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Iraqi warplanes kill ISIS commander of Heet and 22 of his aides

Posted on November 26th, 2014 at 22:26 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia


Al-Anbar (IraqiNews.com) On Wednesday, the president of al-Baghdadi Council Malollah al-Abidi announced, that the ISIS military leader of Heet district and 22 of his key aides have been killed in an air strike yesterday.

Al-Abidi stated for IraqiNews, “In the late hours of yesterday, Iraqi warplanes conducted an air strike against ISIS ranks, destroying 5 armored vehicles in an area located 70 km west of Ramadi. The air strike also resulted in killing the ISIS military leader of Heet, known as Sannan Moteb alongside 22 of his key aides.”

I guess he couldn’t…


( •_•)>⌐■-■


…take the heet.

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Posted on November 26th, 2014 at 20:00 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Posted on November 26th, 2014 at 15:30 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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  1. At the same time, the country is going to the dogs.

Killings by Utah police outpacing gang, drug, child-abuse homicides

Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 16:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by police than by gang members.

Or drug dealers. Or from child abuse.

And so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives — 13, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan — than has violence between spouses and dating partners.

As the tally of fatal police shootings rises, law enforcement watchdogs say it is time to treat deadly force as a potentially serious public safety problem.


A Salt Lake Tribune review of nearly 300 homicides, using media reports, state crime statistics, medical-examiner records and court records, shows that use of force by police is the second-most common circumstance under which Utahns kill each other, surpassed only by intimate partner violence.

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Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 14:55 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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  1. Wow, just look, look!!! That is near perfect kerning. Cudos!

  2. he’s a designer using indesign with a decent font — (that’s also why he’s so sensitive about the decoration)

Woman saying ‘we’re ready for Ferguson’ accidentally shoots self in head, dies

Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 14:46 by John Sinteur in category: Evolution in action


The female victim, identified in a police report as Becca Campbell, 26, was a passenger in a car involved in an auto accident. Her 33-year-old boyfriend was driving, the sources told CNN.

The boyfriend, who wasn’t identified, told police that the couple had bought a gun because of fears of unrest related to the pending grand jury decision on the shooting of Michael Brown, the sources said.

He told investigators that as they drove late Friday night, the victim waved a gun, jokingly saying the couple were ready for Ferguson, the sources said.

He ducked to get out of the way of the gun and accidentally rear-ended another car. He said the accident caused the gun to go off and she was struck by a bullet in the head, the sources said.

The victim was rushed to a hospital but died.

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  1. Darwin at work! Anybody that stupid should definitely not be reproducing…

Ferguson’s Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores

Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 14:40 by John Sinteur in category: News



Among Asian-American business owners in Ferguson, and other business owners in the St. Louis suburb, there is a deep concern over whether insurance will cover the damages from the looting. Many insurance contracts expressly consider civil unrest a reason not to pay out policies.

“It’s a fear over whether the insurance cover the damage, and repeated damage,” said Kathleen Osborn, executive director of the St. Louis Regional Business Council, referring to the small businesses in Ferguson her group is trying to assist. “Some of them are so small they don’t have the expertise to fill out the insurance forms.”

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Symantec uncovers Regin, a highly advanced stealth spying tool developed by a nation state

Posted on November 24th, 2014 at 14:48 by John Sinteur in category: News


In the world of malware threats, only a few rare examples can truly be considered groundbreaking and almost peerless. What we have seen in Regin is just such a class of malware. Regin is an extremely complex piece of software that can be customized with a wide range of different capabilities which can be deployed depending on the target. It is built on a framework that is designed to sustain long-term intelligence-gathering operations by remaining under the radar. It goes to extraordinary lengths to conceal itself and its activities on compromised computers. Its stealth combines many of the most advanced techniques that we have ever seen in use.

