05.31.12

Seussian

Posted in Phlogiston, Predator State at 9:05 am by George Smith

In this country of ours, so proud, strong and free,

We did things and made things the whole world could see.

But times, they have changed, now we needn’t get dirty,

Since Wall Street makes things so many find purty.

Run, don’t walk to this week’s animation by Mark Fiore.

Seussian? I think so.

05.30.12

White, right wing and paranoid — Iowa GOP

Posted in Extremism at 3:29 pm by George Smith

Mark Potok, famous as a scholar of US right-wing extremism and tabulator of domestic hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center, reacted to the proposed Iowa GOP political platform two days ago. It’s a platform fit for the fans of Alex Jones conspiracy Internet radio show, composed by people who reason exactly like Ted Nugent. It is, in two words, bug nuts.

And that’s how Potok calls it. But bug nuts, mean and evil are the mainstream of the modern GOP. Of the two major political parties in the US, it has morphed into a national security threat because of these insane beliefs.

When you cleave to what these people do and your country is the size and throw weight of Romania, it’s of no consequence except to the unfortunates who must live with you. When it’s a country the size and power of the United States and one of the people running for president caters to such hateful rubbish because he’ll go along with anything to appeal to the group, it’s a jaw-dropping threat.

Some bits from the Potok opinion piece:

Dear Iowa,

I used to think you were a pretty straight-ahead place, what with all that flat land and healthy vegetables and honest living. I mean, Iowans rejected slavery 20 years before the Civil War and they approved interracial marriage a century before the U.S. Supreme Court. Homosexuality was decriminalized almost 30 years before the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision did so nationwide. Today, control of the state’s Legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans and, a few characters aside, it is not known for political extremism …

That idea of the state ended for me last week when I read the proposed platform released by the platform committee of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Are you people totally insane?

The platform is absolutely thick with ideas from the extreme right, lunatic conspiracy theories, and barely concealed hatred for President Obama and anything that smacks of multiculturalism. It sneers at science, is down on poor people, and despises, really despises, the United Nations.

Here’s a sampling of the deep-thinking goals of the Iowa GOP:

• Require candidates for president to prove that they are “natural born citizens,” beginning with the 2012 election …

• Reject the “claims” of global warming, which are “based on fraudulent, inaccurate information” and pushed by people using “extremist scare tactics.” The Iowa GOP “recognizes” that policies and laws designed to combat global warming are really “a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away.”

• Eliminate the Federal Reserve Act and implement a “sound commodity-backed currency” with a gold or silver standard …

• Entirely eliminate the departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior, Labor and Commerce, along with the Transportation Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

• Likewise, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment, which legalized the federal income tax …

• Allow parents to refuse to have their children immunized.

• Reject the teaching of multiculturalism.

• Only teach evolution as a theory, along with creationism.

• Repeal compulsory school attendance laws.

• Outlaw pornography …

Oppose the imposition of Shariah, or Islamic religious law, in the United States …

There’s a lot more, all of it as rancid as can be. Near the end Potok concedes there’s so much he can’t cover all of it.

The proposed Republican Party Platform of Iowa is here.

It starts with a boxed out quote from Cicero on ‘the enemy within,’ employed here to argue the nation is being cut down by treason in the highest office:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero
(106-43 B.C.)
‘ Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator

Other excerpts:

We believe human life should be protected from conception to non-intervened natural death, excluding acts of capital punishment.

We affirm that science has now proven that life begins at conception. On day one (1) a baby’s genetic code and DNA are formed. That is the beginning of life.

We call for the Iowa General Assembly to repeal the recently passed “Electric & Plumbing” Bill which takes away an individual’s right to make household repairs. {There is no such prohibition.]

We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum wage laws.

We call for the removal of Kevin Jennings, now head of the United States Office of Safe Schools (Safe School Czar). America’s schools would be safer without him.

We believe that Intelligent Design theory, or Creationism, should be included with all science instruction along with the Darwinian theory … We recommend that tax funded school libraries include creation science or intelligent design materials on their bookshelves.

The use of the Bible as a textbook should be allowed.

