Microsoft Getting Very Googley with Windows 10
Basically, they are going to watch everything you do. Soon we're all going to be Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984. A long time ago when I read the book, I wasn't that worried. I knew what it would take to install cameras everywhere, including peoples' homes, and that the cost would make it an impossible undertaking for government. But in the digital age, we're doing it to ourselves. The government doesn't have put cameras in our homes and create two-way television sets; we are. Now Google is talking about smart thermostats, and guess who will require them to be installed. Well, all those who will come to believe it's essential for energy conservation--Jerry Brown types.
There was a television news report several years ago with some agency higher up grinning and bragging about their ability to get into your computer and use the camera, mic, and Bluetooth, etc. And with the computer's Bluetooth, for example, they can access and download all the information in other Bluetooth equipped devices like, say, phones in the area. I put a piece of electrical tape over my computer's camera and disabled Bluetooth. Not because I'm particularly interesting. I just don't like the idea of a swaggering bureaucrat with little or no concern for constitutional protections having access.
We began to address some Fourth Amendment concerns when Rand Paul and the Senate let section 215 of the "Patriot" Act expire in June, killing bulk metadata collection. But we have a long way to go, and there is even talk of Section 215 coming up again.
If you don't know what an administrative subpoena is, you should familiarize yourself with that. It's a tool that completely subverts the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.
And no warrant is required at all in situations where courts have decided you have no "reasonable expectation of privacy." Your checking account and your credit card transactions are frequently used as examples: third parties see your purchases; they can see your checks, and they can see your credit card bills. Thus, the court reasons, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. But what they've done here is insert in the word "absolute" without saying so. I have no reasonable expectation of absolute privacy in my checking account: I know banking proof and end-clearing departments can see my checks. But thousands--if not millions--of checks whiz by at around 40 or so per second, per machine. (And that was 30 years ago.) Who is going to notice my check? And even if my check gets thrown out of the machine, what are the chances someone I know will see my check? So, yes, although I don't have a reasonable expectation of absolute privacy, a reasonable expectation of privacy is precisely what I do have. I can reasonably expect no one will notice I bought a can of Jock Itch for $5.95 at the local Wallgreens. But the courts disagree. I'm not a Fourth Amendment expert, but in the case of checking accounts and credit card transactions, it's obviously a legal fiction you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. We need to work on that one.
So, if I'm sharing my data with Google and Microsoft, do I have a reasonable expectation of privacy? Can an agency use an administrative subpoena and get anything Microsoft has on me without going to a court and getting a warrant? Does anyone think these giant corporations are in the habit of not cooperating with the government when the government wants something?
From the Newsweek article:
From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information—name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics —but it also digs a bit deeper.
Other information Microsoft saves includes Bing search queries and conversations with the new digital personal assistant Cortana; contents of private communications such as email; websites and apps visited (including features accessed and length of time used); and contents of private folders. Furthermore, “your typed and handwritten words are collected,” the Privacy Statement says, which many online observers liken to a keylogger. Microsoft says they collect the information “to provide you a personalized user dictionary, help you type and write on your device with better character recognition, and provide you with text suggestions as you type or write.”
Read the rest. That's about all I can quote. It turns out Microsoft will share the information it gathers with third-parties for "targeted advertising." But I'm sure there will be "no personally identifiable information." Right? I'm also sure I'm going to win Powerball tonight.
Are you upgrading?
I didn't mean for this Windows 10 thread to be about privacy and the government, but the Newsweek article pushed it in that direction. So let this be about two things, if possible: privacy and your experience with your Windows 10 upgrade. Do you like it? Why or why not?
• The Guardian: Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy
• The Register: Wait, STOP: Are you installing Windows 10 or ransomware?
• USA Today: Surf Report: 10 things you didn't know about Windows 10
Hillary! Goes Full Otter [OregonMuse]
Sacred honor compels me to state that I wrote this piece a couple of days before moron commenter 'The Great White Snark' posted this comment. He obviously hacked into my computer and stole my stuff. Yeah, that's the ticket.
So let's get to it:
In an interview with the (New Hampshire) Manchester Union Leader, Hillary! said that the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating for the sale of body parts from aborted babies are 'disturbing'.
She also discussed her recent discovery that the current Pope is, in all actuality, a Roman Catholic. Also that bear poo can often be found in many of our nation's woodland areas.
But, enough of that. Here's what Hillary! actually said about the videos and the slo-mo public pantsing of Planned Parenthood:
“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”
“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization),” she said.
Joe Pesci e-mailed and said that everything that woman just said is bullshit.
Let's take her statements one by one, in order:
1. "Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions."
Uh, no. Actually, Planned Parenthood hasn't answered any questions AT ALL. What it has done is lie, obfuscate, change the subject, and then organized a smear campaign against the organization that released the videos. In other words, PP is running what is essentially a typical Clinton political campaign. Which is probably why Hillary! doesn't see anything wrong with it.
2. "One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services."
This is like saying: "You know, those Nazis, bless their hearts, built roads and schools, created jobs, and provided low-cost medical care. And don't forget those snazzy uniforms. So What's not to like about that?"
3. "And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there's going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization)."
Great googly moogly, this is priceless. Did Hillary! just attempt to pull Planned Parenthood's pasty white ass out of the fire by invoking the Otter defense? Why yes, I do believe she did:
Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether Planned Parenthood murdered a few babies and then dismembered and sold off their body parts like some sleazy, back-alley chop shop.
But you can't hold all of Planned Parenthood responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. If you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole abortion industry? And if the whole abortion industry is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our medical institutions in general? I put it to you, Mr. Manchester Union Leader reporter, isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?
Well, you can say what you want about me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!
(Hillary! stands up and marches out of the interview room while humming 'America the Beautiful'.)
Word to Hillary!: the only reason you're able to get away with going full Otter is that the MSM has your back. You can spew out any nonsensical rhetoric you wish, and you'll never be questioned or asked to explain anything you say. Do you realize what an incredible gift you've been given?
Update: For those who don't already know, another judge has issued an injunction against the Center for Medical Progress forbidding them to release any more of their videos. Only this time it's a federal judge and this time the order applies to all, not just some, of the remaining videos.
Not sure how this can even remotely be constitutional, but according to Twitchy, the judge is a big-time donor to Democrats, so he probably doesn't care about the constitution all that much.
Close it up
A Few Weekend Links [CBD]
But first some wild footage of an Eagle descending from the tallest building in the world:
- The Errors of Liberation Theology From a Catholic, not political perspective.
- The Most Racist Urban Area in America?
In one form of disparate impact analyses, HUD compares the racial makeup of a city or suburb with the makeup of the urban area as a whole. If the city doesn't have enough minorities, it is presumed guilty and must take steps to attract more.
If this were applied to regions, what would we find?
Based on this, the most racist major (more than a million people) urban area in America is San Francisco-Oakland. Though that region's population grew by 285,000 people between 2000 and 2010, or 9.5 percent, the region's black population actually shrank by nearly 49,000, or 14.2 percent, for a difference in growth rates of minus 23.7 percent.
- The Politicians' War on Uber
When politicians threaten to destroy innovative companies, they're threatening us all.
- Name The Human Decision-Making Process Which Claims a Low 0.25% Error Rate
- 38 Ways College Students Enjoy Left-wing Privilege On Campus
"If I find my ideas challenged, I know I always have a "safe space" to retreat to, where people will massage my challenged beliefs and sing me a lullaby of things I'd like to hear."
- Petty Little Dictator Disorder: PLDD
Platinum Membership to the commenter who suggests the best example of this.
- And finally, Dana Loesch eviscerates Planned Parenthood.
Close it up
Saturday Politics Thread: Carly Fiorina [Y-not]
Good morning, morons and 'ettes. Welcome to your regular Saturday Morning Politics thread!
Next Thursday Republicans will hold the first of their primary debates:
The Aug. 6 debate is hosted by Fox News, in conjunction with Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party.
The 9 p.m. ET stage will be open to the top 10 candidates in recent national polls. With 17 total candidates now in the race -- former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore was the latest, announcing his bid Thursday -- not everyone will make the cut.
Those who don't can qualify for an earlier debate, at 5 p.m. Fox News has eased the criteria for that debate, and candidates will no longer have to reach at least 1 percent in the polls to make the stage, though there are other criteria.
In addition, several of the GOP hopefuls, including Perry, Fiorina, and Santorum, have said they will stop by a debate-watching event being hosted by the American Conservative Union. (Follow this link to see the details of all eleven GOP debates planned thus far.)
