Android Platform Certificates Compromised

A report posted by Google on November 11th (released November 30th) using the Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative (APVI) has the title “Issue 100: Platform certificates used to sign malware“. It carries this detail:

A platform certificate is the application signing certificate used to sign the “android” application on the system image. The “android” application runs with a highly privileged user id – android.uid.system – and holds system permissions, including permissions to access user data. Any other application signed with the same certificate can declare that it wants to run with the same user id, giving it the same level of access to the Android operating system.

[…]

All affected parties should rotate the platform certificate by replacing it with a new set of public and private keys. Additionally, they should conduct an internal investigation to find the root cause of the problem and take steps to prevent the incident from happening in the future.

Find the root cause of the problem? That’s a template, not a recommendation.

Way down in the notes section it also makes a rather bold yet vague assertion.

All affected parties were informed of the findings and have taken remediation measures to minimize the user impact.

Were you affected? Were you informed?

Robber Claims Self-Defense in Murder of Store Clerk

The legal technicality of a new self-defense claim in the news is duly noted.

A robber had run from an armed clerk, and was chased outside the store. While being shot at by the clerk, the robber returned fire and the clerk died.

…when the guy ran away, the concept of the clerk being reasonably afraid, that changed considerably. Now you have a serious felony, what the robber did, but you don’t get to execute the guy under those circumstances. So the robber then obtained the right to self-defense.

I wrote and gave talks about this scenario back in 2012, while working on active defense.

We referred to it as knowing when defensive acts become indefensible, citing an old case from a British military trial known as “the fourth bullet”.

Kanye. Elon. Trump. Hitler.

As many people are just starting to realize (since Ye thinks it helps him politically in America to say it directly) Republicans support Elon and Trump because they like Hitler a LOT.

On October 3, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West (now Ye) attended Paris fashion week wearing a shirt that said “White Lives Matter.” Three days later, the Twitter account associated with the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee (ranking member: Jim Jordan) tweeted, “Kanye. Elon. Trump.”

Source: Twitter

The GOP only just deleted this now, weeks later. Why now?

When Ye tweeted on October 8 that he wanted to go “death con 3 on THE JEWISH PEOPLE,” the House Judiciary GOP’s tweet stayed up.

Awkward.

Stoking hate seemed just fine for the GOP until…

Ye is now saying very openly to prominent American men who clearly like Hitler, that he likes Hitler too, and thus wants to dine with them and be counted among the worst of them.

Today, after West explicitly praised Hitler on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars podcast, the tweet came down. “I see good things about Hitler also,” Ye said. […] Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

That has apparently ripped the hood off, exposed the inner voice of the GOP.

Ye isn’t pretending to “know nothing” about men who love Hitler.

Ye isn’t saying the phrase “America First” just to avoid saying he sees real benefits of Nazism.

That is something of a problem for tongue-twisted fascists who are used to comfortably hiding in the open. As I’ve written before, being exposed for who they really are — being identified and responsible — worries the American disinformation artists.

Some Americans openly lavish praise on terrible men like Andrew Jackson, General Lee, or Woodrow Wilson… yet go quiet on Hitler.

A truly horrible human who deserves no praise (Andrew Jackson) even can have his portrait put up prominently in the White House, while hinting it symbolizes political methods of Hitler!

“Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement…. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s.”

Jackson represents deception, corruption, slavery and genocide. Calling him their inspiration for a “new political movement…exciting as the 1930s” means only one thing — Hitler. Get it? “Throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks” is a nod to the “permanent improvisation” mindset of Nazism.

There’s always a line, even among these men who claim there’s never a line. In this case the Republican party regularly embraces Nazism and dances around the subject openly, while it quietly dictates that nobody ever should use the word Hitler.

America First, infamous before and even during WWII for loving Hitler, tells its followers today to wave the racist Betsy Ross flag or the Confederate battle flag… yet leave their swastikas covered or hidden. The line is meant to be sure someone doesn’t ruin the charade. It’s a curious thing really, given what is wrong with Hitler, when Jackson gets his portrait put up, or a government representative from Iowa floats an enemy flag on his desk.

“America First” simply is a reference to Hitler studying American leaders from places like Boston, San Antonio, Detroit or DC to copy their methods of state sanctioned crimes against humanity.

Click to enlarge

Nuremberg, Germany was the well documented place where Nazis said they could improve racism because they’d be more refined and less obvious than “barbaric” Americans oppressing Blacks. German Nazi meetings very openly used American history as their blueprint. Yet Americans today bend over backwards to claim ignorance of this very strong connection.

First modern concentration camps? America. First cyanide gas chambers? America.

Zyklon-b is the very awful sounding German word Americans say when they want to ignore the fact that Germany copied deadly pesticide use on people from America.

Auschwitz infrastructure looks like Wilson’s racist border control setup in Texas for a simple reason — it was an intentional copy, right down to the “showers” turning into ovens.

