Shooting of Republican Congressional Baseball Practice

Looks like the Hysterical Left has resorted to violence in the shooting today in Virginia

This is “rapidly evolving” and the police briefing was very short on facts.

1 shooter in custody. Some unknown number of police injured. 5 transported via ambulance. 1 congressman (Steve Scalise, Republican House Whip) in hospital and surgery, prognosis for full recovery ATM.

As it was a Republican practice and the shooter asked who was practicing, it is pretty clear it was partisan.

I’m very surprised that with the number of congress members involved they didn’t have stronger security. An interview with one of the congressmen (Ohio?) who was on the field where the shooting was happening, said many took shelter in the 1st base dugout and a security officer started shooting back (toward the 3rd base dugout) and that it “wasn’t a fair fight” when you have “pistols against a rifle”. Even local police now carry AR-15 rifles in their vehicles and high end security details have bullpup auto Personal Defense Weapons under their coats; so a few brave officers with pistols seems light to me. Then again, it was early in the news cycle and the perp got taken down fairly quickly, all things considered.

A “man on the street” interview with a person watching from a gym across from it all said the perp had an AK like rifle “with a curved magazine”.

Of course, the Democrats are already calling for “gun control” ( Virginia Governor said there were “93 million” lost to gun violence each day in America… did it a few times before being corrected to “93” no million…) and of course little Chucky Schumer the camera hound was in front of one as soon as possible. (I don’t know he ranted on gun control, but he always does. I changed the channel as soon as his face hit the screen…)

So look for The Usual demands that individual constitutional rights be removed. Never mind that it was an assault on Republicans from The Progressive Left.

Watch out for copy cat shootings, and probably a good time to avoid high profile behaviours and events.

Figuring one congressman, one shooter, and a couple of cops injured, that leaves one additional injured TBD.

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Indulging A Fantasy Conspiracy Theory

This posting is very out of character for me, and breaks some of my own rules. Then again, it is good to get out of your usual character from time to time, and rules are only interesting if you find out their actual utility by seeing what happens when they are broken some times.

I generally do a “put down” on any “conspiracy theory”. Simply because they typically can not be proven, are full of fantasy bits, have little relationship to objective reality, and are generally driven by some strong agenda and not by a dispassionate examination of the known facts.

I also generally avoid “making stuff up” when there is real data from that objective reality to work with.

In this posting I’m going to indulge, shall we call it “fantasy facts”? Things that “fit”, and very well might be, but for which the only evidence is a fantasy.

In this posting I’m going to present a “Conspiracy Theory”. Pure and simple.

Why? Well, some times an interesting idea grabs hold of you by the fancy and won’t let go. This is the stuff that interesting novels are made of, and it is a valuable art form…

So unlike the usual “Data, analysis, conclusions”, I’m going to do “Given this conclusion what assumptions can we draw?”.

The Setup

One of my favorite movies is “3 Days of the Condor”. A plot based on the idea of an international conspiracy to control oil, and reaching high into the ranks of Government. Even controlling agents inside the C.I.A. There is a sub-plot of assassination, and another of romance.

This fantasy rests lightly on that setup as a starting point. It asks: “What if the Agencies control the USA / EU?”.

Elements of this plot have been around in many forms. From the Illuminati to the One World Order to others as shadowy extra-national elites running the world. Generally the image is of them controlling politicians and other well connected folks. But what if it ran the other way, too? What if the TLAs (Three Letter Agencies) of the world decided to select and control who got elected, who stayed in power, who ran the world (nominally, at least), who made $Millions and €Millions? Folks have hinted at this; what with Daddy Bush being CIA and Putin being KGB; asking if perhaps they put their own out front due to the needs of the moment.

The Images, Seen Dimly

What are some things we know, or likely know?

There is an entrenched global elite.

They work in coopetition with each other. (Cooperation while competing)

They prefer stability and control (and making a personal fortune) over fair play, freedom (of the people), or morality as popularly understood.

Most of them like to stay out of the public eye. Long ago they learned that attracting attention brings envy and attacks.

They have no allegiance to any given country or culture or language. (This has been true since European Royalty and days of Empire).

A free people with the USA Military and TLAs under popular control would scare the hell out of them. Almost as much as the Communist Empires being out of their control.

The Democrats always accuse others of doing what the Democrats have actually done.

What are some likely plausibles?

The USA has had at least one major party completely captured by them (Democrats) and the major party machine of the the other under fair control (Republicans).

During the fall of the USSR, their TLAs took over and have been basically running Russia since.

