Videos – Changing Pace

So I ran into this over at Iceagenow

and I have to agree with his assessment:

Absolutely nothing to do with the climate, I simply love watching this and listening to it. I hope you do, too.

It’s entitled “All About That Bass – Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version”Their website is here:

Well, one thing leads to another and pretty soon it’s after midnight and… you find yourself watching a sad clown singing with two Asian Babes doing the do-wop on the side and…

Yes, a ‘Sad Clown’ with a Voice and a web site:

I’m left to wonder how someone with a voice that good ends up with that kind of shtick… and why I’m finding it compelling at 2 AM without too much liquid fuel… but there it is…

With some behind the scenes on getting ready and another song:

And what would a counter point be without a flaming Sax?

Someone is still doing Vintage French with women on strings

Since Brazil has decided to crush their economy by playing with The Socialism Shiny Thing again, perhaps it is reasonable to show they can still have a good time even surrounded by increasing poverty:

For no reason other than that I like the song and the quasi lyrics are catchy:

Then some visuals are just so creepy you kinda can’t let them pass unremarked:

Some being vintage creepy… though so much of it is still relevant…

Dreams want to come, yet not quite asleep, the mind and visuals wander…

As bed calls the idea of such in the mind just calls out of for some cooling out

and finishing on a high note (the computer speakers didn’t do justice to this, but the LG headset did, the vocal quality is astounding)

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Posted in Arts | Tagged , | 6 Comments

UN Wants Another $5 Trillion PER YEAR

Looks like the first thing that House Speaker Boehner’s replacement can do is stop having the US Government sign stupid crap like this at the UN. I’ve bolded the ‘hook’ to Global Warming. I’ve also bolded places where some other issues caught my eye.

UN summit to approve 15-year blueprint to eradicate extreme poverty and combat climate change

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, right, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon celebrate after the passing of a draft resolution during the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Note the “Sustainable Development” line straight out of Agenda 21 and the push for UN control of your life and property.

Associated Press Sept. 25, 2015 | 12:13 p.m. EDT + More

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — World leaders on Friday unanimously approved an ambitious and costly 15-year blueprint to eradicate extreme poverty, combat climate change and address more than a dozen other major global issues.

Presidents, prime ministers and diplomats from the U.N.’s 193 members stood and applauded loudly after General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft gaveled approval of the development roadmap.

Discussions on how to implement the new goals — expected to cost between $3.5 trillion and $5 trillion every year until 2030 — is expected to dominate the three-day summit that will include speeches by U.S. President Barack Obama, China’s President Xi Jinping and the leaders of Egypt, India, Iran, Germany, Britain and France.

Guess the prior $200 Billion / year Agenda 21 goal wasn’t high enough to grease enough palms…

Now since the USA is functionally insolvent going into debt a further $1 Trillion / year (give or take a few hundred $Billion) and have a $19 Trillion nominal national debt, a few dozens of more State and Local debts, and somewhere near hundreds of $Trillions of ‘unfunded liabilities’: I suggest the UN just bypass our already overloaded credit card and go straight to the people from whom we would need to borrow any money anyway. We need our elected representatives to stand up and be counted telling the UN “Go talk to China. They are the only one with any money. We beg from them too, so ‘go for it'”.

The document — called “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” — sets out 17 broad goals and 169 specific targets. Its overarching aims of reducing poverty and inequality and preserving the environment got strong support from Pope Francis who addressed the General Assembly immediately before the summit opened.
When President Johnson declared war on poverty nearly half a century ago, writes Tanner, “the poverty rate in America was around 19 percent and falling rapidly.” Increasing prosperity brought about by the free market, coupled with strong civil institutions such as churches, charities, and fraternal organizations, was already accomplishing the unthinkable: making poverty, the general condition of mankind throughout most of history, a rarity in the United States. A rising tide, as Johnson’s predecessor observed, does indeed lift all boats.

The man at the helm of the ’64 ship of state, however, decided the tide wasn’t rising quickly enough and so he would help it along by filling buckets with water from the port side of the ship and emptying them on the starboard side. Not surprisingly, this strategy failed to increase the water level. Thus, despite $12 trillion in federal welfare spending and $3 trillion in state and local government welfare spending over the past 48 years, says Tanner, “the poverty rate never fell below 10.5 percent and is now at the highest level in nearly a decade” — 15.1 percent and climbing. “Clearly,” he adds, “we have been doing something wrong.”

The non-binding goals will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago.

So we sign onto this crap, making it ‘unanimous’ as some kind of ‘symbolic gesture’, but the reality is that folks are expecting to transform that ‘symbolism’ into real law. Note that the World Court is not exactly symbolic any more…

Where is the person standing up to say “This is a fools errand, and doomed to fail in corruption and incompetence. We do not endorse it.” Who and Where?

The USA “War On Poverty” has also shoveled a lot of money around, and also done nothing of worth:$15-trillion-and-nothing-to-show-for-it

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The War on Poverty: $15 Trillion and Nothing to Show for It

Written by Michael Tennant

Fifteen trillion dollars: That’s how much American taxpayers have forked over in the name of helping the poor since 1964. And what do we have to show for it? A poverty rate that has barely budged, an entrenched bureaucracy, and a population — like that of Greece and Portugal, two welfare-state basket cases — increasingly dependent on government handouts.

These are the conclusions of a recent Cato Institute report on the American welfare state by Michael Tanner, Cato’s director of health and welfare studies and author of The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society. It is hardly an encouraging read, to say the least.

When President Johnson declared war on poverty nearly half a century ago, writes Tanner, “the poverty rate in America was around 19 p and falling rapidly.” Increasing prosperity brought about by the free market, coupled with strong civil institutions such as churches, charities, and fraternal organizations, was already accomplishing the unthinkable: making poverty, the general condition of mankind throughout most of history, a rarity in the United States. A rising tide, as Johnson’s predecessor observed, does indeed lift all boats.

The man at the helm of the ’64 ship of state, however, decided the tide wasn’t rising quickly enough and so he would help it along by filling buckets with water from the port side of the ship and emptying them on the starboard side. Not surprisingly, this strategy failed to increase the water level. Thus, despite $12 trillion in federal welfare spending and $3 trillion in state and local government welfare spending over the past 48 years, says Tanner, “the poverty rate never fell below 10.5 percent and is now at the highest level in nearly a decade” — 15.1 percent and climbing. “Clearly,” he adds, “we have been doing something wrong.”

