-Matic Videocassette (which TV stations or professional video producers used in the 70s-80s) which seems to have damning evidence on it - which he claims is not for 'sale'. But it apparently exposes Nixon and Kissinger in some plan to hijack the U.S. - and alot of what we are dealing with in today's world stems from this videocassette which he harbors. Also, the "SK-91" which is "100% Pure Lockheed" may be referring to a newer reconnaissance aircraft, possibly taking over for the SR-71 "Blackbird". This 'mystery' is like finding the source/reason for a shortwave 'numbers' station.
The author's name is Timothy Felix Miltz - or Tim Miltz, as he signed earlier postings circa 2010, of which there are many (the consistent style is unmistakeable):

He claims to be a software engineer who first started working for CIA in the "Bush Sr era", which would've been 1975-1976. He says he left the Agency before "Homeland (Security)" was created, i.e. before 2002.

"Porter" is Porter Goss, Bush's CIA Chief from '04-'06.

The "Helms tape" seemingly references a recorded conversation between Richard Nixon and CIA Director Richard Helms in 1973.

In that conversation, Nixon famously mentioned "the Bay of Pigs thing", which made Helms extremely angry. It has long been speculated (by Nixon's aides, among others) that Nixon was not referring to the Bay of Pigs invasion itself - rather, it was a coded reference to the CIA's connection to the assassination of JFK. Nixon was thus attempting to subtly blackmail CIA into helping him quash the Watergate scandal.

There are many other interesting references made throughout his rants. The final thing he dangles to WaPo ("who killed Massoud") is a reference to the leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated on September 9, 2001.

Porter Goss was in Pakistan on that date through 9/11, meeting with Pakistani General Ahmad, "whose network had ties to Osama Bin Laden and directly funded, supported, and trained the Taliban" (according to Wikipedia).

If Tim Miltz is a delusional schizophrenic, he's at least a very well-read delusional schizophrenic.
Anon, I looked up the name. Last year, a Timothy Miltz sent a long series of disturbing letters to Time in the wake of the Aaron Swartz controversy...

It's obviously the same guy. The style is indeed unmistakable. And the overall message is worrying.

Basically, Miltz issued a public warning to Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor who went after Swartz. He said that people would die if Ortiz did not resign, and he kept making reference to the fate of former CIA director Bill Colby (whose death remains a matter of some controversy).

Ortiz is still at her job, and the "people will die" prediction remains unfulfilled.

I wonder if Miltz got a visit from the cops or the FBI after that stunt...?

At any rate, thanks...
Towell is interesting.
Towell is indeed a very intriguing figure, worthy of further investigation.

As for Mr. Miltz...I'm definitely starting to think that there is less than meets the eye, here. I hope soon to learn the truth.
Still too busy to review this in detail, but I don't get the same feeling in both of these characters at first glance. Use of Caps does not equate to "same style" ...remember, one is threatening the lives of others-and one is putting their life on the line. Different.
When I have time - will look it over more.
google is your friend:
2 things: Check out @FearDept's Tweet:

It is suggested in a comment on that tweet that the author's name is Tim Miltz.

Now read the comments here from 2010:

I have no vested interest in this whatsoever. Just thought I would help you out - if this indeed does.

Ok- Joseph--you are convinced- and that's all that matters. i really am putting too much time into this. but the style is not exactly the same at reading with are trying too hard to make it something it isn't. You aren;t doing what he wants you to do, so it is now dead. But ask yourself something--who would put their name online-and tweet about making money on surveys, while also tweeting about their comments just last month? Do you think the intellect of this person is really the same of the other? I don't...I am smarter than Miltz-and that isn't saying a lot. . Moving on......

Khalil Roman

I believe Grover refers to the second programning law for quantum computing. It is used to search huge databases incredibly quickly. With the power of quantum computers all encryption is useless. Before you can blink a quantum computer will have your data pulled.

Google "Grover's Quantum Search Algorithm"

Important information from HoneyPot.

We are all Palestinians now !

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James O'Keefe is back. Am I the only one who smells sulphur and brimstone?

I'm sure you recall James O'Keefe, the young, Karl Rove-esque poltical operator who destroyed ACORN with one of the slimiest stunts in the history of political chicanery. Brad Friedman has devoted a number of exquisitely-researched posts to O'Keefe's antics: See here and here and here.

I've written about him too: Here and here and here

More than once, O'Keefe has been exposed as a kind of combination of Professor Harold Hill and G. Gordon Liddy. He once tried to bug a senator's office, and his ACORN "sting" led to a $100,000 settlement being leveled against him. The fact that O'Keefe was able to pay that fine without much sweat tells us much about his operation.

Something new is a-brewin' in O'Keefe-land. The following comes from a right-wing website...
Conservative journalist filmmaker James O’Keefe on Saturday tweeted an ominous message to those who follow him and his influential work.

“We have a story we’re going to release this coming week and I've never thought about this before but I am afraid for my life on this one,” O'Keefe announced Saturday afternoon.
We have a story we’re going to release this coming week and I've never thought about this before but I am afraid for my life on this one.

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 21, 2015
What the story is one can only speculate, but for this one to be particularly risky in O'Keefe's estimation is saying something.
I have a bad feeling about this. And no, I do not have any fears that something bad will happen to Scurvy Jimmie. My fear is that he will do something particularly churlish.

The first comment on said right-wing website is worth reprinting here...
His right-wing admirers don’t seem to mind that O’Keefe’s short but storied career has been defined by a series of political stunts shot through with racial resentment. Now an activist organization that monitors hate groups has produced a photo of O’Keefe at a 2006 conference on “Race and Conservatism” that featured leading white nationalists. The photo, first published Jan. 30 on the Web site of the anti-racism group One People’s Project, shows O’Keefe at the gathering, which was so controversial even the ultra-right Leadership Institute, which employed O’Keefe at the time, withdrew its backing.
A peach of a fellow, Jimmy is.

On a related note:
Many of you will recall the film version of the novel Starship Troopers, by the quasi-fascist science fiction author Robert Heinlein. In that novel, only those who have performed military service, or some other dangerous duty, are granted the right to vote.

Believe it or not, USA Today editorialist Glenn Harlan Reynolds (a law prof at the University of Tennessee) feels that we should adopt that very system.

This is an absurd, extremist proposal. Nevertheless, and purely as a thought experiment, let us consider the advantages of such an arrangement.

The Reynolds/Heinlein plan would have kept Dick Cheney out of politics. Buh-bye, Sarah Palin. Adieu, Mitt Romney. Sayonara, Rush Limbaugh. Auf widersehen, James O'Keefe. Arrivederci, Rudolph Giuliani. Adios, Bill O'Reilly. Beat it, Ann Coulter.

Most conservative pundits would be out of a gig. Nearly every One Percenter in the land would be kept out of the voting booths -- and, one would hope, out of the political system altogether.

Amusingly, I would have the right to vote, despite never having served in the military. Remember, we are following Heinlein's rules. He made an allowance for anyone who has volunteered for a hazardous medical experiment -- and believe it or not, I once did just that.

Ah, the foolishness of youth...!

I won't tell you the details, but I can tell that the doctor required me to keep urine samples for several weeks after my release from the hospital. (Why? I'm not sure. He said something about wanting to see if the radioactivity left my body.) The samples were stored in the fridge, in emptied plastic orange juice containers. One night, while half-asleep, I stumbled into the kitchen and...

...and maybe I shouldn't finish that story.

