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Unpopular Opinion : The crisis in modern masculinity

Posted on March 18th, 2018 at 16:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


On the evening of 30 January 1948, five months after the independence and partition of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was walking to a prayer meeting at his temporary home in New Delhi when he was shot three times, at point-blank range. He collapsed and died instantly. His assassin, originally feared to be Muslim, turned out to be Nathuram Godse, a Hindu Brahmin from western India. Godse, who made no attempt to escape, said in court that he felt compelled to kill Gandhi since the leader with his womanly politics was emasculating the Hindu nation – in particular, with his generosity to Muslims. Godse is a hero today in an India utterly transformed by Hindu chauvinists – an India in which Mein Kampf is a bestseller, a political movement inspired by European fascists dominates politics and culture, and Narendra Modi, a Hindu supremacist accused of mass murder, is prime minister. For all his talk of Hindu genius, Godse flagrantly plagiarised the fictions of European ethnic-racial chauvinists and imperialists. For the first years of his life he was raised as a girl, with a nose ring, and later tried to gain a hard-edged masculine identity through Hindu supremacism. Yet for many struggling young Indians today Godse represents, along with Adolf Hitler, a triumphantly realised individual and national manhood.

The moral prestige of Gandhi’s murderer is only one sign among many of what seems to be a global crisis of masculinity. Luridly retro ideas of what it means to be a strong man have gone mainstream even in so-called advanced nations. In January Jordan B Peterson, a Canadian self-help writer who laments that “the west has lost faith in masculinity” and denounces the “murderous equity doctrine” espoused by women, was hailed in the New York Times as “the most influential public intellectual in the western world right now”.

This is, hopefully, an exaggeration.

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The moon

Posted on March 15th, 2018 at 17:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

A New View of the Moon from Alex Gorosh on Vimeo.

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Posted on March 15th, 2018 at 11:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Stephen Hawking, cosmology’s brightest star, dies aged 76

Posted on March 14th, 2018 at 8:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


Hawking once estimated he worked only 1,000 hours during his three undergraduate years at Oxford. In his finals, he came borderline between a first and second class degree. Convinced that he was seen as a difficult student, he told his viva examiners that if they gave him a first he would move to Cambridge to pursue his PhD. Award a second and he threatened to stay. They opted for a first.


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  1. RIP Stephen Hawking!

  2. Sad news.

  3. Farewell, you who has slipped the bonds of this surly Earth, and may you brighten the stars with your energy.

  4. Such a pity his voice is windows-only

  5. Too bad he passed before we had the technology to download his brain.

  6. “One of Hawking’s great regrets in life was not having an opportunity to run over Margaret Thatcher’s toes.”

    -Kitty Ferguson, Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind.

White House declines to endorse UK view that Russia was behind nerve agent attack in England

Posted on March 13th, 2018 at 10:17 by John Sinteur in category: News


The White House has declined to endorse the UK government’s assessment that Russia was behind the recent attempted assassination of a former double agent in Salisbury, England.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was “highly likely” that the Russian government was behind the attack that has left Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ill, calling it “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.”

But when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked repeatedly about the incident at a press conference in Washington DC later on Monday, she would not say whether the American government agreed with this attribution, and did not mention Russia by name.

“The use of a highly lethal nerve agent against UK citizens on UK soil is an outrage,” Sanders said in response to a question about the attack and Russia’s role. “The attack was reckless, indiscriminate, and irresponsible. We offer the fullest condemnation.”

I’ll just quote a reddit comment, I think.

“You know I spoke with Vladimir, he calls me Donny, great guy, almost as great as me. They love him over there, they really do, you should see the polls, spectacular numbers. If Crooked Hillary wouldn’t have cheated I would have had numbers that good. I will in 2020 let me tell you right now. Vladimir has it figured out, no collusion, none of it. He says he didn’t nerve gas attack, he said it to me on the phone, so he didn’t.

