Saturday Morning

Deep Fakes

Disinformation on Steroids: The Threat of Deep Fakes - A decent summary of the issue but this seems out of place in the article, almost like someone wanted to plant a seed of doubt.
Other examples could include deep fake videos depicting an Israeli soldier committing an atrocity against a Palestinian child
.... Also, you don't really need fake video of that. It's happening every day in Gaza. Why go fake when you can have the real thing?

Health Care

The #1 issue for people is health care. The D's need to stop talking about goofy shit like Trump, Russia, Ms Warren's DNA, and just go full healthcare. That is what the people care about

Also,... The R's are lying about their stance on "Pre-existing conditions"

Republican Doublespeak on Health Care Starts at the Top

Fuck the R's,... and the D establishment, fuck the health insurance companies, support... Medicare for All !!


How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hillary? - The easiest way for Hillary to help the D's would be to become a Republican-Teabagger. Fox Propaganda heads would explode.




Supercon Badge is a computer

Buying Them Off

100 Million seems to be the going price for US support.

U.S. got $100 million from Saudi Arabia on the same day Pompeo was in Riyadh - imagine that.

The R's got 100 million from Sheldon Adelson, a one issue guy.... that one issue? Israel.

Also, The US mainstream media is ignoring the Israel-Saudi Arabia de facto alliance.

Health Care

It's a mess [BBC: Healthcare in US: The big election issue that's not Trump]
Ms Daly tells me "nobody" she knows can afford healthcare anymore.

Most patients at this clinic are like Ms Daly - America's working poor, who find themselves with nowhere to go and no money to spend when they fall ill.
We pay way too much.

Vote "Medicare for All" !!



Oppressive Regimes

Saudi Arabia Begins Internal Probe Into Khashoggi Disappearance - I'm sure this will help.


Hitch Hiking

Big Fall

Facebook shareholders back proposal to remove Zuckerberg as chairman - It seems like just a few months ago he was running for President.

The Dollar

How Trump Could Fatally Weaken the Dollar - Another article on Trump weakening the dollar over the long run.


Brazil: the First Republic under threat - It looks like the economy did pretty well under the left-winger Lula (President from 2003-2011). So,.... They lock him up, Lock up his #2 and are now about to get a hard-core military right-winger elected.


Don't vote for anyone who doesn't support "Medicare for All".

The Financial Crisis and the Great Recession
According to Perri (2013), income inequality increased during the Great Recession: Top-earner income declined by 4 percent, median household income declined by 9 percent, and bottom household income decreased by 20 percent (due to a large rise in long-term unemployed members). [link - St. Louis Fed]
I remember right after the market crash the wingers were claiming inequality had improved because the rich lost a lot more in the crash than the poor. I guess that was a bit premature.

The Painting

Soon to be available on velvet, and available in needle-filled parking lots of empty strip-malls all across the Midwest [Link Here].

Really though, With today's radical Republican party, TR, Lincoln, Eisenhower, Ford, and Bush Sr. couldn't get out of the R primaries. They'd die in Iowa.


Fox in the process of transferring the Hillary Hate to Ms. Warren.


Over The Weekend


Why you have (probably) already bought your last car - I don't think so. Maybe your last combustion engine car.

The Truth

The Onion does it better. Trump Administration Urges Saudis To Stick To Killing Random Yemeni Civilians

Trump and the Dollar

The Dollar and its Discontents - Yet another article warning that Trump's bull-in-a-china-shop policies are driving the world away from the dollar.


You can't hide - ‘Everyone Will Be Potentially Identifiable’: Booming DNA Testing Means No Identity Is Hidden on the Web
"Consumer DNA testing -- and the mountain of data it has generated -- has become pervasive enough that it’s possible to identify about six of every 10 people in the U.S. who are of European descent, even if they’ve never given a sample."


Fox fueling the rage against possible D candidates

Israel vs Palestine today

Palestinian woman killed by stone. Haaretz says "stone" another article said "brick". Hard to tell what really happened but it sounds like Israeli "settlers" stoned the car the people were riding in and eventually one stone got through a window and killed the Palestinian woman. I'd like to see a picture of the car. Haaretz

Seven more Palestinians killed by Israeli forces for protesting being locked in an open-air prison.

Israel cuts fuel supplies to Gaza. Haaretz. I think they'd cut off the air to Gaza if they had the ability.


