ICARUS FIGHTS MEDUSA ANGELS

Last Week in Weird

Counter-intelligence

If you’re the type to listen to what horrible Russian fake news terror hackers say, you may remember when Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee after concrete evidence of her complicity in rigging Our Perfectly Fair Elections came to light. In addition to that bit of comedy fallout — and in addition to the astonishingly coincidental murder of DNC staffer and alleged Wikileaker Seth Rich — Wasserman Schultz’s actions have also led to a lawsuit being filed against her and against the DNC.

Apparently, this lawsuit has attracted the attention of some Serious Hackers, as somebody using a robotic voice changer called the office of one of the attorneys handling the suit, attempting to extract the secrets!

The caller refused to identify himself/herself, but asked my secretary about the Wilding et al. v. DNC et al. lawsuit. My secretary stated that it sounded like the caller was using a voice changer, because the voice sounded robotic and genderless — along the lines of the voice changers used when television show interviews are kept anonymous. The caller concluded with "Okey dokey," after my secretary gave the caller public information about the case.

God I love attorneys — just about the one group of people left in American society that can be relied upon not to write illiterate non-words like "themself."

Regardless: wow, what a lot of attention this case is gathering! Even international super spies are getting involved! I bet it’s the Russians. Or maybe those Macedonian content farmers — I hear they’re stealing our elections too!

After the call ended, a simple Google search of the phone number "305-936-5724" shows that it is the phone number for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ Aventura office, https://wassermanschultz.house.gov/contact/. See attached screenshot.

What? No, there’s no way she could be that stupid. I mean, she took the trouble to use a voice changer, right? There’s no way she’d make the call from a traceable office phone!

Giving you a number, and taking away your name

Look out, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi: the competition for the title of dumbest woman in the Democratic Party is getting intense! Which said, I mean, I’m pretty sure Maxine still has it locked down.

Wait, what was that about Macedonian content farmers?

Don’t worry, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz: of all the things I’ll accuse Hillary Clinton of, being stupid is not one of them. Unspeakably evil, sure. Mentally ill, definitely. But stupid? No, not really. Sometimes, though, your humble narrator must confess that the lines between "cynical and manipulative" and "out of touch with reality" seem to blur somewhat. Such was the case last week, when Hillary Clinton gave an interview at — of all places — CodeCon.

You remember Hillary Clinton. This is the woman who handled all of her confidential government communications through an unsecured server at her own house, and who refused to use secure mobile devices. This is the woman who pretended not to know how to delete an e-mail, and pretended to think "wiping a server" involves Lysol spray and a rag. This is the woman whose campaign manager honest-to-God used "password" as his e-mail password, thus enabling evil Russian spies to "hack" him. This woman made an appearance at a coding conference.

But, wait, you’re thinking: what does this have to do with Macedonian content farmers?

Because the Russians historically in the last couple of decades, and then increasingly, you know, are launching cyber-attacks and they are stealing vast amounts of information and a lot of the information they’ve stolen, they’ve used for internal purposes to affect markets, to affect the intelligence services, et cetera.

So this was different because they went public, and they were conveying this weaponized information and the content of it, and they were running, y’know there’s all these stories, about, y’know, guys over in Macedonia who are running these fake news sites, and you know I’ve seen them now, and you sit there and it looks like you know sort of low level CNN operation, or a fake newspaper.

Weaponized information. Information-laden warheads, launched from strategic sites in Macedonia! Look out, everybody — the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has declared war on my elections! I’m sure they’ll be marching over here by the hundreds just as soon as they resolve their lawsuit with Greece over the right to use the name "Macedonia." Conquering all the elections is next on the agenda, though!

And now: Mets!

Sometimes I long for my former life as a sports journalism critic. It lacked the punchy, world-is-about-to-be-exploded-ness of political journalism criticism, but it made up for that by having the Mets. Let’s face it, friends: nothing is weirder than the Mets.

After the Mets fell to the Brewers in an ugly 7-1 defeat at Citi Field Wednesday night, Mr. Met headed toward the tunnel dejected but not before turning around and flipping the bird to a fan in the stands…

It has been a troublesome season for the Mets both on the field and off of it after entering the year with high expectations. After re-signing Yoenis Cespedes in the offseason and seemingly having an assortment of riches in the rotation, the Mets were considered favorites in the NL East.

I mean, sure, it’s rough being ten — ten! — games back coming out of May, and by SRS the Mets are a really really bad team, and Curtis Granderson is now the worst CF in the league by a huge margin, and they have seven guys on the DL right now, but… ah… where was I going with this? I gotta figure those Macedonians are going to run out of hackers pretty soon, and they’ll have to choose between hacking the Mets or all the democracy ever. So there! Look on the bright side, Mr. Met!

Excuse me. I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.

This won’t end well.

After bringing in Lamborghinis and Ferraris to patrol roads, Dubai police have enrolled a robotic officer, the first in a unit that aims to make up a quarter of the force by 2030…

"Our aim is to raise the number of robots to 25 percent of the police force by 2030," said Brigadier Khaled al-Razzooqi, head of Smart Services at Dubai police.

The Dubai Police Force consists of fifteen thousand cops. Assuming that they’re optimizing the Robot Ratio by adding Robocops rather than by subtracting Meatcops, that means they intend to add five thousand ED-209s to the force in just thirteen years. And I imagine we’re supposed to hope this one robotic Irishman they’ve already built can save us from that whole horde! My only suggestion is that it would probably be best if we all learn how to say "Dick, you’re fired" in Arabic. Just in case.

The main purpose is to "find a new way to deal with people", said Razzooqi, while acknowledging that robots could not replace humans on tasks such as making arrests.

No, but they’ll be aces at telling your dog it has twenty seconds to drop its weapon, and then killing it anyway.

Last but not least

Michael Snyder is an occasionally-reliable commentator who sometimes goes way off the rails. He may also be a guy I went to middle school with, which, just in case: sorry about your bike speedometer.

Anyhow, he’s written a list of "100 things that liberals hate about America," and it’s mostly the exact sort of trite right-wing goofiness you probably expect — you know, the flag, and family values, and Rush Limbaugh. All that stuff. But there’s just one thing I’d like to call your attention to here on my snotty blog about rubbish:

#76 Israel

#77 Benjamin Netanyahu

100 things that liberals hate about America. About America.

It so perfectly captures the essence of everything that’s wrong with modern American conservatism that this list of things "about America" includes both Israel and the prime minister of Israel. The only thing that really surprises me is that they’re not #1 and #1a.

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