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Links 9/9/13

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Interstellar Winds Buffeting Our Solar System Have Shifted Direction Science Daily. So that explains it.

Syria (super-sized)

Here’s the number of the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you to your Senator, and give ‘em an earful on Syria; sources expect Obama to bypass the House as a lost cause and go with Senate authorization only.

MoveOn.org ad opposes Syria strike Politico

Bashar al-Assad DENIES sanctioning deadly gas attack: CBS’s Charlie Rose granted interview with Syrian President at his Damascus palace… but the dictator does accept ‘some responsibility’ Daily Mail

Assad-Kommandeure wollten seit Monaten Giftgas einsetzen Bild (SF). Google translate: “According to the findings of the monitoring specialists requested by the commanders were poison gas attacks and always rejected the use of 21 August probably not personally approved by Assad.” FWIW!

Why Did Syria Want CW Anyway? FDL

Obama launches final push to win congressional support for a strike on Syria WaPo

White House Adds Arab Support as It and Assad Use TV to Press Their Cases Times

Analysis: Obama growing isolated on Syria as support wanes Reuters

After offering support on Syria, GOP Rep. waits for White House to call back The Roll Call. Quack quack.

A trap of the president’s making FT

Broadening the Syria Options, Beyond Bombing-or-Nothing Atlantic

Objectives in Syria? Look at U.S. targets Politico. “[D]on’t just listen to what officials say — watch what they bomb.”

living above the godwin’s law OMG we’re surrounded by humans

Why So Syria? Jacob Bacharach

Unfinished business in battle to fix the banks FT. Oddly, or not, no mention of fraud.

Financial Crisis: Lessons of the Rescue, A Drama in Five Acts Online WSJ. Oddly, or not, no mention of fraud.

Follow the Money: Payday Laundry Edition Credit Slips

Left with Nothing WaPo. “This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it.” Because freedom!

White House considers top female Treasury official for Federal Reserve post, sources say WaPo. Yes, but can Larry work with her?

FTfm survey: Fund market rocked by sexism claims FT

Barofsky, Watchdog to Government Bank Bailout Program, Joins Law Firm Gretchen Morgenson, Times

Big Brother Is Watching Watch

Snowden Documents Show U.S. Spied on Petrobras, Globo TV Reports Bloomberg

INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: We’re Not Stealing Secrets From Companies Business Insider. Translation: We’re stealing secrets from companies.

NSA Breaks Internet, Rewrites Constitution Moon of Alabama

NSA and Compromised Encryption: The Sword Cuts Both Ways emptywheel. Does the NSA have an Internet kill switch?

The Cowboy of the NSA Foreign Policy

Firsthand account of NSA sabotage of Internet security standards Boing Boing. Must read.

Julian Assange vows to stand again for fledgling WikiLeaks Party ABC Australia

The Well-Being of the Young Demo Memo

I refute it thus Science-Based Medicine

The Flip Side Of Obama’s Keystone XL Delay Mint Press. Nice roundup.

Why Ecuador Abandoned Plans to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground and Save the Amazon EcoWatch

Netherlands admits shame in being tax haven, pledges limited reforms euObserver

Mafia hurt by asset seizures but still too strong to beat Reuters

Asean hazed by self-Interest Bangkok Post

China embraces ‘British Model’, ditching Mao for Edmund Burke Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

The Revolution That Wasn’t London Review of Books

The New Deal We Didn’t Know New York Review of Books

The Next Ten Billion Years The Archdruid Report

Inside a cooperative university Times Higher Education. I don’t understand. How can this university succeed in its mission without lavishly paid administrators?

Antidote du jour (L2F1):

hawk_3

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54 comments

  1. Ned Ludd

    “Your investigative staff will collect its best evidence while users are lulled into a false sense of security afforded by web, e-mail or VOIP encryption.”

