Category Archives: Food

Red Means Dead: U.S. Political Affiliation Correlated to Disease

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published data showing a large political party is killing its members like a primitive cult drinking Jel Sert’s Flavor Aid. Can you guess which one? Here is a clue from ABC.

“…the 10 states with the highest vaccination rates all voted for Biden in 2020, while nine of the 10 states with the lowest vaccination rates [did not].”

It really begs the question for who in the security industry did not vote for the party that stood for national safety and preserving life, given the other one actively opposed basic security.

The ABC goes on to say there was a vast discrepancy between red and blue beliefs as death correlated to political regions. Notably, the differences were measured in “access to adequate healthcare, and the disproportionate impact of the virus on communities of color.”

People taking drinking the red stuff experienced less healthcare, more racism.

And again, given our industry is supposed to care about information integrity, we have to wonder who voted for America having a national security breach of this magnitude.

…vaccination rates and receptivity to mitigation measures have also been influenced by factors including misinformation.

Can someone ethically be a security professional who goes on Fox news to whinge about stopping breaches (that have marginal likelihood and severity) while voting for a party that attacks the country en masse (killing literally millions)?

Once a vaccine was widely available the death rates shot up nearly 40% in “red” states. This is basically a United States security dashboard where user groups who refuse baseline precautions on political grounds alone are going permanently offline at an alarming rate.

Speaking of misinformation, Jel Sert’s official grape Flavor Aid page says its primary ingredient on the left side is sugar made from cornstarch (Dextrose), yet the nutrition label doesn’t list sugar at all on the right side.

Source: Jel Sert

Very strange, given that dextrose powder has about 4 calories per gram just like table sugar (sucrose) and quickly raises blood glucose levels. This 4 gram package mixed with water gives 16 calories of sugar and basically nothing else (including attempts to hide the sugar as vitamin C).

Dextrose is said to lead directly to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease if you believe the science in a large-scale study from April 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Such warnings about the dangers of dextrose were echoed again in 2017 by BMJ OpenHeart. So how can a sugar product have a prominent list that doesn’t include sugar?

[FDA requirement to put on a nutrition facts list] added sugars include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose)… For most Americans, the main sources of added sugars are sugar-sweetened beverages…

Again speaking of misinformation, Elon Musk originally said in early 2020 that COVID19 would be gone by April, and then in late 2020 that he did not believe in safety measures and would not get a vaccine. Two years later he has both gotten the vaccine and twice been tested positive for COVID-19.

If this sounds like misinformation from a prominent political voice in America, it gets even worse. News reports say he used his bully pulpit to convince people their lives didn’t matter.

…he spent months criticizing public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, promoting misinformation about COVID-19 such as insisting it wasn’t very deadly, and baselessly casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines.

In fact, Elon Musk said in the most political way he would move his entire operations to a “red” state after California said it was applying pandemic precautions (as well as investigating racism) to protect his workers from abuse and death.

This is unfortunately consistent with him also telling the public lies about transportation safety, allegedly profiting from cutting corners in the low-quality deceptive Teslas that caused hundreds of preventable deaths… perhaps making it the Flavor Aid of cars.

All food for thought.

FCC Declares Kaspersky “threat to U.S. national security”

Remember when Kaspersky in 2018 lost an obviously stupid lawsuit that claimed the U.S. government shouldn’t be able to prohibit products harmful to society?

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her May 30 opinion that U.S. networks and computer systems are “extremely important strategic national assets” whose security depends on the government’s ability to act swiftly against potential threats, even if such actions cause adverse affects for third-party providers like Kaspersky Labs. “These defensive actions may very well have adverse consequences for some third-parties. But that does not make them unconstitutional,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

On a related note, Americans I know personally who foolishly agreed to attend Kaspersky CEO’s invite-only security “bash” on a tropical island… ended up with food poisoning and severe illness. Projectile vomit.

True story.

Well, the big news today is that under a 2019 law the FCC has just formally added AO Kaspersky Lab along with China Telecom and China Mobile to a national security threat list.

Kaspersky earlier this year was also in the news when the German government issued a warning, and again when their CEO gave a rather tone-deaf message about Russia invading Ukraine.

