05.19.11

Reviewing digital badness and the exploitation of suckers

Posted in Cyberterrorism at 3:47 pm by George Smith

From PC World, the methods makers of malicious software use to set up targets haven’t changed in twenty years:

So increasingly, instead of hacking the browsers themselves, the bad guys try to hack the people using them. It’s called social engineering, and it’s a big problem these days. “The attackers have figured out that it’s not that hard to get users to download Trojans,” said Alex Stamos, a founding partner with Isec Partners, a security consultancy that’s often called in to clean up the mess after companies have been hacked.

Social engineering is how the Koobface virus spreads on Facebook. Users get a message from a friend telling them to go and view a video. When they click on the link, they’re then told that they need to download some sort of video playing software in order to watch. That software is actually a malicious program.

Me, from the Village Voice, recounting what was procedure in the early Nineties:

In 1992 I finished programming a computer virus called Heevahava using a colorful tool called the Virus Creation Lab. Heevahava was a Pennsylvania Dutch word for the person who held the bull’s johnson when it was time to collect semen. A heevahava was a dolt and a rube, someone to put at a disadvantage and the virus was published in the Crypt Newsletter, an e-zine I wrote devoted to probing the world of computer viruses …

For a few years in the early ’90s, the Crypt Newsletter published a stream of frequently brutish and malicious programs. Anyone could reconstitute them, easy as powdered milk. Through Crypt, I gathered experience in the applications of digitized badness and gained an ability to see it in the work of others, whether that of teenagers out for kicks or businessmen grasping at ways to retaliate against kids thought to be stealing the company’s music. Crypt knew the textures and flavors of rotten in the machine world. It published a virtual landmine based on a useful program, only overturned and corrupted to harshly prune the directory tree of a disk. Booby traps were written to show filth to moochers of porn while, in the background, the machine was being fouled. Viruses multiplied slowly and, when finished, either displayed vulgar quotes, logged keystrokes, or played idiotic music.

The Heevahava, dumb as it was, mocked the infected by associating them with its name. In one version, it obstructed efforts to unravel its instructions. In other words, it was managing its digital rights, a copy-protected Heevahava. Face-to-face, an anti-virus software programmer threatened to punch me in the mouth at a security convention because the protection had taken him hours to dissect, time he wished to spend with his family.

You could always gets people to run malicious programs by offering them free stuff. Back then the enticements were mostly pornography and pirated software.

Now it’s disguised as free video software player applications. Or bad code shoved at you when you’re surfing link aggregating sites looking for some rip of a CD you want for free.

Not that different from conning people with the lure of viewing free dirty pictures, which, by the way are still big.

One piece of malicious software I’d written for the Crypt Newsletter around ’93 or so searched through your applications and made copies of itself under the same name. When you typed or clicked on the name of the program to run, this was under MS-DOS, the malicious software ran first and went out looking for another one of your programs to turn into a zombie. Then it passed control to the program you actually had wanted to execute. This happened so fast users didn’t notice.

When the virus had mimicked every program on the disk it halted operation of all your legitimate programs and played the previously cited “idiotic music” over the PC speaker.

It was a diagnostic point, in a manner of speaking. An acquaintance of mine in the computer underground had been called to one local victim’s house and recognized the infection. He phoned and asked me to listen to the music playing in the background.

At which point he asked if I could tell him to remove it over the telephone. Fifteen minutes later the computer had been cleared.

Back then, the people who were actually getting infected were almost always boys and young men, often still living at home and using the family PC — a luxury. They were frequently reluctant to tell Dad or Mom just how the computer got crashed.

Good times, good times.

Anything to keep the war-footing going

Posted in Made in China at 2:47 pm by George Smith

Reader C sends in an item, another Associated Press piece concerning the popular meme of Chinese military modernization. AND WHAT WE MUST/WILL DO TO COUNTER IT.

The US already spends more than ten times what the Chinese do in this area. And China’s military, partly as a result, is anywhere from ten to twenty years behind us in capability.

While we have forfeited all domestic non-military manufacturing to that country — with Wall Street and big American multi-national business leading the push, such is not the case with protected arms manufacturing.

Which only makes this Associated Press story and the people in it seem more wicked and insane:

The U.S. is developing aircraft carrier-based drones that could provide a crucial edge as it tries to counter China’s military rise.