    In 2010, Wired wrote about a company called Packet Forensics that marketed “internet spying boxes”. These boxes allow the government to intercept encrypted communication by first importing any “legitimate key they obtain (potentially by court order) or they can generate ‘look-alike’ keys”. Wired warned that “China, which is known for spying on dissidents and Tibetan activists, could use such an attack to go after users of supposedly secure services, including some Virtual Private Networks…”

    As Fantástico reported last night, this is the type of attack that the NSA uses against “foreign government networks”, “airlines”, “energy companies” (including Petrobras), and “financial organisations.”

    Last week, in an interview with PBS NewsHour, New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth confirmed that “secret court orders” compel technology companies to “hand the government their encryption keys, or build out these custom solutions.” She goes on to say:

    All these accusations that American lawmakers have leveled against Huawei and ZTE in China – basically American lawmakers accused those companies of planting backdoors into their systems that would allow the PLA [People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China] to spy on American corporations – and what we’ve been finding out, essentially, in our report today, is that the U.S. government has been doing the exact same thing…

    American companies are extremely frustrated that they continue to make assurances to their customers that their systems have not been breached or compromised and they’re not handing the government their encryption keys, but I think the public no longer can trust those assurances anymore.

  2. Ned Ludd

    There is an extensive discussion about “BULLRUN” on the Cryptography mailing list, in addition to the account by John Gilmore. One email links to 2010 allegations about Jason Wright, who worked on networking code in 2000-2001 that was subsequently copied into many other products and projects.

    Jason Wright and several other developers were responsible for those backdoors, and you would be well advised to review any and all code commits by Wright as well as the other developers he worked with originating from NETSEC.

    Jason Wright is now “a cyber security researcher at the Idaho National Laboratory working with SCADA [industrial control systems] and Process Control system vendors to secure critical infrastructure assets”. Idaho National Laboratory, which is part of the Energy Department, worked with Siemens “to identify well-hidden holes in the Siemens systems that were exploited the next year by Stuxnet”. Wright is evidently skilled at exploiting computer systems and was probably part of the team that developed Stuxnet. Right now, your computer might be running his networking code.

    1. Synopticist

      BULLRUN. And the UK version is called EDGEHILL.

      Thats so fu*kin lame. 2 parallel programs, both named after the first big battles of their respective civil wars. Rule one of code naming major operations is to make sure the code name itself doesn’t give away any information about the nature of the program. Anyone who stumbled upon those names would immediately realise they were intimately linked.

      These guys are supposed to be security specialists for goodness sakes.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        And my, my, isn’t it just so REVEALING that these programs’ code names were for the respective first battles in their nations’ civil wars?

        I guess that makes it official that the governments involved consider themselves to be involved in civil wars against their OWN CITIZENRY, doesn’t it?

        Guess they got a good laugh about that at NSA and GCHQ.

        Fuckers. Traitors, even.

  3. AbyNormal

    Yves, hope kitty is out of its fix…
    MEMO TO PETS:
    *When I say move, it means go someplace else. It does not mean switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in the way.
    *The dishes on the floor are yours and contain your food. All other dishes are mine and contain my food. (Please note: Placing a paw print in the middle of my dinner does not stake your claim on it, nor do I find it esthetically pleasing in any way).
    *The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object and tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.
    *I cannot buy anything bigger than a king size bed. Locate your inner beast and remember that sleeping animals can actually curl up in a ball, so it is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.
    *My compact discs are not miniature Frisbees.
    *For the last time, humans like to use the bathroom alone. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it won’t help to claw, whine, meow, bite the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. (Trust me on this one please. I’ve been using the bathroom for years . . . canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.)
    *When you see me asleep on the couch, it is not funny to make a sudden leap onto my stomach and drop a chew toy, bone or jingle ball on my crotch, no matter how much that makes the other family members laugh.
    *Dog: Don’t think for a minute that making a sad face and whimpering pathetically will get you out of trouble when I find a puddle of pee on the carpet. The face and whimpering only validate that you knew it was wrong when you did it.
    *Cat: My sitting down to bite into a juicy sandwich is not a signal for you to begin gagging loudly and then hocking up the most disgusting hairball in history.
    *Dog and Cat: The proper order is kiss me, THEN go lick yourself. I cannot stress this enough.

