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Shocking election-theft testimony

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 17:26 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Computer programmer Clinton Eugene Curtis testifies under oath before the U.S. House Judiciary Members in Ohio (back in 2004) — video to the right (partial transcript below). Stephen Pizzo writes:

If you can watch this entire video, and still use an electronic voting machine, you deserve the government you get. If your state or district has decided to use electronic voting machines this November demand an absentee ballot today. Watch this video. Then join those of us who have decided that since paper was good enough for our constitution, it’s good enough for our vote too.

Oh, and when you’re done watching the whole video… pass it along. November is only a a few weeks off and the last thing Republicans want to see is either house returned to Democrat control. Because if that happens, hearings happen. And if hearings happen… well, who knows – someone(s) could go to jail. So, demand a paper ballot or an absentee ballot in Nov. and leave the cheaters with a pocket full of worthless Diebold electrons.

A partial transcript:

Are there computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

Yes.

How do you know that to be the case?

Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for Congressman Tom Feeney [R-FL]…

It would rig an election?

It would flip the vote, 51-49. Whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.

And would that program that you designed, be something that elections officials… could detect?

They’d never see it.


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Comments:

  1. Nice site.
    Apart from there is no link to the post quoted, or to any posts written in the past.
    Doh.

WikiMapia

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 17:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

Now this is a cool idea. Combine Google Maps with a wikipedia, to describe the things you see.

link zooms to the place I live – the block about 80 pixels south of Winkelcentrum de Boogaard – or check out this link, and see how close the place I work, KPN, is to the International Criminal Court, where I hope to see the current US administration some time…


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Comments:

  1. Agreed, very cool. (Someone suggested this when I was commenting a few months ago about wanting to know what I’m driving by on road trips.)

    Did you fill in a lot of the Rijswijk stuff? There’s a lot marked there, whereas there’s nothing in Voorschoten/Leiden ZW. (*cracks knuckles*)

  2. No, everything you see was already there, although I must admit it is very tempting…

Our covert enemies

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 17:06 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?

Sometimes irony is so thick you can shovel it. Take this column, from a Michael Barone, on Townhall.com. To call townhall.com conservative is like calling the pope catholic. But anyway, take a look at the last paragraph:

[Quote:]

We have always had our covert enemies, but their numbers were few until the 1960s. But then the elite young men who declined to serve in the military during the Vietnam War set out to write a narrative in which they, rather than those who obeyed the call to duty, were the heroes.

You know who served in Vietnam? John Kerry, Al Gore and Jack Murtha. You know who didn’t? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. And Karl Rove, and John Bolton, and Tom Delay, and Dennis Hastert, and Bill Frist, and Newt Gingrich, and… Michael Barone.


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George W. Bush, reader

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 16:59 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A week ago, we discussed whether the president actually read Camus’ “The Stranger,” and discussed the origins of existentialism. It turns out, however, there’s a little more to Bush’s new-found appreciation of the printed word.

Maybe it was the influence of his wife, Laura, a former librarian, or his mother, Barbara, a longtime promoter of literacy. Or perhaps he was just eager to dispel his image as an intellectual lightweight. But President Bush now wants it known that he is a man of letters.

In fact, Bush has entered a book-reading competition with Karl Rove, his political adviser. White House aides say the president has read 60 books so far this year (while the brainy Rove, to Bush’s competitive delight, has racked up only 50).

U.S. News & World Report’s Kenneth T. Walsh published a portion of the president’s 60-book list, while C-SPAN posted an even more complete list.

I try to avoid categorical statements about people I’ve never met and don’t know personally, but I feel comfortable saying there is absolutely no way on earth the president read all of these books. None.


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Comments:

  1. Only someone on vacation can read 2 books a week.

  2. Depends on the size of the book.
    I can read two Terry Pratchett’s or similar sized books a week beside work. War and Peace – well, that would take more than a week.

    Ok, I read a lot, and I read books that are interesting – no, Applied algorhythms in statistical analysis does not count as interestin 😉 -, and that makes it easy.