Your humble host keeps unfolding like a flower, does he not? If ever you meet me, do not make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.
I believe ACORN simply changed its name.

Cause of Action and their List of ACORN allies and Rebrands
BOTTOM shelf, Joseph! He said keep the samples on the bottom shelf!
Joseph, you are just so ahead of the game. Alfred Webre (conspiracy therapist) believes that the liquid in your refrigerator may be the cure all.......... when drank (drunk?).

Anyway, you seem a little radioactive to me (in a good way, in a good way).

BTW, Isis died............. on Downton Abbey.
O'Keefe has on at least one occasion been used to take down a Republican. In Wisconsin, the Koch brothers' front, the "Club For Growth", hired him to take out a senior Republican State Senator who was opposed to the expansion of school vouchers at the expense of public schools. He stalked the pol at his favorite watering hole and captured him on video, drunkenly bragging about a plan to set up an illegal PAC for the upcoming campaign. The Senator declined to run for reelection and was replaced by a bought-and-paid-for Tea Bagger.

Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O'Keefe Pay James O'Keefe for Hatchet Job on Wisconsin GOP Senate President? | Mary Bottari

Disobedience to Scott Walker is harshly punished within the Wisconsin Republican party.
The simple fact is that if the operation someone like O'Keefe or Jeffrey Epstein is in support of the overall fascist agenda, then no legitimate punishment will be exacted.

If however, someone endeavors in opposition to the fascist agenda, their punishment will be swift, severe, and disproportional to the alleged crime, i.e. Edward Snowden, Chelsea (nah Bradley) Manning, and Aaron Swartz.
Joseph, you served as a disseminator of truth during the years of the neo-fascist Buschist administration at a time when few people were willing to stick their necks out to oppose lawless war, torture, and the construction of the surveillance state.

For that hazardous duty you should have a generous pension for the rest of your life. Thank you for your service. Someday maybe an Oscar-winning movie will be made about your life.

Gareth, any state legislator that goes around getting drunk in public deserves what he gets, IMHO. Nursing a few beers with your homeys is one thing. Getting so plastered that you hang yourself is another.

I will wait with baited breath for O'Keefe's automobile to crash him at 60 mph into a palm tree.

Anonymous 3:16 PM:

In Wisconsin, being an alcoholic is practically a requirement of the job for state legislators. Politics floats on a sea of beer and brandy. The guy O'Keefe took out was a major A-hole, so no tears were shed, but it scared the shit out of the other Republicans, because he was the top dog. Nary a peep has been heard from anyone since. It's ein Reich, ein Fuhrer time in the Badger state.
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bill O-LIE-ly

Bill O'Reilly's co-worker Eric Engberg has described what really happened to O'Reilly during the Falklands war. Engberg is completely convincing, and he certainly has no motivation for lying. It's clear that O'Reilly has been caught out. (Also see here.)

What I want to discuss here is another Bill O'Reilly lie -- a lie which is far more important, a lie which our media seems strangely reluctant to discuss.

In his book about the assassination of JFK, O'Reilly discusses the death of George de Mohrenshchildt, Lee Harvey Oswald's strange friend who also happened to know George H.W. Bush. De Mohrenschildt's links to the CIA were investigated by none other than a young Bill O'Reilly. The enigmatic George De Mohrenschildt committed suicide in Florida on March 29, 1977, just before he was scheduled to talk to an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassination.

There has long been a controversy as to whether this suicide was genuine. O'Reilly, in his book, attempts to resolve that question with the claim that he personally heard the shotgun blast. We are supposed to believe that de Mohrenschildt pulled the trigger at the exact moment O'Reilly knocked on the door.

That claim simply is not true.

O'Reilly was in Dallas on that date. That evening, he called Gaeton Fonzi, the HSCA investigator referenced above (who later wrote The Last Investigation, one of the very best books about the JFK assassination). During that conversation, O'Reilly said that he heard a rumor that de Mohrenschildt had committed suicide, and wanted to know if this report was true.

O'Reilly told Fonzi that he had been trying to check the report by telephone from his studio in Texas. O'Reilly then said that he planned to fly out to Florida the next day.

Fonzi recorded the call. The recordings have been placed on the internet.

I just don't see any way that O'Reilly can talk his way out of this one. The man is a liar.

Question: Why won't Mother Jones or any other media outlet discuss the de Mohrenschildt fabrication?

(Many thanks to Joe Williams for the head's up!)
The fact that the corporate media is making a big deal out of Brian Williams' almost compulsive dishonesty is itself the height of hypocrisy.

The media no longer serves the public interest, just as government no longer serves the public interest. Both institutions have been wholly co-opted by shadowy moneyed interests with a laser-like focus on self-gratification and the consolidation of power, with both ends being met to the detriment of freedom and democracy.

By establishing an information gathering and dissemination apparatus which is dependent upon the largess of corporate interests subtly camouflaged under the auspices of advertising, the fascist state has successfully built the Ministry of Truth Orwell so presciently described. Seriously, what purpose would companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin have in promoting their brands in a retail format? Do they think viewers are going to purchase a new F-18 or are they simply justifying their investment in a controlled media?

Rather than accept the official line that Williams was simply the victim of his own hubris, we should consider the possibility that he was the victim of an orchestrated attack, and perhaps the same is true of O'Reilly. Dan Rather was sacrificed in order to change the focus from George Bush's unpunished AWOL during Vietnam to the liberal media's use of fraud to attack our patriotic dear leader. Maybe Rather was the victim, maybe he was a willing participant. It's much easier to pull something like this off when the fall guy doesn't push back very hard.

Both of these heretofore respected media personalities have now been shown to have been lying with impunity for decades, and yet with all of the media watchdog organizations dutifully documenting the myriad atrocities committed by the ostensibly opposing right- or left-sympathetic media counterparts, none has dug up these accusations in the past?

We'll likely never know what Brian Williams or Bill O'Reilly did to warrant the unceremonious end to their respective careers, but given the nearly non-stop parade of lies, dis- and mis-information, and outright propaganda perpetuated by the entirety of the media spectrum since the fascist fifth column accelerated its attack on Western democracy, if anything we should assume that those who are crowing the loudest about it doth protest too much. If you work in the corporate media then you are well aware that you have no control over the words that come out of your mouth.

You're a newsreader and your job is to catapult the propaganda that provides political cover and synthesized public support for the already-determined agenda of the deep state, and nothing more. Step out of line or question your orders and you quickly find yourself out of a job, and only then if you're lucky.
Speaking of orchestrated attacks, the Daily Mail sinks to a new low:

Wonder who leaked that to them?
Mother Jones won't talk about the deMorhrenschildt lie because FDavid Corn wants to deflect attention from his own flip-flop on the JFK conspiracy. And for 51 years, the secret motto at the New York Times is, "Avoid all the news that doesn't fit what we're told to print."
Well, now Media Matters has jumped on the story; so there's a feather in our collective cap, Joseph. Now if we could just get publicatoin like Media Matters to call Oswald "the accused assassin" instead of "the assassin." Alas,small steps.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nutty Rudy and JFK

A couple of posts down, we talked about Rudy Giuliani's insane claim that Barack Obama became a commie under the tutelage of some mysterious, not-quite-visible Marxists whom he (Obama) supposedly met at the age of nine.

In yesterday's post, I noted that these alleged commie "agents of influence" are the products of the right-wing imagination. For example, Giuliani claims that one of these agents was Saul Alinski. Alinski was not a socialist and Obama never met him.