Money Talks, and the House Of Saud has a LOT of money. They bought their way in after the Arab Oil Embargo of the ’70s didn’t work out all that well. They are playing a double game. “In the Global Elite” and comfortable making compromise deals, while at the same time working to destroy it via expanding global Islam so as to “take down” the western elite and their countries.

Old Family Europe runs the EU. It was created as a counterbalance to the USA / USSR power centers, and then the old political elite took over. The ability to vote for things in the EU being largely symbolic (why let the serfs run anything?) being a big tip-off.

There is a highly coordinated attempt to remove National Sovereignty via Treaties and Agreements. From TTIP to Paris to TPP and more. They are clearly structured for a targeted and planned goal, not just independently negotiated. That requires organization, planning, and money. That the whole Global Warming Industry has one goal is obvious, and that it is pushed like heroin and with $BILLIONS behind it is also obvious. It isn’t about saving the planet, the science, or even the morality. It is about control and money; truth be damned.

And now for some Conspiracy Theory Seasoning:

John Kennedy was getting out of control and threatened to take down the entire world. We were hours or minutes from global thermonuclear war. It is likely that the CIA worked with the Secret Service to expose him to risk, and with the Mafia to do the actual work of removing him. Johnson working to arrange it and take over. (At the time, the CIA was known to work closely with the Mafia and had since W.W.II). This was the moment when it was realized it was essential for the TLAs of the world to prevent the people and the politicians from burning the earth to a cinder. So they stepped up to the plate and “took care of things”. From that point forward, it would be obvious they would never go back to the high risk behaviours of before, letting the people select any old person to be running the place, and worse, picking the head of the TLAs…

Once they controlled the King Making, they controlled the President, and that lets them set their own TLA leadership “from the club”. Folks on the “in” list who do their bidding well, get made rich. (See Clintons as a prime example). Folks who stray, get “nudged” back in line via anything from arranged scandals (Julian Assange being charged with rape for having mutually agreed sex with a couple of Swedish dishes… ) to Special Prosecutors, to in the extreme, an assassination ( note that the populist Ronald Reagan was shot when his 2nd in command was a TLA guy… Just sayin’…)

Now once you have control of, say, the EU and the USA (and their TLAs) you can set about doing “take downs” of most any minor government that doesn’t play ball. (Scratch Libia, Syria, etc. etc. etc.) and replace governments as needed (see the long list of “Color Revolutions”). What’s not to like?

The Particulars Right Now

So now we can look at some particulars and ask if they fit the above Conspiracy Context, or not.

Trump was NOT supposed to win. It was supposed to be Baby Bush #2 (Jeb) or Hillary. Both from “the right families” and it was “their turn”. We were to be given a choice of Tweedledee or Tweedledum. But folks were just too fed up with nothing ever changing, so were voting Sanders or Trump in droves. The Democrats, being fully pwned, forced Hillary to the front and shit on Sanders. The Republicans thought they had a good enough “indirect” control and pushed every button and pulled ever lever; but as soon as anyone was anointed as the Approved Candidate, they got shot down by The People. In the end, Trump was The Guy.

OK, so Hillary is going to win.

Everyone told us so. All the polls. All the news. All of EVERYTHING, including Republican Senators, told us the only choice was Hillary.

But Trump won.

Oh Dear.

So what comes next?

The Great Russian Scare!!

But we KNOW the NSA and their other TLA friends can put the “fingerprints” of Russians on their hacks and operations. Their leaked tools show it.

We KNOW that the Democrats were in full control of the Government, it’s Agencies, and their minions just prior to the swearing in of The Donald.

We KNOW that the Democrats were quite happy to indulge in dirty tricks and rigging (see Sanders…) and that they were well entrenched in The System after all those many many years of appointing folks and running the place.

The latest intel on “The Russian Hacking The Election” shows that the places attacked were voting machine vendors AND county voters registration operations.

We KNOW the Democrats want to do demographic packing and redistricting games and (via leaked emails) moving lots of folks around to vote twice, They also LOVE the idea of letting felons and illegals vote (their core voters?…) and generally like to keep voters on rolls long after they have died (see Chicago history for loads of dead folks votes…)


Now stir and let simmer…

How would a Russian in Russia benefit from hacking the County Voters Registrations? How many Russians could fly over during the election week, as “John Jones”, to vote anyway?

How would the Democrats benefit from hacking the Voters Registrations? Oh, the way they do by all their OTHER shenanigans….

The Conspiracy Theory:

Did the Democrats, through their control of the TLAs, “hack” the voting machine companies and attack the County Voters Registration officers for the purpose of adding more voters and votes for The Approved Candidate? Using the tools in hand to plant the “evidence” that it was Russians wot dun it so as to point away from themselves. Qui Bono? The Democrats and the Global Elites. Who did NOT benefit? The Russians and the Republicans.