Bikini Trimmer

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 16:47 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

bikini-trimmer.jpg


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What the Terrorists Want

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 16:35 by John Sinteur in category: Security

Sometime an article deserves quoting just about in full. And as one of the responses to the article on the site says: A big problem here is that while you and I and any other infosec professional can look at this and give this type of advice, and it seems like kindergarten instruction – so sensible and obvious – it is a nightmare to try and penetrate the various selfish reasons for politicians and the media to hype terror messages

[Quote:]

On Aug. 16, two men were escorted off a plane headed for Manchester, England, because some passengers thought they looked either Asian or Middle Eastern, might have been talking Arabic, wore leather jackets, and looked at their watches — and the passengers refused to fly with them on board. The men were questioned for several hours and then released.

On Aug. 15, an entire airport terminal was evacuated because someone’s cosmetics triggered a false positive for explosives. The same day, a Muslim man was removed from an airplane in Denver for reciting prayers. The Transportation Security Administration decided that the flight crew overreacted, but he still had to spend the night in Denver before flying home the next day. The next day, a Port of Seattle terminal was evacuated because a couple of dogs gave a false alarm for explosives.

On Aug. 19, a plane made an emergency landing in Tampa, Florida, after the crew became suspicious because two of the lavatory doors were locked. The plane was searched, but nothing was found. Meanwhile, a man who tampered with a bathroom smoke detector on a flight to San Antonio was cleared of terrorism, but only after having his house searched.

On Aug. 16, a woman suffered a panic attack and became violent on a flight from London to Washington, so the plane was escorted to the Boston airport by fighter jets. “The woman was carrying hand cream and matches but was not a terrorist threat,” said the TSA spokesman after the incident.

And on Aug. 18, a plane flying from London to Egypt made an emergency landing in Italy when someone found a bomb threat scrawled on an air sickness bag. Nothing was found on the plane, and no one knows how long the note was on board.

I’d like everyone to take a deep breath and listen for a minute.

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.

We’re all a little jumpy after the recent arrest of 23 terror suspects in Great Britain. The men were reportedly plotting a liquid-explosive attack on airplanes, and both the press and politicians have been trumpeting the story ever since.

In truth, it’s doubtful that their plan would have succeeded; chemists have been debunking the idea since it became public. Certainly the suspects were a long way off from trying: None had bought airline tickets, and some didn’t even have passports.

Regardless of the threat, from the would-be bombers’ perspective, the explosives and planes were merely tactics. Their goal was to cause terror, and in that they’ve succeeded.

Imagine for a moment what would have happened if they had blown up 10 planes. There would be canceled flights, chaos at airports, bans on carry-on luggage, world leaders talking tough new security measures, political posturing and all sorts of false alarms as jittery people panicked. To a lesser degree, that’s basically what’s happening right now.

Our politicians help the terrorists every time they use fear as a campaign tactic. The press helps every time it writes scare stories about the plot and the threat. And if we’re terrified, and we share that fear, we help. All of these actions intensify and repeat the terrorists’ actions, and increase the effects of their terror.

(I am not saying that the politicians and press are terrorists, or that they share any of the blame for terrorist attacks. I’m not that stupid. But the subject of terrorism is more complex than it appears, and understanding its various causes and effects are vital for understanding how to best deal with it.)

The implausible plots and false alarms actually hurt us in two ways. Not only do they increase the level of fear, but they also waste time and resources that could be better spent fighting the real threats and increasing actual security. I’ll bet the terrorists are laughing at us.

Another thought experiment: Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn’t engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn’t write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn’t use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we’d reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

It’s time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation — and not focusing on specific plots.

But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show’s viewership.

The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.


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Comments:

  1. This is such good sense….

    Thanks for the heads up on this, John.
    I’ll echo it on Articles & Texticles.

  2. While I agree with the overall sentiment i.e. being paranoid makes terrorism the winner, the two guys in the first example were on BBC radio today, along with some of the passengers.