    To pacify you, I have posted the following message on our front door:
    Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Complain About Our Pets:

    *They live here; you don’t.
    *If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
    *I like my pet better than I like most people.
    *To you, it’s an animal; to me, it is an adopted child who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and is speech-challenged.
    *Dogs and cats have advantages over kids. They eat less, are easier to train, usually come when called, don’t ask for money, never drive your car, don’t hang out with losers, don’t drink or smoke, don’t worry about the latest fashions, don’t wear your clothes and don’t need a gazillion dollars for college. And if they get pregnant, you can sell the results.

    1. neo-realist

      Re: Dog and Cat advantages over kids

      I have to say that Cats have an advantage in the ability to control the location of their bodily functions—as long as you keep the litter box clean, they’ll use it for the most part. You’ve got to walk dogs, or have a backyard for them to use to keep them from execreting their waste on your floor or rug.

  4. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

    Ancient Egyptian religion had a hawk-god Horus (male), “married to” Hathor. However, Wikipedia says: “Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of Horus, and associated with Bast.” (complicated …). Ra was one of the top gods, the Sun god, who shines light onto the world!
    Ra at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra

    1. Susan the other

      Yes. Religion has never been good at chicken v. egg analysis. WItness the Trinity plus the virgin mother. Whatever. My observations of hawks is that they are directly beautiful. They eat fresh kill. So they are not featherless like vultures, partially on their way to becoming reptiles again.. It is pure propaganda to use hawks as a symbol of benign diviniity.

  5. Bill the Psychologist

    “And if they get pregnant, you can sell the results.”

    Ok, I was right with you till this one……..you would actually sell Family ?!!!

    1. AbyNormal

      does the piece need a snarc button

      of course don’t mind me…i did 27 hrs labor with my kid an remind her every birthday…if i’d had you before 30 i’d have drowned you!
      (obviously, there’s not enuff money in the world to cover the ‘adventures’ in child rearing)

      one of my favorite shows…chrissy hines came out on stage right after giving birth to her daughter, sportin a tshit that read ‘BABY FOR SALE’…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ituP5X7kP64

  6. craazyboy

    Once again, Putin out thinks “Team Good Guys”.

    •RUSSIA SAYS WILL URGE SYRIA TO PUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONTROL IF THAT WILL AVERT MILITARY STRIKES
    •SYRIA SHOULD GIVE UP WEAPONS IF IT WILL AVOID STRIKE: RUSSIA
    •LAVROV SAYS SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS COULD BE DESTROYED

      1. craazyboy

        I’ve been thinking for quite some time that a breakdown in the chain of command was very probable. Of course a rebel false flag is still possible too, because there have been reports that they have stockpiles of the stuff too. I even saw an internet utube showing rebels testing a launch of a homemade rocket presumably with a warhead of homemade chemically toxic stuff.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I’d look at whether that breakdown in the chain of command was intentionally, by the good guys or the bad guys.

          1. craazyboy

            It’s also possible Assad’s personnel dept. wasn’t good about background checks and hired some rebel guys for the Sargent openings, whom then got their hands on Assad’s stockpile and did the false flag thingy with Assad’s stuff from Assad territory.

            Stuff like that happens in the movies all the time. Mission Impossible comes to mind.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s right.

              I would also investigate any research on ‘Inducing Single Country Drought’.

              You can’t trust scientists these day. They are doing a lot of bad things.

              1. craazyboy

                That’s right. We should check with craazyman and find out if he’s heard anything about Israeli Weather Control Machines. They’re pretty sharp about stuff like that.