We believe the state should prohibit school based health clinics and external organizations from providing or recommending abortion or birth-control services or referrals, including the distribution of condoms … We believe that sex education should not be taught as a mandatory course in public schools …

We believe that sexual orientation should not be allowed to be a basis for any school clubs, such as the Gay Straight Alliance, at any level of the public school system …

We support an amendment to both the U. S. and Iowa constitutions that states that all marriages should be traditional one natural male and one natural female, omitting transgendered …

We favor improvement, strengthening, and simplification of adoption laws, and oppose adoption by homosexuals …

We affirm that desecrating the American or state flags is not constitutionally protected free speech, and should be punished accordingly …

We demand full restoration of 2nd Amendment rights and call for a state law authorizing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms, open or concealed, without a permit …

We demand that the U. S. House of Representatives exercise its constitutional responsibility and duty to impeach activist judges who legislate from the bench. We refuse to surrender to judicial tyranny …

We support the continued use of Guantanamo Prison as long as needed.

We support repealing the smoking ban. We believe this to be an issue of liberty.

We support prison reform including the limitation of prisoner rights and amenities. Inmates should be required to work for their room and board …

We support retribution for acts of war on the citizens of this great nation. It is to be swift and severe …

We call for the continued development of weapons that would give our troops an advantage in battle situations …

We call for the continued deployment of the anti-ballistic-missile defense system and for the updating, retraining, expansion, and reequipping of our nuclear strategic forces. We call for continued research and deployment of strategic missile, rocket, and artillery defense systems. We support the deployment of the newest laser weapon system, recently killed by President Obama …

We believe there should be longer and more hunting seasons to thin the population of deer …

We strongly oppose the diabolical collusion of the United Nations …

We require each duly nominated candidate that won their primary to sign the State platform once passed, and agree with 80% of the planks in order to receive state party funding … [Thus guaranteeing the purity of the crazy.]

It’s stupefying in its sheer awfulness, a mixture of “sovereign citizen” rebellion, Tea Party dogma, John Bircher-ism … it just goes on and on, a frenzy of pet hates collected and written out as a set of party planks. It seems to have been created by and for people with no intelligence or even slight decency, a wish list for persecuting everyone everyone who doesn’t share their various phobias and mental illnesses.

Hat tip to Pine View Farm.

Flame virus — an opportunity to crow about US cyberwar

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:40 pm by George Smith

Robert Windrem used to be a national security affairs journalist who wrote books and did television. He was often very good and twenty years ago I saw him as a brief lecturer at a Knight Fellowship seminar on nuclear proliferation for reporters given at the University of Maryland. (I was a journalist granted a fellowship to attend it.)

But now he’s a much older man. Journalists sometimes don’t age well. Once cutting edge, then out of it and turned to shite when subjects and the times advance.

Today Windrem tackles the Flame virus for MSNBC.

It’s an opportunity to talk with people eager to give the United States credit for it. And to brag some more about how sophisticated and everything else it is:

As the United Nations and Iran warn that the newly discovered Flame computer virus may be the most potent weapon of its kind, U.S. computer security experts tell NBC News that the virus bears the hallmarks of a U.S. cyber espionage operation, specifically that of the super-secret National Security Agency …

“It was U.S.,” said [one anonymous] official, who acknowledged having no first-hand knowledge of how the virus operates or was introduced into the Iranian computers …

U.S. intelligence officials declined to discuss the virus. “We have no comment,” said one …

The virus was first discovered and announced over the weekend by a Russian cybersecurity organization after reports of massive data losses in Iranian government computers …

[I guess you could call Kaspersky Labs a “cybersecurity organization.” No one seems to have informed Windrem that the global corporate anti-virus business has been around for a long time and has a sizable US sales and advertising footprint.]

“From reading press reports, this appears to be penetrating networks to surveil, as opposed to destroy, as was the case with Stuxnet,” said Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counter Terrorism Center and now an NBC News analyst …

If this is indeed a U.S. cyberwarfare operation, said computer security expert Roger Cressey, the target is likely to be Iran’s nuclear program and its decision-making apparatus.

“Whoever has developed this is engaged in very sophisticated intelligence gathering on computer networks throughout the region. Clearly, Iran is a top priority for this program,” said Cressey, former chief of staff of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board under George W. Bush and now an NBC News analyst …

[Roger Cressey is a long-time flunky associate of Richard Clarke’s at Good Harbor although now he is at Booz Allen Hamilton. Both are sources of cyberwar hype because defense against it is a core business operation. Windrem does not disclose this. Notice this is a good gig. You can be a paid “analyst” for a news operation on the same subject as your core business role and the news operation won’t tell the rubes.]