    The allegations against these men were slightly more serious that those suggested above, they were apparently joking loudly about being terrorists, amongst other things, and behaving in an
    upsetting enough manner to make a 13 year old girl cry with fear. The men denied this, but still accepted that the passengers were not unreasonable in that they didn’t want to fly with them.

    They were only upset at the spanish authorities, who said they needed to leave the plane for extra security checks, and to be questioned. When the plane left, they were told the real reason, effectively lied to.

    While I still ride the trains and planes, and do not restrict myself because of terrorism for the above reasons, there is still a balance to be struck. That line is right inbetween paranoia and irresponsibility. I would have reported the two men in the same circumstances, maybe even the gentleman chanting prayers, not only because its what every responsible person should do (same as reporting unattended luggage), but also to point out how inconsiderate these people being in these trying times.

  3. At no point is Bruce telling you not to use your brain to notice suspicious behavior. In fact, a well-informed and critically thinking public is the best possible defense against terrorism. You are already doing just what’s needed. Let me quote the last paragraph again for emphasis:

    The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.

At NASA, Wikipedia = Porn

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 16:21 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?

[Quote:]

Please be aware that our [Langley] IT Security have blocked wikipedia as a “General Pornography” site. I have put in a request for access, but, based on past interactions, our IT office may not have any idea why anyone would want to have access to an on-line encyclopedia.”

Click on the screen grab below for a larger image.


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Hezbollah sinks Australian warship

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 15:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

http://www.moqavemat.com – an Iran-based website run by the Hezbollah terrorist group – is running this picture (above) of what it claims is the Israeli ship it hit with a missile last month.

Now look at the Royal Australian Navy’s picture below – as published by Defence Industry Daily – of its sinking of the decommissioned Australian destroyer-escort HMAS Torrens off the coast of Western Australia in 1998 . We were told at the time the Torrens was deliberately sunk by a torpedo fired by one of our own submarines, the HMAS Farncomb.

Should we now think that we were in fact attacked by Hezbollah – or is this just the latest proof that Hezbollah will lie and lie again for propaganda gain?


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Bush: Katrina Repair Will Take Time.
St. Louis: Time’s up!

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 12:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President Bush cautioned against placing too much importance on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s Gulf Coast strike, saying a long, sustained rebuilding effort is still needed.

“It’s a time to remember that people suffered and it’s a time to recommit ourselves to helping them,” Mr. Bush said Wednesday. “But I also want people to remember that a one-year anniversary is just that, because it’s going to require a long time to help these people rebuild.”

How long? Well, not too long:

[Quote:]

Through passing City Ordinance #26031 unanimously in May, the Council decided that those who have not been able to make the necessary repairs to their battered homes by August 29th risk having their property seized and bulldozed by the city.


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Tax Farmers, Mercenaries and Viceroys

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 11:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Yesterday The New York Times reported that the Internal Revenue Service would outsource collection of unpaid back taxes to private debt collectors, who would receive a share of the proceeds.

It’s an awful idea. Privatizing tax collection will cost far more than hiring additional I.R.S. agents, raise less revenue and pose obvious risks of abuse. But what’s really amazing is the extent to which this plan is a retreat from modern principles of government. I used to say that conservatives want to take us back to the 1920’s, but the Bush administration seemingly wants to go back to the 16th century.

And privatized tax collection is only part of the great march backward. In the bad old days, …[t]here was no bureaucracy to collect taxes, so the king subcontracted the job to private “tax farmers,? who often engaged in extortion. There was no regular army, so the king hired mercenaries, who tended to wander off and pillage the nearest village. There was no regular system of administration, so the king assigned the task to favored courtiers, who tended to be corrupt, incompetent or both.

Modern governments solved these problems by creating a professional revenue department to collect taxes, a professional officer corps to enforce military discipline, and a professional civil service. But President Bush apparently doesn’t like these innovations, preferring to govern as if he were King Louis XII.