Yet it STILL wasn’t enough. Trump was elected. (Maybe they didn’t get the electoral college figured right and concentrated too much on popular vote; or believed their own polls about the States Hillary skipped, and lost).

Now, faced with The Wrong President, and the prospect he might start replacing Their Guys as the heads of agencies and courts, they implement the disaster recovery plan. It starts with accusing the POTUS and Republicans of everything the Democrats actually did. Russia is the boogie man (and their TLA guys are sure to endorse that conclusion faster than it can be announced). The whole Color Revolution script is rolled out. “Illegitimate” is being branded on everything as fast as possible. “Collusion with the Russians” (knowing they had already arranged the ‘evidence’) the battle cry. Special Prosecutors and Investigations in the tool bag. Rent A Mob protests coordinated nicely and with full cooperation of “leadership” at the local level so as not to arrest the “wrong people”…

Go as slow as possible on any and all appointments. Try to gin up a impeachment, and delay and obstruct until something, anything, can be manufactured. Coordinate with all the lap-dog media to push the corruption / illegitimate / incompetent story line 24 x 7.

All because they dare not lose control of who appoints the folks who run the TLAs…

Further, the Republican Party Machine is doing it’s damnedest to assure that Trump is NOT seen as a Party Leader. Can’t have an outsider deciding who gets to run for what…

It does kind of fit with the known knowns. It fits with the news flow and the personalities of the folks in charge. It fits with Putin not “playing ball” with the Western Elite, so they want to smear Russia, Putin, and anything connected to them. Nothing like smearing two of your targets with each other…

So that’s my minor Conspiracy Theory Fantasy. The Neocon Republicans and the Democrats colluding to swap which of their Approved Candidates gets elected POTUS, and both getting caught with failure this cycle. Democrats controlling the government in the prior 8 years using every branch to assure Hillary was given her assigned prize. Republicans planned on giving Jeb his shot at it, if Hillary was just too greasy for voters to accept; not realizing voters had noticed that Bush POTUSes were just Clinton Lite.

Then Trump spit in their punch bowl and pointed out their candidates were stupid, self serving, and slime balls; and got the votes of We The People. Now TPTB are smearing, slime-ing, and “investigating” like crazy while they 4-wall the Concern Troll “News” of it and try to hobble then drive from office the current POTUS. All while using their TLAs to finger the Russians as a spit in the eye of Putin for not playing ball with them (and to cover their use of a Russian Ruse to cover their own voter fraud tracks).


Do I believe that? No, not really. Yet I also don’t NOT believe it. It could easily be accurate and true. There just isn’t any information to let you prove secret meetings happened, or didn’t happen. To prove Hillary conspired with Democratic Elites to get Sanders sidelined… oh, wait, we do have proof of that one… ;-) Well, we can’t prove the Bushes are entitled well connected TLA insiders with marginal skill so mostly getting those plum jobs via insider influence and old money ties… oh, wait…

Well, in any case, we can’t really PROVE that all the rich and powerful who gather in secrecy at places like the Bilderberg confab are not just there for the free coffee and cakes… and are there to conspire in private to dominate the world for their own benefit; that just happens by accident…

On this thread only, feel free to make up an amusing Conspiracy Theory, connect the unconnected dots (and even the unconnectable dots ;-) Toss mud at the Rich And Powerful, or the shady and bought. Just remember to do it all in good fun. This is an indulgence of the wacky and the crazy theories of the world, not a role model. I’ll not be chiding folks for failure to “keep a tidy mind” nor exposing the missing logical undergirding of any particular thesis. Since the reality is all hidden from sight behind locked doors and run by shady self serving characters anyway, I’m pretty sure the realty can’t be better than the random “crazy talk” theory… just different in the details.

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Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood & Nobody Cares

This last weekend Puerto Rico held a vote on Statehood (again…) and this time chose to become a State.

News today mostly ignores it. Al Jazeera had a story on it, many others not so much. Reuters saw no reason to mention it in their 15 minute summary of news.


Well, for one thing, they vote every few years. State vs Independent vs No-Change Commonwealth. Results are mostly no-change. Nothing changes anyway. For another thing, it is a “vote without a difference”. “Non-Binding Referendum”. Meaning “You can vote but if we don’t like the result, well, we’ll ignore it.” Now I’ve never really understood why anyone voting would care about anything that has zero effect. TPTB will just ignore it and do what they want anyway.

No surprise there was “historically low turnout”. But the die-hards were for becoming a State. Now the P.R. Government will put together a request to become a State, that goes to Congress in the USA, who will most likely just ignore it. Seems you can want to be a State, and apply to become a State, but can’t do anything about it.