I don’t have to like something to recognize what works and what does not work. What works is free market capitalism and what does not work is government programs. This is not improved by running the money though the UN. (See long history of failed programs including oil for food and so much more).

Yes, capitalism is a Royal Pain In The Ass. You must get up each day and find a job, and keep it, and actually do something someone else wants enough to pay you for it. Unfortunately, taxing productivity to give it to unproductive folks just ends up with a whole lot LESS productivity and a whole lot more “takers” happy to watch TV and not be productive. Doing that at the national and international levels does not make it work differently.

No, I don’t like it. No, I don’t want it. And yet, it is.

“Reality just is. -E.M.Smith”.

So you can accept that, call this kind of crap the stupid socialism crap that it is, and move on; or you can not accept it, sign up for a good group hug picture, and cause $Trillions of damage to the global economy while creating MORE poverty, not less. But you can be part of the “cool club” and be invited to the after party…

Look at the history of failed national economies sacrificed on the altar of “economic justice” or whatever brand of socialism is the fad these days. Argentina was the 10th largest economy in the world under capitalism. Now a sad footnote of collapse. Brazil was a wonder of wealth creation and economic growth, now with collapsing currency (again) and economy (again) as they play with the Socialism Shiny Thing (again). Brazil alone has had a few turns on this cycle. You would think they might notice that the outcome doesn’t change. USSR, gone. UK nearly bankrupted until The Iron Lady got things going for a while. The whole of Eastern Europe taking off now that they have moved to more market oriented economics. Even Communist China figured out that moving away from pure socialism brought spectacular economic growth. (But they have not yet realized that they need to keep moving toward free and open markets to keep the process improving. Brazil did a back slide, and is now collapsing (again) so one hopes the Chinese are able to notice that.)

One can forgive The Pope for having loony lefty economic leanings. He comes from a life long immersion in such thinking. Argentine and Hispanic cultures both leaning that way. And the Jesuits are big on the whole Social Justice thing:

Social justice is “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society”. Classically, “justice” (especially corrective justice or distributive justice) ensured that individuals both fulfilled their societal roles and received what was their due from society.

Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions can include education, health care, social security, labour rights, as well as a broader system of public services, progressive taxation and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equal opportunity, equality of outcome, and no gross social injustice.

While the concept of social justice can be traced through Ancient and Renaissance philosophy, such as Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Spinoza and Thomas Paine, the term “social justice” only became used explicitly from the 1840s. A Jesuit priest named Luigi Taparelli is typically credited with coining the term, and it spread during the revolutions of 1848 with the work of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. In the late industrial revolution, progressive American legal scholars began to use the term more, particularly Louis Brandeis and Roscoe Pound. From the early 20th century it was also embedded in international law and institutions, starting with the Treaty of Versailles 1919. The preamble to establish the International Labour Organization recalled that “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.” In the later 20th century, social justice was made central to the philosophy of the social contract, primarily by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice (1971). In 1993, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education.

So he’s been soaked in Socialism so long he can’t even recognize that it is what he is pushing. (He has claimed to not be a socialist… rather like most of them seem to do while pushing a socialist agenda with a socialist history to it… but I digress.)

The truly sad thing being quite simple: It Does Not Work.

It makes the folks pushing it feel better, all the while moving ever more of the folks it is supposed to benefit into ever worse abject poverty, dependence, squalor and despair. Look at the implosion in Greece right now as a current work in progress.

I would have thought the Pope might recognize greed and envy as deadly sins, not promote them, but I guess he is just as prone to human failures as the rest of us.

One side bar on economics:

It has to do with ‘why’. It comes down to “marginal propensity”. For folks with a lot of income, they want to save and invest more. Over time, this builds up large productive economies with oodles of goods for everyone. It removes poverty by lifting the poor, just not quite as much as it lifts the rich. This is called “marginal propensity to invest”. Folks who are poor consume 100% of what they have. (In extreme cases even having ‘negative investment’ when you start burning the furniture to stay warm and eating the oxen that pull your plough as the last of the seed corn is devoured).

Raising poor up to above their consumption level via jobs and markets causes them to start saving and investing. Leaving them dependent on handouts from governments does not.

Taxing the rich to pay for it reduces investment. So a “tax the rich to help the poor” must inevitably have lower levels of savings and investment, so declines in economic performance. That is, less for everyone. Now as there is less for everyone, more folks end up in the ‘poor’ end of things. The Middle Class finds themselves closer to the bottom, so saving and investing even less.

Repeat that cycle until everyone is malinvested and in poverty. Now you have a collapsed socialism in poverty. But everyone is ‘equal’ in their poverty…

All because marginal propensity to invest is not subject to manipulation and it will “do what it does”.

Having the government “invest” can be helpful when one is at the extreme collapse end of things as they can act like the ‘rich guy’ who is absent from the system; but as economies grow, governments are shown ever poorer at making decent investment decisions. It just isn’t possible to have that fine grain information at a Central Authority. So Stalin mandating “make steel mills and tractors” is pretty clear when you have none of either. Having the Central Computer Bureau decide to invent the iPhone is not in their skill set… so once out of abject poverty as a nation, they must proceed ever more toward free and open markets to keep the marginal investments going to the right places.

And that is why handing giant boat loads of cash to the UN Central Authority to “manage” in the global poverty market is doomed to fail.

The money MUST come from the folks who have it, which will result in less investment, lower economic growth globally, and reduced standards of living (with more of the reduction happening in the middle and lower classes). It will then be washed through ineffective bureaus that will increase consumption and destruction (i.e. exactly the opposite of economic investment) and further decrease global prosperity.

This sets in place the Spiral Decent Into Economic Hell as ever more money is demanded “This Time For Sure!” to fix the intractable poverty that seems to increase the more you “fix it”. Repeat until the economy collapses into poverty for all.

In Conclusion

For what it is worth, I am not a rich retired mogul. I’m semi-retired, but not exactly sure where the meal ticket will come from next month. I have assets I can sell, but don’t want to do that. So I’m more of a ‘wage slave’ looking for a gig than a ‘rich fat cat’.

My advocacy for The Rich comes not from a love of the Elite Wealthy Class (of which I am NOT a member and don’t even get invited to parties for show and tell about The Forgotten Man…) It comes entirely from a recognition that be it from high ability, high social status, or just being greedy and well connected enough to work the system: When rich folks get richer they save and invest more and that creates economic growth for everyone. Some even eventually getting to me.

