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Friday, February 3, 2017

Trump Background, Random Stuff, and More

Given his recent inauguration, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the background of the new US president, Donald Trump:

- well known background, white European. Business involvement across sports, real estate, entertainment... Considered to have a 'big personality'. Has had multiple goes at politics... Policies for the US seems to be for it to be slightly more self-interested for the foreseeable future. Heaps of interviews out there. No reason to not be well acquainted with the new US president
Donald Trump interview with Pat Robertson - CBN
FULL _ Pat Robertson's Exclusive Interview with President Donald Trump
FULL President Trump Interview 1_29_17
President Donald Trump Interview With CBN Sunday,The BRODY FILE 28th Jan. 2017
Steve Bannon to Trump During 2015 Breitbart Interview - Too Many Asians In Silicon Valley
'The Trump Way' President-Elect First Exclusive Interview Since Winning Election
Trump Full Interview with David Muir _ ABC News
Will Trump Crash The System on Purpose To Restore Freedom - An interview with Bix Weir
Trump era - Is UK-US 'special relationship' in doubt
Trump's travel ban - Covering the chaos - Listening Post (Lead)
UpFront special - Welcome to the Trump era
- his success in business and otherwise has been up and down (despite the impression that you get in the media)
- can be pretty adversarial at times. Not certain how this will play out on the international stage?
Donald Trump's entire CIA speech
- is not a politician but knows how to get things done around Washington. Clear that he relies heavily on his advisers for this
- for anyone unfamiliar with the 'US establishment' the interesting thing is the split between him, the establishment, and the population. If you look at him and his group it's almost 'white nationalist'? Much less globalist, neo-colonial/neo-liberal mentality. Clearly a pragmatist who is willing to work even with traditional rivals such as Russia (he and others seem to be aware it's very difficult for them to be more than that though...). This pragmatism and lack of political experience leads to some problems though. He flip-flops on a lot of positions as his background knowledge changes. Friend and foe alike both consider him unpredictable
CrossTalk - Trumpology
CrossTalk - Trump's Media War
Inside Story - Trump - Targeting Barack Obama's legacy
Inside Story - Trump's first week at work - the report card
Inside Story - Is the new US President against free trade
US trade retreat under Donald Trump - Counting the Cost
The American Empire with Allan Nairn (On Contact with Chris Hedges)
EU leaders should stand up & fight nationalists & populists who want to destroy us - Guy Verhofstadt
Farage - EU is showing its true nature now - geniune anti-Americanism
- huge worries about his temperament (temperamental, vindictive, egotistical, impulsive, etc...). It feels like he's been able to pull his head in to a certain extent? Am shocked that this just happened? I thought candidates are normally checked for things that could cause undue harm before they could run? Clearly, already being tested by many others
Insane Clown President Trump & the End of Corbyn (Going Underground)
Foreign enemies may exploit Trump's impulvise character, provoke him into overreaction - Ralph Nader
'Post-truth Age' - Anger at Trump's 'Muslim ban', but not for Obama's similar moves
Divided States of America - Citizens opposed each other after Trump took office
- lot of people aren't keen on his advisers. Examine the way they have dealt with some things of late and they seem very awkward (examine wording of Nikki Haley alone and you'll see what I mean when compared with previous members of the US State Department). Some of them have limited background/experience in their portfolio, some of them have very awkward/unusual backgrounds for what they do (Steve Bannon of Breitbart News. Many people consider him a white nationalist, conspiracy theorist, etc...). Notice that many of them are generally hawkish in nature (Flynn, Mattis) despite Trump declaring a less confrontational/interventionist US in future?
- that said it's clear that at least part of his team are part of the 'old US establishment'
- a lot of people (from all over the place) are very nervous about him. Could create enormous trouble. He and his advisers can be confusing as heck as time due to their flip-flops and lack of general experience in politics
- many protests (starting from small ones at hundreds of people to allegedly hundreds of thousands of people) already and much concern against his administration already. Concerns that he could be impeached, cause civil conflict, break apart the US empire, etc... Feel that some of these concerns may be overstated but there's no question that he can be very awkward
The Stream - Mobilising under Trump
Anonymous call to action against Trump regime - #BDStheUS.
Insane Clown President  Fear and Loathing on Trumps Campaign Trail
Insane Clown President Trump & the End of Corbyn (Going Underground)
- is free/fair trade friendly. Media seems to portray him as entirely against free trade though...
Inside Story - Is the new US President against free trade
US trade retreat under Donald Trump - Counting the Cost
- not entirely devoid of a sense of humor
- should not be surprising that he's a good salesman given his celebrity background. That said, has an awkward relationship with the media (though it feels like this is part theatrics at times)
CrossTalk - Trump's Media War
The future of journalism under President Trump - The Listening Post (Full)
- like Obama seems to be establishing himself through executive order rather than via standard congressional mechanisms (though it feels like Obama only went with this later in the game when he couldn't get things done?)
- he doesn't care about supposed International conventions and the current 'US establishment' or the like. He'll do what's in the best interests of the US and what he believes is correct. Is less concerned about global alliances and existing relationships. More of a transactional then strategic style based on what we've seen thus far
- the most interesting thing for me is if Trump is right how will the rest of the 'US establishment' respond
- handy golfer if you don't already know. Heaps of online footage examining the golf swings of both Obama and Trump. Neither of them have really aesthetically pleasing golf swings
Trump vs. Obama
Trump vs. Obama - Golf Swing
- strange style of speech which often repeats itself and seemingly comical overuse of hand gestures (as pointed out by others)?
Trump ‘plays’ accordion while discussing Russian hacking & Mexico wall
- regardless of whether you think Trump is a good thing or a bad thing it'll be interesting what his satisfaction rating will be at the end of all of this? Moreover, if good Russia Vs US relations are a good thing or a bad thing?
What's Trump's foreign policy - Inside Story
Bullhorns - Coup Attempt (CrossTalk)
- with regards to the voting booths what's with all the conflicting messages? Either they can be hacked or they can't. Can't be both (look at what we've been hearing in the media before and after the US election. Completely different?)?
Did the Russians Hack Voting Booths
- any new world order is likely to have China (and possibly India) as the head of economic affairs with the US and Russia handling security issues. Very clear that Russia is not a militarily 'paper tiger'. They can take care of themselves. The Middle-East looks very different with both the Russians and US there
Inside Story - Can talks in Astana be a turning point to end the war in Syria
Putin vows to 'choke' NATO in WWIII
U.S. Pushed Out of Middle East by Russia-Iran-Turkey Pact
- I don't think a lot of people in the US understand how the US is perceived in the elsewhere? They're stuck with this problem whether they like it or not because of the way their lifestyle choices but most of all because of some of what they've done in the past elsewhere (it's so obvious how the US/West thinks after a while. No matter what they do there are others who are going to attack them so they might as well do it off home soil?)
attacks on us embassies count
- definitely not what you would consider a 'metro-sexual man' but he certainly takes care of himself?
- had higher expectations of Turnbull? Have to admit that aspects of the the Trump and Turnbull affair have been pretty funny
- while it is clear that the US/West pays for a huge amount in terms of global institutions it mostly goes to bureaucracy. As long as the US/Western foreign policy of destabilization changes (find a different way?) and the running of the UN is streamlined it won't make much of a difference if the US/West stays out of the affairs of other countries
what does united nations do
The report said the UN’s taste for setting goals at the expense of delivering results failed the poorest and most vulnerable. It also criticised a system of funding for many UN programmes in which officials had to beg for money from governments year after year, making it difficult to plan.

