Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Last Call For Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

When it's clear you're not wanted somewhere, go somewhere else where you are.

Journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates are joining Howard University’s faculty, school officials announced Tuesday in a major recruiting victory for the private institution in the nation’s capital.

The surprising development came less than a week after trustees for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted to award tenure to Hannah-Jones. Initially, the public university hired her as a professor without the job-protection status. But its board of trustees approved tenure for her on Wednesday, after faculty and students at Chapel Hill protested that she had been mistreated.

In an interview Tuesday on CBS This Morning, Hannah-Jones said she would not join the UNC faculty.

Now Hannah-Jones will have tenure at Howard in the new position of Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, starting this summer at the historically Black university in Washington.

“I am so incredibly honored to be joining one of the most important and storied educational institutions in our country … ” Hannah-Jones said in a statement. “One of my few regrets is that I did not attend Howard as an undergraduate, and so coming here to teach fulfills a dream I have long carried.”

Hannah-Jones will also found a Center for Journalism and Democracy at Howard. She said it will aim to train journalism students from historically Black schools to “accurately and urgently [cover] the challenges of our democracy with a clarity, skepticism, rigor and historical dexterity that is too often missing from today’s journalism.”

Coates, an award-winning author known for his work on topics including race and white supremacy, will be a writer-in-residence in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, and hold the Sterling Brown Chair in the English department. He said in an interview he plans to teach a class in creative writing next year.

“That really is the community that made me,” Coates said. “I would not be who I am without the faculty at Howard.”

Coates also has plans to finish his bachelor’s degree, which he started at Howard in 1993. He hasn’t picked a major but said he’d like to learn more about math, science and economics
A very wise move for Hannah-Jones, Coates, Howard U., and for Black Lives Mattering.
In another life I would have graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill's journalism school myself, I understand why Hannah-Jones pursued the offer. But to create a journalism program, well...that's something that will long outlive you. That's a legacy.

Oh, and Howard U. got $20 million from their own rich donors to do it.
Black Lives Still Matter.

Report on that.

Ghosts In The Machines, Con't

The same Russian-based cyberattack gang that hit America's largest meatpacker five weeks ago has now hit multiple corporations across the globe over the July 4th holiday weekend, and the villains are demanding $70 million to free all their victims.

Cybersecurity teams worked feverishly Sunday to stem the impact of the single biggest global ransomware attack on record, with some details emerging about how the Russia-linked gang responsible breached the company whose software was the conduit.

An affiliate of the notorious REvil gang, best known for extorting $11 million from the meat-processor JBS after a Memorial Day attack, infected thousands of victims in at least 17 countries on Friday, largely through firms that remotely manage IT infrastructure for multiple customers, cybersecurity researchers said.

REvil was demanding ransoms of up to $5 million, the researchers said. But late Sunday it offered in a posting on its dark web site a universal decryptor software key that would unscramble all affected machines in exchange for $70 million in cryptocurrency.

Earlier, the FBI said in a statement that while it was investigating the attack its scale “may make it so that we are unable to respond to each victim individually.” Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger later issued a statement saying President Joe Biden had “directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident” and urged all who believed they were compromised to alert the FBI.

Biden suggested Saturday the U.S. would respond if it was determined that the Kremlin is at all involved.

Less than a month ago, Biden pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop giving safe haven to REvil and other ransomware gangs whose unrelenting extortionary attacks the U.S. deems a national security threat.

A broad array of businesses and public agencies were hit by the latest attack, apparently on all continents, including in financial services, travel and leisure and the public sector — though few large companies, the cybersecurity firm Sophos reported. Ransomware criminals infiltrate networks and sow malware that cripples them by scrambling all their data. Victims get a decoder key when they pay up.

The Swedish grocery chain Coop said most of its 800 stores would be closed for a second day Sunday because their cash register software supplier was crippled. A Swedish pharmacy chain, gas station chain, the state railway and public broadcaster SVT were also hit.

In Germany, an unnamed IT services company told authorities several thousand of its customers were compromised, the news agency dpa reported. Also among reported victims were two big Dutch IT services companies — VelzArt and Hoppenbrouwer Techniek. Most ransomware victims don’t publicly report attacks or disclose if they’ve paid ransoms.

CEO Fred Voccola of the breached software company, Kaseya, estimated the victim number in the low thousands, mostly small businesses like “dental practices, architecture firms, plastic surgery centers, libraries, things like that.”

Voccola said in an interview that only between 50-60 of the company’s 37,000 customers were compromised. But 70% were managed service providers who use the company’s hacked VSA software to manage multiple customers. It automates the installation of software and security updates and manages backups and other vital tasks.

