Tuesday: Rubbish

This won’t be everybody’s cup of matcha and may not offer an optimum listening experience for most business offices. Today’s kick-in-the-seat to start the week is a Japanese rock genre at the intersection of glam rock and black metal. Visual kei rock combines glam’s signature elements with black metal’s dark, heaviness. Some say punk influences visual kei but I really don’t see or hear it. Depending on the song, death metal is far more likely to leak through both in sound and appearance.

For a little lighter variant — more pure metal than glam or black — try this live performance from Vistlip. The relationship between visual kei and both anime and video games is quite obvious. Want a little estrogen-loaded visual kei? Try exist trace’s Daybreak; it, too, is not as dark and heavy, though the band can still hammer really black tunes.

Now that the kick in the ass has been locked and loaded…

Including today, that’s the total number of days booked as in session on the U.S. House of Representatives’ business calendar for July, of which only six days have events scheduled.

Can’t see anything farther out. And of the events booked so far, nothing appears for the benefit of the Flint Water Crisis. Roughly 8000 lead-poisoned kids completely forgotten.

Michigan’s state house has a mess of stuff on the calendar, but none of it clearly marked in reference to Flint Water Crisis. I imagine that hack Rep. Pscholka may have something buried in the items labeled “zero budget.”

Brexit buffoonery
Whenever I get really upset with the condition of our state and federal governance, I can just take a look across the pond. The back-stabbing drama surrounding the future leadership of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister’s office looks like a mashup of House of Cards and Game of Thrones minus dragons. I’ll let Christoph Waltz speak for me about the resignation of Ukip’s Nigel Farage this weekend. I fear, though, that U.S. politics will take the Brexit debacle as a prompt going into the general election.

  • Pound fell to lowest level post-Brexit vote (France24) — The perceived inability for either the Conservatives or Labour parties to organize its leadership let alone steer out of Brexit weighs on business. Let’s say Marcy’s right and the Brits manage to put the brakes on this: when and how will that happen? The lack of direction and specificity between now and sometime after September’s next UK election costs money.
  • Apple stock could take a hit because of Brexit (Bloomberg) — Folks may update their iPhones more slowly due to economic pressures, says Citigroup analyst. IMO, it’s not the updates that will hurt Apple’s income as much as currency fluctuations. Was Apple able to hedge its financial holdings adequately against the abrupt drop in GBP value?
  • EU to spend $2B on public+private cybersecurity efforts (The Register) — Will UK be omitted from this spending plan altogether, AND will the EU begin to treat the UK as a potential cybersecurity risk in whatever plans it develops?

Automotive Uh-oh


  • Second “Fappening” hacker will plead guilty (NYMag) — Finally! It only took two years reach this point in prosecution of hacker who phished celebrities accounts for nude photos. But phishing corporations is a threat to the public’s security, while phishing women’s Gmail and iCloud accounts isn’t a threat to anybody, right? Because women’s bodies and personal information aren’t valuable nor is systematically invading their privacy terrorizing. Ugh. Gender bias in law enforcement.
  • Advocacy groups file rulemaking petition with FCC on automakers’ use of Direct Short Range Communication (DSRC) (PublicKnowledge.org) — Automakers are standardizing AI systems around DSRC; two groups want the FCC to

    • Limit DSRC to life and safety uses only. The auto industry plans to take spectrum allocated for safety of life and monetize it with advertising and mobile payments. This compromises cybersecurity and potentially violates the privacy of every driver and passenger.
    • Require automakers to file a cybersecurity plan before activating DSRC systems. This plan should not only show that auto manufacturers have taken appropriate precautions today, but explain how they will update security over the life of the vehicle.
    • Data transparency and breach notification. Auto manufacturers must inform purchasers of DSRC-equipped cars what personal information they collect and how they will use that information. In the event of a data breach, the manufacturer collecting the information must notify the customer.

  • Conficker malware found widely in internet-enabled medical equipment (Threatpost) — Medical facilities still aren’t taking adequate measures to ensure internet-enabled equipment remains unattached from the internet, safe from other forms of injection (like USB ports), and free of malware. Devices like dialysis pumps and diagnostic equipment for MRIs and CT scans are infected. Same security gaps also led to leak of 655,000 patients’ data over the internet two weeks ago.

Man, even in this heat this snowball just doesn’t want to stop once it starts rolling down the hill. At least it’s a short week. See you tomorrow!

11 replies
  1. bevin says:

    Thanks for posting Christopher Waltz’s comments on the decision, by a clear majority of 33 million British voters, to leave the EU.
    What is not explained is where this fine actor’s lines come from. It really is not his business, unless he can make a substantial argument. He does not.
    Next, I suppose, George Michael on Bernie Sanders’ ignorance of economics.
    Or Mick Jagger on why Flint’s kids lead poisoning doesn’t signify.
    If you are really of the opinion that working class English and Welsh people are idiots who have made a great mistake, simply on the basis of casual scanning of conventional media and paying undue respect to representatives of the political class you are mistaken. In their intelligentsia the American People have a huge cross to bear.

    • P J Evans says:

      There are quite a few UK citizens working in the rest of Europe who are worried about what happens to them and <their jobs and families. I doubt that they voted to leave; they’re neither ignorant nor stupid. (Which is more than can be said for those who did vote to leave, and the people on both sides who were running the referendum.)

  2. omphaloscepsis says:

    On Brexit, so far three commercial real estate investment funds have halted trading due to large cash withdrawals.


    Tomorrow the Chilton report will be released. While there has been speculation that it will condemn miscreants by name, a better bet is that it will be about as circumspect as the Hutton report on Dr. David Kelly.