American officials have been tightlipped about where the unmanned armed planes might be used, but a top Navy officer has told The Associated Press that some would likely be deployed in Asia …

“Chinese military modernization is the major long-term threat that the U.S. must prepare for in the Asia-Pacific region, and robotic vehicles — aerial and subsurface — are increasingly critical to countering that potential threat,” said Patrick Cronin, a senior analyst with the Washington-based Center for New American Security …

The DF 21D “carrier killer” missile is designed for launch from land with enough accuracy to hit a moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers). Though still unproven — and some analysts say overrated — no other country has such a weapon…

Northrop Grumman has a six-year, $635.8 million contract to develop two of the planes, with more acquisitions expected if they work. A prototype of its X-47B took a maiden 29-minute flight in February at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Initial testing on carriers is planned for 2013.

Other makers including Boeing and Lockheed are also in the game. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. — the maker of the Predator drones used in the Afghan war — carried out wind tunnel tests in February. Spokeswoman Kimberly Kasitz said it was too early to divulge further details.

The news agency produced one, that’s one, China expert to be the skeptic. The man mentioned he doubted China would attack a US aircraft carrier and start a war, for very obvious reasons.

It would screw-up trade and lose their biggest buyer. The trade imbalance would drop to zero and economic calamity would envelop the working class in both countries.

I’ve written about this off and on — mostly the absurdity of it.

In 2011 you can put stuff up at national security information/think tanks, as I did here at GlobalSecurity.Org, and it does no good at all.

There is no serious argument other than cosmetic nibbling around the edges on whether or not military contractors and the Pentagon need
to be reigned in. The total absence of reasonable thinking, replaced by just more sales pitches, fearmongering and arms development, has become so overwhelming that such discussions have been effectively outlawed.

It’s laughable.

Here’s part of what I wrote:

[After the war starts the] middle class sees all US stores run out of stock of sundries. Wal-Mart, Target (and every giant box store like them), BestBiuy, all hardware stores, all consumer electronic stores, Bed/Bath & Beyond, sporting goods shops — all crash and go bankrupt. Salvation Army outlets become the sole garment distribution centers for the entire country …

Unemployment becomes massive and all-encompassing; a new recession to make the Great Recession look small ensues. People watch video of our bombers methodically destroying China’s military for a month. In fact, the military is the only place where employment is stable. After two months, television watching stops too as cable is disconnected for non-payment.

In the next election, every incumbent — from top to bottom — is voted out of office.

[Of course, faced with loss of its major buyer massive unemployment spreads to China, destabilizing that country. Just while the muscle-bound US military destroys every scrap of that nation’s hardware. A new world Dark Age is ushered in.]

In e-mail, reader C commented acerbically:

It seems that the shiny heads at the Pentagon have figured out a way to keep military spending going–by re-inventing the Cold War …

An unmanned fleet of stealth bombers? I shudder to think of the ramifications. Besides, China probably has the technology already, but not the will.

I can see a future with these weapons-by-proxy where *all* casualties of war are civilian.

Walmart laments beggaring its US customers (not really)

Posted in Made in China, Permanent Fail at 12:32 pm by George Smith

This item was to laugh yesterday — a Wal-mart CEO bemoaning the fact that the customers of the sundry goods megastore chain weren’t spending.

Having led the charge to Chinese-made goods and subsequent forfeiture of American jobs and wage compression, there’s a lethal irony in a US multinational company unselfconsciously expressing regret over diminished profits because its US middle class customer has been beggared.

From CNN:

Wal-Mart reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue Tuesday, although its U.S. store sales continued to decline as higher gas, energy and food prices ate away at its customers’ paychecks.

“Our core U.S. customers are stretched. They are concerned about rising gas, food prices and employment issues,” Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said …

Last month, Duke told an industry gathering that Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and that the retailer is worried.

Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said.

As their budgets get more stretched, Wal-Mart shoppers are also changing their buying habits, picking up more groceries and household goods — such as detergent and paper towels — while cutting back on non-essential items such as clothing and home furnishings.

Which are all made in China although they may be US company branded.

Like its competitor Target, Wal-mart has greatly expanded its role as a supermarket, both companies realizing people must eat. And that the government foodstamp subsidy is a revenue stream to be mined more thoroughly.

If you had a button to push that would silently annihilate these people you’d use it.