I don’t have to like that to understand it and to know that “reality just is” and accept it.

What I fail to grasp is why so many folks let the sins of greed, envy and avarice dominate them so much that they will take the money of the rich and drive all of us into poverty; despite their being ample proof that is what always happens. It’s just stoopid… And I don’t do stupid well. Yet even intelligent and well educated folks like Popes and Presidents regularly “go there”.

The only really good news for me out of this is that there simply isn’t $5 Trillion / year to be had. The EU is on the brink of collapse with only Germany and a couple of other northern states doing well. UK is marginal. Australia is hitting the skids as China slows down purchase of iron ore, coal, etc. USA (as mentioned) is $19 Trillion in the hole and sinking fast into the abyss of poverty. China is still growing, but down from 12% / yr to more like 6% (and 3 or 4% of that might be fictional…).

Things are so bad globally that the collective Central Banks of the world are far far closer to zero interest rates than anything sane in a failed attempt to use monetary policy inflation to fix fiscal policy failures. Layering on an even greater fiscal policy failure of $5 Trillion / year will just make the “busted flush” come sooner.

Oh, and in the ‘developed world’ there are a few hundred million folks expecting to retire and turn into ‘takers’ as the post W.W.II boomers retire. So prospects for more global production are “not good” as the major wealth creators of the last 40 years turn into major wealth consumers. “Demographics is destiny” is the usual economic mantra. To that I can only add that “Demographics are a cold hearted bitch who will not be changed”.

In the next 20 years, just those places with accumulated wealth that the UN wants to raid are just the places where wealth creation will slow. So not a source of excess to ‘redistribute’.

Now in a global market based world, those folks would have invested in plant and equipment in low wage (i.e. poor) countries and provided a big economic lift out of poverty to those folks. Profits from that investment to fund their retired years. Unfortunately, in a world with governments dominated by socialism, graft, corruption, and “Central Authority”, they often chase out such capital (and keep the poverty) via all sorts of ‘capital controls’ and excess taxation. Moving that broken government model to the UN will not fix the basic problem, it will just chase ever more capital out of economic growth and real investment; and lead to ever more poverty for just the folks it claims to care about helping.

Expect a “carbon tax” on fuels and production and likely a “Tobin Tax” on financial transactions and ever more taxes on ever more things. This will just result in ever less of them, and ever less of the investments to which they attach, and ever less money created and ever more accumulated poverty. Eventually ending when the seed corn has been eaten, the furniture burned, and the last oxen has been gored. Then after a Great Dying, we might be able to start again with free markets, as even the government agents will have died out (paper money not being very nutritious).

I’d like to say I expect the USA to revolt from that path. To once again find a Ronald & Maggie moment and pull back from the brink. I hope so. I just don’t see it as very likely. The Left has done a much better job of stacking the demographic cultural deck with folks from places who’s cultures lean left. They have dominated school based indoctrination, and clearly own the UN and most media outlets. One only needs to look at the incessant din of Global Warming / Climate Change doom and gloom stories to see that. They also even as the minority manage to run the House and Senate. There is no effective opposition. So until there is: the “Spiral Decent” scenario is the most certain. And, as this is being pushed at the global UN level, there will be few corners to which one can escape the stupid.

But hey, what’s a few $ Trillion among friends…

(I just wish it wasn’t so blindingly obviously going to fail and take us with it.)

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An Extraordinary Hatred of Free Speech and Honesty

These last few days we have been treated to an extraordinary spectacle of hate speech and intolerance. The “Media” have taken it upon themselves to participate in the election process by planting trap questions for candidates and by deliberate creation of spectacle for the purpose of harming leading conservative candidates.

This week, the “Gotcha! du jour” is Muslims and Islam. IMHO it is no accident that BOTH Trump and Carson were entrapped in the same way. While I have no idea if the questioner of Trump was a plant, or a natural inhabitant of the meeting; it is quite clear that the editorial “spin” selected for the week was the “Anti Muslim Bigot” card. So both of the front runners of the Republican party get the same treatment within hours of each other and it is plastered Coast to Coast and sunrise to sunset? This, we are supposed to believe, is not by design?

For anyone who doesn’t know (hard as this is to imagine now, someone coming to this thread from another country or in another year might might be aware of the context):

A questioner at a Trump rally led off with a mini-rant about Muslims and Muslim Training Camps and that Obama is a muslim and that Obama isn’t even an American. Trump did not address what the man said (well, really he addressed it by a sarcastic “We need questions like this?…”) and instead gave some of his typical pap of “We’re going to do so much and look into so many things”… or some such.

The CNN Headline is

Trump doesn’t challenge anti-Muslim questioner at event

Is that what we have sunk to? Pilloried for not enforcing PC rules and oppression of Freedom Of Speech on others? Letting others have there say is now an offense of its own?

Carson was coaxed into an ‘own goal’ via asking him about who might not be compatible with the American Ideals and Constitution.

BY Hope Yen, Associated Press September 20, 2015 at 11:39 AM EDT

U.S. Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina September 18, 2015. Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says Islam is antithetical to the Constitution, and he doesn’t believe that a Muslim should be elected president.

Carson, a devout Christian, says a president’s faith should matter to voters if it runs counter to the values and principles of America.

Responding to a question during an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he described the Islamic faith as inconsistent with the Constitution.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”

He did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles.

Let me enlighten Associated Press and PBS. One way is that both of you would be put out of business and / or killed for what you publish.

Carson, after the leading question, answered more or less honestly and accurately that Islam is not compatible with the American Constitution and culture. That, BTW, is honest and accurate. I’ve read the Koran a few times now and it is absolutely incompatible with the American Ideals of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and liberty for all. It speaks frequently about killing off infidels and taking them slaves (as just one example). A practice that continues to this day and has been reported in the news in the last week. Gays are to be stoned to death per Sharia; not exactly compatible with our “Gays in the Military” rulings… and women are to be treated like chattel and kept in the home under a blanket. BTW, polygamy is strongly promoted in the Koran as well, as is the taking of infidel women slaves for prostitution. It gives the rules for running a brothel including that no muslim women may be used, but women infidels are fine… I’d say all that was a bit incompatible with Traditional American Values.

But that’s only the context.