The New York Times has been maintaining a list of all of the announced candidates, both Republican and Democrat, here.
I thought this week we could do a short "backgrounder" on Carly Fiorina. She was not on our radar last Fall when we reviewed 21 prospective GOP candidates. (I've been slammed in Real Life, so I apologize in advance for not doing a more thorough job on Fiorina's backgrounder.)
Here's a bit about Ms. Fiorina from her campaign website:
When Carly was recruited to Hewlett Packard, she became the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business, growing it to become the 11th largest company in the US. In her six years as Chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; more than quadruple its growth to 9%; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every market and product category and quadruple cash-flow.
She currently serves as the Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, which annually hosts CPAC (the largest annual gathering of conservatives); the Chairman of Good360, the world's largest product philanthropy organization; and the Chairman of Opportunity International, the largest non profit micro-finance lender in the world giving out $6 billion at an average of $150 per loan lifting millions out of poverty around the world.
As I think most of you know, Fiorina's tenure as CEO of HP was controversial. Here's a Business Insider article that describes it as "terrible." Although I don't find her ouster from HP as in any way disqualifying (good people get fired all the time), the allegation that she laid off thousands of domestic employees and required them to train their off-shore replacements bothers me.
Read more about Carly Fiorina at her Wiki page. Although Ms. Fiorina has some impressive academic credentials, one thing you might not know is that she started out her career as a secretary at an insurance firm. Her current net worth is $59 million. (For comparison, Mitt Romney's net worth is reportedly $250 million.)
Ms. Fiorina has spent her career in the private sector which makes assessing her political positions and talent more difficult to assess. Her sole foray into politics (as a candidate) was a failed run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Barbara Boxer in 2010. She also supported John McCain during his 2008 presidential run. (I'm not sure I'd hold that against her.)
Ballotpedia provides this summary of her political positions (I'd apply a grain of salt to these characterizations):
(If you'd like to see what specific statements were used to arrive at these positions, follow this link.)
Ms. Fiorina announced her presidential run back in May. This is what the NYT had to say about her prospects at the time. I think her chances have improved since then because of the discipline she's shown during her campaign, her skill with the media, and the disgust many primary voters feel about politics as usual.
She has, to my knowledge, consistently used her candidacy to attack Hillary Clinton, specifically, and Democrat policies more generally. Here are links to a few of her speeches and interviews:
Speaking at the Reagan Library last week "she focused exclusively on foreign policy issues. She repeatedly assailed the "political class" for their incompetence and pusillanimity -- and called out the spinelessness of the current administration for bargaining with our enemies and alienating our friends. She also offered warnings for America and optimism." Follow this link to watch her delivery.
On a related note, The Daily Caller reports:
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says the Benghazi "punch" could have defeated President Obama in 2012, but it "didn't get thrown."
"We thought in 2012 that Benghazi was Obama's Achilles' heel," the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said in a Thursday call with supporters. "But the punch didn't get thrown. We can't count on the media to do this... And so the only way to make sure these questions are asked and answered is to have a nominee who will demand an answer."
Fiorina insisted she wouldn't shy away from bringing up damaging issues, like the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, while debating Hillary Clinton.
(OK, I suppose that could be characterized as a mild swipe at our last nominee.)
In addition to speeches and conference calls, Ms. Fiorina recently sat down for an interview with Elle magazine. I think it's worth a read to see how she navigates through a much softer set of "touchy feely" questions. Here's an excerpt:
It's been a tragic and complicated year for race relations in America. As president, how would you strive to bridge those really systemic divides?
You know, I think honestly Democrats have used identity politics to win elections -- not all Democrats, but too many. And what I mean by that is they divide Americans into groups, and they say, "You're a woman. You care about this issue. You're an African American. You care about that issue. You're Hispanic. You care about some other issue."
I think we need to speak to all Americans about all the issues they care about. I got asked recently on The View why I was a conservative. And I said, "Because I know no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us has God-given gifts. Every one of us can live lives with dignity and purpose and meaning." I believe that. For example, African Americans are demonstrably worse off in the last six years. African American women are demonstrably worse off. I think we need to celebrate the diversity of this nation, but we also need to acknowledge that everyone -- regardless of what they look like -- is an American. Everyone --regardless of what they look like -- is equal. Everyone -- regardless of what they look like -- has potential that we need to tap if we are going to be the greatest nation we can be. And so that's how I want to talk to the American people. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, African American or Hispanic, you care about whether or not you have a good job. You care about whether or not you're earning enough to make a good living. You care about whether your government is responsive. You care about the quality of your healthcare. You care about national security.
Being a data-oriented person, my tastes in candidates tend to run toward ones that have a fairly lengthy record of achievements and public statements that I can evaluate. I think much of Fiorina's -- or any "outsider's" -- effectiveness derives from the fact that they have no records to defend. Hence, candidates like Fiorina and Trump can spend much more time focusing on attacks of the status quo. Although this is appealing, it does little to tell me how she (or he) would govern.
That said, I am impressed by how Carly Fiorina has conducted herself thus far and I look forward to her participation in the debates, whether it be on the "first tier" debate stage or the "second tier" one. If I were to go for an outsider candidate, Fiorina would be my choice.
How about you?
Do you plan on watching the debates this week?
We've been reviewing candidates and issues for almost a year! The first thread in this series was August 30th of last year. Phew!
For your reference, the backgrounders on the other candidates:
Last March we had a round up thread of sorts in which many of the issues threads were linked (and candidates' "scores" discussed).
Close it up
Driver Download Websites
I looked for this article because of my recent computer problems. I almost, almost clicked on a driver download place called DriverInstaller.com. That site didn't even make the list. So, one more word to the wise: When you're on the internet, don't click on anything. Ever. Actually, the word is, check things out first. DriverInstaller might be a fine place, but I don't know, and if it doesn't even rank as a reputable site on that list, well, see ya.
Here is a site that is proving to be very helpful on computer issues: How-To Geek. Nice, step-by-step instructions on just about any topic without pushing you to download anything. And speaking of driver downloads, they had a thing or two to say about downloading driver utilities: never download driver utilities. I did this with Greasy-Fast Pig about three weeks ago. So, a little late for me, but good to know now. Another vector from which I could've picked up hellware.
That's why How-To Geek is good. Nice, straight-forward answers, and they seem to be ethical and very consumer-oriented.
One more thing for commenter "AllenG": I think How-To Geek is Waldo's day job. Check out the geek. This is where he earns the money to go to all those exotic places. So, there's that, brah.
Early Morning Thread 08/01/15 [krakatoa]
I'm going to say it: Hillary is toast.
It's going to come down to Sanders or Joe Biden, and for my L.I.B. money, I'll take Pokin' Joe hip-sliding across the hood of a stretched '78 Trans Am T-Tops every. single. time.
Overnight Open Thread (31 Jul 2015)
I guess tonight's ONT is a once in a blue moon edition!
Bonus celestial viewing tonight. You can also try to catch the Delta Aquarids. Best time to view is after midnight and there are about 20 per hour. Don't forget to put your pants back on if you go outside to view.
This does not bode well for our border. The South American financial crisis of 2015.
I'm leery of any movie that involves Michael Bay but hope that they stay true to the source material. However, Ace posted earlier that it largely avoids any of the political decision making (or lack thereof) back in DC. Did Hollywood take care to do that with the many anti-Bush Iraq war movies? Anyway, here's the red band trailer.
Bias Free Language Guide
Hahaha. I guess the University of New Hampshire is learning that the internet is forever as they try to disappear their bias free language guide.
Preferred: U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S.
Note: North Americans often use "American" which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South America.
May as well stick to American as they're coming here in droves anyway. See earlier story on the South American economy.
Literary Road Trips
Pretty cool. Map of literary road trips.
According to one of the clips, Amazon has more earnings than Walmart because they sell sex toys.
Cable companies refuse to reveal how much they make off of set-top boxes. FIOS is starting to piss me off. One of their remotes for a box that I have to pay a monthly fee on is starting to loss function in a few buttons. I called them and wanted to swap out the remote for a new one and they informed me that I have to purchase one. Seriously?
Hackers can disable a sniper rifle, or change its target. If it connects to the internet, it is hackable.
