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Parents must rat on kids for internet piracy, German court rules

Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 22:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


German parents have to inform authorities of illegal downloads by their children, a German High Court has stated in an unprecedented ruling. Refusal to comply will result in fines.

The judges working on the case had to decide whose rights took precedence: those of the record company to their intellectual property or the protection of marriage and family, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Well, easy choice, right?

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Two scientists demonstrate their subject’s conditioned response to the sound of a bell.

Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 21:55 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Mike Flynn Willing to Be Interviewed in Return for Immunity

Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 11:34 by John Sinteur in category: News


Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn has told the Senate Intelligence Committee he is willing to be interviewed about the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia in return for immunity from prosecution, a Congressional official told NBC News.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Flynn had told the FBI and Congress he was willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity.

In a statement tweeted Thursday, Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, confirmed that discussions had taken place with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and said “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it.”

[Quote: (last year, same guy)]

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN: The very last thing that John Podesta just said is no individual should be too big to jail. That should include people like Hillary Clinton. Five people around her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff. When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.

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  1. Quote:

    (25) And not to be morbid, but you’d tend to make a _very_ public request for immunity if you thought you might be killed by a co-defendant.

The Blue Whale Tale

Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 2:54 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Newfoundland’s Bonne Bay sparkled deceptively in the May sunlight. As I tried to walk towards the whale, the stench of rotting blubber stopped me dead in my tracks, as if it were an invisible wall. I had to retreat and kneel beside my rental car until the urge to vomit passed. Finally, one of the guys working on the carcass yelled up at me. “You’ll have to come down here to get the interview,” he shouted. I got my act together.

It was the first day of the most disgusting, most fascinating week of my life.

Let’s not ever complain about our working conditions again!

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US Supreme Court Case on Toner Cartridges

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 22:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


You Should Care about the Supreme Court Case on Toner Cartridges.
The verdict could have consequences on practically any purchased product.

[PC printer manufacturers make most of their money selling toner & other ink
systems, often at ridiculous high prices.

Various 3rd party outfits sell apparently identical ink cartridges for much
less money.

I turn in my used cartridges to a recycling outfit, which refills them, with
much lower cost to me than buying the printer manufacturer cartridges.

The printer manufacturers want to put a stop to that competition, make you
use theirs exclusively, then they can jack up the prices even more.




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NASA fireworks

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 22:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


A security patch, applied by IT staff at NASA, caused an equipment shutdown
and subsequent fire that destroyed spacecraft hardware.

The fire lasted 3.5 hours, unnoticed by anyone because the security patch
had shut down the fire alarm systems.

[The news media blame the fire on the security patch. Inspector General
finds more significant faults. The Space Agency has lost track of its
equipment needs. AWM]

This was not an isolated incident, of bad consequences of networking
hardware, without good management of the equipment’s dissimilar needs..

“Vulnerability scanning used to identify software flaws, that can be
exploited by an attacker, caused equipment to fail and loss of communication
with an Earth science spacecraft during an orbital pass. A chilled-water
heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system was disabled—which
caused IT equipment reliant on it in one of NASA’s data centers to be shut
down after temperatures rapidly rose to more than 50 degrees centigrade.

Here is the IG Feb-8 report, on above challenges:

[Many industries grew with industrial control mechanisms not designed to be
networked with computer systems vulnerable to malware, hacking etc. They
don’t have good firewalls or any cyber security protections, but in the
interests of cost savings, critical infrastructure industrial systems are
being included into computer networks, often without adequate thinking to
protect all the devices in a cyber security risky world. US’s Space Agency
is one of those industries. Before networking the industrial control
hardware, there were personnel familiar with its maintenance needs. If you
drop those people from the payroll, you are making your outfit more
vulnerable.. AWM]

[Registration required]

Lots of NASA operations get connected to the cloud, without upper management
awareness, nor approval, due to lack of good cyber security..

Here’s IG Feb-7 report on that:

NASA is also involved with IoT.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley reported, in 2007, that $ 1.9 billion in
hardware was stolen, thanks to hackers into NASA.

That’s a significant portion of NASA’s annual $ 13 billion budget.


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  1. I am not an IT genius but isn’t it normal protocol to test patches on machines not connected to the network? Also, would someone send NASA information on how to use VLANs?

