DANGER AHEAD: Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Cyber threats to world economies is growing daily

DANGER AHEAD:

Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Colonial Pipeline was hit with a devastating ransomware cyberattack in May 2021 that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. The attack forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states and panicking consumers.

By William Jones and D.S. Mitchell

Terrorists. Criminals and Cowboys

The ongoing digitization of all aspects of modern life should be concerning.  Governments world-wide are facing new challenges to keep both business and government secrets private in an increasingly threatening world of cyber criminals, state sponsored terrorists, and cowboy hackers. With increasing online and data usage, government databases have become primary targets for hackers and other cyber terrorists and criminals. Recent events have shaken the U.S. government and citizen confidence. Hackers can compromise data and as Chris Krebs said recently, ransomware attackers are the greatest threat to our digital world. Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020.

Cyber Warfare

Cyber warfare is defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption. It may also include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, private companies, political or ideological extremist groups, criminal organizations, and activists.  Cyber attacks  have been a cause of concern for years, as the frequency of data breaches has increased along with their complexity and (economic, military, and political) implications, including elections and military catastrophe an ever growing possibility.

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“Just Dave” Netanyahu Time To Leave

“Just Dave” Netanyahu Time To Leave

“Just Dave” Netanyahu Time To Leave

An end of an era is approaching. Numerous factions of Israeli political parties have come to an agreement to oust Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu within the next two weeks. The world is holding its breath. Netanyahu and his hard line anti-Palestinian policies have been the face of Israel for at least the last fifteen years. From handsome war hero, to dynamic politician, to accused criminal Bibi has few supporters left. Netanyahu has been clinging desperately to power to also avoid prosecution for multiple corruption charges.  Dave has a rant on this situation, just like most others.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2019/03/12/benjamin-netanyahu/

Israel Appears To Be An Apartheid State

Israel Appears To Be An Apartheid State

The Palestinians are trapped between Hamas and Israel

EDITORIAL:                                                              Israel Is Acting Like An Apartheid State

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

What is Apartheid?

The 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defined apartheid as systematic and institutionally entrenched domination and repression by one racial group over another through “inhumane acts.” Among such acts are:

  1. Arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group
  2. Measures designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups
  3. Forcible transfer
  4. Expropriation of landed property
  5. Denial of the right to leave and to return to their country and the right to a nationality

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Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn

Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn:

Nothing But PR & Energy Politics

By Sonnet Gomes

I was so content with my current tiny investment in Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, till last night. When Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn simply throws me off the edge.

Musk’s Tweet on suspending vehicle purchase using Bitcoin not only struck a boult on me but also my itty-bitty crypto asset. No wonder I was enraged to see the price dropping, and my investment is fading away.

However, it took me a while to come to my senses (thanks to my wife for a late-night Coffee) and realize what is actually going on.

Musk’s Twitter Activity from Last Night

The entire Tweet, I am sure, will amaze almost anyone. Let’s look at a few lines of it first, and then I will dive deep into them.

  • “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel” (O Boy, O Boy! we had no clue about it until the Tweet!)
  • “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future” (So Tesla and SpaceX are not dumping all its crypto assets because they are nothing but energy-guzzler carbon-emitting machines)
  • “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy” (He actually loves Bitcoin and keeping all the digital assets for future use. Wondering what it’s that? Well, the next Bitcoin big selling)

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Alexi Navalny And His Current Situation

Alexi Navalny And His Current Situation

Jones William and D. S. Mitchell

Massive protests 

Alexi Navalny is a pain in Putin’s side.  Allies of the Russian dissident began protests April 21st, 2021, demanding Putin’s most vocal critic receive proper hospital care. People despite government crackdowns on protests showed up in large numbers.  Many supporters believe only mass protests can save Alexi’s life and many people are willing to risk imprisonment and harassment by the police.

Alexi Navalny Today

Alexi Navalny was arrested the day he returned to Russia after being treated in Germany for what appeared to have been a nerve agent poisoning.  During this most recent imprisonment, on March 31st, 2021, Navalny went on a hunger strike, demanding proper medical treatment for loss of sensations in his hands and legs and severe back pain.

Deteriorating

Recent news reports indicate an electrolyte imbalance. His high potassium levels increase his risk for a cardiac arrhythmia. His personal physician pleaded that Navalny should be moved to an intensive care unit because of his deteriorating condition.  Navalny also risks severe renal impairment.  Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said her husband’s weight is down to 167 lbs from 187 lbs when he started the hunger strike at the end of March.

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Russia: Music & The Disaffected Youth

Music in Russia is always under threat by Putin's government

THE OTHER RUSSIA:

Music And The Disaffected Youth

By Trevor K. McNeil

Mother Russia

Russia is a different kind of place. It boasts the world’s largest land mass. It is the only place that stopped an invasion by both  Napoleon and Hitler. It is also one of the most insular nations in the world. Significantly it is a Slavic language. It has it’s own unique alphabet derived from Cyrillic script for Old Church Slavonic. It is also functionally unilingual, the vast majority of Russians, unless they have lived or were educated elsewhere, speak only Russian.

