Category Archives: Blog News

BlogForArizona returns to health

By Michael Bryan

Some of you (specifically, those using WinTel computers) may have noticed that clicking on a link here at the blog took you to a highly suspicious dialogue box about having to address some bogus security concern. We got hacked and some black-hatted son-of-a-bitch inserted malware into our server.

I’m glad to report that we have resolved the problem and taken steps to make it a great deal harder to do so in the future. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused our readers and please be assured that visiting us is now safe. As far as we can tell the only way that your computer could be compromised is if you believed the rather amatuerish exhortation to visit another site, download software, or call a number for further instructions. Just a general note: don’t ever do such things 🙂

Thanks for patience and support. This incident cost us several hundred dollars and we will soon provide a donation button to help us defray those costs if you feel you would like to pitch in to help cover that expense.

Best Regards,

Michael Bryan and the BlogForArizona crew

Arizona Donkey Feed Service Interruption

By Michael Bryan

Just wanted to drop readers a quick note: AZDonkeyFeed will be on hiatus for an indefinite time. The Feed is the stream of links in the near right-hand column of the blog and the continuously updated website of links hosted by Digg that automatically post those links to this blog.

Digg Reader is shutting down tomorrow. Digg Reader is the service I have used to read and curate the hundreds of RSS feed I follow and read to compile the AZDonkeyFeed. Without it, my ability to easily flag items for inclusion in the feed is gone. I’m exploring alternate workflows to accomplish the same task, but have yet to find a workable substitute.

If you are a user of AZDonkeyFeed, please leave a comment so that I can gauge reader interest in continuing the service. I’ll try to bring it back as soon as I can find a workable substitute for Digg. Thanks for your interest and best regards to you all!

Blog for Arizona: New Features!

Blog for ArizonaBlog for Arizona readers don’t come here for flash. You come here for wide-ranging political content that is not driven by advertising revenue.

Today, we made a few upgrades to the site to facilitate finding the years worth of blog posts that reside here.

At multiple events around town, activists sing the praises of Blog for Arizona‘s Community Calendar, which is maintained by Carolyn Classen, and of the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday morning Political Calendar.

To make the Community Calendar more visible, we have added a list of upcoming events to the home page. The full Community Calendar still can be found by clicking on the calendar tab at the top of the home page. Additional Community stories can be found by clicking “Community” in the word cloud. Clicking “Political Calendar” in the word cloud, will take you to the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday posts.

We also have added a Blog Post Calendar widget to the home page. This handy item helps readers find blog posts from a specific day– for example the popular political cartoons, also posted on Sunday mornings by the AZ Blue Meanie, or perhaps you want to see blog posts from election day, just click on the date.

The VOTE! section has been updated, with links to the Arizona Legislature, Arizona House Membership, Arizona Senate Membership, Capitol TV Video feed and archives, and bill tracking. Now it’s easier to keep an eye on what’s happening in Phoenix.

Last but not least, we welcome blogger Larry Bodine to Blog for Arizona. He has already written some block buster posts about the political races and the Koch Brothers Freedom School at the UA. He and education activist Linda Lyon are the two newest bloggers at BfAZ.

Latest on the Trump-Putin campaign investigation

The lesson from the Watergate scandal was “follow the money.” It’s always about the money.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, traveled to Cyprus last week with staff members as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. House’s Inquiry Into Russia Points a Congressman to Cyprus:

A Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee conducted interviews and collected documents in Cyprus this week as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the American election, and possible links between President Trump’s associates and Moscow.

Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois said Friday that Cyprus is the center of Russian money laundering, and that the panel “must follow the facts wherever they take us.”

Cyprus, considered a tax haven, has emerged as a focal point in criminal and congressional investigations of Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who had bank accounts there. The F.B.I. is examining Mr. Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine, and any links he has to the Russian government.

Mr. Quigley, who traveled to Nicosia, the island nation’s capital, with an intelligence committee staff member, said he would not discuss what he had learned.

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Yes, I’m Still Here

It’s now been five weeks since my last post. In the five plus years preceding that stretch, I wrote just over 750 posts, never going more than two weeks in between postings.

Who would have predicted a few years back there would come a time that ole Thucky would have more visibility here than I?

Well, to Steve, the Captain (now Censored, after AZBM terminated the Captain’s commenting privilege) and the precious few others who follow me, I will be back. For whatever reason, I’ve found precious little inspiration to write over the past month or so. After a few attempts to churn out a post just for the sake of continuity, I said “screw it” and focused more on my golf game. My social media time also has been cut way back.

Truth is, my sabbatical has been great. For those of you who spend substantial time posting, commenting, tweeting, or Facebooking, I highly recommend it. It’s not that the social media is unenjoyable. Rather, a change of habit and a return to other forms of relaxation can be refreshing.

Still, I love to write, so I will return.

McClatchy News: Russia uses ‘bots’ and trolls for information war against U.S.

For those of you who live on social media sites and believe just about anything you see posted there (don’t deny it, I can tell from the comments and links I see posted), this latest report from McClatchy News should cause you to question your faith in social media and embarrass you for having been an “unwitting agent” or “useful idiot” of the Russians. Some of our blog trolls may not be who they claim to be. Just sayin’.

But first, make no mistake: we are engaged in a cyber war with Russia, in a new strategy for information warfare:

Andrey Krutskikh, a senior Kremlin adviser, made the startling comments at the Russian national information security forum, or “Infoforum 2016,” held Feb. 4 and 5.

* * *

Krutskikh as a “senior-level adviser” to President Vladimir Putin and “a long-standing player in cyber issues” at the foreign ministry. The official said he couldn’t confirm the details of Krutskikh’s remarks, but that “they sound like something Andrey would say.”

According to notes of Krutskikh’s speech, he told his Russian audience: “You think we are living in 2016. No, we are living in 1948. And do you know why? Because in 1949, the Soviet Union had its first atomic bomb test. And if until that moment, the Soviet Union was trying to reach agreement with [President Harry] Truman to ban nuclear weapons, and the Americans were not taking us seriously, in 1949 everything changed and they started talking to us on an equal footing.”

Krutskikh continued, “I’m warning you: We are at the verge of having ‘something’ in the information arena, which will allow us to talk to the Americans as equals.”

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