Medicare for All

Bernie in USA Today: Trump lies about 'Medicare for All' and he's made health care worse.
“Trump claims that Medicare for All is not affordable. That is nonsense. What we cannot afford is to continue spending almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other country on Earth. We can’t afford the $28,000 it currently costs to provide health insurance for the average family of four. We can’t afford to have 30 million Americans with no health insurance and even more who are under-insured with high deductibles and high co-payments. We can’t afford to have millions of Americans get sicker than they should, and in some cases die, because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Here is the bottom line: If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States of America cannot do the same.”


Medicare for All

The response to Trumps Medicare for All Op-ed


" .. [the] further up the hierarchy one goes, the longer it takes to identify merit, and so the more chance shysters and bluffers have of thriving."
Also, from Wikipedia ... "The Dilbert principle is a concept in management developed by Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip Dilbert, which states that companies tend to systematically promote incompetent employees to management to get them out of the workflow. The Dilbert principle is inspired by the Peter principle, which holds that employees are promoted based on success in their current position until they reach their "level of incompetence" and are no longer promoted." 


On the guy that owns the Republicans: Sheldon Adelson. He admits he's a one issue guy, Israel but the article drones on about casinos.

I guess he's pumping even more to the R's. From Politico yesterday. Adelson drops tens of millions more to save the GOP Congress


Brazil is looking at a scary future. Imagine the US being run a mix of Trump and this guy.

I guess it's not much worse than the most powerful nation on the planet being headed by this group. 

I wonder who will be responsible for more death and destruction over the next few years?

Also this from the BBC.  Donald Trump and a world of disorder


From Fox Propaganda's front page on 2018-10-12. This alone should end Marc Thiessen's career.

Once were good

Now we're complicit in the the murder of a journalist.


To Wednesday


Brazil’s Bolsonaro-Led Far Right Wins a Victory Far More Sweeping and Dangerous Than Anyone Predicted. Its Lessons Are Global. -  It looks like the far right is set to take over in Brazil.

Using the lame-duck session as way to ram through unpopular agenda items is nothing new in Brazil. While the corrupt, not-so-far right work against the people.

Stripped to its essence, the Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between democracy and an early 21st Century, neofascism, indeed between civilization and barbarism.

American Democracy

Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans
Kavanaugh, though, has a distinct honor: He will be the first justice nominated by someone who lost the popular vote to earn his seat on the bench with support from senators representing less than half of the country while having his nomination opposed by a majority of the country.
Sound's like normal US politics to me.

Israel vs Palestine

Historic Maps of Palestine

Chinese Hardware Hack

It's hard to tell what's going on.

The original story (The Big Hack) sounds scary but doesn't name any sources and mentions motherboards and modifying the OS. It also includes this line about the trade war and tariffs. (This mentions network cards but the story itself claims modifications to motherboards)
The ramifications of the attack continue to play out. The Trump administration has made computer and networking hardware, including motherboards, a focus of its latest round of trade sanctions against China, and White House officials have made it clear they think companies will begin shifting their supply chains to other countries as a result.
The "New Evidence" story,   New Evidence of Hacked Supermicro Hardware Found in U.S. Telecom is not about a modification to a motherboard but of a "network connector" which wouldn't affect the OS.

Also, its source is an ex-Israeli Military intelligence office who can't really be specific due to a non-disclosure agreement. How convenient....
Appleboum previously worked in the technology unit of the Israeli Army Intelligence Corps and is now co-chief executive officer of Sepio Systems in Gaithersburg, Maryland. His firm specializes in hardware security and was hired to scan several large data centers belonging to the telecommunications company. Bloomberg is not identifying the company due to Appleboum’s nondisclosure agreement with the client. Unusual communications from a Supermicro server and a subsequent physical inspection revealed an implant built into the server’s Ethernet connector, a component that's used to attach network cables to the computer, Appleboum said
Meanwhile, all the vendors are basically claiming BS. The Cybersecurity World Is Debating WTF Is Going on With Bloomberg’s Chinese Microchip Stories

So at this point, I'm leaning toward a mostly BS story, planted as sort of an October Surprise using a national security scare to bump up Trump and R's ratings (see this post ), give credence to the trade war with China, and maybe take some computer and network hardware business from China.


October Surprise

With the election approaching, I keeping thinking of this chart.

I don't care about "How Trump Compares" what I care about is that the approval rating for Bush went from about 50% to over 90% on 9-11 and didn't fall back to 50% for almost two years.

Think about that. George W. Bush had approval rating of over 90%, George W. Bush. 

An attack on the homeland will make the US come together around their president no matter how bad he is. 

Again, George W. Bush at over 90%!?  WTF.

Now realize that Trump, our own crazy right-wingers, Trump's Russian associates, and the Israeli Likud party, who interfere in our elections all the time, all know this and want the Rs to stay in power.