“Better to have stayed silent than to have called an invasion a ‘situation’ that requires a ‘compromise’,” Rik Ferguson, of rival cyber-security company TrendMicro, tweeted.

That makes me like TrendMicro.

Think of Kaspersky in terms of a security software vendor telling customers that a serious breach is a situation needing compromise when attackers are Russian. Who would really want to use that vendor versus one that actually defended against being breached?

Some also may remember Kaspersky’s handling of the infamously traitorous General Michael Flynn by giving him large cash payments.

Flynn also received $US11,250 ($14,667) from Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, Inc., described as the US subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, according to the documents.

Yes, he was traitorous. Any U.S. General full well knows how businesses and criminal enterprises in Russia are direct extensions of Russian intelligence whenever the Kremin chooses. It’s really no understatement to call Flynn a traitor.

As I told journalists in 2017 (clumsily, I admit): while Mandiant is close to NSA, Crowdstrike is close to FBI, we can’t compare the collaborations with Russia because Putin’s dictatorial control model is completely different from congressional contracts and hand-outs.

Israeli intelligence had since 2014 sounded the alarm to anyone in the U.S. willing to listen to intelligence.

Source: “How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets”, New York Times

Perhaps also worth mentioning here, since we’re talking about remembering things, Facebook around 2014 started to carefully audit anyone who came to their site… and then actively pushed Kaspersky code as “free” help.

The problem with Facebook is thousands of active phishing scams but the social media giant has partnered with popular security software developer firm Kaspersky so that users could identify and remove malware from their computers.

Popular security software developer firm Kaspersky? According to what population?

Let’s be honest here.

The real question is whether users could identify and remove the threat from the relatively unheard of Kaspersky software being pushed upon them by Facebook’s security team? I guarantee the vast majority of users had never heard that name before Facebook made it a required “checkpoint” to login.

Moreover, does having a problem with phishing on Facebook sound anything close to being a relevant reason to push an unfamiliar Russian content scanning tool onto people?

No. No, it does not. Now read this:

In a Facebook post, Facebook’s Software Engineer Threat Infrastructure Team head Trevor Pottinger explained: “To make this programme even more effective, Kaspersky Lab is bringing their expertise… we will offer Kaspersky Malware Scan for Facebook… in the past three months, we have helped [run Kaspersky code on] more than 2 million people’s computers.”

Facebook safety “checkpoint” hit millions of users. Was it Russian surveillance or just Russian code meant “to help”?

Facebook knew exactly who had run the Kaspersky code. They boasted about knowing how many people ran it.

You’ll never guess what happened next.

When called to account for their very precise user tracking and audit practices, Facebook tried to plead total ignorance as if there had been no factual basis to loudly boast “more than 2 million” users had Kaspersky pushed onto them.

Source: CNN

The dubious and forked-tongue of Facebook “help” came not long after they hired an unqualified CSO, and Moscow Times in 2015 ran the headline “Kaspersky Plans Push for Sales to U.S. Government” (link now unreachable)… which was countered by the even more salacious headline “Russian antivirus firm faked malware to harm rivals – Ex-employees“.

Faked malware to harm its own employees and rival companies while pushing into U.S. Government sales. No wonder that now-disgraced Facebook CSO, known for failing to disclose the largest breaches in history, was so welcoming.

For context on why this all might sound so evil the two founders of Kaspersky served as Russian intelligence (KGB). Twice there have been major disagreements at the executive level and its CEO has had major exodus of talent as he consolidated control and refused to be transparent, allow other views, or resolve disputes.

So while it’s really good to see Kaspersky finally being handed the kind of label it has always deserved, I’m disappointed that a heavily Russian-backed Russian-asset like Facebook wasn’t included (as I’ve warned about publicly since at least February 2011 and why I deleted my Facebook account in 2009).

After this FCC explicit ban on Kaspersky should we get to call it the most anti-democratic software ever? Or does that crown remain on Facebook (not least of all for peddling Kaspersky)?

Also, US sales of Kaspersky (under $50m) is tiny compared to the UK (over $500m), so maybe the real question is how much exposure does American national security have to British system compromise.