China to be Wall Street’s next victim? Hmmm

Posted in Made in China at 10:15 am by George Smith

From Taibbi:

A lot of people aren’t aware of the role Wall Street investment banks had in moving American jobs overseas. Most of the major bailout recipients, in fact, helped finance the wholesale export of the American manufacturing sector by lending money to the Chinese to build the sophisticated industrial infrastructure it needed to take full advantage of its inexhaustible supply of cheap pseudo-slave labor. This has been one of Bernie Sanders’s pet peeves for years, that we not only provide financial assistance to companies who lay off American workers, we even spend taxpayer money to help finance the disappearance of American jobs.

The Rolling Stone jourmalist quotes a Forbes article in which the writer asks, “What’s the next Goldman lemon trade?”

China is the answer. Goldman pumped up dodgy Chinese manufacturing assets and now it may be getting ready to dump them.

Maybe. Won’t help make things any better here. It would, however, maim big American companies that outsourced industrialization to those assets.

Creepy Mean Old Man TV — Nugent on CNN

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 9:13 am by George Smith

Ted Nugent was granted an hour with Piers Morgan on CNN last night.

A reader tipped me. But the results were still grim as one might expect.

Some points to Morgan for trying to employ critical questioning and, as the interview wore on, showing that he politely but visibly detested his guest.

Some parts of it (the full transcript is here):

MORGAN: You gave an interview to some guy on a BBC show.

NUGENT: Boy, did they need me there, huh?

MORGAN: And just to describe how you thought went with this British interview, you said they sent this young limey prick who pretended to be my friend. He tried to — with me on all these political correct levels. I gutted him. I danced on his skull.

NUGENT: But before I gutted him —

MORGAN: Will you dance on my skull, Ted?


Then there’s the regular GOP/Ted meme of shitting on people on foodstamps because they’re leeches.

NUGENT: Well, safety nets. Welfare for example. Welfare isn’t just about helping the needy anymore. Welfare is now about rewarding people who take advantage of the corruption and the abuse of that condition.

That’s more widespread than actual needy people getting help. I mean I don’t know how often you shop around this country, or how often you hang out with people around this country. But it is not like the president said.

The America he doesn’t know that people are using food stamps for something other than good nutrition. You gotta be kidding me. We got a bunch of idiots out there that are absolutely raping and pillaging an otherwise positive humanitarian system.

MORGAN: Well, I admire the passion you bring. I don’t have a problem with people having opinions. Even if I don’t agree with some of them.

My issue about you and the welfare thing is it showed — to me it showed no sense of compassion for people who have genuine problems. Who genuinely need it.

NUGENT: Well, you see —

MORGAN: Your judgment, if you don’t mind me saying, is all encompassing. All sweeping. You think they’re all on the fiddle.


MORGAN: Well, you’re very — you’re very, very pro the troops. I get that. But you yourself, I mean you dodged the draft.

NUGENT: No. Now, see, I’m glad we’re here on the Piers Morgan show to set that straight for the 10 million —

MORGAN: Set the record straight.

NUGENT: No, did I not dodge the draft. I was 17, and I was a clueless idiot, which most 17s qualify. I bet you were —

MORGAN: I was quite suave.

NUGENT: Being that as it may, no, I was enrolled in Oakland Community College. And I had a one-wide deferment. Did I register — I registered. Did I volunteer? No. Should I have? Yes.

MORGAN: Do you regret that?

NUGENT: You know, I do regret it on one level. On the most important, fundamental level, is that I have a duty to earn this experiments in we the people self-government. And I’ve spent my time and I’ve intentionally put myself in harm’s way going over to Iraq and Afghanistan, right into hell zones of unnamed trenches in Afghanistan danger zones, I do —

MORGAN: Is part of that a guilt thing on your part?

Ted then spent some time complaining and denying it’s a guilt thing. Morgan wouldn’t have it so Ted called him a bastard.


Ted is revealed as a closet birther.

MORGAN: Did you agree with [Trump] about the birther issue?

NUGENT: You know, I agree that we should be able to demand evidence and I, like he and many others, I had not seen the official document. And I think we the people should be able to demand of our elected officials —

MORGAN: Have you seen Sarah Palin’s?

NUGENT: I have not seen — but she’s not president.

MORGAN: Why aren’t you demanding to see hers?

NUGENT: If she runs for president I would.

