Category Archives: Technology

Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat, by Larry Romanoff

Are Chinese companies threats to US national security or to US high-tech companies? From Larry Romanoff at unz.com:

First, let’s dispel the combined notion that China spies on everyone and the US spies on no one. There is so much public evidence to destroy both these assertions that I won’t bother repeating them here. I will however remind readers that a few years ago China more or less banned Windows 8 from the country because it was discovered that the O/S had a built-in NSA back door.[1] It seems that Germany reported on this first, but the devastating proof was at an IT conference where a Microsoft executive was interrupted during a speech with precisely this accusation.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] He did not deny it because the person making the accusation was the person who discovered it and had with him the proof, but refused to discuss it and changed the subject.

But this is hardly news. Forty years ago it was proven that all Xerox copy machines delivered to foreign embassies and consulates in the US were “espionage-ready”.[10][11] Also, for at least 20 years, and perhaps much more, it was common knowledge that when any foreign embassies, consulates, banks and other corporations ordered computers and similar hardware from US suppliers, those shipments were intercepted by UPS, delivered to the CIA and/or NSA for installation of “extra” hardware and software before delivery to their destinations. This was one of the confirmations by Edward Snowden.[12][13][14][15] Any search on this will give you millions of hits unless Google chooses that moment to lose its memory.

Huawei

Trump’s problems with Huawei are twofold. The most obvious is that China is eating America’s lunch when it comes to innovation and invention and Trump would like to slow this down by destroying Huawei and is clearly making every possible effort in this regard, including bullying and threatening half the known world against using Huawei’s products. But this is the small part of the problem; the real issue is espionage. There is no practical value in disputing the assertion that Cisco and other American hardware and software firms install back doors to all their equipment for the convenience of CIA and NSA access. But suddenly Huawei is replacing Cisco and those other American firms with its better and less expensive equipment.

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The Hiroshima Myth, by John V. Denson

The Japanese were ready to surrender three months before being atom bombed, and Truman knew it. Nevertheless, the bombs were dropped. From John V. Denson at mises.org:

Every year during the first two weeks of August the mass news media and many politicians at the national level trot out the “patriotic” political myth that the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan in August of 1945 caused them to surrender, and thereby saved the lives of anywhere from five hundred thousand to 1 million American soldiers, who did not have to invade the islands. Opinion polls over the last fifty years show that American citizens overwhelmingly (between 80 and 90 percent) believe this false history which, of course, makes them feel better about killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians (mostly women and children) and saving American lives to accomplish the ending of the war.

The best book, in my opinion, to explode this myth is The Decision to Use the Bomb by Gar Alperovitz, because it not only explains the real reasons the bombs were dropped, but also gives a detailed history of how and why the myth was created that this slaughter of innocent civilians was justified, and therefore morally acceptable. The essential problem starts with President Franklin Roosevelt’s policy of unconditional surrender, which was reluctantly adopted by Churchill and Stalin, and which President Truman decided to adopt when he succeeded Roosevelt in April of 1945. Hanson Baldwin was the principal writer for the New York Times who covered World War II and he wrote an important book immediately after the war entitled Great Mistakes of the War. Baldwin concludes that the unconditional surrender policy

was perhaps the biggest political mistake of the war….Unconditional surrender was an open invitation to unconditional resistance; it discouraged opposition to Hitler, probably lengthened the war, cost us lives, and helped to lead to the present aborted peace.

The stark fact is that the Japanese leaders, both military and civilian, including the emperor, were willing to surrender in May of 1945 if the emperor could remain in place and not be subjected to a war crimes trial after the war. This fact became known to President Truman as early as May of 1945. The Japanese monarchy was one of the oldest in all of history, dating back to 660 BC. The Japanese religion added the belief that all the emperors were the direct descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu. The reigning Emperor Hirohito was the 124th in the direct line of descent. After the bombs were dropped on August 6 and 9 of 1945, and their surrender soon thereafter, the Japanese were allowed to keep their emperor on the throne and he was not subjected to any war crimes trial. The emperor, Hirohito, came on the throne in 1926 and continued in his position until his death in 1989. Since President Truman, in effect, accepted the conditional surrender offered by the Japanese as early as May of 1945, the question is posed, “Why then were the bombs dropped?”

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The humiliation of Western history, by Frank Furedi

Why are Western whites the only people who are supposed to apologize for their history, and to take no pride in their forebears’ many advances? From Frank Furedi at spiked-online.com:

From the NYT to British schools, powerful institutions are waging war on the past.

The most important issue at stake in the culture war is who controls the narrative through which society understands itself. At present, those controlling the narrative appear to be committed to reorganising society’s historical memory, and disputing and delegitimising its ideals, from liberty to equality. Take Netflix, for example. It is dominated by programmes, like Dear White People and Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap, that recast the Western way of life and Western history as irredeemably malevolent.

