Saturday, December 19, 2015

SAR #15353

The world changes very slowly. Usually.
Stop, Thief! The Sanders campaign was not caught hacking into the Clinton campaign's data. Period, but not end of story. Sanders and Clinton use the same firm to store their voter data. It is not segregated or protected by a real firewall, for the supposed firewall often isn't there. A Sanders kid noticed this and wondered how far into Clinton's data he could browse (not hack, no hacking involved, just ask and it was given), for he knew that the Clinton campaign (and other users of the same computer database for all he knew) could dothe same to Sanders' data. Then he told the Sanders senior people, who then told the Clinton people about their joint vulnerability. So naturally the Clinton people attacked Sanders and had Sanders locked out of his own data. And told the press. They didn't tell the press that such a lousy firewall was either incompetent or intentional. They also didn't note that owner of the company started with the Clintons back in 1992.
Yes, But: Two days after pledging in front of the world to work to free the UK energy system from the curse of carbon, the government is cutting subsidies for roof-top solar panels by 65%.
Know Thy Enemy: The big problem our Orwellian masters have in watching over us is that they don't know what they are watching for - they've never caught a terrorist from intercepting email, phone metadata, social media or other communications, monitoring credit card purchases or any of the other things that DHS and the NSA get up to. The would-be terrorists are pretty much like you and me, and only the most stupid would actually wave a black flag and say "Come and get me!" So they'll go on watching us 24/7 and shifting through four or five years of our travel and shopping habits and Facebook friends, all in real time - for all 310 million of us - and pretend they are keeping us safe. But they are not. They do not know what they are doing. That's why they claim we must accept limits on speech.
True Or False: The unprecedented drought in Syria has destroyed crops, killed livestock and arguably has displaced as many people as the various revolts against the Assad government. Is this, in large part, the result of global warming? And if so,is it a preview of the full length feature soon to be coming to the neighborhood?
White Noise: A day after Janet Yellen pronounced the patient cured, Caterpillar reported the 36th consecutive month without an increase in annual retail sales. The Kansas City Fed reports that new orders have fallen the most y/y since 2008. And the Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index has fallen back to December 2014 levels, including the fifth consecutive month of contraction in backlog orders.
Remember The Alamo Armenians? Turkish troops have bombarded two Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey and President Erdogan said the objective was to "annihilate" the Kurds. And then deny it ever happened.
Greed 101: The headline asks why a hedge fund would spend nearly $300 million to take over a non-profit hospital, which must remain non-profit. Simple: They will charge the hospital outrageous management fees, force it to use suppliers they get a cut from, farm out collections to a subsidiary, give themselves huge salaries and, in a couple of years, sell it off, piece by piece. And so on. Oh, and lower wages.
Nose/Face: You can't get there from here; there being NY and here being London and you being an Israeli with a ticket on Kuwait Airways, which abandoned the route rather than let dirty filthy Jews board their pretty little airplanes.
Place Your Bets: The people who uncovered the VW deceits say that their data suggests that BMW and Mercedes played similar games with emissions testing. The auto makers denied the allegations and said that if it turned out to be true it was the work of some very low-level engineers they hired from you know who.
Freedom From The Press: The omnibus pork and porridge bill includes (along with lots of other gifts to various of the 1%) a sweet little provision that prohibits the SEC and the IRS from forcing companies to let their shareholders (you know, the folks who own the company) know how much money they have spent bribing various politicians.
Porn O'Graph: Intemperatures.


McMike said...

re limiting speech. If this were a conversation, I would ask you if you were joking satirically. However, it seems clear that at least Posner is not making a Swiftian Modest Proposal with tongue planted in cheek, but is earnest. So let's unpack it: the proposal is to censor and criminalize the appeals and recruitment of groups we disagree with - those determined by the state to be dangerous - said determination to be made by the people that brought us the comically useless no fly list, and who routinely infiltrate groups like Octogenarian Nuns for Peace in order to provocate and disrupt their insidious operations.

All this censorship will be done, to, um, protect the more impressionable and feeble-minded among us from messages that might lead them astray.

And then what? Oh c'mon, this is so wrong on so many levels, please tell me I missed the wink.

Book burnings to commence shortly.

Come to think of it, if we can start by shutting down all the neo-nazi stuff on the web, and the rest of the right wing lunacy, you might have my backing. As long as I get to be the the one who decides what's the bad stuff.

I am left with the logistical conundrum though, of what to do when a group we agree with and support (i.e. 1980's Taliban) turns out to have been switched over to the Bad Guys due to some DHS clerical error or shifting winds of covert intrigue? Do their websites get instantly re-classified as dangerous and illegal? Is there some sort of grace period? Or do we just send them down the memory hole and let the Devil sort it out?