I asked him a second time, twice, to get the truth. I always get the truth. I said, ‘Vlad,’ I call him Vlad. Which only his best friends call him. He said ‘Donny, no.’ I really believe what he says. He’s an honest man, like me. I’m a hugely honest man, I may be the most honest. The word honorable has been tossed around. Can I say that? I think I can. The fake new media lies about my honesty. And I say, NO COLLUSION, NO COLLUSION. They don’t believe me, believe me. I’m honest. The best kind of honest.”

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  1. Putin just misses his old KGB days. But, his “License to Kill” is much broader now.

YouTube, the Great Radicalizer

Posted on March 13th, 2018 at 8:26 by John Sinteur in category: News


At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.

Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.

Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.

Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons.

It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.

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The race to conquer the Arctic – the world’s final frontier

Posted on March 12th, 2018 at 21:05 by John Sinteur in category: News


Climate change is the crucial precondition. In August 2017, the Russian-owned Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, accomplished a world-record voyage from Norway to South Korea in only 19 days by taking the Northern Sea Route (along Russia’s Arctic coast from Murmansk to the Bering Strait). Had it followed the usual route via the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean, the journey would have taken almost a month. But the recent melting of the Arctic ice cap is transforming global shipping and international geopolitics.

The Russians are constructing 15 new LNG supertankers, each with built-in ice-breaker capacity – to add to their existing fleet of 40 ice-breakers. And they aren’t the only ones. At the end of the 19th century the great powers engaged in a scramble for Africa. Now, in the 21st century, a scramble for the Arctic is unfolding. Across one of the bleakest landscapes of the world, the race is on for gas, oil and fish and to control the emerging shipping lanes of the High North.

The Arctic is at issue, above all, because nobody owns it. Unlike Antarctica – governed since 1959 by the Antarctic Treaty, which established the continent as a scientific preserve and banned military activity – the polar region of the north is one of the least regulated places on earth. There are more rules even in outer space. All the Arctic states are now jockeying for position as the region literally opens up. And several non-Arctic states are seeking influence, with the big money and real strategic vision coming from Beijing. It’s time for the West to pay attention.

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Security Guidelines for Congressional Campaigns

Posted on March 11th, 2018 at 18:34 by John Sinteur in category: News


Having antivirus is like putting a hole in your stomach to monitor for food poisoning; it creates more problems than it solves.

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  1. Sorry. I will not give up my antivirus.

  2. In the very next sentence, the article recommends using Windows Defender, so:
    – @Rainymyth does that satisfy your desire for security?
    – @John is this cherry-picking, including only certain snippets without context?

    I find myself agreeing with the (paraphrased) statement, “Use Windows Defender as your AV, and not anything else”, given:
    – a) many AV products for Windows use clever work-arounds to increase their access within Windows 10,
    – b) many AV products have security flaws which make it easier for an attacker to compromise the system,
    – c) Microsoft has learned from its mistakes and has actually become pretty good at security,
    – d) this document gives easy-to-remember advice to a non-technical audience in high-visibility targets.

    Windows 10 is much more secure by default than any previous version of Windows, so an organization which has limited IT resources would actually be better served by doing nothing than by starting to do something else but not having the time to maintain it. If there’s not a dedicated team within my organization monitoring my PC to keep it safe, I’d rather keep the system in a state where its security can be maintained by the dedicated security team at Microsoft.

    And yes, 5 years ago, I’d have thought that what I just wrote is crazy.

  3. Ah… yeah, I realize this may look like cherry picking, but I basically picked that bit because it stood out to me – we’ve internally been using “Additional Vulnerabilities” as the expansion of “AV”

  4. Well the author is full of contradictions. I will cherry pick one “Use Google Chrome as your default browser on your laptop.” And if you do, as in the Facebook example, Google will know everything about you (in addition to Microsoft because you use Windows (spyware platform) 10

  5. @Mykolas The article was not written for you to protect your browsing habits from megacorporations: it was written to reduce the attack surface for congressional campaigns, whose adversaries are likely political opponents, either domestic or foreign. The threat model legitimately doesn’t include Google, Microsoft, Facebook, or anyone with lawful intercept or subpoena power.

