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It’s the Sgt. Pepper’s/Star Wars mashup you didn’t know you needed.

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 21:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Who Is Publishing NSA and CIA Secrets, and Why?

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 1:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


What happens when intelligence agencies go to war with each other and don’t tell the rest of us? I think there’s something going on between the US and Russia that the public is just seeing pieces of. We have no idea why, or where it will go next, and can only speculate.


WW3 has probably already broken out, but this time the battleground is in our phones, routers and toasters.

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  1. I’m going to hide under the sofa until I stop hyperventilating!

Trump: ‘Why was there the Civil War?’ 

Posted on May 1st, 2017 at 22:25 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Trump during an interview that airs Monday questioned why the country had a Civil War and suggested former President Andrew Jackson could have prevented it had he served later.

“I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,” Trump said during an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito.
“He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.'”
Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, died in 1845. The Civil War began in 1861.
What’s a blogger to do… I mean, The Hill is not a satire site, so this might be real, but come on….

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  1. Would this be the same Andrew Jackson of the Indian Removal Act (May 28, 1830), if so I can see why Trump would find him inspirational.

  2. Oh Pete, that’s ancient history…as is the Constitution, apparently.

Bose sued for logging listening habits

Posted on May 1st, 2017 at 10:17 by John Sinteur in category: News


“People put headphones on their head because they think it’s private, but they can be giving out information they don’t want to share,” Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Mr Zak, told the Reuters news agency.

Mr Dore works for law firm Edelson PC which specialises in cases revolving around data privacy.

Legal papers filed by Edelson said Mr Zak downloaded the Bose Connect app soon after buying a pair of QuietComfort 35 headphones. He provided basic information to sign up for the app that lets users control what they listen to via their smartphone.

Soon after, alleges the lawsuit, he noticed that it was logging far more data about his audio choices than he expected.

The suit claims that similar data is taken from users of other Bose gadgets including the SoundSport Wireless, Sound Sport Pulse Wireless, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and SoundLink Color II.

Mr Dore said the sign-up process for the app gave no hint about how much data Bose gathered nor what it planned to do with it.

I can’t for the life of me figure out why somebody had the thought “gee, let’s make an app for this headphone”. What’s next? An app for a pencil? For a roll of toilet paper?

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  1. I can’t understand why people still haven’t figured out that free apps are not developed for just for your convenience. Their goal is to make money. Gee, I wonder how they make money on a free app???

Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services’ Internet traffic

Posted on May 1st, 2017 at 9:32 by John Sinteur in category: News


On Wednesday, large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom under unexplained circumstances that renew lingering questions about the trust and reliability of some of the most sensitive Internet communications.

Anomalies in the border gateway protocol—which routes large-scale amounts of traffic among Internet backbones, ISPs, and other large networks—are common and usually the result of human error. While it’s possible Wednesday’s five- to seven-minute hijack of 36 large network blocks may also have been inadvertent, the high concentration of technology and financial services companies affected made the incident “curious” to engineers at network monitoring service BGPmon. What’s more, the way some of the affected networks were redirected indicated their underlying prefixes had been manually inserted into BGP tables, most likely by someone at Rostelecom, the Russian government-controlled telecom that improperly announced ownership of the blocks.

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A Hundred Days of Trump

Posted on April 30th, 2017 at 22:58 by John Sinteur in category: News


On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite. The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.

Trump has never gone out of his way to conceal the essence of his relationship to the truth and how he chooses to navigate the world. In 1980, when he was about to announce plans to build Trump Tower, a fifty-eight-story edifice on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street, he coached his architect before meeting with a group of reporters. “Give them the old Trump bullshit,” he said. “Tell them it’s going to be a million square feet, sixty-eight stories.”

This is the brand that Trump has created for himself – that of an unprincipled, cocky, value-free con who will insult, stiff, or betray anyone to achieve his gaudiest purposes. “I am what I am,” he has said. But what was once a parochial amusement is now a national and global peril. Trump flouts truth and liberal values so brazenly that he undermines the country he has been elected to serve and the stability he is pledged to insure.

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  1. And who defines “Liberal Values”. Just wondering if I have the full set.

  2. Here’s a quote from the above article:

    “Slightly fewer than fifty-five per cent of all voting-age adults bestirred themselves to go to the polls. That statistic is at least as painful to process as the Comey letter, the Russian hack of the D.N.C., the strategic failures of the Clinton campaign, and the over-all darkness of the Trump campaign. It’s a statistic about passivity, which is just what a democracy in the era of Trump can no longer afford.”

  3. People are just tired of voting for the “lesser of two evils”. I want the “Designated Survivor”. He sounds good.

Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj White House Correspondents’ Dinner full monologue

Posted on April 30th, 2017 at 15:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

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kitten in the care of BC SPCA

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 23:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Facebook admits: governments exploited us to spread propaganda

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 10:32 by John Sinteur in category: News


Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

“We have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people,” said the company.

