Saturday, November 28, 2015

The War on Terror is not aimed at terror

It's aimed at Democracy:
At least 24 climate activists have been put under house arrest by French police, accused of flouting a ban on organising protests during next week’s Paris climate summit, the Guardian has learned.

One legal adviser to the activists said many officers raided his Paris apartment and occupied three floors and a staircase in his block.

French authorities did not respond to requests for comment but lawyers said that the warrants were issued under state of emergency laws, imposed after the terror attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month.
Ah, those convenient emergency laws.  For "safety", of course.  Relax, citizen: if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, right?
The author and climate change campaigner, Naomi Klein, accused French authorities of “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce”.

“Climate summits are not photo opportunities to boost the popularity of politicians,” she told the Guardian. “Given the stakes of the climate crisis, they are by their nature highly contested. That is democracy, messy as it may be. The French government, under cover of anti-terrorism laws, seems to be trying to avoid this, shamefully banning peaceful demonstrations and using emergency powers to pre-emptively detain key activists.”
The Elites are utterly uninterested in democracy, and in fact (as shown by the immigration policies on both sides of The Pond) are doing their very best to elect a new People - one that will be more democratically supportive of their policy preferences.

This is actually the entirety of what you need to know to fully understand the Trumpening.  Europe is (as always) more ideologically committed than we re, and so is more fully screwed than we are.  They'd be lucky to get a Donald Trump.  Instead, there will be multiple fascist governments there in two years.

The paniced Elites, of course, will try to quash the elections.  That bucket of liquid is handy to douse the flames, even if it may be petrol.

Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma - The Wexford Carol

It's after Black Thursday, which means that it's now officially Christmastide.  To kick the season off here are two of the greatest musical talents of our day.

Wow, Black Fridy shopping realy is tough

Even Rocky had trouble getting a TV ...

Friday, November 27, 2015

The WKRP turkey incident was based on an actual event

In Atlanta, no less:
CLARKE BROWN: The turkey drop was actually a real incident.  It was at a shopping center in Atlanta; I think it was Broadview Plaza, which no longer exists.  It was a Thankgiving promotion.  We thought that we could throw these live turkeys out into the crowd for their Thanksgiving dinners.  All of us, naïve and uneducated, thought that turkeys could fly.  Of course, they went just f*****’ splat.

People were laughing at us, not with us.  But it became a legend.
The world is not just a strange place, it's stranger than we can possibly imagine.

Top shelf snark

Waterford Whispers News looks like it's Ireland's hoe-grown answer to The Onion.  It's sharp as Irish Whisky:
THE CONTROVERSIAL Oireachtas banking inquiry into the financial collapse of Ireland’s banks in 2008 has requested a €12bn bailout in order for it to continue and complete its work.

Members believe there is a strong chance the committee will fail to produce a final report if there is not some form of banking inquiry bailout put in place to secure its spiralling costs.


“If only we had an extra few billion to finally carry this out properly,” hinted one Oireachtas member. “If we don’t get the funds we need, this whole banking inquiry could collapse… and no one wants that”.
Heh.  That's some quality mockery of the EU financial system, right there.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

An ode to the ever shortening Thanksgiving holiday

By which I mean "the ever shortening time between the end of Thanksgiving dinner and the start of shopping".  At the pace it's going, Black Friday will soon fall on Halloween.

This, of course, was foreseen back in the 1960s.  It was funny back then, in a "ha ha, only kidding" sense.  Now it's "ha ha, only serious".

Giving Thanks

To remember what the celebration was about, you have to go back and see what the Pilgrims went through their first year:
"Of the original 102 Mayflower passengers, four died before reaching Plymouth. By the summer of 1621 there were another 46 deaths among the passengers, and about 25 deaths among the crew. After the General Sickness, only 12 of 26 men with families and 4 of the 12 single men and boys survived. "All but a few" of the women survived"
They had been headed for Virginia. They ended up in Massachusetts. Survival for any of them was in doubt and without the help of the native people, they would not have made it.

