Twitter is a good invention. It’s easy and fun. Much less demanding and intrusive than Facebook. So much so that many millions of people, from the famous to ordinary people like you and I, use it every day.
On the back of that success the Twitter company is doing very well. But recently it did even better when its shares jumped four per cent in a matter of minutes.
It all happened after a buyout story appeared on the internet that claimed that Twitter had received a significant offer. It started off, “Twitter is working closely with bankers after receiving an offer to be bought out for $31 billion…”
Investors piled in. And not just the amateurs, lots of the ‘professional’ Wall Street guys too.
The trouble was, however, that the internet story was on a bogus web site and was completely fake. The site was called “bloomberg.market”. It was not “Bloomberg.com” the official name of the web presence for the Bloomberg financial organization.
“Bloomberg.market” was what they call a ‘mirror’ of the genuine “Bloomberg.com” website. Whoever designed “bloomberg.market” set it up to look like “Bloomberg.com”. They copied real headlines and linked them back to the real dot-com website. With one exception: the fake Twitter story, which was dressed up to look like a legitimate webpage.
The spike in the Twitter share price only lasted about 15 minutes before Bloomberg denounced the story as fake and the share price dropped back to its previous level. But 15 minutes is a long time in the world of finance and plenty of time for someone to profit substantially from the scam.
No one yet knows who owns the dot-market domain – except the people who own it, of course – but it was registered just days before the scam message, using a proxy service called “WhoisGuard”, based in Panama, that protects registrant details by offering its own address and contact numbers. But the details of “WhoisGuard” on its own website at “WhoisGuard.com” also appear to be fake, listing a telephone number that is disconnected. Emails to their contact address have not received a response either.
The significance of this incident is not that some greedy and stupid people lost money rushing to buy Twitter shares on the back of this fake announcement.
The problem is that so many new dot word domains have recently been allowed – hundreds of them in fact – that the whole internet is becoming bloated and confusing. And expensive.
If you are a company that wants to protect your online identity and integrity it could now cost you tens of thousands of dollars to cover all the permutations. Not many companies, even huge affairs like Bloomberg, will choose to do that.
That leaves the way wide open for cyber criminals to take advantage of gullible internet users.
I am certain they will.
Like the Twitter announcement, it’s just too good a deal to refuse.
Bureaucrats lose things because they are incompetent and stupid.
We all know that.
My posts on the debacle at the US government’s Office of Personnel Management, where they lost over 21 million records of government employees and those who had applied for government jobs, was a good example.
I though at the time I read about this and did my blog posts that this would be a tough one to beat as regards stupidity and incompetence.
I was wrong.
Enter the Irish.
Irish bureaucrats have lost an entire airport.
And it only cost them €27 million to do it.
A bargain one might think in terms of bureaucratic faux pas.
Up until last week you could find Ireland’s Shannon Airport, in Shannon, County Clare.
Sounds logical enough. If I was looking for Shannon Airport, Shannon is the first place I would look for it. They have had an airport there for over seventy years.
Now, however, after the introduction of Ireland’s new €27 million postcode system, the ‘Eircode’, you can now find Shannon Airport in – wait for it – a different county, County Limerick.
If that isn’t funny enough, the system also has a ‘mapping’ option which the bureaucrats say can identify the exact latitude and longitude of 2.2 million individual addresses. They’ll most likely be in the wrong latitude and longitude, but at least you know exactly how wrong the location is.
Naturally there are other problems with the ‘Eircode’ postcode system, ranging from other incorrect addresses to data protection concerns, but the airport one is the star of the show.
In typical bureaucratic fashion, despite the fact that the whole thing is an almighty mess, Communications Minister Alex White defended the new national system.
He even claimed it would make postal deliveries much easier in the long run – the ‘long run’ presumably referring to the distance traveled by your mail going to the wrong delivery address and confused users of the system going to all the wrong places.
Not only do the bewildered Irish users of this new system get wrong addresses for their €27 million, but they are only allowed a miserable fifteen searches per day, meaning you would need to persevere with it for more than a week if you were organizing a big event, like a wedding or anniversary do.
There is an option to search for more wrong addresses but the fee for that dubious privilege is between €60 and €180 a year, depending on the number of searches performed.
I ended a post last week that ended with the line, “If you want a liar in the White House there’s always Hillary.”
Some people may have thought it a little harsh, particularly those who were considering voting for her, but harsh or not it is a fact.
Her wayward husband Bill was a liar and he made President and impeachment. Now she is trying to carry on the tradition.