        2. Yonatan

          Why? Because Assad is, like more totally evil dude, than the al Qaeda heart-eating rebels funded and controlled by that bastion of civilization Saudi Arabia?

          Even if he did, why is it more objectionable than the use of white phosphorus or depleted uranium? The answer to that is simple. It is not what is done, but who does it that counts. If ‘We’ do it, it is fine, If ‘They’ do it, it is bad.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a good point, thought the word ‘gas,’ instead of just bullets, can be a very powerful, especially on people who remember, tool of public opinion manipulation.

          2. LucyLulu

            No, for the sake of attributing it to the faction that committed the act. For the sake of getting the truth right.

            I don’t care much who did it otherwise. Both sides seem to be equally brutal. I don’t think we have any business interfering. I don’t think the region can handle much more US “stability”. But IMHO, Assad’s regime is more likely, whether Assad gave the order, or somebody lower on the totem pole (oppostion plant or not) did. The convincing argument for me is that the government has the rockets and infrastructure to carry out a chemical weapons assault of this magnitude whereas the opposition doesn’t.

            Isn’t it amazing how simple a negotiated settlement has become once the US actually communicated a solution (besides war) they could live with to Putin, even if it was unintentional on Kerry’s part, instead of Obama sulking over Snowden?

    1. craazyboy

      Syria quickly agrees. At least to the world press.
      =========================================

      Syria welcomes a Russian proposal to place the nation’s chemical weapons under international control, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday after talks in Moscow, praising the Kremlin for seeking to “prevent American aggression”.

      Moualem, who spoke to reporters through an interpreter after Russia expressed hope the proposal could avert military strikes against Syria, stopped short of saying explicitly that President Bashar al-Assad’s government accepted it.

      “I state that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the Syrian leadership’s concern for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country, and also motivated by our confidence in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is attempting to prevent American aggression against our people,” he said.

      1. Synopticist

        Cameron owes Obama big time. He was the most gung-ho of the lot, from early on. The story goes that his wife got really upset after visiting a Syrian refugee camp, and he got all bloodthirsty as a result.

      2. LucyLulu

        Never underestimate Putin. He’s as smart as a whip, and he has no love for Obama. This solution, and keeping Assad in place, is absolutely in Russia’s best interest. There are plenty of Russians in Syria and Syria is home to Russia’s only port in the Mediterranean, and one that is probably their most strategic.

        Otherwise he’d let Obama roast.

    2. barrisj

      Re: Russian-Syrian “international control” proposal – humourous comment @ ZeroHedge:

      “How many times is Putin going to midget-toss Obama across the bar?”

      1. anon y'mouse

        wheels within wheels.

        considering just who seems to be running things, who can say that this little game is not just an even larger kayfabe example.

        perhaps the fix was always -in-.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think some, maybe many, libertarians in the House will vote against war; I don’t know where the ‘libertarian’ Koch brothers stand.

    2. hunkerdown

      Sigh, when you sell components on the open market it’s hard to ensure they do not wind up in objectionable applications.

      Molex is an electrical interconnect manufacturer for all industries. Molex had and perhaps still has the cheapest non-insulation-displacement, medium-density custom interconnect systems for the hobbyist to get into (good for making things that look like they belong there), and there’s a better-than-even chance the computer you’re using now contains at least one connector made by Molex.

      But now that their power is more likely to be used against me than with me, there’s one less approved manufacturer on my personal list. Besides, there are any number of compatible connector systems from other sources that mate just fine with most of their line. Any black work they might be involved in… well, that’s life in the .01%’s gift economy, I suppose.

  7. petridish

    RE: Why Did Syria Want CW Anyway?

    Excellent article, including the comments.

    Time to recognize that during the next American Revolution, we will be fighting for our independence from Israel. What a glorious day that will be.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China hugging Burke.

    Didn’t Burke say, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing?

    Maybe some communist comrades over there might want to speak about their ruth-less capitalism.