 "At summer's end, when harvest was in, Governor John Carver called for a special celebration. The colonists began to gather food for a traditional English "harvest home." This festival was held throughout England at harvest's end to give thanks for the bounty and celebrate the end of the most intense period of work for farmers. The Pilgrims' celebration had a special poignancy, of course, as a counterpoint to years of terrible hardships and a testament to the creation of the kind of religious environment they desired.

The Native Americans traditionally celebrated a harvest festival similar to the harvest home. The Pilgrims invited Massasoit, who came with 90 of his people and whose hunters contributed five deer to the celebration. The Pilgrims gathered corn, wild turkey, ducks and other fowl, fish, and venison. The first Thanksgiving lasted about a week, with three days' straight of feasting with the Wampanoag. The time was filled with prayers, dances, shooting matches, wrestling, and other games.

There is no specific indication of when the first Thanksgiving was held; it is unlikely that it was held as late as November. It was held after the harvest was gotten in and before the arrival of the Fortune in November. It also was not a day specifically set aside for religious worship. The Pilgrims lived so that prayer, the Bible, and the church were part of their everyday lives. The first Thanksgiving included a blessing on the harvest and thanks to God, but it was also a party rather than a serious religious meditation, with five or six days of recreation. The invitation of the Wampanoag was not just about being neighborly; it was also to recognize the special role which the Native Americans played in ensuring the Pilgrims' survival."

As God is my witness ...

The Feast

Pieter Breugel the Elder, The Peasant Wedding
The feast has always been more for the soul than for the body.  Today's holiday is the most uniquely American of all.  A day to relax with family and friends, but one that explicitly calls on us to ponder what we are grateful for.

Me, I'm thankful for quite a lot.  It's a quiet day with just the Queen of the World and me.  I'm thankful that I'm an empty nester - the boys seem to be doing pretty well, but it was time.  Probably best for both them and me.

I'm thankful for the dog park and the puppy play that wears Wolfgang out.  I'm thankful that the move back north looks like it will go fairly smoothly.  Roswell and Camp Borepatch have been good places, but a new adventure begins.  I'm thankful that the adventure looks like it's fixin' to be a good one.

And I'm thankful for you, gentle reader.  The community that we've forged is something special indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Have a happy and honest Thanksgiving

Well, maybe not as honest as this ...

I want to disconnect myself from all this emotion.  With alcohol.


Analysis of the Laquan McDonald shooting by the Chicago Police

Eric Raymond does an analysis of the video:
The fast version: I would have said this was what cops call a “good shoot” if it had stopped at the first two bullets. It didn’t. I don’t think this was murder one, but it was at least criminally negligent homicide and those who covered it up should be prosecuted along with Van Dyke.
This is a very thoughtful post on when deadly force is justified and when it - sometimes suddenly - turns into unjustified deadly force.  This is important reading for anyone who carries, so RTWT.

As a bonus, there's a link there to his analysis of the Michael Brown autopsy results and what it likely means about the shooting.  Short version: completely justified in that case.

The Science is settled!

97% of Americans aren't worried about Climate Change:
A new Fox News poll finds that in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the issue of terrorism has become the top concern of American voters. Only 3 percent of respondents said that global warming was the most important issue facing the country today.

When asked what is currently the most important issue facing the country, 24 percent of those surveyed said terrorism. That number stood at 11 percent the last time Fox News conducted the poll. Another 21 percent cited the economy as their top concern. The issue has been at top of the list for most of President Obama’s tenure in office.
From a scientific point of view, this is clearly the wrong answer, since it doesn't provide more grant funding for climate scientists.  Oh, the humanity!

Declssified NSA COMSEC lectures

From 1973.  One-time tapes, codes, TEMPEST.  Fin stuff if you're a crypto-nerd like me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zero to Jackboots in five two years

It's happening faster than I had thought:
Germany security guards at the main government office for refugees in Berlin have reportedly been caught on camera using openly Nazi language.