Hillary simply cannot tell the truth.
Everyone knows it.
And everyone includes the representatives from other countries that she would have to interact with, if – God help us – the American people are stupid enough to make her President.
Unfortunately, such is the attention span of people nowadays they only seem to remember the last thing they see and hear. If something happened in the past it is as if it never occurred at all.
With a position as important as the US Presidency at stake it is surely necessary to examine the candidates more closely than that.
Hillary Clinton’s lies are many and they cover almost every aspect of her life. She is an opportunist, always willing to try to enhance her position by lying. Nothing is sacred.
And it isn’t a recent occurrence. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a liar for her entire political life, probably longer than that.
Take a look for yourselves.
Going waaaaay back to 1974, when Hillary Clinton was 27, she worked for the House Judiciary Committee which at that time was investigating Richard Nixon and Watergate.
Strictly against House rules, she met with Teddy Kennedy’s chief political strategist and then manipulated the system, wrote a “fraudulent legal brief” and “confiscated public documents”.
They had no choice but fire Hillary Rodham. When asked why she was fired, Jerry Zeifman, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation, said in an interview, “Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer, she conspired to violate the Constitution, the Rules of the House, the Rules of the Committee, and the rules of confidentiality.”
Zeifman later wrote in a 2006 book titled ‘Hillary’s Pursuit of Power’, that “Hillary Clinton is ethically unfit to be either a senator or president.”
When she made it to the White House as First Lady, she was still a stranger to the truth. Trying to distance herself from another gaff, Hillary said she didn’t know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.
Staff do what you tell them to do. That’s why they work for you and not you for them. The memorandum relating to the firings went “missing” for two years.
The “missing” lie was a trait that was to continue. Documents regarding Hillary’s work at the Rose Law firm in Arkansas, specifically regarding a savings and loan company run by the Clintons’ business partner in the Whitewater land venture also went “missing” for two years.
Eventually they miraculously reappeared when a White House aide found them, in the White House, in a storage area on the third-floor, which is the private residence of the President and First Lady.
Hillary said that she had no idea the documents were there, which would have been fine except for the fact that the FBI found Hillary’s fingerprints on the documents. Hillary is still the only First Lady in American history to be fingerprinted by the FBI.
Lying to take advantage of national tragedies is also a depth to which Hillary Clinton will gladly stoop.
For example, when everyone else was in shock and sympathizing with the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack tragedy, Hillary tried to take some of the attention for herself. She said her daughter Chelsea was jogging around the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 at the time of the airplanes flew into the twin towers.
Chelsea was in bed watching it on TV.
To try to aggrandize herself on another occasion, Hillary said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest.
Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest five years AFTER Hillary Rodham was born. Nobody knew who he was and therefore wouldn’t have named their children after him.
When she was on a visit to Bosnia, Hillary said she came under sniper fire as she disembarked at the airport.
Video taken at the time shows a girl presented her with flowers and she and Chelsea can be seen on video walking across the Bosnian tarmac smiling and greeting well-wishers. Not a sniper’s bullet in sight. Here’s a nice video report to prove it.
As regards finances, Hillary said she learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market.
The Wall Street Journal didn’t even cover the market back then.
Hillary said she didn’t know about the pardons given to members of the violent Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN or that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that her husband Bill Clinton granted.
Her husband and her brothers knew and she didn’t? A likely story! With an ill-advised stroke of a pen President Clinton made a mockery of the pledge to “wage an all-out war against terrorism” by pardoning 14 FALN terrorists.
Still on the subject of pardons, Hillary also said she had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons that reduced the prison terms of four New York Hasidic Jews convicted of defrauding tens of millions of dollars from the government.
In fact, of all the pardons that President Clinton granted as he was leaving the White House, this one has Hillary written all over it. She attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons and got repaid in votes, 1,400 to 12.
To try to excuse her greed, Hillary said taking the White House gifts was a “clerical error”.
The “error”, clerical or otherwise, was getting caught and she came up with the best excuse she could think of at the time.
To try to make herself look more statesmanlike Hillary said she negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia.
They were released the day before she even got there.
In a pathetic attempt to get sympathy where none was deserved, Hillary said her family was broke when they left the White House.
And they only made a paltry $12 million the year after Bill Clinton’s Presidency.
Never noted for her humility, Hillary said she was “instrumental” in the Northern Ireland peace process.
