The privacy concerns metastasize

Whenever you think you’ve conjured up all the worst-case scenarios with computer viruses, malignant PC attacks and such, along comes another even more alarming potential attack.  Here’s a Washington Post article, in their technology section.  Kim Zetter writes:

“When Hillary Clinton stumbled and coughed through public appearances during her 2016 presidential run, she faced critics who said that she might not be well enough to perform the top job in the country. To quell rumors about her medical condition, her doctor revealed that a CT scan of her lungs showed that she just had pneumonia.

But what if the scan had shown faked cancerous nodules, placed there by malware exploiting vulnerabilities in widely used CT and MRI scanning equipment? Researchers in Israel say they have developed such malware to draw attention to serious security weaknesses in critical medical imaging equipment used for diagnosing conditions and the networks that transmit those images — vulnerabilities that could have potentially life-altering consequences if unaddressed.

The malware they created would let attackers automatically add realistic, malignant-seeming growths to CT or MRI scans before radiologists and doctors examine them. Or it could remove real cancerous nodules and lesions without detection, leading to misdiagnosis and possibly a failure to treat patients who need critical and timely care.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/03/hospital-viruses-fake-cancerous-nodes-ct-scans-created-by-malware-trick-radiologists/?utm_term=.a89a2e489387

All I can say is I’m glad I read this article today and not last week when I received a breast biopsy report with good news,  from my radiologist.  The potential for, dare I say, “malignant” actors to invade people’s privacy and cause egregious harm here boggles my mind.

With the privacy concerns continually metastasizing (sorry, I couldn’t help myself here), in many ways, I think we were all a bit safer and our personal privacy was more secure before the world became interconnected.

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In search of Dem Spin trail of breadcrumbs

Jot this tweet down under tantalizing speculation, as we await more information on the bizarre dropping of all charges against the actor, Jussie Smollett, who was accused of faking being the victim of a hate crime:

None of this is normal—even for Crook County where I was an Assistant State’s Attorney. Educated guess: this hoax implicated someone very important who had pull with the State’s Attorney, and who very badly did not want to be implicated.

Media reports mention Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff as contacting the Cook County State’s Attorney:

“Chicago’s police union has demanded an investigation into Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx her text messages with Jussie Smollett’s family friends.

Before recusing herself from the case in mid-February, Foxx exchanged texts with Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, a close friend of the Smollett family.

Tchen, 63, sent a text to Foxx three days after Smollett, an actor on television’s “Empire,” claimed he was the victim of a hate crime, saying that she wanted to set up a phone call to discuss the case.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/police-union-wants-investigation-into-prosecutor-who-exchanged-texts-with-former-michelle-obama-chief-of-staff-on-jussie-smollett-case

In dropping the case,  Smollett’s public service was cited as justification, so it’s interesting that Chicago political heavy hitter, Jesse Jackson, came to bat for Smollett:

“Jussie Smollettlogged a total of 18 hours of community service over 2 days — with Jesse Jackson‘s organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition — and that was enough to satisfy prosecutors in Chicago.

Honchos at Rainbow PUSH — a civil and human rights organization — tell us, Jussie volunteered for the first time Saturday, putting in 8 hours from 10 AM  to 6 PM. He just completed another 10 hours on Monday.

We’re told Jussie’s “service” included stuffing membership envelopes, working in the group’s bookstore to sell merchandise … and critiquing its Saturday broadcast. We’re told he helped them with camera angles, and also worked with the music director on a plan to build the choir.”

https://www.tmz.com/2019/03/26/jussie-smollett-community-service-rainbow-push-jesse-jackson-charges-dropped/

A key fact in the initial reporting was Smollett’s allegation of being attacked centered on his attackers being MAGA hat-wearing thugs, which turned this story into another massive media anti-Trump spin effort.  Don’t know about this case implicating “someone very important” specifically, but obviously Smollett has connections to some pretty powerful Chicago political players… with a former Obama aide and Jesse Jackson going to bat for Smollett.

This situation should go in the “stay tuned” file, for sure, as we try to track down the trail of breadcrumbs left by Dem spin operatives and fixers …

Some Added Thoughts:

This Smollett, dare I use the term, “narrative” smells so much like other Dem SPIN narratives meant to smear Trump and his supporters, that one wonder if Smollett wrote this script alone or if he was collaborating with some  professional Dem SPIN writers?