Dogs vs Feathers
Tonight's ONT brought to you by:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
Evening Open Thread
François Charles Cachoud, "Clair de lune sur le lac d’Aiguebelette" (1906)*
*Thanks to commenter "NaCly Dog" for providing the title and date. --RD
Added: We were talking about improving the composition in the thread. How about this crop...
Added: Nick Drake, "Pink Moon"
Close it up
Chris Matthews to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: What's the Difference Between a Democrat and a Socialist?
DWS: Well I Don't Know, But Let Me Tell You What, Those Republicans Are Extremists
"I used to think there was a big difference between a Democrat and a Socialist," Chris Matthews says, suggesting that perhaps there's not so much of a difference any longer.
But remember, it's officially Racist Hate Speech if you call Obama, who is a socialist, a socialist. See, it's a "Code Word."
Which should tell you something about progressives right there -- they don't understand that the term "socialist" is itself a derogatory term, so they're are convinced that if you call someone a "socialist," you must mean something else -- you know, something that's actually a bad thing.
And, by the way, Hillary Clinton is running to Bernie Sanders' left, except for corporate cronyism, so that makes her a socialist of the corporatist bent.
You know, like they had in Germany and Italy. Worked out famously well for all concerned.
MSNBC Axes Ed Show, Alex Wagner; Lets Go Krystal Ball, Toure.
But Now They're Bringing In Their Big Guns -- Brian Williams
Shows being canceled outright include The Cycle, a multiple-host show similar to Fox’s The Five, Now with Alex Wagner, and The Ed Show. Politico reports that MSNBC President Phil Griffin is expected to make the formal announcement as soon as Thursday.
Not all of the hosts of the three canceled shows are leaving. Alex Wagner is expected to remain with the network as is Ari Melber, one of the co-hosts of The Cycle. However, TV Newser reports that Ed Schultz, Abby Huntsman, Toure, and Krystal Ball are "out."
Brian Williams will be hosting a new "News" show, with the actual quotes actually in the title.
Actually, the full title is
Breaking "News" & Storytime Adventure Hour with Your Host, Captain Brian Williams
Okay I made all that up, but seriously, they should put "News" in quotes. That would be funny.
No longer having steady employment on TV, Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, and Toure announced their plans for a more "interactive" sort of programming, which they described as "annoying people on a one-on-one fashion in the streets or shopping malls."
The network’s decline is being blamed on the heavy focus on progressive commentary over straight news. A Pew Research report published in 2013 found that MSNBC was 85% commentary and 15% "factual reporting."
Brian Williams is hoped to bring that up to as high as 17% "factual reporting."
Meanwhile, there's just more Democrat/Media incest-- Alex Wagner's husband (whose wedding was attended by both the Obama's and the Ayers/Dohrn coupling), former White House chef Sam Kass, has been hired by NBC.
NBC is said to be "excited" (no really) to have yet another Obamoid on the payroll.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "...we've got an exciting announcement. You guys remember Sam Kass, of course he’s the former assistant White House chef, executive director of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign, and nutrition advisor to the President....He is becoming an NBC News senior food analyst."
Are These Somethings?
Amazon has started selling, for $5, wired, physical buttons you can stick on to your appliances, refrigerator, pantry, etc. -- to order something from Amazon at the touch of a button.
A picture is worth a thousand words, or even 150 of mine:
I'm torn is that neat and simple, or is that proof we have become too lazy, and are evolving into bloblike sexless creatures who will feed only on vitamin-enhanced Doritos and the EM radiation of our 24/7 television screens?
I'm pretty convinced This one is something: Michael Bey's Benghazi Attack Movie.
The trailer has just dropped for Michael Bay’s "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, which in turn is based on the eyewitness reports of five of the six CIA contractors present that night. The sixth, Tyrone Woods, perished in the battle.
Due Jan. 15, "13 Hours" seeks to continue the winning streak of fact-based military movies released in January: Two years ago "Lone Survivor" attracted a huge audience, and this winter "American Sniper" ruled the box office.
That story is that four Americans, including a US ambassador, died in an all-night terror attack, receiving no help from anyone in Washington. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn't expected to be a character in the film --but just as she is heading into the first primaries of the 2016 campaign, the nation will be reminded that she was in charge...
Kyle Smith notes the film is not about decisionmaking in Washington, so there will be no direct criticism of La Clinton. Just the sort of suggestiveness about the entire issue.
Get Ready for a Shock: Far-Left Cartoonist Ted Rall's Claims About Being Oppressed After 9/11 Are Contradicted By Recorded Reality
A left-wing cartoonist’s recent depiction of a 14-year-old encounter with the LAPD has gotten him canned as a freelance contributor to the LA Times after the paper said it had "serious questions" about the accuracy of the encounter.
He claimed that he was "roughed up" by a cop for jaywalking in 2001.
But there's an audiotape of the encounter, as well as multiple paper records (including Rall's own complaint).
These appear to disagree with Rall's newer, more histrionic memories of the minor, barely-worth-mentioning encounter.
"An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall's assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall's license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed," the [Los Angeles] Times wrote on Thursday in the space above where Rall’s blog post was originally published. "Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers."
Rall says he stands by his post.
This is hard to square with what the audiotape recorded. If he was so roughed up by the cop, abused, with his license tossed in the sewer as a crowd of frightened onlookers cried out to let this innocent man go free -- why oh why did he ask the cop for recommendations for what restaurant to eat at that night when the encounter was over?
No, that's not a joke. That's apparently what happened.
Here's Rall's explanation. You might want to brace yourself against something solid, but with some cushioning.
"Listening to the tape now, I can't imagine what I was thinking," Rall writes. "The only explanation I can fathom is that I had classic Stockholm Syndrome. I was stunned at the time. Not that I'm comparing myself with a rape victim -- far from it -- but now I better understand why sometimes a raped woman will question pressing charges or call a date-rapist at home hours after he left her. I was blathering nonsense, I guess."
I frequently discuss the left-wing as not being possessed by a politics so much as by a psychological disorder -- neuroses and hysterias which they project on to the world. They scream at their hysterias the same way as any disordered mental patient might, except they've ritualized and codified their hysterias in a cant which they've taught the other hysterics. This cant, this jargon of disordered-mind speech, is the leftist Culture of Complaint.
Walk into any mental health clinic and you will find dozens of patients there claiming to be raped on a weekly (or daily) basis by the staff, and much abused by conspirators in their families or at their jobs.
These people have simply taken the standard paranoid hysterias known to every psychiatrist and given them the veneer of a passable "reality," by claiming them to be "political," and hence part of the actual world.
Oh, Yes: White House Declares Planned Parenthood Videos "Fraudulent," Because Planned Parenthood Said So
The White House expressed its firm belief Thursday that recently-released videos attacking Planned Parenthood are "fraudulent." Their source: Planned Parenthood.
[E]arnest indicated that the reason he thought the videos were fraudulent was because, well, Planned Parenthood had told him as much.
“Planned Parenthood has indicated that's exactly what occurred here," he said. "And any review of the policy that PP says they implement indicates the views expressed in the videos, or at least the way they’re pictured on the videos, is entirely inaccurate."
In other words, Earnest said, because the images on the videos don’t correspond to Planned Parenthood’s official policies, they must be untrue. Earnest even encouraged reporters looking for more information to simply contact Planned Parenthood.
Yes, of course.
Hillary Clinton, The Walking (?) National Security Disaster Area
In this awful woman's quest to hide things from the American public and congressional overseers, who should have access to her emails, she shared it all with foreign intelligence services, who should not.
The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.
The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.
A U.S. official directly familiar with the notification, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said the notification of possibly hundreds of additional emails with classified secrets came from the State Department Freedom of Information Act office to the Office of Inspector General for the Director of National Intelligence.
Quick, let's make her president so she can do even more damage.
Hillary Clinton Letter to the New York Times: "I Am Not a Crook." Hillary is fuming that the NYT reported the Inspector Generals sought a "criminal" referral, when, apparently, they didn't mention the word "criminal."
So Hillary wants you to know -- per the current posture of the Inspectors General, her illegal email system merely has the appearance of criminality. It's not officially criminal.
Marco Rubio Commits An Act Of Political Competence, Immediately Outpaces Most Republicans
People have been bemoaning the fact that Cecil the Lion was getting far more attention the Planned Parenthood videos. Some were frustrated that every GOP candidate will now be asked about this.
My counter argument to that is, yes every Republican candidate for office at every level should be forced to answer a question about the damn lion and those that can't *effectively* turn it into a discussion about Planned Parenthood need to self-identify as incompetent and removed from the electoral pool.
