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The Twisted Genius
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Eric, Trump's evangelical base fervently believes in a coming Armageddon and a return of the Messiah. War with Iran would be a righteous step toward those goals. I'll give you that many supported Trump based on his professed intention to withdraw from our foreign wars, but those aren't the evangelicals. Yes, Trump's a BS artist. He lies at a rate not surpassed by any other politician I know, republican or democrat. And yes, the economy is doing well. It's been improving at the same rate for the last eight years. Who is confiscating our guns? Ironically, Obama put more guns in American hands than Trump has. And who is mandating female hormones? If anything, deregulation is increasing the level of female hormones in our food supply. Reparations? Talk about reparations has been around for decades and will probably be around decades from now. No one is confiscating our money for that. You're absolutely right about Tulsi. She is strongly anti-interventionist and strongly progressive in her stated policies. I'd vote for her in a heartbeat.
I agree with your point about vengeance not being a proper basis for nation states to deal with each other. I doubt hot blooded desires for vengeance play into these cyber activities at all... on either side. Sure there are CYBERCOM analysts and operators muttering "them damned Russkies" as I mentioned a few comments ago. I have no doubt those same emotions are felt in Moscow. The bottom line is that professionals are on both sides and those professionals are all unapologetically patriotic. That has little to do with nefariousness or virtuousness.
I can't vouch for any of Menn's work. I'd check out the local library for one of his books first. If you have some time on your hands, I suggest researching the Dark Avenger and Vesselin Bontchev. This was in the first days of computer hacking much like Cliff Stoll's Cuckoo's Egg. I started in those early days teaching myself assembler programming to support a cover of mine. I even wrote a couple of early viruses. I met Bontchev when he was doing research in Hamburg.
This is no more dangerous than recruiting each others intelligence officers and bureaucrats as spies. The reaction of the Russian security official in the RIA Novosti story shows how professionals view these things. It's nothing to get overly excited about. None of us will stop recruiting spies or stop breaking into each other's networks. If you don't believe this, you're hopelessly naive.
I'm not at all convinced Trump's base is against striking Iran. They've been conditioned to think Iran is the source of all evil as have many across the political spectrum. If Trump thought a strike would be enthusiastically cheered by his base in one of his "Triumph of the Will" rallies, he'd be inclined to strike. If he thinks such a strike would produce an uptick in his poll numbers, he may also be inclined to strike. OTOH, he is a bullshit artist full of bluster and bluff. That may be enough to keep him from being stupid in the Gulf.
According to RIA Novosti, a source within the leadership of one of the Russian law enforcement agencies (FSB?) said foreign intelligence services' efforts to penetrate into the transport, banking and energy management systems of Russia have increased over the last few years. The source continued, "However, we manage to neutralize these actions." Rather than getting overly excited about the NYT claim, we should accept that this tit for tat cyber activity is now as normal a part of our world as espionage. At the same time we should stop the silly talk of Russian IO to influence our elections being an act of war. It isn't. It's another way of nations competing with each other. We still need to negotiate and establish some kind of international protocol governing this activity, perhaps something along the lines of UNCLOS III.
Babara Ann, it was common knowledge, then and now, that Iraq had nothing to do with knocking down the WTC. It was al Qaeda. Do you think Trump someone other than al Qaeda?
Liza, I don't know if this story is true, but it tracks with everything I've seen before my retirement. Hacking the power grid has been a holy grail of cybergeeks since the dawn of dial in modems. Until fairly recently, these probes and attacks have been done between Russia and the US quietly with great finesse and a great deal of deniability. I've seen that change with the 2015 attack on the JCS and DOS networks. These attacks were noisy, bold and persistent. These attacks were witnessed by the Dutch AIVD penetration of the hacker's office in Moscow. I also saw how the probably Russian penetration of our classified JWICS and SIPRNET in 2008 affected our cyber people. All those nerds and geeks wanted vengeance. Given these events, I would not be at all surprised if our implantation of destructive tools within the Russian power grid is confirmed. Can the Russians, and others, respond in kind? Sure. However, not every power grid failure is due to a hack. Things break. Operators make mistakes. To assume every glitch whether it be in Venezuela, Argentina or our own Target stores is a mistake. This other war in the shadows has been going on since the days of "The Cuckoo's Egg" and it will only intensify. I think it is imperative that we all maintain our cool and not equate every network attack, power grid failure or information operation with a full on nuclear attack. BTW, I heartedly recommend that book. It describes the nature of the attacker-defender relationship which continues to this day.
J, We worked closely with the Russians when preparing for Y2K. They did a lot of that then. Also prepared for manual control. We do the same things as part of continuity of operations planning. Remember, the Iranian centrifuges were not connected to the internet, either.
Walrus has already started an engaging conversation on this subject. As someone deeply involved in the early development of DoD cyber operations, I wanted to add my two cents from a different angle. I am not as horrified by this... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The French nuclear power industry benefits from standardization, central control and the reprocessing of spent fuel. Although this greatly reduces the amount of radioactive waste needing long term storage, this is still a problem. I don't think the US industry or public would stand for such a socialized, centralized approach. I also don't know how proper reprocessing and long term storage of waste figures into the economic feasibility of nuclear power vs natural gas or renewables.
OTOH, perhaps that tanker already off loaded much of its cargo so those holes could have been at the waterline. However that still doesn't account for the captain's account of an air attack.
I agree with all those here who smell something rotten with the USG line. The captain of the Japanese tanker said he was hit from the air not by a mine. A photo of one of the tankers shows two fairly small holes well above the waterline. Unless there's a bouncing betty sea mine, I'm calling bullshit on that story. Looks like it could be small missiles from a drone like the ones we used to go after individual targets for years.
