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The good advice Lockheed Martin just didn’t take

Posted on August 15th, 2015 at 14:27 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Ideally suited to mobilization on the shifting terrain of asymmetrical conflict, inherently covert, insidiously plastic, politically potent, irony offers rogue elements a volatile if often overlooked means by which to demoralize opponents and destabilize regimes. And yet, while major research resources have for forty years poured into the human sciences from the defense and intelligence community in an effort to gain control over the human capacity to lie (investments that led to the polygraph, sodium pentothal and its successor compounds, “brain fingerprinting” and associated neuro-physiological imaging techniques, etc.), we have no comparable tradition of sustained, empirical, applied investigation into irony


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  1. Wonderful comment about the French Mime Regiment!

TTIP controversy: Secret trade deal can only be read in secure ‘reading room’ in Brussels

Posted on August 15th, 2015 at 11:57 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Officials were told of this change in policy on July 24th at a meeting in Brussels in which the Commission explained that the documents had “been submitted to databases of [member states’] national parliaments” meaning that “hundreds of people have actually uncontrolled access”.

And so the Brussels ‘reading room’ appears to be the solution, where national and EU representatives will have to go if they want to find out what’s happening to the TTIP text.

It’s not just TTIP that is taking such extreme measures. The US-Asia equivalent, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has a similar super-secure reading room.

[Quote:]

A spokesperson for the European Commission told Ars: “It is simply not true that the Commission has restricted access to the negotiating documents for Members of National Parliaments. This is the responsibility of Member State governments and the Commission doesn’t and cannot take decisions on this issue.”

That may simply mean that it was the Member State governments that took the decision formally, but that the initial impulse came from elsewhere. The leaked notes obtained by Correct!v are quite clear about who was behind the move. They describe how the European Commissioner responsible for trade and thus TTIP, Cecilia Malmström, instructed officials to make the written report on the most recent round of TTIP negotiations available only in the reading room of the Commission in Brussels. As a result “transmission of negotiating reports to the Member States will no longer take place,” according to the notes.


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  1. All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.

You gotta turn a prophet

Posted on August 15th, 2015 at 9:41 by John Sinteur in category: News

vfFFbll


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ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

Posted on August 14th, 2015 at 0:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

 


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Comments:

  1. Very difficult read. The inevitable consequences of war.

  2. If true, we need to drone his ass.

  3. This is not a war crime. It is religious justified violence and it happens in other Islamic areas also. Hell, it even happens in the U.K. Maybe Churchill was right on this.

  4. FLDS meet ISIS… ISIS meet FLDS – I’m sure you two have a lot in common….

  5. @Mykolas: It doesn’t matter what the justification. These are still war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocidal crimes. The planners, organisers and perpetrators will be punished (if they don’t blow themselves up first).

    It could be Korea, China, Congo, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia…endless.

  6. @Suew – I agree they are crimes against humanity. My point is it is happening outside war zones and does not in itself originate from war. It is the religion itself, hence my Churchill comment. Yeah yeah, I know the PC speak is that it is a peaceful religion. But that is pure bollocks.

  7. @Mykolas: I didn’t say anything was a peaceful religion. My point is that there is a war going on in the Middle East – has been for many years, and when people get caught up in this they usually become the victims of crimes. Murder and systematic rape are recognized as means of genocide, as well as motivating the troop to carry on killing civilians and support the warlords.

    Everyone knows it is wrong. How those criminals manage it in their own heads isn’t relevant. “God told me to do it.” “I was only obeying orders.”

    The pattern is disturbingly familiar. We perhaps just get better documentation now. 20 years ago, Rwanda and Bosnia. 70-90 years ago this was going on in Korea and China as well as in Europe.

  8. @Suew — sorry – I was not attributing the peaceful religion statement to you. I meant the politicians that tout it. My point is: while I agree the pattern occurs in wartime and that several parts of the middle east are indeed engulfed in war, I think that specific religion itself is non peaceful. That said, most major religions are violent. Even modern christianity. Is not the anti-abortion stance condoning violence against woman by forcing them into back alleys and a life of subservience? And christianity’s bloody history? Well….enough said.

