Cyber Espionage

Poor old Joe Biden

Joe Biden maybe the front runner for the Democrats in 2020 but the internet trolls are having a wow of a time. Note his creepy t-shirts are being sold under www.joebiden.info and the web address of joebiden.org leads straight to the White House website listing President Trump’s accomplishments. It seems now that election campaigning requires more than just placards and postbox drops. Ouch.

Scandal-less or Scandalous?

President Obama is often hailed by the left as having a blemish free record. No scandals. Good, clean and wholesome. However a CNN poll has revealed that,

69% think Congress ought to investigate the origins of the Justice Department’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including 76% of Democrats, 69% of independents and 62% of Republicans.

Should we be surprised that the American people want answers to the Steele dossier? The FISA court approval of the wiretap? Did Obama know? If so, when did he know it? Many are questioning the spying conducted on the Trump 2016 campaign.

How ironic that 2020 hopeful Joe Biden is not asking for an endorsement from Obama, his former bromance partner. Maybe he feels he will be tainted by an investigation which involves his old boss.

The Mueller Madness form guide

The NY Post put forward this interesting schematic to let people vote for who they think was the most worthy contender for frothing at the mouth over the Mueller investigation. Such a strong field. From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow welling up on hearing the news of the president’s exoneration to Kathy Griffin tweeting furiously about his collusion. The main networks dedicated 2,300 minutes of coverage on this investigation over 2 years with 90% negative coverage. So much for objective journalism.

In having to accept the bitter taste of defeat, the apologies from the mainstream media have not been forthcoming. According to CNN’s Brain Stelter, “you’re going to hear from the right that the press just made all this up to take down President Trump…the press was just following a trail Trump created“. Perhaps they might ponder who was behind these accusations. Maybe liberals will call for an investigation into Bob Mueller because they didn’t like the result of his investigation?

When will the Democrats finally focus on policy to win an argument instead of allowing the media to handhold them through a two year mental disorder? Trump Derangement Syndrome should be added to the next DSM volume. It is really that insane.

Watch out for the growing totalitarian technocracy

ZeroHedge (ZH) has been temporarily banned in Australia and New Zealand by telecom companies to “protect consumers”. ZH is a regular staple for CM. As written with respect to the Facebook ban of last week, ZH is hardly a site which encourages race baiting or inflammatory journalism.

So on what authority do these telecom providers we pay monthly rates to have a say on what we consume? CM is sure there is some fine print backing this move but it is a very worrying sign when corporates arbitrarily start enforcing their own sense of morality on the public. Welcome to the new world of arbitrary censorship. Who are they to judge what is deemed safe? Have they canvassed customers to see if they’re happy to cede control to corporate boardrooms?

They already have tabs on who actually downloaded the horrific Christchurch video? Surely a better gauge on how society is decaying or recovering by getting facts of such trends rather than threatening people with 10 year jail terms. Do people grow a conscience when told they maybe thrown behind bars?

Perhaps if we could confirm more people wanted to watch the full 17 minutes of this latest atrocity it might provide insights on how our value standards in the community have shifted. Is this driven by the increase in broken homes over time? Violent video games? Lenient judiciaries? The advent of sites like Tinder which seek to promote promiscuity?What is it? Slapping on tougher laws that don’t address the problem won’t solve anything other than feed more resentment. We should be careful what we wish for.

The overwhelming majority of us probably have no stomach to watch the NZ gore. So in some respects such people face no direct impact from the heavy hand but who is to say that in the future they won’t if the censors narrow the definition of what is deemed acceptable to them? We the public clearly have no say in the matter.

Maybe underground printed media will make a resurgence? Or will the state seize dissenters and lock them up in concentration camps for re-education. Conspiracy theory? It might sound far fetched now, but if we stay silent we should not be surprised when more freedoms get curtailed. Remember that comedian Count Dankula faced a 12 month jail term for posting a YouTube video teaching his girlfriend’s dog to do a Nazi salute. Poor humour perhaps but hardly an act which was designed to incite hate speech. Welcome to 2019.

Crypto collapso

This is a true conversation a “veteran” Bitcoin miner sent to CM’s LinkedIn messenger. Despite constant assurances all would be ok, had an investment been made on Oct 2, 2018, CM would be down 44% in just 3.5 months. Just wish the argument wasn’t so compelling, especially the last sentence.

It is also quite interesting as to what determines veteran status in crypto currency trading. It certainly seems self appointed.

Crypto schmypto

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CM is not a fan of crypto currencies. Apart from the fact they are solely backed by greed (when you buy a share or bar of gold you get ownership of  a physical asset in return) there are too many of the damn things. We have approximately 190 fiat currencies in circulation. Of that only a handful trade. US$, GBP, euro, yen, A$, C$ and RMB. After that liquidity goes out the window. Try getting a good rate from the Travelex currency window on Malaysian ringit. If you invest in illiquid coins the same nasty spreads will ruin any thirst for making a fortune

With crypto currencies, there are over 2,000 variants. Bitcoin is the bellwether. It has a net worth of $94 billion. Only a handful of others trade. Many should have realised that when the Japanese started to get all excited over the craze the gig was up. Japanese variety show comedians were responsible for the promotion almost 12 months ago when Bitcoin was at all time highs. Some companies like Rakuten were offering to pay staff  in crypto in lieu of cash salaries.  Now Bitcoin is languishing at 20% of that value.

Take a look at some of the products being invented to become crypto. LivingOffset is a classic case in point. It used Wikipedia as a source for justifying the validity of its findings in its prospectus.  That settles it then. Who wouldn’t buy an asset backed by Wikipedia research?!?

From LivingOffset – “Global concern about climate change is growing rapidly. Five out of every 10 people now consider climate change to be a serious problem. In Chile and Peru the number is over 75%. Interestingly, 69% of Americans are concerned about global warming [if you believe Huff Post], despite their government’s position. There is no doubt demand for our offering is there, and like Airbnb, we can provide the means and the mechanism for easy participation. In just a few minutes ordinary people can start to make a real and meaningful difference.

In January 2017, IPSOS held a global poll asking what each country’s major problem was and climate change didn’t feature a mention.

Apart from the completely bogus stats on ‘69% of Americans being concerned by global warming, SUV sales remain a solid staple in the US. In fact the most popular car in America is the Ford F-150 pick-up truck where customers rank ‘fuel economy’ #28 in terms of reasons they buy it.

Here was the promise at prospectus time around March 2018. The launch was delayed on the basis there was a need to make it more global in appeal. It supposedly launches this month.

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Below lists how some of the other crypto currencies performed overnight. This is before heavy handed legislation has come down to regulate the industry. If you look at a crypto kiosk in Shinbashi, Tokyo you’ll likely see a Rolls-Royce parked out front, presumably owned by someone in the Yakuza. As far as money laundering goes, crypto’s are brilliant.

BTC

In an event, crypto currencies are most at the mercy of cyber fraud. Don’t buy the bomb proof guarantees of blockchain. If state agencies want to destroy these markets, they can do it on a whim. Then again there is little need to do so given the numerous events of hackers breaking into crypto exchanges and costing them huge liabilities l. Coincheck in Japan lost $500mn in one day due to a breach.

In short, crypto is little better than betting on a roulette table. If the benchmark crypto is hemorrhaging like this, why put faith in the illiquid stuff being any better? Fiat currencies may not be good stores of value but there are far more sensible places to protect wealth than parking it in products which are underwritten by nothing more than greed.  If you like a flutter by all means throw some loose change into crypto.