3 thoughts on “It’s good news week

  1. The massive Russian missile strikes, for a change actually targeting something strategic – the electricity grid – were far from good news. But their effectiveness has been limited by stronger air defences and rapid repairs. Millions of Ukrainians are suffering power cuts, but few total ones: the battered citizens will survive. also, per ISW the Russians are running out of high-precision missiles and will soon be forced to scale back.

    One nice consequence of the Ukrainian victory in Kherson is that the wide Dnipro river, with its three bridges down, is now a strong barrier to further offensive operations by either side. It’s now likely “all quiet on the western front”. The fighting will shift eastwards – the Ukrainians will want to try out their nice new Canadian winter uniforms (CA$250 online for a multilayer goretex Arctic parka) against untrained and demoralised Russian conscripts, in some cases wearing rubber boots.

    Scipio Africanus defeated a Carthaginian army under Hamilcar Barca at the battle of Ilipa in 206 BCE partly by giving his Roman and Iberian soldiers an early breakfast. The Carthaginians had to deploy in a hurry, sans breakfast. The Russian army is not led by Scipios.

  2. Good news JQ, thanks. We need such balance. Thanks for the mental health boost.

    And as you said “In such miserable times, a week marked almost entirely by good news is just about a miracle and needs to be celebrated, even as we prepare for the likelihood of more bad news to come.”

    52 – 1 = 51:1 bad vs good news weeks.

    Our own Huawei? And preemptive policing. WaPo this week. You are being tracked now. By TrustCor.

    Cory Doctorow: “If Trustcor is working with (or part of) Packet Forensics, it could issue fake certificates for any internet site that Packet Forensics could use to capture, read and modify traffic between that site and any browser.” (fn2.)

    Please tell me why TrustCor is any different from Huawei. Substitute TrustCor for Huawei and US / Australia law for Chinese law.

    With silence enforced by “NSW police ‘Strike Force Guard III’”(fn1) which is a real threat to political association. 

    “Chinese law requires organisations and citizens to support, assist and cooperate with intelligence work, which analysts say can make Huawei’s equipment a conduit for espionage.”

    “Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role

    “TrustCor Systems vouches for the legitimacy of websites. But its physical address is a UPS Store in Toronto.

    “An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents and interviews.

    “One of those TrustCor partners has the same name as a holding company managed by Raymond Saulino, who was quoted in a 2010 Wired article as a spokesman for Packet Forensics.

    “Saulino also surfaced in 2021 as a contact for another company, Global Resource Systems, that caused speculation in the tech world when it briefly activated and ran more than 100 million previously dormant IP addresses assigned decades earlier to the Pentagon. The Pentagon reclaimed the digital territory months later, and it remains unclear what the brief transfer was about, but researchers said the activation of those IP addresses could have given the military access to a huge amount of internet traffic without revealing that the government was receiving it.

    “The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment on TrustCor. After this story’s publication, a TrustCor executive said the company had not cooperated with any government information requests or assisted with a third party’s monitoring of its customers on behalf of others. Mozilla demanded more detailed answers and said it might remove TrustCor’s authority


    “First, there’s an apparent connection to Packet Forensics, a high-tech arms dealer that sells surveillance equipment to the US government. One of Trustcor’s partners is a holding company managed by Packet Forensics spokesman Raymond Saulino.

    “If Trustcor is working with (or part of) Packet Forensics, it could issue fake certificates for any internet site that Packet Forensics could use to capture, read and modify traffic between that site and any browser. One of Menn’s sources claimed that Packet Forensics “used TrustCor’s certificate process and its email service, MsgSafe, to intercept communications and help the U.S. government.”


    “NSW police ‘Strike Force Guard III’ formed to silence threats to fossil fuel driven political order

    By Pearls and Irritations guest Mark Conroy
    Nov 10, 2022

    “Several of the activists targeted in the lead up to [ International Mining and Resources Conference ] IMARC had already had such bail conditions imposed on them.

    “These bail conditions include blanket non-association orders with anyone else associated with the groups; bans on entering the Sydney CBD, and/or the entire state of NSW; curfews and/or 24-hour house arrest; bans on having more than one mobile phone or having encrypted messaging apps installed on phones; and requirements to surrender devices to police upon request at any time, among others. They are more severe than bail conditions meted out to some perpetrators of domestic violence or members of bikie gangs.


  3. James Wimberely,

    One novel I particularly enjoyed as a young person (I found it by accident in an English translation) was Salammbô (1862), an historical novel by Gustave Flaubert. It was simply so exotic and different from anything else I had read. I greatly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I think some of the great and celebrated exotic lists in it were abridged in tranlation. I love literature with long lists and extra side-light description and detail.

    I wonder what I would think if I re-read it today? But my young self recommends to those who haven’t read it. The mention of Hamilcar immediately jogged my memory.

    “Chapter 1. “The Feast”. “It was at Megara, a suburb of Carthage, in the gardens of Hamilcar.” The novel opens on a feast organized to celebrate the victory of the battle of Eryx, won against Rome…” – Wikipedia.

    Any more would be a plot spoiler… best to read the novel if one has not read it yet.

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