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the work of Kaspersky Labs helped Iran uncover the infection and remove it from the centrifuge control program.

[I’ve emphasized this is a good thing. Vigorous anti-virus company competition in the global industry makes finding and neutralizing state-designed viruses a business asset. So the social good on the Internet is served by messing up, completely terminating or exposing various aspects of cyberwar operations.]

Cybersecurity officials have told NBC News that the [Stuxnet] infection, while heavily publicized, was not as effective in disrupting Iran’s nuclear program as has been portrayed in some media accounts.

And that’s never been a surprise.

One of Windrem’s sources tells him the virus attacks make Iranian officials “paranoid.”

They’ve always been paranoid, though. So making them more so means better?

White, right wing and paranoid spam

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 1:00 pm by George Smith

The prepper/survivalist movement has its own small bottom-feeder businesses not above trying spam-vertising.

The blog filter caught this one today, seed “No liberals or Commies in the bunker” with a backlink.

Our University of Alabama patented solar desalination product uses no electricity, has no filters to replace, can be taken anywhere and extracts pure water from any contaminated water source. It removes radiation, fluoride, salt, pesticides, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants from any water. It aids people to be prepared for disasters.

EMPAct America, the official lobby of the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy, which is also quite obviously hooked into the prepper movment, tried to spam and astro-turf comments sections on the blog, too. Eventually they quit.

Nugent picketed by radio stations in Wisconsin

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 8:03 am by George Smith

Ted’s outbursts this year — the gift that keeps on giving.

He has been noticeably off on the pages of the WaTimes, embarrassed into relative silence over the matters of being visited by the Secret Service, snapping out on network television and being banned from hunting in Alaska over an illegal black bear bagging.

Plus the US Army gave him the boot from a regular gig.

From the wire, the radio boycotters:

There’s been some opposition, to the booking of Ted Nugent to play a couple county fairs in Wisconsin this summer. “The Nuge” is scheduled to play at the Racine and Dodge County Fairs. Jeri Bonavia with Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort says some members contacted her with concerns. “They didn’t think that Ted Nugent was the kinds of performer who should be at family friendly events like county fairs. Given his track record recently of incredibly violent and threatening rhetoric, we agreed with our members completely and started an effort of contacting the county fair officials,” says Bonanvia. “When we didn’t get any response from them, we are now turning to the sponsors.”

Bonavia says it seems fair to ask whether Nugent belongs at the fairs. “In Racine County they have him scheduled for children’s day,” Bonavia notes. “I can’t imagine that there are too many families who would want to oppose their kids to that kind of hate speech.”

Nugent plays the Racine County Fair on July 26th, and the Dodge County Fair on August 15th. “They have a contract with him and they are going to honor that contract,” Bonavia says. “Even though the U.S. Army canceled his performance at Fort Knox, in the wake of some of his particularly violent speech directed at President Obama.”

County fair businesses have reason to be wary of Nugent. He has a history of suing when kicked from a state sage, most infamously the Muskegon (Michigan) Summer Celebration.

Nugent sued the festival for breach of contract in 2008 when it tossed him off a bill for controversial and derogatory comments he made on a radio show.

However, Nugent cannot sue Fort Knox and the US Army, where he was just dumped. It would be way too much bad publicity. Even for someone who often uses it to advance the career, anyway.

In any case, this quote begs repetition:

“In Racine County they have him scheduled for children’s day … I can’t imagine that there are too many families who would want to oppose their kids to that kind of hate speech.”

Well, whatever would make one think Ted’s not quite the guy for ‘children’s day’?

Yes, DD blog is devoted to chronicling the many ways Ted Nugent has made himself a public disgrace this year. It’s easy work.

05.29.12

Gilding the Lily

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 4:42 pm by George Smith

I’ve certain Wired exists only as a groupie publication for high tech arms manufacturing, anyone wealthy in the Silicon Valley, and cybersoldiers. It will infrequently publish articles claiming cyberwar is hyped. Doubtless, this is some kind of sham.

It’s also into misusing the English language through use of humiliatingly exaggerated praise employed to hook readers on the idea that what is being spoken of is always the [DROP IN YOUR BESTEST SINGLE OR DOUBLE ADJECTIVES] SOMETHING EVER!

