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Dear US News stations

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 21:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

Sandy also struck Cuba, Haïti and the Dominican Republic

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Trees Are Freaking Awesome!

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 21:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

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“What is thy bidding, my master?”

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 20:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. [Quote]:

    “You know, my whole life I been getting this shit. ‘You shot first.’ ‘You didn’t shoot first.’ Everybody with an asshole has an opinion about it—and that’s most known galactic species, and the Vonnugazers from the Klurt system have three apiece so that makes up for the no-shows, I figure.

    And the fact is, I don’t even know anymore. I don’t give a shit. I shot Greedo, Greedo’s dead, I’ve moved on with my life and married a princess and watched my friends die and seen my hair go grey, and Greedo’s still dead. It doesn’t matter to me.

    But you want to ask anyway. You walk into this bar and you see me and I don’t know you from Adam and you walk over here and you fuckin’ ask me that question? And I’ll tell you what, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if I shot first. All that matters, as far as I’m concerned, is that…”


    “I shot last.”




A roll call of corporate rogues who are milking the country

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 20:18 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


‘Only the little people pay taxes,” the late American corporate tax evader Leona Helmsley famously declared. That’s certainly the spirit of David Cameron and George Osborne’s Britain. Five years into the crisis, the British economy has just edged out of its third downturn, but construction is still reeling from government cuts and most people’s living standards are falling.

Those at the sharp end are being hit hardest: from cuts to disability and housing benefits, tax credits and the educational maintenance allowance and now increases in council tax while NHS waiting lists are lengthening, food banks are mushrooming across the country and charities report sharp increases in the number of children going hungry. All this to pay for the collapse in corporate investment and tax revenues triggered by the greatest crash since the 30s.

At the other end of the spectrum though, things are going swimmingly. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. Anyone earning over £1m a year can look forward to a £42,000 tax cut in the spring, while firms have been rewarded with a 2% cut in corporation tax to 24%.

Not that many of them pay anything like that, even now. The scale of tax avoidance by high-street brand multinationals has now become clear, in no small part thanks to campaigning groups such as UK Uncut. Asda, Google, Apple, eBay, Ikea, Starbucks, Vodafone: all pay minimal tax on massive UK revenues, mostly by diverting profits earned in Britain to their parent companies, or lower tax jurisdictions via royalty and service payments or transfer pricing.

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A $5,000 Shopping Run to Walmart Turned Romney’s Campaign Stop into a ‘Relief Event’

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 20:13 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012


Mitt Romney was really concerned that his “Storm Relief Event” in Kettering, Ohio yesterday would look like a dud, so he and his team stocked their donation tables with $5,000 worth of supplies at Walmart. The props, according to Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins, were things like granola bars, canned food, and diapers which were strategically placed to make sure that the photographs taken at Romney’s “Storm Relief” campaign didn’t a show very un-busy, un-stocked relief table (what else do you expect when you give people short notice to donate their canned goods?). But … but … look at how pretty all those fake donations look:

And apparently, the event was so manufactured that they allowed supporters to use the donations which were bought by the campaign, to donate back to the campaign.

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  1. I’ll have to say that he sure picked the right VP. They are equally sleazy.

Hurricane Sandy shows media: Don’t believe everything on Twitter

Posted on October 31st, 2012 at 16:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


Those who logged onto Twitter as Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the East Coast Monday night were among the first to read a handful of eye-popping news developments that eventually wound their way onto outlets like CNN and Reuters: that the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was under 3 feet of water; that the New York subways had been pre-emptively closed for a week; and that 19 employees of an electric company had been trapped in a building. These updates seemed to illustrate how a crowd of social media junkies can turn up news faster than a scattered few professional reporters. That would have been true — if the stories themselves had been.

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CONAN Highlight: New Apple Ad

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 23:07 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

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Occupy protesters were right, says Bank of England official

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 23:05 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Andrew Haldane, a member of the Bank’s financial policy committee, said the Occupy movement was correct in its attack on the international financial system.

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So, how large an area is influenced by Sandy?

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 22:19 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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  1. Source?

Disney to acquire Lucasfilm ltd.

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 22:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.


Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

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  1. Prepare for Pooh Bear with a light saber to make its appearance. I *hated* what they did to the Pooh (for a fun time, read: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/01/20/335653/index.htm). It was going downhill anyway. I hope Lucas is happy with his billions.

How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 21:48 by John Sinteur in category: News


I was a dupe. I’m ready to admit it now.

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Canadian Teen Arrested After Refusing to Delete Photos from His Film Camera

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 20:39 by Paul Jay in category: News


 A 16-year-old aspiring journalist named Jakub Markiewicz was arrested last month at the shopping mall Metropolis at Metrotown, the 2nd largest mall in Canada. After photographing security guards arresting a man, he was unable to comply with multiple demands to delete the photographs he had taken… from a film camera.

