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WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if?

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 20:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


If WikiLeaks had been around in 2001, could the events of 9/11 have been prevented? The idea is worth considering.

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  1. The notion that 9/11 could have been prevented (via the publication of information pointing to the events that occurred as possible) assumes that some action would have been taken in response to that publication. I’m inclined to think that response would have been as ineffective as the response to what’s been leaked recently, that is, little or none – at least as far as anything significant. It would have required the security agencies to admit they’d been conducting business ineffectively and for them to focus on, oh I dunno, actual security, and not just protecting their turf and trying to chase down and punish the folks leaking the info.

Wall St blames homeowners in foreclosure fiasco

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 17:07 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


The building furor over whether the largest U.S. mortgage lenders used so-called robo-signers and incomplete paperwork to force delinquent borrowers from their homes has mushroomed into a probe by the attorneys general in all 50 states, with U.S. Congressional hearings not far behind. [nN19590716]

Those on Wall Street, however, are largely unsympathetic, insisting that possible errors in the foreclosure process are beside the point, that the process begins only when a borrower starts missing mortgage payments.

"If you didn’t pay your mortgage, you shouldn’t be in your house. Period. People are getting upset about something that’s just procedural." said Walter Todd, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates.

Some said the issue is one of personal responsibility for one’s own debts.

"Everyone’s responsible for following the law. If we all don’t have to pay our mortgage, should we just stop paying taxes, too?" said Anton Schutz, president of Mendon Capital Advisers. "Your mortgage didn’t get to a robo-signer by accident, it’s because you’re not paying."

And using a robo-signer is following the law? Or you feel banks should be allowed to take these short-cuts because you never make mistakes?

Oh, and about “if you can’t manage your company, then you shouldn’t get a government bailout”?

So you know what buddy? Fuck you.

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Pastor wins car for canceling Quran burning

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 16:57 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself, Pastafarian News


A New Jersey car dealer plans to keep his word after offering Florida pastor Terry Jones a new car if he promised to not burn a Quran.

Car dealer Brad Benson made the offer in one of his dealership’s quirky radio ads, which focus more on current events than cars. But he was surprised when a representative for Jones called to collect the 2011 Hyundai Accent, which retails for $14,200.

"They said unless I was doing false advertising, they would like to arrange to pick up the car," Benson recalled. At first he thought it was a hoax, so Benson asked Jones to send in a copy of his driver’s license. He did.

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Inside the Lawsuit That Could Ground Deadly CIA Predator Drones

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 16:25 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


On December 7, 2010, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle is expected to issue a decision on a complicated contract and intellectual property-related lawsuit that could ground the CIA’s Predator drones.

Intelligent Integration Systems (IISi), a small Boston-based software development firm, alleges that their Geospatial Toolkit and Extended SQL Toolkit were pirated by Massachusetts-based Netezza for use by a government client. Subsequent evidence and court proceedings revealed that the "government client" seeking assistance with Predator drones was none other than the Central Intelligence Agency.

Well, that explains this

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Poll to determine who saved the miners in Chile

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 14:41 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


You’d think this one is a no-brainer; a Chilean newspaper is asking who was responsible for rescuing the trapped miners, miracles (milagro) or science (ciencia).

El rescate de los mineros en Chile fue para usted más:

Milagro 49.5%

Ciencia 50.5%

I didn’t see any miracles on TV. I saw lots of engineering and mining technology, though.

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Shell game

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 14:29 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, Pastafarian News

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Internet Dismantling the State Church In Finland

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 14:14 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


“A Finnish secular web site that facilitates electronic resignation from the Finnish state church gained wide attention in the media this week. A gay rights TV panel discussion was followed by thousands resigning from the church. On Wednesday, 2633 people resigned through the web site, which is more than all the resignations in July. The Internet is secularizing the Finnish with increasing speed; over 90% of resignations in Finland go through the site administered and marketed by hobbyists driving Finland towards a secular, non-religious state.”

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Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 12:14 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu – the same mustard as before.

Practice safe eating – always use condiments.