Amid Historically Low Turnout, Puerto Ricans Vote for Statehood

by Patricia Guadalupe

Residents of Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly Sunday for statehood in a non-binding vote. The turnout was historically low, however — almost eight out of 10 voters did not participate.

Yeah, 20% turnout…

After a while, when your vote doesn’t do anything, you just stop playing the game of charades. Part of why dictators like to have compulsory voting. It is hard to hide the fact that everyone is on the beach on voting day… and you have no mandate.

So will Puerto Rico become the 51st State? Tune in next year for the next vote… round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows…

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California – June Snow & Rain

Yesterday it was a bit dank and there was a bit of drizzle, but I figured “Hey, it’s just an odd extreme event”. Today the drizzle was heavy and at times like a light rain. That’s quite odd.

Silicon Valley California is generally dead dry in June. It has rained here before, but not very often. The record was set in 2005, per Wunderground, but they also report the average as 0.0 in.

Now the spouse has lived here since she was 3. I asked her if this was something she remembered from when she was a kid. The answer was no. But she did remember it raining in June or August VERY rarely. Like once ever few decades rarely.

So here I am, under cool overcast sky, with a very not-summer like chill in the air, dealing with rain. I spent the morning driving around on various tasks. There was enough of it to make wipers mandatory. Roads wet and slick. This isn’t an “odd mist”. Oddly, Wunderground is not yet reporting rain for today, nor predicting any for the rest of the day. I have it dripping from the eves…

In the Sierra Nevada, they are predicting snow. Rain here is usually snow there. Yet in June fierce sun is usually melting the last of the snow off the mountains and folks are not talking of skiing, but of camping. (Sometimes Spring Skiing can run a bit late, but Spring is not Summer and nobody here calls it Summer Skiing.)

Two resorts look like they are still open and reporting, it would seem:

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
California, USA
Last Updated: 6/ 8
	80" - 230"
Squaw Valley - Alpine Meadows
California, USA
Last Updated: 6/ 4
	0" - 161"

I’ve skied Squaw when it was barren at the bottom and snowy at the top of mountain run. 6200 ft at the bottom, 8200 feet at the top. It can be a glorious run, dropping a couple of thousand feet in a few minutes. 161 inches is about 13 1/2 feet. 4 meters. That’s decent snow. Mammoth has more…

Sacramento Bee June 2017 Rain Map

Sacramento Bee June 2017 Rain

It rained today. Is that normal?

By Dale Kasler

Yes, a cold rainy day in Sacramento in June is unusual. But hardly unprecedented.

The mild storm that greeted morning commuters Thursday was the first June rainfall in Sacramento in two years, when two days of wet weather briefly interrupted the drought. Before that, the last time it rained in Sacramento in June was in 2013.

In fact, Sacramento gets an average of nearly two-tenths of an inch of rain in June, according to the National Weather Service. “It’s not unheard of to get some late season storms…particularly in the first half of June,” said weather service forecaster Brooke Bingaman.

No, not unheard of, but very unusual. Far more likely to have hot clear days of dry with 95F and time at the pool. I grew up in the Central Valley near Sacramento. Cut-offs, flip-flops and swimming typically defined June, July, and August. (Shirt optional)

Bingaman said the weekend storm will be noteworthy in at least one respect: It’s expected to bring snow, not rain, to the Sierra Nevada at elevations as low as 5,000 feet. Not that it will be a heavy snowfall.

“There could be an inch or two,” she said.

Any additional snow, however, could mean more hassles for campers, hikers and others wanting to visit the areas of the Sierra that got inundated with snow during the wettest Northern California winter on record.

The National Park Service said Highway 120 entering Yosemite National Park from the east remains closed because of the winter snows. The highway, also known as Tioga Road, frequently stays closed through late June or early July following a wet winter. At Lake Tahoe, the Forest Service said several campground openings have been delayed by snow in the Tallac region, including Bayview, Blackwood Canyon and William Kent.

Now what happened to the perpetual dry hot drought we were promised by the Global Warming True Believers?

Yes, this isn’t an unprecedented cold and wet, but it IS entirely at odds with the Global Warming Hot Drought narrative we have been fed to 30 years.

In short, this is a wet, cold, snowy year. At the other end of the sigmas from hot dry years. With a dozen feet of snow still on the ground, some ski areas were talking about shooting for a very unusual full year skiing season. And that road into the backside of Yosemite? I’d not book camping from that direction prior to August…

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Qatar – A Wider Disturbance In Force

I must admit, despite consuming Qatari product, I am unfamiliar with the issues surrounding them vs Saudi vs Iran.