  9. @Mykolas: Yup, I’ll certainly agree that any/all religions and most ideologies are dangerous. We all know the solutions, imperfectly though they are administered. Law, justice, education, science, separation of religion and state, democracy, and so on.

    This is why the mullahs of all faiths get their loincloths all tangled about modern life. Apparently it was so much more fun for their kind 500 years ago. (Not for anyone else, I’m sure! They don’t call us sheep for nothing!)

【獨家】天津警:逾200遇難 過半為消防武警 |

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 23:29 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

天津濱海新區大爆炸事故,究竟有多少人遇害?官方公佈的數字指,事故中有50人死亡。惟《蘋果》記者從警察口中聽到,事發後有120名消防員及武警進入現 場救援,但最後僅得4人能出來,再加其他人,應約有200人遇難。

警員又說,身處屋內的居民也死了不少,大部份都是被碎裂的玻璃所傷致死,爆炸威力極大,10公里範圍內地方都受影響。警方又批評消防員射水救火不當,不能用水,應用化學泡沫救火。

 

“The Tianjin Binhai New Area explosion, just how many people were killed? Officially published figures say 50 people died in the accident, 11 of which were members of the firefighting effort. However, “Apple” reporters followed family members of those missing, and police cars into the disastor-zone investigation. According to the police, 120 firefighters and armed police entered the site to help, but only 4 came out. Added with the others, there should ought to be approximately 200 dead. The police also said, there were many dead from those living in their houses, mostly from broken shards of glass. The power of the explosion was enormous, with everything within 10 kilometers being affected. Police also criticized firefighters for improperly fighting the fire with water; you must not use water, use chemical foam fire extinguishing instead. Most strange is this: I have a friend on WeChat (Chinese IM service), her friend was a soldier involved in the rescue, who told her that they had already lifted, two or three hundred bodies from the site. Internet users also said not to trust the news from the mainland.”


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Tianjin Explosion

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 22:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

display

1:48 am

Fireman:
Are you here bro?

Friend:
Here, Here

What happened?

1:52 a.m.

Fireman:
My phone can’t get any calls out

Gangzi just passed away

He died, He died

1:53 a.m.

Friend:
Are kidding me?

Where are you?

Fireman:
I’m in the car to Tanku… Tangu

Friend:
Please call me right now

Fireman:
I’m wearing all my gear, I’m the only person with a phone

Friend:
Then please call immediately me tomorrow when you get home

Fireman:
If I don’t come back, My father is your father

Remember to visit my mother’s grave

Friend:
OK, your dad is my dad

Please take care


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When Curtains Block Justice

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 18:31 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In June, a laptop was stolen from a bedroom on a Monday afternoon in Palo Alto, CA, a suburb 15 miles south of San Francisco. There were no witnesses to the larceny, and no surveillance footage either.

With a laptop thief on the loose and few leads at their disposal, investigators in Santa Clara County, which includes Palo Alto, were discouraged when they discovered no surveillance footage existed of the bedroom; footage which could provide crucial clues to identifying their thief.

An California state judge issued a warrant ordering the victim’s landlord to share with authorities any video surveillance that could potentially solve the crime. The landlord replied, in essence, that they could not — because they did not record video of their tenants nor their tenants’ children sleeping peacefully in their beds.

The theft remains unsolved. The thief remains at large.

Until very recently, this situation would not have occurred.


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  1. Good thumbing of the nose to this collection of douchbags of the police state: Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Manhattan district attorney; François Molins,Paris chief prosecutor. Adrian Leppard, City of London Police. Javier Zaragoza chief prosecutor of the High Court of Spain.

Tianjin Port Explosion — Extremely Close Dashcam Video

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 16:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. Many firefighters missing. Forget comics, these people are real heroes.