What amazed me was the degree of hate speech and invective heaped on Dr. Carson for being honest and practicing his free speech rights. (I expected such hate speech directed at The Donald… he seems to revel in it and folks like the ‘show’ of him blowing off the blowhard critic.) There are now the inevitable calls for Carson to resign from the race. All pro-forma, IMHO. Make a pot stir, blow it out of proportion with hate and invective, then demand apologies and that the person quit.

So just why is the Democratic Party and Progressive Media so hateful, so intolerant of Freedom of Speech, and frankly, so evil in their intent? And why do the good and honest Democrats not stand up to such evil done in their name and insist that it be stopped?

Are there so few left, on the left, that can see such attacks on candidates for what they are? Blatant propaganda campaigns to smear and destroy, to suppress freedom of thought and expression, to manipulate and harass folks for ‘wrong think’ and enforcing a PC Dogma on all of us.

So I’m continuing to watch, and find myself ever more resentful of PC Crap and Progressive Intolerance. Freedom of Speech is for all of us, and for all speech, not just the speech one party likes, and certainly not to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Personally, I had been ‘waffling’ between Rubio, Carly, and Carson as my preferred candidate. As of this latest attack on a fine and honest soft spoken and thoughtful man, I’m now putting Carson in my #1 spot. A Carson / Trump or Trump / Carson ticket has a certain charm to it too…

And the Loony Side Of Left wonders why Trump is scoring so highly…

CLUE: (You have to shout it at the left so they can catch it..):
WE ARE FED UP WITH PC CRAP! Someone, anyone, finally being honest is just sooooo refreshing. Then the attacks look petty and cheap in comparison. The more you attack, the more they shine in the PC darkness and sing music in the silence of the PC Gag Order.

CLUE #2: Islam is NOT your friend. Look up what Islam actually advocates, then try to square that with Left Policy and Progressive talking Points. Gays to be stoned. YOU and YOUR FAMILY to be forced to convert to Islam or die. Your daughter to be placed in a brothel for the enjoyment of Muslim men. NO ART. Not just no porn, or no “Piss Christ”, but no depictions of people at all. Burn the Louvre. Blow up Palmyra. Destroy every church and synagogue in the land. Do you really think that is compatible with the American Way, American Constitution, and True Freedom? If so, welcome to Sharia.

(Anyone thinking I’m overstating that, read the Koran and Sharia rulings. No, you can not take the word of your Muslim Friend for it. The Koran specifically says it is just fine to lie cheat and deceive the Infidel to advance Islam… so “On No One’s Word”; just read it for yourself. Or look up the history of Islam invading through Greece to Romania – where Vlad The Impaler stopped them and started the Dracula legend- and through Spain to where France halted them. BTW, the Koran says that they MUST retake those lands. It is now THEIR land forever and must be retaken. Period. No, you can’t ‘negotiate’ about it. Thus the influx of ‘refugees’ and ‘immigrants’.)

Now the choice is pretty simple. Be ignorant of history, ignorant of the Koran, ignorant of the reality on the nightly news even; and use that ignorance to intolerantly sling mud with “gotcha” stories at an honest man practicing his freedom of speech. Or. Politely recognize the truth when you see it and a brave and honest man willing to state it.

The {Progressive | Left | Socialist | American-Liberal | Democratic | name du jour} is just so incredibly intolerant of Freedom Of Speech, going so far as to criticize Trump for not actively suppressing it in someone else, that it boggles the mind. Just when it it become my duty to oppress Freedom Of Speech instead of defend it? And just when did Honesty become a Thought Crime?

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Fed does nothing, Chile has an 8.x quake, Carly trumps Trump, and the world goes on…

Chile and the Quake

First off, Chile had an 8.x quake and 16 foot or so tsunami. One hopes folks there are OK. IIRC Adolfo was from near there. Hopefully all is well… This would be Big News if it didn’t seem to happen about once a year…

There are Tsunami Warnings but news is reporting it to be measured in inches in California and Hawaii. I note in passing that we are near a major lunar apogee.

The first line is from the apogee column, the second line from the perigee column. The ‘–‘ indicating a major (furthest) distance from moon to earth (that 406,465 km) and with a fast approaching major perigee (the line with ‘++’ and 356,876 km distance.

Sep 14 11:29 406465 km — N+1d 4h
Sep 28 1:47 356876 km ++ F- 1h

So we’ve got a real sling fest of shift of lunar distance going on right now.

BTW, I really like that whole site at and you can spend hours there. I have sort of a kindred spirit feeling about some of the things of interest (ranging from trading issues to nuclear stuff to lunar to computing to Science Fiction to..)


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The Debate

Then, in the debate last night, Carly scored a few direct hits on The Donald. Jeb found he can have a little bit of spine and admits he tried Marijuana once for that ‘cool factor wannabe’ vote, while Dr. Carson continued his low key and smart style. Rubio woke folks up enough to remind us he is still worth considering, and the long list of Senators and Governors tied to convince everyone they were not politicians. If you missed the first round ( what they are calling the “happy hour” debate) Jindal was pretty good on policies while Lindsey Graham got in a lot of zingers. His “drink more” line being just one of many, but the one making the news.

Washington Post has video of Graham’s highlights (guess they figured out paper based news is fading fast).

All in all, I’m still of the mindset that any combo of {Carly | Carson | Rubio} makes for a good GOP “ticket”. Just try to play the race or gender card against that mix. Frankly, my biggest “issue” is trying to pick one of them to leave out.

The Fed

And, in the “no news is news” department: The Fed did nothing today, and that’s big news.


The implication being the world is so financially fragile right now that 0.125 % interest rates would bring down the whole house of cards. One really must wonder if things are that bad, or The Fed is that timid, or it is all just kabuki theatre.

In Other Non-News news

Oh, and the Middle East is a mess of wars, Evil Bastards, murders, intrigue, destruction of history, and violence. I.e. no news either, just the same as it has been for 1000 years. Just the weapons get bigger. Watch that space in about a half dozen years…

Sometimes I wonder why I bother tracking the ‘news’ when so much of it is utterly predictable. And much of the rest is manufactured drama (aka ‘infotainment’). Oh Well, beats re-runs.

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Why I Like BSD – It’s About Time…

BSD is Berkeley Software Distribution; a family of Unix flavors.

A short digression:

In the way back time, Unix was issued in ‘Versions’ by Bell Labs. As THE Telephone company was not allowed to make money from computing, only from their telephone monopoly, many licenses were essentially given away to schools. Along the way, the Seventh Version was licensed to U. of California at Berkeley or UCB. They got a ‘special deal’ that let them re-license their changed version on a similar free basis. Thus began BSD based on Version 7. Over a few years, a huge number of these licenses spread over the entire world of Education, and eventually leaked out into the commercial world. The original Sun O/S for example, was “BSD Based”.