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Startup bros trying to bio-hack vaginas is the problem with Silicon Valley

Posted on November 24th, 2014 at 13:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


If you are a woman, you might wonder which problem this is really solving. If you are a woman and have heretofore eschewed the douchebag industrial complex, you might, in fact, be perfectly happy with your healthy vagina’s natural smell and have never felt the slightest urge to have the scent of fuzzy fruits waft up from your lady garden. And you almost certainly would wonder why two guys have such firm ideas of how your vagina should smell.

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  1. I don’t see, or smell, the problem. Non-prescription cosmetics, perfumes, lubes, hair and body “care” products are a huge business. Cheaper to develop than drugs, in general you don’t have to prove efficacy, just safety. It’s all gravy if you can get people to buy it and, er, use it.

    Douchebag industrial complex? Blimey! I’ll do the worrying about climate change etc. if you take on the worrying about douche flavors, madam.

  2. And if you have a yeast infection, you might not wonder what problem this is solving.

Grammar Pirates

Posted on November 23rd, 2014 at 16:28 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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  1. Methinks this is clever.

  2. Yarr i reckon it be clever fer us barnacle-covered band ‘o pirates

  3. Avast behind!

DOJ Tells Apple Kids Will Die Because of Their Encryption Stand

Posted on November 21st, 2014 at 18:40 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Security


This week the Wall Street Journal reported that Department of Justice officials recently met with Google and Apple, and basically told them that their decision to empower consumers would result in the death of children:

The No. 2 official at the Justice Department delivered a blunt message last month to Apple Inc. executives: New encryption technology that renders locked iPhones impervious to law enforcement would lead to tragedy. A child would die, he said, because police wouldn’t be able to scour a suspect’s phone, according to people who attended the meeting.

The Journal reports that Apple wasn’t moved by the DOJ’s argument, and found the “dead-child scenario” to be “inflammatory.”

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  1. “Think of the children!” has got to be the penultimate refuge of the scoundrel.

Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt on Journalists

Posted on November 19th, 2014 at 16:09 by John Sinteur in category: News


There is something very wrong with this company. It’s like Richard Nixon came back from the grave and is running a startup.

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  1. Uber and “a French escort service?” Quelle horreur! Didn’t the lady know that tarts and taxis go together like, well, brie and baguettes?

Barbie F*cks It Up Again

Posted on November 19th, 2014 at 16:07 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


We couldn’t just roll our eyes at how insulting this book is, how dangerous it is for young minds, how it’s a perfect example of the way women and girls are perceived to “understand” the tech world, and how frustrating it can be when nobody believes this is how we’re treated. Just about every review we couldfind on this book had readers equally offended and frustrated.

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  1. Right, what do you expect from corporate f*cking America? Buying your kids corporate crap will just make their make their minds full of crap. Let’s see, a quick search http://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/03/21/books-about-notable-women or http://www.powells.com/section/childrens-nonfiction/women-in-history/

  2. The thing I noticed right away was (Computer Engineer?). Whoever put that book together must have gotten their information from movies. They portrayed her as a user at best. And they portrayed her as a stereotypical dumb blond. I guess it is true that she hasn’t changed in all these years.

  3. I agree with Mykolas. It’s not just on the “woman issue” but anti-human on so many things. And it’s not just America.

Religiosity In Europe, The Glass Ceiling And Doctor Performance

Posted on November 19th, 2014 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


“One additional year of schooling reduces individuals’ propensity to pray every day by about 10 percentage points. Likewise, an additional year of full-time education reduces the propensity to attend religious services at least once a week by 10 percentage points. We also find that schooling reduces the propensity to believe in the protective power of lucky charms, and it decreases the tendency to consult horoscopes, and to take into account horoscopes in daily life.”

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  1. Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore

Religion is a great way for people with mental illness to seem normal.

Posted on November 17th, 2014 at 16:09 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Pastafarian News


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  1. lol, if this person was trying to pass as normal, then FAIL.

    Any person, religious or otherwise would find this kooky.