Feudalistic Threats to Web 3.0

When I’m asked to explain Web 3.0 I always try to start by explaining that the world is far more diverse than just coins and financial assets.

This is similar to my old saw about history being more detailed than just who won what war and why. Culture is not just coinage.

The entirety of the human experience, which arguably will be predominantly expressed via the web if anywhere in technology, is vast and rich beyond monetary action. Only about half of transactions even involve money at all.

Yet, for many people their only topic of interest or focus on technology is how to capitalize as quickly as possible on anything “new”. Beware their depictions of the Web solely as finance instead of encompassing our most rich and interesting possibilities.

Geolocation data, as just one facet, has long been recognized as a source of power and authority. Think of it in holistic terms of the English and Dutch cracking the secretive Portuguese spice trade routes and upending global power, instead of just focusing on the spices being traded.

Knowledge is a form of power, which have been expressed as political systems far more vast than markets alone could ever encompass.

Here is an example to illustrate how oversimplification of humanity down to financial terms becomes an ethical quagmire, highlighting some very important mistakes of the past.

Ukraine cancelled a Crypto airdrop.

…“a lot of people” were abusing the possibility of an airdrop by sending minuscule donations “just to benefit” themselves. This is a common tactic among crypto investors, known as airdrop farming.

Farming is in fact the opposite of what is described here. Growing food at low margin so that others may gain has somehow been framed backwards: extraction of value from someone else’s plan to help others.

In other words “airdrop farming” is far more like “airdrop banking” as it has nothing in common with farms but a lot in common with banks. It begs a question why there there was any direct return and benefit of “donations”, given what has been said in past about that loop.

Appropriation of the term “farming” in this context thus reads to me as propaganda; we may as well be in a discussion of Molotov’s WWII bombs as a delivery of bread baskets.

Likewise in the same story Kraken’s CEO displayed complete ignorance by saying his company would be on the side of Russia in this war and could not help Ukraine because in his mind political Bitcoin only has “libertarian values”.

Exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, KuCoin, and Kraken all refused Fedorov’s February public request that they freeze all Russian accounts, not just those that were legally required by recently-imposed sanctions. The companies said such an action would hurt peaceful Russian citizens and go against Bitcoin’s “libertarian values,” as Kraken CEO Jesse Powell put it.

Calling Bitcoin libertarian is like calling diamonds bloody.

In fact, Bitcoin is notoriously slow-moving (terrible for payments) and notoriously volatile (terrible for currency) just like blood diamonds being extracted from dirt at artificially low cost to artificially inflate their value to a very small group desperate for power.

Mining doesn’t have to be an exercise in oppressive asset hoarding with a total disdain for the value of human life, but Kraken clearly displays here they operate intentionally to repeat the worst thinking in history.

So what values are we talking about really? Proportionality (tailoring response to the level of the attack, avoiding collateral impact) is not a libertarian concept, obviously, because its a form of regulation (let alone morality).

Note instead there is complete lack of care for victims of aggression on the principle of protecting “peaceful” among aggressors, with absolutely no effort to prove such a principle.

It’s sloppy and exactly backwards for a Bitcoin CEO to claim he cares about impacting others. The inherent negative-externality of Bitcoin means it carries a high cost someone else has to pay, proving that if Kraken cared about “peaceful” Russian civilians it would shutdown all Bitcoin since it harms them all while benefiting few if any.

Systemically redistributing transaction costs from selfish individuals to society instead, while claiming to be worried about societal impact of an individual action is… dangerously reminiscent of “nobles” and “clergy” of pre-revolutionary France who ignorantly stumbled into their own demise.

The Web already is so much more than a narrow line of thought from the ugly past of feudal thinking, and 3.0 should be more broadly representative of the human condition instead of boxed in like this by selfish speculators trying to get rich quick through exploitation and manipulation of artificially constrained assets.

Rural American Healthcare During COVID19 Worse Than 3rd World

The entire notion of a “3rd World” is a weird political framing of the world by the French. Economist Alfred Sauvy in 1952 spoke of Africa and Asia being like France’s “Third Estate“.

The vast majority of people (over 90%) in pre-Revolution France belonged neither to a clergy (1st) nor nobility (2nd), had less privileges and were unrepresented in government; this imbalance led to their Revolution.