So the tax farmers are coming back, and the mercenaries already have. There are about 20,000 armed “security contractors? in Iraq, and they have been assigned critical tasks, from guarding top officials to training the Iraqi Army.

Like the mercenaries of old, today’s corporate mercenaries have discipline problems. “They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath,? declared a U.S. officer… And armed men operating outside the military chain of command have caused at least one catastrophe. …

To whom are such contractors accountable? Last week a judge threw out a jury’s $10 million verdict against Custer Battles, … a symbol of the mix of cronyism, corruption and sheer amateurishness that doomed the Iraq adventure — and the judge didn’t challenge the jury’s finding that the company engaged in blatant fraud.

But he ruled that the civil fraud suit … lacked a legal basis, because … the Coalition Provisional Authority … wasn’t “an instrumentality of the U.S. government.? It wasn’t created by an act of Congress; it wasn’t a branch of … any … established agency.

So what was it? Any premodern monarch would have recognized the arrangement: in effect, the authority was a personal fief run by a viceroy answering only to the ruler. And since the fief operated outside all the usual rules of government, the viceroy was free to hire a staff of political loyalists lacking any relevant qualifications for their jobs, and to hand out duffel bags filled with $100 bills to contractors with the right connections.


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  1. It is unfortunate that a judge let Custer Battles off the hook. But the bad guys don’t always get away. The average American would be shocked to learn two things. First, under a federal law, if they are aware of fraud against the federal government, they can personally file a claim to recover triple the amount defrauded, and they typically get to keep 30% of the money as a reward. Second, many of America’s largest companies, from Shell Oil to Walmart, have been successfully sued by private citizens, and force to settle for sums as high as $900 Million. To learn about the law, and every major case of this type in the past 10 years, anyone can go to http://www.federalfraud.com

Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 10:33 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote:]

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,? Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.?

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Mr. Nassirian said students seeking the grants went first to their college registrar, who determined whether they were full-time students majoring in an eligible field.

[..]

The list of eligible majors (which is online at ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN0606A.pdf) is drawn from the Education Department’s “Classification of Instructional Programs,? or CIP (pronounced “sip?), a voluminous and detailed classification of courses of study, arranged in a numbered system of sections and subsections.

Part 26, biological and biomedical sciences, has a number of sections, each of which has one or more subsections. Subsection 13 is ecology, evolution, systematics and population biology. This subsection itself has 10 sub-subsections. One of them is 26.1303 — evolutionary biology, “the scientific study of the genetic, developmental, functional, and morphological patterns and processes, and theoretical principles; and the emergence and mutation of organisms over time.?

Though references to evolution appear in listings of other fields of biological study, the evolutionary biology sub-subsection is missing from a list of “fields of study? on the National Smart Grant list — there is an empty space between line 26.1302 (marine biology and biological oceanography) and line 26.1304 (aquatic biology/limnology).

Students cannot simply list something else on an application form, said Mr. Nassirian of the registrars’ association. “Your declared major maps to a CIP code,? he said.

Mr. Nassirian said people at the Education Department had described the omission as “a clerical mistake.? But it is “odd,? he said, because applying the subject codes “is a fairly mechanical task. It is not supposed to be the subject of any kind of deliberation.?

“I am not at all certain that the omission of this particular major is unintentional,? he added. “But I have to take them at their word.?


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Cartoons

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 9:39 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

imggif.gif

varvel.jpg

sack2.jpg

christo.gif

branch.gif

matson.gif


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Nine terror suspects can be held another week, two released

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 8:55 by John Sinteur in category: News, Security

[Quote:]

Scotland Yard says two suspects in the alleged plot to blow up US-bound airliners have been freed.

But authorities in Britain now have another week to question eight others before they must be charged. A court extended the detentions Wednesday, along with that of a ninth suspect.