She and President Bill visited Northern Ireland and did some PR work for the deal that ushered terrorists into government in Belfast, but those actually at the negotiating table say Hillary was nowhere to be seen.
Hillary said the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other officials was a “spontaneous protest” gone wrong.
Based on State Department documents we know that, not only was Benghazi a terrorist attack, but that Hillary was well aware of that fact and deliberately misled the public.
Then there is the private email server she set up the day before her nomination as Secretary of State, and used for her entire tenure in that office. Hillary said the whole thing was innocent and that access would be given to scrutinize her emails.
The whole procedure was far from innocent. For one thing it is in direct violation of a 2009 Federal Law. Hillary set up her private email server and used it when she was Secretary of State so that there would be no official government records of those emails. She could pick and choose what to release and what to delete. Her aides also used private email addresses. Actualy both the Clintons loved email for that very reason, because it was so much easier to hide stuff, when she was asked to turn over 1.8 million emails to Judicial Watch, Congress, and federal investigators.
What do you call someone with a record like that except a liar?
How are we supposed to believe that all of a sudden she has had a “road to the White House” conversion and become honest and straightforward, rather than a schemer and a liar?
I’m reminded of that old joke,
Question: “How can you tell when a politician is lying?”
Answer: “When his/her lips are moving.”
It needs to be updated for Hillary.
She can lie even when her lips aren’t moving, or get emails or other people to do it for her.
Even a cursory glance around my blog will confirm that. Every week I try to post some.
Facts are good things. Many other people seem to like them too.
Except for one particular group.
Facts always seem to get in the way of whatever it is they are trying to force us to accept.
Enter Donald Trump into the story.
The Donald has caused a lot of controversy lately with his illegal immigrant pronouncements. Cowards like the management of Macy’s, NBC, Univision etc., have made knee-jerk decisions and run from the controversy without taking any time whatsoever to check the facts.
It’s the way Americans have been conditioned to behave when someone says something controversial about a minority or a minority view point.
The hardly impartial Washington Post has been in the forefront of the media critics and, of course, we have also had media mogul Rupert Murdock chirping in against a political candidate who is too rich to fit into his pocket.
But what did Trump actually say?
And do the facts support him or not?
Unlike Macy’s and the rest, let’s take a little time to have a look.
Trump said that some undocumented immigrants commit crimes in the U.S. and in fact they do. He did NOT say ALL Mexicans and he did NOT include Hispanic U.S. citizens, which is what his detractors are trying to infer. In fact from the reports I have read I do not think he quantified it at all.
Trump did, however, strongly ‘imply’ that undocumented immigrants are more criminal than the average U.S. citizen.
The Washington Post “fact checked” this and found it to be ‘false’. The problem for the Washington Post’s fact-checkers is that some of the data shows otherwise.
For example, a 2011 Government Accountability Office report (GAO-11-187, Criminal Alien Statistics, March 2011, to be precise) opens with the sentence,
“The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available), and the majority were from Mexico.”
‘SCAAP’, by the way, is the ‘State Criminal Alien Assistance Program’ which means aliens illegally in the United States at the time of their incarceration.
As for federal prisoners, the GAO states, “In fiscal year 2005, the criminal alien population in federal prisons was around 27 percent of the total inmate population, and from fiscal years 2006 through 2010 remained consistently around 25 percent.”
The Government Accountability Office figures also show that in 2009 the total alien – i.e., non-U.S.-citizen – population in the United Sates was about 25.3 million, which included about 10.8 million aliens without lawful immigration status – illegal aliens in other words.
The total population of the U.S. at that time was approximately 306.8 million. Non-citizens comprised 8.25% of the population and illegal aliens about 3.52%.
If you compare the percentage of illegal aliens in the population as a whole (the 3.52% mentioned above) with the percentages of illegal aliens in the prison population, namely 25% in 2009 and almost 39% in 2013, it is clear that their crimes are well in excess of their proportion of the population.
The FBI’s records show that there were 67,642 murders in the U.S. from 2005 through 2008, and 115,717 from 2003 through 2009.
The GAO estimates “criminal aliens” were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides. That means they committed 22% to 37% of all murders in the U.S., while being only 3.52% to 8.25% of the population.
Therefore the facts confirm that criminal and illegal aliens commit murder at much higher rates than all inhabitants of the U.S. – at least 3 to 10 times higher.
Although I have not had the time to crunch the numbers further, what you have just read could be a very conservative total because the FBI doesn’t get itself involved in all homicides, most of them are handled at state and local level.