Amnesty advocate Marco Rubio was asked by a TMZ stringer about Cecil and much to my chagrin, did what needs to be done over and over and over again, redirected it to Planned Parenthood.
It's not a terribly strong turn but it was an ambush thing so I'll cut him some slack. At least he got the camera guy to agree with him. On TMZ! That's the kind of place where this message needs to be heard the most. Candidates have to be ready to take pop culture questions, acknowledge them (don't belittle people who care about the lion, they'll tune the rest out) and move on to a serious subject.
I'll never vote for Rubio but he deserves credit for at least getting the basics right here. That's not a given with the GOP for the most part.
Paul Schaub/Schaub, "Rowing Alone" (1962)
TGIF Morning News Dump
- 50 Years Later, Medicare And Medicaid Spend Us Into Oblivion
- SKDknickerbocker Scrubs Ties To Planned Parenthood From Their Website
- Even Legal Immigration Sucks
- The Weak Link In The GOP Senate Majority
- Tell Me The Difference Between You And A Socialist
- Jonathan Pollard Betrayed His Country And American Jews
- Mullah Omar Died In 2013
- The Iran Nuke Documents Obama Doesn't Want You To See
- Whiskey Aged In Space?
- I Think We All Knew This To Be True
Overnight Open Thread (7-30-2015)
At a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked why the administration did not submit the Iran nuclear agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent as an Article II treaty.
Kerry responded that the agreement wasn't treated as a treaty "because you can't pass a treaty anymore."
Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn't know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.
-- Jim Treacher
What could it possibly be? Oh right:
"I started the relationship with [Soon-Yi Previn, his then-girlfriend Mia Farrow's adoptive daughter, who was---at most---21 years old at the time to his 56] and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn't be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more," Allen revealed. "Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn't seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor actually."
-- Woody Allen further revealing his moral blindness and bankruptcy
"Wherever I go to speak, whether it's Brazil or Italy or Norway, I find that upper-middle-class professional women are very unhappy. This is a global problem! And it's coming from the fact that women are expecting men to provide them with the same kind of emotional and conversational support and intimacy that they get from their women friends. And when they don't get it, they're full of resentment and bitterness. It's tragic! Women are blaming men for a genuine problem that I say is systemic. . . . Now we're working side-by-side in offices at the same job. Women want to leave at the end of the day and have a happy marriage at home, but then they put all this pressure on men because they expect them to be exactly like their female friends. If they feel restlessness or misery or malaise, they automatically blame it on men. Men are not doing enough; men aren't sharing enough. But it's not the fault of men that we have this crazy and rather neurotic system where women are now functioning like men in the workplace, with all its material rewards."
-- Camille Paglia
Nope. But it provided an excuse for people who want to turn college campuses into man-hating sexual police states. And that was the goal.
-- Glenn Reynolds on the bogus campus rape studies
As well as a little Boston steamer action.
HUMPHREY: What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? ... You don't have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy.
WYMER: Suck the nipple, sir?
HUMPHREY: Good! Good. Well done, Wymer.
DUCKWORTH: Uh, stroking the thighs, sir.
HUMPHREY: Yes. Yes, I suppose so. Hmm?
PUPIL IN FRONT: Oh, sir. Biting the neck.
HUMPHREY: Yes. Good. Nibbling the earlobe, uhh, kneading the buttocks, and so on and so forth. So, we have all these possibilities before we stampede towards the clitoris, Watson.
WATSON: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.
Because when everyone's a gamer...
"At Arlington's Washington-Lee High School this year, there were 117 valedictorians out of a class of 457. At Long Beach Polytechnic in California, there were 30."
Shorter version: You.People.Just.Don't.Get.It
Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court voted 4-3 to make public sector employees subject to the state's 2012 Right to Work law. The holding dealt a huge blow to the labor unions vying to represent the state's almost 40,000 employees.
The court's argument turned even the friendly appeals court ruling on its head; while the appeals court ruling said that the existence of the Michigan Civil Service Commotion did not preclude the inclusion of state employees under the right to work laws, the supremes held that the Commission never had the authority to require state employees to pay the union-related agency fees, even before right to work laws existed.
Back when adults who had America's interests at heart were in charge.
In 1942, Indian forest ranger H.K. Madhwal came across something rather disturbing: a lake filled with bones. Hundreds of people died in the lake, all at once. But what killed them?
Roopkund Lake is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The lake sits at over 16,000 feet in elevation, and it freezes over-so the skeletons are only visible during a brief thaw. Madhwal found it at just the right time to see the bones. But how old were they? And what were they doing hanging around in a lake?
Sure why not. It's no dumber than a lot of the current reality shows.
It's a sad day for America when a man can't fuck his own shrubbery in his own goddamn backyard. I guess the terrorists really have won.
A pensioner has been arrested for allegedly having SEX with a BUSH - in his own back garden.
The unsuspecting 81-year-old was caught in the act by a neighbour whose home overlooked the back garden.
He claims that he said the octogenarian acting oddly in the garden while naked so he grabbed his video camera.
He claims to have shot images of the man then "humping" a bush while in the buff.Local reports in Stratford, Connecticut, said the neighbour then raised the alarm.
Yahoo group. That is all.
Come on be a smartie and join the yahoo group party! For the children. Why do you hate children?
And my lo-fi Twitter spew.
Tonight's post brought to you by a word with you, Milton:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Do not mock or taunt happy-fun ball during summer musth. Management not responsible for any resulting injuries or death. We are not kidding about this, Buzzion. If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not consume this product.
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Glenn Loury, John McWhorter Discuss the Religion of Antiracism, and Its Current Pope Ta-Nehisi Coates
A very interesting Bloggingheads (and every Loury/McWhorter dialogue on Bloggingheads is interesting, and is recommended). Now, they talk about how Obama has "evolved" (in a good, embiggening way) in office, but here's the easy way to avoid that nonsense: skip to 7::06 as they begin to discuss race, and the Religion of Antiracism, generally.
McWhorter is chiefly there to put forth what I'll call the Ace of Spaces Conjecture that most of tribal signaling -- genuflecting to Ta-Nehisi Coates, for example -- is not a form of politics, but is properly understood as a form of religion. You're not supposed to ask about the parts of Ta-Nehisi Coates' claims that don't make sense, in the same way you're not really supposed to ask how Noah fit all those animals on the ark. These are not political arguments, he asserts, but "sermons."
(I've previously called such non-political "political" statements "prayers" and "devotions.")
Glenn Loury entertains that idea, but he's chiefly there to criticize the low state of racial discourse in America, focusing on the black side of that racial discourse, and Charles M. Blow in particular, whom he calls a "disgrace."
Later in the discussion, he also challenges Ta-Nehisi Coates' particular expression of Black Male Authenticity (the street bravado, noting he had a "tool" (a gun) with which to fix a "motherf**cker") as damaging and degrading.
Oh, and he rails against people like David Brooks for their racial condescending -- if you didn't read that already, for one thing, well played, but you can read it here, and see David Brooks ask, solicitously, if he's even permitted to comment upon Ta-Nehisi Coates' book.
This angers Loury, who demands, sensibly, that black people be treated just as you'd treat any other political actor. You are, in short, permitted to disagree with them or critique them without securing permission to do so beforehand.
McWhorter has meanwhile fleshed out the Ace of Spades Conjecture in an article in the Daily Beast.
McWhorter objects to the anti-intellectual, religion-like screams of "heresy" which are spat at anyone (including himself, a black man) who challenges the religion:
One is not to question, and people can be quite explicit about that. For example, in the "Conversation" about race that we are so often told we need to have, the tacit idea is that black people will express their grievances and whites will agree--again, no questions, or at least not real ones. Here and there lip service is paid to the idea that the Conversation would not be such a one-way affair, but just as typical is the praise that a piece like Reni Eddo-Lodge’s elicits, openly saying that white people who object to any black claims about racism are intolerably mistaken and barely worth engagement (Eddo-Lodge now has a contract to expand the blog post into a book). Usefully representative is a letter that The New York Times chose to print, which was elicited by David Brooks's piece on Coates’s book, in which a white person chides Brooks for deigning to even ask whether he is allowed to object to some of Coates’s claims....
As such, even Brooks has gotten the religion, critiquing Coates’s book while also making sure to say that "every conscientious American should read it." Brooks, here, is genuflecting, as America now does in general to Antiracist scripture. One is to accept that beyond a certain point--and one arrives at the point quite quickly--one is to treat logic as optional and simply have faith....