    The suggested procedures are very good for providing a level of safety for a non-technical audience, including how to handle email attachments, how to share of documents, and how to use U2F dongles. Yes, a lot of it boils down to “trust Google”, but that externalizes the sandboxing for opening files and provides a rudimentary level (1st-degree) of DRM and auditing in a way that exceeds anything available via email.

    For protecting the members of an organization, the recommendations in this article do a very good job of blocking the majority of effective attack vectors without imposing too many barriers to actually getting work done.

    If you want to read a more paranoid article, targeted at the needs of a different set of users, try the recommendations by the same author for journalists and activists, which includes the line “If you believe your hotel room is monitored, work under the covers on the bed. It is less conspicuous, and prevents video surveillance of what you’re typing and viewing.” https://techsolidarity.org/resources/basic_security.htm

  6. Unless you really need Windows, consider Linux Mint, a desktop OS done right. Free as in speech and free as in beer, with built-in security and speed-runs on even slow PCs. Mint is the the OS windows wishes it was. Does not phone home to various tla agencies like Win10 spyware does. Download it for free and free yourself from Redmond. You have nothing to lose but your shoes.

Living in a sea of false signals: Are we being pushed from “trust, but verify” to “verify, then trust”?

Posted on March 11th, 2018 at 18:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


I’m here to talk about Native American content on Facebook.

Yes, really.

I believe this case study encompasses many of the challenging and urgent issues related to trust, misinformation, and digital communities that this commission is grappling with.

There is a massive network of Native American pages, groups, and user accounts on Facebook that collectively have millions of fans, members, and friends. They publish articles about Native issues and share photos and videos of events such as the protests at Standing Rock. There are also pages that exclusively publish photos of attractive Native American women and beg fans to comment on their beauty. Some of the pages and related websites publish articles about unrelated health topics such a fibromyalgia. Their articles about actual Native American issues are often plagiarized from genuine Native publishers based in the United States.

Some theses sites and pages — which by the way are some of the biggest and most active Native American pages on all of Facebook — also publish completely false stories or trade in classic clickbait articles. One group of pages recently shared a fabricated story about a police officer arresting Malia Obama and later being found dead. It was plagiarized from a fake news site.

If you’re a person with an interest in Native American topics and issues, these pages and groups will present as some of the best places to get that content on Facebook. They have signals of authority such as a high number of fans, and a name that seems legitimate. Often the groups or pages are administered by profiles that profess to be Native American. The pages often falsely list an address or organization in US that they are affiliated with. In some cases, the people who run these groups use a checkmark emoji in the group name to make it seem as if the group has been verified by Facebook.

So, who is running these groups and pages?

Young men in places such as Kosovo and Vietnam.

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  1. Certainly verify then trust. Always cautious, more so in this age of trump.

  2. Ps: thanks for the heads up

Google Maps is Different in Other Countries

Posted on March 11th, 2018 at 8:41 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Posted on March 10th, 2018 at 18:36 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Wanda Robson sees Canada’s new $10 note featuring her sister for the first time

Posted on March 9th, 2018 at 19:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

In 1946, Viola Desmond went to see a movie in the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Instead of the blacks-only balcony she was supposed to sit in, she sat in the main level of the cinema. She was arrested, spent the night in jail, and charged with tax evasion — of the one cent difference in taxes between the two tickets. Her appeal was denied, but she helped start the civil rights movement in Canada with her actions.


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  1. A little different then the pic of munchkin & his bimbo on the dollar.

‘Morning Joe’ hosts on Trump-North Korea meeting: ‘He can’t even make a deal with a porn star’

Posted on March 9th, 2018 at 18:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


“It’s all bluster, there’s no deal, because he doesn’t know how to make a deal,” co-host Joe Scarborough said Friday. “He’s horrible at making deals. That’s why the man ended up $9 billion in debt.”

“He can’t even make a deal with a porn star,” fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski replied, in reference to a nondisclosure agreement between Trump and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. “He doesn’t even sign the papers of the deal that he struck.”