“Cooperation between organisations has been hindered by competition for funding, mission creep and by outdated business practices,” it said. “In some sectors, such as water and energy, more than 20 UN agencies are active and compete for limited resources without a clear collaborative framework. More than 30 UN agencies and programmes have a stake in environmental management.”

The organisation has grown so big that at times it is working against itself. Critics point to large numbers of support staff doing ill-defined jobs. Staff costs account for two-thirds or more of some UN agencies’ outgoings. “Performance management is a joke,” said one official. “Almost everyone gets ‘above average’ in their assessment.”

The UN is so fragmented that each agency has its own IT system.

The reform report noted that about one-third of the UN operations in 60 countries had a budget of less than $2m per agency, which meant that they could do little more than afford the cost of running the office.

The report proposed extensive changes to promote greater collaboration and efficiency under a programme called Delivering as One. This included myriad UN agencies in a single country coming under the authority of one official, and working more closely with the governments of those countries, which often had no idea what the UN was doing. 
united nations waste of money
- in any New World Order, it's likely China and India will play the lead economic role while Russia, the US, and coalition members (created based on requirements) will handle 'security issues'
India is Not The New China
“The world is on the brink of radical changes. We see how the EU is gradually crumbling and the US economy is collapsing. This will end in a new world order. So, in 10 years we will have a new world order unlike anything before in which the key will be the Union of Russia and China,” said XI.