O'Reilly mentions Frank Marshall Davis, who did indeed know Obama's maternal grandfather. But the grandfather did not himself become any kind of a Marxist as a result of this association -- and neither, I feel certain, did young Obama.

In that earlier post, I noted that Rudy Giuliani's father was heavily involved in the mafia and even did a stint in Sing-Sing. By Giuliani's rules, we should now be drawing all sorts of dark conclusions about Rudy Giuliani.

(I'm not saying that Rudy is mobbed up. I'm saying that it is easier to believe that Rudy is mobbed up than to believe that a "Marxist" President would put Tim freakin' Geithner in charge of the economy.)

Rudy is at it again. There's one passage in particular I'd like to discuss...
“He doesn’t talk about America the way John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did, about America’s greatness and exceptionalism,” said Giuliani.

“He was educated by people who were critics of the US. And he has not been able to overcome those influences.”
We cannot allow the right-wingers to replace the John Kennedy of history with a figment of their imaginations, which is exactly what Giuliani is trying to do here.

I don't recall a single speech in which JFK used that rather vile right-wing buzzword "exceptionalism." The right has redefined that term to mean "America gets to push other nations around without having to abide by international law." That's not the way Kennedy looked at the world.

True, he did say that America had to bear burdens which other nations did not carry. But if you look at his record, you'll see that he usually emphasized cooperation and mutual respect, even when dealing with nations opposed to our policies. For example, Kennedy's Alliance for Progress was created to foster international cooperation in economic matters.

In the final months of his life, JFK proposed scrapping the space race and inviting the USSR on a joint mission to the moon. That important fact is routinely ignored by those who bleat about American "exceptionalism."

Before Kennedy's presidency, America's attitude toward the non-aligned countries was marked by condescension and outright thuggery. Kennedy's policies were much humbler:
But beyond these matters, it was Kennedy's policies in places like Congo, Portuguese Africa, and West Irian that really brought him the appreciation and sympathy of the leaders of the non-aligned nations. These actions symbolized a clean break from the "with us or against us" attitude of John Foster Dulles. And it therefore acknowledged the desire of the non-aligned countries to go their own way with confidence. Knowing that the new president would understand that independence from Washington's dictates did not mean automatic alliance with the USSR...
For an excellent "slide" presentation on JFK's foreign policy farsightedness, go here.

Although the socialists who supposedly influenced Barack Obama are nothing more than right-wing hallucinations, there was a socialist who had an impact on John Kennedy. His name was Harold Laski, and his students at the London School of Economics included both Joe and Jack Kennedy.

In the 1960s, a few far-right nutballs argued that Laski had converted John Kennedy to a form of Marxism. Those claims prefigured the things that Rudy is saying now about Obama -- with one big difference: Giuliani is not on the fringe. In fact, he is considered to be within the mainstream of the Republican party, and many tea partiers would denounce him as too liberal.

How our political landscape has changed!

JFK's father, Joseph Kennedy, was asked about the "Laski connection." His words (as recorded in Michael O'Brien's JFK biography) are worth quoting here...
"I was confident that they [Joe and John] were both mature enough and sensible enough to be able to hear the other side and still make a choice for themselves." His sons, he made clear, "are going to have a little money when they get older, and they should know what the have-nots are thinking and planning... They should be exposed to someone of intelligence and vitality on the other side."

Contrary to Rudy Giuliani, I wish that Barack Obama had been exposed, during his college years, to "someone of intelligence and vitality" committed to the cause of the "have-nots." There was nobody like that at Occidental in Los Angeles. (There was, however, a political science professor linked to American intelligence, who may have seen young Obama as a promising recruit.) Later still, Obama fell under the influence of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who resembles Harold Laski about as much as I resemble Groot.
JFK not only proposed a joint USA-USSR moon mission, he proposed to the UN that armies, navies, and air forces be outlawed. Military forces would be tolerated only for maintaining internal security, not for waging war on other countries.
CNN ran a discussion yesterday, of Rudy's remarks, featuring such luminaries as George Pataki, Tom Ridge and Paul Wolfowitz. Underneath was a banner proclaiming rat-face to be "America's Mayor". When the fuck did this happen?
CNN hasn't provided actual news since it was acquired by AOL/Time Warner. It's purely a propaganda outlet of the ruling cabal (kabal?) now.
Gareth, somehow being photographed marching stalwartly down a dusty street on 9/11 without a face mask made Rudy into a 9/11 hero.

FDNY people were able to torpedo Rudy's presidential campaign by revealing the facts, but few Americans know those facts.
Well, Mr. C., I don’t have anything against julie annie or anyone else who wears tight pantyhose. It probably helps some people keep their brains from falling out of their ass. j ;)

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Davey meets Mister Bill

The Bill O'Reilly imbroglio has become quite amusing -- certainly moreso than cognate Brian Williams imbroglio. When all is said and done, Williams is nothing more than an ambulatory hairdo, while Bill-O has, over the years, transformed himself into a genuine annoyance. His only saving grace is that he can be very funny. How can one not guffaw at the sight of a Fox News host accusing someone else of using journalism as a political weapon?

What's interesting here is not the fact -- and it does seem to be a fact -- that the Fox superstar has hyperbolized his war reporting experiences. What interests me is the way he has responded to the charges leveled by Mother Jones writer David Corn. Basically, O'Reilly outdid even the Great Dershowitz in the hysteria of his couter-attack, claiming the whole affair was a Great Liberal Conspiracy. Then he changed the topic to Al Franken, supposedly the worst liar ever. (If Franken lied about you, Bill, why didn't you sue the guy?) Sadly, O'Reilly neglected to call Corn a "serial prostitute."

If you closely compare O'Reilly's statement to Corn's charges, you'll see that many specifics go unanswered.

Undoubtedly, right-wing ops will now go after David Corn. They will scrutinize every aspect of his career, looking for any scrap of info that can be used to "prove" his godless bolshevism.

They'll be surprised to learn that a lot of people on the left don't trust the guy. A few even suspect that he maintains some sort of relationship with the CIA.

Why the mistrust? Much of it has to do with the fact that Corn has always had one foot in the mainstream while keeping the other planted in the alternative media. There aren't too many other Pacifica network alumni who could have developed the kinds of sources that make a piece like this possible. Like Adam Strange, Corn seems to pop back and forth between two worlds.

In the 1990s, Corn infuriated progressives when he helped to whip up the lynch mob against Gary Webb, the brave journalist who did so much to expose the Agency's ties to the cocaine trade. Corn went on to assail Greg Palast's important stories about vote tampering during the 2000 and 2004 elections.

In short: Corn made his name by going after our few remaining real journalists. Assailing a fake journalist like O'Reilly is, for Corn, rather uncharacteristic.

Corn wrote a book called Blonde Ghost, about the CIA's infamous Ted Shackley -- a work which few read, yet which nevertheless managed to piss off people on both the right and the left. Pro-Agency reviewers consider the biography biased, and its Amazon page features critical "reviews" from enough plants to start a small arboretum. More liberal critics feel that Corn's reliance on anonymous sources indicates that the project must have had the quiet approval of someone "on high." (Those who rely on the CIA for a paycheck or a pension usually won't talk to a reporter unless they've been given the go-ahead.) One of Corn's sources was a former CIA employee named Bradley Ayers, who worked with Shackley; he has called Corn's book a whitewash.