An official in Britain’s anti-terrorist unit, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells The Associated Press that one of the people released was Tayib Rauf. Rauf’s brother was arrested in Pakistan in connection with the alleged plot. Pakistani officials have linked Rashid Rauf to al-Qaida. There’s no word on the identity of the second person released.

Meanwhile, a police spokeswoman says officers are again searching for evidence in a wooded area about 30 miles northwest of London.

And still no charges brought…


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Don’t look in your bag!

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 8:53 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, News, Security

[Quote:]

Some of the passengers pulled out cell phones during the flight and appeared to be trying to pass the cell phones to other passengers, a U.S. government official said.

In addition, some passengers unfastened their seatbelts while the light requiring they be fastened was still illuminated, the official said.

That was enough for U.S. air marshals aboard the DC-10 to break their cover. Flight attendants ordered the passengers to heed the orders of the marshals, the official added.

There was no intelligence indicating the flight was at risk, and authorities are still evaluating how much of a threat the passengers posed, officials said.

The passengers who were arrested were looking into plastic bags and were busy with their cell phones, an airline source in Amsterdam said.


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No, that’s not a penis pump, Mom. Really

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 7:56 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

[Quote:]

Cook County prosecutors say a 29-year-old man traveling with his mother desperately didn’t want her to know he’d packed a sexual aid for their trip to Turkey. So he told security it was a bomb, officials said.

Madin Azad Amin was stopped by officials on Aug. 16 after guards found an object in his baggage that resembled a grenade, prosecutors said.

When officers asked him to identify it, Amin said it was a bomb, said Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.

He later told officials he’d lied about the item because his mother was nearby and he didn’t want her to hear that it was part of a penis pump, Scaduto said.


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Comments:

  1. Oh, Behave!!!

Patent penalty against Microsoft increased $25 million

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 7:44 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote:]

Microsoft willfully infringed on the patents of a small Michigan company and engaged in litigation misconduct in its effort to defend itself, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis upped a jury’s award against Microsoft by $25 million, plus nearly $2 million in legal costs. He cited several instances of misconduct and “ample circumstantial evidence” that Microsoft viewed the patent-holder, closely held z4 Technologies, as “a small and irrelevant company that was not worthy of Microsoft’s time and attention, even if Microsoft was potentially infringing its patents.”

[..]

In sum, Davis wrote that the court was “greatly disturbed by the repeated instances where Defendants actions go beyond what can be dismissed as a mere appearance of impropriety and collectively appear to represent a pattern which is of disappointment to the Court and a disservice to legitimate advocacy.”

After installing update 919951 which patched a critical vulnerability in MS Ethics 1.0 service pack 1 some customers have reported problems when MS Ethics fails to detect lying and/or theiving. Microsoft has announced a new version of security update 919951 on August 22, 2006. This new version was to address this problem for customers who use MS Ethics 2.0 Service Pack 1.

Microsoft is also aware of public reports that this issue could lead to a buffer overrun condition for customers who use MS Ethics 2.0 Service Pack 1 and who have applied security update 918899. We are not aware of attacks that try to use the reported vulnerability at this point, nor are we aware of customer impact at this point. Microsoft is aggressively investigating the public reports.


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Company to pay for election problems

Posted on August 24th, 2006 at 7:19 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

[Quote:]

A Nebraska company whose voting equipment led to numerous problems during Indiana’s May primary has agreed to pay the state $245,000 and provide extra hands-on and technical support this fall.

In exchange, the state decided not to pursue formal charges or claims against the company, Election Systems & Software, which has denied any wrongdoing.

Cool! Not only can you buy an election from these guys, afterwards you can get a manufacturer rebate!

Jackson, the Johnson County clerk, said the company “has done a 360” since the primary. ES&S officials have been more assertive in preparing for the fall elections. The instructional materials, she said, also will help.

So they also admit it is “spin control”, right? Or were they playing their XBox’s all the time?


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Comments:

  1. “said the company “has done a 360″ since the primary.”

    That actually means the company has stayed still, and did not turn a bit.
    Maybe he wanted to say “has done a 180” ?