  2. [Quote:]

    天津濱海新區大爆炸事故,究竟有多少人遇害?官方公佈的數字指,事故中有50人死亡。不過,《蘋果》記者隨事故中的失蹤者家屬,乘坐警車進入災場搜索時,卻從警察口中聽到,事發後有120名消防員及武警進入現場救援,但最後僅得4人能出來,再加其他人,應約有200人遇難。警員又說,身處屋內的居民也死了不少,大部份都是被碎裂的玻璃所傷致死,爆炸威力極大,10公里範圍內地方都受影響。警方又批評消防員射水救火不當,不能用水,應用化學泡沫救火。最詭異的是,有網民在微信朋友圈發文稱,他的友人遇到一名參與救援行動的軍人,對方告訴她現場已抬了2、3百條屍體。該名網民,還說不要相信內地新聞報道。

    “The Tianjin Binhai New Area explosion, just how many people were killed? Officially published figures say 50 people died in the accident, 11 of which were members of the firefighting effort. However, “Apple” reporters followed family members of those missing, and police cars into the disastor-zone investigation. According to the police, 120 firefighters and armed police entered the site to help, but only 4 came out. Added with the others, there should ought to be approximately 200 dead.

    The police also said, there were many dead from those living in their houses, mostly from broken shards of glass. The power of the explosion was enormous, with everything within 10 kilometers being affected. Police also criticized firefighters for improperly fighting the fire with water; you must not use water, use chemical foam fire extinguishing instead.

    Most strange is this: I have a friend on WeChat (Chinese IM service), her friend was a soldier involved in the rescue, who told her that they had already lifted, two or three hundred bodies from the site. Internet users also said not to trust the news from the mainland.”

  3. And, Sue, those firefighters… hell yeah!

Chelsea Manning may face solitary confinement for having Jenner Vanity Fair issue

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 12:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier serving a 35-year military prison sentence for leaking official secrets, has been threatened with indefinite solitary confinement for having an expired tube of toothpaste in her cell and being found in possession of the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair issue, according to her lawyers and supporters.


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Comments:

  1. They won’t rest until he’s as crazy as the rest of them.

  2. He?

  3. I think Vanity Fair should be banned in general for encouraging body dismorphism, eating disorders and addictions to lipstick and eye-liner.

    Oh, and being an organ of the patriarchy.

  4. @porpentine: Forgive me, I claim a typo. Actually, I followed this story much more closely last year. I still haven’t adjusted to the new gender. I’ll get there.

The aftermath

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 11:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 9:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In a 45-minute video posted on Tibetan websites Thursday, Tsuglag Rinpoche, leader of the Buddhist extremist group Kammaṭṭhāna, threatened to soon inflict a wave of peace and tranquility on the West.

Speaking in front of a nondescript altar surrounded by candles, burning sticks of incense, and a small golden statue of the Buddha, Rinpoche did not specify when or where an assault of profound inner stillness would occur, but stated in no uncertain terms that the fundamentalist Buddhist cell plans to target all Western suffering.

“In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West,” said Rinpoche, adding that all enemies of a freely flowing, unfettered state of mind will be “besieged with pure, everlasting happiness.” “No city will be spared from spiritual harmony. We will bring about the end to all Western pain and anxiety, to all destructive cravings, to all greed, delusion, and misplaced desire. Indeed, we will bring the entire United States to its knees in deep meditation.”


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Comments:

  1. If only the source was a more obscure site so that we could hope it was true. Peace!

Lawmaker who gave away adopted girls to man who raped them, all while still getting state funding to raise them, to receive award from “family” group.

Posted on August 13th, 2015 at 9:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Before reading this go find a bucket, a bowl, anything that will hold a decent amount of vomit. Place it beside you as you read just in case.


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Comments:

  1. Off with his sick fucking head!

  2. Oh, we are a horrible species.

Former President Jimmy Carter reveals he has cancer

Posted on August 12th, 2015 at 22:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

“Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body,” Carter said in a statement.

 


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Comments:

  1. Sad to hear this.

  2. Let me summarize my feelings: Fuck cancer.

  3. Bugger! As ex-president’s go, he has always shown more class, and more concern for his fellow Americans than Reagon & Nixon ever did, and more than either Bushes do today.