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  1. If wanted to make gullible people believe something false, I would write it on the restroom wall. Facebook is the restroom wall of the world. If its on the wall, it must be true.

  2. People are gullible if they trust FB with their information.

  3. Zuck in the early days of FB (Business Insider May 13, 2010)

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
    Zuck: Just ask
    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
    [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
    Zuck: People just submitted it.
    Zuck: I don’t know why.
    Zuck: They “trust me”
    Zuck: Dumb fucks

Time Lapse Sky Shows Earth Rotating Instead of Stars

Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 23:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

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White Collar Crime Risk Zones

Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 19:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


White Collar Crime Risk Zones uses machine learning to predict where financial crimes are mostly likely to occur across the US. To learn about our methodology, read our white paper.

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  1. Whenever I see a group of white guys in suits walking down the street, I involuntarily clutch my stock portfolio statements a little more tightly

  2. You have Stocks? Ooops, too late, they already got ya!

Posted on April 24th, 2017 at 22:29 by John Sinteur in category: News



First held in 1846, the Rutland State Fair in Rutland, Vermont is one of the oldest state fairs in the United States.

With agricultural exhibitions, races, and rides, the fair drew massive crowds each year from around New England and New York, eventually being renamed the Vermont State Fair in 1972.

In 1941, Farm Security Administration photographer Jack Delano documented the festivities at the fair in Rutland, even springing to shoot a few rolls in color.

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Earth Between the Rings of Saturn

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 23:12 by John Sinteur in category: News


This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.

The spacecraft captured the view on April 12, 2017 at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT). Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken. Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing toward Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.

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  1. To quote Spock….fascinating!

We’re spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI • Except we’re not, of course, because that would be illegal

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 17:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


A new factsheet by the NSA and FBI has laid bare ludicrous contradictions in how US intelligence agencies choose to interpret a law designed to prevent spying on American citizens, but which they use to achieve exactly that end.

  • While noting that the law specifically bans the gathering of information on US citizens, it then defends both the gathering and retention of information on US citizens.
  • While claiming that its procedures severely limit the amount of information that is gathered on individual US citizens, it claims to be unable to provide even an estimate as to how many US citizens’ records are in its database.
  • While noting it is illegal to specifically target US citizens using their personally identifiable information without a warrant, it then argues why it should be allowed to continue searching US citizens’ personally identifiable information without a warrant.
  • And while claiming that it does not use the law to undertake mass surveillance or bulk collection of information, it defends tapping the internet’s backbone and gathering information where the claimed target of surveillance is neither the sender nor the receiver of the information.

The document even claims that it is surveilling US citizens for their own protection while at the same time claiming that it is not doing so.

The obvious and painful contradictions within the 10-page document [PDF] are testament to the very reason why the factsheet had to be prepared in the first place: Congress is threatening not to renew the legislation due to the intelligence agencies’ willful misrepresentation of the law to perform the very activities it was designed to prevent.

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Lord of the Rims

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 11:33 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. hmmm…

    One does not simply drive a four door.

    So many puns to make…

    Battle of the Five Cylinders
    The desolation of smog.
    The Two Trucks
    You shall not pass!

  2. That is awesome! I want a set!

  3. @Spaceman – wait for the blowout sale!

GOP rep tells mom: Your son’s service industry skills mean he doesn’t deserve health care

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 11:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


WOMAN: My son did not have health insurance for four years, until the ACA when Medicaid was accepted. He didn’t have health insurance because he’s in the service industry. And that industry pays minimum wage and they keep their employees below a certain number of hours so that they cannot — so that they don’t have to pay health insurance. So, many of the people that are on Medicaid are working, and they are the working poor.

Under Trumpcare, one of the major ways to make health insurance affordable is to bring back catastrophic insurance, which is basically no insurance at all. Given that, given that preventative health care is the number one way to keep people healthy in our society. Can you explain why my son and millions of others in his situation are not deserving of affordable, decent healthcare that has essential benefits so that he can stay healthy and continue working?

DAVIDSON: OK, I don’t know anything about your son, but as you described him, his skills are focused in an industry that doesn’t have the kind of options that you want him to have for health care. So, I don’t believe that these taxpayers here are entitled [sic] to give that to him. I believe he’s got the opportunity to go earn those health benefits.

Patient: Doctor, give me the news. Am I going to live?

Doctor: Well son, we have the medicine you need to save your life. However, since you flip burgers for a living, you don’t have the health insurance you need to afford it. So no, you’re going to die.


Supply Side Jesus leads his disciples past a group of service industry workers on his way to his vacation home. One his disciples speaks up. “Should we insure people in the service industry?”

“No Thomas, that would just make them lazy.” SS Jesus replied.