Today, on Al Jazeera (A Qatar based news service…) they reported that Turkey has announced support for Qatar. Now doesn’t that stir the pot.

Once again, in a Middle East simmering pot, just who is a what to whom is entirely unclear.

So Qatar is a strong US Ally and we have one of, if not the largest, bases in the area there. The USA has agreed with Saudi on the need to curb Qatari support for, for, well, for someone or something reputed to be sort of terrorist. Saudi is an ally sort of (doesn’t like us to actually BE on their soil, though, and promotes a hard core Wahhabi sect of Islam) but the USA just sold them $Billions or so of military gear and told them to clean up the neighborhood (which includes extirpation of Iranian leaning Shiia in Yemen, it would seem). Qatar has a reputation for being western leaning and tolerant, sort of. But they have bought friendship with “Palestine” via putting housing in Gaza for poor folks (which some think lets Hamas use money for guns instead of houses, or butter…) So is that “support for Hamas” or is that “helping the poor” or is that “anti-Israel”? Doesn’t the USA ship money to both sides? Didn’t we just send some massive $Billions to Iran?

So Saudi and EAE (and maybe some others) have cut off land and air connections to Qatar. Since Qatar uses their airline as a major revenue source, that’s going to hurt. It is also unclear to me what public port facilities exist in Qatar and is that enough to bring in the food and tourists they need to keep things running well. Then there is that whole issue of Gulf Shipping Risk…

Now Saudi is the same Sunni clad as IS / ISIL / ISIS. (Islamic State when bombing places like Iran, “In Levant” when mucking around outside Syria but inside the Middle East, like, oh, Iraq. “In Syria” when blowing up things in Syria. Iran has claimed Saudi is behind the IS attack in Iran. Saudi is also unfond of the Shiia (ruling 10%) in mostly Sunni Syria, so one might think maybe ISIS started as their operation to take down Assad and make Syria a Sunni governed place. Yet Qatar, from what I’ve found so far, looks to be Sunni dominated. I have no idea what Turkey is, as historically they have gone for separation of Mosque and State. (Apparently now, not so much.)

So what’s a fellow to think.

On first glance, it looks like a Sunni / Shia slow war in the making. For decades they lived side by side in some places, but with stresses. One sect dominant in government, the other in labor, in some cases. (Bahrain / Syria as opposite examples). Yet with major fighting at times between countries (Iraq / Iran) and with sporadic bombings of wedding parties and funerals on both sides. (Sunni loving to make a sport of bombing the Shiia on their holy days at their shrines to dead Imams).

Now we have Saudi given the green light to clean up the area, just when Turkey is moving to a more aggressive posture and Iran is flush with money. This has all the makings of a regional Sunni / Shiia war shaping up.

Now I have far too little information to sort this properly, but I’m going to speculate anyway. To me, it looks like Iran was busy pissing in every punchbowl it could find. From the PLO to Hamas to Hezbollah to… Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, … Then, The O (my God…) gave them $BILLIONS as a wet kiss make nice. All the more to pot stir with. The Democrats got Trumped, and now we’ve thrown some $Billions around with The House Of Saud. And offered them a free hand cleaning up the neighborhood. Turkey finally has managed to let go of their move toward Western Secular and is being steered back toward the old Ottoman Religious Empire. The minor States have been largely doing “duck and cover” to avoid being collateral damage (some, like UAE, better than others, like Yemen).

To me it looks like a “3 Way” race to establish the New Caliphate. Turkey with memories of past glories looking to get the home turf locked down, then expand into Syria (thus eliminating their “Kurdish Problem”) and perhaps beyond. Iran desiring to work via subterfuge to destabilize things on the Sunni edge and more remote places around the world. Not being quite so into the whole Caliphate thing (it’s a Sunni gig) but wanting effective control. Then Saudi looking to become Top Gun in the Gulf, clean up their “buffer States” (and perhaps make some satraps in the process).

Now IS, a potential Saudi tool, has poked the Iranian Parliament in the nose and Turkey has just stood on a few Saudi toes in Qatar. So what’s the relationship between Turkey (a NATO member and marginally a US Ally…) and Iran? I don’t know, but with so much being under the covers and false flags, “who knows” is likely all that can be stated as fact.

So now we’ve got a “3 Way” war shaping up where the USA is obligated via NATO to back Turkey, but has the major regional base in Qatar, and is backing Saudi in the clear. Oh what a pile of ‘Corn Flakes’ in the making. (Look up “CF”…) And that is even ignoring all the lines of stress connecting Israel to this mess. One can only hope that Israel can keep their head down and their Iron Dome up through the “diplomacy by other means” going on around them.