  4. One of the most “sane” presidents, which means he was “suitable” for the job.

  5. Sorry, I meant to say he wasn’t “suitable” for the job, according to the Washington insiders.

国内朋友圈速递–天津塘沽发生化学品剧烈爆炸

Posted on August 12th, 2015 at 20:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Flammable goods at a container terminal in northern China’s Tianjin municipality exploded at about 11:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday (11:30 a.m. ET), shattering windows and causing injuries, according to state media reports.The number of casualties from the blast in the city’s Binhai New Area is unknown, China Central Television reported on its news app, citing the local fire department. Injured people have been hospitalized, it said. One report put the number injured higher than 400. The Daily Mirror reported the injury toll at more than 1,000.


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10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis

Posted on August 12th, 2015 at 17:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

British ministers including Theresa May and Philip Hammond have made hair-raising claims about the dangers of migrants entering the country. But do the facts bear them out?

You can safely apply Betteridge’s law of headlines here.

(oh, and the Daily Mail is a big source of all the ruckus. Not surprising, I guess.


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Comments:

  1. Is it only 80 years? Desperate families sending their children abroad alone for safety…
    Nicholas Winton has only just died

Goooaaaaaaaallllll!

Posted on August 12th, 2015 at 17:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

Dutch press already calls it the Goal of the Season (which just started…) but seeing it with commentators from Brazil makes it even better:


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http://abc.xyz/

Posted on August 11th, 2015 at 18:39 by John Sinteur in category: News

[The Tech Behind Each Letter In Google’s Alphabet :]

26 GIFs and photos showing Google’s visions for the future

I bet Page is pissed NASDAQ wouldn’t let him convert the stock symbol to something that alphabetically comes before AAPL.

 


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Comments:

  1. A is for Antitrust, averted once more;
    B is for Beta test, never shipped out the door.
    C is for Capital, all retained without tax;
    D is for Digitize, no more library stacks.

    E is for Evil, an idea we’re trying;
    F is for Facebook we’re thinking of buying.
    G is for Google, who peeks at your mail;
    H is for HA HA! Rely on us? Fail.

    I is for Internet, what we’ve got cornered.
    J’s for ‘Just doing what the NSA ordered’.
    K is for Keyhole, (cause looking ‘s our hobby).
    L’s for the Lava Lamps littering our lobby.

    M is for Mining, your data all day!
    N is for Nothing, that gets in our way.
    O is for Obscene, all the money we make;
    P is for Privacy, what you’ve got at stake.

    Q is for Qualms, which we’ve long since dispensed.
    R is for Robots, those we build for Defense!
    S is for Snooping, which won’t go away.
    T is for Taxes, you think that we pay?

    U is for Users, the product we sell.
    V is for Viral; in Newspeak, that’s swell.
    W’s for Web, where there’s profits galore;
    X is its rating (see Rule 34).

    http://abc.wtf/ redirects to Bing….

  2. Y is for Yahoo, we will crush those losers
    Z is for “free” Zoonoses, used to attract & devour our users

Somebody give John Brown a beer!

Posted on August 11th, 2015 at 14:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote]

“I am having a good Friday, I refuse to talk about the Kardashians today. You are on your own, Amy,” the anchor said before storming off. “I’ve had enough Kardashians. I can’t take anymore Kardashian stories on this show.”


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Comments:

  1. Mercy, perhaps the Revolution is upon us! (I’m still in my bathrobe.)

How the EU’s billions fund Brussels Beanos

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 20:36 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Move over, Dennis the Menace. The European Union has produced a series of cartoon strips, games and colouring books that rival the antics of Minnie the Minx, Desperate Dan and other classic comic characters.

The cartoons teach children how EU cash has funded fire engines, hospital wards and infrastructure as part of a drive to counter the impression that the 28-member bloc is wasteful.

Children can also learn about the intricacies of the Common Agricultural Policy, the work of competition lawyers and the virtues of free movement.

And the English title is “On the road to victory”.

I haven’t been able to track down the German language title. I guess it’s “Triumph des Willens”


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Comments:

  1. Reading that there Torygraph will turn you into a grumpy old man, dear.

Exploiting Android Users for Fun and Profit

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 20:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

So please, tell your Grandma I’m sorry. And to upgrade her browser.


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Ferguson: Police still killing unarmed black men one year later

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 18:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

So far this year, 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police – one every nine days, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings. During a single two-week period in April, three unarmed black men were shot and killed. All three shootings were either captured on video or, in one case, broadcast live on local TV.