What do you think this year's October surprise might be?

What would be most effective for the Rs? Yeah.

In the last week we've had a ricin mailing and a Chinese spying-by-hardware news blips. Both fell from the news cycle pretty quickly but both are stories that could have had an affect on the election.
So,... what's next?

It scares the hell out of me...... 


Since Last Week

Cars and Drivers

1150 HP EV.

Does Uber Kill? The Real Cost of Ride-sharing


Pastor claims that you are robbing God if you are not donating 10%, even if you are in debt - Crooked Bastards, we should tax religion to pay for Medicare-for-All.

The Market

Nice chart here, found at "The Big Picture"


Ralph Nader: Advertising is destroying the Internet - In the early days of the Internet, the big thinkers and anti-government types feared that "government" would be the destroyer of the great, wild and free Internet of the masses.  I've always argued against that, claiming the Capitalism will be the ultimate Internet destroyer. With advertising, pay walls, privacy, tracking, throttling, etc. I think capitalism is in the lead.

Stumbling and Mumbling: THE STATE & PROFITS - Perhaps?
Perhaps instead the point is that capitalism has almost always been dependent upon the state: as William Ashworth’s new book describes, the industrial revolution was the result of an activist government. Free market capitalism is a myth now, and usually has been.

Battling the Scourge of ‘Embalmed Milk’ - The real reasons for government regulation of capitalism have mostly passed from our collective memories.

The Future

The new Silk route on rails - It looks to me like the geography, demographics and Trump economic policies are going to leave the US economically isolated from the better connected Eurasia and African markets.

But..... as long as the dollar is the world's reserve currency we'll be fine..... oops...

Five world powers and Iran agree to set up legal entity to circumvent US sanctions after Trump pullout from 2015 deal.
"In a major snub to the United States, the European Union has decided to set up a new mechanism to enable legal trade with Iran without encountering US sanctions.

The EU will create new payment channels to preserve oil and other business deals with Iran, Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief said late on Monday, in a bid to evade US punitive measures."

... "Mogherini's announcement came after a meeting with foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York"

Israel and Tax Dollars

From the alternate universe where aid to Israel is treated like US social spending.... The GOP senator asks,.... "How are we going to pay for this?"

Found at https://www.debka.com/




It sure looks like the best way to raise approval ratings is to have a terrorist attack.


This scene between Candace Bergen and Hillary Clinton is just one of the many reasons I am very much looking forward to new episodes of Murphy Brown. That's just what the left needs, HRC in the public eye so the right can whip up the rage of the cult.  America is tired of the Clintons. She needs to stay out of the way. I'll never watch the new show.


Good post on The Man In Black. Johnny Cash



Cool Stuff

Found Here


Tariffs: The Trump Tax on the working class.
Here are some notable goods that may become more expensive for American consumers as a result of the tariffs:

Homes and home renovations
Washing machines
Solar panels

Many American companies have already announced that tariffs could force them to raise prices, including Walmart, Gap, Coca-Cola and General Motors. Macy's also expects to be affected, and some Apple products are expected to get more expensive as well, although not its new smartwatch or wireless headphones.
Also this. Trump’s Tariffs on Chinese Imports Are Actually a Tax on the US Middle Class

The World

Judge Kavanaugh has taught me so much about how the world works
I knew that in those rich-kid private schools the teachers decide who goes to which school. I know that, for example, Yale takes a certain number of kids from Choate, and Choate tells Yale which kids will be the best fit. There is a symbiotic relationship. Choate can say they always get kids into Yale. And Yale knows they’ll get the best kids for Yale without having to do much searching.

What I didn’t know was that the most coveted clerkships work the same way. Judge Kavanaugh always takes law students from Yale. The symbiotic relationship there is that Yale can say their students always get great clerkships, and in exchange Yale law professor Amy Chua makes sure Kavanaugh always has a stream of female law school students who look like models. Really. Click that link.

Kavanaugh fed law clerks to Judge Alex Kozinski. That’s part of what made Kavanaugh such a great place to start a law career. Kozinski was famous. For power. But also for harassment. Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, also a Yale law professor and also already under investigation, knew about the harassment. It was common knowledge among Yale faculty.

That feeder system is done. Kozinski was forced to resign. And Chua is on mysterious, emergency medical leave, not even able to write her own emails to the press.

What Brett Kavanaugh Really Learned in High School: Make the Rules, Break the Rules and Prosper
".. the ruling class makes the rules and breaks them and prospers in blameless irresponsibility."