  2. Normal, yup. Attaching the wooden crosses _before_ deciding what colour they should be…

  3. Are you sure he isn’t just trying to be prepared for when the vampires attack?

  4. “Religion is a great way for people with mental illness to seem normal”

    Well, so is being a rabid football fan. They actually seem more normal than this.

  5. I wonder what this picture would look like if Jesus had been killed by an M-16?

  6. Think of the other images that would follow. Congregations kneeling and praying in front of a giant M-16. Priests and nuns and all manner of godbotherers wearing tiny M-16s around their necks. Bowing and genuflecting before the M-16; blessing and comforting with the sacred M-16. Churches built in the shape of an M-16; television evangelists building swimming pools in the shape of an M-16. Etc…

  7. I have read that Christianity is unique in using an instrument of torture as its symbol. I’m sure there are other less well known/pagan religions that do something similar tho.

  8. @Michael: As to your first point, that’s because football fans believe in things that are, sort of, possible – even if they may be sadly deluded in the case of some individuals.

    As to your second point, this goes to show that “loser chic” wasn’t actually an invention of the 1990’s.

Getting the word out

Posted on November 16th, 2014 at 10:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


A groundbreaking study traces toxins from Alberta’s oilsands to northern Alberta’s wildlife, vegetation and a cluster of cancer cases among First Nations in the region.

Never heard of it? That’s no surprise.

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  1. Even the language has been manipulated; nasty, dirty tar sand deposits have been cleaned up into job- and revenue-providing oilsands. The Canadian government (still using Mr. Rove’s playbook) won’t acknowledge anything difficult. They just don’t show up.

    Their base likes: war, the flag, extractive industries, (ice) hockey, property rights, big trucks, climate change, agribusiness.
    Dislikes: immigrants, first nations rights, women’s rights, environmentalists, civil servants.

    It’s a pity because there are a series of conversations that are overdue and they’re not completely wrong on everything.

  2. Obama on Keystone XL: “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.”

  3. @johno: It’s one of the sad ironies of this development. For some reason digging this series of big fugging holes in the ground over 25 years and squeezing out that oil stuff into buckets wasn’t enough. They’re now competing for train tankers with explosive Nebraska crude.

  4. I’m really tired of all these studies that break the ground in so many places. Nature is precious, they should leave the ground alone.

Beat the Tube: London sprinter manages to get off a train, run to the next stop, and board it again

Posted on November 16th, 2014 at 10:12 by Paul Jay in category: News


So while the distance on the ground is only 0.1 miles, the journey time on the train is only a minute and a half, not to mention getting from the underground to street-level and back again! We’re in awe of this guy and relieved that he didn’t inadvertently knock down a dear old lady while pelting through a crowded station.

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  1. Купил както текстильное оборудование могу рассказать что полностью доволен приобретением, советую всем! заказ делал через сайтa интернет магазина, обработали быстрее чем я думал, консультанты для сайте вежливые и отзывчивые,нравиться было.)) Вот ссылка для самопроизвольно сайт, кому нужно все для текстеля

Syrian ‘hero boy’ video faked by Norwegian director

Posted on November 15th, 2014 at 12:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


Millions of YouTube viewers have been captivated by the ‘Syrian hero boy’ who manages to rescue a little girl while under gunfire. Now a group of Norwegian filmmakers have told BBC Trending they are behind it. They say it was filmed on location in Malta this summer with the intention of being presented as real.

Lars Klevberg, a 34-year-old film director based in Oslo, wrote a script after watching news coverage of the conflict in Syria. He says he deliberately presented the film as reality in order to generate a discussion about children in conflict zones.

“If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope,” he said. “We shot it in Malta in May this year on a set that was used for other famous movies like Troy and Gladiator,” Klevberg said. “The little boy and girl are professional actors from Malta. The voices in the background are Syrian refugees living in Malta.”