“That’s exactly right,” Scarborough said. “His lawyers can’t even draft a competent deal to keep a porn star quiet. How is he going to keep the North Koreans from getting nuclear weapons?”

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What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 23:27 by John Sinteur in category: News


When the Trump administration took office early last year, hundreds of staffers from lobbying firms, conservative think tanks and Trump campaign groups began pouring into the very agencies they once lobbied or whose work they once opposed.

Today we/re making available, for the first time, an authoritative searchable database of 2,475 political appointees, including Trump’s Cabinet, staffers in the White House and senior officials within the government, along with their federal lobbying and financial records. Trump Town is the result of a year spent filing hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests; collecting and organizing staffing lists; and compiling, sifting through and publishing thousands of financial disclosure reports.
We found 187 former lobbyists who work in the Trump administration.

Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp”, many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest. In addition, at least 254 appointees affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers from prominent conservative think tanks are now working in the federal government, many of whom are on teams to repeal Obama-era regulations.

Drilling down even further, at least 35 Trump political appointees worked for or consulted with groups affiliated with the the billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, who also have a network of advocacy groups, nonprofits, private companies and political action committees. At least 25 Trump appointees came from the influential Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank founded in 1973, and at least two came from Heritage Action, its related political nonprofit. Heritage says the Trump administration, in just its first year, has enacted nearly two-thirds of its 334 policy recommendations.

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  1. All the Democrats have to do is win one or both houses of Congress. Can they do that? Can they drain the swamp?

  2. … and will they be smart enough to make this info on conflict of interest a MAJOR campaign point as it ought to be? One can only hope, but they sure have disappointed in the past.

European Court of Justice Deals Heavy Blow to “Corporate Sovereignty Clause”

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 19:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


In a surprise move, the European Union’s top court has ruled that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses contained within almost 200 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between EU member countries violate EU law, casting doubt on such deals as well as others struck by the bloc as a whole. ISDS clauses allow foreign investors or corporations to sue governments for passing laws or regulations that could undermine the value of their investments.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) found that an award of damages to Dutch-based insurer Achmea from Slovakia under a bilateral investment treaty inherited from former Czechoslovakia contravened EU law since the arbitration tribunal that made the ruling was “not a court of a member state.” As such, it had no power to refer matters to the ECJ, the highest court of the EU.

“The arbitration clause in the BIT has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law,” the court said.

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Kushner leaves US ambassador to Mexico out of meeting with Mexico president

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 17:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner did not invite the U.S. ambassador to Mexico to meetings with top Mexican officials on Wednesday, according to a new report.

A senior U.S. official told The New York Times that Kushner did not invite Ambassador Roberta Jacobson to meetings with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.

Of course. It’s poor form to ask for a loan in front of the help.

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Nunberg’s Attorney Claimed Trump May be Running ‘Secret Shadow Operation’

Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 23:54 by John Sinteur in category: News


The issue came to light when Nunberg, who worked as a consultant to Trump in 2015, realized he had signed a confidentiality agreement with an entity called Trump 2012 PCA. 

Upon further investigation, Nunberg’s attorneys realized Trump 2012 PCA didn’t appear to be registered in New York.  In fact, attorneys for Nunberg told Law&Crime they couldn’t find it existing anywhere. In addition, Nunberg’s mother, Rebecca Nunberg, a corporate attorney, told us that her son received at least two paychecks from Trump 2016 PCA, which also doesn’t appear to be registered with the New York Secretary of State’s Office. Before the 2016 election, she said that Nunberg never received any IRS 1099 forms, which are usually issued by companies who hire contract workers like Nunberg. It’s not clear if those forms were ever sent out because neither Nunberg, his attorneys or Trump’s attorneys have responded to an inquiry following up on this story.

Law&Crime was also unable to find the company registered in New York, Delaware or with the FEC.

“If you are an independent contractor and you are paid more than $600 you are required by the IRS, if you pay someone, that entity is obligated to issue a 1099 to the person they are paying,” Rebecca Nunberg told Law & Crime during an interview in July 2016. Nunberg is a high profile corporate attorney herself.