    The Earl of Grantham and his ilk tend to circle the wagons when under attack.

  3. Rayne says:

    bevin (5:06) — Where to even start?

    1) Waltz’ comments are as legit as my comments, or yours, for that matter. Hard to believe you’re keeping your savings under a rock to avoid zero exposure to geopolitical risks. In Waltz’ case, he’s highly exposed, loses acting opportunities when British film industry is heavily supported by EU investment. Any film projects originating in UK but relying on locations in the EU will be competitively disadvantaged going forward — even if Parliament rejects Brexit — because major and mini-major studios cannot bear exposure to the risk of uncertainty.

    And Farage is a flaming racist asshole. He started this white nationalist stuff drawing on his lifetime of bigotry, blown up even larger with the help of greedy bigoted Etonian bastards like Boris Johnson, and the manipulative media oligarch Rupert Murdoch. In resigning Farage said, “I’d like my life back.” Fuck that with a sharp object. I’m sure Jo Cox’s family would like her to have her life back, too.

    You haven’t been paying any attention if you haven’t heard or read feedback from overseas — especially the UK — on our elections, or on our ridiculous military overreach abroad while failing our own citizens. Are you even aware Parliament debated banning Trump from setting foot in the UK? Their discussions about our politics are now recorded in Parliamentary record.

    2) WRT Welsh specifically, with just one example: Tata Steel has employed 11,000 people at their plants in UK, nearly all in Wales. If Tata exits (and it likely will at the rate things are going), Wales will be particularly hard hit. A Tata exit would also hurt the British Steel Pension Scheme. Do I think working class white Welsh who voted Leave were ignorant? Yes. And their Tory/Labour/Ukip leaders combined with media like Newscorp ensured they were ignorant or grossly misinformed. Labour’s Corbyn talked a good game, but he sat on his damned hands in the lead up to the referendum as if it was in Labour’s best interest to let the Tories and Ukip go up in flames. Except sitting one’s hands during a conflagration means no one is controlling the burn.

    Don’t even get me started on the job losses to the financial industry. Major investment banks have been making plans to pull out of the UK since the referendum; that’s a bare minimum 5,000 direct jobs to exit London alone due to instability. If Article 50 is triggered, it could be more than a 100K jobs lost.

    Take a good look at Michigan and blue-collar union workers who voted regularly for God/Guns/anti-Gay over last two decades, eventually leading to the crash of Detroit and Flint. Same damned mechanisms at work in UK as here in this state, ultimately costing Michigan ~10% of its population.

    Your assumption that I am only reading social media or news is wrong. I have a number of friends in the UK, from film industry to academia. I hear from them regularly — daily, hourly. And I read the same news they read because they share it. They are appalled, aggrieved, terrified.

    And you can stuff the 33 million voters figure. UK’s voters remorse was so bad they’ve already had a petition signed by ~3.5 million voters who say they regret voting Leave and want a do-over. That’s 20% of the 17M Leave voters. And yeah, among them many voters who said they felt mislead, misinformed, and under-informed. They were quite literally lied to by Farage and others in the Leave campaign.

    Brexit was a massive cock-up, on scale with our going to war in Iraq in terms of economic and political costs and blowback to come. UK doesn’t even have enough diplomats to handle the task of renegotiating trade deals necessary to effect Brexit. They’ll literally have to allow immigrants to do the work for them. Even those pasty-white slack-handed Eton-educated elites were too fucking stupid to grasp what Brexit actually meant, and then bailed out when the magnitude of the problem became obvious. When a senior Conservative like Lord Haseltine calls this the “greatest constitutional crisis in modern times”…just mind-boggling.

    • Charlie says:

      “More than 3.5 million people had signed the petition by Monday, and Kerin’s change of mind might indicate that at least some of them could be disappointed Brexit supporters.” At least some of them? It might indicate that? You read that link and came away thinking 3.5 million petition signers were leave voters? It only names one person who signed the petition.

      • P J Evans says:

        “at least some” means at least one but an unknown maximum number. At least to those of us with some knowledge of languages, mathematics, and logic.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    An English friend I spoke with the other day noted that the open borders immigration issue really is a problem. First, it provides employers with a huge labor pool who are willing to work at wages well below the going rate for Britons. Why hire an English or Scottish worker, when you can hire an equally competent Greek for half the price? Second, it “deskills” younger workers; the availability of a large pool of skilled workers from abroad makes it unnecessary to spend time and money training locals. A whole generation of young people is being systematically shoved to the bottom of the work force, likely never to make it out.
    You note: “I have a number of friends in the UK, from film industry to academia. I hear from them regularly — daily, hourly. And I read the same news they read because they share it. They are appalled, aggrieved, terrified.”
    It sounds like your friends have jobs. But if I have no job and no money, what does it matter to me if the London banks lose big, or if Tata says “ta-ta”? I went through your “terrified” stage already. Should I vote “remain” in order to save your job for you? Would you vote “leave” in an effort to try to help me?

  5. lefty665 says:

    bloopie2@6:46 You got it. Great big crocodile tears for the fat cat financial jobs in London. They’ve gotten the money, both while creating the crash of ’08 and gorging on govt bailout trillions during the “recovery”. Expect working people in England are in much the same straights as here, no real wage increases since 1978. That’s coming up on three generations, people are sick of it, scared and not willing to sit and put up with it anymore. It’s the same force that’s driving the Sanders and Trump campaigns here.
    My original comment was superficial, but currency devaluation will expand export of British goods. Any doubt the financial types know exactly how far the pound has to drop to offset any favorable tariff losses Tata might experience? They could end up in a more favorable competitive position as British iron ore, coke and labor produce steel for export.

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