UK government says Apple ‘cannot get away with’ unbreakable encryption following terrorist attack

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 22:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


British Home Secretary Amber Rudd – in charge of police policy in the UK – has told the BBC that Apple ‘cannot get away with’ apps that offer unbreakable encryption following last week’s terrorist attack in London.

Rudd was speaking after it was revealed that Khalid Masood accessed WhatsApp two minutes before ploughing through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in a rented car, killing three of them, before fatally stabbing a police officer guarding the Houses of Parliament.

She described end-to-end encrypted messaging as used by WhatsApp and Apple’s Messages app as ‘completely unacceptable’ …

It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorists to hide. We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other […]

In this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp. 

Rudd continued with a confused statement in which she referenced Apple directly.

If I was talking to Tim Cook, I would say to him that this is something completely different. We’re not saying ‘open up,’ we don’t want to ‘go into the cloud,’ we don’t want to do all sorts of things like that. But we do want them to recognize that they have a responsibility to engage with governments, and engage with law enforcement agencies when there is a terrorist situation. We would do it all through the carefully thought-through, legally covered arrangements. But they cannot get away with saying we are a different situation. They are not.

So, er, that’s clear.

Oh bloody idiots, when do they grow up. Step out of the “Something must be done, this is something, therefore it must be done” mindset and think for a second.

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  1. I’m surprised they didn’t throw in, “Think of the children!”

  2. I can’t wait until all of these brainless politicians have all of their data hacked and posted on the Internet for all to see! Oh boy! I’m getting a big box of popcorn for this one!

The Scrapping Of Internet Privacy: Something We Can All Hate Together

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 20:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Hansard – Committee 28/02/2017 Parliament of Australia

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 14:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


Senator ABETZ: I have just got a very quick brief topic, a matter that was brought to my attention by a staff member of Finance. What is the protocol with flying flags in the Department of Finance and in the foyer?

Ms Huxtable : I might have to take that on notice, but we would adhere to the government guidelines in that regard. I believe I have someone here who may be able to help you.

Mr Hirschfeld : We follow the protocols set by the flag protocol unit in PM&C.

  Senator ABETZ: Flags that are associated with political campaigns or active community campaigns, are they flown in the foyer from time to time?

Mr Hirschfeld : I do not know whether it is my position to determine whether or not something is a political campaign.

  Senator ABETZ: That begs the question: what is the protocol about flying flags in government buildings and on this one for the Department of Finance?

Mr Hirschfeld : The PM&C protocol specifies flag protocols for the flags that are flown outside the building.

  Senator ABETZ: Outside the building; not inside the building.

Mr Hirschfeld : Not to my knowledge, but we can check that.

  Senator ABETZ: Not for the official foyer. So, in that case, if it is not the PM&C guidelines, who determines the guidelines? Can anybody from the public plant a flag in the foyer of Finance? I assume that is not the case, so somebody must have that heavy duty.

Ms Huxtable : I think there are no protocols as such in respect of the inside of the building, but clearly it would be a matter for the executive board in terms of what happens inside the building.

  Senator ABETZ: Surely the executive board meet to determine what flag is to be flown in the morning?

Ms Huxtable : The executive board do meet very regularly on a range of issues. I cannot say that I can recall any sort of flag issues ever being raised at board meetings. As is the normal arrangement, we meet fortnightly.

Senator Cormann: And I can say that nobody has ever raised any flag issues with me. I am not aware of any flag issues. If there is any concern in relation to flag issues, it might have been useful for it to have been raised.

  Senator ABETZ: The Finance staff member who raised it with me is concerned because they imagine that it would not be the minister making that determination but possibly the head of the department or somebody else within the department. To cut to the chase, the rainbow flag was on display in the lobby, which, believe it or not, some people see as an activist flag for a particular cause in relation to the issue of whether or not we should change the legislation on marriage. Some people support that cause; others do not. I was just wondering what the protocol was within the Department of Finance because if that is allowed then one imagines the Marriage Alliance banner should be flown equally. Ms Huxtable?

Ms Huxtable : I did not say anything.

  Senator ABETZ: I know you did not say anything, but I saw the way that you reacted to that. If you allow one side of a debate then you need to allow the other side. That is why I sought to determine up-front who was responsible for making these determinations. It looks as though we do not have anyone. Can you take on notice: who is actually responsible? With whom does the buck stop? Who makes the actual decision as to what flags are flown? For example, when the Israeli Prime Minister was in town, I understand we did not see the need to fly the Israeli flag in the foyer of the finance department. Who makes the determination as to what flags are exhibited or flown in the foyer from time to time?