In 2002, Corn worked to discredit a group called ANSWER, which was organizing anti-war demonstrations. Basically, he called them a bunch of commies. He wrote a piece for the formerly progressive L.A. Weekly which, thirteen years later, looks a little snake-in-the-grassy:
Few of the dozens of speakers, if any, bothered suggesting a policy option regarding Saddam Hussein other than a simplistic leave-Iraq-alone. Jesse Jackson may have been the only major figure to acknowledge Saddam's brutality, noting that the Iraqi dictator should be held accountable for his crimes. What to do about Iraq? Most speakers had nothing to say about that.
At this stage of the game, that "simplistic leave-Iraq-alone" stance sounds like pretty good advice.

The next year, Corn helped to get the Valerie Plame scandal rolling. On July 14, 2003, Robert Novak wrote his infamous piece outing Plame. Two days later, in The Nation, Corn responded thus:
This is not only a possible breach of national security; it is a potential violation of law. Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent.
Eventually (though with no great haste), liberals picked up on this theme and used the Plame case to hammer away at Cheney and the Dubya administration. That was all to the good, of course -- but in hindsight, we should note that Corn's words can be interpreted as protective of the CIA's interests. Some cynics (not me, of course) might even suggest that the writer had personal reasons to feel angry about the blowing of a CIA agent's cover.

At any rate, it'll be very interesting to watch the conservative outrage battalions go after David Corn. How will they make use of the information listed above? In their zeal to damn Corn as a left-wing hit man, will any of them notice that some actual progressives have long suspected Corn of being an infiltrator?
I don't know much about corn but thanks for this and this alone is enough for me to dislike him.

In the 1990s, Corn infuriated progressives when he helped to whip up the lynch mob against Gary Webb

I do like Greg P.
It ain't just "a few progressives" who recognize the Cornster as a prime soloist in Langley's Mockingbird Choir, Joe.

We hardcore conspiracy mavens have had his number for quite a while, and his oh-so-clever, disinfo-nuanced stance on 9/11 only confirmed our well-placed suspicions in spades, as did DC's scurrilous attack on the martyred Gary Webb (RIP).

I certainly don't remember Corn attacking Gary Webb.

I went back and read Corn's archive ( and his criticism is fair. Webb WAS unable to lock down details about the money trail and CIA links, just as Corn said in his review of the book, but he also wrote that Webb got the overall story right. Corn later criticized the House report for covering up info that would have filled in those gaps and likely vindicated Webb. Am I missing something, or did Corn cherry-pick columns from his archive?

O'Reilly (like Corn) used to be a serious researcher into the JFK assassination. But his "Killing Kennedy" book is despicable propaganda. And it contains a documented lie about Bill's sleuthing. He claims he persoanlly heard the gunshot that killed George DeMohrenschildt, Lee Oswald's closest confidante (and probable CIA handler). In truth, he heard about DeMorhrenschildt's presumed suicide in Florida through the grapevine and called Gaeton Fonzi from another state to get confirmation.
Probably the best record of Corn's questionable history is here:
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Rudy sees red

I had not wanted to comment on Rudy Giuliani's recent exercise in Total Batshit Bug-nutsiness, but the latest is astonishing. Why on earth is Rudy doing this? Obama isn't going to run for anything ever again. So what compels Rudy to serve up slop like this?
“Look, this man was brought up basically in a white family, so whatever he learned or didn’t learn, I attribute this more to the influence of communism and socialism” than to his race, Giuliani told the Daily News.
Is this statement racist? I suspect so, and I'm not known for being Mr. Hypersensitive on such matters. Giuliani seems to be saying that one would expect a black family to teach kids to be Marxist. I don't know about you, but when I visit the "mostly black" areas of town, I don't run into a lot of people who like to quote Das Kapital.
"...The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was 9 years old” through family connections.

When Obama was 9, he was living in Indonesia with his mother and his stepfather. Giuliani said he was referencing Obama’s grandfather having introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party.

The former mayor also brought up Obama’s relationship with “quasi-communist” community organizer Saul Alinksy and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Obama knew communists when he was nine? Why isn't this fact mentioned in any of the Obama bios in my possession?

Obama's stepfather was an important aide to the CIA-installed dictator General Suharto. That's Rudy's idea of a communist?

Frank Marshall Davis does seem to have known Obama's maternal grandfather. This association did not transform the grandfather (a Kansas furniture salesman) into a Maxist, and I doubt that it had any impact on Obama.

Does Rudy really think that this acquaintance means that young Obama somehow contracted communist "cooties," and that the disease has stayed with him throughout his life? Ridiculous. That simply isn't how the world works. Even the John Birchers would laugh at that kind of inanity.

I met all kinds of people when I was nine. So what?

If it is fair to talk about someone that Barack Obama may or may not have met briefly at the age of nine, then it is certainly fair to talk about someone with whom Giuliani had an extremely close relationship over the course of many years.

Rudy Giuliani's father was seriously mobbed-up; he even did a spell in Sing-Sing. If we accept the contention that Obama must be a commie simply because his grandfather once knew a noted American lefty, then shouldn't we also presume that Rudy is a gangster?   

Obama never met Saul Alinksi -- in fact, Alinski died when Obama was ten years old. Moreover, Alinski was not a communist or even a socialist. He was an anti-racist and a labor organizer. I've seen no evidence that Obama's thinking has been influenced by any Alinski writings. (For more on the rumored Obama-Alinski connection, see Snopes.)

By the way, Rudy: Jeremiah Wright is not a communist -- he's an asshole. Do your research.

Not an asshole. If you look at the full context, he said things that were no more radical than anything you have written on this blog.

He was an inconvenience to Obama in 2008 and had to be thrown under the bus.
If Obama were a socialist, I'd have voted for him.

Holy shit you're right. Jeremiah Wright got smeared. I had thought i understood what Wright had said, but obviously hadn't. I hadn't taken the time to look at the source material. I hadn't seen his words presented like that.

How sad that so many of us have been running around believing such a gifted black preacher was an asshole.

Everyone should read that Wikipedia article.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Of volts and dolts

I don't own an electric car -- truth be told, I fear that my driving days may be in the past -- but I like the idea of an electric car. That is why I'm infuriated by this inane piece in USA Today, which claims that electric cars create just as many emissions as traditional engines.

Can you spot the flaw in this reasoning?
Electric cars' global-warming benefits are small. It is advertised as a zero-emissions car, but in reality it only shifts emissions to electricity production, with most coming from fossil fuels. As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, "Electric cars are coal-powered cars."
Of course, electric car proponents would venture that the perceived rapid ramp-up of renewables will make future electric cars much cleaner. This, however, is mostly wishful thinking. Today, the U.S. gets 14% of its electric power from renewables. In 25 years, Obama's Energy Information Administration estimates this will have gone up just 3 percentage points to 17%.
First of all, the Energy Information Administration projections cited by USA Today are certainly wrong. Second, all such projections are based on "if present trends continue" reasoning, which doesn't account for either a technical revolution or for a political decision to remake our energy infrastructure. In this country, we are still subsidizing fossil fuels -- and we have yet to announce a plan to go in a new direction.

We can, we should and we must do better than 17% renewable energy. We need to clean up our energy act.

The fact is, it will be much easier to implement cleaner forms of centralized electricity production than to fill our highways with substantially cleaner non-electric cars. The latter goal is probably impossible, while the former goal is in the difficult-but-doable category.

Nobody knows where or when the next alternative energy breakthrough is going to occur. We may get a happy surprise in the fields of biomass, fuel cells, geothermal, tidal power, wind power, or solar power. We may even discover a much safer form of nuclear power.

