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Trump in China: A former ambassador says Xi is “playing him like a fiddle”

Posted on November 10th, 2017 at 10:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


Beyond the numbers, it’s Trump’s embrace of Xi that has diplomats and human rights activists around the world concerned. China’s government is “playing Trump like a fiddle,” said Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s ambassador to China from 2007 to 2013. “You don’t have good chemistry with a Chinese leader who doesn’t speak your language and is geared to not develop chemistry,” he said.

The Communist Party’s top aides are masterful at making diplomats and foreign businessmen feel special, he said, warning that Trump may be particularly susceptible to Beijing’s tactic of flattering foreigners with over-the-top ceremony and then refusing to change.

“You leave that meeting thinking ‘It went great,’” said Guajardo. And then when it comes time to negotiate a practical agreement, if you invoke the special friendship you’ve formed, Beijing officials “laugh and say ‘No, let’s not confuse all that pomp and circumstance with the meat of the matter.’”

“I would be lying to you if I tell you I didn’t fall for it when I was there,” he added.

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DOJ: Strong encryption that we don’t have access to is “unreasonable”

Posted on November 10th, 2017 at 9:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


The DOJ’s position runs counter to the consensus of information security experts, who say that it is impossible to build the strongest encryption system possible that would also allow the government access under certain conditions.

“Of course, criminals and terrorists have used, are using, and will use encryption to hide their planning from the authorities, just as they will use many aspects of society’s capabilities and infrastructure: cars, restaurants, telecommunications,” Bruce Schneier, a well-known cryptographer, wrote last year.

“In general, we recognize that such things can be used by both honest and dishonest people. Society thrives nonetheless because the honest so outnumber the dishonest. Compare this with the tactic of secretly poisoning all the food at a restaurant. Yes, we might get lucky and poison a terrorist before he strikes, but we’ll harm all the innocent customers in the process. Weakening encryption for everyone is harmful in exactly the same way.”

Rosenstein closed his interview by noting that he understands re-engineering encryption to accommodate government may make it weaker.

“And I think that’s a legitimate issue that we can debate—how much risk are we willing to take in return for the reward?” he said.

“My point is simply that I think somebody needs to consider what’s on the other side of the balance. There is a cost to having impregnable security, and we’ve talked about some of the aspects of that. The cost is that criminals are going to be able to get away with stuff, and that’s going to prevent us in law enforcement from holding them accountable.”

He talks about it as if the entire world would go back to encryption with a back-door if only the big tech companies caved to his begging. As if strong encryption would simply disappear overnight if somebody like Tim Cook said “Okay, the Rosenstein is right”. The strong encryption horse has left the barn long ago and is now living three zip codes away. The only people who would be stuck with weakened encryption are the average law abiding citizens.

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‘Take the Bible…’: And thus began the worst defense of Roy Moore

Posted on November 10th, 2017 at 8:33 by John Sinteur in category: News


Roy Moore’s Senate campaign was jolted by an allegation Thursday that he initiated sexual touching with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.

Moore (R) has denied the allegations. Alabama state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), though, is taking it a step further. In some rather remarkable and often nonsensical comments, the Moore supporter’s argument isn’t that Moore didn’t do these things, but that even the conduct described in The Washington Post’s report is a-okay with both him and the law.


And finally, the piece de resistance:

“Take the Bible — Zachariah and Elizabeth, for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler says, choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

First, there are issues with Zeigler’s Bible references. Both Zachariah and Elizabeth were elderly when John the Baptist was born; it wasn’t that she was young and Zachariah was “extremely old.”

Second, comparing modern age-of-consent laws to biblical times seems to be a slippery slope. Many things from 2,000 years ago don’t apply today. Girls were often betrothed early in their teenage years, for example.

And third, there is something called the virgin birth. Here is the definition of virgin.

So treason is okay. Sexual assault is okay. Corruption and abuse of power are okay. Telling an average of 5 unique lies a day is okay. Incompetence and negligence are okay. And now pedophilia is okay.

But if some motherfucker puts dijon mustard on their burger…

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  1. The only motive I can think up that would make people vote for the such unsuitable candidates is that they want to wreck their own polity.

    Reminds me of the joke I told before:

    Father Patrick was walking down a poor street in his parish, when he spotted a 12-year old member of his congregation knocking on the door of a house of ill-repute.

    “Johnny! What are you doing at that door! Do you know who lives there?”

    “Yes, Father. A prostitute. It’s what I want.”

    “What! Don’t you know that fornication is a sin? Your immortal soul is at risk!”

    “Yes, Father. It’s what I want.”

    “But Johnny, think of the consequences! You’ll get the clap!”

    “Yes, Father. It’s what I want.”

    “Johnny O’Reilly! You’re the son of a wealthy family. You can’t expect me to believe that you want the clap! What are you doing this for?”

    “If I get the clap, the maid will get the clap. If the maid gets the clap, my father will get the clap. If my father gets the clap, my mother will get the clap. If my mother gets the clap, the gardener will get the clap.
    “And he’s the bastard I want. He killed my stick insect!”

Gay man denied a marriage license by Kim Davis wants to run against her

Posted on November 10th, 2017 at 8:19 by John Sinteur in category: News


“I don’t think that she has learned anything from the experience at all.

“I really, truly think that she feels like she is right. I really don’t think she cares at all about what civil rights are.”

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  1. People are always telling other people they cannot have the same nice things that the first set of people have:

    Rights. Good jobs. Education. Decent housing. Secure old age. Physical safety. Medical services (including birth control). Wealthy parents. Offshore tax avoidance accounts.