“Then shouldn’t you at least fund job training programs?” Another one pipes up. SS Jesus sighs. “No James, health care is a matter of personal responsibility. If people knew I was insuring people in the service sector, there would be no incentive to avoid working there.”

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  1. I’m not sure catastrophic insurance is useless. The middle class might have enough income for doctors visit but not catastrophic events or high insurance premiums. The rise in concierge doctor plans might work well with catastrophic insurance but I haven’t been able to find any concierge doctor plans in my area so they may be a myth.

Angela Merkel reportedly had to explain the ‘fundamentals’ of EU trade to Trump 11 times

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 10:58 by John Sinteur in category: News


“Ten times Trump asked [German chancellor Angela Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, ‘You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,’” the official said.

They continued: “On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, ‘Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.’”

Merkel reportedly told her cabinet members that Trump had “very basic misunderstandings” on the “fundamentals” of the EU and trade.

The exchange occurred when Merkel met with Trump last month and reportedly convinced him to negotiate with the EU as a bloc after attempts by his administration to deal with individual countries were declined.

The conversation led Trump’s administration to realize that it was more vital to US interests to nail down a trade deal with the EU than one with the UK post-Brexit, a source close to the White House told the Times.

So the US basically has an administration full of idiots who don’t bother to take the time to educate themselves on the very basics of matters they are exclusively tasked with handling, which embarrasses the country as a whole. Great.

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March for Science

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


“You can have alternative music, alternative fashion, alternative ideas. You can’t have alternative facts. Putting the word ‘alternative’ before ‘medicine’ is like pointing at a dog and saying ‘that’s my alternative cat’. It’s still not a cat.”

– Josh Thomas

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  2. This march would have been twice as big if the control group didn’t have to stay home

Disable hyperlink auditing beacon in Safari

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 at 19:59 by John Sinteur in category: News



Essentially, hyperlink auditing (<a ping> attribute) is designed to notify an arbitrary website when you click on a link.

Why should I disable it?

Apart from the fact that its sole purpose is to notify trackers when you visit a link, Safari does not allow uBlock Origin to intercept these requests. In other words, your filter lists will not work against these requests.

How do I disable it?

As per a hidden WebKit setting, run these two lines in your terminal:

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebkitHyperlinkAuditingEnabled -bool false
defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2HyperlinkAuditingEnabled -bool false

and restart Safari.

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The oldest temporary hack in the Linux kernel?

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 at 19:26 by John Sinteur in category: News


A temporary fix for an Atari graphic card in arch/m68k/atari/config.c:

/* This is a temporary hack: If there is Falcon video
 * hardware, we assume that the ST-DMA serves SCSI instead of
 * ACSI. In the future, there should be a better method for
 * this...
printk("STDMA-SCSI ");

It appeared first in the 1.3.94 kernel version, released on April 22, 1996 (download).

So, how temporary are the temporary kludges in YOUR code?

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The Silence of the Lambs as a Romantic Comedy

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 23:19 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Dortmund attack: man arrested on suspicion of share-dealing plot

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 18:58 by John Sinteur in category: News


After the explosives attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team, police followed leads pointing to radical Islam, far-right hooligans and leftwing activists.

In the end, their investigations led them to an entirely new category of extremism: terror fuelled by financial greed.

On Friday, German police arrested a 28-year-old German-Russian national on suspicion of having carried out the explosives attack on Dortmund’s team bus in order to collapse the club’s share price so he could profit from stock market speculation.

Sergej W is also accused of having left behind several copies of a faked letter that tried to frame the attack as an act of Islamist terror.

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Conservatives hated an uppity negro golfing President

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 0:27 by John Sinteur in category: News


Imagine Michelle Obama demanded to live in a gold-plated penthouse in the middle of Manhattan, costs be damned, while President Obama lived in the White House alone. The outrage would be riot-level fierce. Now, conservatives no longer care.

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  1. I don’t see much difference between the Democratic response to Trump and the Republican response to Obama, except the Democrats are more politically correct. Either way, the country loses.

  2. Pointing out hypocrisy is not the same as being hypocritical…

Smart TV hack embeds attack code into broadcast signal—no access required

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 17:57 by John Sinteur in category: News



A new attack that uses terrestrial radio signals to hack a wide range of Smart TVs raises an unsettling prospect—the ability of hackers to take complete control of a large number of sets at once without having physical access to any of them.

The proof-of-concept exploit uses a low-cost transmitter to embed malicious commands into a rogue TV signal. That signal is then broadcast to nearby devices. It worked against two fully updated TV models made by Samsung. By exploiting two known security flaws in the Web browsers running in the background, the attack was able to gain highly privileged root access to the TVs. By revising the attack to target similar browser bugs found in other sets, the technique would likely work on a much wider range of TVs.