Texas after American invasion or Poland occupied by Adolf Hitler? Hard to say since they both were seized by expansionist white nationalists who then built violent racist platforms. Source: The Texas Observer

America First.

America First political rally participants in their traditional garb before Hitler ruined their image.

That connection to Nazism making it the second act is not what is taught in schools however, where America First and “great again” get flaunted as if not simply praising Hitler.

The kind of illustration that should be required in school books so children more easily recognize people who love Hitler.
“We” will lose? He means white men. Nazism is being promoted by a sitting government official known for being a white nationalist who wants to overthrow the American government, August 2022. Source: Twitter of course

Ye is throwing venerable “know nothing” tactics upside down, similar to how almost a decade ago he took others’ low key antisemitic mumbling present around American music and turned it out loud and proud… into a 2006 Grammy award.

I mean you can’t say his fast paced strategy of becoming more obvious in hate speech hasn’t paid for him in the past.

Ye openly loving an infamously genocidal German fascist shows he isn’t as afraid (or dishonest) as others to spread the hate they mean, and sees it as his ticket to share in their success.

Perhaps next he will ask America if Hitler could love Ford’s ideas and try to put them into practice with Nazism… why would it be ok for Elon to spread violence and hate speech like Ford (and Hitler) but not for Ye?

Ye is an American celebrity being far more direct and honest than Elon and Trump who have praised Nazism and Hitler while trying to pretend they weren’t.

In the end, they’re all wrong and should’ve been shut down a long time ago. Ye’s comments about Hitler are disgusting and wrong, especially as even subtlety of Elon and Trump caused unnecessary deaths and harms. Things will only get much worse if the ugly ignorance of fascism goes unchecked, if the GOP sentiment isn’t stopped now. Deleting that tweet isn’t nearly enough.

Twitter Now a Honeypot For Law Enforcement

A brilliant essay out of MIT suggests Twitter management is turning itself into a willing promoter of violent hate crimes.

…lives will get worse as Musk empties out the Twitter equivalent of the Phantom Zone, allowing vicious, bigoted, and even violent harassers, Nazis, and white supremacists to return.

It’s similar to what I was warning regulators back in April, except now there’s hard data to prove my prediction true.

That is to say, if you’re planning to be active on Twitter now it’s like moving to South Africa to do business after you hear apartheid leaders promote hate for profit.

That’s not really a hypothetical. The Twitter CEO’s childhood was in South Africa and he has no record of anti-racism. He moved to America where he found Harvard had been graduating students like Kansas’ Kris Kobach with obnoxiously false papers about apartheid being good for business (hate speech impossible by then to peddle within South Africa).

Does any reasonable person really want to join in such plans of ill gotten gains when they are so obviously immoral and short sighted (e.g. every lesson in history)?

The Phantom Zone honeypot is a good framing for what Twitter already has become. The CEO markets it as his vision of toxic white masculinity playpen for profit; hateful barbaric cartoon characters are in a clown-like rush to attack and censor any voices of reason or human rights.

Users thus deleting Twitter apps now achieve real freedom because they refuse to participate in such old known oppression tactics.

Leaving this Twitter platform has become a bold rejection of tyranny, a clear act of anti-racism. Better quality of life, far higher standard of living, is easily found elsewhere.

Nobody thus should want to be seen holding a now toxic, “marked” Twitter bag.

As Twitter management intentionally slides into profit from support of crimes against humanity, expect it to face nothing less than digital sanctions… a sad repeat of 1980s South Africa for those who didn’t learn the right lessons the last time.

Does Robert E. Lee Get Enough Blame for America’s “Most Evil War”?

One peculiar point that I’ve heard proponents of Robert E. Lee repeatedly raise on forums is from a dusty old rumor about his role in the deeply troubled Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

President Polk intentionally worked to aggravate Mexico and provoke a war. On January 13, 1846, Polk ordered American forces into deeply disputed territory. In April, an army of approximately 4,000 men lead by General Zachary Taylor entered the Nueces Strip, a contested territory that Mexico and many Americans regarded as never having been a part of Texas. Polk knew this action would antagonize Mexican military forces stationed within sight of Taylor’s army at Matamoros. Colonel Hitchcock, who served with Zachary Taylor’s army, could see the real intention of his deployment from his vantage point on the front lines: “We have not one particle of right to be here. It looks as if the government sent a small force on purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for taking California and as much of this country as it chooses.” […] Historian Amy Greenberg has also shown how racist attitudes that saw Mexicans as racial inferiors and anti-Catholic bigotry enabled American soldiers and leaders to justify extreme violence and what we would now regard as war crimes against Mexican forces and civilians.

Allegedly the highly decorated U.S. General Winfield “Trail of Tears” Scott was some years later overheard assessing it all with this phrase:

Success in the Mexican War was largely due to Robert E. Lee’s skill, valor and undaunted energy.