Experts say it was no coincidence that REvil launched the attack at the start of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, knowing U.S. offices would be lightly staffed. Many victims may not learn of it until they are back at work on Monday. Most end users of managed service providers “have no idea” whose software keep their networks humming, said Voccola,

Kaseya said it sent a detection tool to nearly 900 customers on Saturday night.

The REvil offer to offer blanket decryption for all victims of the Kaseya attack in exchange for $70 million suggested its inability to cope with the sheer quantity of infected networks, said Allan Liska, an analyst with the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Although analysts reported seeing demands of $5 million and $500,000 for bigger targets, it was apparently demanding $45,000 for most.

“This attack is a lot bigger than they expected and it is getting a lot of attention. It is in REvil’s interest to end it quickly,” said Liska. “This is a nightmare to manage.
In other words, the bad guys caught so many victims in their nets that they're demanding a blanket ransom for everyone.  If anything, they're victims of their own success. Too bad for them though that they've just caught international attention.

We'll see what happens.

The Big Lie, Con't

Republicans heading into the 2022 midterm elections are openly running on the Big Lie, not only using it to justify removing President Biden from the Oval Office and "restoring" Trump as president, but using it for justification to advocate removing Democrats from power by any means necessary.

A candidate to be Arizona’s top elections official said recently he hopes a review of 2020 ballots underway in his state will lead to the reversal of former president Donald Trump’s defeat there.

In Georgia, a member of Congress who used to focus primarily on culturally conservative causes such as opposing same-sex marriage has made Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen a central element of his bid to try to unseat the current secretary of state.

And in Virginia last month, a political novice who joined Trump’s legal team to try to overturn his 2020 loss in court mounted a fierce primary challenge — and won — after attacking a Republican state House member who said he had seen no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

“He wasn’t doing anything — squat, diddly,” Wren Williams said in an interview about his primary opponent. “He wasn’t taking election integrity seriously. I’m sitting here fighting for election integrity in the courts, and he’s my elected representative who can legislate and he’s not.”

Across the country, as campaigns gear up for a handful of key races this year and the pivotal 2022 midterms, Republican candidates for state and federal offices are increasingly focused on the last election — running on the falsehood spread by Trump and his allies that the 2020 race was stolen from him.

While most of these campaigns are in their early stages, the embrace of Trump’s claims is already widespread on the trail and in candidates’ messages to voters. The trend provides fresh evidence of Trump’s continued grip on the GOP, reflecting how a movement inspired by his claims and centered on overturning a democratic election has gained currency in the party since the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Dozens of candidates promoting the baseless notion that the election was rigged are seeking powerful statewide offices — such as governor, attorney general and secretary of state, which would give them authority over the administration of elections — in several of the decisive states where Trump and his allies sought to overturn the outcome and engineer his return to the White House.

Many are newcomers to politics. They boast campaign websites proclaiming “America First,” call themselves patriots or tout their military service.

Some, including Chuck Gray of Wyoming, declare “election integrity” their top priority. Gray is one of at least six pro-Trump Republicans challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who has denounced Trump and voted to impeach him on a charge that he incited the Capitol attack.

And many are current Republican officeholders, lining up to seek reelection, who have backed Trump’s efforts over the past eight months by questioning the validity of the 2020 result, taking legislative votes or signing on to official efforts to overturn it.

Of the nearly 700 Republicans who have filed initial paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run next year for either the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives, at least a third have embraced Trump’s false claims about his defeat.
Many of them — 136 — are sitting members of Congress who voted against Joe Biden’s electoral college victory on Jan. 6.
Similarly, of the nearly 600 state lawmakers who publicly embraced Trump’s false claims, about 500 face reelection this year or next. Most of them signed legal briefs or resolutions challenging Biden’s victory. At least 16 of them attended the Jan. 6 protest in Washington.

“What’s really frightening right now is the extent of the effort to steal power over future elections,” said Jena Griswold, the Democratic secretary of state in Colorado. “That’s what we’re seeing across the nation. Literally in almost every swing state, we have someone running for secretary of state who has been fearmongering about the 2020 election or was at the insurrection. Democracy will be on the ballot in 2022.
Republicans figure they can nullify enough Democratic wins in 2022 to take control of the House and Senate, bury Biden in impeachment for two years, and take over more states in 2024. The result will be an electoral college impossible for the Democrats to win, because Republicans in enough states will simply declare that Trump, or whoever is running on the GOP ticket in 2024, is automatically the winner.

The "election fraud" will be the justification for action against Democrats at all levels. It'll get ugly, fast. I still believe people are badly underestimating the probability of widespread, organized violence in the months ahead.


Related Posts with Thumbnails