When will western politicians learn that THE worst thing they can do for their legacy or their reputation is attempt to solve “The The Middle East Problem”. It has been going on since Israel vs Philistines thousands of years back. It will never be solved. You can’t solve blood feuds that have entered the cultural base of the peoples involved. At best you can get a temporary truce. At worse, one side wipes out the other. Yet it seems every US President must try, compelled by some inner Ego-daemon to show they have what it takes and can do the impossible.

Heck, I’d be happy if they could just list who is on what side. Don’t try to win the game. Don’t try to be the coach to the teams. Don’t try to referee it, even. Just make the program flier that tells me who is on what team and, if that isn’t enough to feel important, sell some hotdogs and popcorn. But certainly do NOT enter the game field. You will just end up broken during play.

So what is going to happen next? I have no idea.

Turkey is the big tuna with lots of military, but not as much oil and far from the field of play in the Gulf. Well positioned on sea lanes and a key transit point, with a large economy and population.

Saudi has the oil and money, but is short of bodies and guns (shipment arriving “soon” though). Poor ocean capacity and difficult terrain, but with the world’s best military on speed dial, it seems.

Iran has the bodies, the arms industry, enough money, and the motivation; but is isolated from the international stage.

Watching from the sidelines at the moment is Egypt with the largest population and 2nd largest economy of the region. Also watching, all the ‘minor States’, trying to decide which umbrella to hide under. (Minor note on Boko Haram: Killed about 20,000 so far in their attempt at making the African Caliphate. Unclear if they are part of this process or trying to be an independent. Franchise or start up?)

USA in “on side” with Saudi, and via treaty with Turkey
Russia is “on side” with Iran and Syria (government)
The Euro-Globalists are desperately trying to prevent USA / Russia relationships from improving
Soros having motivated Color Revolutions across much of the Muslim game board, now has Trump in his sites and hates Putin too.

This just really feels like the lead in to W.W.I with folks forming up into support chains and one “fire in the hole” to make it all go up… while we have fire in Syria, Yemen, etc. etc. already. Soros would just love to have a “Let’s You and Him fight, I’ll hold your coat” moment with Putin and Trump… Russia and USA. Two strong Nations not signed up for his Globalist extirpation of difference and National Cultures. So add in a Pyromaniac running around lighting things on fire in the region too.

In the past I would wonder why there was so much instability in the world. Oh So Slowly I’ve come to understand why. The Great Game. Petty small people in positions of large power and influence working to upset the plans of folks on the other side. If you can’t make yourself better, you can at least make your neighbor worse. Sociopaths and Psychopaths trying to destroy others so they can feel like they win. They run governments while the rest of us just want to make life better for everyone in our neighborhood, since we all rise or fall together. Them not so much.

No, I have no conclusions today. All I have at the moment is the “Problem Admiration” stage.

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Winner: “Russian Prince” Email

Four Walling the last 24 hours has been the “capture” of an NSA “leaker” who has leaked the Oh So Sensitive “proof” of a Russian attempt to “Hack the US Election”. You can’t escape it. But is it “as advertized”?

Well I was doing my morning news scan (yes, I’m back to my daily news diet… but armed with new skills for skipping the Trump Bashing stories. Reuters and NBC, etc. have different buttons on the ROKU, but I’ve learned the dance of the keys that lets me dump the trash stories). I think it was the NBC news feed and a “Today” story on Ms. Winner (I’m sure you can fill in the obvious name-pun) who is headed to the Big House for a few years. That was part of the story. Her capture and admission of doing the deed.

In the pan / lead-in sequence was a slightly censored version of one of the documents. Now one joy of the Roku I’ve come to love is “pause”. For many “channels”, you can pause and back up a feed. For TV shows it lets me catch dialog I would otherwise have missed. Even with closed caption, sometimes it’s just too much too fast. Now, instead of imagining something plausible to bridge the gap, I can just back up and replay / pause / read and get the actual dialog. For news, it lets you do things like pause and read a document. (Some shows, at least on Netflix, seem to be taking advantage of this and embed pertinent text in such vignettes of text; or maybe they just like to feed the Easter Egg hunters…Buzz is your friend.)

So I’m reading this Classified (Secret?) document that proves Russian hacking of the election…

It’s a bog standard grade zero spearfishing attempt to get email credentials and machine captures. THE only thing about it was that it was themed to be in line with the election and was directed at election related companies. That is, it was targeted to the season. Golly, just what any good hacker does. You so NOT send out “your Christmas package as arrived” spearphish email in July and you do NOT send it to the local Jewish Center. Sigh…

Furthermore, since EVERYONE knows by now that the Nigerian Prince email is a spearphish, the return rate is near zero. Folks have needed to get more creative. SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is to theme your attack to match the usual and customary things the target would be expected to click upon. So for a Tech Company you would use Tech themed stuff; for a Shoe Retailer things like “Shoe Of The Century” or “Your tickets to Shoe World are ready!”.

