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12 December 2016


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Sam Peralta

"...assuming they did get the goods from the DNC, to blow their whole operation to elect Trump?"

The implication of these allegations is that the voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida who voted for Trump or didn't show up to vote Hillary are dunces. I'm sure the partisan Democrats will say that. But...that leaves no possibility that the Democrats rigged the primary to nominate the loser candidate that many didn't want as they lived through the drama of the Clintons in the WH and had enough.


Thanks kao,

I was fascinated by your discussion of Korean politics recently, forget with whom and or what context. Kooshy? different topic, but some type of déjà vu? ... From my limited basis in following topics that draw my attention.

East Asian culture is interesting, but I never had a solid grasp. Am aware of aspects, historical relations, no doubt. Random choice Korea-Japan relations ... origins of the Japanese writing system.

Good example...


TTG, a personal note.

I met a co-student of my niece a while ago. Versus the usual from my perspective more boring places you end up after her--more generally IT--education. He made it into the for me most interesting field. ... IT and security.

From the really short exchange we had, what stuck on my mind was, he was highly fascinated by what his colleagues ('freelance team', but working for high profile firms) were able to do. Strictly you could consider them pure "white hats/heads?" since they test security among others in an environment that guards my basic data. ;)

There was this curious attempt to paint "hackers" as evil for quite some time. They first of all come in all stripes, and shapes. My definition of black apparently does not always neatly align with usage.

Quite a while ago, admittedly from my highly limited basis and accordingly a steep learning curve, I tried to get to the bottom rootkits. Publication. Unfortunately I feel to old to join CCC (Chaos Computer Club). Interestingly enough the author in the foreword claimed, I haven't checked it, that "Hacker tools" are a no-go-area in American IT education. Accompanying longer "infowar" (no fan of the guy) to paint them as purely evil. I read a US thriller along those lines, difficult to finish it at all. Forget the author's name by now.

But strictly the experience of the above ex-student seems to confirm my author's take.

What do you think. Is 'Pineas Fisher" is a black, gray or white hat?


Intelligence Community Statement on Review of Foreign Influence on U.S. Elections https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1456-intelligence-community-statement-on-review-of-foreign-influence-on-u-s-elections


December 14, 2016

Intelligence Community Statement on Review of Foreign Influence on U.S. Elections

Senior Administration Officials have regularly provided extensive, detailed classified and unclassified briefings to members and staff from both parties on Capitol Hill since this past summer and have continued to do so after Election Day.

Last week, the President ordered a full Intelligence Community review of foreign efforts to influence recent Presidential elections – from 2008 to present. Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress—and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods. We will not offer any comment until the review is complete.

Maybe somebody realized the United States would not look very exceptional if it had a media circus driven congressional hearing which could sabotage the recent election, and US credibility in general. It had been looking like a hysterical witch hunt was about start in congress that would, along with the media circus around it, make the US look really lame, IMO. Looks like cooler heads are prevailing somewhere in the heart of the Borg.

What kind of message is it that Putin has the power to influence who is elected in this country. Can't imagine the IC or the Borg wants Putin to look that powerful to the rest of the world.



"What kind of message is it that Putin has the power to influence who is elected in this country."

Yeah! The whiners are making it look like we're just another banana republic where voters are so easily influenced by the "thug" Putin. If Putin can decide who becomes POTUS that should not engender much confidence in us as world hegemon.

Nancy K

The vintage wine and much of the fresh fruits and vegetables come from the west coast. I think California if it were a country would have the 7th or 8th biggest economy. I don't live in the state anymore, so I might have some trouble getting vintage wine and fresh fruits and vegetables here in NC.


Morgus wrote another article in which he says Russia wants a treaty that would protect nations from outside nations using cyber space to influence the domestic affairs. The US of course won't agree to it because we see it as our duty to spread democracy (defined these days as cultural Marxism) to the oppressed people of the world. Hillary said Putin's 2012 election was "unjust and unfair." If it is true Russia hack the DNC, it is to show our elections are manipulated by party leaders in favor of their approved candidates and provide impetus for us to negotiate a cyber treaty.

"In 2009, Russia, China, and a group of like minded states began work on a proposal for a broad international treaty on information security. In their view, the set of norms that governed state behavior before the rise of the internet did not translate to state behavior in an internet age. In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly outlining a proposal for an “International Code of Conduct for Information Security,” the Russian coalition proposed a codification of this concept, stipulating that states subscribing to the code pledge to “not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability.” In parallel, Russia and others have pushed to further solidify this and other proposed norms in treaty form. In short, the Russian approach advocated that a new digital age required new norms."