The humiliation and demonisation of the past and its ideals is now enacted at every important cultural event. Prize-giving ceremonies, be they the Oscars, the Tonys or the Pulitzers, invariably include speeches boasting of the bravery of the recipient for daring to ‘speak truth to power’. Ironically, this supposedly rebellious rhetoric is espoused by those who actually wield cultural power. These cultural elites see it as their raison d’être to denounce the culture into which they were born. Moreover, they do so for the public’s benefit, in order to ‘raise awareness’.

Back in the 1960s, raising awareness was a form of consciousness-raising. It was something one did to change one’s own outlook on the world. But in recent years, especially on social media, it has become a means to raise the awareness of others. As such, many use ‘awareness-raising’ as a way to distinguish themselves from those, who, to use the smug language of the day, ‘don’t get it’.

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P Is for Predator State: The Building Blocks of Tyranny from A to Z, by John W. Whitehead

America has become a predatory police state. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

While America continues to fixate on the drama-filled reality show scripted by the powers-that-be, directed from the nation’s capital, and played out in high definition across the country, the American Police State has moved steadily forward.

Nothing has changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a convenient, traumatic, devastating distraction.

The American people, the permanent underclass in America, have allowed themselves to be so distracted and divided that they have failed to notice the building blocks of tyranny being laid down right under their noses by the architects of the Deep State.

Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton: they have all been complicit in carrying out the Deep State’s agenda. Unless something changes to restore the balance of power, the next president—the new boss—will be the same as the old boss.

Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what you call the old/new boss—the Deep State, the Controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the corporate elite, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter who occupies the White House, it is a profit-driven, an unelected bureaucracy that is actually calling the shots.

If our losses are mounting with every passing day—and they are—it is a calculated siege intended to ensure our defeat at the hands of a totalitarian regime.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, media, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more are casualties in the government’s war on the American people.

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The Dirty Secrets Of ‘Clean’ Electric Vehicles, by Tilak Doshi

Clean and green is nowhere near as clean and green as they’re cracked up to be. From Tilak Doshi at forbes.com:

The widespread view that fossil fuels are “dirty” and renewables such as wind and solar energy and electric vehicles are “clean” has become a fixture of mainstream media and policy assumptions across the political spectrum in developed countries, perhaps with the exception of the Trump-led US administration. Indeed the ultimate question we are led to believe is how quickly can enlightened Western governments, led by an alleged scientific consensus, “decarbonize” with clean energy in a race to save the world from impending climate catastrophe. The ‘net zero by 2050’ mantra, calling for carbon emissions to be completely mitigated within three decades, is now the clarion call by governments and intergovernmental agencies around the developed world, ranging from several EU member states and the UK, to the International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund.

Mining out of sight, out of mind

Let’s start with Elon Musk’s Tesla. In an astonishing achievement for a company that has now posted four consecutive quarters of profits, Tesla is now the world’s most valuable automotive company. Demand for EVs is set to soar, as government policies subsidize the purchase of EVs to replace the internal combustion engine of gasoline and diesel-driven cars and as owning a “clean” and “green” car becomes a moral testament to many a virtue-signaling customer.

Yet, if one looks under the hood of “clean energy” battery-driven EVs, the dirt found would surprise most. The most important component in the EV is the lithium-ion rechargeable battery which relies on critical mineral commodities such as cobalt, graphite, lithium, and manganese. Tracing the source of these minerals, in what is called “full-cycle economics”, it becomes apparent that EVs create a trail of dirt from the mining and processing of minerals upstream.

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Truth about the West: The Only Non-Oppressive Civilization, by Vasko Kohlmayer

What other civilization has ever tried to protect individual rights? From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com

Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go.”

— Jesse Jackson

“Western Civilization is not, for me, a curriculum of democracy and reason and greatness; it is a history of inequality and oppression,” writes Scott Ross, a teacher. Mr. Ross is by no means a rare ideological outlier among his peers. The view he holds has been taught and propagated at universities across the United States and Western Europe for decades. The situation has become so dire that Yale University has recently cancelled its formerly excellent course called “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present,” because it was allegedly too Eurocentric. Some among the shrinking number of universities that still offer such courses use them merely as a platform to attack the very culture whose achievements they are supposed to teach. The alleged oppressiveness of the West is the leitmotif that dominates their critiques. This view has boiled over into the larger society and is commonly held today by those on the political Left. We have seen a disturbing display of this mindset during the recent riots when “protesters” kept methodically attacking and destroying symbols of Western culture.

Although it is true that various forms of oppression have been practiced in the West over time, oppression is by no means unique to the West. Oppression has been, in fact, a feature of every civilization that has appeared on the face of this earth. We could say that human history is – in one way – a history of oppression: It has common for those with power to exploit, trample upon and take advantage of their fellow human beings. There is nothing particularly surprising about this, since selfishness and rapaciousness are prominent aspects of human nature.