Those 24 cases constitute a surprisingly small fraction of the 585 people shot and killed by police through Friday evening, according to The Post database. Most of those killed were white or Hispanic, and the vast majority of victims of all races were armed.

However, black men accounted for 40 percent of the 60 unarmed deaths, even though they make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population. The Post’s analysis shows that black men were seven times more likely than white men to die by police gunfire while unarmed.


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Comments:

  1. Logically then, the black men should be arming themselves. Er…

Cynical? Me?

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 17:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

Try to read this article in Vanity Fair without vomiting too much….

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

 

 

Okay. Now. Guess the reason this was published. No, not that, the real reason. I think it’s this.


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Comments:

  1. The game is fixed.
    You have to play or you lose.
    You always lose.
    Game over.

  2. On the article: Nothing new. Still the shallow American culture that has been around for a long time. Promoted endlessly by articles like this and many more other outlets. Maybe it is getting worse, who knows. Anyone know the stats for Tinder’s (and knock offs) use in our countries?

Catholic Bishops In Kenya Call For A Boycott Of Polio Vaccines

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 17:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Africa will mark one year without polio on Tuesday. The last case was in Somalia in 2014.

But last week, a polio vaccination campaign in Kenya faced an unlikely opponent: the country’s Conference of Catholic Bishops declared a boycott of the World Health Organization’s vaccination campaign, saying they needed to “test” whether ingredients contain a derivative of estrogen. Dr. Wahome Ngare of the Kenyan Catholic Doctor’s Association alleged that the presence of the female hormone could sterilize children.

Ngare is a practicing gynecologist with no infectious disease experience.

[Quote:]

“We are not in conflict with the Ministry of Health, but we have an apostolic and moral duty to ensure Kenyans are getting safe vaccines,” Bishop Philip Anyolo, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops chair, told journalists at a news conference in Nairobi.

No, in fact, you don’t. You’re a bishop, not a doctor, you don’t dispense medical information. There are telephones now in Kenya. You might have a moral duty to pick one up and talk to a doctor, or for all I care to the Pope about it (there is a new Papal physician who teaches Immunology and, if that doctor hasn’t been shoved onto a plane to sort this out from on high, the Pope’s rolodex is deep..) He’d set you straight. Apostolic duty? Fuck off.

 


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Comments:

  1. Kids with Polio can’t run as fast.

Adobe study finds there are 198 million adblocking users, growing 47% YoY

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 16:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:] (PDF)

  • Globally, the number of people using ad blocking software grew by 41% year over year.
  • 16% of the US online population blocked ads during Q2 2015.
  • Ad block usage in the United States grew 48% during the past year, increasing to 45 million monthly active users (MAUs) during Q2 2015.
  • Ad block usage in Europe grew by 35% during the past year, increasing to 77 million monthly active users during Q2 2015.
  • The estimated loss of global revenue due to blocked advertising during 2015 was $21.8B.
  • With the ability to block ads becoming an option on the new iOS 9, mobile is starting to get into the ad blocking game. Currently Firefox and Chrome lead the mobile space with 93% share of mobile ad blocking.

No – you didn’t “lose” 21 billion – that was never yours to begin with. But if you start measuring things that way, how much money is stolen from users in bandwidth to deliver ads?


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Comments:

  1. Online advertisements cost me serious $$. The cost in bandwidth for advertising image and video loads is excessive. The advertiser should be responsible for those costs, not the targeted person. Ad blockers? I will NEVER shut mine down until the advertisers take full responsibility for the costs, and then probably not since they are intrusive, disruptive, and just a pain in the posterior.

  2. So what alternative model could be used for funding content? A subscription? Micro-payments for page views? Tip jar?

    While we allow entities’ self-promotion to fund so much we end up with claptrap content (like the Vanity Fair article about Tindr) and ads that are maddening (although I successfully ignore them).

    It is the same problem with print media and TV.

  3. Sorry, it’s not my responsibility to come up with a viable business model for other people’s web sites.

    I hear this argument a lot from people: “but, but, then they won’t exist!” Maybe, maybe not, but all I hear when they make that argument from a web site like that is “unless you personally can figure out how to allow me to make money in another way and deliver that method to my doorstep free of charge, it is your moral obligation to allow me to shove as much shit down your throat as it takes”.