Bild newspaper has released video footage in which it alleges the guards call for asylum-seekers to be put in concentration camps.

One recording purports to show a uniformed security guard speaking of getting “swastikas in my eyes”.

“In two years, there will be a revolution here and there will be no more of all this s***. We’ll clean it all out,” the guard, who has not been named, appears to say.

“We have plenty of summer camps, and I swear to you they can be used again. On the gate: work makes you free,” he says.
Boy, we sure need to be more like Europe, huh?

You Know What This Is, Don't You?

It's Glockamole.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Earlier in the Month

I was out for a walk on Veteran's Day. There are some veterans I know that served in combat and I always think of them when this day rolls around. I was preoccupied that day, but I did get the flags flying in the local park after the ceremony had ended. Better late than never.

The department of Homeland Derp

This is me, rolling my eyes:
The US Department of Homeland Security is running dozens of unpatched databases, some of which are rated "secret" and even "top secret," according to an audit.

An inspection [PDF] of the department's IT infrastructure found huge security gaps, including the fact that 136 systems had expired "authorities to operate" – meaning that no one was in charge of keeping them updated. Of the 136, 17 were classified as "secret" or "top secret."
Top. Men.

I know that the problem of "what's on the network" is really hard (actually, it really is).  But if your department has the word "Security" in it, it seems reasonable to think that you'd be better at it than other people.  Especially if some of the stuff is Top Secret.

The 5 Stages of Blogging

Things are only funny because they are true. Stolen from Uncle Jay.

5 stages-

Upon seeing or experiencing some inanity or stupidity, the thought of "I cannot believe the AssHattery I am seeing here."

"This shit is so FUBAR I must blog about it! To the Keyboard!"

After several hundred keystrokes, a handful of Google searches, a wiki-wander or three, missing out on going to lunch with the new receptionist, and a deadline looming for getting that new contract done and submitted- you make promises:
"Just 2 more paragraphs. And a link to that picture on
Then I'll get back to that proposal."

On first proofread:
"What the f... Did a third grader write this?
Nope- A third grader would have done a batter job.
Why do I even try? No one reads this shit anyway. Tam probably wrote about this weeks ago and probably did the job 10 times better."

Fuck it. (presses send)
Like I said- no one reads my shit anyway.
Who gives a shit. At least it's free ice cream. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How to make money from Facebook

You're welcome.

Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi discloses your name and home address

It also helpfully offers a map to your house for potential Internet stalkers:
The Xfinity Wi-Fi service from Comcast is disclosing the full name and home address of residential customers, which is something the company says isn’t supposed to happen. 
The disclosure of such information increases an already exposed attack surface, by allowing anyone with malicious intent to selectively target their marks. 
The following composite image shows residential customers with Xfinity Wi-Fi enabled. They are all in the same town, in the same state, and according to a public records search – none of them have ever been registered as a business. Please note: This image has been redacted by Salted Hash to remove the customer's last name, address, and the map markers which might identify their location.
Click through to see how this all shows up when you search for Comcast Wi-Fi hot spots.

I recommend that anyone with Comcast Xfinity disagree their Wi-Fi IMMEDIATELY.  Instructions are here.  Run, don't walk to do this NOW.

You will need to buy your own wifi router (probably $39 at your local big box store like Wally World).  Run an ethernet cable from your router's "WAN" port into an ethernet port on the Comcast box.  Configure your own wifi, and you will be clean from Comcast stalkers.

The reason that I am so adamant that you need to do this is that the article has enough details to convince me that someone could use this to locate you, spoof your computer's network address, and then do something to incriminate you (say, launch an attack on homeland or download child pornography).  I am convinced that the spoofing would fool whatever logging that Comcast is doing, so their lousy logging would implicate you.

And the punch line is that they just don't care.  The researchers reported this to them and Comcast hasn't done bupkis to change this.

From The Walking Dead

The jo staff work they are doing isn't anything that looks familiar. But listen to the words and it is Aikido.