The call for people to soberly "acknowledge" their White Privilege as a self-standing, totemic act is based on the same justification as acknowledging one’s fundamental sinfulness is as a Christian. One is born marked by original sin; to be white is to be born with the stain of unearned privilege.
The proper response to original sin is to embrace the teachings of Jesus, although one will remain always a sinner nevertheless. The proper response to White Privilege is to embrace the teachings of--well, you can fill in the name or substitute others--with the understanding that you will always harbor the Privilege nevertheless. Note that many embrace the idea of inculcating white kids with their responsibility to acknowledge Privilege from as early an age as possible, in sessions starting as early as elementary school. This, in [one] sense, is Sunday school.
One objection McWhorter lodges is that there is no actual political demand here -- he feels, in many ways, this spares white people from any further need to act politically, because they've already Confessed Their Sins and hence are, as the catechism has it, now forgiven from sin.
And not just white people -- both Loury and McWhorter note the underperformance of black students in school, and want to know where are the calls for tangible action to address this in the black community. Actions beyond merely demanding that white people Confess Their Original Sins.
He doesn't dwell on that too long, but notes that's one of the things that differentiates an actual politics from a religion -- politics implies tangible political action, whereas religion can be a purely metaphysical gesture.
A very interesting dialogue -- well worth your time (as long as you skip that first 7:05).
Rolling Stone Editor Who Oversaw Jackie's Rape Hoax Story to Step Down, Be Promoted Into a More Prominent Position and Be Paid Much More Money
I merely assume all that stuff at the end -- isn't that always how it works?
You cannot fail in the progressive politico-corporate-media complex. If you publish things that aren't true, but help The Cause (and why would you ever publish something that doesn't help The Cause?), your failures will be rewarded.
After all -- your heart was in the right place.
So congratulations, Will Dana. I see wonderful things in your future due to your catastrophic failure.
The editor who oversaw Rolling Stone magazine’s erroneous story about a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia will leave the magazine, more than eight months after the story was published.
Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, will step down next month after nearly two decades at the magazine. His departure comes amid a series of defamation lawsuits against the magazine as a result of its publication in November of "A Rape on Campus," which described an alleged gang rape that authorities determined never occurred.
What a Coincidence: Swiss Bank's Donations to Clinton Foundation Increased Tenfold After Hillary Intervened On Their Behalf in a Tax Dispute
There's just no "smoking gun" at all here, so long as you ignore all those guns on the floor, from which smoke is trickling.
Donations to the Clinton Foundation by Swiss bank UBS increased tenfold after Hillary Clinton intervened to settle a dispute with the IRS early in her tenure as secretary of state, according to a published report.
According to the Wall Street Journal, total donations by UBS to the foundation grew from less than $60,000 at the end of 2008 to approximately $600,000 by the end of 2014. The Journal reports that the bank also lent $32 million through entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs it launched in association with the foundation, while paying former President Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of corporate question-and-answer sessions with UBS Chief Executive Bob McCann.
Though there is no evidence of wrongdoing,
The media, and people generally, misuse the word "evidence," conflating it with the word "proof."
There may not be any firm proof of wrongdoing -- but there's a lot of circumstantial evidence.
But they're The Experts, you know. And they're Master Wordsmiths and such. Words are their stock in trade and words, allegedly, mean something to them.
The UBS case is unusual in that it shows a top U.S. diplomat intervening on behalf of a major overseas bank in a situation where federal prosecutors and the Justice Department had been the lead entity.
UBS' legal battles with the U.S. government date from 2007, when a whistleblower told the Justice Department that UBS had helped thousands of Americans open secret accounts to avoid U.S. taxes. In 2009, the bank paid a $780 million fine and turned over the names of 250 account holders to U.S. authorities as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement.
The Justice Department sought the names of 52,000 Americans who had secret accounts with the Swiss bank. But then Hillary intervened, and this ask was scaled back to 4,500, less than one-tenth the original demand.
And then the money flowing in increased by a factor of ten.
Meanwhile, there is a two-month gap in the emails Hillary provided that cannot be explained, except, of course, by the glaringly obvious way that everyone understands is actually what happened.
The emails embarrassed Hillary, so she erased them.
But there's "no evidence" of this, you understand, except for the fact that she was supposed to turn them over, and instead, erased them.
Among the hundreds of emails released by the State Department from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. So far, there are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that's true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya during those two crucial months. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate...
Emails from that two-month period have also drawn outside interest for an entirely different reason. In the spring of 2012, a senior Clinton aide obtained a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation.
Understandably, the State Department hasn't turned over any emails about the employment status of that aide, Huma Abedin, to the Benghazi Committee, which asked only for Libya-related material. Less understandable is Foggy Bottom's continued rebuffing of journalists' requests to obtain those messages under the Freedom of Information Act. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about Abedin.
It's all perfectly understandable: She's a criminal, and she routinely destroys records of her criminality.
Can anyone really blame Bill Clinton for his allegedly blonde, allegedly busty mistress?
[Author Ronald Kessler] reports some very scandalous stories in the book, including allegations of former President Clinton carrying out liaisons with another women when his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is not around.
"He has a blonde, busty mistress, and she’s been code named Energizer by agents. This is unofficially, but that is what they call her...She comes in to the Chappaqua [NY] home whenever Hillary leaves. The details coordinate to make sure they don’t cross paths. She, unlike Hillary, is very nice to the agents. She’ll bring cookies."
And the agents assigned to Hillary’s detail, says Kessler, don't usually look forward to the assignment.
"Hillary Clinton pretends to be this champion of the little people -- she's gonna help the middle class, she’s compassionate. But the reality behind the scenes is she treats her agents and others less powerful than she is with contempt. In fact she's so abusive to her agents that behind assigned to her detail is considered a form of punishment," he said. "That tells you something about her character."
But there's no evidence of that.
Wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 Washes Up On Reunion Island, 4500 Miles From Where Expected to be Found
One part of the mystery is now over, but the rest of it remains.
American investigators tell The New York Times that a part of an airplane found washed up on a beach on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion is from a Boeing 777. "A person familiar with the matter" tells Reuters the part was almost certainly from a 777.
This can only be MH370....
The piece of debris is part of a wing and probably a control surface from that wing. Control surfaces are among the most likely part of airplane wreckage to survive for a long while as flotsam...
Why is it so far from where the experts involved in the search had predicted the wreckage would show up? The Australian authorities leading the search for Flight 370 said last fall that they were working on a drift model to accurately plot where wreckage might first show up. Their prediction: the southern coast of Sumatra--4,500 miles away from Reunion.
Don "Black Hole" Lemon Hardest Hit
There's more there, about the possible reasons why Computer Modeling failed to predict its drift.
US Dentist Sought by Zimbabwean Police in Connection With Shooting of Beloved (Protected) Lion
The lion, named Cecil, lived in a protected state park.
The dentist, for his part, says he paid local guides to find a lion for him, and relied upon them to know where they were, and what laws applied, and what lion they had actually found.
Cecil, who was 13, was a prized lion in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, where visitors reportedly sighted him frequently. A video of the animal, regal, indifferent and sleepy-eyed, has been widely disseminated.
He was a participant in a study that Oxford University in Britain was conducting, and he had been outfitted with a GPS collar.
A police official in Zimbabwe said that two Zimbabweans had been arrested in the case and that police were looking for Palmer.
The Zimbabwean guides were arrested but have been freed on bail.
I'm sure this will shock you -- the dentist is now being hunted by internet vigilantes, despite the fact that we don't know yet if his claims of innocent intent are true or not.
Two signs posted on the door of a nondescript dental office here asked passers-by to mourn the death of Cecil, a lion who was lured off his sanctuary and killed during a game hunt this month in Zimbabwe.
"WE ARE CECIL," one read; "#CatLivesMatter," read another. Nearby was a sign with a darker message for the dentist who said he killed the cat: "ROT IN HELL."
In the hours since Dr. Walter J. Palmer apologized for killing the lion, he has gone from a dentist and longtime hunting enthusiast to a villain at the center of a firestorm over the ethics of big-game trophy hunting.
The outrage and attention surrounding the lion’s death online caused Dr. Palmer to keep his office closed on Wednesday as he joined an ever-expanding group of people who have become targets of Internet vigilantism, facing a seemingly endless shaming until the next issue comes along.