Then AT&T got broken up and was free to make money from computing. Try as they might to break the V7 license, they couldn’t. So they did the next best thing. They loaded a bunch of capricious changes into Unix, broke a lot of things in new and different ways, and began touting “System V – Consider it Standard”. Painting BSD and anything V7 based as out of date.

Well, that history didn’t end well of The Telco. Eventually Unix license and I.P. was sold to SCO and on to Novel and I think it is now part of Suse? But not many people really care. Along the way, the Government got P.O.ed at the changes and started the POSIX standard movement.

Linux came along (and despite The Telco and others all trying to sue them out of existence too) the river just flowed around the lawyers… Sue on some detail of some command, it mutated into a different command. Folks went into various bits of code rooting out anything tied to System V or Unix. Eventually the whole waste of time and effort ran down along with the value of the Unix I.P. (Intellectual Property), and thus the sales and re-sales of the ownership.

Through It All, BSD soldiered on. THEY had an indestructible position. They also had millions of university students globally polishing on the product on one side, and doing their damnedest to break it on the other. Makes for a very sturdy and secure product.

Now the Linux world has gotten most of the recent fame and glory. BSD being more staid and not liking to take on new stuff too fast ( like Gnome or KDE or …) lest some bright student find out he can get into the grades on line using some new hack. So it is harder to install. More things done “the old way” and longhand; much less GUI (Graphical User Interface) and hand-holding. So while I really really like BSD, most of my machines have been Linux the last few years as it is quick to install, easy to play with, and had lots of goodies. But I’ve always thought I ought to get back to my BSD roots someday.

“Someday” bringing up the issue of time…

On Time

I’ve been collecting some Temperature Data, including daily data, and I’ve been looking at things like TOBS Time Of Observation Bias. Temperatures need times to be valuable. I’ve been looking at model codes, and that maybe they need a time of day factor and sun rise / fall daily as they are run foward predicting the next couple of decades. And I’ve been looking at File Systems and archiving and coping with some of the particularly lousy things done with metadata, such as time stamps, in some file systems (FAT32 is horrid, NTFS only a little better). But sad to say, Linux and Unix “have a time issue on their hands”. Their file systems do keep time correctly; but not for long.

Back in the 1970s, when Unix was a new idea, the lab rats didn’t think much about 2038. Most likely would not be alive then themselves, and computers would be worlds different. Heck, they had no idea Unix would dominate servers, and Linux would sprout from it to own the entire embedded systems and cell phone markets (that also didn’t exist then). So they decided that a nice fat giant sized time number could be used to code for all time. That is why Unix uses the ‘start of time’ as the start of Unix. And time is just stored as a 32 bit integer. Negative numbers being ‘before Unix’ and positive numbers being after Unix. A whole lot easier than that whole Julian / Gregorian / daylight savings time etc. etc. junk. Just an INT. Increment and move on. Zero at the 0:00 on 1 January 1970. On all Unix, in all places, everywhere. OOoooohhhhommmmm……..

In 1970 an 8 bit machine was big enough, 16 bits was big, and 32 bits was a mainframe. There were a few with larger words, but not much. Just doing a 32 bit INT on many machines was more than one computer word. Using 64 bits for every scrap of time would just be nuts. Now not so much. Now even desktop machines are 64 bits.

Why Does This Matter?

Because it breaks on dates in 2038, or 23 years from now.

Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038, a problem similar to but not entirely analogous to the “Y2K problem” (also known as the “Millennium Bug”), in which 2-digit values representing the number of years since 1900 could not encode the year 2000 or later. Most 32-bit Unix-like systems store and manipulate time in this “Unix time” format, so the year 2038 problem is sometimes referred to as the “Unix Millennium Bug” by association.

Why worry? Heck, my computer will likely be long gone to the binary graveyard well before 23 years…

Well, because maybe before then you will want to USE a date and time after then. Like, oh, if you were running a simulation and date stamping files and data for a few decades into the future as part of your process…

Some folks have already started to run into things, though only a few small cases so far. This WILL get worse as time goes by. For example, how about folks who want to restore and preserve “antique” cars in 2038? A car computer built today will not work right then if it uses dates. (Almost all embedded systems are like this and are NOT 64 bit systems…)

In May 2006, reports surfaced of an early manifestation of the Y2038 problem in the AOLserver software. The software was designed with a kludge to handle a database request that should “never” time out. Rather than specifically handling this special case, the initial design simply specified an arbitrary time-out date in the future. The default configuration for the server specified that the request should time out after one billion seconds. One billion seconds (approximately thirty-two years) after 9:27.28 pm on 12 May 2006 is beyond the 2038 cutoff date. Thus, after this time, the time-out calculation overflowed and returned a date that was actually in the past, causing the software to crash. When the problem was discovered, AOL server managers had to edit the configuration file and set the time-out to a lower value.

Players of games or apps which are programmed to impose waiting periods are running into this problem when they attempt to work around the waiting period on devices which harbor the coding, by manually setting their devices (such as the Nexus 7) to a date past 19 January 2038.

Vulnerable systems

Embedded systems that use dates for either computation or diagnostic logging are most likely to be affected by the 2038 bug.

Many transportation systems from flight to automobiles use embedded systems extensively. In automotive systems, this may include anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC/ESP), traction control (TCS) and automatic four-wheel drive; aircraft may use inertial guidance systems and GPS receivers. However this does not imply that all these systems will suffer from the bug. Many such systems will not require access to dates. For those that do, those systems which only track the difference between times/dates and not absolute times/dates will, by the nature of the calculation, not experience a problem. This is the case for automotive diagnostics based on legislative standards such as CARB.

Another major use of embedded systems is in communications devices, including cell phones and Internet appliances (routers, wireless access points, etc.) which rely on storing an accurate time and date and are increasingly based on UNIX-like operating systems. For example, the bug makes some Android devices crash and not restart when the time is changed to that date.

As of 2012, most embedded systems use 8-bit or 16-bit microprocessors, even as desktop systems are transitioning to 64-bit systems.