    “Bring Ruth Back to China!” should be the battle cry.

    Right now, too many men. Ruth needs to go there so they are not ruth-less.

    Or maybe we talking about Babe Ruth.

    Give them baseball.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    For soldiers, who are drafted the same way sailors were by the Imperial British Navy, that is to say, via kidnapping, into the war on inflation, taxation is not about fighting inflation.

    But the Machine doesn’t care.

    That $134 property tax victim – that’s a small price to pay in the war on inflation.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mafia hurt by asset seizures.

    I heard this once, and this was many years ago, from a Russian friend, Mafia, what mafia? The government is the mafia.

    Or was it from a Ukrainian friend?

    Maybe it was some other country. I don’t remember exactly.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Holland admits shame in being tax haven.

    It’s about time.

    Most people react that way after the second time.

    I guess Hollanders are slower than most people. “Life is slow here!”

  12. Jess

    Pardon me if I don’t bother to call my two senators. I really don’t think I, or anyone else, can change the minds or votes of AIPAC puppets DiFi and Babs.

  13. Antifa

    I am Benjamin Natanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, and I have promises to keep. I will never permit any other nation in the Middle East to acquire nuclear weapons or even to enrich uranium on an ongoing basis. Israel cannot survive except as the sole nuclear power in the region. Only nuclear weapons can deter attacks from the Muslim populations surrounding our tiny nation. Iran has crossed the red line, and must be brought low, and soon. This is not negotiable.

    I am Prince Bandar of the House of Saud, and I have promises to keep. As a true believer and defender of the faith, I cannot permit the depredations of the infidels, idol worshipers and heathens who call themselves Shiites to spread. Iran is intent on spreading the influence of this false religion throughout the Middle East, and is challenging the standing trade alliances of more civilized nations both with the West and with one another. Iran must be brought low, and soon. This is not negotiable.

    I am Al Khameinei, Supreme Leader of the Iranian people, and I have promises to keep. We are beset on every side by the Western powers and their allies in the Middle East, living under harsh economic sanctions, yet still striving for peace and normal relations with all nations. Nonetheless, we will answer any attack on our territory immediately with every means at hand, including closing the Persian Gulf to all oil shipping. This shall be the price of attacking Iran, and we will not hesitate to levy it, humbling all the Western economies as they have humbled ours. This is not negotiable.

    I am Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and I have promises to keep. If attacked by any outside aggressor, I guarantee the immediate use of every means at hand to defend my nation and government and to punish the aggressors. Nothing is off the table, not even chemical weapons. Everything will be used. This is not negotiable.

    I am Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and I have promises to keep. The Americans continue their push to dominate the Middle East, and clear the way to do the same in the Caspian Basin. If Russia allows our only allies in the Middle East to fall to American domination, we will Americans fomenting rebellion in the small muslim nations south of Russia proper, seeking to take our oil and natural gas for themselves. No, Syria and Iran are where we will stop the Americans, by diplomacy, by economic and political support, and by providing these nations with weapons that will make American and Israeli attacks too costly to pursue. We will never let our proxy states in the Middle East stumble, to fall to American or Israeli domination, or to become failed states like Iraq. This is not negotiable.

    I am Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, and I have promises to keep. America depends on a steady supply of oil from the Middle East, now and into the future. We have the strength to dominate the region, and to move further north into the Caspian Basin in time. Our allies in the Middle East all fear the growing power of Iran in the region. And Iran is trading its oil directly with China, avoiding the use of the dollar, which is a direct threat to American hegemony. Israel has let me know they will attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities this month, with or without US help. I choose to begin the war in Syria in order to force regime change there. I will attack Sryia this month. Syria and Iran will attack Israel in response, giving Israel cover to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities as self-defense. Israel is not going to wait beyond October 1st, so neither am I. I will bomb Syria this month no matter what Congress says, to provide cover for Israel’s attack on Iran. This is not negotiable.