MORGAN: Yes, but some say that the only reason people wanted to see Obama’s was because he’s an African-American.

NUGENT: And isn’t that offensive? Isn’t that pathetic that they have to reduce it to a race issue? That is the most evil, rotten, soulless condition in America that as soon as you disagree with someone of a different color, that the racist accusations fly. That is soulless, inaccurate, and wrong.

MORGAN: Fine. Have you ever asked to see the birth certificate of any other president or presidential candidate?

NUGENT: No, I haven’t.

MORGAN: Why not?

NUGENT: I was never active enough in politics —

It continues, Ted seeming to realize he’s been backed into looking foolish. At one point he suggests a “government panel” to review birth credentials before petering out.


NUGENT: So I admire Sarah Palin across the board. Great woman, perfect American.

MORGAN: Other than that, you’re quite keen on that?

NUGENT: Other than that what?

MORGAN: You’re quite keen on that?

NUGENT: Yes, I’m keen on that. Plus, she’s so good looking.

Nugent said this with an obvious leer which prompted the next response from Morgan and a commercial break.

MORGAN: I need a break after that quite nauseating tidbit. So we’ll have a short break.

NUGENT: You’re damn right we need a break.


Next, Morgan makes Nugent squirm over his constant gay-baiting.

MORGAN: When we come back, we’re going to talk to you about homophobia. That should fire you up a bit.

NUGENT: I’m sorry to hear you’re having that problem. I can help you with that. I’m gay.

CNN the aired a video of Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers pressed into providing a public service announcement in which they vow their respect for others.

NUGENT: Amen. I like that. We’re all in this together.

MORGAN: Well, yes, except that Kobe Bryant was fined 100,000 dollars for using a gay slur during a Lakers’ game. And Ted, you wrote a piece after and I’m going to read what you said here. You said that homosexuals are the most protected class of people in America.

And you said, and I quote, “The NBA should hold homosexual night during halftime and homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands, prance around the court to music by The Village People.” You also said that homosexuality was morally wrong.

NUGENT: Do you have a problem with that?

MORGAN: That’s claptrap.

NUGENT: That’s like Clapton trap. No, let’s put it this way. If you’re gay, have a nice day. I could give a rat’s ass. I don’t —

MORGAN: Are you homophobic?

NUGENT: Not at all, no.

MORGAN: Would you be happy if one of your —

NUGENT: I’m heterophiliac.

MORGAN: What’s a heterophiliac?

NUGENT: It means I’m hopelessly addicted to women — woman. [As someone notorious for his unfaithfulness, note Ted’s Freudian slip.]

MORGAN: Right. If one of your children came up and say, Dad, I’m gay. How would you react to that?

NUGENT: I’d say, get the gun, let’s go kill a deer. Inconsequential.

MORGAN: You wouldn’t mind morally?

NUGENT: Not at all. I am repulsed at the concept of man on man sex. I think it’s against nature. I think it’s strange as hell. But if that’s what you are, I love you.

MORGAN: But do you believe it’s morally wrong? You have suggested that before.

NUGENT: You know, I’m not going to judge another’s morals.

MORGAN: You judge people all the time.


In the next segment Nugent began making nonsensical arguments comparing the outlawing of guns to the outlawing of water. Morgan subsequently mocked him and the conversation degenerated even further.

MORGAN: What is a quaint old thing where if there aren’t any guns nobody gets shot?

NUGENT: And if there isn’t any water, no one will drown. I tell you what. You work on the guns and stop the government. I’ll work on the water so no one drowns anymore. I’ll see you at noon.

MORGAN: You’re right. Wait.

NUGENT: It’s impossible.

MORGAN: If there is no water, nobody does drown.

NUGENT: Wow! All right. Then let’s ban water, Piers.

MORGAN: No sunshine, nobody gets sunburned.

NUGENT: You’re weird. That’s impossible.

MORGAN: I’m not weird.

NUGENT: You can’t ban water and you can’t ban guns. Can’t do it.

MORGAN: Why would you ban water?

NUGENT: To stop the drownings. We want the poor, fat children to float.

MORGAN: Now you’re just be facetious.

NUGENT: No, I’m being absolutely — if you can ban guns, I’ll ban water. If you can get rid of guns, I’ll get rid of water.

Through it all, Nugent never seemed to realize how he’d been made the fool.