Although no-one ever called me an optimist, I feel confident that the heroes of science will come up with a truly revolutionary way to implement one or more of these approaches to renewable energy. I wish I could tell you when that day will come, but I can't.

But I can tell you this: We can "clean up" the way we make electricity a lot more easily than we can clean up the ungodly system used to propel my old Ford minivan. Yes, a Tesla is a polluter when you plug it into an outlet that gets energy from a power plant that burns fossil fuels. But the same Tesla instantly becomes a non-polluter when it plugs into a source of electricity produced by solar panels or a hydroelectric dam. 

So let's accelerate the transition to electric cars. Let's create better batteries. Let's create a national "charging station" infrastructure. Let's make it easy and convenient for electric car owners to recharge their vehicles while having lunch at a diner on Route 66. And let's spend what we need to spend on R&D in order to make cleaner electricity production a reality.
Of all the $$$$ we burned up in the sand in Iraq, if we'd spent a fraction of that on photovoltaic and battery research instead, we would be world leaders in that technology. But we had an oil-friendly government that considered socialized science to be a bad thing while it glorifies socialized arms production and socialized war.

"renewable energy" is a pipe dream, and this is not an ideological point, but basic thermodynamics. Renewable sources have inherent hard limits that no technological ingenuity can overcome. The basic problem is that all of them are high entropy sources of energy - the energy is so diffuse, that the energy you need to expend to harvest it makes the whole undertaking virtually pointless. And this is before we even begin to talk about the problems with storage/on-demand availability, and distribution.

A much safer form of nuclear power has already been invented, and has been for about half a century. (breeder reactors, fast reactors, etc.)

Nuclear is literally THE only option, if humanity is expecting to meet its energy demand beyond the next 50 years or so.

Renewable energy dreams are bad science, wishful thinking, that are extremely dangerous as maintaining the belief that they can EVER be viable substitutes prevents deliberation and planning of actually viable alternatives.
Anon 5:48, people lived almost exclusively on renewable energy until the use of coal began with the industrial revolution.

Most people who talk about "energy demand" are making assumptions based on present consumption habits and present growth rates. You're right, it is not possible for 9 billion people on the planet to all drive around in SUVs. Fortunately, only idiots are proposing that they should.
Even coal powered cars are more efficient than petrol-power, and releaseless emissions, although still more than if they were plugged into renewables.

Nuclear is a pipe dream, too expensive, too unpopular and requiring rare enrichable uranium, which would run out in a few years if it had to power the whole world. Thorium and fusion reactors are still decades away, as they have been for the last several decades.

Renewables rely on being properly developed. Solar is quite useful and micro-hydro could produce large and reliable amounts of power, while wind power is just an excuse to subsidise private companies.
Look up oil from algae. It would not require a change in infrastructure at all, as the oil can be refined into gasoline that will run in current automobiles. It can be used for anything that petroleum can be, with the difference that it has near zero emissions when burned. It's certainly an interesting possibility that deserves more research and testing.

As to nuclear, just look at the still ongoing situation in Fukashima (that our press doesn't feel is very important, even though millions of gallons of highly radioactive water has been pouring into the pacific daily for a few years now, with no sign of let up). THAT is our future with nuclear....a nightmare of contamination that will remain with us for thousands of years. It's a huge disaster waiting to happen (and already has happened in "isolated" incidents like Chernoybl and Fukashima.....and will happen again, with certainty).
The uranium will NOT run out in about 50 years. More precisely, the rare uranium isotope (U-235) that is currently used in most reactors WILL run out in 50 years or so unless a rapid transition is made to reactors based on the plentiful U-238. The technology to do so has been in existence for a while!

The tragedy here is that in order to utilize the U-238, we need to conserve the U-235. If we run out of U-235, the large supplies of U-238 - sufficient to sustain humanity for literally (!) many thousands of years, are useless. Think of U-235 as a matchbox, and U-238 as a large pile of wet wood. In order to use it, you need to conserve the matchbox, But right now we are fueling the fire directly with the matchbox.

As for living on renewable energy prior to the industrial revolution - this is of course correct, but I find it hard to imagine that such a drastic reversal is politically possible, or even desirable.

Solar energy has its applications, e.g. in residential energy consumption - however, this only accounts for about 30% of energy demand. It is impossibly expensive to do so, but even if you did it, you still have done nothing about the energy demands of industry and transportation - where solar and other renewables are virtually useless.
The overall complaint of the original article is correct - electrical cars simply move the exhaust pipe to a centralized location - the power plant.

Consider that as it is, an average coal fired power plant burns a train full of coal, about a mile and a half long, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It should be obvious that if you that large enough increase in energy demand for charging electric vehicles - not meetable with renewables - will simply mean burning more coal, instead of petroleum.
it takes approximately the same amount of energy to move a car, no matter how you get it.

A much better option is getting rid of cars altogether. This is a technology with no future.
Whether from algae or catalytically sythesised fuels or bio-diesel they all release more or less the same amount of emissions, but those emissions are absorbed back into the next generation of fuel. As the fuel has to be produced it is necessarily far more expensive than fuel brought out of the ground.

U-238 and U-233 aren't usable for energy production. U-238 isn't radioactive and therefore can't be used to generate heat and drive a steam turbine.

Electric cars are normally lighter than other cars to make them more efficient, due to the short range of electric cars. The difference, though, isn't the amount of energy required to move the car, but the efficiency of the generation of the energy. Burning petrol in a car is much less efficient than fueling it from a power-station fired by gas or coal.
Dude, breeder and/or fast reactors powered by U-238 and/or Thorium have been built since the 1950s, and the putting new ones online is ramping up really fast, esp. in Russia, and the rest of the BRICS, since apparently they have the basic arithmetic skills to understand that this is not only the best, but simply the only option to ensure viable energy supply.

And it is simply crazy to suggest that biofuels, algae, and all that nonsense is "more efficient" than petroleum - last time I checked photosynthesis was only about 1% efficient. Petroleum is simply the accumulated energy from sunlight in plants. It took millions of years to accucmulate it, and only about 100 hundred to burn it all out, precisely because photo synthesis was so inefficient.
I love the comments and yes if I had the $ I would buy the sun car.
I drive only to town once week and it's is about 10 miles one way so a few solar cells on the roof would charge the car.

Nukes, I remember when we would all have one in our backyard to power the house. The short is the industry woke up to the fact nukes are only better if large like todays large solar farms. It's about control and just imagine every building have a solar skin.
There are no safe nukes and I hate covering the so-called useless desert with panels that are still controlled by those that control the nation.
Solar Has been competitive for over 18 months, in that it is at grid parity in the desert southwest and falling. The cost per kilowatt/hr is continuing to fall as more capacity is added. Industrial levels of production will be achieved as the large photo-thermal arrays come online and price per unit falls. Coal is doomed once solar is cheaper, sometime in the next 2-4 years depending on what winds up being the most efficient technology and how quickly its brought to market. Efficiency of scale will ensure that every array will be cheaper than the last and the maintenance should be minimal, so that all the real costs are in the construction.

