Tuesday Morning: Monitor

Y me lamento por no estar alla
Y hoy te miento para estar solos tu y yo
Y la distancia le gano al amor
Solo te veo en el monitor

— excerpt, Monitor by Volovan

Sweet little tune, easy to enjoy even if you don’t speak Spanish.

Speaking of monitor…

Flint Water Crisis: Michigan State Police monitoring social media
Creeptastic. MSP is following social media communications related to Flint water crisis, which means they’re watching this blog and contributors’ tweets for any remarks made about Flint. Whatever did they do in the day before social media when the public was unhappy about government malfeasance?

MDEQ personnel told Flint city water employee to omit tests with high lead readings
The charges filed last week against two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and a Flint city employee were related to the manipulation and falsification of lead level tests. From out here it looks like Mike Glasgow did what the MDEQ told him to do; with the city under the control of the state, it’s not clear how Glasgow could have done anything else but do what the state ordered him to do. Which governmental body had higher authority under emergency management — the city’s water department, or the MDEQ? And what happens when personnel at the MDEQ aren’t on the same page about testing methodology?

MDHHS too worried about Ebola to note Legionnaire’s deaths in 2014-2015?
Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyons maintains a “breakdown in internal communication” kept information about the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak from reaching him. He also said MDHHS was focused on Ebola because of its high mortality rate overseas. There were a total of 11 cases of Ebola in the U.S. between 2014 and 2015, none of which were diagnosed or treated in Michigan. Meanwhile, 10 people died of Legionnaire’s due to exposure to contaminated Flint water in that same time frame. Not certain how MDHHS will respond to an imported biological crisis when it can’t respond appropriately to a local one created by the state.

Other miscellaneous monitoring

  • Charter Communications and Time Warner tie-up approved, with caveat (Reuters) — Charter can’t tell content providers like HBO they can’t sell their content over the internet – that’s one of a few exceptions FCC placed on the deal. I think this is just insane; the public isn’t seeing cheaper broadband or cable content in spite of allowing ISPs to optimize economies of scale. Between Charter/TWC and Comcast, they’ll have 70% of all broadband connections in the U.S.
  • Mitsubishi Motors fudged its fuel economy numbers for last 25 years (AP) — This investigation is exactly what should happen across EU, because EU-based manufacturers have done this for just as long or longer. And the EU knows this, turns a blind eye to the tricks automakers use to inflate fuel economy ratings.
  • Goldman Sachs has a brand new gig: internet-based banking (Fortune) — This is the fruit of GS’ acquisition of General Electric’s former financial arm. Hmm.
  • BAE Systems has a nice graphic outlining the SWIFT hack via Bangladesh’s central bank (BAE) — Makes it easy to explain to Grampa how somebody carted off nearly a billion dollars.

Toodledy-doo, Tuesday. See you tomorrow morning!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
15 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Perhaps the MI Stateys could repurpose their resources to investigating the state and private sector actors who brought about that crisis, rather than investigate social media for comments about their apparently slow response to a lethal crisis. Then again, police forces historically have seen their role as protecting those in power from those whom they are meant to protect.

  2. martin says:

    quote”MSP is following social media communications related to Flint water crisis, which means they’re watching this blog and contributors’ tweets for any remarks made about Flint.”quote

    Really? Cool. I mean..what the fuck will they do..arrest us? Insert rolling eye smiley here. Besides..it’s a great chance to tell them what I think.

    Dear MSP. So you little scumbags..you are monitoring what people think, eh? How bout this. Certain members of he State of Michigan government, caused the DEATH of people, untold misery, potential permanent harm to children and citizens of Flint in general..and you are monitoring US??? Listen asshats..you SHOULD be arresting the Governor and dozens of his staff and tons of criminals in this absurd crime of the century. But noooooooooo.. you’re too busy watching what people think. right. fuck. If stupidity were weather you’d be the Big Bang of Hurricanes. Now fuck off.

    btw..eat shit and die. Oh..did I mention..you suck? Ok, well..you suck. One more thing. You suck. Furthermore..you suck. And in closing..you suck. Comprende? If not..well..you suck.

  3. Denis says:

    R: “. . . it’s not clear how Glasgow could have done anything else but do what the state ordered him to do”
    .
    Beg pardon?? (aka WTF??) I mean . . . hold on here; that’s a pretty scary opinion that a state employee committing a crime is excusable if his/her superior ordered it.
    .
    Glasgow was ordered to destroy evidence, and, apparently, he did – and yet it’s not clear how he could have done anything else?? Well, it’s clear to me how he could have done something else. He could have told them to f*ck off and taken the data to the feds or the press, and maybe a lot of babies and toddlers would have not have Pb-damaged brains as a result.
    .
    The Nuremberg Defense – “I was only following orders” – was a futile tactic for the likes of Otto Adolf Eichmann, Waffen-SS Henirich Boere, William Calley, Oliver North and numerous other government, military, and Mafia underlings over the years. It’s a defense that generally works well in Yisrael when Palestinians are gunned down by Occupation Forces but is not favored in civilized societies.

    • bevin says:

      “..Well, it’s clear to me how he could have done something else. He could have told them to f*ck off and taken the data to the feds or the press…”
      Sure, he should. But whistleblowing has become rather dangerous. Or, what is the same thing, public employees have come to think that it has.
      What would the Feds have done? Its not unlikely that they’d have reported him and, at most, done nothing for months, by which time he would be just one more long time unemployed Joe for the statisticians to disappear.
      And the Press? With all those teams of hot shot investigative reporters just longing to sink their teeth into powerful rear ends- those bulldogs of truth and freedom, those enemies of the powerful, friends of the people…
      I wouldn’t count on them either.
      Put Snider et al in court and the Glasgows of this world might start to sing, but asking him to throw himself on the mercy of the intelligentsia, the media and the “opposition” Democrats in Michigan is akin to counselling self harm.