There was another moment worth repeating, not included in the transcript, in which Ted tried to pass himself off as a certified policeman. Ted was, he said, a “cop” who’d gone on countless arrests as well as operations with military men.

Sort of like reality TV one guesses, only the cameramen and hosts don’t consider themselves part of the police force or military, only ride alongs or embeds.


One of the features of Ted’s regular summer tours through the rib shacks, casinos and brokedown old ballrooms of the heartland are the articles on him which appear in local newspapers and the alti-weeklies.

In entertainment and music journalism most writers have chosen to always portray him as an intelligent political activist from the right, if slightly idiosyncratic.

As the CNN interview showed, and as everyone who reads this blog knows, Ted is not a person one would use the word “intelligent” on loosely. And he is unfailingly profane.

If the interviewer asks questions Ted doesn’t like he can be counted on to try and change the subject. If that fails his fallback plan is always slurs and non sequiturs.

05.18.11

More of the same old rubbish

Posted in Cyberterrorism, Permanent Fail at 8:43 am by George Smith

Nothing changes. The rest of the world, and much of our own, is always to be threatened with force.

From “Obama Reserves Right to Nuke Hackers”:

President Barack Obama’s “International Strategy for Cyberspace,” released late Monday (May 16), is a forward-thinking document in many ways …

But in one part, it’s eerily like “Dr. Strangelove.” It states that America reserves the right to counter a cyberattack by any means necessary, including unrestrained military force …

That’s the legacy of the last 10 years,” [I told the publication]. “And to the world at large, it’s viewed as a nation that sees every potential problem as a nail to be hit with the hammer of the military and/or security contractors.”

There’s more, of course.


From a few years ago, on how we should get into cyber-carpet bombing.

05.17.11

Creepy Old White Guy Masters of Universe Video

Posted in Rock 'n' Roll at 8:50 pm by George Smith

It needed doing. Assembled found YouTube situational video for “Cursing the Oil Men.”

From the trenches back in Pennsylvania, a reader e-mailed:

[The] motherfuckers deserve to have a gas nozzle down their throats …Thankfully we’re holding steady here at 3.79–still my gasoline bill is approaching or surpassing my rent and medical insurance monthly bills.

Convenient heavy lifting by CNN.

There are many furious dog videos on YouTube. I needed someone who looked the most furious, the gold medalist of canine rage. You shan’t want to miss the guest appearances — better than any home videos of angry men.

Gear for classic rock music: Adrenalinn III.

I Think It’s Time (Again) for a Carla Sandwich

Posted in Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 2:43 pm by George Smith


Good news, lads! Good news! We had this old song just waiting for news like this.


UPDATED

From the LA Times, on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s problem with other women and a child born out of wedlock:

“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement to The Times.

Although most of the online ribbing delivered through Twitter and blogs have poked fun at Schwarzenegger through lines he spoke in blockbuster films …

DD had a song for that in 2005. Posted to the Highway Kings bio page in March of that year, it was in response to news — again from the LA Times — on Arnold’s escapades as a serial sexual harasser of women on the sets of his blockbuster movies.

For that he was nicknamed the Gropinator. The story, which was published before his election, didn’t have much effect although it went nationwide and spawned many many jokes. Schwarzenegger became the Governator.

I Think We Should Make a Carla Sandwich — by DD under the nom de plume, Arnold & the Gropinators, is here.

It comes from material originally published in the Los Angeles Times, concerning Schwarzenegger and a woman named “Carla:”

[The song] is taken from a description in the The Times of an alleged movie set incident in which Schwarzenegger and his stand-in trapped [a stand-in named Carla] next to a food service table. Schwarzenegger supposedly said: ‘I think we should make a Carla sandwich,’ and the men squeezed her between them. After they released [the woman] … Schwarzenegger stuck his tongue in her mouth.”

Wunderbar! Everything old is new again for a few minutes!

“I vould like to vork you out! Your ass feels to me very stout!”

Arnold’s vocal contributions originally taken from prank telephone call sites.


Arnold’s election as governor of California came about as a consequence of something now dreadfully familiar in American elections: The voting public’s rage winding up misdirected into electing someone who becomes observably much worse than the person replaced.

In California the voters were enraged with bland Gray Davis. The budget was a mess and Schwarzenegger showed up, promising the public he’d take the Terminator to Sacramento and beat the government into line with a broom.