Frequently outraged hysteric Mia Farrow of course had to tweet the man's home address, an action that even Salon has criticized. (No link; you can google if you like.)
She wasn't the only hysterical actress tweeting his personal information, either.
C. Morgan McIlhenney, "Nantucket Sand Dune" (1890)
Fourth Planned Parenthood Video Released
This one stars Dr. Savita Ginde, of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
This requires criminal investigation:
In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM’s abortion practice, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.”
Since PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in its 2nd trimester procedures, any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law (1 USC 8).
Note, in case you missed it in the second video, the reason they don't use feticide is because then the organs aren't viable. Meaning they crush the babies and tear them apart while they are still alive and able to feel pain.
Yesterday, a judge in California issued a temporary injunction barring CMP from publishing videos that include footage from a May 2014 meeting between officials at StemExpress and CMP investigators posing as potential buyers of fetal organs. The StemExpress lawsuit alleges the covert recording of that meeting at a restaurant is the product of unlawful electronic eavesdropping.
California has unusually tough prohibitions on electronic recording. One of those restrictions is that all parties must consent to the recording of "confidential communications." This isn't my area of law, but a quick survey of the case law suggests that recordings in restaurants may sometimes be considered confidential communications and sometimes not, depending on the circumstances. It's going to be a fact-specific determination, so CMP may ultimately be in a bit of trouble there depending on what the testimony and evidence turns up. On the other hand, the temporary injunction is a prior restraint, which typically isn't the right solution to alleged newsworthy conduct that can be remedied post-litigation. The temporary injunction was ordered to last until a hearing can be convened on August 19. StemExpress also alleges theft, fraud, and interference with contract.
Other CMP videos can be released, so long as they don't include the StemExpress meeting.
Thursday Morning News Dump
- US Health Spending Growth Increased
- Is Corporate America Letting America Down
- What Did You Idiots Think Would Happen?
- I'm Starting To Think That Sanders Can Win
- Hardly Any Mention Of Due Process At Senate Hearing On Campus Sexual Assault
- Alan Greenspan Not To Excited About Government Spending (video)
- Japan Creates Death Star Laser
- Will Dana, Rolling Stone's Managing Editor, To Depart
- Will The Media Cover Their Sham Marriage And Bill's Continued Adultery?
- 10 Important Developments On The Planned Parenthood Scandal
Morning Thread (7-30-2015)
Dave in Texas has a nice Storified tweet analysis of the sham that is Planned Parenthood's non-abortion revenue from the taxpayers.
Overnight Open Thread (7-29-2015)
The share of teen girls who reported they've had sex at least once dropped from 51 percent in 1988 to 44 percent in 2013, they found. Abstinence was more pronounced among the guys: 60 percent of teen boys in 1988 said they'd had sex, compared to 47 percent in 2013.
One major hypothesis is that teen sex has declined because smart phone usage is up. Teens are both better informed about the risks of sex and.they have something else to do.
snake murderous cult in the 60s.
With his arms again bound and a fresh noose around his neck-this one fashioned from a wire coat hanger-Alex Rackley, an illiterate teenager who had joined the Black Panther Party eight months earlier, was led to the edge of the Coginchaug River in Middlefield, Connecticut.
Of course, there was no boat. And there was no escape. "Orders from national [headquarters]," said George Sams, the bloodthirsty ringleader of the hit squad. "Ice him."
Warren Kimbro, a Black Panther party cadre from the New Haven branch, put the first bullet in Rackley's head, collapsing him in the shallow water. As his body heaved, another Panther foot soldier, Lonnie McLucas, took the gun from Kimbro and fired a bullet into his chest, just in case. They didn't bother checking, but Alex Rackley was still alive, gasping and in pain, one expert later speculated, for almost four hours.According to George Sams, he was merely following orders issued by Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party's infamous co-founder and "chairman."
Or considering the possibility that future employers might google 'Sylva Stoel'.
The investigation found that the co-pilot unlocked the booms 14 seconds early when the craft was travelling at only Mach 0.92 and the low-velocity caused the boom to deploy without any action by the pilot, resulting in the destruction of the craft. This was "indisputably confirmed by telemetric, in-cockpit video and audio data." In addition, the Board found no indication of misleading display indicators and that all information in the cockpit was accurate.
The reason given for the error was that the co-pilot hadn't received sufficient training regarding how to safely unlock the boom, hadn't had enough simulation trainings, and that in flight had been confused by the time pressure and the unexpected vibration and pressure of the rocket firing.Regarding responsibility, the Board found no mechanical shortcomings with the spacecraft. The engine performed above expectations and all systems operated as designed up until the spacecraft broke apart.
Using the traditional methods. Do not be in a hurry.
A friend of mine who worked part-time with a blacksmith/metal worker while in high school said he tried several times to make his own katana-style sword. But he could never quite get the steel composition and heat treatment just right where it would hold an edge without being so brittle that it cracked or broke as soon as you hit anything hard.
Actually his entire Wikipedia article is worth reading and his life even before he ever stepped foot in Texas could be a movie all by itself.
It was his heroics during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 that brought him to the attention of Andrew Jackson who became a mentor and friend to him. Interestingly he was also a great defender of Native Americans his entire life based on his time living with a Cherokee tribe.
After running away from his family as a teenager, Houston lived for nearly three years with the Cherokee tribe in eastern Tennessee. Houston learned fluent Cherokee, embraced the tribe's customs and was given the name "Black Raven." After resigning in disgrace as Tennessee governor, the despondent Houston took refuge with the Cherokee in the Arkansas Territory. There, the tribe formally adopted him, and he married a Cherokee woman, Tiana Rogers, in a tribal ceremony. Houston served as the tribe's spokesman and advocate with the federal government, and as a U.S. senator he pressed for Native American rights. He sometimes wore traditional Cherokee garb to government meetings in Washington, D.C.
Later as Governor of Texas he was opposed to secession and was eventually kicked out of office for his refusal to support the Confederacy. He explained his position thusly:
Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South.
Schmitt and his family found 52 gold coins worth more than $1 million. The star of the haul was an extremely rare coin known as a "Tricentennial Royal" minted in 1715. It had been underwater since a fleet of Spanish ships foundered during a hurricane along Florida's Treasure Coast 300 years ago, Schmitt said.
"These things were known as presentation pieces not meant to be circulated as currency," Schmitt said.
That coin alone is worth about $500,000, according to Schmitt.
And according to Brent Brisben, co-founder of 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels LLC, the company that owns the rights to dive at the wreckage site where the gold was found, the coin's value comes from the fact that it is in nearly perfect condition and is a rarity....Schmitt found the gold while diving near Fort Pierce during his yearly treasure-hunting trip with his wife, his sister and his parents.
The Group knows your sins but doesn't care.
Tonight's post brought to you by we only accept waffle cards here:
Notice: Posted by implicit permission of AceCorp LLC. The ewok is in repose and not to be disturbed. Warning: ONT has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice. Mice who were just asking for it anyway because they were pussies!
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Albert Bierstadt, "Sunrise on Mount Tacoma" (n.d.)
Cautionary Tale: Computer Hijacking, Extortion, and Sh*tware, Part 2
This is a follow-up to my computer post the other day. I received an email from fellow Moron "TheCoat" that was wonderfully informative, and I asked him if I could share it. He said okay, but he was worried about the curse words. I told him to think about that for a second: not a problem.
So yea, for many years now the most annoying malware has been software that masquerades as anti-virus/anti-malware software.
There are three general types of malware:
1.) Advertisement malware, which generally seeks to hijack your web browser. Basically it tends to load webpages you go to through their website, adding advertisements to each webpage you load. The key initial indicator that you’ve contracted something is when your browser homepage suddenly changes on you. To make matters worse they generally send you adds from less than reputable add services. Many sites use something like google adds, they put a google applet on their website that loads up adds out of a database when a visitor hits the site, and they get a small bit of revenue for each hit. Malware like this loads adds from someone else hence the creator/distributors financial incentive to do this. They endeavor to get their crap on as many systems as possible to cash in on advertisements, but these come from sources that are less than secure in who creates adds for them, and the content of said adds. Often times this means that the adds that get loaded have embedded exploit attempts, to load… you guessed it even more of this add crap. These exploits and pieces of software tend to be created by really shitty programmers, which means not only are they malicious but they tend to be buggy and do things that you shouldn’t be doing to a system in an attempt to hide themselves.