Here’s a Feb 18, 2019, CBS report:

“Sources said the brothers are now cooperating with police.

Smollett has said two men attacked him while he was walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He claimed they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.

Sources told CBS 2 News that Smollett paid the two men $3,500 to stage the attack in Streeterville. The brothers, seen on surveillance video near the scene of the alleged attack, told investigators Smollett directed them to buy the rope used in the incident, and paid for the purchase at Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in Ravenswood days before the incident.

The brothers, who were questioned by police last week before being released, were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.

They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29, after the attack.

Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.

The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.

All three men rehearsed their plan just days before everything played out.”

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/02/18/jussie-smollett-case-investigation-alleged-attack-brothers-released/

There was a rehearsal, professional actor, stage props purchased days before the attack, which makes one wonder if Smollett wrote this script alone or if he had assistance?  Was Smollett the sole creator of this MAGA SPIN hoax or was he just the actor recruited to play the lead role?

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More 2016 questions

Here’s a short read by Peter Kirsanow, in The Corner section at National Review, titled, “Ask Obama”.

Kirsanow points out :

“The mainstream media remain invincibly incurious regarding the former president’s role in the Russia affair. Presumably, underlings in Obama’s national-security apparatus were running about obtaining FISA warrants, leaking, unmasking, and spying on a presidential campaign and transition without the former president’s involvement, let alone direction. He remained oblivious despite Lisa Page’s September 2, 2016 text to Peter Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Everything? There was a heckuva lot going on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/barack-obama-and-robert-muellers-report/

 

The following is an 11 minute John Batchelor interview about the Steele dossier that poses some interesting possibilities:

Definitely plenty of questions about the Steele dossier swirling since the Mueller report was handed to the attorney general.

 

 

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A clear explanation of the Mueller findings from National Review

Andrew McCarthy at National Review provided the best legal analysis of the entire Russian collusion mess for the past two years and JK kindly provided a podcast link,  located here, where McCarthy discusses the latest news on the Mueller report findings.  It’s worth your time to listen to this, almost hour-long, discussion.

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Time to finally look into the Clinton SPIN operatives

The Mueller report key findings hit yesterday, so here goes:  Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.  On the obstruction of justice allegation over firing James Comey, there’s sure to be more efforts by Dems in SDNY to try to continue fomenting that spin effort to take down Trump.

Here are the main things the Mueller report doesn’t explain:

Who on earth were Steele’s Russian sources “close to the Kremlin”?

Were these Russian sources paid, or did they just offer up this supposed “Kremlin dirt” to Steele?

If Steele did pay his sources, where did those funds come from?

Cody Shearer, longtime Clinton operative (sleaze merchant), was reported to have produced a second dossier, which was fed to the Obama State Department as “reliable intelligence”.

How much overlap, collaboration or “collusion” (dare I say) was there between Shearer, Steele and/or Fusion GPS?

From 2018: “The second dossier — two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier, and is receiving new scrutiny. Over the weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a TV interviewthat his panel is shifting its focus concerning the genesis of the Russia investigation from the FBI to the State Department. This probe will include the Shearer dossier.

In late September 2016, Sidney Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant and colleague of Shearer’s, passed Shearer’s dossier on to State Department official Jonathan M. Winer, a longtime aide to John Kerry on Capitol Hill and at Foggy Bottom.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/04/25/test.html

That 2018 report asserts, “two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier”.   Why do the Steele dossier and Shearer dossiers “echo” each other and who are the Kremlin-connected sources, or even Russian sources both Steele and Shearer relied on???

Adam Schiff, James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper  may want to keep faith in the Steele dossier, but it’s way past time to dig into the details of who were the Clinton sewer rats behind feeding that Steele dossier to top Obama officials and then trying to figure out why these officials bought into the Steele dossier so completely.

It’s time to investigate the Clinton SPIN operatives.

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Cart before the horse… as usual

Space abhors a vacuum… so in lieu of any facts about what the Mueller report actually says, the media, partisans and the punditry “smart” set have talked themselves into extraordinary spin contortions, since news broke Friday that the Mueller report is finished.  In the political media cart before the horse fashion, by the time we learn actual details, the media spin fronts have already staked out their talking points.

The Dem spin pivot is it’s now all about the SDNY, according to Adam Schiff,  while Trump spin is working to cast Trump as a sainted martyr.

