Tuesday, July 2, 2013

#ROW80 – POST 2 – NEVER ENDING, CREEPING PARANOIA; MAYBE THE TIN-FOIL HAT CROWD HAS IT RIGHT


I'm probably the last person in the world to talk to about government conspiracies, black ops, black helicopters and things that go bump in the night. The things that go bump in the night aren't “them,” they're “us.” We need to be more worried about “us,” then,\ “them.” I've written about all of this before and now we're back to slathering on another layer of nonsense with all the megrims that are being caused NOW by the NSA. “Fuhgedda aboudit,” as the late, great Tony Soprano would say. They've been there for ever so long.

Today, I received this charming little note from Ubisoft:


Yippee! Who doesn't love hackers, on 3rd party sites? At least this time, they didn't steal my blog posts and sell them for money, like they did last year. Assholes. This is why I have Fortress Network. I need to start hacking these bastards back.

Great, wonderful and swell 'n' all, but guess what? I know about all of this already and have for several years. Because friends and foes, I tracked corporate rogues, both at IBM and Verizon; legally, but there it is. Back in the mid-90s. This wasn't our sole mission, but if we ran across them and they had certain static IP addresses (this was pre-DHCP) we had, as part of our job description (on the hoof, so to speak. A supervisor would holler it out as he/she ran by; situations were "fluid") the authority to cripple and report the servers. One of my jobs at Verizon was to “listen” to my agents' calls to make sure they were hitting their metrics with each caller. If the call was personal, I disengaged from the call. This is all in-house and the agents knew I would do this, they were just not told when.

However, in the case of the rogue servers, there was never any policy stated that an engineer could, or could not create a test server, much like we create virtual machines today to protect our own operating systems. But, this was a matter of proprietary information, which we all had to sign agreements that stated all intellectual property developed would remain with the corporation. Neither IBM, or Verizon wanted information being developed on their turf and shopped elsewhere. At the time it was a gray area, as people were starting to telecommute.

Which brings me back to my little love letter from Ubisoft. I assume it's from some game that I signed up for, but never played because it was stupid. I use phony accounts for things like that, so I am not worried. I've worked at two places which became sites of cyber-attacks and we successfully fended them off, but that's really nerve-wracking, although I found out some really cool ways to prevent it on my own network.

However, it does leave a cold hand upon the back of my neck. All of this skulking around and spying and trying to undercut the enemy. I know I come by it honestly. My father went to college during the McCarthy era and saw college professors at his university lose their jobs, careers and families. In some cases, their lives. A society fraught with paranoia is a society that will turn on itself and eat the weak and the most vulnerable. He never got over that. I know this because when I joined the American Socialist party in 1980, it nearly killed him. I had him on the phone screaming at me, the night I turned up on the “CBS evening news with Dan Rather.”


Okay, I wasn't at this rally, but I love this country. My dad would have had a bird if I'd been in this. Let's just all hold hands and hum "The Internationale" for a minute and shed a tear for Trotsky. By the way, you can see the spires of St. Basil's Cathedral in Krasnaya Ploshad (Red Square) in the back ground. Good times, good times...

Of course, no paranoia is complete without the Area 51 muddle. I have an uncle, the Mad Scientist, as I call him. He doesn't talk to anyone on the computer; only if you write him. Why he thinks this will keep him safe, I have no idea, but there it is. He worked out at Jack Ass Flats, which is north of Area 51, and not far from Nellis AFB, where my father spent some time when he was flying B-29s, doing Nuclear Testing in the late 50s and 60s. They blew up Atom bombs, above ground, then below ground. 

He used to see a lot of UFOs; he probably still does. Being a nuclear physicist and a mathematician (but a horror on the computer; he thinks everything's a virus) he based a set of mathematical theorems on the way he saw the UFOs move. Basically, he took the entity of mass out of the equations, or changed it, or something, (I am not a math geek much; I made it through Calculus in university for computers, he's dabbling in astro-physics here, I believe) because of the way they would move quickly, then stop very briefly, and then move just as quickly in another direction. He substituted another mathematical function (it's been years since I've seen all of the formulae) and the math works. He published several papers that were reprinted in several journals and then ... just stopped.

At least I think he did. I'm not sure. That's always the way it goes with these things. I truly believe information for the general public is massaged and fed to us in little spoonfuls. If aliens did exist, and I think it conceivable that they do, I'm afraid that it is like the “Cigaret Man” opines in “Musings of a Cigaret Smoking Man” in X-Files, Season 4, episode 7. Not the entire episode, because in the whole, it leads us to believe that the “Smoking Man” is involved in everything from the assassination of JFK to plotting against the Buffalo Bills football team. For me, this just sounds like old news, or background noise. The one thing that has always horrified me, and I don't think this is just something the X-Files' creators cobbled up out of their deep well of imagination is this one statement, regarding the finding of a living alien life form: "Any country capturing such an entity is responsible for its immediate extermination." I also believe THAT has already happened.


I want to believe as well, but I also have a huge streak of skepticism and am not easily led. Both my father and my uncle have the same qualities. I may laugh at what my uncle does, but he's a hard-headed rationally-thinking scientist.

And why not? We're already, as a planet, doing the most idiotic and hurtful of things, to EACH OTHER. I just read about the new front-bencher in Australia who is Muslim. He took his oath of office on the Quran, as is his right. Australia is up in arms. Gee, maybe he should have used the phone book. It would have meant the same if he had taken his oath with a Christian Bible. This man Ed Husic will never forget this. His moment of triumph, will be forever soured, over such a little thing. We are already killing each other. Wouldn't we kill beings from another planet to keep that information secret? So much is kept hidden. People just don't get it. We need to make governments accountable, and we need to check ourselves and try to live by that. Our moral compasses run deep and true. But we have to protect that; get honest with ourselves and tear down the dishonest falseness. Like Mulder, I want to believe.



I come from a family of seekers, with very firmly held principles. Sometimes, I don't think we have very long shelf-lives. We'll see.
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