    “We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means. All beyond this which is strictly peculiar to War relates merely to the peculiar nature of the means which it uses. That the tendencies and views of policy shall not be incompatible with these means, the Art of War in general and the Commander in each particular case may demand, and this claim is truly not a trifling one. But however powerfully this may react on political views in particular cases, still it must always be regarded as only a modification of them; for the political view is the object, War is the means, and the means must always include the object in our conception.”

    ~ Carl von Clausewitz

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Something here reminds me of the year 1914. Tickles at the back of my mind, can’t quite articulate it.

      Ah, well, I’m sure we can trust President Obomber and Secretary of State Carrion to do the right thing…

      Can’t we?

  14. Susan the other

    The first link: Science Daily about interstellar wind/cloud direction. Is it like the illusion of planets reversing course when you sail past them? Or is it related to those Danish “scientists” who postulated that the solar system was leaving a dense arm of the Milky Way and entering a relatively empty space between arms and so was susceptible to interstellar radiation and hence global warming… or what?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s make that global.

      At the minimum, a Trans-Pacific Loopholes Closing Pact (TPLCP) or a North America No Loopholes Act (NANLA – I think this acronym sounds better).

    1. anon y'mouse

      how odd. last night, before sleeping I was wondering about the feasibility of a marine transport system operating in similar manner.

  15. Hugh

    So has anyone thought about just how Syria’s thousands of tons of chemical weapons could be safely destroyed in the middle of its civil war? The disposal of these munitions would be technically difficult even under optimum conditions. Given the chaos in Syria, these are not optimum conditions.

    Glenn Greenwald made a point I am sure many of us have thought about. It is that the intelligence community and this Administration have made serial claims about what the NSA is not doing only to have each assertion proved false by the next NSA story that comes out based on the Snowden material. Neither this Administration nor the intelligence community has any credibility left. They have lied too many times.

    We are seeing the same effect on Syria. Only it’s not just the dubious intelligence. It’s the government’s own history of lies in the run up to the Iraq war, its inaction in the face of far greater humanitarian crises, like that in east Congo, and its tacit support of Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against Iran.

    Wall Street is, of course, another area where government, and Obama in particular, have no credibility. I am not a Yellen supporter because I am not a Fed supporter. I do not care who gets put in charge of what is a criminal and socially destructive organization. Still in terms of the kabuki, it is interesting that Obama is offering up the fig leaf of moving a woman from Treasury to the Fed to “balance” his intention not to name Yellen to the top Fed job.

  16. LucyLulu

    Poor Georgie. Why do people keep painting him unfairly as being a trigger-happy bully? Everyone says he’s an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, ya know.

    George Zimmerman is being questioned by police after a domestic incident with his wife and father-in-law that may have involved a gun, according to police.

    Zimmerman is being held at the home of a relative after the incident, which involved his wife, Shellie, and her father, Colin Morgan, police in Lake Mary, Fla., told ABC News. Police are investigating whether a gun found at the scene was used in the incident.

    “There was some kind of a domestic, we know that with his wife and father-in-law. Apparently there were some weapons involved and threats,” the deputy police chief in Lake Mary told ABC News.

    Shellie Zimmerman recently announced plans to divorce her husband, who was acquitted in July on murder charges related to the 2012 death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

    Her attorney told ABC News that Zimmerman pulled a knife on her today after she discovered a firearm in the house they shared. He then pulled a gun on his wife and her father after a verbal altercation, according to attorney Kelly Sims.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-custody-domestic-incident-involving-gun/story?id=20203329

    1. Walter Map

      GZ is a problem that will eventually solve itself, but unfortunately not until after creating additional and much larger problems.

      MIC: “Cha-ching!“

  17. Jim S

    I’ve been curious all day as to what the comment re: the interstellar wind meant; a reference to climate change?

    Tangentally, it seems that a shift in direction would be tricky to explain in terms of gravity, but trivial in terms of an oscillating electrical current.

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