“Once a hacker has control over the TV of an end user, he can harm the user in a variety of ways,” Rafael Scheel, the security consultant who publicly demonstrated the attack, told Ars. “Among many others, the TV could be used to attack further devices in the home network or to spy on the user with the TV’s camera and microphone.”

Scheel’s exploit relies on a transmitter that’s based on digital video broadcasting—terrestrial, a transmission standard that’s built into the vast majority of TVs. TVs that are connected to the Internet, are currently tuned to a DVB-T-based station, support the hybrid broadcast broadband TV standard, and contain at least one critical vulnerability that can be exploited without showing any outward signs anything is amiss.


Apparently I was right not connecting my “smart” TV to the internet..

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  1. No John, you were smart, TV was dumb. The Internet of Broken Things.

Science in America

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 8:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 18:23 by John Sinteur in category: News



Guess what Steven A. Ballmer has been up to for the last several years. (No, not just cheering for the basketball team he owns, the Los Angeles Clippers.) It’s a novel project, and he plans to take the wrapping off it Tuesday.

But first the back story, which is a valuable prelude to a description of the project itself.

When Mr. Ballmer retired as chief executive of Microsoft in 2014, he was only 57 and quickly realized “I don’t, quote, ‘have anything to do.’”

As he looked for a new endeavor — before he decided to buy the Clippers — his wife, Connie, encouraged him to help with some of her philanthropic efforts, an idea he initially rejected.

“But come on, doesn’t the government take care of the poor, the sick, the old?” Mr. Ballmer recalled telling her. After all, he pointed out, he happily paid a lot of taxes, and he figured that all that tax money should create a sufficient social safety net.

Her answer: “A, it won’t, because there are things government doesn’t get to, and B, you’re missing it.”

Mr. Ballmer replied, “No, I’m not.”

That conversation led Mr. Ballmer to pursue what may be one of the most ambitious private projects undertaken to answer a question that has long vexed the public and politicians alike. He sought to “figure out what the government really does with the money,” Mr. Ballmer said. “What really happens?”

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A Bar In Kerala Just Made A 250m-Long Maze Wall To Beat Supreme Court’s 500m Rule

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 13:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


Since April 1 a large number of the bars, pubs and liquor shops across India has gone out of business, thanks to a Supreme Court order that the outlets should be at least 500m away from state and national highways.


The Aishwarya Bar in North Paravoor, a Kochi suburb has built a 250m-long maze-like walkway to the entrance, theoretically making it more than 500m away from the highway.

“We have done nothing illegal. The plot behind the bar also belongs to the owner and we have constructed an extended way to reach the bar. Now it is 520 metres from the highway. We are set to approach the circle inspector of excise with the new route map to authorize the reopening of the bar,” said Shiju P, bar manager.

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On The Turing Completeness of PowerPoint

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 11:10 by John Sinteur in category: News

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‘Alt-Right’ Sticks With Trump Despite ‘Jewish Coup’

Posted on April 17th, 2017 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Trump’s Thursday bombing of Afghanistan, just a week after an airstrike on Syria, is again challenging his “alt-right” and white nationalist fans.

Some of the far right-wingers see the moves as evidence of a full “Jewish coup” sweeping the White House — and are even portraying Trump himself as a sort of victim.

“All around him are these Jewish extremists like Kushner,” said David Duke, referring to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan head and sort of elder statesman for white nationalists. “Trump might not even know half the things they do.”


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  1. A Jewish man was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper.

    A friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same subway car, noticed this strange phenomenon.

    Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader: “Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?”

    Moshe replied: “I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty.

    So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news is much better!”

  2. Oh good, those antisemitic types hate to be left out; now that half of the halfwits firmly think the government is concealing the arrival of aliens and the other half think the moon landings were faked, they need to keep in the news.

    Apparently it’s all the fault of Ms. Clinton.

  3. Moon? Even NASA has forgotten about the Moon. Leave it alone (raised eyebrows).

  4. (watches eyebrows graduate)

  5. [cries at eyebrow’s wedding]

  6. You guys 🙂

    @will: I don’t think the Chinese have forgotten about the Moon. I remember the Moon…I just watched the movie, The Dish, which was quite nostalgic…

  7. Are you kidding me? It takes a Republican to protect American jobs (restriction on H1B visa’s to protect American workers)? Good GOD, the Democrats suck.

Second coming ends prematurely as Jesus killed in American airstrike | The Chaser

Posted on April 16th, 2017 at 22:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Syria, Sunday: The second coming has ended prematurely this week after Jesus Christ become the latest casualty of fighting in the Middle East. Witnesses on the ground are reporting that a man claiming to be the son of God was killed after his message of peace failed to deter an American carpet bombing campaign against Syrian anti-anti-pro-Assad supporters.

Jesus’s father, God, and close relative, the Holy Spirit, have both expressed grief at the death.

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