Hate crimes or taking hate to an extreme

Another mass killing by someone who is a known hater. Where? Was it the one somewhere in the Middle East – like Israel, Syria – the usual places – or at a school? Well what about one of those Moslems? They are the other, the bad guys unless this is the week that Obama is going to make one of his grand standing “speeches”.

This time the killing rage happened in Kansas and from what I’ve read this guy – Frazier Glenn Miller – is a garden variety racist. A racist who has been spewing his hate speech for a very long time. Either the guy is ancient or his hatred has rotted him from the inside out because he is a very ugly person. The racial/religious group he hates enough to go out and kill this time was Jews. Basically the creep hates most everyone. He is a former KKK and when that group didn’t fuel his hatred of the other – he went off forming his very own terrorist cell.

Being a woman I pretty much know what it is like to be hated for my gender – so I have empathy for others who are targets of haters. Since Miller is most obviously of the white race and male – perhaps someone needs to tell him that he is basically an invader of a landmass once fully inhabited by Native Americans. Some invaders became a true part of this new world and others like this Miller guy just kept trying to turn America into a warped reality where everyone is a hater like he is. I bring American history of genocide or ethnic cleansing because of the salute to Hitler that Miller made after his killing spree. Hitler according to that book Hitler wrote said he got the idea for dealing with his Jewish by reading how the Americans managed to drastically reduce the Indian population.

According to statistics the Right wing haters are more dangerous (meaning the wingers kill more people) than the Moslems or Muslims. (I’ve seen both spellings). I’ve just seen the number not the sources for the totals. When are the crimes of the extreme Right wing haters going to be classified as terrorism rather than hate crimes?

Miller is a hater but I’ve seen nothing that makes me believe that he is mentally ill like the Tucson mass murder or that mentally ill guy who shot up a movie theater in Colorado or the guy in Sandy Hook. Those mass killers had the text book symptoms and have been identified by mental health professionals as suffering from schizophrenia. I’ll leave the in-depth analysis to the experts.

Change your passwords

It is amazing just how many passwords we all collect if we use the internet. To even be reading this lowly blog you probably had to use at least one password. If you engage in any online commerce you generally have to register with the website and come up with yet another password. Online banking = password. To access online credit card accounts we have yet another password. Sometimes we do have to deal with real people regarding the latest credit card account thefts – ah but there is that secret word or name. Then there is the social media and more passwords.

Heartbleed is the newest known security glitch or breach and this one is by far the worst one yet. Data – our personal data has been leaking from websites using OpenSSL as their cyber security. This has been going on for two years. Those of us not deeply into security or all the code necessary to link our web browsers with a secure website so we can buy new underwear or whatever trust that the tech guys know what they are doing. At first NSA claimed innocence. The question then became – “when did NSA know”?. Bloomberg News last week informs us that NSA knew shortly after the bug was introduced into OpenSSL and NSA has been exploiting the bug for two years.

The advice from internet security experts is to change all of our passwords – as soon as we know that each website has installed working (verified) patches. If passwords are changed before solid patches are in place we are going to have to figure out another strong password. There are password lock box apps that require a master password to access. I have not used one – many people swear by these apps.

After I sent a friend an easy to understand article on how to create strong passwords – she responded that she keeps hard copies of her passwords and never has the websites keep her personal information or passwords on file. But what she doesn’t understand is — that for passwords to work, that these passwords, email address and/or user names are kept on file by the companies we are doing business with.

Here’s a very simplified version of how the secure https websites work. Note the difference between http and https – that s at the end of http indicates that this is a secure link.

There is a whole lot of computer code working in the background. Actually behind pretty webpages there is a whole lot of code which controls the look, feel, and design of webpages. The commercial websites using OpenSSL generate a very long string of numbers and magically hooks up with our computer to collect the data that we typed onto the online forms.

This data including the passwords is magically combined with the very long string of meaningless numbers. At the business end there is a master decryption key which again makes the meaningless data from us with our purchase order into something that the computer can send out to be boxed up by humans or computers. Also the banks are sent our credit card information.

It is really pretty amazing just how much of our lives are dependent on cyber security. NSA was supposed to be the DEFENSIVE part of internet security. But that government boondoggle has cost we taxpayers – or we the people -billions of dollars. One way or the other NSA is the bad guy – either they were too incompetent and they missed this major bug – or they found the bug – kept quiet about it and exploited the bug for their own purposes. What was Obama’s role? When did he know about this bug? So far NSA and the white house claimed to have learned about the bug last Monday. TechNet.com has two must read articles published on Monday 14 April 2014 about the impact of the Heartbleed bug as well as an article about how NSA has failed at its job which is supposed to be cyber defense. NSA is all about cyber warfare because it is run by the military. Once we get all the different spy agencies attached to the internet feeder hubs to disengage we might see all of internet speed increase. There is no way that massive SPYING and copying everything is NOT slow down even “high speed” internet.