British Columbia’s CBC News writes,

Markiewicz said the guards quickly turned on him, demanding he delete the photo, which he couldn’t do because he was shooting on a film camera. Markiewicz said he turned to leave the mall and then snapped a second shot as RCMP arrived.

He said the security guards held him, attempting to grab his camera, and he was pushed to the ground. He said he then tried to use his body to protect two cameras he carried in his bag […] He admits he started swearing and was then handcuffed by police and taken outside the mall to an RCMP cruiser by the officers and mall security. Markiewicz said the guards again demanded he delete the photos and he told them once more he couldn’t.

Markiewicz was eventually released without charges after being arrested for causing a disturbance, but has been blacklisted from the mall for half a year.

Lawyers say that security guards have no right to seize cameras and/or demand that photographs be deleted, even if they were shot on private property.

Teen arrested after photographing B.C. mall takedown [CBC News]

Update: Markiewicz has emailed us demanding that the photo originally included in this article be taken down. The photographs can still be seen in the embedded video


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The Bridge’s Greatest Hits.

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 19:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Informant: NYPD paid me to ‘bait’ Muslims

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 19:22 by Paul Jay in category: Do you feel safer yet?


 NEW YORK (AP) — A paid informant for the New York Police Department’s intelligence unit was under orders to “bait” Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press.

Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called “create and capture.” He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.

“We need you to pretend to be one of them,” Rahman recalled the police telling him. “It’s street theater.”

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  1. Lawn enforcement needs some fertilizer on the ground before it can show results.

  2. Virtually identical tactic used by the NYPD when trying to shut down the discos in the 1980s, with informants who ratted on the club owners and regulars who used recreational drugs.

Washington Post: Yes, We Need To Give Up Liberty For Security

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 19:12 by Paul Jay in category: Do you feel safer yet?, Security


from the oh-really-now? dept

By now you’ve probably seen the paraphrase of a Ben Franklin quote that those who give up liberty for security, deserve neither (he said similar things a few different ways, but the standard actual quote is: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”) Whatever the actual quote is, there is quite a lot of truth to it. Giving up liberty for the sake of security rarely works out as planned. Either way, it appears that the editorial board of the Washington Post is either wholly unfamiliar with the quote, or believes it to be untrue. It has come out with an editorial arguing in favor of extending the FISA Amendments Act (and against an ACLU/EFF challenge to the law, to be heard today at the Supreme Court, even with the crazy weather) saying that it is perfectly fine to “give up liberty” for security:

Discomfort with the government’s capacity, technical or legal, to collect and retain massive amounts of personal information is understandable. But the 2008 FISA amendments sought a compromise between two essential goals: preserving American liberty and robustly defending Americans’ lives and property. We favored the law and believe that it should be extended.

That’s somewhat ridiculous. After all, as we’ve noted over and over again, almost no one seems to understand what’s actually in the FISA Amendments Act, in part because there’s a secret interpretation of it that only the government knows. This means that many, many people, including those in Congress, are clearly misrepresenting what’s in the law. The fact that the NSA refuses to say how often it has used this secret interpretation to spy on Americans should be a pretty big warning sign — especially as politicians who are either clueless or ignorant claim that it can’t be used to spy on Americans.

And really, this is the root of the “don’t give up liberty for security” quote. Once you do that, you’re cooked, because it’s a situation that only expands in one direction. Those who seek to hold back liberty will always make use of scare stories and FUD to seek to be able to spy further. You would think that the editorial board of the Washington Post, which has been covering this kind of mess for quite some time, would actually have some sort of ability to look back at history. Apparently its historical knowledge is close to nil.

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  1. I struggle with the use of that Franklin quote as a basis for deciding what makes good policy. It’s equally easy to trot it out in defense of gun rights, or against mandatory seat belt laws. How does one distinguish where it applies and where giving up some freedom makes sense?

  2. Desiato, that’s a good question. Ultimate freedom (chaos) and ultimate security (Stalin) are mutually exclusive so there has to be a compromise. If we ignore the constant tension existing between the two, we talk in terms of one or the other, as if that were possible. (OK, hope you don’t take the preceding as a lecture; I’m struggling for clarity) Maybe a starting point for what makes sense is awareness of our motivation for desiring one or the other. Some level of normality and unselfishness for the good of the community are positives. Selfishness and ultimate freedom seem to be connected. Fear and ultimate security likewise. Since being exposed to the phrase, “enlightened self-interest”, it keeps coming back to me………

    OK, this became a ramble. Anything useful in there?