Actually, if I was the guy in charge of security, I would want those web sites out there. That might provide some way to narrow the electronic hay stack down - leading us possibly closer to identifying both the recruiters and recruitees. I would think that the keyword searches performed in the NSA supercomputers of our every activity are doing exactly that. Or I would hope. Without those web sites, the FBI would have to go back to searching trash cans and photographing license plates outside meetings.

It's moments like this that I go back and read the nation's founding documents, especially the bill of rights. And try and put myself in the founders' place. They had just freed themselves from an oppressive and lawless government, and so the first thing they did was make a list of the really annoying and dehumanizing stuff the despotic government did to protects its power and keep a boot on the peoples' necks, and on the rationales they used for doing them. I believe the founders ranked those annoyances in order of importance from high to low, using the first slot to lay out the biggies. And there at the top: the right to worship, to speak, to assemble, and to petition - when we want, where we want, how we want, and why we want - without caveat, without qualification, without an asterisk, and without small print.

If we cannot survive as a nation even the words of people we don't like, or of the people who wish us ill, then we do not deserve to survive. And if we put the power into the hands of a government to decide whose ideas are good and whose are bad, then we truly do not deserve to continue as a nation.

Ok. I am still on my first cup of coffee. Did I miss the joke?

McMike said...

PS. Good morning.

Re Greed. I am puzzled by how a for-profit firm "buys" a nonprofit, and then keeps it a nonprofit. I kinda get the "buy" part. The proceeds are supposed to go into a nonprofit recipient, i.e. into the church's coffers. But I do not understand how the hedge fund gets to keep it a nonprofit going forward.

The hedge fund executives might want to know that the staff of the Red Cross could be looking for work soon.

Re Sanders hacking. In case anyone needed proof that the Dem party is hopelessly corrupt. Signed, a proud third party voter since 1996.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Jeesh, McMike, Has it come to this, that I've got insert [Warning, Snark ahead] on something as pitiful as Posner's article?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

My guess (which is pretty much what the whole item is...) is that the hedgies will loot the NFP hospital via fees and inflated costs shunted to favored entities. Just like any other takeover. Then when the hospital falls into hopless arrears, they'll hack it apart and sell the pieces - again charging fees to do so... It is the current rape&pillage model.

McMike said...

Sorry sir. I confess I am feeling extra dense today; up late last night with holiday cheer. But I re-read the paragraph several times, and the way you led in with the learning thing, it formed a double head fake.

By the way, the learning thing. What was up with that? It made my eyes blur and i felt suddenly sleepy. Oh wait, was that the "tell"?

Oh look, my jock strap is down around my ankles. Well done sir. [insert winky face here]

I knew I was missing the joke. I knew I must be missing the joke. I said as much, sort of. But I posted anyway. 'cuz it's the internet! And we are all here just to hear ourselves type. We are the Real Housewives of the Web; sitting around a restaurant table, into our third cosmo and fourth bottle of wine, and shouting past each other for the cameras.

True story: I have learned that i have to use smiley faces in my emails. No matter how irreverent I am, I find that even my old friends still sometimes take me seriously when I am being outrageous in print.

McMike said...

re hedge fund business model. Oh indeed, the way they will strip mine the hospital is well-worn.

What confuses me is how they can "own" a nonprofit entity. I sort of thought (assumed) that nonprofit corporations were top-level entities. There is no upstream ownership per se. Ownership of the "shares" resides with the community.

A hedge fund could take over a nonprofit by occupying its Board, by whatever method the bylaws allow people to take over a Board. And then they can run the hospital into the ground. But they still would not "own" it. And technically the Board would be exposed to accusations of self-dealing and fiduciary failure, in violation of nonprofit laws.

If a nonprofit corporation sells itself, by definition, it is dissolving itself and it converts to becoming for profit. The sale proceeds are treated as a final charitable contribution (usually setting up another nonprofit like a scholarship or endowment), and the new company becomes just another incorporated business.

Obviously, I do not understand the state nonprofit corporation law in Cali.

Tulsatime said...

C'mon guys, it's Saturday for crying out loud! Looks like Zero Hedge comments, but I have to agree about the smileys and winks. Text is very tone deaf.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Just between us - and we seem to be the only folks up and about today - that was not my best work - straight deadpan is hard to get away with in text [biggest smiley face]. I've also modified the takeoff ramp a little.

I think there might be a legal(?) difference between a 'charity', a 'non-profit' and a 'not-for-profit'.

Anonymous said...

I'm up. I have a cold. The cold medicine really clouds the brain.

Anyway, keep up the good blogging. I check it out everyday at work off the link from theautomaticearth.

McMike said...

Re modified takeoff ramp. Yes, better. Or I am more awake now.

I've done some research, and remain mystified how one "sells" a nonprofit to a for profit and keeps it not for profit.