The truth remains, regardless of Mueller’s report, that both 2016 campaigns were extremely corrupt and working to acquire Russian dirt on their opponent.  While that isn’t criminal, it speaks to both Trump and Hillary being thoroughly corrupt and willing to do anything to win.  That fact should disturb every American.

All along I’ve contended that the Russians would not want to openly “collude” with either campaign, because that would require the Russians having some level of “trust” in those American political operatives and besides, why should the Russians “collude” with American political operatives, when they can feed tantalizing bits of partisan disinformation into the American media and keep the American partisans attacking each other?

Now, the quest to uncover the Clinton/Russian collusion will begin, as the focus shifts to trying to uncover how the Steele dossier came about and how on earth the FBI, DOJ  and top Obama intel peeps bought into it so completely.  Fun times as the 2016 SPIN information war drags on and on and on.

2016 Russian Collusion count

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More proponents of a “Kill Them With Kindness” plan

I like cutesy pictures and saccharin sweet sayings, so here’s what I look at on the hutch above my PC.

An op-ed in the Washington Post a few days ago, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred, caught my attention.  It was a short piece about the deluge of angry word flying across the internet.  The Dalai Lama and Brooks write:

“Human beings have a deep longing to live together in harmony. People only feel completely alive when experiencing loving bonds with one another. Everyone, of all faiths and no faith, knows this truth, and most profess it openly.

And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity.”

Their answer to defeating the growing “war of words”, especially online,  is very simple:

“Respond with kindness. Want to say something insulting about people who disagree with you? Take a breath and show generosity, instead.”

As I am typing this, Twitter is aflutter with another Trump-generated outrage spin cycle about Trump’s vicious attack yesterday on the late senator, John McCain, while standing in front of Army tanks and the American flag.  This spin cycle will agitate for a few days, but nothing will really change, despite a firestorm of words flying in the media, covering this latest Trump spin blitz.

Our politics very much reflects our culture and despite many anti-Trump politicians and pundits asserting, “This (meaning Trump) is not who we are,” sadly, Trump very much reflects who we are.

The truth is, in an America where good character and being truthful matters, neither of our two thoroughly corrupt 2016 presidential contenders would have been their party’s choice.  If either party had any ethical standards, they would have rejected such completely mendacious candidates, who were under so heavy a cloud of corruption, and who both have glaring character flaws.   We embrace a culture dominated by social media celebrity, Reality TV stardom and a news media entrenched in promoting political spin cycles.  Absent this media dominated culture, neither Trump nor Hillary would have risen to the top and diligent investigative reporting in the news media would have sunk both of them.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or fancy clinical terms to see that both Trump and Hillary lie outrageously and they both have the disturbing habit of doubling down on their lies, even when there’s video of them saying or doing the exact thing they are denying.  They launch media spin campaigns to bolster their lies rather than admit they lied.

In real life most people with even a bit of a moral compass, recognize thoroughly mendacious people like Trump and Hillary as people to be wary of and untrustworthy, but in American politics now, most Americans chose one of them to lead America…

That speaks to our American culture, where too many people prefer to jump on the latest popular spin train rather than standing up for any sort of moral principles.

Many conservatives and NeverTrumpers made their peace with Trump as POTUS, happily consoling themselves with “But Gorsuch” type rationalizations and trying to skim past the recurring Trump-instigated outrage spin cycles, like this bizarre spectacle of Trump’s attack on McCain yesterday.  Likewise, many Democrats chose to ignore the obvious Clinton corruption.

How many Americans will choose to start being kind and generous when facing hostile attacks?  Well, judging from a couple of decades of watching… and experiencing, social media behavior, even a few people beginning to lead this “kill them with kindness” approach, assuredly, is a welcome glimmer of hope.

The Dalai Lama and Brooks “Kill Them With Kindness” plan, naturally, resonated with me, because it’s the only way to defeat the massive SPIN information war that drives, not only American media, but also American culture.

Since 1998, I’ve wished a thousand times, and more, that I had never posted any comments online, but perhaps working toward writing less about politics and more about things that matter much more to me might be a good thing. Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to change the tone, so I welcome the Dalai Lama and Brooks suggestion and will work to try to change the only person I can control… myself (and the tone of my blog  &  social media comments).

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