Big Government

Government vs Corporations.
The government isn’t automatically good at doing anything and everything, but neither are corporations. It’s time to bury the myth of government inefficiency. What matters more, anyway, is democracy, whether we have a say in how a public good or service that we all pay for is managed. And corporations certainly aren’t good at that.
Maximum corruption occurs at the intersection of Government and Business. tnb


Sheldon Adelson Sees a Lot to Like in Trump’s Washington
"More than a dozen people who know the Adelsons professionally or personally, some of whom are also friendly with Mr. Trump, said in interviews that the durability of Mr. Adelson’s relationship with the president hinges not on any personal affinity between the two, but on a mutual appreciation for something both men have built their careers on: the transaction"
Bullshit! Their relationship is built on two things.
  1. Adelson giving Trump and the R's boat-loads of money. Probably pushing $100 million over the last couple election cycles.
  2. Trump making policies to help Netanhayu and Israel take Palestine.
When one of these ends, Trump and Adleson won't have a relationship.



Mummified Banana?


A former vice detective is at the center of one of the New York Police Department’s worst scandals in recent years. Here is his story, as uncovered by a team of Times reporters


Gaza children killed by Israeli snipers, air attack


Line of the day.
Yup, nothing says “serious candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination” like “an extremely wealthy white guy whose target audience is people who supported Joe Lieberman in 2004 but wish he had run further to the right.”
from America’s Most Useless Pundit Makes America’s Most Useless Argument 
Buy American, ... politicians that is. Shelden Adelson owns the R's.
 They [the Adelsons] have given $55 million in the last few months to groups dedicated to making sure it stays that way. That makes them not only the largest donors to national Republican electoral efforts in this election cycle, but the biggest spenders on federal elections in all of American politics, according to publicly available campaign finance data.

Big Tech

Amazon's #1 Foe - Scott Galloway - Always fun to listen to


Trump's policies are isolating the US.  Five world powers and Iran agree to set up legal entity to circumvent US sanctions after Trump pullout from 2015 deal. Oh, and why did we cancel the Iran deal? One big reason was Sheldon Adelson wanted it. See Buy American above.


Sunday Morning



Software disenchantment - A good and mostly right-on rant about the state of software.
Look around: our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?
I think we've passed the point where tech and programming were the driving force of the tech revolution and showing the business world how all this computer stuff could make people rich. Now we've reached the point where the business world is driving the process and demanding tech produce at a faster rate. More profits now ! Fuck the quality! The capitalist are in control, there is no time for tech to catch up. The capitalist race to the bottom?  
A side note.... Lack of broadband in large parts of the US amplifies the problem. Try dragging bloated pages, with slow, crappy code across slow, throttled connections. It ain't pretty. 
Also,.... on this
Would you buy a car if it eats 100 liters per 100 kilometers? How about 1000 liters? With computers, we do that all the time.
It wouldn't matter to most people if the liters and the cost to store them were basically free. 


Tariffs vs Taxes - Political Irony: When is a tax not a tax?
How does this differ from a tax? I can’t think of any substantiative difference. If you buy anything from China or other foreign nations, you will be pay what is basically a sales tax to the federal government. Can you imagine the uproar if the government levied a sales tax of 25% on mobile phones, televisions, washing machines, solar panels, and other goods? Well, they have basically done that, and are threatening to tax those things even more.
I'd guess in some cases, tariffs would help home nation businesses more than a tax. Tariffs on large displacement motorcycles in the 80s helped HD survive but I'm not sure it will work like that with Trumps wide-ranging tariffs. 
But like a sales tax, cost to the end consumer will rise and the poor and middle class will be hit harder than the rich.


This Week

Capitalism's race to the bottom

Your wireless carrier is definitely throttling video, but not because of network congestion (Verizon's the worst). More details here: They’re all in on it

Payday Loans Are Coming For Everyone

Deceptive packaging makes it look like you are getting 3 pens, but there's only one in the box


Beto O’Rourke Is Crafting His Own Mythology
Cruz, meanwhile, is still the guy about whom a Republican colleague once said, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” Pretty much everyone in Texas knows who Cruz is, and he isn’t particularly beloved. A recent Emerson College poll found that 44 percent of Texas voters had an unfavorable opinion of him. (This is in a state where he got 57 percent of the vote in 2012.) 
O'Rourke is getting the press and may have a chance but the main story here is that our country is so screwed-up that he is still behind a person as detested as Ted Cruz.

With Supreme Court Decision on Dark Money "We're About to Know a Lot More About Who Is Funding Our Elections - Maybe.... Big Money and Big Power have a way of getting around laws like this.


Rich Folk are nuts -  The $675,000 License Plate


Best healthcare system in the world my ass. These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care - Medicare for all !!