The Twisted Genius


Phineas considers himself to be a blackhat. Obviously law enforcement does as well. I applaud most of what he does as hactivism and whistleblowing. He lays corporate dirty laundry out in the street for all to see. There ought to be a thousand more of him. He stole money from a bank and gave it to Rojava. Good. I'd like to be hackers steal the Gulfie sheiks blind and give the money to their victims throughout the Mideast.


Ship it in. It is not like all those coastal areas don't have ports


They may be dunces (They are obviously the less educated people in the US) but that doesn't mean that voting for Trump is for them a stupid act.


getting people to have money to be entrepreneurs is difficult but having money in the system for investment purposes is easy and having that money coming from private persons instead of banks, insurance companies, pensions etc is not necessary better. Besides they now form only a small part of the total of investment money and the rich spend a smaller share of their income on capital goods than the average taxpayer


I think one of their goals is to undermine the internet itself. It's certainly an outcome. The US leads the internet and sets the rules- US soft power, cultural hegemony, norms and practices are transmitted through the internet. I think a key element of undermining the US position is pollute and corrupt the internet and effect the way any US position can be transmitted. The internet is being deliberately made weaker, less trustworthy and more unpleasant as a result of an information campaign.


Tidewater to Edward Amame, Valissa, Cee, Kooshy, turcopolier, and All,

First, thank you TTG for a fascinating essai and discussion.

Because on Monday the Electors are meeting to cast their votes, and because, as the great Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson ("Lawyer's Judge") wrote, "procedural fairness and regularity are the indispensable essence of liberty," it has interested me to try to inform myself how the Electoral College works. I am now convinced that the notion that Electors "have a legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience," based on a discussion of the art of government by Alexander Hamilton (Federalist 68), as Christopher Suprun states in the Opinion pages of the New York Times on Dec.5: ("Why I will not cast my electoral vote for Donald Trump") is basically little more than a modern urban legend, possibly stemming from some romanticised 19th Century American founding fathers folklore. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no legal foundation either at the state or the federal level for an Elector being permitted to act as a free agent. It is not Constitutional.

Any question of a group of "Faithless Electors" joining together to overthrow the results of a national election was definitely decided by the United States Supreme Court in Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214 (1952). (I am relying in part on Wikipedia.)

It was a major decision, stated to be "per curiam" by the Court, underscoring that the decision was both important but also noncontroversial, being based on widely accepted legal philosophy about the electoral process. It could be "per curiam" and also not be unanimous. The dissent by Justice Jackson suggests to me that there still existed at that time (the beginning of the national security state) a kind of idealism about the reliable integrity of freeborn American citizens that seems to me to be pretty much gone. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) in which the Court struck down a state law requiring all public school students to participate in a daily flag salute ritual, Jackson wrote: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no offical, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

Justice Jackson's dissent in Ray v. Blair opines: "Noone faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated what is implicit in its text--that Electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation's highest offices."

He lost. His dissent is only a swan song. Today, to me, it has a kind of nice, old-timey ring to it, but it also sounds a bit risky. Just how far will the stock market drop on Tuesday if a large group of coddled, multiracial Electors with hidden agendas attempt to, or manage to overthrow the election? (Just one little consequence of many that spring to mind.) And Justice Jackson, what about your opinions on the necessity for procedural normality?

Can you not see looming somewhere behind this decidedly unworkable vision of Electors as free agents some sort of Blue Ribbon Elector Jury Panel, like an American Politburo, to which all election results must then move up to for final judgment? I cannot help noticing how invisible Electors are. Electors do not have a marble building in Washington, D.C., where they might meet under robed and ceremonial circumstance in January. Would this not be stealing some of the thunder of other branches, as things are now arranged, if they did? After all, what authority does the Electoral College actually have, deliberative or otherwise?

What the Supreme Court decided in Ray v. Blair was that although state electors are not federal officers, they are nevertheless functioning at the federal level because their basic reason for existing, the job they do, is to work in conjunction with federal authorities in determining the the outcome of a federal election. The Supreme Court reasoned that the states have the authority to oversee the Electors, and that the state has gotten this authority from the United States Constitution.

