Periodic Posts

Posts made periodically by a particular author. The periodicity may be totally random.

Web Site Hacking Perspective   Recently updated !

I thought this example might give a little perspective on web site hacking. On a different website from this one, my security software gave me this report on its recent activity.

Blocked web site attacks

Two attacks are from the Ukraine (or Denmark) and seven from France. This is on a website that is fairly inactive.

One attack computer has even been given a name

Number Host Name IP Address

If you Google this domain name, one of the responses is the following:

The spam comes from a serial spammer in Turkey, Turk Telecom (who ignore reports), but the domains are hosted by which in turn is a client of, and (a fake domain).Jan 10, 2014

If you Google the other one with IP address, you find that it is in Denmark.

You can even see what street it is on, if you want to visit.

These kinds of attacks occur millions of times a day on the internet. For the specific attacks on my website, I do not suspect the Ukraine (or Danish) nor the French governments for these attacks. The computers from which these attacks originate are in the Ukraine (or Denmark) and in France, but the person or persons instigating the attacks can be anywhere in the world.

Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?   Recently updated !

Harvard Business Review published this famous article Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the November–December 1974 issue of HBR and has been one of the publication’s two best-selling reprints ever.

I remember reading this, perhaps as far back as 1974. I was struggling with the duties of being a very low level “manager”. In a conversation I just had, this article provided the perfect rejoinder. That prompted me to search for the article. I was quite surprised at how easy it was to find.

Here is the gist of what it is about.

Let us imagine that a manager is walking down the hall and that he notices one of his subordinates, Jones, coming his way. When the two meet, Jones greets the manager with, “Good morning. By the way, we’ve got a problem. You see….” As Jones continues, the manager recognizes in this problem the two characteristics common to all the problems his subordinates gratuitously bring to his attention. Namely, the manager knows (a) enough to get involved, but (b) not enough to make the on-the-spot decision expected of him. Eventually, the manager says, “So glad you brought this up. I’m in a rush right now. Meanwhile, let me think about it, and I’ll let you know.” Then he and Jones part company.

Let us analyze what just happened. Before the two of them met, on whose back was the “monkey”? The subordinate’s. After they parted, on whose back was it? The manager’s.

For those who haven’t the time to read this interesting article, I don’t want you to walk away with the wrong lesson. This is what the article taught me, as a manager, to say:

“At no time while I am helping you with this or any other problem will your problem become my problem. The instant your problem becomes mine, you no longer have a problem. I cannot help a person who hasn’t got a problem.

“When this meeting is over, the problem will leave this office exactly the way it came in—on your back. You may ask my help at any appointed time, and we will make a joint determination of what the next move will be and which of us will make it.”

John Oliver At His Illogical Worst   Recently updated !

In order to pick apart John Oliver’s illogical rant against Jill Stein, I want to focus on specific pieces of his illogic.

John Oliver is right that the Fed does not take marching orders from the President. He is also exactly right on why that is a good thing.

However, just because Congress made the Fed an independent entity within the Federal government (see previous post Who owns the Federal Reserve?), this does not mean that they are forbidden from doing something the President suggests when they think the suggestion is a good idea. For that matter, they can take suggestions from people who are not President, if the suggestion is a good one.

For those who erroneously think the Fed is “owned” by private banks, they might only be right in so far as the Fed does take advice from private bankers. So if the Fed can take advice from private bankers even though the Fed is an independent entity of the federal government, they can equally take advice from the President if they choose to do so. So Jill Stein would have to make the case to the Fed that writing off student debt would be a good idea for the Fed to carry out its general mandates set by Congress. Even if she is not President, she could try to make the case to the Fed.

I doubt very much that Congress intended to refuse to allow the Fed to do something because somebody in another branch of the government thought of it first. Where would be the sense in that?

Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol   Recently updated !

My introduction to this topic started from a Facebook post. This led to a Popular Mechanics article. Finally, I ended up with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory press release Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol.

A snapshot from the video shows the chemical reaction formula.

co2 to ethanlo chemical reaction

I don’t see why this would not be possible. Ethanol is just


and Ethane is just


To understand the terminology that Oak Ridge National Labs uses, this Google search explanation helps.

Ethyl group (highlighted blue) as part of a molecule, as the ethyl radical, and in the compounds ethanol, bromoethane, ethyl acetate, and ethyl methyl ether. In chemistry, an ethyl group is an alkyl substituent derived from ethane (C2H6). It has the formula –CH2CH3 and is very often abbreviated Et.

So the only thing that needs to be introduced is Hydrogen. i don’t know what comes out other than ethanol. There may be some other compounds that are harmful, like CO, although I would doubt that one.

You do seem to need two Cs for every O instead of 2 the Os for every C that you started with, so there might be Oxygen given off in the process. If the hydrogen comes from the dissociation of water, then there would be even more excess oxygen. Excess oxygen cannot be bad, unless it ends up as ozone. I suppose that if we use this process too much, we could end up with a shortage of CO2 in the atmosphere.