  4. bevin says:

    Sorry I just noticed this too:
    ” It’s a defense that generally works well in Yisrael when Palestinians are gunned down by Occupation Forces but is not favored in civilized societies.”
    Israel and Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis etc etc. isn’t that what all these cops who kill say ” I was just following training instructions” “I was just doing what I’ve been told.”
    My mistake, you were referring to civilised societies, presumably in the west, so we will have to wait and see, as the Mahatma said, until there is one.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    I read that BAE article. Fascinating. I am a layman when it comes to computer code and hacking, and this was a nice “introduction”. What was also neat was to see that everything (apparently) comes down to individual bits and lines of code, commands, etc.–the same kind of thing I was doing in dead-simple form ages ago (I won’t date myself by saying what language we used) before I moved on from that. Thanks for the link.

  6. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Two notes on SWIFT attack: It is Windows (doh!) and
    the malware was able to modify executing code.

    So, it likely was running outdated 32-bit XP.

    Per netcraft, main website is Redhat, but recruitment website
    is windows server 2008. And neither mean that their backend
    systems are not XP. Likely vector was phishing a user running
    windows XP. It could be vista or even 7 but almost for sure 32-bit.

    In other words, insecure windows.

    Is there any other kind?

  7. Rayne says:

    Denis (11:13) — It’s not the Nuremberg defense when *NOBODY* has a clear understanding of the chain of command let alone understand the federal Lead and Copper Rule. That was pretty clear from at least two Congressional hearings — and GOP-led Congress has systematically undermined the EPA’s ability to enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    We’re looking at Abbott and Costello’s old gag, Who’s on First, What’s on Second, Third Base.

    Congress: Who’s supposed to enforce this?
    EPA: State has primacy.
    Congress: Why didn’t state enforce first?
    State: EPA said it was okay.
    Congress: Why did EPA say it was okay?
    EPA: We didn’t, but the state is supposed act first.
    Congress: Why didn’t EPA step in when the state didn’t act?
    EPA: We didn’t get data from state saying there was a problem.
    Congress: Why didn’t EPA do something sooner?
    EPA: Because SOMEBODY wrote the law this way.

    Notice any agency missing?

  8. Ed Walker says:

    As to the Charter/Time Warner merger, what the hell are economies of scale on internet service? Firing a bunch of people? Raising rates?

  9. Rayne says:

    bevin (12:59) — Speaking of dangerous…did you know there are now two dead persons related to Flint’s water crisis? One mother of an infant who sued, and now a Flint water system employee.

    Mm-hmm. But the State Police are busy watching us here angrily tapping away at our keyboards.

  10. bloopie2 says:

    Good musical selection, by the way. It’s nice to be reminded of how much can be done with just two guitars and a set of drums.

  11. Rayne says:

    Ed Walker (6:11) — If I were running one of these firms, I’d consolidate their accounting system, service centers, service call applications. I’d probably negotiate better pricing on software as well as materials needed for new lines, data farms, network maintenance.

    But I haven’t seen evidence of that happening in past M&A consolidations. We should already have seen cost reductions across the country. Instead, we’ve had worst service — Comcast remains legendary for its ill-treatment of customers.

  12. Evangelilsta says:

    Rayne,

    I think your “Sweet little tune, easy to enjoy even if you don’t speak Spanish.” should be “…easy to enjoy if you don’t speak Spanish.” Though, I google-translated it and it came out “sweeter”. “te” is second-person familiar, “miento” is first-person “I lie”, “veo” is first-person “I see”, “estar” is “to be”, the infinitive form, less personal for being not personally inflected (e.g., “estoy”, “I am”), “gano” can mean “win”, “obtain”, “gain”, “increase” (to), “enhance” (to) and “al” means “to”, “al amor” meaning “to love”, instead of “the love” (“el amor”). What the phrasing seems to be saying is, in essential, not poetic, translation, “(To you) I lament not being there, and I lie to you (saying) that it is only we two, and for the distance can work up to love (you), only (as) I see you on the monitor”. Unless there are dialectic inflections I miss (my parentheticals are additions not in the words).

    On more familiiar (for me) turf, the Glasgow indictment may be, or at least will most likely end up being, a ‘ground-clearing’ action, to sweep the low-level detritus allegations out of the way, so higher-ups can be charged with the engineering staff allegations removed to prevent them falling back on those. As I understand, the endangering component in the Flint river water was the corrosive elements, which were, as I understand, not especially dangerous in themselves, but created dangerous product for catalyzing with lead pipes to produce a leaded-water solution (‘solution’ here meaning ‘liquid’). If Glasgow knew of the reaction, which he probably did, or should have, and told those above him about it, to assure they had the information, if he received orders to send water samples not lead-pipe contaminated samples, he would have legitimate reason to assume that those above wanted ‘straight’ Flint River water for whatever they were doing, which, for legitimate assumption they knew their own business, would not have been his business to question. The “just following orders” conundrum does not arise where there is reason to believe the superior is competent and his actions are, or will be, lawful. in any organization there has to be trust and following of orders, but superiors are supposed to ask advice of those with specific knowledge, and listen to them, and heed them if they don’t have reason to already know. Your sample conversation (6:08) captures the essence of bureaucracy, isolated on a bureaucra-cloud, insulated from the grit of reality by a cotton-wool of fluffy insularity. The MDHHS watching with riveted attention a crime-show on television while burglars are carrying everything but the couch and TV out of the house behind them is another classic example. What is needed (everywhere) are more actual public employees and fewer bureaucrats.

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