Random Stuff:
- the amount of code required for a crypto-currency is surprisingly short. Notice that certain aspects of Bitcoin that are similar to Marxist-Leninist ideology?
cryptocurrency github
simplest cryptocurrency implementation
- I've built chatbots and have a rough idea of how some of the Twitterbots can be coded. Interesting that people have created an industry out of this?
twitter bot
perl chatbot
- just ridiculous how silly some of the methods we use to deal with national security?
US military botches online fight against Daesh
- Github added drag and drop functionality?
- found some more free sample packs lately
- where to avoid for your next holiday...
- don't you just love technology?
- Finally!!! I've been wondering to deal how to deal with pesky 1^1000000000 bit encryption?
- so much conflicting research, so little time to filter through it...

Random Quotes:
- NEW DELHI — India is seen to be warming up to tighter relations with the United States, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the US Congress June 8 during his fourth visit after coming to power in May 2014.

But while two US lawmakers introduced legislation June 8 in the House of Representatives to designate India as a Special Global Partner of America, analysts here are unsure about the new stance toward Washington, which marks a paradigm shift in India's foreign and defense policy.
- When it comes to paying tax, many of us behave like monkeys – it's just how our brains are wired. The phenomenon is known as loss aversion and in monkeys it manifests itself like this. Give a monkey one apple and she is happy, give her two apples and also happy. But give a monkey two apples and then take one away and the monkey goes ballistic. This is because both monkeys and humans are twice as sensitive to loss as they are to gain.
- “They do know that collapse is coming, and they’re trying to make sure that it doesn’t affect them. So the German banks are not prepared to allow the politicians to take any risks by bailing out Greece or bailing out other countries in trouble,” Ali said. “It was one thing bailing themselves out, the banks and the hedge fund system via the banks, but anything else, they say, is unacceptable because it will bring the collapse closer and our interest is to defend the banking system. It’s short-sighted, and they live for today as we know; capitalism and capitalists, by and large, don’t think of the long-term.”
- The media censors the news by simply not reporting it, Assange said. He cited the Nobel Prize acceptance speech given by British playwright Harold Pinter in 2005.

Pinter asked why US wars of aggression in Iraq and elsewhere in history had very little documentation or coverage in the west and were not on anyone’s mind but the atrocities and abuses of Stalinist Russia were easy to recall and known in quite some detail. He said these words in relations to those US wars: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them."

"Now those are strong words," said Assange, "but I think they have largely been correct for what the establishment western media has done with the reporting of war. And it’s something which has undoubtedly contributed to the elongation of wars and contributed directly to their commencement. A case in point was of course Iraq where the war was started through mass lies spread through the media."

Assange noted that the playwright’s speech was not reported by Britain’s state broadcaster, the BBC, despite the fact that a British playwright had won a Nobel Prize. 

It seems that like the US wars it discussed, the speech never happened. Even when it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.
- I am consistently irritated to hear political pundits declare in serious tones that all elections ultimately come down to economic management.
Who do you trust to run the economy?
First, the statement reflects a quaint, Stalinist-like faith in the ability of politicians to run a command and control economy.
In case you missed it, Australia is a capitalist economy, where market forces decide most prices and transactions in the economy.
Individual businesses ultimately make the decision about whether to invest in expanding their operations. Bosses decide jobs and growth, not politicians.
We floated the dollar, deregulated the finance sector, decentralised wage bargaining and slashed tariffs all under the belief that the market, not politicians, are best placed to run these things.
But punters – both voters and election commentators – seem to forget all this when elections are called.
Suddenly it's all about the Coalition's plan for jobs and growth. Or Labor's 10-year plan for the economy. Even Stalin had the modesty to limit his plans to five years.
- Although the system specifications are top secret, reports say that the gliders are developed to be loaded onto onto Russia's RS-28 Sarmat, the state of the art heavy liquid propelled ICBM which is currently being developed for the Russian Army. The RS-28, which has been given the codename "Satan" by NATO, has been in development since 2009 and is alleged to render all current missile defense systems obsolete.

Designed to carry up to 24 nuclear-loaded Yu-74 gliders, each Sarmat ballistic missile will be able to hit any target located within a 6.2 thousand mile radius in one hour. Each glider can be equipped with a nuclear warhead, electronic warfare (EW) applications (disruption of communication systems), or false target simulators.

"These features guarantee penetration of any existing and prospective missile defense system of a potential adversary. By adopting such systems, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will significantly increase their efficiency" said one analyst.