In any case, this could have huge implications in the arrest of global climate change and in hydrocarbon based energy production.

I am no chemist, so I am just going by the chemistry I learned in high school and college, and what little I have run into at work.

Rigging the Election – Video I: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies

YouTube has the video Rigging the Election – Video I: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies.

In this explosive new video from Project Veritas Action, a Democratic dirty tricks operative unwittingly provides a dark money trail to the DNC and Clinton campaign. The video documents violence at Trump rallies that is traced to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a process called birddogging.

In the good old days when men were men and news media actually did investigative reporting, this is how it used to be done.

How Ranked Choice Voting Prevents “Spoilers”

YouTube has the video How Ranked Choice Voting Prevents “Spoilers”.

Stein/Baraka Campaign Manager David Cobb explains how ranked-choice voting can eliminate the “spoiler” effect that many Democrats and Republicans stress over.

When I was growing up in Lowell, MA, this is the way the voting was done. They managed to count the vote this way long before there were computers to help.

Toward the end of the video David Cobb explains something I had not thought of before.

Oh, and by the way, an added benefit, it actually avoids mud-slinging and character assassination, encourages candidates to debate the issues in a civil tone. Why? Because you’re looking for 2nd and 3rd preference vote as well, rather than the current system.

If this could actually change the tone of our elections, this could be more than just an added benefit. This could greatly improve politics, voting, voting participation rates, and the path our country takes into the future, even if it never directly changes the outcome of a race.


Eric Berne wrote the book Games People Play: The psychology of human relationship.

One of the games I remember and find myself frequently playing is the one starting at the bottom of page 49.

Thesis . “Why Don’t You—Yes But” occupies a special place in game analysis, because it was the original stimulus for the concept of games. It was the first game to be dissected out of its social context, and since it is the oldest subject of game analysis, it is one of the best understood. It is also the game most commonly played at parties and groups of all kinds, including psychotherapy groups. The following example will serve to illustrate its main characteristics:

White: “My husband always insists on doing our own repairs, and he never builds anything right.”

Black: “Why doesn’t he take a course in carpentry?”

White: “Yes, but he doesn’t have time.”

Blue: “Why don’t you buy him some good tools?”

W hite: “Yes, but he doesn’t know how to use them .”

Red: “Why don’t you have your building done by a carpenter?”

White: “Yes, but that would cost too much.”

Brown: “Why don’t you just accept what he does the way he does it?”

White: “Yes, but the whole thing might fall down.”

Such an exchange is typically followed by a silence. It is eventually broken by Green, who may say something like, “That’s men for you, always trying to show how efficient they are.”

I leave it up to you to read the rest of his analysis and see the diagram. Bookmark this page, when you find yourself playing this game or observing it.

US Pretends to be Shocked at Our Own Claim That Russia is Hacking Our Elections

The US government is planting what is probably a phony story about Russia trying to hack our election computers. They quote numbers of hack attempts against certain computers without giving you context. They don’t tell you that there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of computers all over the world probing every computer they can find on the internet to see if they can break in. My own irrelevant web site is probably attacked thousands of times a day. I have protection for that web site that tells me about it if I should ask. Otherwise it just keeps itself occupied in fending off these probes.

WHat shocks the US, purportedly, is that Russia would interfere in our politics, as if the US is not doing that all over the world itself.

Doesn’t anybody remember Vioctoria Nuland?

From Consortium News we have the article The Mess that Nuland Made.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry.

Now you may wonder what Victoria Nuland has to do with Hillary Clinton. Well Consortium News has the article The War Risk of Hillary Clinton.

The outstanding example is Victoria Nuland – Clinton’s spokesperson at State and now Assistant Secretary of State for Europe – who has aggressively spearheaded the anti-Russian crusade. Previously, she had been principal deputy foreign policy advisor for Vice President Dick Cheney.

OK, so maybe the average citizen doesn’t have time to read and remember all these events. Surely yjr corporate news media that has covered these stories must have some memory of what they have reported. Why do they never think the back story is relevant? How can they report with a straight face the war propaganda and distraction from real problems that the administration and Hillary Clinton are engaged in?

Four Futures

Jacobin Magazine has the article Four Futures.

A society that has both labor-replacing technology and abundant resources can overcome scarcity in a thoroughgoing way that a society with only the first element cannot. The second question is political: what kind of society will we be? One in which all people are treated as free and equal beings, with an equal right to share in society’s wealth? Or a hierarchical order in which an elite dominates and controls the masses and their access to social resources?

There are therefore four logical combinations of the two oppositions, resource abundance vs. scarcity and egalitarianism vs. hierarchy. To put things in somewhat vulgar-Marxist terms, the first axis dictates the economic base of the post-capitalist future, while the second pertains to the socio-political superstructure. Two possible futures are socialisms (only one of which I will actually call by that name) while the other two are contrasting flavors of barbarism.

This is the kind of research, thinking, and discussion that I was looking for in my previous posts Gift Economy and The Most Important Political Question That Nobody is Asking.