With that in mind, Politico has an article making it clear that rural Americans are tiny in number and spread out, which leads worse healthcare than in the worst in the world.

“We have a residency program at Guyana, on the coast of South America,” Russ said. “These are the types of things that [I see] when I go down and work in Guyana. We see this for the Amerindian population that are coming out of the villages and need a canoe to get, you know, to a hospital. This isn’t the type of thing that we’re used to seeing in the United States.”

Tennessee lost over 1,200 staffed hospital beds between 2010 and 2020 despite a population that grew by over half a million, according to the American Hospital Directory and census data. Mississippi, with the most Covid-19 deaths per capita, lost over 1,100 beds over that decade. Alabama, second only to Mississippi in per-capita deaths from the virus, lost over 800.

Apparently living in rural America with a need for healthcare is like having a canoe without a paddle.

Or, as Dolly Parton famously sang, life on a mountain in Tennessee is hard.

Didja know corn don’t grow at all on Rocky Top?
The dirt’s too rocky by far
And that’s why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar

Apparently nobody thought to put dirt in a jar and grow fresh corn. Yee haw.

But seriously those lyrics are about the rural community suspicion of federal government (e.g. prohibition and the history of bourbon, which is basically alcohol encoded as corn in a jar).

They come right after lyrics about killing the federal agents who visited.

Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top
Lookin’ for a moonshine still
Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top
Reckon they never will

As much as scarcity of services may seem like news, also I remember experiencing it myself in rural America for decades. A trip to a hospital was considered a minimum 30 minute drive. Even that was to what felt like an outpost where chance of meeting someone with any clue about science was marginal at best.

More recently when I tried to setup a primary care physician — a step required to use health insurance — I was told there was no availability. Doctors would not accept any new patients because healthcare crisis (COVID19) meant they had zero capacity. At one point the American healthcare “system” advised I try to find the rare Muslim woman doctor because they estimated (without explaining why) she would be most likely to have availability and take new patients.

Italian Police Seize Russian Oligarch’s 500ft Sailboat (Largest in World)

A boat builder boasted in 2017 about their 143m ship with gross tonnage of 12.600 that can only go 20 knots:

Her name: SAILING YACHT A. She will draw eyes the world over, as no other superyacht has ever done before.

Apparently this prediction of drawing eyes came true just now. Italian police announced the 530 million euro monstrosity had achieved their full attention.

Italian police have seized a superyacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday, a few days after the businessman was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. […] Designed by Philippe Starck and built by Nobiskrug in Germany, the vessel is the world’s biggest sailing yacht, the government said. Melnichenko owns major fertiliser producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK.

Technically Melnichenko just resigned in an attempt to find a loophole in sanctions.

EuroChem Group AG, a leading global fertilizer producer, announces that Andrey Melnichenko has resigned his position as Non-Executive Director of the Board of Directors, and withdrawn as main beneficiary, effective March 9, 2022. The move follows Mr. Melnichenko’s inclusion in an EU sanctions list, and was taken to ensure EuroChem is able to continue providing millions of people around the world with nutrients for agriculture, helping to underpin global food security.

Nutrients that underpin global security?

*Cough* bullshit *cough*.

But seriously, this opulent waste of money on a party yacht sinks any claims to Melnichenko or his company giving a crap about global food security.

Source: Nobiskrug

It might be the ugliest sailboat I’ve ever seen. At best it resembles a Chinese Junk.

A trio of 300 ft masts with full battens on a 480 ft lethargic bathtub make no sense to me at all. I’m not kidding about bathtub designs being slow. Surface area clearly increases towards the waterline.

Source: Nobiskrug

It has all the grace and efficiency of a flat tire.

Really it looks like someone took a big container ship and chopped its stern off, then crammed on a cruise ship’s reverse poop deck. Running lights make it even uglier, like an old running shoe from Walmart.

Source: DailyMail

To be fair we’re talking about a fertilizer and coal billionaire who wanted a party boat that could operate on clean wind power instead of fertilizer or coal. Nothing about it sounds right, if you see what I mean, and yet somehow I am certain the Italians will know exactly what to do.