2.) What you seem to have gotten. Fake malware/spyware/virus protection and removal. These tend to be easier to track down and source simply because they give you a website to go buy their product, and often times their other product is what’s screwing up your system. The quickest way to tell you’ve gotten this tends to be a popup for security software you never loaded. Often times in an effort to hide it’s self from simple removal, and to change your system and cause problems, even if you do pay them they don’t get your system restored to the right state, because their programing is again done by crappy coders who don’t care.
3.) The latest is the cryptolocker series. What this little bag of hell does is scan your drives looking for any document types and then encrypts them. When it’s done it gives you instructions on how to go to their website pay them money and they’ll give you the key to unencrypt your files. Unlike the prior two, these are reputable scoundrels. If you pay them they will indeed give you the key and you can fully recover, however this funds them to keep spreading their ransomeware. I honestly think this one is based in an organized criminal racket. They make no bones about the fact that they are the ones screwing you over… but if you pay them they want to make good because that encourages others to do so.
I’m a developer for a software company, and we tend to see quite a bit of this stuff when we get calls about something with our software not working. Our support gets hooked up only to find that our software is having problems because they have infections of this nature messing things up. Although it’s technically not our problem we often times help people get this crap cleaned up, however in some cases the infections are so bad we have them call in someone local simply because to clean it up you either have to reload the system or do the clean ups outside the operating system, making it impossible for us to clean it up remotely. Sometimes people just get infected due to bad luck, more often we see repeated infections at the same clients… usually because they allow their employees to go to social and gaming sites at work, or whatever else they feel like. In one instance I got a maintenance guy fired because I tracked down the source of their infections and was able to piece together enough info to show them that the porn sites their computer was visiting late at night were the source of infection… this in an accounting office. They setup a sting and caught the guy sneaking in and surfing porn while he was supposed to be working.
Some of the things I’ve seen in the past few years make me think I really specialized in the wrong area. I’m no novice when it comes to computer and network security. I run my own firewalls and intrusion detection systems at home and do penetration testing on my home as well as our corporate network, and yet these last few years I’ve done more security related stuff to my home network out of fear than out of general playing around. Many years ago in the age of dialup I ran a full computer based firewall and dialup server for my home network… because I could 8). Now I run things like an intrusion detection system on the edge of my network because I feel I need the security. There has been a ton of security gains made since the early days of the internet revolution, however this has just made the crooks get smarter and more insidious. What bothers me is if I had steered less toward business software development and more toward network security which I pursued as more of a hobby I’d be in a better position to do what I really get a kick out of doing, and that is taking the fight to these assholes, not just cleaning up their messes. Eh it’s probably a good thing though, as much of what I’d like to do to them and their criminal enterprises would probably be legally grey at best even if it’s unquestionably morally white.
No, everyone hates computer pirates. Anything short of taking a Ghurka kukri knife to them is fine with me.
Thanks, "TheCoat," and thanks again to all others who helped.
Some Economists Say Greece Should Stay In the Euro -- But Germany Should Exit It
I missed this when it was floated earlier. But it seems interesting, and people are talking about it again.
It's not so much that it's proposed that Germany exit the Euro-- they'd continue to have the Euro as a currency, if I understand this right.
It's that they would re-introduce the hard-currency Deutschmark, to compete with the Euro; their relative values would fluctuate against each other.
Germany (and the hard-money northern/central European states) would have what they want -- a stable, hard currency which is not devalued due to Mediterranean spending habits, and the rest of Europe would get the falling-in-value New Lira that it really seems to want.
A better, bolder and, until now, almost inconceivable solution [to the Greece crisis] is for Germany to reintroduce the mark, which would cause the euro to immediately decline in value. Such a devaluation would give troubled economies, especially those of Greece, Italy and Spain, the financial flexibility they need to stabilize themselves.
Although repeated currency devaluations are not the path to prosperity, a weaker euro would give a boost in competitiveness to all members of the monetary union, including France and the Netherlands, which is why they might very well choose to remain in it even if Germany were to gradually leave. A resurgence of manufacturing would also allow the vast unemployment rolls of Spain, Portugal, Greece and other countries to begin to decline. The tremendous loss of human capital and human dignity we are witnessing would ease.
Unlike Greece -- whose exit from the euro would require either a redenomination or outright repudiation of its euro-denominated debts (with potentially catastrophic financial consequences) -- Germany would be able to reintroduce the mark without altering the form of any current asset, liability or contract. For example, euros deposited in German banks would remain euro-denominated. So would outstanding German sovereign and corporate debt now denominated in euros.
It's not all upside -- German industry would be hurt, due to (if I understand this) their hard-currency Deutschmarks making their products more expensive.
Meanwhile, German economics experts say that countries unable to get their finances in order should be invited to exit the Euro.
Countries should be able to exit the euro as a "last resort" if they are unable to manage their debts, the German government's independent economic advisers say, in a sign of Berlin's hardening attitude towards propping up fellow members of the single currency....
"A permanently unco-operative member state should not be able to threaten the existence of the euro," the economists said in a special report, published on Tuesday, calling for countries to exit the eurozone if it is necessary as an "utterly last resort".
The panel is made up of five so-called "wise men" of German economics, so this is fairly influential suggestion.
Of Course: Another American Citizen Murdered by an Illegal Alien Who Had Been Set Free By Police
The key bit from WKYC:
According to the report, Razo, 35, admitted being in the country illegally. However, U.S. Border Patrol officials declined to take custody of Razo, the report shows.
Steven Hawking Leads $100 Million Effort to Find Intelligent Alien Life
No government money-- the project is being funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
Well, I guess that's a lot of Russian government money siphoned off, probably. But none of your money.
The project will just listen, not send out signals. Because, no seriously, you cannot simply assume these will be peaceful, Reeces Pieces eating ETs.
Hawking famously revealed his worry that any aliens advanced enough to contact earth would be "looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach" during a 2010 episode of the miniseries Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.
And he clearly hasn’t changed his mind completely. "If you look at history, contact between humans and less intelligent organisms have often been disastrous from their point of view, and encounters between civilizations with advanced versus primitive technologies have gone badly for the less advanced," he told reporters at the Breakthrough announcement. "A civilization reading one of our messages could be billions of years ahead of us. If so, they will be vastly more powerful, and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria."
The project will undertake to scan the million stars closest to us.
Camille Paglia on "Snark Atheism," and How Jon Stewart Has Debased Political Discourse
Via @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar, she's on to something here.
The whole interview is worth reading, but I'll just excerpt the zestiest bits.
You're an atheist, and yet I don’t ever see you sneer at religion in the way that the very aggressive atheist class right now often will. What do you make of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and the religion critics who seem not to have respect for religions for faith?
I regard them as adolescents. I say in the introduction to my last book, "Glittering Images", that "Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination." It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents-- they're still sneering at dad in some way....
I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny....
But this sneering thing! I despise snark. Snark is a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart and has proliferated since. I think it's horrible for young people! And this kind of snark atheism–let's just invent that term right now–is stupid, and people who act like that are stupid....
I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark.....
As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he’s partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States....
The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!
Now let me give you a recent example of the persisting insularity of liberal thought in the media. When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television. It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media. That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional.
She argues for the liberal view of information, which is to say, we should have that information, whether it helps the right or left, and we should not suppress it, whether it helps the right or left.
That latter idea -- suppressing information based upon what politics the information might help or hurt -- is of course as illiberal and authoritarian an idea as you can have.
Paglia has an interesting mind, despite her incurable leftwing political tendencies, and interesting minds despise the make-the-world-simple-to-understand-by-censoring-any-unpleasant-or-politically-troublesome-information world we live in.
Whether the Planned Parenthood videos help or hurt the abortion lobby is quite beyond any possibly-legitimate point. It is information, and human beings, possessed of reason and moral intuitions, ought to have this information, so that they can make judgments about it.
Otherwise, we are simply cattle in one of Temple Grandin's slaughterhouses, in which the cows are led through a serpentine course which prevents them from ever seeing what's up ahead, what's happened to the cows further up in the queue.
That's fine for cows. The slaughterhouses are intended for humane treatment -- of animals.
Humans should not be subject to the "humane treatment" of a media-enforced serpentine ramp. We should know-- we should see -- what's happening to the other humans.
"Cuckservative" Is A Racist Slur, Part 2
We've been over this. It's weird how people get super-attached to a slur they just heard for the first time last week. Yesterday, in response to the whitewashing of the word "cuckservative" by the website abusing the good name of Andrew Breitbart, I tweeted about the racist origins and usage of the term "cuck."