Helicopter Fishing

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 19:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Bond vs Bond

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 19:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 18:20 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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The Proliferation of Verbifications

Posted on October 30th, 2012 at 18:19 by Desiato in category: Commentary


Linguists use the terms “zero derivation” and “functional shifting” to describe the morphing of a noun into a verb or vice versa with minimal or no change of form: bristle, thumb, stump. Impatient authors can hurry this process along through the rhetorical device known as anthimeria, deliberately employing words from one grammatical category as though they belonged to another. The phrase pimp my ride is a double anthimeria: the noun has been verbed, the verb nouned.

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New York expecting Sandy

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 22:41 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Great Picture

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Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 20:51 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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What Hurricane?

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 20:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

During previous hurricanes the Soldiers were told to abandon their posts by the president of the US. They respectfully refused the order and said they would be here no matter what.

Here’s what they normally do:

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  1. The dead are dead, they don’t need respect anymore. As for their sacrifice, they got screwed.

    Give your respect to the living, not the dead. Words to live by.

  2. I’d go pay my respects at a “Tomb of the Unknown Civilian Child, Age 5 or Younger, Killed While Minding His or Her Own Business”, aka “Collateral Damage”.

De belangrijkste punten uit het regeerakkoord op een rij

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 19:55 by Desiato in category: Intellectual Property, News


– Het verdrag ter bestrijding van namaak (ACTA) krijgt in de huidige vorm geen steun.

Translation: the treaty on the fight against infringement of copyright (ACTA) will not be supported in its current form [by the new Dutch government].

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Christian preacher blames gays for Hurricane Sandy

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 18:07 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Pastafarian News


An anti-gay Christian preacher is already blaming Hurricane Sandy on gays.

As the east coast of the United States prepares for the storm, which has already killed 60 people in the Caribbean, author and chaplain John McTernan has decided who is at fault.

On his website Defend Proclaim The Faith, the preacher says the gathering storm must be God’s judgment on gays, and punishing the president Barack Obama for coming out in support of marriage equality.

Gay marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 1 April 2001.

Guess how many hurricanes has troubled the Netherlands since that date…

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Romney to Business Crowd: Obama Sees You As an “Evil”

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 17:47 by John Sinteur in category: Can you Trump this?, Indecision 2012


Ever since I revealed Mitt Romney’s 47 percent rant, tips and tapes have come through the transom—including this and this. And another source who asked not to be identified just sent me an audio recording of a private Mitt Romney fundraiser from earlier this year. At this event, Romney didn’t decry half of the nation, but he and Ann Romney each expressed disdain for President Barack Obama, with the Republican presidential candidate asserting that Obama considers businesspeople “a necessary evil” and his wife suggesting that the president was not a “grown-up.”

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Sony lets slip its PlayStation 3 Master Key – oops!

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 16:50 by John Sinteur in category: Security


This wouldn’t be the first time Sony has leaked important security keys, common to every PlayStation 3 console, however, this is the first time the console’s LV0 decryption keys have been let loose in the wild.

So what makes the LV0 keys so special? These are the core security keys of the console, used to decrypt new firmware updates. With these keys in-hand, makers of custom firmwares (CFW) can easily decrypt any future firmware updates released by Sony, remaining a step ahead of the update game; likewise, modifying firmwares and preventing them from talking back to Sony HQ also becomes a much easier task.

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Bob Ross

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 15:13 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Follow the Frog

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 12:51 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

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Greece arrests editor for ‘Lagarde list’ leak

Posted on October 29th, 2012 at 1:30 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Greek police arrested the editor of a weekly magazine for publishing a list of more than 2,000 names of wealthy Greeks who have placed money in Swiss bank accounts, police said.

The so-called “Lagarde List”, which led to the arrest of editor Costas Vaxevanis on Sunday, was given to Greece by French authorities in 2010 with names to be probed for possible tax evasion – has been a topic of heated speculation in the Greek media…

He said he had not committed any wrongdoing and accused authorities of trying to muzzle the press.

“The important thing is that a group of people – when Greece is starving – make a profit and try to create the Greece they want,” he said.

“Tomorrow in parliament they will vote to cut 100-200 euros [ in pay for the Greek civil servant, for the Greek worker while at the same time most of the 2,000 people on the list appear to be evading tax by secretly sending money to Switzerland.”

Surely arresting the journalist is over-reacting?


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Steve Jobs’s yacht makes its first appearance

Posted on October 28th, 2012 at 16:44 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Jobs’s family is reportedly on-hand for the unveiling of the superyacht that One More Thing says features a lightweight aluminum exterior measuring up to 80 meters long. Another image shows six of the seven 27-inch iMacs found in the ship’s interior, reportedly designed by Philippe Starck. The backside of the iMacs are also visible in the wheelhouse in the video above.

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  1. Ugly bugger. Looks like a Georgian Bay ferry.

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