Today, on the Flame virus, some headlines and bits:

Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers

Dubbed “Flame” by Kaspersky, the malicious code dwarfs Stuxnet in size — the groundbreaking infrastructure-sabotaging malware that is believed to have wreaked havoc on Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010.

Kaspersky Lab is calling it “one of the most complex threats ever discovered.”

“It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity …,”

“It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.”

How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History

No link. Google.

One Wired piece informs:

“Wired senior staff writer Kim Zetter won a feature writing award from the Society for Professional Journalists of Northern California last week for her riveting story on how researchers discovered and dissected Stuxnet, a worm intricately programmed to wreak havoc on an Iranian nuclear facility.

“And in a bit of nice timing, Zetter has officially committed to writing a book, tentatively titled Countdown To Zero Day, expanding on the tale …”

As an organization of professionals, The Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California is somewhat like the Indoor Football League. Only smaller.

Why?

Southern California has the Los Angeles Times, an NFL franchise so to speak.

The Annoying Geek Chronicles

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 1:07 pm by George Smith

The geeks always think computer code will fix everything in the US.

How has it been working so far?

If they keep favoring us with more stupendous app programming and it stays true to form eighty percent of us will be either permanently unemployed or living in workhouses for the poor.

Today’s example of the trite altruistic coding nerd to the rescue bit, one story at Mother Jones on Code for America, an agency that sends 28 year-olds to cities to program apps for websites.

One intelligence-insulting bit:

In Boston last February, there was the big “snowpocalypse.” School buses were stuck, and the school system’s call center was slammed with calls from freaked-out parents. The workers look at a big map showing the location of the buses, which have GPS sensors. But on a huge snow day with hundreds of calls, they can’t get to all of them, and parents are upset. The fellows said, “We can help,” though they’d earlier been told they couldn’t have access to the GPS data. That’s an instinct that we appreciate, but you don’t want your resources stuck doing something a computer could do. [The city relented and the fellows built a website that lets parents track the buses online.]

What happened to calling your kid on the cell phone, stupid? And what about the parents who can’t afford to send their kids to prep schools who don’t have the access or savvy to go to a website.

In any case, I grew up in a country where there was a lot of snowpocalypse. Somehow, having an app to track the buses just wasn’t a pressing need in the Sixties. Everyone survived.

Hey Jen Palka — “whip smart web guru on a mission to change how we relate to city hall” and geeks, more apps as trivial solutions to inconveniences, please.

Viral advertising

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Cyberterrorism at 11:22 am by George Smith

Seen on the beat.

From yesterday:

Discovery of these things [the Flame ‘supervirus’] is good for generating interest and international publicity for anti-virus firms. Therefore they will compete more vigorously in the doing of it. Which is a kind of back-handed benefit because it will stand to more quickly spoil cyberwar and harassment campaigns launched by the military and intelligence agencies of the west.

There are a number of ways to see a boost in anti-virus ads. The first is pre-loaded.

If you went out to Kaspersky Labs to read their press release yesterday and didn’t clear your cache, history and cookies at the end of each session — I do — the Internet will serve you Kaspersky ads if they’re available and the opportunity on a site presents itself.

The second, anti-virus firm makes a logical ad buy for impact as interest peaks in the Flame virus story. And you’re served the ad as part of the new daily fare.

Third — it’s all coincidence.

Always nice to be noticed

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll at 9:49 am by George Smith

The National Anthem merits sharing. Period. It’s concise, accurate, funny and has a snappy rhythm track. It includes Lindsay Lohan, anthraxer Bruce Ivins’
rare vanity country single only to be had here
and Professor Schnitzel. (“I’m a nudist!” and “Everysings all riiiight!”)

“The best startlingly real and truthful electric folk rock song this year!” — Joe Morgansternly, The Weekly National Standard Journal & Politico Review


On a side note: Have you noticed everything the celebrities and chosen few (SNL and television/movie stars slumming at Funny or Die, comic strips at DailyKos chosen by Tom Tomorrow, Bill Maher, etc) is always posted everywhere? But that everyone else not connected to this select network — and there are many — go nowhere. That’s the power of social networking.

Good for the famous in the culture of lickspittle, everyone else, not so much.

05.28.12

Last week BLASTY, this week DRONEY

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle at 9:56 am by George Smith

Large version, unhidden by sidebar.

BLASTY, from the same place.

And this song was still first, better and catchy, too.


Alert readers will have noted the drone assassination campaign in Pakistan accelerated last week.

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