Ms Huxtable : I think I have already made the point that, in terms of what is inside the foyer, that would be a matter for the executive board. I can certainly raise this issue with the executive board at their next meeting, and we can discuss a way in which we can make this decision in the future.

  Senator ABETZ: If you could provide with a copy of the relevant minutes of the executive board that made the determination in relation to the flying of this particular flag, that would be very helpful.

Ms Huxtable : I will seek to do that.

  Senator ABETZ: Thank you. For what it is worth, by way of some slight humour on this issue, you realise this particular flag is the flag of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, which has declared war on Australia. Senator Cormann, you would understand they did the same as Prince Leonard of the Principality of Hutt River and this is now their official flag. It is the flag of a hostile nation, if we are to believe them, having declared war on Australia. I dare say that was not the reason it was flown.

  Senator McALLISTER: I think he is no longer king.

Senator Cormann: Last week, it appeared his son had taken over; that is right. Senator Abetz, as the secretary has indicated, there will be a flag inquiry, and we certainly do not like to be—

  Senator ABETZ: You have flagged an inquiry?

Senator Cormann: Yes, a flag inquiry. It is certainly not the government’s intention to fly the flags of hostile nations in any of our official buildings.

  Senator ABETZ: Very good. That is a start.

Senator Cormann: We will make sure that there are no flags of hostile nations anywhere in any government building.

  Senator ABETZ: Excellent. The other thing is to ensure that there are no flags that are identified with certain political campaigns that might upset members of the staff of the finance department. Thank you.

  Senator McALLISTER: I would like to come back to the NBN Co and the loan that has been announced, provided to the NBN Co on commercial terms.

Although, technically speaking, he is right, it should be noted that he’s so consistently anti-gay it would not surprise me one bit if he was spotted having a wide stance one of these days. There is really only one reason to think about gay people that much. For the best way to bother him on this issue  someone needs to agree with him and very seriously say they need to appoint an ambassador to the nation to apologize for the affront.

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  1. On the subject of the rainbow flag (that threat to public order and decency, I’m shocked to say 🙂 I heard that Gilbert Baker has died.

    Sad news.


Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 8:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Rare photo of the UK leaving the EU.

Posted on March 30th, 2017 at 0:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Confusion reigns as experts question motive for U.S. electronics travel ban

Posted on March 29th, 2017 at 19:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


The U.S. decision to ban large electronic devices on American-bound flights from 10 international airports sparked confusion among observers Tuesday who were unsure about how to react to the confusing new rules.


Others aren’t so sure that security issues are the only forces at play. In short, “there might be some competitive questions here as well,” says Henry Farrell, an associate professor of political science at George Washington University in D.C.

In an interview with CBC’s On The Money Tuesday, Farrell said he can’t help but notice that the targeted airports are all the major hubs of three airlines based in the Persian Gulf: Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

Governments heavily subsidize the operations of all three, allowing them to offer better service at lower prices than other carriers. Which is why biggest three U.S. airlines — American, Delta and United — have lobbied the Trump administration to crack down on those practices which they call unfair.

“These airlines have been very, very nervous ever since Trump came into office that they may be in the target sights,” Farrell said. So this move could be nothing more than “the Trump administration is giving U.S. airlines a boost by knocking down their competitors.”

That’s because they all cater to high-end Western business travellers by giving access to Asia on luxurious planes via a hub-and-spoke system — and all their main hubs have just been made less desirable.

“If you’re a business class or first class passenger,” Farrel says, “you’re probably going to be quite worried” about not having access to your laptop during a 15-hour flight. “You’re very likely to choose a different airline.”

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  1. Just because we’re paranoid, doesn’t mean it’s true.

  2. “Just because we’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get us.” I forget who first said this.

AT&T Archives: The UNIX Operating System

Posted on March 29th, 2017 at 17:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. Fascinating. Somewhere we still have the “Sex and Drugs and Unix” pin!

Trump administration sought to block Sally Yates from testifying to Congress on Russia

Posted on March 28th, 2017 at 19:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


According to letters The Post reviewed, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers a great deal of her possible testimony to be barred from discussion in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by the presidential communication privilege.


During a briefing Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied that the White House sought to hinder Yates’s testimony. “I hope she testifies, I look forward to it,’’ he said. “To suggest in any way, shape or form that we stood in the way of that is 100 percent false.’’