Based on the erroneous research of their misnamed “fact-checkers”, the Washington Post alleged that Trump’s statements were only underscoring “a common public perception that crime is correlated with immigration, especially illegal immigration”.
It went even further, stating that Trump’s repeated statements about immigrants and crime were a “misperception” and that there was “no solid data support it”.
The Washington Post fact-checkers obviously did not take the time to check the facts in the GAO reports, which as we have seen actually do support the perception trump is vocalizing.
Apparently there is no fact-checker like a fact-checker checker.
Where are Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when you need them?
Don’t get too excited, it is only a little, but it is good news.
In a recent ruling by British regulators, the top executives and managers at banks operating there (which is practically all the major banks) could have their bonuses clawed back for up to ten years after any finding of misconduct. It will also prohibit bonuses for nonexecutive directors and for the managers of companies that are receiving financial support from the government.
The move, which is long, long overdue and still does not go far enough, extends a seven-year clawback period that one regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, (part of the Bank of England), introduced for so-called variable pay (read ‘bonuses’) last year as part of tougher accountability rules.
The new rules announced by the authority, which is part of the Bank of England, and by another regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, are the latest effort by financial regulators in Europe to hold the banksters accountable for improper actions that could play a role in precipitating future financial upheavals.
The regulators say they are trying to “embed an accountable culture” in the City of London, which actually means that the authorities realize that the banksters have learned nothing from their previous catastrophic frauds and thefts. They know when the chance arrives these greedy and immoral people will try to do it all again.
The new British rules, which apply to banks, building societies and investment firms regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, including British units of United States banks and other financial firms based outside Europe, mean that senior managers, risk managers and others at banks will also be asked to defer more of their variable pay for a longer period, making it easier for regulators and financial institutions to recover bonuses if misconduct is uncovered.
Other countries in Europe are also enacting new regulations for their banksters. Dutch lawmakers, for example, capped bonuses this year for employees in the banking, insurance and other finance sectors that limits variable pay to 20 percent of their fixed salaries. The Dutch have also banned bonuses for executives at bailed-out banks.
European rules already limit bankers’ bonuses to the equivalent of their annual salaries, or to two times their base salaries if the company’s shareholders approve it. But they know they are so greedy that they will try to find ways round that.
Already some banks are making moves to get round the limits by introducing role-based remuneration and other payments, so the regulators have their work cut out for them keeping a step ahead of the thieves.
What they really need to do is confiscate ALL their ill-gotten gains, impose severe additional financial penalties AND throw these criminals in jail – for a long time.
America, which always likes to consider itself as the leader of the world, should lead in this regard too. It would be better than starting another war in some far off God forsaken country.
Unfortunately I think it will be an equally long time, and a lot more frauds, before they get to that much needed stage.
Although Al Gore blatantly exploited the global warming theory to make himself millions of dollars in one of the biggest scams in recent history, the real inconvenient truth about the guff he was peddling was that the statistical evidence didn’t back up what he was saying.
That was a BIG problem for his credibility and for the credibility of the pseudo-scientists who had grabbed on to his coattails to try to make a name for themselves also.
There were only two possible things they could do.
(1) admit they had got it wrong,
(2) change the statistics.
Of course, door number (1) meant telling the truth, so they chose door number (2).
They changed the statistics.
Basically what the pseudo-scientists have now done is made the inconvenient “pause” in global warming disappear.
In a new paper published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) they now estimate that global temperature during the period 1998 to 2012 increased twice as fast as all other estimates had calculated.
Of course, their new study stays well clear of six of the seven temperature sets used by climate scientists and instead uses the one regarded as problematic, the one shunned even by the UK’s own Met Office.
How they think they can get away with such crap is beyond me.
What they have done this time is just make the numbers up as they need them. Where instrument readings didn’t exist, for example for the Arctic, they stuck in a ‘guess’ of what they would have been, a ‘guess’ that would be sure to support the conclusion they wanted to reach.
Past temperatures like the HOT 1930s have been erased and other figures ‘massaged’ to emphasize recent warming.
The whole thing is another big fraud to manipulate the public who invariably believe whatever they are told by supposedly ‘learned’ sources and to give unscrupulous governments the ammunition they need to introduce more unnecessary legislation and taxes.
Facts, like the almost two decade long pause in global warming, are officially accepted by organizations like the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), but you would never know it if you read any of their reports because this type of information is buried so deep within it that hardly anyone sees it.
So if you ignore reality and make up your own numbers you can indeed prove anything with statistics.