No Discord 

It would be tempting to say “The Russians” in the grand narrative sense, it is however, far more accurate to say the Russian government, which is itself divided and distinct. To the point that there are technically two people in charge at any given time. Quite apart from the political sphere, there is also the everyday civilian dimension in which most people live. While there are certainly many who fall into line with Putin’s way of thinking, either naturally or because they have been swayed by propaganda, there are many who do not. Which really only stands to reason, it being a statistical impossibility that in a country of hundreds of millions that the majority would completely, or even strongly, agree with those in power.

Give Me Music

One of the lesser known aspects of Russian culture is its large and diverse music scene. One of the most popular genres is a modern incarnation of Russian folk music. Some mix it with elements of rock music, like the infectiously catchy and usually upbeat Otava Yo. Others are more traditional like Igor Resteryaev who sticks to accordion and vocals, in a style that can veer from the pensive to the goofy depending on the song.

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Alexi Navalny: Enemy of the Rogue State

Alexi Navalny: A Thorn In Putin’s Side

Putin has political opponents he just doesn't care how he silences them

Alexi Navalny:

ENEMY OF THE ROGUE STATE

By Trevor K. McNeil

 

Rebel Roots

No nation has ever been completely peaceful, no matter what some might like to claim. As though in a self-aware correction to this, some don’t even bother to try and appear civilized, such as the Mongols or the Spartans. Others go through periods of stability, though the next invasion, rebellion, conquest or border war isn’t a matter of if, but when.

On a Reverse Trajectory

One of the main perpetrators of the meat-grinder of Europe was Russia or, as it was known for the majority of the century, the Soviet Union. That doesn’t mean the Czarist period was a picnic, either. Under the czars, someone was always fighting or planning to fight, someone else. Even during the days  of the purges, the threat of being purged surely was enough to make a lot of people angry. Russia, is a direct rebuke to the notion of history progressing in a linear trajectory.  Putin’s Russia more closely resembles 1961 than the first attempts at democratization in 1991. If anything they are moving backwards. Now, as then, there are those opposing the government, often at risk to their lives by way of assassination by the state. One such death-defying rebel is Alexi Navalny.

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Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Little Bit of History Repeating

History is more of a cycle than a straight line. Those who have looked at it closely recognize trends have a tendency to repeat. Themes and progress ebb and flow in the oceans of time. Sadly, there are some areas where the water is darker than others. One such dark spot in the ocean of time is the anti-Chinese sentiment in North America.

An Ill Wind

One of the more damaging aspects of coronavirus, aside from the death toll, is the misinformation being spread about it. One being the Anti-Chinese sentiment, fostered and fueled by President Trump and his surrogates. Attempting to redirect blame from his colossal mismanagement of the pandemic response Trump continues his attacks on China. Our boneheaded and close to illiterate president regularly promotes the idea that the virus “came from China.”

Historical Reference

Did it spread through China first? Yes. Do we know for a fact that it is where the virus originated? Hell no. In fact, the Chinese point an angry finger to the United States military. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is new and poorly understood. The prevailing theory is that the original carrier was a bat. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but bats fly. Over a fair bit of distance. As a historical reminder the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic did not originate in Spain, but rather Kansas and was spread by American soldiers.  Not that it matters anyway. The country of origin not nearly as important as how to stop the spread of SARS CoV-2 and cure the disease among those who contract it.

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OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

I read some place when you hire a clown, expect a circus..

An unidentified, but very clever person declared, “when you hire a clown, expect a circus.”

OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Question of Leadership.

Many American presidents have faced great obstacles. To their credit, most have risen to the occasion with some degree of grace and intelligence befitting the office. Most of the catastrophes have been military-and at times self-inflicted, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s half-cocked 1898 invasion of Spanish controlled Cuba. “Remember the Maine!” More recently, terrorism has been the challenge. After 9/11, somehow overnight, George W. Bush became a military genius. That genius led us into an unending conflict in the Middle East. Though, to his credit, he did better than most would have expected. Ulysses S. Grant, not widely known for his intelligence, statesmanship, or sobriety did attempt to rebuild the nation after the terror of the Civil War, and as expected, failed abysmally.

Guns and Ammo

Woodrow Wilson was fighting two wars, one against the Germans and one against the Spanish Flu.

Woodrow Wilson faced two enemies during WWI; the Germans and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Sadly, Woodrow Wilson, simultaneously facing World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic resorted to lies and misinformation to tamper down public fears. God forbid anyone stop the production of guns and ammunition.  The 1918 experience of a rapidly spreading virus, and a government unprepared for the challenge, should be an eye opener. The COVID-19 outbreak has been compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic. If that proves correct we could be on the brink of total disaster. In fact, Wilson’s public response to Spanish Flu may prove sterling in comparison to Trump’s Coronavirus press briefings.

Wishful Thinking

In the case of president Trump, the lies come so fast and furious it is often hard to separate intent from stupidity. In an instance of whimsical optimism unseen outside of a Peter Pan production, Trump publicly suggested people should just “go to work”, and it will all miraculously “just go away.” Reporting indicates Trump was warned in early December 2019 that COVID-19 was as serious as it gets, and was headed like an armed missile directly at us.

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