Here is a copy of the confidentiality agreement. It is labeled exhibit “A.” The agreement is signed by Donald Trump on behalf of Trump 2012 PCA. Oddly enough, the contract is dated January 1, 2015. Trump 2012 PCA was reportedly  set up when Trump was flirting with running for President in 2012. It is not clear why he was still signing business contracts under that name during the 2016 election.

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  1. Ah, the out of court settlement. Good for crazy nunberg.

Facebook regrets asking whether it’s OK to let adult men ask underage girls for smut pix

Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 23:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


The survey, which went out to an undisclosed number of users of the social network over the weekend, posed this question:

In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook’s policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14 year old girl for sexual pictures.

  • This content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it.
  • This content should be allowed on Facebook, but I don’t want to see it.
  • This content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it.
  • I have no preference on this topic.

Missing is any acknowledgement that soliciting sexual imagery from minors is a crime in many countries, including the US and the UK, to say nothing of facilitating the distribution of such content on your website.

The survey continued with a question about whether Facebook, external experts, or Facebook users should decide on these rules, again without mentioning that various national legal systems already spell out rules that disallow such behavior.

Perhaps they’re getting a little too obvious on how they consider themselves to be above any law…

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If You Are Being Stalked by an Ex, an App Can’t Protect You

Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 23:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


When you learn that your privacy has been compromised, the common advice is to prevent additional access—delete your insecure account, open a new one, change your password. This advice is such standard protocol for personal security that it’s almost a no-brainer. But in abusive romantic relationships, disconnection can be extremely fraught. For one, it can put the victim at risk of physical harm: If abusers expect digital access and that access is suddenly closed off, it can lead them to become more violent or intrusive in other ways. It may seem cathartic to delete abusive material, like alarming text messages—but if you don’t preserve that kind of evidence, it can make prosecution more difficult. And closing some kinds of accounts, like social networks, to hide from a determined abuser can cut off social support that survivors desperately need. In some cases, maintaining a digital connection to the abuser may even be legally required (for instance, if the abuser and survivor share joint custody of children).

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Posted on March 3rd, 2018 at 19:39 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. My wife and I have seen Elton in Vegas and Honolulu. The current “Farewell Tour” will be his last, I strongly recommend anyone who has not seen him to check it out – truly one of the best shows ever.

Video game companies unaware of Trump’s summit on video game violence

Posted on March 3rd, 2018 at 19:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


Last week, in the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida that killed 17, Trump held a meeting on school safety at the White House where he said, “We have to look at the internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it. And also video games.”

At an official briefing yesterday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that the president planned to meet next week with leaders from the video game industry “to see what they can do on that front.”

This came as news to many of the biggest companies in the video game industry, which not only had no plans to attend the summit, but were unaware it was taking place. Representatives of several major game companies reached by The Verge were caught off-guard by the announcement, and we were unable to locate anyone in the industry who had been contacted or said they would be willing to attend.

Trump will ban guns in video games.

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The Jury’s Out on Free Trade, But Not on Trump Meddling With It

Posted on March 2nd, 2018 at 23:23 by John Sinteur in category: News


1) I don’t trust the current presiding incompetent to screw around with it, without making the problems vastly worse. See also: two-car funeral.

2) “Free trade” means radically different things to radically different people up and down the social and economic spectrum. Nobody can agree on a definition for it beyond, “Good stuff cheap” and “retraining,” neither of which is compatible with the other.

3) Whatever it means, somewhere along the line, the whole system depends on poverty, authoritarianism, and human misery, most of which occurs far out of earshot of the media on which the free trade debate is generally conducted.

Take, for example, the country of Vietnam, where they make a lot of the steel that is currently in the news. In Ha Tinh province, a Taiwanese corporation built a massive steel manufacturing complex costing over $10 billion. The complex includes a power plant and a deep-sea port. During a test run for the plant two years ago this April, the company dumped a horrible mix of toxins, including cyanide, into the sea. This resulted in a massive fish kill, wiping out the livelihood of Vietnamese fishermen along a 125-mile stretch of the country’s coastline.