Last year, Russia conducted a series of tests of the Yu-71 hypersonic attack aircraft. The Yu-71 is part of a secret missile program codenamed "Project 4202", and the during the tests the glider was said to reach speeds of up to 7,000 mph. Furthermore, Russia has reportedly successfully tested the Yu-74 as well. The glider was launched from the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orengburg region and hit a target located at Kura Missile Test Range in northern Kamchatka region, the Russian far east.

French journalist Victor Ayoli noted that Russia is taking NATO's saber rattling in Eastern Europe very seriously and will do whatever it takes to secure Russia's borders.

"Russians are ordinary people. They are afraid of war and they really want to avoid it. The last one cost [the Soviets] more than twenty-eight million lives. But once lured into war, they fight it to the bitter end. This unique trait of the Russian national character the West has misunderstood countless times in the last 1,000 years," Ayoli emphasized.
- Let’s hope the words, “commence the orbital bombardment” don’t enter our vernacular in the near future. Imagine a bundle of metal telephone poles dropped from Earth’s orbit onto a target. They’d reach a speed of Mach 10 and have the impact of a nuclear weapon, minus the radiation. This is the basic concept behind a project called both “Thor” and “Rods From God,” originally envisioned by Jerry Pournelle and referenced in U.S. Air Force documents within the last decade.
"If I was prime minister it would have to be an amazing set of circumstances where we're not prepared to tell you what's going on," Mr Shorten responded.

"As a general rule this nation operates best if you treat people as smart and intelligent and tell them what's going on, full stop," he said.

"I find its the easiest way to get consensus on tough issues, if you treat people like mushrooms and keep them in the dark, well, you can't be surprised if people don't back in government policies."
- The size of the financial sector --which includes not only banks, but hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate trusts, the mortgage market all the parts of the economy that basically move money around the economy -- has more than doubled since the 1980s. So we've got a financial sector now that creates only 4% of the jobs in this country but takes 25% of all corporate profits. That's a lot of economic oxygen that's being taken out of the room. What are the consequences for this? Well, one of the consequences is slower growth. Why is growth slowing? Well, in part because the whole model of banking has changed. The killer stat in my book is that there's a lot of deep academic research to show that only 15% of all the money sloshing around in American financial institutions ends up invested in Main Street business. So where is the rest of it going? Well, it's being used to trade against existing assets, stocks, bonds, houses -- it's doing something entirely different than what the banking system was set up to do, which is to take our savings and funnel them through financial institutions into business investments. Those businesses then grow and create jobs. When you only have 15% of the money in the markets doing that, you've got a problem.

The financial system, the whole point of it, is supposed to be that the banks will allocate capital to places where it is most productive. That's entirely broken now. If you look at the way money is being funneled around this closed loop of the financial system itself enriching more or less – and I’m being generous here – the top 10% of the country which owns 80% of the asset base stocks, bonds, houses, that's a bubble that is enriching just the wealthy while not actually creating real underlying growth. One of the things I must say that has been fascinating as I have put this book out there – I have gotten calls surprisingly from a lot of financiers who are very interested in the thesis because they recognize that at some point that starts to undermine their portfolios. Because sooner or later, everything that happens on Wall Street connects back to Main Street and I think we're at that tipping point now where you're going to start to see a market correction. We've had markets at record highs while Main Street has been stagnating and I think that we are at a turning point: these markets are going to eventually break.
- Of course, as Americans mourn the most recent mass shooting, it is doubtful many citizens are well-versed in the U.S. foreign policy that provokes such terrorism. Rather, they focus, understandably, on the wrong done to their nation. But Fox offered a unique perspective that lends insight to the “enemy.”

“An Al-Qaeda fighter made a point once during debriefing,” she recounted. “He said all these movies that America makes — like Independence Day, and the Hunger Games, and Star Wars — they’re all about a small scrappy band of rebels who will do anything in their power with the limited resources available to them to expel an outside, technological advanced invader. ‘And what you don’t realize,’ he said, ‘is that to us, to the rest of the world, you are the empire, and we are Luke and Han. You are the aliens and we are Will Smith.’”

However, she also challenged the Al-Qaeda fighter’s take, arguing that on both sides of  conflict, those fighting on the ground often provide the same reasons for doing so:

“But the truth is that when you talk to people who are really fighting on the ground, on both sides, and ask them why they’re there, they answer with hopes for their children, specific policies that they think are cruel or unfair,” she says.

“And while it may be easier to dismiss your enemy as evil, hearing them out on policy concerns is actually an amazing thing, because as long as your enemy is a subhuman psychopath that’s gonna attack you no matter what you do, this never ends. But if your enemy is a policy, however complicated — that we can work with.”