Despite the modern 18–24-month generational update in computer systems technology, embedded systems are designed to last the lifetime of the machine in which they are a component. It is conceivable that some of these systems may still be in use in 2038. It may be impractical or, in some cases, impossible to upgrade the software running these systems, ultimately requiring replacement if 32-bit time_t limitations are to be corrected.

The use of 32-bit time_t has also been encoded into some file formats, which means it can live on well beyond the life of the machines on which such file formats were originally supported.

MySQL database’s inbuilt functions like UNIX_TIMESTAMP() will return 0 after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038.

It was that MySQL item that caught my attention as I was contemplating Temperature Database design and extending it into the future for model run outputs… Then that next to last bit about file formats has implications for data archival and restore operations.

BSD To The Rescue!

Just about when I was thinking forlornly that this was Not Good for me and my goals, once again, BSD is way ahead of all the rest. Note that in the following quote DVB is Digital Video Broadcasting and ATSC is your new Advanced Television standard… yeah, almost brand new and they didn’t think 20 years ahead…

But look just a little further down at BSD… (I’ve bolded it a bit) Also, honorable mention for Linux on 64 Bit hardware.


There is no universal solution for the Year 2038 . Any change to the definition of the time_t data type would result in code compatibility problems in any application in which date and time representations are dependent on the nature of the signed 32-bit time_t integer. For example, changing time_t to an unsigned 32-bit integer, which would extend the range to the year 2106, would adversely affect programs that store, retrieve, or manipulate dates prior to 1970, as such dates are represented by negative numbers. Increasing the size of the time_t type to 64-bit in an existing system would cause incompatible changes to the layout of structures and the binary interface of functions.

There is also no universal solution for the issue with DVB and ATSC real time transmitted dates due to issues with legacy receivers. Also the issue has yet to be acknowledged or resolved by either organization.
The only work around would be to discontinue all time related metadata services such as programming guides and automatic date synchronization after the affected dates. One possible option would be to create new table types for the affected part of the specifications and use ISO 8601 date strings rather than fixed integers as is used in ISO 9660 and ISO 13346 filesystems.

Most operating systems designed to run on 64-bit hardware already use signed 64-bit time_t integers. Using a signed 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date that is over twenty times greater than the estimated age of the universe: approximately 292 billion years from now, at 15:30:08 on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596. The ability to make computations on dates is limited by the fact that tm_year uses a signed 32 bit int value starting at 1900 for the year. This limits the year to a maximum of 2,147,485,547 (2,147,483,647 + 1900).

Starting with NetBSD version 6.0 (released in October 2012), the NetBSD operating system uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
Applications that were compiled for an older NetBSD release with 32-bit time_t are supported via a binary compatibility layer, but such older applications will still suffer from the Year 2038 problem.

OpenBSD since version 5.5, released in May 2014, also uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
In contrast to NetBSD, there is no binary compatibility layer. Therefore, applications expecting a 32-bit time_t and applications using anything different from time_t to store time values may break.

The x32 ABI for Linux (which defines an environment for programs with 32-bit addresses but running the processor in 64-bit mode) also uses a 64-bit time_t. Since it was a new environment, there was no need for special compatibility precautions.

Alternative proposals have been made (some of which are in use), such as storing either milliseconds or microseconds since an epoch (typically either 1 January 1970 or 1 January 2000) in a signed 64-bit integer, providing a minimum range of 300,000 years. Other proposals for new time representations provide different precisions, ranges, and sizes (almost always wider than 32 bits), as well as solving other related problems, such as the handling of leap seconds. In particular, TAI64 is an implementation of the Temps Atomique International standard, the current international real-time standard for defining a second and frame of reference.

So now I can confidently proceed secure in knowing Linux on my 64 bit hardware will work for dates more than 20 years in the future, and that on my 32 bit boxes, worst case, I need to run a BSD release (that I already have stored in archives).

I’m also even more justified in my desire to avoid any car with a computer in it (successful so far and not planning to buy anything newer) and not have my home appliances know the time, nor talk to the internet. (“Smart Grid”? When it all breaks 20 ish years out?)

Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ll just buy everything all over again in 2020 to 2025…

But I like old things and I like to have them still work.

Besides, I’m looking at doing things using times measured in centuries…

In Conclusion

So there you go. Reason to migrate toward 64 bit hardware for new boxes. Reason to use BSD for ‘Scientific’ things with deep time into the future. And comfort in knowing some folks actually look at such things.

But I’d start being very cautious about buying things that have embedded systems in them that are ‘date aware’ and that you expect to know about any times/dates after 2037 or so…

Though do remember that if it doesn’t have a clock in it or “do time” this is unlikely to matter. During the Y2k hysteria I’d ask folks: “Does the gas pump have a clock in it? Do you set the time?” and then explain to them that “IF it doesn’t know what time it is, it will continue to work Just Fine.”

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Russia, Syria, ISIL, IRAQ, IRAN, Saudi, program and popcorn

At US ball games there is an often heard barker refrain: “Program, Program, GET your PROGRAM here! Can’t tell the players without a PROGRAM!”. Somehow I think we need a bigger supply of popcorn and programs to follow the action in the Levant.

Most recently, Russia (nominal historical foe) from whom we get our access to space and rent rides to the space station has started building a forward operating base in Syria and is flying in loads of staff and supplies.

© Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
Middle East
10:17 22.07.2015(updated 10:44 22.07.2015

Russia is doing a lot to increase the combat readiness of the Syrian Army to fight ISIL militants, Russia’s Ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinshchak said. According to him, it is in Russia’s interest to support fight against terrorism in Syria.

Smoke rises in the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish side of the border near Suruc, Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 27, 2015
© REUTERS/ Stringer
Syrian Prime Minister: US-led Coalition Actions in Syria ‘Unproductive’
DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Moscow provides sufficient assistance to Syria in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, Russia’s Ambassador to Syria said.

“I think that we are anyway doing a lot to raise the level of combat readiness of the Syrian Army. In particular, we sometimes help [them] with advice when it is necessary,” Alexander Kinshchak told RIA Novosti in an interview.

It is in Russia’s interest to support Syria in the fight against terrorism, he added.


ISIL is a Sunni militant group in control of vast territories across Iraq and Syria. The jihadist group is also attempting to branch out to other countries in the region.

The Syrian government has been fighting ISIL jihadists on the ground to curb the group’s advance. A US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions in Syria and Iraq. The strikes are being carried out without permission from Damascus.