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CIA Fabricated Russiagate ‘Evidence’, Says Former NSA Tech Chief, by Eric Zuesse

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times it is conclusively demonstrated that the Russiagate fraud was based on a technological impossibility, the fraud persists. From Eric Zuesse at theduran.com:

An important public statement was made on July 27th by Bill Binney, the U.S. Government’s top expert on the internet, and on computer hacking. He had been the Technical Director of the NSA when he quit and became a whistleblower against that Agency while George W. Bush was the U.S. President and invaded Iraq on the basis of faked evidence. Binney has now laid out, in this speech, the evidence that he wants to present in court against Barack Obama’s CIA, that it defrauded Americans to believe in “Russiagate” (the allegation that Russia ‘hacked’ the computers of Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party officials and fed that information to Wikileaks and other organizations). Binney cites evidence, which, if true, conclusively proves that Russiagate was actually created fraudulently by the CIA’s extensive evidence-tampering, which subsequently became covered-up by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his investigations for the Democratic Party’s first (and failed) try at impeaching and removing from office U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

Here is the transcript of his 10-minute speech (and I add links to explanations of the meaning of technical phrases, and also boldface for emphasis of his key findings, and I place into [brackets] explanatory amplifications of my own), summarizing why he is convinced that the CIA (under President Barack Obama) did this frame-up against Russia, ‘Russiagate’ — it’s a case that he is seeking to present to Congress, and in court, and to debate in public, instead of to continue to be hidden from the public; he wants to show, and publicly to debate, this evidence, so that the public will be able to see it, and evaluate it, for themselves:

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American collusion: Weaponizing media, Big Tech and government, by James Grundvig

They’re pulling out all the stops to see that President Trump is not reelected. From James Grundvig at wnd.com:

The planners quickly deployed the “insurance policy” after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election in 2016. Like an annuity, the payments to the policyholders would be small and steady at first, then lead, they hoped, to a much bigger payoff: the removal of President Trump from office.

At least that was the plan. Three and a half years later, the big day never arrived.

From the unsubstantiated Steele dossier, the discredited Russiagate investigation, to the FISA court abuses, the potholed-strewn road to impeachment circled back to the Mueller Report, which was supposed to clinch the deal. Without a smoking gun on the president, the Mueller team reached and then overreached, picking off a few Trump confidants, in an attempt to tighten the noose. The results were half-baked. That’s usually what the FBI perjury trap produces. Plea deals; no evidence of collusion.

Sure, Robert Mueller collected a few big scalps in Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But now that Flynn’s indictment unraveled, the insurance claim has turned into a liability for the policyholders. Trump is still president. And now the investigation into collusion has moved in the other direction focusing on the planners of the insurance policy.

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Paying for Your New EV . . . Even if You Don’t Own One, by Eric Peters

There are a lot of ways you’re paying for electric vehicles. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

For now, they’re only requiring that electric cars be manufactured. How long will it be before they require people to buy them?

Actually, you’re already paying for them.

Several ways.

New ways.

The obvious way is in the form of the taxes you pay that subsidize their manufacture. But that’s old hat, old man. And it was just for openers.

Last week, Nevada “adopted” (in the euphemistic political language of government, which loves to use the verbiage of kumbaya voluntaryism to hide the collectivist coercion it imposes) electric vehicle quotas similar to those already in place in California. These force a car company that wants to sell any cars in the state to also sell a certain number of electric cars, too.

Even if they have to be given away at a loss.

The costs of that being shifted over to the non-electric cars, which hides the costs of the EV mandate very much in the same way that obnoxiously high gas taxes are hidden by folding them into the cost-per-gallon rather than added on like a sales tax. If people actually had to pony up 50 cents (one average) additional per gallon – at the register – they’d likely object. But when the gas and taxes cost the same, they don’t notice the taxes part.

That’s how you already pay for the EV you don’t drive.

You pay for EVs in other ways, too.

 

 

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GE: The Story Of America, by the Zman

In many ways, General Electric is the emblematic American corporation. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

If you were to pick one company that symbolizes how America has changed and been changed over the last half century or so, it would be General Electric. The company founded by Thomas Edison is in many ways a microcosm of the American economy over the last century or more. It rose to become an industrial giant in the 20th century, the symbol of America manufacturing prowess. It then transformed into a giant of the new economy in the 1990’s, a symbol of the new America.

Today, General Electric is a company in decline. After a series of problems following the financial crisis of 2008, the company has steadily sold off assets and divisions in an effort to fix its financial problems. In 2019, Harry Markopolos, the guy who sniffed our Bernie Madoff, accused them of $38 billion in accounting fraud. The stock has been removed from the Dow Jones Industrial composite. Many now speculate that GE will end up in bankruptcy in order to reorganize.

For those interested in a longer discussion about the history of General Electric, Myth of the 20th Century did a podcast on the company. One aspect they did not cover is how General Electric transformed from a company that made things into a financial services company that owned divisions that made things. Like the American economy in the late 20th century, the company shifted its focus from making and creating things to the complex game of financializing those processes.

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