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Your Phone Is a Sucking Security Wound and Basic Anti-surveillance Hygiene


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – June 13, 2021


  1. bruce wilder

    does it feel like a peculiarly slow period for news, like the quiet before a terrible storm perhaps?

  2. NL

    bruce wilder
    “does it feel like a peculiarly slow period for news, like the quiet before a terrible storm perhaps?”

    That’s cause things not going well. On the domestic front, sickness seeps vitality – an economic recovery is stalling. Optimism is not taking root. Pressuring a sick and mentally off balance population into work will only makes things worse. Keeping them on welfare will also make things worse.

    On the pandemic front – the effectiveness of the vaccine remains to be demonstrated. UK has a vaccination rate of 44%, and 80% of people there have antibodies against the coronavirus (this means that these people were either infected with the virus or took a coronavirus vaccine), yet COVID cases began rising again, and the news are that the restrictions imposed on the economic and personal activity will remain in place for longer than initially planned. As predicted, herd immunity is a mirage, alluring and tempting but not reachable. Stopping testing (by charging for it/shifting it to the private sector, making it unavailable) + hiding COVID dead can also go only as far as. People will sense something is off, and anxiety will eat them worse than the virus.

    The massive protests in the scientific community against the FDA approval of the Biogen Alzheimer’s disease treatment clearly demonstrate that the science that goes into drug/treatment development is not always solid but is often debatable, and FDA will approve treatments that lack solid scientific consensus or even any scientific consensus, using some reason (emergency, lack of treatment) as a pretext. The scientific advising panel for the Biogen drug was in an overwhelming majority against approval of the drug. The vaccine is a corporate vaccine, and mistrust of the vaccine is the mistrust of the corporate. Who is willing here to argue that we should trust our corporations? Why do you think due diligence is conducted?

    On the international front – a war against Russia (Ukraine’s NAZI attack on the rebel regions + a color ‘revolution’ in Belorussia + US navy in the Black Sea + Putin overthrow) failed/was hastily called off, when Russia demonstrated willingness to go to an all out war. The present visible leadership group is meeting with the Russia visible leadership group. Rumors have it that they will talk about US and Russia joying forces against China — I don’t know — Russia sold all its treasuring and announced a SWIFT-like payment system going into this meeting…

    China does not show signs of intimidation and retreat and is erecting retaliatory measures that will affect not only the target Western individuals but also their families and any organization that they are associated with, regarding whether these organizations are involved in acts against China or not. Trade deficit with China is growing. China is rapidly building a huge navy.

    Further on the domestic front, the oligarchy can not come to a consensus (as predicted). Economic reforms (aka infrastructure plan) stalled. Partial measures on the edges like the USICA/endless frontier bill are patches that will ultimately not change much.

    I predicted a while back a ‘bloodbath’ among the oligarchy. Seems like it is taking place: Bill Gates – down and potentially out of billions through divorce and payments for womanizing and the association with unsavory individuals (he’s been like this from the beginning why take hit now?); Apple — news from today is that Apple illegally helped Trump — that’s a kiss of death; some in the Congress are plotting legislature against Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — weren’t we so proud of these entities a short while ago? It is not clear who is attacking these oligarchs. Suspiciously, Musk won a lucrative gov space contract over Bezos and is not targeted. But Bezos now is trying to sneak a $10 billion give away to himself through the Endless Frontiers bill…

    American bankers and anyone with dollars are rushing to China to exchange their trash for yuan. The down pressure on the dollar is huge, the up-pressure on the yuan is also huge. You know what that will do to the cost of your T-shirt? Right, it will increase in price. It will also sink the US nominal GDP.

    Things looking not so good.

  3. George

    Yes NL, the science that goes into drug/treatment development is not always solid but is often debatable. I don’t understand why Alzheimer’s disease treatment has to come in a new drug form instead of from diet. Top neurologist understand this to the point when confronted with a new patient suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, even Diabetes, they are put on a gluten free diet at once and their condition actually stabilizes. Meaning not a cure but they do not progress. And this is about all that can be hoped for with Biogen treatment.

  4. Here’s the first clap of thunder for the arriving storm:

    Long story short… Robert Malone — the inventor of MRNA vaccines (clearly another clueless anti-science anti-vaxxer) says the vaccine rollout should be aborted — and provides a pile of indisputable evidence to back it up.