The Supreme Court essentially handed over to the states powers which the states in turn then handed over to the several political parties within their boundaries. Any reading of the power of state political parties and of their executive committees would be better understood by reading the state party rules in conjunction with reading the summaries of state laws regarding Electors provided by the National Archives and Records Administration, to which Edward Amame provided a link. You might say that an Addendum to the NASS summaries is needed. Some of the wording of state law, such as, for example, in the area of Texas Statutes 192.003, sounds simple enough. In the case of the Texas Electors, some of whom who may refuse to vote for their party's candidate this coming Monday, I did not see at first the significence of the words "To become a presidential Elector candidate, a person must be nominated as a political party's elector candidate in accordance with party rules." Interesting. IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARTY RULES. That is a loaded statement. If party rules totally RULE, as is said these days, then what else matters? And what are these rules? And who enforces them, the state party executive committee? How do these rules work? Do these rules work suddenly, almost capriciously? Like a bunch of politicos sitting in a room suddenly snapping their fingers? And that from what they decide there is no legal appeal?

Yes, is a good answer here. The state executive committee of the Republican party in the Texas case, and in all states that have established parties, can indeed summarily enforce their party's rules. I say again, the United States Supreme Court passed on to the states and the states passed on to the parties this power. In the matter of Ray v. Blair, Ben F. Ray, chairman of the Alabama Executive Committee of the Democratic party, told Edmund Blair that he was not going to be certified as an Elector because, even though Blair was extremely well-qualified and had long served his state's Democratic party , we are just as sorry as we can be, but you have to sign the pledge in incontrovertible nominee support or you are going to lose your beloved spot. Maybe Blair felt his honor had been impugned. Anyway, he sued and won. His Twelfth Amendment rights and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. A surprisingly liberal Alabama Supreme Court decision then? A mandamus was issued. Blair was back. Ray appealed. Does Alabama go to the Fourth Circuit in Richmond? From there or somewhere the U.S. Supreme court granted it certiorari, which means they took the case. And there was a surprise! The Court ruled that the state executive committee of the Alabama Democratic party could indeed force the pledge on Blair and on any other Elector. More than half a century has gone by and this decision is now "settled law."

So what can the Texas Republican party executives do if Electors show up on December 19 and vote for someone other than Donald Trump? I will now repeat my theory of the case that party rules control everything regarding eligibility and Elector procedure. No need for a lawsuit here. If a party rule says that a notarized oath must be provided, and an Elector now commits perjury, that is one thing, but that is not what matters to the party bosses. What matters is that the all-powerful party rules have been broken. This is an automatic self-nullification by the Elector. I am placing my bet that what happens next, might, by analogy, be compared to a Directed Verdict. In which a judge simply overrules a jury verdict because he has such knowledge of law that it is self- evident to him that there is no point in wasting the court system's time on this one because it is definitely going to be sent back down. I've seen it done, and for long moments afterwards people could scarcely understand what had just happened. (A Directed Verdict is now being sought in the Rolling Stone Federal case here in Charlottesville on the issue of actual malice.)

So on Monday the Executive Committee simply consults together about their Elector's compliance with party rules. If there is any Elector not in compliance, that Elector is automatically replaced. Perhaps the minutes of the meeting will record some of the discussion, a vote, an agreement on a decision. The rogue Elector is removed. A substitute Elector is now appointed. Perhaps he is already sworn. He votes correctly. And that will end it. If the "Faithless Elector" shows up, if only to resign, then that would be noted and accepted. I predict that the Texas Electors will vote in accordance with their pledge. Trump will be awarded all of the Texas votes.

However, for Suprun, if he chooses to violate his oath, forcing his removal, the matter might not end there. A Commonwealth's Attorney might look at him closely. Suprun seems to be a guy who has known a lot of trouble. Is he correctly licensed? In Texas there are five levels of certification and the highest is licensed paramedic. Suprun says that he is a paramedic. Could he lose that license if he is prosecuted for perjury?

If by some incredible and unforseen possibility (I've read into seven or eight where you can see the failsafe wording, but not all of them) it turns out that there are enough states that have such loosely drawn laws that an Electoral revolt could somehow be allowed to happen, in spite of the (undisturbed) precedent of Ray v. Blair, then I think there really would now be a lawsuit by an aggrieved state party committee (in the now developing Constitutional crisis) and the Supreme Court would pounce. It would work quickly. It would finish the job started in 1952. (The House of Representatives has nothing to do with this.) The Court will invalidate all rogue Elector's votes. And the Court will address what it did not address in Ray v. Blair. It will decide on the need for a new Federal law that establishes very clear, precise governmental authority over the Electors, however that law is to be designed. It is not 1952. So much for individual choice and State's Rights.

But it won't happen.

I am curious to see how far Suprun is willing to take his scam. The Borg might reward him nicely.

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