I get a statement that my “Amazon order is ready” about as often as I get that my “Bank credit card needs an update” even though I’ve not ordered anything from Amazon for months and I don’t do business at the particular (national huge mainstream) bank. BUT, for most people, they will look legit. (Part of why I have no credit cards and don’t have “accounts” with large chains. Makes it very easy to spot crap email.) Spearphish attacks are customized to look like something the target expects to click upon. Often seasonally.

Now does a spearphish get you control of The Vote? Nope. It is most often used for Identity Theft, and secondarily by government TLAs (Three Letter Agencies) for gathering bulk information about their opponents. A while back, the entire Federal Employee database was compromised. I know because I was sent a notice that my information was taken. ( I’d gotten a security clearance some years back to work at the Federal Reserve Bank on a contract). While “no bad thing” has come of it, that I can find, it still happened. The expected source was China. That no Identity Theft has followed does tend to confirm that it was a State actor not a profit motive. The information was banked by their security agencies for use “as needed” and I wasn’t “needed”. (The fact that there is nothing that can be used to compromise me AND that I’ve been out of that game for a few years may have helped with my unimportance).

So why wasn’t it widely in the news 24 x 7 that “Obama working with Chinese!!!” or “China hacks US Government!!! Federal Reserve at risk!!!” with pleas to drive China from the global stage? Likely because Soros likes China, IMHO. They were the darlings du jour at the time, so it was “Ho Hum, just another hack, don’t worry, be happy.” Or just as possible, Obama was Milquetoast and didn’t want to upset anyone in China so wimped out.

But now, with Trump and Russia, oh my but is the spin different.

So just what IS in this horrible compromise of the security of the nation?

The NBC story referenced a story from The Intercept:

In it, they have slightly redacted copies of the secret documents. It looks like mostly just the company and individual identifiers have been removed.

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election
Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim

June 5 2017, 7:44 p.m.

Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.

While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.

“voting infrastructure” sure sounds like voting machines and county vote counting agencies, now doesn’t it. But IS that what the documents say?

The actual PDF of the documents is here:

They have settings to make it hard to cut / paste and frankly I’m only starting my day, so not at the moment willing to actually copy it into a form for cutting and pasting. Yes, I know, all of a few clicks and an app, but I’m feeling lazy at the moment. Besides, the document isn’t that long, so just pull it up in another window.

Now, I’ve not read it closely. Just skimmed. So far it looks like it is mostly aimed at companies, not counties. There’s a reference to “Local Government Officials” that is rather generic, though.

So let me get this straight:

There’s a spearphishing campaign against mostly companies and some local government types. It is themed to match the season and their line of work. It is attempting to gather email addresses and install beacon / backdoor / compromise software.

Um, that’s pretty much how ALL such campaigns are done… You send “Your Donald Duck layout is ready” to folks affiliated with or at Disney. You send “Car loan docs ready for approval” to folks getting or ISSUING car loans. You send “your Amazon order is ready” email to just about anyone, but especially if you can detect that they do order from Amazon. That’s just the way things are done. Christmas phish at Christmas. Hanukkah phish to Jewish communities or institutions. Oh, and election phish to companies who do election stuff.

In a casual reading of the document, I found nothing to indicate any attempt to change the election nor even to get into election infrastructure. To me, it looks like a very standard very ordinary themed spearphish likely with the goal of identity theft or botnet creation. Perhaps with a general TLA intelligence gathering function.

I’ve seen hundreds of these things.

As an individual, I usually get a couple in each weekly batch of email I wade through. (Part of why I don’t respond to email in real time. It is a chore to carefully weed it out. And THAT is after the provider has weeded out the worst of it.) At every company where I’ve had a contract for the last couple of decades, there has been a person (or sometimes a group) devoted to detecting and blocking these. Often major corporations get dozens such spearphish attacks per day.

So what makes this one “special”? The paranoia of those investigating it, IMHO. Somehow they thought they were immune from approach, or they just don’t “get it” that the Nigerian Prince isn’t the only spearphish sheepskin to put on.

IMHO, this “attack on the election infrastructure” is nothing more than a “Russian Prince” story. Most likely some Russian or Chinese based (trying to blame Russia) group working for personal gain via Identity Theft. Potentially a government TLA on the side who lets them operate free of prosecution in exchange for any interesting intel they turn up. It didn’t break any voting machines. It didn’t even target voting machines, nor counting operations. The mode of attack and the method of compromise do not lend themselves to compromise of the vote. (It would take several more steps directed in a different way to start to approach that).