In short, "cuck," a derivative of "cuckold," is a noun used by white supremacists to refer to whites who invite the destruction of the white race by tolerating other races, which they view as weak whites inviting the other races to rape their wives, steal their homes/schools/society/etc. People saw white supremacists who were enthused by Donald Trump's Mexican rape statement yelling "cuckservative" at the GOP leadership and others who condemned Trump.
Unfortunately, many of these folks who saw the slur being slung did not realize the term's racist origin or meaning. They just saw one group of people yelling a new word they'd never seen before at another group of people they already hate. So they started using the term, most of them without knowing where it came from. Now that they know, however, they want to keep using it.
The responses to my tweets came in two general categories: (1) well-meaning people who said that they didn't realize and yeah that's bad; and (2) people who did this:
The general response to my tweets about "cuckservative" have not changed my mind about its use. pic.twitter.com/9gXYKZzhd9— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 28, 2015
My experience was by no means unique. Today, Erick Erickson discusses the racist origins and usage of the foul term and provides some further examples of the sort of people who use it.
The other day I was attacked as a “cuckservative” and the proof that I was one is that I fill-in for Rush Limbaugh. The proof that Rush is a “cuckservative” is that, according to the person with the confederate flag for his twitter picture, Rush had hired outside “his tribe” for his call screener. Yes, Bo Snerdley is black. Seriously, that was the argument.
The Breitbart piece defending the word suggested it came from the bowels of the internet, but if you look at its first usages beyond 4chan, what do you get?
Erickson takes a dive into the bowels of the internet. It's not pretty, but you should read it.
The tumult over the term has made its way into the legacy media, because of course it has. How could the media resist a story about people on the right consciously giving an assist to white supremacists?
Updated: Eh, I'm not sure why it's not embedding those tweets. Replaced them with pics.
Obama: Shit Yeah, I Could Totally Win a Third Term, If I Felt Like It
"I actually think I’m pretty good president," he said today in a speech before the African Union in Ethiopia. "I think if I ran, I could win. But I can't."
Even though he's confident in his re-election abilities, Obama said he's more interested in life after the presidency.
"I'll be honest with you, I'm looking forward to life after being president. I won't have such a big security detail all the time," he said. "It means I can go take a walk, I can spend time with my family, I can find other ways to serve, I can visit Africa more often."
And watch Sports Center, and enjoy fine dining with Interesting Italians, and get shined on by Sir Elton John, and watch Premium Cable Dramas, and all the things we know he actually prefers doing.
Congressman Files Resolution To Remove Boehner As Speaker Of The House
Congressman Mark Meadows is apparently a subscriber to the "Animal House School Of Politics"....."I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
And he's just the man for the job.
Meadows said he introduced the resolution to spark a "discussion" about how leaders are running the House and did not intend to force a vote on removing Boehner.
“It’s really more about trying to have a conversation on making this place work, where everybody’s voice matters, where there’s not a punitive culture,” Meadows said.
His resolution argues that Boehner has been "bypassing the majority" through centralized decisionmaking and that he has "caused the power of Congress to atrophy." The motion says Boehner punishes members who "vote according to their conscience," limits amendments on the House floor and doesn't allow enough time for lawmakers to review legislation before votes.
All reasonable points but this will lead to exactly nothing happening.
The resolution will be shuffled off to the Rules Committee where Boehner loyalists will do....nothing about it. Well, they might shake their heads and laugh a bit but basically nothing.
Meadows could get a majority of the House to sign a discharge petition to bring it to the floor but that's not happening. Sure a handful of Republicans are annoyed at Boehner but most aren't. And do you think the Democrats would support removing him? Of course not. He's the best deal they are going to get as Speaker from the GOP. Hell, Pelosi would fight harder for him than any Republican.
Conservatives aren't serious abut getting rid of Boehner. If they were they would have organized behind a candidate in January and made a real run at him. A handful of people voting for nonsense names like Rand Paul and Alan West isn't a serious effort.
In other futile GOP gesture news....
The Senate spent all weekend telling conservatives to go to hell over the highway bill, Iran, Planned Parenthood and the Ex-Im Bank. Well, they are now going to cave and accept the House's short term patch, which doesn't include saving the Ex-Im. It was pretty clear all along that the House was never going to take up the Senate's bill but McConnell put everyone through the dog and pony show anyway.
Next time Team GOP tells you to stop attacking them and focus on Democrats, remind them of this bit of needless blood shedding.
The only possible good to come from the Senate passing it's highway bill and then ditching it in favor of the House's version is that we *may* have seen the last of the Ex-Im from the Senate.
Personally I have my doubts. Sure McConnell claims he's personally against it but it did get 64 votes in the Senate. If members want to keep offering it, well that's the Senate. What I object to is McConnell giving it priority status over all other amendments. If supporters want to offer it again ok but it can't be the only amendment allowed while conservative amendments are locked out.
It's Hooky, But It's Not Fun Hooky
Just a word on why I've been away: Once again, things have hit a stage in the unending lawsuits requiring my attention. These come occasionally; you might remember another not-fun-time-away-from-the-blog last February and March.
I will post here and there, but once again I am forced to work a second job and not do my actual job.
AoSHQ Interview With Dan Holler Of Heritage Action On All Things Conservative And GOP
First, sorry about my audio on yesterday's interview with Noah Pollak (If you missed it, it's all about the Iran deal. Listen here.). Not sure what happened. Today's sounds fine so no excuse for you there.
Dan Holler (@danholler) is the Director of Communications at Heritage Action where he does a great job of keeping track of the ins and outs of policy and politics from a conservative perspective.
You can listen to the interview (which is under 25 minutes) here.
We spoke late yesterday afternoon about a number of things including:
This weekend's clown show in the Senate where Mitch McConnell told conservatives where they could stuff it.
Why the battle to end the relatively small and obscure Export-Import Bank is so important for anyone who wants to shrink the size and scope of government. Fun fact: The law requires the bank to be closing up shop but in typical Obama fashion the head of the bank has said, nah.
We also discussed the first 7 months of the GOP Congress and the many ways and reasons it's been such a dumpster fire.
Dan tries to convince me that the GOP is salvagable without burning it down. I felt a little twinge of something in my cold, black hear. It might have been....optimism. But then it unlike any legislation conservatives support, it passed. You might have better luck.
To give you some fodder for discussion while you're listening (and hey, tell your friends!) Tim Carney writes today about something Dan touches on in the interview...Mitch McConnell's flawed vision.
Next fall, when Hillary Clinton and her proxies in the media point to government shutdowns to argue that Republicans aren't mature enough be left in charge, McConnell wants to point to two legislative years full of accomplishments. Already, he boasts of passing a budget (something Harry Reid basically never did), an update of No Child Left Behind, Trade Promotion Authority and a permanent "doc fix."
From a simply political perspective, there are reasons to question McConnell's strategy. The electorate complains about dysfunctional Congress, but are they really going to reward a Congress that passes small-fry bills that most regular people will never hear about?
Then there's the policy strategy: Can you possibly set the stage for an agenda of shrinking government by passing a bunch of bills that mostly increase government — restarting an expired subsidy agency, increasing Medicare spending and increasing federal spending and revenue through a highway bill?
My argument is, no. If you don't make the case when you have the power (even if Obama vetoes everything), you can't sell people on the idea that if you give them more power you will use to do the exact opposite of what you spent 2 years doing. The lesson the GOP will learn is cutting deals with Harry Reid and Patty Murray comes with no cost from the right and in fact they will be rewarded for it.
Does anyone, other than McConnell and Boehner, think that if you keep handing the Democrats all these "compromise" bills (aka, government expanding laws) they will suddenly become more pliable if Jeb! is in the White House? Of course not. They will double down on their demands and obstruction. Then the argument will be, "well, we have to cut a deal with the big government types because the mid-terms. We have to show we can govern after all."
Either you make the case for what you want to do with to the public and let the chips fall where they may or you just simply accept that the job of both parties is to manage the growth of the government in a way that isn't to shocking to low information voters. If it's the latter, the GOP serves no real purpose other than as the right wing of the Democrat party.
Did I mention that the tinge of optimism from Dan didn't last long?
Listen for yourself. Maybe it'll work better for you.
Thanks to our own Andy for the technical support in getting these interviews up online.