    No! Fuck off!

  4. Well said John. I will add this: The internet has become a cesspool. Maybe with out the money stream, a good bit the content in that cesspool will disappear. Maybe then it can once again become a decent information transport & research tool instead of a disgusting version of the home shopping network it is now.

  5. I think the question is a bit more subtle than John makes it out to be. When a site serves a page you requested bundled with ads or scripts you don’t want to load, one could respond in two different ways: filter out the stuff you don’t want, or, stop loading and not view the page.

    I think the latter is easier to defend than the former.

  6. With increasing frequency I follow a link only to be greeted with some full content covering piece of shit telling me I a) really need to subscribe to their newsletter, b) am an idiot for using adblock, c) some other inane reason I never get to read because my instinct does exactly that: close tab. Move on. Hell, for all I know they could be telling me I am the 10,000th visitor and I’ve won something. As if I care.

  7. Mykolas: “The internet has become a cesspool.” Yup. Can’t argue with that. It’s a true reflection of humanity. Chin up, pick your way around the edges and try not to fall in, as usual.

    @John: You suffer so we don’t have to. We are eternally grateful :-)

I may have a problem

Posted on August 10th, 2015 at 15:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

IAo01nS


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The Religious Right and the 1992 GOP Convention

Posted on August 9th, 2015 at 20:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. “America will always occupy a special place in God’s heart.”

    Some God. Some place.

  2. God is pissed at these dickheads! Can’t wait for their comeuppance!

  3. Makes you hope there really is a “Rapture”.

  4. Education in the U.S. is poor, especially science education. As long as this continues, you will see the politicians pandering to their ilk to whip them up and get votes. Quit honestly, I see little difference in the religious right of the U.S. and that of of ISIS or the Talaban.

“He Who Controls the Spice Controls the Universe”

Posted on August 8th, 2015 at 20:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Use of K2/Spice continues to rise, despite public health officials in many parts of America declaring it a national health crisis. But let’s take a look back. Like many in the American military where its use remains twice as popular as marijuana, some early users may have thought that K2/Spice (or “synthetic marijuana”) was a safer, more responsible alternative to weed for managing their substance abuse problems and for self-medicating anxiety disorders. After all, until recently, it was still sold legally throughout the country, and convenience stores everywhere sold the stuff.

But despite being legal and cheaper by the gram, for many, buying Spice turned out be a much worse bargain than buying weed–more physically addictive than weed, more likely to do short and long-term damage to the body and mind. Some users have even claimed it’s more addictive than crack. It’s not always clear what’s even being sold as Spice: Anybody with a few thousand bucks can get their own custom synthetic produced and shipped to them from any number of Chinese labs serving the market via the internet without traveling beyond their own bedrooms. Spice’s reach now extends to every region in the country and beyond, recently being blamed for a string of suicides in Alabama, and “120 emergency cases in a single week in April” in New York City.

From the comments there, I couldn’t have said it better:

If only there were some sort of safe, natural version of synthetic marijuana; surely the government would be doing whatever they could to get people access to it.


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Comments:

  1. I have been following Vice’s “Narcomania” on this topic for a while. This is horrifying.

    Legalize drugs now. Regulate them. Fund mental health programs.

Breaking Down the Jade Helm Clusterf*ck

Posted on August 8th, 2015 at 12:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

We all had a good laugh at the folks down in Texas (and elsewhere) who got their camo longjohns in a knot over Operation Jade Helm, the military exercise that was interpreted by those with severe cases of the prion disease as a covert op aimed at the subjugation of American liberty, which was going to be hustled down through secret tunnels and into the basements of several abandoned Wal Mart outlets. I am only exaggerating this a little.

[..]

Naturally, this whole delusion was fanned on the scurvier precincts of the airwaves and the skeevier frontiers of the Intertoobz by the usual suspects. And it was all pretty funny, until the last couple of days. First, a couple of local gomers decided to take potshots at an army base in Mississippi. And then, down in the newly insane state of North Carolina, shit really got real in a hurry.

Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, are accused of stockpiling guns and ammunition, as well as attempting to manufacture pipe bombs and live grenades from military surplus “dummy” grenades, according unsealed criminal complaints released Monday. The close to 60 pages of information compiled by federal authorities since July include allegations Litteral planned to makes explosives out of tennis balls covered in nails and coffee cans filled with ball bearings. According to the documents, both Litteral and Campbell spoke openly about their opposition to Jade Helm 15, a series of ongoing special forces training missions in several Southwestern states that has drawn suspicion from residents who fear it is part of a planned military takeover.

There is a real wildness at the edge of our politics, and the far frontier of political respectability is not as distant as it once was. It would have been politically perilous for Abbott, Cruz, and Paul simply to have dismissed the Jade Helm truther theories as the unfortunate product of sad and angry minds. For all the talk about how Donald Trump has tapped into some general dissatisfaction with government and some ill-defined populist moment, the energy behind his campaign comes mainly from these sad and angry places, deep in the tangled underbrush of fear, hate, and profitable ignorance, where it’s all funny until somebody builds a bomb.

 


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  1. When honkies realize they’re losers, they get peeved, no question. The convergence of reality TV and entertainment (Fox news) is bizarre but makes piles of loot. Don’t we wish that bastard Edward Bernays were around to see what he’s done?

    I prefer Red State Update.

  2. It seems one of these wackos did build a pipe bomb, and promptly blew his leg off. I think they call this Karma in India.

  3. Sue, do you realize that when you refer to “honkies” in the US you are referring to all white people?

  4. @Gene: Yes. But perhaps not you. You’re probably not a loser :-)

  5. I doubt non-whites were too concerned about a Federal takeover. Probably just the opposite.

Donald Trump Says He Can Buy Politicians, None of His Rivals Disagree

Posted on August 8th, 2015 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Earlier in the debate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had stated that Trump “buys and sells politicians of all stripes.” He wasn’t so much complaining that big donors like Trump can buy and sell politicians as grumbling that Trump should only purchase Republicans.


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  1. An old cynic (Mark Twain?) once said, “If voting made a difference it would be illegal.”

  2. Sue; I think that the actual Twain quotation was “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” Ciao, Grumpie

Make the Magic go away

Posted on August 7th, 2015 at 12:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

I think people should learn an assembly language as early as possible. I don’t expect them to use that assembler for very long because working in assembly language is slow and painful (and joyous!). My goal in advocating that everyone learn such a language is to make sure that the magic is destroyed.

If you’ve never worked in machine language, it’s almost impossible for you to really understand what’s going on. If you program in Java, or C#, or C++, or even C, there is magic. But after you have written some machine language, the magic goes away. You realize that you could write a C compiler in machine language. You realize that you could write a JVM, a C++ compiler, a Ruby interpreter. It would take a bit of time and effort. But you could do it. The magic is gone.


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  1. I think the same is true for genomics and genetics. If everyone was at least aware of how the rudimentary bits work there would be a lot less silliness about the magic of creation, GMOs and Frankenfoods, for example.

    It’s just code :-)

  2. Sue, a couple of things about GMO’s. When GMO salmon and shrimp escape thier pens and breed with what’s left of the wild ones, the original code is lost. Forever. What will have been lost? If we ever know, and the effects are harmful to human existence, it will be too late. The wild salmon will be gone. Forever.

    GMO crops are bred to withstand ever-increasing doses of herbicides and pesticides. The target weeds and pests eventually build immunity and the next round of escalation ensues. Now an element of Agent Orange is being combined with Roundup. To say that oversight of the toxicity to non-target organisms is lax is an understatement. There’s an arrogance to the way we interact with the non-human world and it will bring us to a premature end.

  3. @John D: I share your concern about the environmental risks and damage of some GMOs (or rather crop monocultures and unsafe industrial farming practices, not only limited to GMOs).

    However, I’m tired of hearing people go on about the fact that some code was copied from a fish and put into a rutabaga* and that it isn’t “natural” and the result is somehow toxic.

    *Just kidding. The rutabaga (swede or mangel-wurzel for our British listeners) is perfect as it is.


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