So first off, we need to remember to sort folks into Sunni vs Shia as that is the basic divide driving conflict between Arab / Muslim States in the region. These folks have been fighting and killing each other for about 1200 years now and show no sign of slowing down.

So Syria (foe) is mostly Sunni as is Saudi Arabia (ally) but the government of Syria is dominated by Alawites who are just like the Shia, only different a little, and are supported by Iran (foe) who IS Shia, mostly.

Now Obama (Dad was Shia) and Kerry just made a great “Nuclear Deal” with Iran (foe) letting them get $100 Billion+ to fund more Radical Militant Islam so maybe we’re sort of not seeing them as a foe so much any more though they continue to chant “Death To America” so maybe not so much…

Saudi (ally) was where most of the 9/11 attackers (foe, Sunni) came from. They are attacking Yemen (ally) but not the Government of Yemen (ally) the rebel part (foe) who are funded by Iran (foe). We’ve moved most of our stuff out of the facilities we had in Yemen (ally) so maybe more it’s not so much an ally as a smoking hole in the ground…

Turkey (NATO member, ally) has just let us use an air base there to better bomb ISIL (foe) who used to be ISIS (foe) but then changed from just wanting Syria (the last S) to wanting the whole Levant (that reaches from Lybia (old foe) through Egypt (ally, then foe, now ally, maybe – though they just shot up a dozen tourists and killed a few Mexicans (ally) so maybe not really what we want in a friend…), Israel (ally), Jordan (ally) and on around even to Greece (ally with an empty wallet and begging bowl).

So Turkey (ally) is bombing ISIL (foe) now and also bombing the Kurds (ally) in the PKK (Communists, so sort of foe, but ally to Obama, and fighting ISIL). The PKK Kurds (ally) have also blown up a few things in Turkey (ally) so who knows…

We have a major naval base in Bahrain which is a good ally of ours despite the rulers being Sunni and most of the people Shia and them not liking each other much…

Saudi (ally) is mostly Wahhabi which is a particularly strict form of Sunni, and doesn’t get along well with Shia much (unless they are the masters and overlords as in Bahrain, then they’re OK with that… sort of…) and Saudi has a small minority population of Shia up toward Kuwait (ally) who’s bacon we saved some years back from Iraq (foe) before it was Iraq (defeated) and now Iraq (ally). Even though they don’t like bacon. Or saving it. But then Saudi had a bomb go off up there blowing up a bunch of Shia in a Mosque… but nobody noticed much.

Now Iraq (ally) is more complicated…

It was mostly Sunni in the south and Shia in the north with some scattered Christians (as in Syria) some decades back. Now we have the Government (Shia ally) and the South (ISIL Sunni foe) divided and the Christians are mostly dead though some just got run out. (As in Syria, as was the case in “Christian Lebanon” some decades back). Lebanon (foe) is used as a staging ground for attacks on Israel (ally) now that the Christians are all dead or gone and Iran (foe) is funding things. Jordan (ally) had a pilot BBQed by ISIL (foe) so is pretty much clearly on our side, though only neutral toward Israel (ally) for now and up to their eyeballs in refugees from Syria (foe) and Iraq (officially ally large parts foe).

When ISIL (foe) attacked Iraq (ally after we bombed them enough) some time back in the south, the largely Sunni troops in that area handed them the keys to a few thousand HummVees, some very high tech armored cars and a few of THE BEST tanks in the world ( likely sold to Russia [foe] or China [‘trading partner’ – i.e. subtle foe] by now… to join the stealth helicopter parts Pakistan [reluctant ally] sold them after the Bin Laden raid we did on Pakistan [ally?] but I digress…) and headed out for a light snack and some R&R away from things like actually fighting their Brother Sunni in defense of their nation. Iran (foe) did offer to help the Iraq Government (Shia ally) but we didn’t like that idea… In the end, ISIL has some of THE best military gear on the planet that we could provide, free, to our ally-foes in the region. But what’s a few hundred $Billion among frienemies?

Glad I could clear the up for you…

So, as of now in the bottom of the 7th inning, I think I’ve covered most of the players in the Levant. There are some loose ends, like Libya where the country is divided into two major factions and it is still a race to see if The Muslim Brotherhood (foe) or ISIL (foe) wins, and Egypt, who were our allies before they became our foe but are back to being allies, when they aren’t murdering tourists or each other; maybe. But that’s a bit away from the main action.

Also I’ve not said anything about the flood of Libyan, Syrian, etc. etc. “refugees” invading Europe. Having done such a great job of it with their culture and “Religion of Peace” making their homelands paragons of peace and stability, they now want to escape to Europe; but don’t want to dump the belief systems that had them crapping in their own punch bowls in their own countries. Nope, they just want the good European Lifestyle until they can install Sharia and ‘fix it’…

But ignoring those omissions, I hope this listing of foe and ally has helped make it all clear just who’s on first as our ‘besties’… and who isn’t quite.

;sarc> of course…

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RaTails – Draft High Level Steps

The purpose of this posting is to lay out the high level steps I see in making an analogue of Tails on the Raspberry Pi.

Partly this is a working document for the project of making something relatively secure and disposable that is ‘sort of like Tails’, and partly it is a set of links to things along that line that are interesting.

Any suggestions and / or folks pitching in most welcome.

Why Do This?

I’ve used my Raspberry Pi boards for several things now, and the Raspberry Pi Model 2 is “comfortable enough” for use as a disposable workstation (though you might want a bit more eventually). Single core (CPU) performance is a bit low for high demand tasks (like WordPress article editing – but some of that is network load as WP is very “chatty” with spell checkers constantly resending all the text). Multi-core performance ‘needs work’ on spreading task load around, but that’s not a big problem for most folks.

That means that you are $60 to Amazon and 1 day of assembly away from restoration of any “lost” (i.e. stolen by over zealous police) hardware. For typical uses, you could also have a stash of pre-built SD cards and just stick one in and go. Or download the image from some remote site, copy it to the card (with Windows or something like dd on Linux), and go. But then you end up in a recursion problem. You need to make the workstation to get the image to build the workstation…

And, if your ‘stuff’ was just taken (rather like what happened to Tallbloke ) and you know you are under surveillance (even if misguided) and perhaps with active Man In The Middle attacks on your downloads… well, you need some ‘other way’ to have internet presence without the probability of being compromised.