So THIS is what they have as a smoking gun? THIS is what is classified? THIS is what 20-something Ms. Winner will go to prison for leaking? A Russian Prince spearphish campaign of the sort run every day against every company on the planet?

“News at 11 … dog bites man!”

Such a sorry state of affairs.

In other news, Ms. Winner was quite daft in her ‘trade craft’. She mailed the docs in, but used her own post office of origin. She sent email to The Intercept from her computer (without any tracks cover). Just dumb. THIS is an NSA person? Really? My God, she could have just gotten a junker laptop, set up a disposable gmail account, Sent the email from a Starbucks one county over, and sent the physical mail from there too; and then chucked the thing in the ocean. But Nooo….

Bold bits bolded by me:

Erik Wemple Opinion
Did the Intercept bungle the NSA leak?
By Erik Wemple June 6 at 9:31 AM

[photo of NASA building with caption below attributing Reuters for the photo]

Federal contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested on June 3 and charged with sending top-secret information to a news organization after taking classified documents from a NSA facility in Georgia. (Reuters)
On its site, the Intercept provides a tutorial to prospective leakers throughout U.S. officialdom. It advises them to take advantage of its SecureDrop server, for instance, and warns them to be careful about their Internet habits. “If you have access to secret information that has been published, your activities on the internet are likely to come under scrutiny, including what sites (such as The Intercept) you have visited or shared to social media,” reads the guidance. “Make sure you’re aware of this before leaking to us, and adjust your habits as needed well before you decide to become our source. Tools like Tor (see above) can help protect the anonymity of your surfing.”

Also: “Don’t contact us from work.”
It’s what happened about two weeks later that places the Intercept’s handling of the case in sharp relief. Here’s part of a paragraph from the document:

On or about May 24, 2017, a reporter for the News Outlet (the “Reporter”) contacted another U.S. Government Agency affiliate with whom he has a prior relationship. This individual works for a contractor for the U.S. Government (the “Contractor”). The Reporter contacted the Contractor via text message and asked him to review certain documents. The Reporter told the Contractor that the Reporter had received the documents through the mail, and they were postmarked “Augusta. Georgia.” WINNER resides in Augusta, Georgia. The Reporter believed that the documents were sent to him from someone working at the location where WINNER works. The Reporter took pictures of the documents and sent them to the Contractor. The Reporter asked the Contractor to determine the veracity of the documents. The Contractor informed the Reporter that he thought that the documents were fake. Nonetheless, the Contractor contacted the U.S. Government Agency on or about June 1, 2017, to inform the U.S. Government Agency of his interaction with the Reporter. Also on June 1, 2017, the Reporter texted the Contractor and said that a U.S Government Agency official had verified that the document was real.

Journalistic tradecraft has a way of appearing ham-fisted, awkward and ill-advised when it surfaces in hacked emails, hot mics and federal court documents. It’s ever so easy to look back at a reporter’s decisions and mock them. With that luxury, we can question the wisdom of telling the contractor about the Augusta postmark, not to mention sending the documents to the contractor. Did the contractor then feel implicated and thus obligated to report this incident?

Oh, gee, let me think… A contractor company who’s whole business is working secret information is told one of their employees has put their business at risk and would they please confirm they are about to be reamed with a hot government iron and not, you know, do anything to protect themselves… OK…

And a leaker who can’t even be bothered to mail things from somewhere not right near her home? OMG the Stupid Is Strong in them.

So that’s the level of leaker being caught. Someone who takes no care at all to cover their tracks even after the publisher points them at TOR, sends info to a news source that “fact checks” it by ratting them out to their boss, and then gives the whole bundle to the NSA / TLAs. Kinda makes you wonder how many folks with basic tradecraft they don’t catch.

And all this over a MS Word based spearphish attack of the form in just about every email box nationwide on any given day.

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UK Under Islamic Attack

No links from me to stories or news.

No summary of events.

No analysis or insight.

All that is globally visible.

Just an open thread to discuss the facts of the UK being under attack by Islamists.

Welcome to the “Religion of Peace” As long as you SUBMIT

(Mu salim is roughly ‘I submit myself’ while islam is roughly ‘submission’. So islamist ought to be roughly ‘those who would make you submit’, eh?)….

I wonder how long before my UK relatives, who withstood German assaults, show their spine and cast off this attempted invasion as well. Or perhaps it is time to remove that line about never never never shall be slaves…

Welcom to ramadan…

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Posted in Political Current Events, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | 99 Comments