An updated version of the parable of the good Samaritan.

 “After having lost his job when the company he worked for closed down the factory and moved its production to China, an American worker was going down I95 from New York State to North Carolina, but in Baltimore he was attacked by illegal aliens. They took his car, stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A Democrat happened to be driving down the same road, and when he saw the man, he speeded up for he was on the way to the airport to jet away to an exotic island to attend yet another Climate Conference. So too, a Republican, when he came to the place and saw him, drove by, realizing he was already late for his tee-off time. But an Alaskan, Sarah Palin,  as she traveled, came where the man was; and when she saw him, she took pity on him. She went to him and bandaged his wounds, using what she had in the first aid kit in the glove compartment. Then she put the man in her pick-up truck, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day she took out her check-book and gave an endorsed check to the innkeeper, Donald Trump. ‘Look after the American worker,’ she said, ‘and when I return, after my Alaskan moose hunt, I will give you some of the moose-meat.’ Looking at the check, Donald Trump said: “Thank you, you have alerted me to the plight of the American worker. I will take it from here and Make America Great Again. No need to reimburse me, but keep me informed of other Americans in need”.

 “Which of these four do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

To be fair, I got the idea from the website sarahpalin.com, which quoted  the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Via The Daily Mail:

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has described Donald Trump as a ‘Good Samaritan’ for the American people.

Lord Carey said the US President had offered the country ‘a voice’ and said he had ‘deep sympathies’ with the forces that propelled him to victory last year.

The Good Samaritan is a Parable in which a man is beaten by robbers and then ignored by a priest and a Levite until being helped by a Samaritan.

Lord Carey said Mr Trump, just like the Samaritan, was offering Americans more than just words.

He said: ‘Help is not merely kind words. It is the promise of ongoing support.’

Change of tune in next week’s G20 meeting on Climate Change, a Limerick.

G20 to meet in Black Forest

Sweet unity  no longer chorused

The encouraging word

in the Paris accord

Mnuchin to farce metamorphosed.

(Bloomberg) — Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

The shift in tone comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, prepares for his first G-20 meeting, scheduled for March 17 to 18 in the spa town of Baden-Baden. While European nations including Germany have been at the forefront of combating global warming, Trump has called climate change a hoax.

The Republican president vowed during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement but has said little about the deal since taking office. His cabinet members, meanwhile, have sent mixed signals. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. should keep a seat at the table for international climate talks. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Thursday expressed doubt that humans were to blame for global warming and called the Paris agreement a “bad deal” for the U.S.

The most notable element of the draft is what’s missing. The statement issued after the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in July dedicated 163 words to the Paris Agreement, pushing nations to bring the deal into force, meet emissions targets and fulfill financial pledges. This current draft dedicates just 47 words to the agreement, focusing exclusively on development banks raising private funds, without mentioning government financial support.

Germany, as the meeting’s host, leads the process of writing the statement, which will eventually be adopted via consensus by all 19 nations plus the European Union. The German finance ministry declined to comment on the draft.

“The most charitable thing to say is they’re waiting to see where Donald Trump actually lands by the time they get in Hamburg and thus, doing nothing to annoy the incoming American Treasury Secretary,” Kirton said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds the rotating presidency of the G-20, has signaled that she would use the forum to push Trump on climate issues. The two leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington March 14.

“The takeaway is it clearly puts less emphasis on climate finance as a priority than last year’s did,” Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview. “It doesn’t talk about government action. That is a significant step back from what countries agreed to in Paris.”

Full statement: https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2017/03/09/g-20-document-shows-governments-retreating-from-climate-funding

On Data gathering, life. hacking by CIA and Wikileaks.

A tweet can contain up to 140 characters, a limit that is now relaxed, but if each character takes up 8 bits of information (one byte), the it can be said, a tweet is 140 bytes.

The  Authorized version of the King James Bible contains 3,116,480 characters, or about 22,260 tweets. Some people have tweeted that much!

But all the information in the KJV pales compared to the information in every cell of the human body. The numbers will get large, so let us learn about large numbers

One kilobyte is 1000 bytes, Megabyte is 1000 Kb or 1000,000 bytes, Gigabyte is 1000 Mb or 1,000,000,000 bytes, Terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, Petabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, Exabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes,  Zettabyte is 1000 Exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, —Yottabyte is 1000 Zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Back to how much data is in our body. We have about 3,2 billion DNA genome pairs in every cell in our body. there are 4 types, so each pair can be packed into 2 bits, which means every cell in our body contains 800 Megabytes of data, the information equivalent of 250 King James Bibles. Giving there are about 37 trillion cells in our body plus about one quadrillion bacteria in our gut the total amount of information in our body is about 30 Exabytes, most of it duplicated, but yet. In addition, all plants and animals contain DNA, so the total information in the world is staggering, far exceeding the term Yottabyte.

If you are an atheist or true believer in evolution that all this came about by chance plus time plus nothing, especially no sign of intelligent design, the math doesn’t add up.

In 2001 the New York City twin towers were destroyed through a terror attack, and the U.S. response was to collect data to capture terrorists before they could attack. The NSA started to monitor all electronic communication through a program called Prism, starting in earnest in 2007, see fig:

This is in part taking place in a large data center in Utah, housing, it is rumored up to one Yottabyte of collected data.  What type of data do they collect? Check this figure:

The question is this: How much of this is linked to terror?