Such a statement makes little sense in terms of military history. More interesting is that the closest that the above oft-quoted phrase gets to being from Scott himself is that it was only ever overheard and paraphrased.

We don’t actually find any records from General Scott saying these specific words. There’s far more readily available evidence of the reverse, as historians suggest that Scott himself was responsible for a strategy of tragedy.

Here’s a good example, and probably the real source of confusion. It’s a publication out of the hasty second rise of the KKK, attributed to Lee’s personal assistant (who was blind at the time, not kidding) that inadvertently exposes the story’s disconnect.

Source: Wright, Marcus Joseph., Long, Armistead Lindsay. Memoirs of Robert E. Lee: His Military and Personal History. United Kingdom: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1886, page 61.

Or, more precisely, we are meant to believe words written by a blind man who was Lee’s close companion… without much evidence of any of them being true. The attribution to Reverdy Johnson also lowers credibility since he’s a crazy character known for arguing Blacks couldn’t be American citizens (1856 Dred Scott case) before falsely trying to convince people in 1872 “there’s no KKK in the South“.

Yeah, that’s Reverdy, just a plain old wrong side of history guy. He also was blind in one eye after 1842 because he shot himself in the face while “practicing” for a duel with Henry Wise.

Armistead and Reverdy turning up as sources of the phrase attributed to Scott is problematic; it’s some seriously shaky scaffolding upon which two revisionists tried to prop up an awful Lee. People today strut about the Internet saying General Scott said something about Lee, yet ignoring the rather important source (and timing) details here that undermine it.

Reverdy was truly awful. He literally positioned himself as a lawyer intent on protecting and preserving the KKK when it faced being destroyed by President Grant’s newly formed Department of Justice (notably also after Grant had recalled Reverdy). Who wants to believe Reverdy honestly overheard anything from Scott? I mean do you think Reverdy didn’t just make up bogus stories, or that Lee’s personal assistant didn’t just make up bogus stories? Did I mention both of these men couldn’t see?

But let’s say for the sake of argument Scott did in fact think the whole war’s “success” should be dropped on Lee’s shoulders, not just because a sightless Armistead and a scurrilous Reverdy arguably went about stuffing unwanted words into Scott’s mouth.

The greatest military and political leader in American history, President Grant, gave us this related insight about that war:

“He called the Mexican-American War our ‘most evil war,'” [bestselling and award-winning presidential biographer Ronald C. White] said, describing how Grant opposed political ambitions that aimed to expand the U.S. border across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. “He said he should have resigned. For Grant, the very idea that a large country could attack a smaller country was the most immoral venture the United States had ever embarked upon. And that’s why after the Civil War, all the way to the end of his life, Grant would visit Mexico, had friends in Mexico, and admired Mexico’s struggle to become a liberal democracy.”

Anyone who wants to commemorate such evil ambitions, as Grant put it, would invite easy criticism.

If Lee is to be credited for the “most evil war” shouldn’t monuments to him mention the massive casualty rates, American soliders killed en masse, while invading a country on false pretense and lies?

Of the 90,000 U.S. soldiers who served in Mexico, nearly 14,000 died, a death rate of 15.5% – the highest rate of any foreign war in U.S. history.

The easy answer might be memorials depicting such brutality and failures in war (what Lee’s supporters today try to pretend shows “his success“) further bury Lee under his mountains of failure — yet another reason to tear down his image.

“If you go to the mall in Washington, D.C. there’s no monument to this war there, one of the very few to which there’s no monument,” says Peter Guardino, author of ” The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War,” and a historian at Indiana University. “This was a war of conquest for us. We fought this war to take territory from another country. We were successful. But it’s still not the kind of thing that people want to talk about.”

Lee was an aloof, aristocratic suicidal maniac who unnecessarily discarded his own soldiers with abandon (as I’ve written before).

…an unhappy military career, which took 30 years to earn Lee the rank of colonel. By the decade before the [Civil War], Lee had become subject to spells of deep depression, fits of morose behavior, occasional outbursts of violent temper and an obsession with death that amounted to “an almost suicidal tendency.”

That’s a far more accurate telling of Lee’s sentiment after his performance in the Mexican American War, versus the seemingly bogus words attributed to Scott that make Lee sound like some kind of bouncy happy Klan. Oops, I meant clam.

America won the war for a number of reasons, not least of all because Mexico was economically weak, politically distracted and militarily lacked supplies to fight off the invasion.

To put it bluntly, if someone highlights Lee as a “success” they likely are trying to falsely represent the evil and immoral political stunts in Mexico. Lee’s proponents aren’t doing his horrible traitorous reputation any favors by spreading old Reverdy’s bogus propaganda again.

As much as I love recent books like Ty Seidule’s 2021 “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause“, they don’t cover this particular part of the myth enough.

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