So change your password and read advice on creating a strong password – do not use 1234.

Update one.

Emptywheel.com a.k.a Marcy Wheeler a lot to say about Obama’s white house response to the Heartbleed bug.

http://theweek.com/article/index/259910/why-obamas-response-to-the-heartbleed-bug-is-so-troubling

If you read Techdirt.com, the Guardian.com and Emptywheel.com you will gain a pretty good overview of just how bad the Heartbleed bug is and why you need to change you passwords. We may never know how much information malicious hackers like the NSA may have stolen.

Jails turned in mental hospitals?

Jails in America now house now house 10 time more mental health patients than state hospitals according to this article.

Way back when Raygun was Governor of California he emptied the mental hospitals. I know I was there and saw the instant homeless population. At first one batch of mental patients from the local hospital where put in off campus housing near San Jose State University. That didn’t last long. Many crazy people end up in state hospitals because they won’t or don’t remember to take their meds. Something like 25% of crazy people are unable to recognize the fact that they are mentally ill. This is sort of like a person with a broken arm who thinks that s/he is normal – that broken arms are normal. In the U.S. it is estimated that about 50% of the population with mental illness are untreated/unmedicated. The reasons for non medication is because some people can’t remember to take their meds or the can’t afford their meds or they have an undiagnosed but treatable (or untreatable) mental illness.

Is jail any place for mental patients? Are jails equipped and staffed and designed to treat mentally disabled human being? In most jails mental patients are locked away with little or no treatment – except perhaps for the daily meds tossed in their cells. Is America a civilized country? When we look at how mental illness awareness among the majority is still back in the 19th century – it seems like the USA has a long way to go before it reaches the 21st century.

Ocean garbage slows search for missing jet

As the days go by the world is learning what oceanographer have been telling us for decades – that the oceans are filled with garbage. Sailors who have done the Vic Maui sailboat race have told me about the Pacific dead zone which is an area of the north Pacific ocean that is frequently windless. On the maps/charts of this part of Pacific this looks like a large circle. Junk collects and the oxygen level is low.

It seems as if the roaring 40s of the southern latitudes has a similar area which collects junk. The satellite photos which the news outlets reported are finding rubbish from fishing boats

Great Pacific Garbage vortex. The same article shows the great Indian Ocean garbage vortex – which also happens to be where flight 370 might have ended.

These huge garbage vortices are the result of human impact – using the world’s oceans as dumping grounds plus global warming and the warming oceans which in turn influence storms and ocean currents. There is a whole field of research dealing with the massive currents that circle the globe. The heating of oceans could stop or stall or redirect the current. A decade or so ago a load of rubber ducks fell off of a cargo ship. These rubber ducks have shown up on beaches all over the world. And rubber ducks were carried along by surface currents. There are deep sea currents which are more challenging to study – but there are scientists up to the challenge.

Clear cutting & rain & mudslides

Seattle was built on steep slopes. Eventually the more extreme hills were leveled. Walking up from the waterfront to downtown Seattle is still a steep uphill trudge. Snohomish county is north of Seattle and the steep hills remain as does the uncivilized practice of clear cutting the trees which might have kept the soil or clay mud on place.

I have lived in the Northwest long enough to see many mudslides after long periods of heavy rains. During the reign of Reagan and then Bush the elder there was a clear cutting orgy as if there was a race with a prize at the end for the killing of the very last old growth tree left standing. Clear cutting trees with the slash and burn piles on steep slopes followed by months of soaking rain equals mud slides. Often there is an effort to replant trees – with a mono species commercial tree. But it takes several decades for the roots to go down far enough to serve as an anchor against human stupidity.

Time will tell us if anything has been learned by the state and local governments who allowed the clear cutting and then the view homes to be built in mud slide prone areas. Studies were made and reports were filed and ignored. There is a mistrust of scientists by many folks in rural Washington. My friends who happen to have a college degree and who make their home in rural, logging friendly parts Washington were told not to mention their degrees to the local folks.

Putting what I know about local politics and prejudices aside I hope that something will be done by the politicians in Olympia next legislative session to get the scientific reports about unstable cliffs that could become the next tragic mudslide.