Progress To Date

Earlier we looked at how Tails is built and what if anything was being done by the Tails folks on the Raspberry Pi. First off, it’s a complicated build using at least 3 languages and git just to do a ‘roll your own’ OS. That’s a steeper curve than I can get done in short order and it is not well suited to a “newby” learning how to do things on a R.Pi. (That education goal being part of the whole reason for the Pi…)

While I’d love to just have a link to “install Tails on your Pi from here”, that isn’t in existence yet. The work to port Tails is larger than one part time guy wants to take on (i.e. me) and I think an incremental approach is more productive faster (though eventually a port of real Tails will obsolete it, the skill sets will be valuable in any case). So I also looked into alternatives. More on that below. But what has been done?

The basic hardware build and software configuration steps are documented and a draft generic build script written. While investigating precursor tech, like a ‘Live-CD’ build, I found that SliTaz has a ‘Live-CD’ like build for the R.Pi, but it isn’t ready for the Model 2 just yet. That could serve as a base for building a RaTails on the R.Pi B+ model, but don’t put it on your Model 2 without testing on a recyclable SD card… We have also seen how to put a file system into an encrypted file container on the Pi.

All of which brings us more or less up to date. Raspberry Pi built, configured, running and with the ability to put things into an encrypted container. Knowing that a ‘Live-CD’ build is possible, and that TOR The Onion Router, is already ported to the Raspberry Pi and running.

What’s Next?

This is a very high level list of what I see as ‘the next steps’. There are some dependencies in these, but often they can be done ‘out of order’. So some of this ordering represents personal interest, what I would want to have working first, or just random listing order. Feel free to go out of order. This isn’t a PERT chart with a critical path and dependencies, just a ‘ToDo List’.

1) Make a version of the OnionPi. I’ve already made a Pi that uses a WiFi dongle so this is mostly adding the Onion Router code to it. I put this first simply because it is ‘ready to go’ and will be immediately usable “as is”.

2) Boot it from an external USB drive. At that point you can have your “goods” on a ‘yankable’ USB stick and a very generic boot SD card in the Pi itself. This also lets you set up for boot-from network (and eventually from a remote site if you like). Berryboot looks like the way to go and doesn’t look too hard. This step could be done first, if desired.

3) Make that a ‘Live-CD’ type boot. This step starts to be a bit harder. I noticed that the Berryboot link shows Puppy as one of the OS types. As Puppy is a ‘live-CD’ boot, it might make sense to use it as the base and put the TOR router in place. That is an investigation step. “Roll your own” live-cd’ or start from pick one: {SliTaz | Puppy | …}. This step could be done first too, if desired. This involves using a read only squashfs file system to store the OS, and having a RAM based writable file system overlay using AUFS or similar on top (union file system) so it looks writable, but everything is really in a ram disk. It also means Raspian is out as it sometimes rolls to swap even with a 1 GB memory. Take 1/2 that for a RAM disk and you will ‘have issues’. So a smaller lighter distribution…

4) Add encryption to the boot. The Raspberry Pi has a rather different boot process. At some point it would be desirable to have the root / boot process be from encrypted disks, but it is a potential performance issue and complicated. I’d leave this for a later step; though Kali looks to have done it. It would be good to have a pen-testing station in your site anyway, so building one of these is a good idea in any case and in any order.

5) Amnesiac Build: Go through the system and weed out all the places it tries to remember things and squash them. At this point, reference to the Tails build is likely most efficient as they have done the work already. Things like making the browser not save cookies and not save cache pages or history. Can be done in any order, but likely better if done after base OS is settled in step 3 and many writes go to RAMdisk so volatile anyway.

6) Incognito Enforced Build: Go through the system and weed out all the places it tries to identify you and squash them. At this point, reference to the Tails build is likely most efficient as they have done the work already. Things like making the browser not tattle on you and not reporting things like all the WiFi stations your dongle can see and doesn’t present any useful identifiers of release info. Can be done in any order, but likely better if done after base OS is settled in step 3.

7) Harden the Operating System and Tools: If you don’t NEED it on the device to function, take it out. What is left needs to be tested and assured hardened. Firewall and protective suite tools tuned. So things like proper use of encryption, certs, key lengths, ciphers, ACLs etc. Use Kali for a first pass test of it. Can be started in any order, but must be completed after the system is stable and more or less finished. Create a build list that only includes the known needed elements and has ‘remove’ for everything else. Any specially modified code needs a repository built {somewhere} with source available for scrutiny. Ensure there are applications and pointers to things like encrypted email services, key generation and management, VPN to other countries, etc. All the applications you need, nothing that isn’t essential or secure.

8) QA and stress test cycle. Build a regression test suite for all known issues. (Perhaps start from the list of historical issues encountered by other releases such as Tails and Kali.). Ought to start collecting issues and data from day one, but this step never finishes as it is re-run and expanded with every new release and bug report.

9) Beta tester release. “In the wild” trials and fix cycle.

In Conclusion

Well, that’s what I’ve got so far. Kick it around. I’m quite happy to expand, contract, fix, and update.

My best guess is that I’ll get through about #5 and the real Tails release will get ported. Still, I think it worth the effort. There are times I’d like something a little more custom and flexible (so, for example, I can choose to save some cookies and and I can have a few desired but not quite mil-spec tools available) and Tails is not going to let me. Or I’d like a locked down amnesiac system, but don’t really need a full on TOR slow routing experience.

So IMHO being able to ‘pick and choose’ makes this worth it. It also means I’m not depending on the purity of some other soul or some download site for what I get. There is value in being different sometimes. For example, if “agencies” are watching for the fingerprint of folks using Tails or camping on TOR exit nodes, being a bit out of spec is a feature. (“Rotating shield frequencies Captain!”…) It can also “finger you” if you are the only person with that profile, and it means you are responsible for finding all the exposures in your ‘kit’, but having both modes available IMHO has merit.

I have a couple of other links on the tablet that need to be reviewed and I might add some more here later. Also note that each step needs a WBS Work Breakdown Structure done to sub-tasks. For example, a ‘live-CD’ type read-only build depends on having a RAMdisk based OS and a squashfs archive, though for a larger image on a USB drive, the squashfs is optional. Incognito Build depends on having an incognito hardened browser ala Tails. Each of those sub-tasks needs to be identified and then done. For a One Guy Shop that’s easy. You just do it and fix the errors, omissions, and aw shits in the QA cycle. For ‘more hands’ they need a bit more listing and handing off.

All of which says “expect things to grow in the comments” as that detail surfaces. Feel free to surface it ;-)

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