So the Post published that story, waited for the WH to deny it, and then simply showed the actual letters. Neat. In a sane world this would have consequences for the WH.

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  1. I guess this makes sense if a lawyer was present, but aren’t they always there?

Mister Rogers Haunts Trump from Beyond the Grave

Posted on March 27th, 2017 at 13:26 by John Sinteur in category: News


Thirty-four years ago, another pro-military president was making noise about cutting PBS to pay for more bombs and guns. In response to Ronald Reagan’s Cold War-era saber-rattling, legendary children’s television host Mister Rogers put together a series of (by his standards) five edgy episodes in which the characters in the “Land of Make Believe” allegorically waged their own Cold War, selling everything they valued—including their art—to build a bomb in order to protect themselves from a threat that did not actually exist. These five episodes have attained near-legendary status among Mister Rogers fans, since they were aired only once (in November of 1983) and then were pulled from syndication and disappeared. All searches for the tapes proved fruitless, and they were widely presumed to be lost.

At least, they were presumed to be lost until last week. Mysteriously, two of the five missing episodes were posted in their entirety to YouTube last Monday. The user who did so, under the name TROG SLEEP NOW, has posted no other videos or other material, has not commented on any other videos on the site, and doesn’t even have a profile picture. Thus far, there is no indication as to who this person is or how they got the missing tapes. The timing certainly appears to be a comment on Donald Trump’s budget, however, while Mister Rogers (who died in 2003) almost seems to be addressing himself directly to the President at some points in the programs:

Rules are very, very important. Not just for games but for all things. Even big things like countries. Countries have to have rules to protect people, too. And someday you’ll be helping to make the rules for your country. I trust that you’ll make the best kind you know how.

Maybe the other three episodes, the ones that are still missing, have Mister Rogers talking about how Muslims are not banned in his neighborhood. (Z)

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  1. Regardless, I have doubled my contribution to my local NPR station, NCPR.

Ads praising GOP for replacing Obamacare aired after AHCA flopped

Posted on March 25th, 2017 at 21:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


Basketball fans were given a dose of alternative facts as a number of pre-bought ads praising Republicans for repealing Obamacare aired on local TV stations during Friday night games.

Only problem was, GOP representatives didn’t repeal Obamacare — and are most likely not going to anytime soon.


The ads, which were produced by the conservative American Action Network PAC, urged constituents to thank their Republican congressmen and women for “keeping” their promises and “replacing the Affordable Care Act with the better health care you deserve.”

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  1. Well, Mr. Bannon said his motto was, “Move fast, break stuff.”

  2. I guarantee you that there are Trump supporters out there RIGHT NOW that think Obamacare has been repealed.

  3. I guarantee that there are Trump supporters out there who would be horrified to know that Obamacare, which must be repealed, and the Affordable Care Act, which is keeping them alive, are one and the same thing.


Posted on March 25th, 2017 at 1:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

A FICTIVE FLIGHT ABOVE REAL MARS from Jan Fröjdman on Vimeo.

The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of high-resolution images of this type. This gives the opportunity to create different studies in 3D. In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips. There is a feeling that you are flying above Mars looking down watching interesting locations on the planet. And there are really great places on Mars! I would love to see images taken by a landscape photographer on Mars, especially from the polar regions. But I’m afraid I won’t see that kind of images during my lifetime.

It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs. For this film I have chosen more than 33.000 reference points! It took me 3 months of calendar time working with the project every now and then.

The colors in this film are false because the anaglyph images are based on grayscale images. I have therefore color graded the clips. But I have tried to be moderate doing this. The light regions in the clips are yellowish and the dark regions bluish. The clips from the polar regions (the last clips in the film) have a white-blue tone.There are a lot of opinions and studies of what the natural colors on Mars might be. But the dark regions of dust often seems to have a bluish tone. Please study this issue on e.g sites by NASA.

This film is not scientific. As a space enthusiast I have just tried to visualize the planet my way.
The video begins with a nearby approach to Mars moon Phobos.

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Is This What Quantum Mechanics Looks Like?

Posted on March 24th, 2017 at 18:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Man Puts Computer Through Hell By Installing Every Major Windows Upgrade

Posted on March 24th, 2017 at 14:09 by John Sinteur in category: News


Beginning with MS DOS 3.10—which he notes wasn’t even available as a retail product before version 5, you had to buy a whole computer to get your hands on it—he uses VirtualBox to install every Windows operating system from there on up.