A few thorium reactors would be a good idea, as you can use them to dispose of the "spent" fuel rods from conventional reactors.
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All war all the time

Feels like early 2003, doesn't it? As Trever Trimm notes in The Guardian, our cable news networks run nothing but war propaganda.
That means the media can go back to doing what it does best: creating a “debate” over how many countries we should invade, without any discussion of how our invasions created the very situation in which we feel we have to contemplate more invasions. It’s like the early Bush years all over again.
The only thing more farcical than the White House’s position is the Republican party’s: after months of hyperbolic grandstanding over Obama’s supposed abuses of executive power when it comes to immigration, health care, net neutrality or anything else, his political opposition has suddenly decided that they won’t agree to pass anything that doesn’t give the president absolutely unlimited authority to engage in a forever war with Isis.
Meanwhile, the featured guests on those major network sunday shows – many of whom have never met a war they didn’t like anyway – tried to out-tough each other this week for who would go to war with Isis harder. It’s their standard script: Just six months ago in the lead up to the first bombs dropping on Iraq and Syria, those shows had 89 guests on to talk about the prospective Isis war. Only one of them was decidedly anti-war.

Television punditry is, as it always has been, all war all the time.
No sane person questions that ISIS is a vile group, without which the planet would be a safer, quieter place. But America cannot defeat that foe. ISIS would not be in Iraq right now if American soldiers had not invaded that country. If we were to return, our involvement would only give credibility to the crazies, turning ISIS opponents into new recruits.

The beheading videos were designed to draw America back into the region. ISIS wants us there.

Wesley Clarke, in the video embedded above, makes the point that so many others (including this humble blogger) have made: We created ISIS. Actually, Clarke is careful to specify that our "allies" did the dirty work -- but does anyone truly believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would make such a move without our knowledge and against our advice?

This is The End. Everyone is talking about Graeme Wood's profile of ISIS and its underlying theology. Even those who have already read widely on the topic will find this piece useful. I didn't know (for example) that ISIS expects to have nearly all of its members killed just before the Second Coming of Jesus.

Like previous writers, Wood notes that ISIS believes in an end-times mythos strikingly similar to that accepted by fundamentalist Christians reared on Hal Lindsey and the "Left Behind" books. It's basically the same crap with different names. For example, the final battle will be fought not in the valley of Megiddo but on the plains of Dabiq (near Aleppo), so please adjust your appointment books accordingly.

If you fire up Google Earth, you can get an advance look at the place of The Grand Finale. Yeesh. Kind of dismal, innit?

We need to invent a religion with a better apocalypse location. Let me toss out a suggestion: Albuquerque. Seriously. Think of the advantqages -- as we wait for the ultimate blast-out, we can gorge on blue corn enchiladas and green chile burgers while chugging Dos Equis. In this new eschatology, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe will be serving sopapillas and honey, along with green sauce made with fresh chiles from Hatch. You guys down with that?

Fools march in. Wood's piece ends with some sensible advice. Despite all of the propaganda we've been hearing, ISIS does not pose a direct threat to the United States. The first and foremost objective of ISIS is to conquer and convert (or eradicate) millions of Shiites. Since ISIS will never be able to fulfill that task, they are never going to get around to us.
Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive.
Wood concludes that a "vast ground invasion would certainly make the situation worse."

He doesn't mention the great obvious thing that no-one in our media is allowed to mention: There is already a vast, professional combat force fighting ISIS. It is called the Syrian military. The Syrians are favored in this endeavor by Iran, Jordan, and Egypt -- not a bad beginning for a grand alliance. Just as Muslims have been the primary victims of ISIS, only Muslims can conquer ISIS.

If Obama truly wanted ISIS to disappear, he would quietly back the pro-Assad forces. Until our president gives up his dangerous dream of regime change in Syria, we should do everything we can to resist the calls for American intervention.

An Authorization for the Use of Military Force is not needed and should not be granted.
Seriously, Albuquerque as the site of the apocalypse? Not sure whether I should be honored or appalled. Molly in Germany.
May be off topic but there is something nagging at me about Isis videos. Why is it no one of their victims mess up the production for them? They all looked to me to be doing their part perfectly. They know what is going to happen why make it easy for them.
Molly, I'm open to alternative suggestions. Do you know a better place? What we're looking for here is a kick-back-and-relax kind of apocalypse. We need something that'll make our new religion more attractive than its competitors.
I could be cool with Albuquerque, but give me a bit to get there from the North.

And I've been thinking a lot about Isis and propaganda. Everything from twilight language to agendas to false flags. So I see Downton Abbey has a dog star. And no her name is not Sirius, but it is Isis. Week before last Isis was either "sick" or "pregnant". This week they said she had cancer (but she's not dead yet). So tune in next week Americans to see what really happens to Isis. If you are English you already know. (does that mean MI5 is more aware than the CIA?)
No fucking way. Burque is the new Hollywood (Breaking Bad, anyone? or just ask Johnny Depp.)

Go pick on somebody else, dammitj, and leave us alone.
1. It's Clark, not Clarke; and

2. I've lived in Burque since late 1991, long enough to see it grow into its nickname "Little L.A," especially in terms of film and TV production (Breaking Bad, anyone?)

But I still miss the real thing. I've never loved anywhere the way I loved Los Angeles--I'm from Illinois originally--and probably never will.

Every day I go back for at least a little while, mentally and emotionally, to take my favorite walk through the hills above the Silverlake reservoir, while the late, great Warren Zevon sings "Meet me in L.A." in what's left of my head.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Faux victimhood

Everyone who comes here regularly knows that I can't stand Alex Jones and his minions. But I'm starting to admire Paul Joseph Watson, the British fellow featured in the above video. Despite his association with the biggest blowhole in Texas, Watson occasionally says things that make sense.

Watson makes a lot of sense here.

These "walking" videos are bunk -- agit-prop pieces designed to create a sense of faux victimhood. Believe me, I get harassed when I walk through the rougher parts of Baltimore, a city where more parts are rough than smooth. Every time I leave the house, my great fear is the possibility of hearing these five words: "Hey! I'm TAWKIN ta you!"

(Please don't read racism into the previous paragraph. There are some terrific "mostly black" areas where I feel quite comfortable, while the worst incidents in my experience have occurred in "mostly white" Dundalk.)

As noted in the previous post, there is a campaign to convince Jews in Europe and America that they will be safe only if they move to Israel. Pure propaganda.
Presumably inspired by that feminist video where they got a model to walk up and down the same street in New York all day and filmed people wolf whistling her, as if it was the everyday experience of women everywhere.And feminists, of course, are the masters of faux victimhood.
Having a camera crew present makes anyone conspicuous and tends to bring out the "hey-fuck-you" attitude in some people. I was once harassed in the streets for wearing argyle socks, but it was my wife's fault.
Harassment is the everyday experience of women in many places, including NYC. They made the video because when a woman is walking with a man, they don't get harassed, so many men had no idea what women go through.
And I think the real masters of false victimhood are men's rights activists. Get back to us when women average the same salary as men.
Would it be that hard to identify how long the video is before we click on it. Sure we can figure it out after we click on it, but it messes with the videomaker's stats if people click and stop immediately because the video is longer than time they have to watch it.
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Lappy, Bibi. Really fucking lappy.

Israeli spooks are my favorite spooks. Why? Because when the Israelis do an op, they're obvious.

People will spend the next hundred years arguing about what British intelligence did during World War II. We will never really know for sure what they got up to, because the Brits are devious little shits.

Israeli operatives, by contrast, are like those old-school comics in the Catskills. Subtlety ain't what they do.

Much of the problem stems from a manpower shortage. There really aren't that many trained Mossad agents -- Victor Ostrovsky, writing in the 1990s, claimed that the agency had only about 35 case officers in the world at any given time. (And let's not even get into the issue of the competing agencies and factions within Israel). In order to pull off any operation, the Israelis have to hire a lot of temp help. Much of the scut work is done by kids fresh out of the IDF.