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Posted on November 15th, 2014 at 11:08 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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81% of Tor users can be de-anonymised by analysing router information, research indicates

Posted on November 15th, 2014 at 10:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


Research undertaken between 2008 and 2014 suggests that more than 81% of Tor clients can be ‘de-anonymised’ – their originating IP addresses revealed – by exploiting the ‘Netflow’ technology that Cisco has built into its router protocols, and similar traffic analysis software running by default in the hardware of other manufacturers.

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You should never underestimate how far bankers will go to game the system

Posted on November 14th, 2014 at 14:53 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


This time, it’s a $4.2 billion fine. That’s how much UBS, HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Scotland are collectively paying to U.S., U.K., and Swiss regulators for rigging the foreign-exchange, or FX, market.

Just another day on Wall Street.

This latest malfeasance was something regulators hadn’t worried about before, because they didn’t think it was possible. The $5.3 trillion FX market, you see, should be far, far too big for any one bank to profitably manipulate it or front-run their clients. And it is. The problem, though, is that big banks have just colluded instead for the past decade. Traders at supposedly competing firms worked together to rig the benchmark FX rates in their favor. They deliberately triggered clients’ stop-loss orders—the price they’d automatically sell at to limit losses—to boost their own profits. Along with revealing what trades their customers were about to make, which would let them all make it first.

And, of course, the bankers set up chatrooms charmingly named things like “the 3 musketeers” where they planned all this out in semi-grammatical English. “I’d prefer we join forces” to try to push the price of the euro up, one trader said. “Perfick,” the other replied. “Let’s double team them.”

The lesson is that, with so much money at stake, you should never underestimate how far bankers will go to game the system.

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ISPs Removing Their Customers’ Email Encryption

Posted on November 14th, 2014 at 11:13 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


Recently, Verizon was caught tampering with its customer’s web requests to inject a tracking super-cookie. Another network-tampering threat to user safety has come to light from other providers: email encryption downgrade attacks. In recent months, researchers have reported ISPs in the US and Thailand intercepting their customers’ data to strip a security flag—called STARTTLS—from email traffic. The STARTTLS flag is an essential security and privacy protection used by an email server to request encryption when talking to another server or client.1

By stripping out this flag, these ISPs prevent the email servers from successfully encrypting their conversation, and by default the servers will proceed to send email unencrypted. Some firewalls, including Cisco’s PIX/ASA firewall do this in order to monitor for spam originating from within their network and prevent it from being sent. Unfortunately, this causes collateral damage: the sending server will proceed to transmit plaintext email over the public Internet, where it is subject to eavesdropping and interception.

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The Truth About the Wars

Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 16:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


We did not understand the enemy, a guerrilla network embedded in a quarrelsome, suspicious civilian population. We didn’t understand our own forces, which are built for rapid, decisive conventional operations, not lingering, ill-defined counterinsurgencies. We’re made for Desert Storm, not Vietnam. As a general, I got it wrong. Like my peers, I argued to stay the course, to persist and persist, to “clear/hold/build” even as the “hold” stage stretched for months, and then years, with decades beckoning. We backed ourselves season by season into a long-term counterinsurgency in Iraq, then compounded it by doing likewise in Afghanistan. The American people had never signed up for that.

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  1. “Maybe an incomplete and imperfect effort to contain the Islamic State is as good as it gets. Perhaps the best we can or should do is to keep it busy, “degrade” its forces, harry them or kill them, and seek the long game at the lowest possible cost.”

    Aside from his frank admissions, I’m sure you caught his conclusion above. I think most Americans agree with him.

  2. He still joins up the Afghanistan war and the 2nd Iraq war. They were (and are) different. (The decision to go to war in each place was above his pay grade, I’m sure.)

    It didn’t matter whether they were fighting as if it was the previous war, or the one before that. (They also lost the Vietnam war, I seem to remember, and they did have a fairly clear objective there.)