  5. NL

    Another thing I don’t get — why is the Queen of England at the G7 gathering? What is the point? Is she like the de facto monarchic ruler of the Western world? That’s certainly a picture one gets.

    Recent whispers stirred up by the spare prince arriving in the land that overthrew the British monarchy have it that the Queen plays a bigger role – especially when it comes to the Queen’s finances – in governing that one might have imagined would be expected in a democracy. Curious, Britain is full of atavistic relics and living fossils.

  6. bruce wilder

    thank you for the thoughtful response, NL

    the vacuity of corporate news media is a major factor — whatever happens will not necessarily be reported. russiagate was a culmination. i can hardly believe the rash of UFO sightings. i find the COVID lab leak hypothesis superficially plausible but know that that is not why speculation is being reported.

    and the hollowing-out of the economy by corrupting neoliberal financialization has entered into an endgame state where no reform or serious attempt at mitigation can go forward, both because of the political potency of those benefitting and because even mere mitigation threatens to trigger chaos or collapse. center-left economists do not see inflation taking off even as it rages thru the land and capacity shortfalls and shortages emerge everywhere — it is a weird sort of disconnect where a political opposition that should be motivated by reasonable anticipation of bad consequences is translated into a mere aesthetic distaste (as for Trump i guess it is the same thing) married to an unfounded assumption that things will go on going on, and consequences never.

  7. someofparts

    D Veale –

    Thanks for the video link. I’m about halfway through it. I will be going back to parts of it to make sure I’m understanding it. The bit where Weinstein and Malone talk about regulatory capture was nuanced and interesting, and one of the parts I want to listen to again.

    I have stopped about halfway through because Steve Kirsch is unbearable. If this were an episode of Chapo Traphouse he would fit right in. In the serious, important conversation Weinstein and Dr. Malone are having, he is an increasingly aggravating sideshow. I am now at the point where I’m yelling at the video telling Kirsch to shut up. I will soldier on to the end of the video and when I replay it, just mute the parts where Kirsch indulges in his noisy theatrics.

    The better I understand how the powers that be are dealing with the pandemic, the more horrifying it gets. I guess our public health and the viability of our media and government are in the process of accelerating breakdown. I can’t even imagine where this ends, but it won’t be any place good.

  8. “does it feel like a peculiarly slow period for news”

    No, but I usually don’t watch cnn/msnbc. While the gain-of-function Fauci crimes and lies, as revealed by FOIA’d emails, have gotten covered on at least some Fox shows I’m aware of, I think Fox is still suppressing coverage of election audits, and attempts at their suppression.

    At Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic show, OTOH, covering Fauci crimes and the election audits are a staple. Plus, on rumble, you can consume exciting segments of their shows, such as the recent “Bannon Blasts ‘Wimp’ Merrick Garland: Zero Chance Biden Can Stop Arizona Audit”. Bannon threatening the (godawful corrupt) DOJ may or may not be theater, but at least it’s exciting. The short extracts mean you don’t have to listen to the whole show, for the zingers.

    I just hope Bannon doesn’t end up dead, kind of like the 45 year old father of 3 who exposed Clinton’s meeting on the tarmac with then AG Loretta Lynch. The Gateway Pundit is covering this in: “BREAKING: Reporter Who Broke Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Story Found DEAD in His Apartment”. Not to worry, though – his death is being investigated as a suicide.

  9. NR

    So yeah, about that so-called “audit….”

    The Arizona “audit” that right-wingers are pushing so hard is actually a complete shitshow. The Republicans in Arizona hired a company called Cyber Ninjas to “audit” the ballots from Maricopa County for the 2020 election. Cyber Ninjas has no elections experience—in contrast to the two professional auditing firms previously retained by the county as part of its series of audits and reviews of the vote—and is headed by Doug Logan, a man who has repeatedly tweeted election conspiracy theories.

    Whether from lack of experience or deliberate intent to commit fraud in the “audit,” Cyber Ninjas its counters with blue pens.

    State election procedures explicitly prohibit blue pens in hand counting areas because scanners can read blue and black ink, and a blue pen could be used, accidentally or intentionally, to improperly mark a ballot.

    Security at the “audit” was so lax that a news team was repeatedly able to gain access to areas where ballots and equipment were being stored.

    Cyber Ninjas has no procedure in place for counting ballots, and the counting itself is haphazard at best.

    And to top it all off, Cyber Ninjas took election data to a house in Montana, of all places. We don’t know what information is there, why it’s there, who has access to it, or what safeguards are in place to protect it (if any).