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  1. ROFLMAO! What a glutton for punishment!

  2. Mad bastard! Cuntballs indeed…

  3. Is this guy a urologist in his day job or is suffering the Freudian castration anxiety. I first thought he was drawing the middle finger salute, but then quickly realized…Oh, its that thing! Regardless, great post a great laugh!

Wife Now Regrets Supporting Trump After Husband Set to be Deported

Posted on March 24th, 2017 at 13:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


Helen Beristain is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump. She’s said in the past that she voted for the President because she agreed with an immigration policy that he promoted. Now, as her husband is about to be deported, her family is on the wrong side of a system she thought would spare them.

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Colorado Republican Who Claimed Widespread Voter Fraud Charged with Voter Fraud

Posted on March 23rd, 2017 at 15:04 by John Sinteur in category: News


Steven Curtis, the former head of the Colorado Republican Party, frequently charged that voter fraud was common and it was all committed by Democrats. He will soon get his day in court—as a defendant. He has been charged with—you guessed it—voter fraud. In the criminal complaint filed in Weld County District Court, he is charged with a felony count of forging his former wife’s signature on a mail-in ballot, as well as a misdemeanor count of tampering with a mail-in ballot. On his Colorado talk radio show on Oct. 6, 2016, he said: “It seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, but virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.” If he is convicted on the felony forgery charge, he could face up to 18 months in jail. A spokesman for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said the Curtis case is the only allegation of voter fraud in the state in 2016 that resulted in a criminal charge being filed. If Curtis is convicted, then at least for Colorado in 2016, 100% of the voter fraud will have been committed by Republicans. (V)

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PC Keith Palmer, 48. Died protecting parliament.

Posted on March 23rd, 2017 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: News


We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.

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CIO Magazine award

Posted on March 23rd, 2017 at 9:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


Melanie Rieback heeft de jaarlijkse TIM Award gewonnen voor de meest innovatieve IT-leider van Nederland. De medeoprichter en CEO van Radically Open Security (ROS) won de prijs voor haar inspanningen om de online securitywereld te dwingen tot transparantie.

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  1. Hé, goed! Congrats!

Apple may have deployed unauthorized patch by mistake

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 at 22:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Last month, reports came out that Apple accidentally installed a fake firmware patch on internal development servers. That’s a lesson to all companies to be careful about where they get their patches.

What may have happened is that an Apple employee installed a patch shared by the hardware vendor’s employee, instead of using the official release of the patch, said Chris Nietzold, senior platform engineer at security appliance manufacturer MBX Systems.

“They may have procured the firmware from an unofficial source and didn’t follow the official release schedule,” he said.

The firmware included a potential security vulnerability and Apple reportedly ended its relationship with the supplier, Super Micro Computer, as a result.

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Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why

Posted on March 20th, 2017 at 15:25 by John Sinteur in category: News



Environmental Protection Agency: We absolutely do not need this. Clean rivers and breathable air are making us SOFT and letting the Chinese and the Russians get the jump on us. We must go back to the America that was great, when the air was full of coal and danger and the way you could tell if the air was breathable was by carrying a canary around with you at all times, perched on your leathery, coal-dust-covered finger. Furthermore, we will cut funding to Superfund cleanup in the EPA because the only thing manlier than clean water is DIRTY water.

Agriculture Department: NO MORE OF THIS NAMBY-PAMBY “GATHERING” NONSENSE. We will be HUNTERS again. This is also why we are cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children: Let them FIGHT for their meat or have NONE.


On Friday, the White House blasted out an email that included headlines from and links to favorable news articles—it’s just that one of those links was to a satirical comedy piece written by Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri that mocks President Donald Trump’s new budget blueprint, quoted above.

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  1. There must be something else we can cut so we can increase the defense budget and still give the oppressed rich a tax cut.

  2. Ah…tell me why this is happening again? Is it because Mr. T. only hires people more intellectually challenged than himself?