    Empires have trouble with these kind of “away game” conflicts. “Declare victory and leave” is Gwnne Dyer’s advice. It is embarrassing and annoying but not an existential threat to the US.

    Pity the people who are killed, injured, terrorized or displaced in the process, not the disillusioned functionaries.

  3. FWIW, Mr. Dyer’s position: http://gwynnedyer.com/2014/terrorism-101/

  4. Not a traditional empire, Sue. Most empires (Greece, Rome, Persia, British, Russian, etc) annihilate and then plant their flag over their conquest. I give the functionaries a break and the “people who are killed, injured, terrorized or displaced in the process” who allowed the truly evil men and their enablers to spring up from within their midst, well, I assign them a modicum of responsibility for the condition they find themselves in. I do feel for today’s children in those parts of the world but my guess is they’ll grow up and continue to touch up the bullseye that the previous generations have maintained rather than paint over it and break the cycle.

  5. These countries seem to prefer isolation, and I agree completely with that.

  6. @Rob: An empire of Western democracies at the least, with the US at the head. On the whole, it has many advantages, which is why some people are prepared to die trying to get in illegally.

    If people don’t have democracy, I don’t see how they can be blamed for their government. To step out of line is to get arrested, tortured or killed. There were large anti-status quo demonstrations in the last couple of years in Iran, Bahrain, Egypt (to name but a few) that were ruthlessly suppressed. Hong Kong…who knows?

    (What I don’t understand is why many people in democracies don’t vote, but that’s another debate entirely :-)

  7. Yeah, who wouldn’t want to vote in the next election with Hillary and Jeb the front runners?

  8. I don’t see why the people can’t be blamed for their government, regardless of what type it is. The United States wasn’t always a democracy. She was a group of colonies under the thumb of the most powerful nation on Earth. Independence from tyranny is possible. The price now is the same as it was in 1776. No inflation in that economy … :)

    I voted for the first time in 1984, nine years after I was eligible. I’m disappointed in myself for that. I’ve missed one or two since but I mostly get to the polls when elections come around. I think one of the problems with voter apathy is that there are just entirely too many elections. Here in Louisiana, there are elections in every even-numbered year and we elect our governor every four years in an odd-numbered year. There are elections every year and sometimes even more than one per year. My precinct had over 70% turnout last week. Pretty high for a midterm. If we held elections every 500 years like they do in other parts of the world, I think we could expect higher turnout … :) The bigger and simpler reason we have voter apathy here, though, is because the average citizen goes through their daily life with almost zero deference to government. It’s simply not that important to them who’s in office because they think it makes no difference in their life.

  9. @chas: I’d pick the woman…isn’t her brother an ex-president or something?

    @Rob: Yup, we get the government we deserve :-)

  10. Wow, Sue. That last comment was wonderfully cutting in context. Well done.

Cable companies ‘stunned’ by Obama’s ‘extreme’ net neutrality proposals

Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 10:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


America’s major telecoms and cable companies and business groups came out fighting on Monday after Barack Obama called for tough new regulations for broadband that would protect net neutrality, saying they were “stunned” by the president’s proposals.

The president called for new regulations to protect “net neutrality” – the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. His move came as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalises a new set of proposals for regulation after the old rules were overturned by a series of court defeats at the hands of cable and telecom companies.

In response, Republican senator Ted Cruz went so far as to call Obama’s proposal for regulating the web “Obamacare for the internet”, saying on Twitter “the internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

The “Obamacare for the internet”? What does that even mean?

Something that’s actually in the best interests of the american people to have, but they are going to spin it so the american people are against it, because corporations can make more money screwing over people then they can giving them the service they actually want.

Or, if you have a pre-existing internet connection, you can get another provider?

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  1. Like most things internet, net neutrality is thoroughly misunderstood here and Republicans are masters of misunderstanding. :)

  2. The “Obamacare for the internet”? What does that even mean?—- It is code to the ditto heads, “You are supposed to hate this.”