The western side of Washington State also has slide prone areas along the Puget sound – there are many slide areas visible from the water. Homes have been buried by slides created by clay soil which liquefied after months of rains. On the clear cut cliffs above the beach level home sit the high tax revenue, view homes. The now dead home owner in the sea level homes – are they in the wrong place? Or are the local county officials who ignore the scientific reports the ones at fault? Mud slides are nothing new – the liquefaction of certain types of soils has been demonstrated in laboratories for generations. I remember watching a lab created demonstration put on by the Engineering department at the University when I was a student.

Koch bros

Here’s a headline that should make the average American wonder just who owns the Politicians — doesn’t matter the party.

Koch Brothers Are The Largest Land Owners Of Canada’s Tar Sands

Now with all the news about the Keystone pipeline and the vast pollution mess that is already happening up north in Canada it turns out that some stinking rich dudes down in the States are the major land owners. These are the same guys who own most of the GOP party (probably the Dems as well). These Bible thumping, self righteous, wing nut jerks who really don’t give a damn that they are doing damage to the earth that their kids will inherit. Oh excuse me — they are amassing billions of dollars but yet they apparently believe the world is going to end and that they will be saved. Apparently the Koch brothers and the rest of the money changers in the temples didn’t read that part of the New Testament where Christ threw the money changers out of the temples. So this Jesus Christ from the Christian’s Bible is supposed to return and “save” the Koch brothers?

By their logic it does not matter what they do to the earth because there will be no future generations anyway? Yet they are stuffing billions away — for what? Just in case they need to buy their way into heaven? Will their money even buy a place in their mythological heaven?

/end rant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing passenger jet mystery

Many people are following this stranger than fiction story of the missing passenger jet which seems to have changed direction and headed west toward the Bay of Bengal. At this point we have few facts and lots of theories. Headline on Huffington Post and similar theme on other world news sources:  Malaysia Airline flight MH370 was diverted deliberately says Malaysian PM.

Major reasons for this announcement the two transponders were turned off 14 minutes apart. Then there are the Rolls Royce jet engines sending pings to satellites with time and location indicating that flight MH370 was headed west. The details in this developing story and live blog time lines can be found at both Huffington Post and the Guardian.

What I’m reading is that the crew and passengers are being investigated but there is no mention of remote control of this passenger get — a Boeing 777. My mind clings to trivia and I remember reading several discussions about remote control of passenger jets being carried out just before 9/11. In fact the date of the remote piloting was August of 2000. It took me some searching and rewording the Internet search words and I did remember correctly. It turns out that a smaller Boeing Jet 727 was used than the missing Boeing 777.

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0800waas#a0800waas

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a100201raytheon#a100201raytheon

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a082501autoland#a082501autoland

Several commentators following articles about flight MH370 have suggested the theory of remote control hijacking. It turns out the early experiments with remote control of large aircraft began in the mid 1980s and Boeing has perfected auto pilot landing for several decades. My father was a lead mechanic on the Boeing 747 and he told me that he could tell the difference between the auto pilot landing and the real live pilot landing the passenger jet. Of course my dad had a lot of cockpit experience with landing and taking off. That was way back in the 1980s and we all know how far technology has progressed since the last century.

The mystery still remains — who or what was behind the redirection and silencing of human communication of this plane. If a remote piloting system was used in the disappearance of this Boeing 777 can the radio traffic between the remote control and air craft be tracked? How different is flying a military drone and a passenger jet? There have been no reports of any organization or individual taking responsibility — if indeed this is what has happened.

There are many unpleasant scenarios to explain what really happened to flight MH370, for instance could this be another case of a lithium battery failure? This scenario has been suggested by aviation experts (I don’t remember where I read this — Guardian or WSJ). There was one passenger jet crash in Florida due to heavy smoke in the cockpit that happen ages ago.

As many security experts have noted the heavy investment of security theater at airports ignores the fact that there are several other ways to take control of passenger jets. I’m guessing that turning a passenger jet into a huge drone is one of the alternative methods that security experts had in mind.

Perhaps somewhere remote the crew and passengers have been offloaded and the missing plane has been stolen. (This theory has been proposed and dismissed.)  Only novels or movies of the week would end that way — but until we know what really happened. . . . .

Officials from China are asking that all information be released to searchers so that the possible location of the plane can be more accurately pin pointed. Will all the countries that monitor communications and have satellites share their secret data? That story is in the link in the above paragraph along with several other theories and links.

Link Updates:

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/14/opinion/goyer-malaysia-flight/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/15/mh370-search-for-missing-malaysia-airlines-plane-extended-to-southern-indian-ocean

 

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