The company paid $500 million in compensation, but that wasn’t enough for the fishermen whose lives were ruined. They actually protested, in public, which is a dangerous business in Vietnam. Many of them have been arrested and jailed. An activist was convicted and sentenced recently simply for livestreaming one of the protests. That’s Free Trade as much as are the cheap TVs at Walmart.

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  1. Does “Trump’s meddling” include putting tariff’s on products from countries which already have tariff’s on our goods? Free trade is anything but free.

Wine lovers cannot buy Burgundy tipple on Google as internet giant cracks down on ‘gun’ searches 

Posted on March 2nd, 2018 at 8:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


Google Shopping, which allows users to compare product prices from thousands of online retailers, has removed all ‘gun’ search results – even if the product is not gun-related.

Online shoppers have complained about being unable to browse dozens of products such as Burgundy wine, water guns and music by American rock band Guns N’ Roses.

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Gun injuries fall during NRA conventions, study says

Posted on March 1st, 2018 at 23:51 by John Sinteur in category: News



During National Rifle Association annual conventions, when about 80,000 gun owners spend a few days focused on seminars, events and meetings, America seems to be safer, new research suggests.

More specifically, the rate of firearm-related injuries when NRA members gather en masse falls by 20% nationwide, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
When a state hosted a convention, and presumably a higher percentage of local gun enthusiasts attended, gun-related injuries in that state fell 50%, said Dr. Anupam Jena, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.

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  1. Well geewhiz I wonder why that happens?? So how else can these sh*thole gun owners be distracted so they don’t shoot others. Lock them up might work.

In pictures: US gun-blessing ceremony

Posted on March 1st, 2018 at 13:26 by John Sinteur in category: News

Hundreds of members of World Peace and Unification church get their guns blessed in Pennsylvania.

Source: In pictures: US gun-blessing ceremony

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The White House chief calligrapher has a higher clearance than Jared Kushner

Posted on March 1st, 2018 at 10:00 by John Sinteur in category: News


According to information obtained by CNN from a US government official as of November 2017, among those with top secret clearance is White House chief calligrapher Patricia Blair.
The calligrapher’s office plays a key role in White House diplomacy. The East Wing, which oversees the calligrapher’s office, declined to comment on the role of the chief calligrapher or why a top secret clearance is necessary.

“Wow, that looks beautiful, what are you writing?”

“That’s need to know, Jared.”

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  1. I’d be surprised if the janitor didn’t have higher security clearance.

NRA’s Warnings Have Come True: A President Wants To Unilaterally Disarm Americans

Posted on March 1st, 2018 at 8:54 by John Sinteur in category: News


For years, the National Rifle Association has been warning gun-loving Americans of a president who will take away their firearms, no matter what the Second Amendment says.

On Wednesday, that conservative nightmare became a reality when the current Republican U.S. president, Donald Trump, proposed taking away people’s guns, even without the legal right to do so.

“Take the guns first. Go through due process second,” Trump said at a meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House. “I like taking the guns early.”

Trump said law enforcement officers should specifically have taken the firearms possessed by Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“I think they should have taken them away, whether they had the right or not,” he said.

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  1. Lol. Funny as all get out. I’ve been tossing around for a while that if guns where to be taken that trump would be the one to do it. Except he would probably make the choice on who’s guns to take based on how that person voted.

Your Grandma Was a Chain Migrant!

Posted on February 28th, 2018 at 16:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


Last month, a White House official named Dan Scavino said that chain migration was “choking” America. “He’s lucky, or unlucky, that he’s Italian,” Mendelsohn said. After researching a Sicilian adoption, she’d recently learned how to search Italian records. Several days after his pronouncement, she had a message for Scavino. “So Dan,” she wrote on Twitter. “Let’s say Victor Scavino arrives from Canelli, Italy in 1904, then brother Hector in 1905, brother Gildo in 1912, sister Esther in 1913, & sister Clotilde and their father Giuseppe in 1916, and they live together in NY. Do you think that would count as chain migration?”