    Republicans like Ted Cruz are relentless when it comes to hating all things Obama. These people have only one goal, total slavery for the American people. They are so beholden to large corporations they will do anything they say.

    PS, Ted Cruz was born in Canada– Canada will you please come and get your Ted Cruz, we are tired of him already.

  3. Sorry Joe, he is where he wants to be, and it’s a free country isn’t it?

    (Joking aside, I agree with your observation about corporatism. I am sorry to say that I don’t see all this ending well, but perhaps I am just a silly old woman.)

  4. He’s my senator. When I sent him a letter telling him I support net neutrality I got this awesome response:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding net neutrality. Input from my fellow Texans significantly informs my decision-making and helps me better represent your interests.

    The FCC’s latest ‘net neutrality’ order, a proposal to give itself the authority to dictate how Internet services will be provided to millions of Americas, would stifle innovation and subject the Internet to nanny-state regulation from Washington. Twice, a federal court has ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate the internet, and the FCC has yet utterly failed to present evidence of an actual problem that this proposal is supposed to address. This approach must be rejected.

    Since 1996, more than $1 trillion has been invested in broadband infrastructure in the United States, which has led to an explosion of new content, applications, and Internet accessibility. Congress, not an unelected commission, should take the lead on modernizing our telecommunications laws, and the FCC must not endanger future investments by stifling growth in the online sector, which remains a much-needed bright spot in our struggling economy.

    Thank you again for sharing your views with me. Please feel free to contact me in the future about any issue important to your family. It is an honor to serve you and the people of Texas.

  5. @jen

    well, we see who’s pocket he’s in. As a cynic, I cannot say I’m surprised. Most of them are sock cookers as far as I’m concerned.

    I seem to recall a Texas legislator opposing wind farms a few years ago on the basis that they harm the environment by slowing down the wind. Big oil? just a hunch.

    Don’t feel bad. Here in the “great” state of Alabama, we have our share of wankers too. (facepalm)

  6. @Michael: Great Alabama’s Wanker Share is a great band name, tho…

You’re the bearer of the sequential designator that defines how we view and interact with you.

Posted on November 11th, 2014 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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  1. Oh, how thoughtful…it’s so embarrassing to have one’s name called in public:

    “Frau Hitler? Dr. Mengele will see you now!”

RIP: Click Tappet (1937-2014)

Posted on November 9th, 2014 at 16:07 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Tom Magliozzi who, along with his brother Ray, hosted NPR’s hit comedy show Car Talk for the last 37 years, died Monday morning from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. “Turns out he wasn’t kidding,” said Ray. “He really couldn’t remember last week’s puzzler.”

“Don’t die like my brother!” was a comment deleted by a moderator on the NPR website. Tom would have cracked up.


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  1. I read a few days ago that when Tom died, we had lost a national treasure. We have. If there’s an afterlife, I hope Tom has a good one. He deserves it. I know I’m gonna miss him and so will many others.

    Enjoy the road ahead Tom!

  2. I will avoid puns here and simply say it is always sad to loose such exceptional talent.


Posted on November 9th, 2014 at 12:47 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Meet ‘Dr. Chaps’ Gordon Klingenschmitt: Colorado’s New Anti-Gay, Demon Hunting State Legislator

Posted on November 8th, 2014 at 16:20 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane


Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, a radical anti-gay Religious Right activist who brags of having once tried to rid of woman of the “foul spirit of lesbianism” through an exorcism and who openly proclaims that “American law needs to reflect God’s law” and that our foreign policy must be based on the Bible, won election to the Colorado House of Representatives last night.

Klingenschmitt, who wrote a book about how President Obama is possessed by demons and once performed an exorcism of Obama, ran an utterly embarrassing campaign yet nonetheless managed to defeat his Democratic opponent by nearly 40 points.