  3. Sue, I think they’re ethically and morally challenged.

  4. I’m sorry. It’s redundant to say business leaders are unethical and immoral.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted on March 19th, 2017 at 23:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


Explanation: When does the line between day and night become vertical? Tomorrow. Tomorrow is an equinox on planet Earth, a time of year when day and night are most nearly equal. At an equinox, the Earth’s terminator — the dividing line between day and night — becomes vertical and connects the north and south poles. The featured time-lapse video demonstrates this by displaying an entire year on planet Earth in twelve seconds. From geosynchronous orbit, the Meteosat satellite recorded these infrared images of the Earth every day at the same local time. The video started at the September 2010 equinox with the terminator line being vertical. As the Earth revolved around the Sun, the terminator was seen to tilt in a way that provides less daily sunlight to the northern hemisphere, causing winter in the north. As the year progressed, the March 2011 equinox arrived halfway through the video, followed by the terminator tilting the other way, causing winter in the southern hemisphere — and summer in the north. The captured year ends again with the September equinox, concluding another of billions of trips the Earth has taken — and will take — around the Sun.

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This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

Posted on March 19th, 2017 at 13:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


In one particularly potent example of party trumping fact, when shown photos of Trump’s inauguration and Barack Obama’s side by side, in which Obama clearly had a bigger crowd, some Trump supporters identified the bigger crowd as Trump’s. When researchers explicitly told subjects which photo was Trump’s and which was Obama’s, a smaller portion of Trump supporters falsely said Trump’s photo had more people in it.

While this may appear to be a remarkable feat of self-deception, Dan Kahan thinks it’s likely something else. It’s not that they really believed there were more people at Trump’s inauguration, but saying so was a way of showing support for Trump. “People knew what was being done here,” says Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale University. “They knew that someone was just trying to show up Trump or trying to denigrate their identity.” The question behind the question was, “Whose team are you on?”

In these charged situations, people often don’t engage with information as information but as a marker of identity. Information becomes tribal.

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  1. Meanwhile we can just celebrate the ruthless mockery of the internet:

RIP Chuck Berry

Posted on March 19th, 2017 at 0:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. Very sad.

  2. James Cotton passed today as well. RIP James. Say hi to Chuck, and rock them up in the angel band!

Claims GCHQ wiretapped Trump ‘nonsense’ – NSA’s Ledgett

Posted on March 18th, 2017 at 16:32 by John Sinteur in category: News


The claim that GCHQ carried out surveillance on Donald Trump during the election campaign is “arrant nonsense”, Rick Ledgett, the number two at the US National Security Agency (NSA) has told the BBC in an exclusive interview.

A commentator on Fox News had claimed that GCHQ had carried out the activity on America’s behalf, but Mr Ledgett said the claim showed “a complete lack of understanding in how the relationship works”.

Each side, he said, was prohibited from asking the other partner to carry out acts that they were prohibited from doing.

He also said the huge risks to the UK in carrying out such an act would completely outweigh any benefits.

“Of course they wouldn’t do it. It would be epically stupid,” he told me.

Okay – let’s see if we can understand how the relationship does work. The chances were very  high that Donald Trump’s phone calls were picked up and recorded by both the UK agencies. He made calls out of the US and those either went through or were terminated in the UK. Trump owns large tracts of land in Scotland and it has proved quite controversial and there is “blood in the water” there. He had close relationships with the then Scotish First Minister Alex Salmond  which would have automatically made him a person of interest in the UK especially to the Conservative Party in Westminster who hate the Scots, and the Scots hate them in return as you might have noticed in the news about Brexit (if you’ve been following UK news). As a person of political interest GCHQ info on Trump would have been seen by the UK Cabinet Office. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US Pres Obama have a close relationship. And Donald Trump would almost certainly have come up in conversation as he was an obvious thorn in both their sides. Therefor it is quite likely information was shared. But, as Mr Ledgett correctly notices, not by the NSA asking the GCHQ. They are completely in the clear because of how the relationship works…

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  1. Or it could be simpler. Someone in Trump’s building was in phone conversations with a person or persons who were already under legitimate surveillance (foreign “diplomats” for example).

    Or both. As you say, there isn’t an international phone conversation that isn’t recorded. Whether it was accessed and by whom is another matter…

  2. Notice the denials are like a husband accused of cheating, ‘ridiculous, arrant nonsense’ instead of “I did not do anything with her.” At no point do they say ‘we did not bug him.’

US reporters praise German journalists for questioning Trump

Posted on March 18th, 2017 at 9:58 by John Sinteur in category: News


Trump was also asked point-blank by one reporter why he keeps making statements he knows are not true. It was a question that DW’s Brent Goff said “shocked” US reporters.

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  1. But what was the answer?

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