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Facebook’s Mandatory Malware Scan Is an Intrusive Mess

Posted on February 28th, 2018 at 11:19 by John Sinteur in category: News


When an Oregon science fiction writer named Charity tried to log onto Facebook on February 11, she found herself completely locked out of her account. A message appeared saying she needed to download Facebook’s malware scanner if she wanted to get back in. Charity couldn’t use Facebook until she completed the scan, but the file the company provided was for a Windows device—Charity uses a Mac.

“I could not actually run the software they were demanding I download and use,” she says. When she tried instead to log in from her computer at work, Facebook greeted her with the same roadblock. “Obviously there is no way for Facebook to know if my device is infected with anything, since this same message appeared on any computer I tried to access my account from,” says Charity.


“It is actually tied to one specific Facebook user on one specific browser—if I change either to a different account, or use Safari instead of Chrome with the locked-out account, I do not get the scanner dialog,” says Anatol Ulrich, a Facebook user from Germany who was locked out of his account after sharing several Google docs in comment threads on Facebook. He, too, was prompted to download a Windows file on a Mac device.

“Our visibility into each account on a given device isn’t complete enough for us to checkpoint based only on the device, without factoring in whether the particular account is acting in a suspicious manner,” Facebook spokesperson Jay Nancarrow said in a statement. In some ways that might be comforting; Facebook doesn’t collect enough information about your computer to say whether malware has infected it.

But if Facebook doesn’t know for sure, why would it push you to clean your device?


It “will possibly train users to accept or install fake antivirus products, most of which are ransomware,” says Mohammad Mannan, a security researcher at Concordia University who has studied antivirus vulnerabilities. “That is, you visit a random site, and get a scary popup which says your machine is infected and needs immediate cleaning; if you say yes to the installation, a ransom is asked.”



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  1. I do get false malware popups on Chrome that I don’t get on other browsers. I reset Chrome’s settings when that occurs. I think the question should be “why does this occur on Chrome when I only use it to view Yahoo’s finance page and weather.com”?

    I use Firefox with popup blocker “ublock” for news and Facebook and I delete the cookies and history automatically when I close each session. The popup blocker prevents me from using weather.com, a recent disturbing development.

    It’s a shame that each user needs to educate themselves on these issues instead of safeguards being built-in.

  2. I suppose she could temporarily set up a virtual machine with windows on it, that way, if she runs the Facebook software on it she might get her account active again, but then, it’s Facebook, so why bother?

Security firm Keeper sues news reporter over vulnerability story

Posted on February 28th, 2018 at 11:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


Keeper, a password manager software maker, has filed a lawsuit against a news reporter and its publication after a story was posted reporting a vulnerability disclosure.

Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, was named defendant in a suit filed Tuesday by Chicago-based Keeper Security, which accused Goodin of “false and misleading statements” about the company’s password manager.

Goodin’s story, posted December 15, cited Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who said in a vulnerability disclosure report he posted a day earlier that a security flaw in Keeper allowed “any website to steal any password” through the password manager’s browser extension.

Goodin was one of the first to cover news of the vulnerability disclosure. He wrote that the password manager was bundled in some versions of Windows 10. When Ormandy tested the bundled password manager, he found a password stealing bug that was nearly identical to one he previously discovered in 2016.

Ormandy also posted a proof-of-concept exploit for the new vulnerability.

The bug has since been fixed, according to Ormandy’s follow-up note, which triggered the release of the report. Goodin’s story was amended twice, which was noted in the story’s footer.


“This is bullying and Goodin is [definitely] def in the top 1 percent [of] knowledgeable journalists,” said Matthieu Suiche, founder of Comae Technologies, a Dubai-based security firm, in a tweet.

“If Keeper Security thinks this will make their software more secure, this will only irreversibly damage their reputation as a security company,” he added.


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  1. Honestly no one has convinced me a password keeper is any safer. To me it’s just one more password to keep track of and change every 90 days. I manage my passwords quite well.

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