Shotgun wedding – A case of wife or death.

A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.

What’s the definition of a will? It’s a dead give away…

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

If you don’t pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

Every calendar’s days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted – It taint yours and it taint mine.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

Once you’ve seen one shopping centre, you’ve seen a mall.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis…

Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

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Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 12:10 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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  1. Should be in Pastafarian News. Worshiping the sun makes so much more sense than worshiping the greedy “you owe me” foundations of most major religions.

  2. The sun doesn’t require donations to give it’s love (light).

Drug decriminalization policy pays off

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 12:04 by John Sinteur in category: News


Portugal, whose drug problems were among the worst in Europe, now has the lowest usage rate for marijuana and one of the lowest for cocaine. Drug-related pathologies, including HIV transmission, hepatitis transmission and drug-related deaths, have declined significantly.


First, when a government threatens to turn drug users into criminals, a wall of fear divides officials and the citizenry and, thus, prevents effective treatment and education campaigns. Portugal’s top drug official has said the stigma created by criminalizing drug use and the resulting fear of government were the biggest barriers to effective education and treatment programs in the 1990s.

Second, treating drug addiction as a health issue, not a criminal offense, means the right solutions can be found. Counseling is far more effective than prison in turning addicts into nonusers.

Third, when a government no longer spends inordinate amounts of money on arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning drug users, that money can instead be used on highly effective treatment programs, as well as services, like methadone clinics, to limit drug-related harms.

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  1. Dear Eric Holder, get your pinhead out of the sand. These stats have been seen in other countries also.

  2. Fourth, it really improves your tourist industry. When I was in Lisbon recently, there were hilariously large numbers of young foreigners panhandling. It quite took me back to the ’70’s. Quite a lot better behaved than the usual tide of drunken Brits taking over the Algarve.

Amazing Home Made Formula

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 11:51 by John Sinteur in category: awesome

And now, of course, we have to hand it over to our tame racing driver… Some say….

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  1. OMG.. I want one .. no three…. unfreekinbelievably cool :o)


America’s dish detergent wars

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 11:45 by John Sinteur in category: News


Political observers trying to understand the conservative backlash movement in America known as the Tea Party certainly have their work cut out for them. It’s a movement primarily composed of Medicare recipients who object to “government-run healthcare”. Its leaders claim they’re more libertarian in orientation, and yet they routinely back some of the most anti-choice politicians ever to run for such major office. One of their key leaders likes to compare himself to Martin Luther King Jr, but the issues that most reliably get Tea Partiers to hit the streets are reliably racialised to exploit their prejudiced paranoia. They are full of contradictions, often making – and then running from – position statements, and seem to be more about just being angry than listing specific grievances.

But as a long-time conservative-watcher, I think the best way to understand where reactionaries are coming from is to look at some of the smaller issues that get them all riled up. Take, for instance, the long-standing fight over phosphates in dish detergent. The parameters of this debate provide an excellent insight into the Tea Partiers, what motivates them, and why they’re so paranoid.

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A dollar?

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 10:20 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)

Honestly, CVS?

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Benoît B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010), Father of Fractal Geometry

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 10:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

No confirmation yet, but it appears Benoît B. Mandelbrot has died.

He leaves behind an infinite number of smaller copies of himself…

Update: the NYT has an obit

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Feds oppose Calif. Prop 19 to legalize marijuana

Posted on October 16th, 2010 at 8:09 by John Sinteur in category: News


Attorney General Eric Holder is warning that the federal government will not look the other way, as it has with medical marijuana, if voters next month make California the first state to legalize pot.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, which drug agents will "vigorously enforce" against anyone carrying, growing or selling it, Holder said.

Because, and this is the part that he’s not saying out loud, if more states would do this, it would be the end of most of the funding of his organization.

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  1. The problem is according to the Tenth ammendment of the constitution, in matters like this state law trumps federal law. So any federal inforcement coukld easily be deemed unconstitutional.

  2. The War on Drugs thusly lost, the intelligent approach would be to declare victory and move on…so clearly this one will run and run…