As terror attacks become an increasingly normal occurrence in the West — and as Western intervention trudges ahead unabated — hearing out enemies’ concerns may, at this point, be the most effective counterterrorism gesture the United States can make; that is, if it is truly determined to bring an end to the violence.
- The most obvious impact lies in science and technology. Emigration has already hollowed out and aged Russia’s scientific community, and the situation seems likely to get worse. Currently in Russia, there are 26,800 holders of Doctor of Sciences degrees. In the United States alone, there are sixteen thousand holders of these degrees originating in the former Soviet Union. Fewer than one-third of the researchers still in Russia fall within the most productive age group (thirty to fifty), while a quarter are over seventy. Independent funding for scientific research and development is now almost nonexistent, and international scientific collaboration has become increasingly restricted. The Dynasty Foundation, a nonprofit launched in 2002 to support Russian scientific research and education, was declared a foreign agent in May of 2015; its founder, Dmitry Zimin, left the country a month later, and the foundation shut its doors (and bank accounts) in October.
- Russia is working on setting up a joint air defence system with all of its ex-Soviet military allies, a senior official said Wednesday.

“The merger of regional air defence systems will pave the way for creating a common air defence (system) over the entire territory of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation,” Nikolai Bordyuzha, the head of the Russia-led alliance of six countries, told a press conference in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

CSTO, Russia’s answer to NATO, groups Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
- In an age when stealth is the game-changing capability everyone aspires to achieve, Russia's top-of-the-line air defense systems, the S-400 and the S-500, will receive an upgrade that will allow them to hide from enemy satellites, spy planes and radars, Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing an anonymous source in the Russian Defense Ministry.

The S-400 Triumf with the NATO designation SA-21 Growler and the S-500 Prometey, also known as the 55R6M Triumfator-M, will become undetectable thanks to a special container that will also be used to shield mobile command centers, air defense systems, radar stations and other hardware with complex electronic equipment.

"We plan to receive containers designed for the S-500 and other cutting-edge air- and missile-defense systems among other things this year," the source, who is involved in creating electronic warfare systems, said.

These containers or shelters, the source added, differ in length and mass. They could be installed on the chassis or transported by trucks and trains. Some of the containers have already entered mass production, while other types are currently being tested.

"Some of the containers will only have room for the equipment, while others will be able to house personnel," the source detailed.
- Chas W. Freeman, one of America’s most experienced living diplomats, gave a speech at The Center for The National Interest last week stating that the decision to begin expanding the use of drone warfare in 2002 was one of the nation’s greatest strategic blunders since 9/11. He remarked, “This turn toward robotic warfare has evolved into a program of serial massacres from the air in a widening area of West Asia and northern Africa. It is a major factor in the metastasis of anti-Western terrorism with global reach.”

Freeman added that “The terrorist movements U.S. interventions have spawned now have safe havens not just in Afghanistan, but in the now-failed states of Iraq and Syria, as well as Chad, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Sinai, Somalia…and a toehold among Muslim Americans…We are creating more terrorists than we are killing.”
- The underground criminal web is selling compromised servers for as little as US$6 each, with more than 70,000 servers hosting popular sites and services for sale.

With such shocking headline stats, it’s no surprise to hear Kaspersky Lab’s Australian general manager, Peter Brady, state that "we are too laid back" when it comes to online security.

Cybercriminals value hacked servers at a criminally low US$6 each in the xDedic marketplace, which apparently is run by a Russian-speaking group who claim that they merely provide a trading platform with no links or affiliations to the sellers.

There are 70,625 ‘Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)’ servers available to purchase from 416 unique sellers in 173 affected countries, of which 3% are Australian.

Kaspersky Lab reports that "many of the servers host or provide access to popular consumer websites and services and some have software installed for direct mail, financial accounting and Point-of-Sale (PoS) processing".

Shockingly, (which sadly in the world of Internet baddies and nastiness becomes less shocking all the time), these hacked servers "can be used to target the owners’ infrastructures or as a launchpad for wider attacks, while the owners, including government entities, corporations and universities, have little or no idea of what’s happening".

These "wider attacks" could potentially include targeted attacks, malware, DDoS, phishing, social engineering and adware attacks, among others.

Talk about not seeing the funny-looking fox covered in feathers roosting in the hen house and chowing down the chickens without anyone realising, not even the chickens!

Quick Beef Stew Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/11/chinese-style-congee-jook-recipe...