Since Klingenschmitt is now officially an elected Republican legislator, it seems like a good opportunity to take a look back at the radical views he will now be bringing into the Colorado legislature.

Klingenschmitt is a viciously anti-gay theocrat who believes that gay people “want your soul” and may sexually abuse their own children, which is why he says they should face government discrimination since only people who are going to heaven are entitled to equal treatment by the government

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  1. So…we’re either going to have a rich vein of future comedy gold or be driven off a cliff? I could die laughing.

  2. And what is the difference between this Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt and the leaders of the likes ISIS and other fanatical theocratic morons? Nothing. Both will drive the world off the cliff and into murderous dark ages.

The profit motive in US education reform

Posted on November 8th, 2014 at 15:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


Unfortunately, introducing children to classic works of literature won’t raise their abysmal test scores…. This is because standardized tests are not based on general knowledge. As I learned in the course of my investigation, they are based on specific knowledge contained in specific sets of books: the textbooks created by the test makers.

[But] there’s simply too little money in the education budget. The Elements of Literature textbook costs $114.75. However, in 2012–2013, Tilden (like every other middle school in Philadelphia) was only allocated $30.30 per student to buy books—and that amount, which was barely a quarter the price of one textbook, was supposed to cover every subject, not just one. My own calculations show that the average Philadelphia school had only 27 percent of the books required to teach its curriculum in 2012-2013, and it would have cost $68 million to pay for all the books schools need.

-From Meredith Broussard’s article in The Atlantic about standardized testing and how Philadelphia schools track (and afford) the textbooks necessary to pass.

In an interview with EdSurge, a trade outlet, Shelton explained that the Common Core standards will allow education companies to produce products that “can scale across many markets,” overcoming the “fragmented procurement market” that has plagued investors seeking to enter the K-12 sector. Moreover, Shelton and his team manage an education innovation budget, awarding grants to charter schools and research centers to advance the next breakthrough in education technology. Increased research and development in education innovation, Shelton wrote in testimony to Congress, will spark the next “equivalent of Google or Microsoft to lead the global learning technology market.” He added, “I want it to be a US company.”

-From Lee Fang’s article in The Nation how US education reform creates openings for private investors.

[An]n in-depth look into the district’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to close one South Ward school reveals how real estate concerns and facilities funding increasingly drive neighborhood school closings and the expansion of privately managed charter schools. By allocating millions of dollars in little-known bonds exclusively to charters while imposing austerity on public facilities, the state has quietly stacked the deck for charters, leaving neighborhood schools to molder in decline… Bringing a charter into Hawthorne could allow the state to scrimp on renovation costs. Charters’ access to bonds, Roberts says, allows them to “improve these community assets” – that is, school houses – “and allows the district to continue to operate. And keeps the district viable.” This saves the state, which controls Newark schools, from paying to fix the very schools it let fall into disrepair.

From Owen Davis’ article in truth-out.org about Charter Schools’ access to bonds not available to public schools in New Jersey.

Lastly, this hasn’t happened yet but if passed into law would be truly outrageous:

Yes, every profession has means of defrocking people who commit egregious and unpardonable offenses. But– and I’m going to repeat this because I’m afraid your This Can’t Be Real filter is keeping you from seeing the words that I’m typing– Massachusetts proposes to take your license to teach away if you have a couple of low evaluations.

From Curmudgucation.

All links from Observational Epidemiolgy.

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  1. Home school has meant religious fanaticism heretofore in the U.S. But moments like these may spawn the development of home school collectives. Corporate education is a testament to the deep corruption of the U.S. political system. Corporate education takes the fun and thrill of learning out children and turns it into a hated chore. What a better way to to create a nation of drone. Time for a revolt.

All diseases…

Posted on November 8th, 2014 at 10:23 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane


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  1. It’s a real gift to comedy that some people don’t take their medications…

  2. The driver was more than like an X ICT person who was push over the edge by one to many BSODs.

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