    In conclusion, this Arizona “audit” is a giant fraud perpetrated against the public by Republican conspiracy theorists. Their goal is not to provide a full and accurate count of votes, because we already have that, confirmed by two different auditing firms after the election; rather, the goal is to provide more propaganda to support right-wingers false claims that Trump actually won the 2020 election. Oh and of course, to make a lot of money along the way.

  10. bruce wilder

    Re: ballot counting “audit”


    Since the debacle of Florida 2000, narratives of electoral cheating have been frequent, but sincere efforts to respond with reforms that improve electoral integrity have been few. And never taken up by partisans of either Party.

  11. I’d be interested in serious, balanced criticism of the election audits by the likes of Aaron Mate, Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald, Kim Iverson. Ya know, people left of the dial; or libertarians who tell it like it is (Greenwald). Preferably, it’d be on youtube, or otherwise available on audio, since I’m really busy these days.

    Ah, but there’s part of the rub. Jimmy Dore is self-censoring, because he doesn’t want to be de-platformed. I don’t know if he’s on other video/audio portals. He definitely self-censored with covid stuff, because he admitted to doing so. However, there’s been a loud silence, on his part, about the election fraud, and attempts at rectification.

    Maybe Iverson will get into this. She posts stuff elsewhere, that she’d prefer to also have on youtube.

    I remember “brad” of doing respectable work during the Bush steal of his ‘election’ from Kerry. I did give one of his shows a listen, and he sounded like a Democratic partisan, nothing more. I’ll probably try, again, though I’m not expecting much.

    Some Indian shows come up on my youtube feeds, and just today I listened to a show from the WION channel on youtube, about UFO’s. It was a deeper dive than I’d expect from a Fox or CNN, but the apparent agenda of disparaging the notion of aliens was backed by an apparent complete lack of awareness about accounts of crashed craft with – yes, Virginia – aliens inside them.

    In fact, just recently I heard about a crash in the southwest that preceded Roswell. Interviewed was the famous Jacques Vallee, together with Kevin Knuth, a physicist. And yes, there were aliens present in that event.

    So, WION is Wendy’s to CNN’s McDonald’s. Still not impressed….. I doubt WION would have anything thorough and honest about American elections, either….

  12. NL

    bruce wilder
    thank you for the thoughtful response, NL

    Thank you. Hopefully it was thoughtful.

    Continuing the topic of the vaccine.

    ~30% of the people who died from the India variant in England were fully vaccinated (two shots). Italy intents to ban the AstraZeneca vaccine for those who <60.

    This virus and others to come will eat alive us until we start working on eradicating them honestly and hard. Someone called me crazy on this blog at some point last. The events have proven that person to be a fool.

  13. Plague Species

    I’m all for eradicating “them.” When do we start? In earnest?

  14. Ché Pasa

    Hm. Local politics on display?

    I’ve been seeing some dude, don’t know who it is, but he’s either a neighbor or staying with a neighbor, driving around in his almost new King Ranch pickup, big “Trump 2024” and US flags waving from the back as if he were on one of those crazed Trump flotillas or Portland Trump Truck Parades back in the day.

    Of course this area voted for Trump in the latest contest by some 65%, or maybe even 70%, though 70% was the 2016 percentage. They are not, by and large, fanatical Trump followers and devotees, however, and those who took to “display” in previous contests were considered “out there” or “silly people” by most of the locals. Politics is not worth the effort. Too many other things require immediate attention.

    I think I’ve explained why Trump and Trumpism resonates among the locals and so many folks generally (and it’s not typically for the reasons promoted by the media) and probably always will with or without a charismatic leader at the helm. Democrats and the most of the major mass media, by and large, just don’t get it, and those who do wrestle with a stark realization that they’re off on a dead end tangent from what the People want and need from government.

    “Pwning the Libs” is not even the half of it.

    Seeing these early signs of Trump-display going past my place essentially daily out here in the Middle of Nowhere, and knowing how many of my neighbors are arming up (“just in case” — but they always do that, right?) we might be closer to a breaking point than we think.

    So many used their stimulus payments to buy guns, ammunition, and big ol’ trucks with flags flying from the back, you know?

  15. bruce wilder

    close(r) to the breaking point?

    mass shootings are often only local news — too frequent to be national news

    and is whats left of national mass media in touch with anything?

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