Israeli kids, like all kids everywhere, are dolts.

Remember the Israeli "art students" who came to prominence not long after 9/11? I met a few of those guys. They had set up shop outside of a Sears in Northridge, selling cheap paintings made by Chinese slave artists. (The story behind those paintings is a scandal in itself, deserving of its own post.) Boy, were they obvious. They might as well have been wearing "LIL SPOOK" t-shirts.

They also clearly radiated loathing toward everyone they met. Their faces were set on perma-sneer.

(The only other time I ever got that vibe was from the Nation of Islam guy who used to hawk his cult's newsletter in the Gelson's parking lot in Tarzana. This was back in the '70s. We would talk every so often. I kind of felt sorry for him, even though he clearly wanted to punch my pasty face inside out. I later read an interview in which he said that he worked that area simply to prove something to himself.)

The Israeli "Kid Spook" battalions also operate as furniture movers, working a notorious scam: They quote a lowball price, get the gig, load up the trucks, and then demand a much higher payment, refusing to release the furniture until the mark forks over thousands more than he expected to. I've seen entire websites devoted to their antics. It appears that the scam continues to operate. Naturally, anyone who complains about these "furniture movers" must be an anti-Semite.

I'm not saying that all of their customers have been made unhappy. In fact, I'm told that these moving operations would occasionally fill large numbers of people with ecstasy.

You probably already know the story about the young "furniture movers" in New Jersey, employed by a known Mossad operative, who were seen laughing and cheering as they videotaped the destruction of the Twin Towers. After the second tower fell, the giddy crew drove away in a van -- and all the while, they were being watched. (Amateur hour, right?) Naturally, someone called the cops and there was a BOLO on the van, which was stopped by a cop named Scott DeCarlo. The kids refused to leave the van even after the cop drew his gun. (Talk about chutzpah!)

What happened next was priceless...
DeCarlo then described what happened after the spies were dragged from their van. “When we removed them, one of the guys that was rather chatty said: ‘We’re not your enemy, we’re your friend. Our enemies are your enemies,’” DeCarlo said.
The key word is obvious. Or maybe we should use the term lappy.

I once read an article about a guy who wrote for the old Milton Berle show. Uncle Miltie was always telling his people to make each gag as "lappy" as possible. That is: Shove each joke right into the lap of the audience. Berle didn't care for cleverness, refinement and subtlety. He liked to keep things lappy. The pie in the face was the quintessence of lappiness.

The Israelis are the Milton Berles of Spookworld. They do pie-in-the-face ops. That's why I love 'em.

I even love the kids who send hasbara comments to this very blog. Hasbara means "explanation." The kids hired to send these comments are supposed to be explaining the Israeli viewpoint in a detailed, rational fashion.

In actual practice, hasbara has become a Ring Lardnerism: "Fuck you," he explained. Every message they send is fuck you fuck you fuck you. They know full well that I won't publish any fuck you fuck you fuck you messages, and they don't care.

No real thought or emotion goes into their work because they have a quota to make: If they send X number of fuck yous every day, the Israeli state helps them with tuition. Since I'm all in favor of higher education, I feel happy to think that this humble blog may be helping young people pursue an academic career. Of course, this spirit of helpfulness will not extend to actual publication of fuck you fuck you fuck you commentary.

(The Russians have a similar operation going. Russian kids get only $37 for a full eight-hour day of trolling the comments sections of various blogs.)

By now you may be wondering what motivated me to write this essay on the Israelis and their love of lappiness. It's Bibi, of course. In the wake of the Copenhagen attack, Bibi Netanyahu offered this very lappy statement:
"Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe," Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.
(A Muslim cop was also killed in Paris -- but hey, let's not spoil the narrative with complexity. As Uncle Miltie always told his writers: Keep it lappy.)
"Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again... Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews," Netanyahu said in the statement.

The Israeli prime minister said his government was to adopt a $45 million (39.5 million euro) plan "to encourage the absorption of immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine".
Will there be a mass migration? I don't think so. Anyone with half a brain knows that Israel is a potential war zone.

So what is the purpose of Netanyahu's heart-tugging call?

The answer, as always, is painfully lappy: Jews outside of Israel are starting to get sick and tired of defending Israel's racist violence. They're also sick and tired of playing the "strange bedfellows" game with a bunch of right wing Zionist Christians nutcases. The "Birthright" brainwashing sessions aren't working as well as they used to.

I invite you to listen to the Norman Finkelstein lecture embedded above. (Yes, it's long, but it is filled with good stuff. Convert it to an MP3 and listen while driving or walking.) Finkelstein has some eye-opening insights on shifting Jewish attitudes.

Netanyahu knows that if American Jews turn their backs on Israel, it's game over.

That's why we are now seeing a very lappy campaign to make Jews think that they need Israel as a bolt hole of last resort. Netanyahu is sending one important message to all Jews living outside of Israel:

All gentiles are fiends who grew up reading the Protocols. They all secretly ache for der Tag when they can break out the Zyklon-B and finish the job. They may tell you that their intentions are pure, but their assurances are deceptive. Un-lappy bastards. Devious little shits. Don't trust 'em.

I'm not saying that Copenhagen was a false flag operation. (Some people are saying that -- see here and here. Those links go to the kinds of websites I normally would not consider very credible or even tolerable. In truth, I've barely skimmed the argument.)

What I'm saying is this: The possibility that Copenhagen was a false flag operation did not even enter my cranium until Bibi started to flap his yap.

Lappy, Bibi. Really fucking lappy.
This is my all time favorite clusterfuck Mossad operation:

Two Israelis arrested with bombs in the Mexican Congress
Ecstasy - yeah. Chabad, ain't it? I've often wondered whether the word "ecstasy" - a rebranding of MDMA - is a translation of a Hebrew word originally used in religious contexts.

You've also got the 'Dead Sea Kiosks' selling snake oil in shopping malls, not just in Britain but in places like that Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that became a battle zone.

And paintball kiosks (fucking hell!) at big London railway terminals, sometimes featuring in... role-playing games involving terrorist attacks. I'm not making that up. Imagine the Israelis allowing British operatives to behave similarly in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

They may have only a few case officers, but they've got thousands of sayanim or people who will help the sayanim on request, and access to a fuck of a lot of British transport hubs using Marks and Spencer outlets - which scares the shit out of me.

Where are MI5 when we need them? (A former head, Stella Rimington, got a non-executive directorship at Marks and Spencer.)
Joseph, I read a few months back that Anonymous published the names of 30,000 Mossad agents on the internet. Do you think that report is untrue, based on a decades' old now report of the far smaller number? Or perhaps that it includes agents of influence of Mossad, and not just trained case officers, in the same way our CIA has cooperative parties who don't work directly on the payroll? Curious as to your take on this, if you've heard of it. Thanks.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Spyware built into your hard drives

Yes, I know: The world is heading toward hell and the teevee news channels are shouting for war. Very soon, I'll have much to say about all of that. But right now, I want to talk about the war against your privacy.

The Russian anti-malware firm Kaspersky has verified what many have suspected: The NSA has found a way to hide spy programs in the firmware of your hard drives.