He also ran on repealing and refuning the “car tax.” No joke. And this appealed to the reactionary California voter.

Yeah! We wanted our trivial car tax refund from the state! And we got it!

With one of his first act’s as the governor Schwarzenegger made the budget deficit far worse than it had been. And as the state’s public sector economy continued to crater in the coming years his fellow Republicans, always in the minority, blocked all attempts to fix it because of the state law that requires a supermajority to pass any tax/budget legislation.

I explained it back then on the DD bio page:

The Gropinators [explained] the politics behind the big man’s success, using rock and roll. Our leader’s election came not through reasoned judgment, but a good old angry and mentally ill snapout, a desire of the polity to strike, to lash out, to schlag — someone in government. We weren’t going to take it! Take what? Who cares? But someone, like Gray Davis, had to be made to pay and Arnold was the benefactor. Lyric: You sent him to Sac-ra-men-to; No rotten car tax, no, no! We sent ‘im to Sac-ra-men-to; We’re not gonna take it, no, no! Arghhh! Danger! Get out of the way, we might have to hit you.

This defines the instability of US government. In bad times, and we got them in spades, the people turn ugly. Instead of relying on thought when they need it most, they just take the fist to those in office even if the alternative is worse. When the poisoned product of their rage arrives, everyone suffers belated buyer’s remorse.

It is not new.

Rubs vaseline into his hair every morning

Posted in Extremism at 1:22 pm by George Smith

Excerpt from Paul Ryan’s recent big idea statement, noted here for only two things.

First, the collapse into Ayn Rand repackaged for — hmmm — an audience that’s disintegrating:

This sets up a debate in which we are really just arguing over who to hurt and how best to manage the decline of our nation. [Which is precisely his gig.]

To begin with, chasing ever-higher spending with ever-higher tax rates will decrease the number of makers in society and increase the number of takers. Able-bodied Americans will be discouraged from working and lulled into lives of complacency and dependency.

Makers and takers. The supermen and all the rest of us parasites.

However, that’s small potatoes.

The worst part exposes Ryan as an asshole beyond compare:

Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers.

Anyone who knows one elderly person well knows the last thing to put upon them as they enter the part of their lives characterized by medical issues (often disastrous) is more challenge.

“[The] power to deny business to inefficient providers]” is a line only a fiend could invent.

Yes, old, weakened and frequently sick old people want nothing more than worthless vouchers and having to wrestle with the insurance industry.

Just when their mental faculties ebb, their ability to read and interpret documents purposely made unclear and confusing dims, when they have trouble getting to the telephone much less wading through computerized corporate menus in hopes of getting a human being — that’s just when they want to wield the power of the free market to “deny business to inefficient providers.”

Why, all the insurance companies will just drop right into line at the threat of it.

Paul Ryan looks every part the slippery fellow who rubs grease and black dye into his hair every morning.

Happily he’s been castigated, refuted and insulted by economists like Paul Krugman enough that he’s severely damaged goods.

By the middle of next week Ted Nugent will still be a fan, though.

Picking through bin Laden’s nose gold

Posted in War On Terror at 9:44 am by George Smith

Over the weekend the exploitation of bin Laden’s pathetic wordly possessions and idiot notes degenerated into comment on his porn habit.

But not before but the Ford F-150 of death back in the news. As a cover story for Inspire, critical thinkers saw it as an example of the chaff that’s passed off as wheat among the current terror legion.

However, that doesn’t include the counter-terror industry and its attached media fuglemen. They always wind up telling the clueless how it demonstrates the growing ingenuity of al Qaeda.

Thoreau at UO had this post on bin Laden worrying about whether or not the people putting together Inspire were lamers, not quite doing the cause a solid, instead just scaring people witless.

Here’s the conclusion: If you’re in your crumbling secret mansion mulling over whether a stupid vanity-published magazine is portraying the right image of the organization, you’ve become the lamer. Maybe still a bit dangerous but not what you once were. Not by a long shot.

And UO makes sport of it, too.

The revival of this clap-trap came courtesy of ProPublica. PP was a grand plan to offer an alternative to crumbling newspaper journalism. In practice, it’s just turned into an outlet where journalists from the big newspapers can go to die.

Less harshly, think of it as a kinda cheap but pleasant pasture for once great but now retired race horses.

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