Then, today I found out via Wikileaks that NSA is not alone is spying on us.

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs

CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools, which are described in the examples section below.

CIA ‘hoarded’ vulnerabilities (“zero days”)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

“Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers. By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone  at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.

‘Cyberwar’ programs are a serious proliferation risk

Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control.

While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.

Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.

Securing such ‘weapons’ is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same ‘weapons’ against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global “vulnerability market” that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such ‘weapons’. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such ‘weapons’ sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling ‘hacking’ services.

Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.

A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.

Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information. The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

This is where we are today.  On Saturday, President Trump found out that he had been spied upon in Trump Tower during the election. The Wikileaks revelation lends credibility to this accusation. And of course, CIA can make it appear that the hacking came from, say Russia and then put in some false software, framing the victim.

Yet, all this spyware, hacking and data gathering is simple compared to the wonder of life.

Obama, the best gun salesman, Trump the worst, a Limerick.

O_bang_a_the_gun_salesman

As gun sales promoter, who won?

Obama or Trump, anyone?

Smith and Wesson did soar,

that was then, but no more.

For gun stocks, the end of the run.

Gun stocks soared under President Obama.  The stock of Smith and Wesson holding Company (SWHC) rose  more than ten-fold. S&Wbig.chart

Since Donald Trump ‘s election stocks have been on a tear, up more than 10%. How did the gun stocks do?

gunstocksThe stock of AOBC (parent company of Smith & Wesson) is down about 32%.

This can only mean that people feel safer under President Trump than under Obama.

Mass mooning in Chicago. No pictures please. A Limerick.

Item: On Sunday, February 12, at 4 in the afternoon, more than 500 Chicagoans say they’ll participate in a “Mass Mooning” of the downtown Trump Tower, dropping their pants in protest of Trump’s secretive tax documents.

If mooning sheds light to the cause

it’s time for a sanity pause.

By your baring your butt

shows you’re anything but.

Insanity’s left. No applause.

And please: No pictures.

American golfing and Japanese gardening diplomacy. A Limerick.

melania-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqeji1grhjsosgt35kcrg677zpxh_rzmqrt0pbva5hoas

First Lady MelaniaTrump revealed her interest in gardening as she accompanied Mrs Abe on a tour of Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, Florida, while her husband took the Japanese P.M. golfing.

This is golfing and gardening diplomacy at its best.

Melania Trump is an asset

With Japanese PM she has it.

In the garden’s still life

she was hosting his wife.

Diplomacy coup, Donald aced it.

 

 

 

From Sweden come the trolls, They are climate feminists, cold. A limerick.

From Sweden with love came the troll.

They must live in darkness, their goal.

Must reduce CO2

dark and cold, way to go.

They’re feminists, that plaid a role.

Trolls are very special creatures. They live in the deep forests of Sweden, do a lot of mischief, come out at night and you can see them in the dim moonlight of the most dense woods, but at the crack of dawn they disappear. No one have seen them by day. But for a true image, take a look at the  John Bauer paintings. He must have seen them clearly.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 23: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and “Mexico City” which bans federal funding of abortions overseas. Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs – Pool/Getty Images)

The newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump went on a signing spree, signing several executive orders the first days of his presidency. One of them was to deny tax funds to international organizations that promote abortions. This didn’t sit well with the Swedes, so they took notice.

Sweden is a very egalitarian society , so naturally the government cabinet since many years must consist of 12 men and 12 women. It is now a very weak coalition between the Social Democrats and the Greens, and they have less than 40% support in the uni-parliament. The Sweden Democrats have 14% of the seats, but all other parties refuse to have any dealings with them, even the opposition. Climate control is the holy grail however of Swedish politics, so they managed to get along well enough to sign a Climate Bill that promised “zero net CO2 emissions by 2045”.

There are those who say that the Green Party vice prime minister Isabella Lovin trolled Trump. Maybe so, for she also tweeted

17h17 hours ago Just signed referral of Swedish law, binding all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045. For a safer and better future.

Well, if zero CO2 emissions is feminism I remain cold. Not even candlelight for Valentine!
Background: Sweden’s prime minister on Thursday criticized climate skeptics within the new Trump administration and warned that all countries need to “step up and fulfill the Paris Agreement.”

“The position we hear from the new administration is worrying” Stefan Löfven told The Associated Press after announcing an ambitious new climate law promising zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and a 70-percent cut to emissions in the domestic transport sector by 2030.

The Swedish minister in charge of climate policy, the Green party Isabella Lövin, urged European countries to take a leading role in tackling climate change, since now “the U.S. is not there anymore to lead.”

The new Swedish law sets long-term goals for greenhouse gas reductions and will be legally binding for future administrations.

Lovin said Sweden wanted to set an example at a time when “climate skeptics (are) really gaining power in the world again,” and felt encouraged by pledges by China and India to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement.

China is “investing billions and billions of dollars in solar (…) it’s a game changer,” she said warning that “those that are still wanting to invest in fossil fuels will be ultimately the losers.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a Chinese hoax, has raised speculation that he might pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

The new Swedish law enters into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. It was developed after agreement from seven out of the eight political parties in parliament.

Oh, as to the picture of President Trump surrounded by only men, there was at least one woman witnessing the signing

donaldtrump88