The bad code is not on the platter -- not even in the boot sector. It's in the guts of the electronics built into the metal box encasing the platter. Even if you completely wipe the drive, the spy code is still there. No matter what you do, the malware says "Hello, Fort Meade!" every single time you turn on your system.
Though the leaders of the still-active espionage campaign could have taken control of thousands of PCs, giving them the ability to steal files or eavesdrop on anything they wanted, the spies were selective and only established full remote control over machines belonging to the most desirable foreign targets, according to Raiu. He said Kaspersky found only a few especially high-value computers with the hard-drive infections.

Kaspersky's reconstructions of the spying programs show that they could work in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, comprising essentially the entire market. They include Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Question: How did the NSA pull off this trick? My first thought was that the Agency must have worked with the manufacturers. But:
Western Digital, Seagate and Micron said they had no knowledge of these spying programs. Toshiba and Samsung declined to comment. IBM did not respond to requests for comment.
It is not clear how the NSA may have obtained the hard drives' source code. Western Digital spokesman Steve Shattuck said the company "has not provided its source code to government agencies." The other hard drive makers would not say if they had shared their source code with the NSA.
The above-linked article contains much speculation as to the various ways the NSA might have gotten hold of the source code. However, there is no speculation as to how the Agency might have replaced the manufacturer's code with modified code.

A virus? Well, yes: It is possible to write a virus that digs into the firmware, but the risk has always been considered low. Here's why (from an older article about malware):
According to Computerworld, Western Digital Vice President Gary Meister said there is a way to build a virus that can damage a particular hard drive's firmware and disable the device. However, the firmware can be flashed and restored to its original state, so the firmware-damaging virus still can't permanently disable a hard drive. The firmware-damaging virus is an impractical creation, though, as it is extremely difficult to code, has to be tailor-coded for each specific hard drive and lacks motivational intent because it would disable a computer instead of steal information.
Obviously, the NSA would rather spy than fry your drive, and it seems that they have found a way to do just that. Could they really have pulled off this trick without working with the Seagate, WD and the others? Despite the protestations of the companies, the simplest theory is that this thing was an inside job.

Update: The NYT expands upon this story here. This story suggests that the spyware burrows into the motherboard's firmware, not just the firmware used by the hard drive.

A reader named Propertius, who definitely seems to know what he is talking about, takes issue with my suggestion that this was an inside job. I'm sure he won't mind seeing his words republished here...
I disagree. For anyone with decent assembler or machine code programming skills, the simplest theory is that they picked up some drives at Best Buy, read out the contents of the PROMs, and modified the code. I spent half my career doing assembly code for supercomputers - I could do this in my sleep and I'm hardly unique. No assistance from the manufacturer required.
But how to get the firmware bug onto the system in the first place? I'd love to hear from people who are more computer-savvy than I...
the simplest theory is that this thing was an inside job.

I disagree. For anyone with decent assembler or machine code programming skills, the simplest theory is that they picked up some drives at Best Buy, read out the contents of the PROMs, and modified the code. I spent half my career doing assembly code for supercomputers - I could do this in my sleep and I'm hardly unique. No assistance from the manufacturer required.
Okay, Prop. How to get the modified code onto the hard drives?

Maybe the malware is injected into a Photoshop torrent, or perhaps a popular free app like Zone Alarm. But a computer owned by an enemy state is not likely to be exposed to that kind of crap.
Intercept the supply chain. It doesn't require the assistance of the manufacturer (although that's always helpful).
>No matter what you do, the malware says "Hello, Fort Meade!" every single time you turn on your system.

No. Whatever is going on here is closer to "Stuxnet: The Next Generation."

To review: Stuxnet was originally designed to make Iranian centrifuges self-destruct. It worked because its creators knew Iran used a particular software program (Siemens SIMATIC S7) to control the centrifuges. Once a Stuxnet-infected Windows computer connected to the centrifuges ran SIMATIC, Stuxnet issued a command to SIMATIC that caused the motors to burn up. It may have done other damage too (the source code has never been released, for obvious reasons) but essentially its lone job was to throw a monkey wrench into a finely tuned machine and it only was expected to work once. If a roomful of expensive, hard-to-get centrifuges all blow up at at the same time you're not going to assume it was a coincidence.

The key point is that several conditions had to be in place for Stuxnet to work. It required the Iranians to be using SIMATIC S7--if Iran had hired a journeyman hardware engineer to handroll their own control software (not that difficult) Stuxnet could not have done any damage. Same if the Iranians were using a non-Windows operating system. And, of course, the Stuxnet worm had to infect a specific computer.

I have no doubt "Stuxdrive" also has multiple components. What we're talking about now is what has been discovered in the hard drive firmware. Like Propertius, I have experience in this field. Thirty years ago I was coding for a PC hardware maker that had a line of printers and scanners. That company was bought by a corp which later merged with another corp. The low-level code on microcontroller chips that actually run such devices is left untouched unless absolutely necessary. If you use Photoshop today to bump up the brightness or contrast on a scanner, for example, your computer might be sending a command to a chip in the scanner with a bit of code I wrote while listening to the Iran-Contra hearings.

For a spook agency to have code on a hard drive microcontroller is analogous to them having a backdoor to SIMATIC. They could have power to do bad things like erasing data or self-destructing the drives and they could make surreptitious copies of data, but that's about it; "Hello, Fort Meade" is out of the question without adding lots of I/O code to the chip, and even then it would work only on particular computer configurations.

What IS possible (even likely, to my mind) is that a conventional malicious worm could exploit any vulnerability that actually exists. Just as Stuxnet destroyed the centrifuges via SIMATIC, a worm could tell your hard disk driver to send their undocumented self-destruct command sequence to the controller chip. Zap! If such a thing is actually possible, don't worry about NSA evil-doers; fear the pimply hacker.

How the covert code found its way into the firmware I can't guess, except to repeat that "legacy" modules are left alone as long as they work. Those of us who were in the industry during the "Y2K" hysteria recall the biggest actual worry was that so many companies no longer had the source code for some of their oldest library files.

Actually, you don't have to intercept the supply chain. Most of the firmware in commodity drives can be reflashed - in fact the manufacturers cheerfully distribute utilities to do this. Here's an example of a not-particularly-talented-but-very-enthusiastic amateur describing how he hacked his own hard drive firmware:

It's really not terribly difficult.
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Boko Haram and the CIA

Last year, we examined the allegation that the CIA had established links with the African Muslim terror group Boko Haram. Why? Because Nigeria has oil and seeks closer ties to Russia and China -- particularly China, which gives Nigeria technical know-how in exchange for much-needed oil. America might be better served if the oil-rich African nation became a failed state, rather than a member of the BRICS alliance.

This Global Research analysis avers that Boko Haram receives funding from jihadist groups quietly (very quietly) linked to American intelligence. I'm not really convinced by this article, but I still consider it worthy of attention.

The same cyber-journal has published a new article by one Julie Lévesque, who carries the argument further.
In May 2014, African Renaissance News published an in-depth report on Boko Haram, wondering whether it could be another CIA covert operation to take control of Nigeria:
[T]he greatest prize for AFRICOM and its goal to plant a PAX AMERICANA in Africa would be when it succeeds in the most strategic African country, NIGERIA. This is where the raging issue of BOKO HARAM and the widely reported prediction by the United States Intelligence Council on the disintegration of Nigeria by 2015 comes into perspective…(Atheling P Reginald Mavengira, “Humanitarian Intervention” in Nigeria: Is the Boko Haram Insurgency Another CIA Covert Operation? Wikileaks, African Renaissance News, May 08, 2014)
A Nigerian group called the Greenwhite Coalition has concluded that Boko Haram has a definitely "spooky" odor. Naomi Wolf came to a similar conclusion.

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