3D printing sounds like a natural progression from older machining technologies. I see a basic similarity between the Swiss Precision and Brown & Sharpe screw machines I operated before college. The skilled machinists with his micrometer adjusting the cutting tools and cams produced by the toolmaker is largely replaced by CAD/CAM, but the tool maker is still there as far as I know. Somebody builds those printing machines.
Factotum, the RNC would never accept her. Her stance on a range of issues are anathema to Republicans and especially Trump acolytes. She accepts the science of human driven climate change and calls for cutting all subsidies to fossil fuels and moving to an eventual ban on those fuels. She supports universal, government provided health care for all. She calls for free community college. She supports protecting LBGTQ rights, as well as abortion rights. She's called for a ban on assault weapons. She supports DACA, immigration rights and is highly critical of Trump's treatment of asylum seekers. On these issues she is about as progressive as they come. She is best known to us SST correspondents for her antiwar stance. She wants the US to dial back the growing tensions with Russia and China and seek areas of cooperation with those countries. In addition to getting out of Afghanistan and Syria, she calls for withdrawing all support from Saudi Arabia. Gabbard has called that Kingdom a hub of anti-Western extremism. Like Colonel Lang and many others here, I'd back her to the hilt.
begob, Trump didn't cock up the Irish border situation. That is all on the Brits and the EU. All Trump did was make boorish comments about it.
Fred, when did the SJWs take over the Trump administration? I didn't realize that "regional strategy" thing was part of US strategy for months before this agreement. I thought Trump wanted to do just the opposite by cutting aid to the region. Oh well, I'm glad it's there and I hope Trump can come up with a better way of implementing that strategy than what's been done in the past.
Flynn's plea deal required him to plead guilty only for lying to the FBI. The government recommended no jail time. The judge made comments during his last hearing indicating he was still considering jail time. Flynn panicked at that point. I don't blame him. His recent change of lawyers is still puzzling to me. Is he attempting to play hardball at this stage in the game? The perjury charge is small stuff compared to his hidden status as an agent for Turkish interests. Why risk reopening that can of worms? That has the potential of setting him up as Manafort's bunkmate at Rikers.
FkDahl, that is fascinating and well done. I started in the geology department in college. On freshman orientation day, a very eccentric English geology professor took all us prospective geology majors to the top of a hill overlooking the RPI campus, the Hudson River and the hills beyond. He pointed out the evidence of glacial activity and various geological events. He also shared his jug of wine. It was legal for us back then. Even long before that, I marveled at evidence of glacial activity in my hometown. The glacial erratics stood as monuments to prehistory. I traced the gouges made in the bedrock by the glaciers as they moved south to form Long Island. All this has a lot to do with my fascination with this Carolina Bay theory.
The numbers for returned refugees are all over the map. Al Jazeera reports 1.4 million returned to their homes last year. That probably includes internally displaced as well as externally displaced refugees.
A few days ago the Washington Post prominently featured an article chronicling the trials and tribulations of returning Syrian refugees at the hands of Assad’s security forces. —————— Assad urged Syrian refugees to come home. Many are being welcomed with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2019 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The wildest thing I read about octopus lately are their ability to edit their RNA. No one knows how they do it. Is it a conscious decision or just a response to environmental stimuli? “Octopuses and squid have confirmed their reputation as Earth-bound “aliens” with the discovery that they can edit their own genetic instructions.Unlike other animals, cephalopods – the family that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – do not obey the commands of their DNA to the letter. Instead, they sometimes interfere with the code as it is being carried by a molecular “messenger”. This has the effect of diversifying the proteins their cells can produce, leading to some interesting variations. The system may have produced a special kind of evolution based on RNA editing rather than DNA mutations and could be responsible for the complex behaviour and high intelligence seen in cephalopods, some scientists believe.”
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2019 on Octopus are Great! at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Yes. Glenn Wheaton, the founder of HRVG came from that crowd. He was consulted for Jon Ronson's book and the screenplay for the movie. He said he once witness Michael Echanis do something to a goat once that ended in its death. He didn't understand it at all and wasn't part of that stuff. Colonel Dick Potter first told me of the Jedi Warrior Program. He talked about the bio-feedback stuff to allow a sniper to hold a target for extended periods. I haven't seen the movie, but I will now. I hear it's a hoot. You're right about dogs. I wouldn't sell any animal short. How about other life forms? I wouldn't sell an octopus short.
Tidewater, I learned this stuff through an online course taught by the HRVG. I was intrigued by these guys because the guild's founder was a former SF commo sergeant who learned RV through the short lived Jedi Warrior Program tried by the JFK center at Bragg. This was an offshoot of the larger Army/DIA RV program. I only stuck with this for six months or so back in 1999 before I became way too busy at DIA to continue. I like these guys. They're more down to Earth than most others and freely admit there's a lot they don't know.
Harlan, I didn't physically visit and touch the roller coaster with my physical hand. I physically sat in my quiet cellar by the light of a candle lantern and worked my RV protocols. Some part of me visited Coney Island and touched those white washed beams. The protocol for remote viewing I used focuses on sights, sounds, smells, tastes, temperatures and textures in order to first tune in on the target. I only get momentary glimpses/experiences of the target. I then record those momentary experiences before my mind tires to explain it to me. That's the difficult part, keeping the mind from interpreting those experiences within our everyday realm of experiences. If I kept at the study of RV, maybe I could extend those momentary experiences like other RV practitioners can. Like I said, I can't explain how it works. I just know it works.