Town Hall Meeting

19 Aug 2017

Sassy Trump: Fire and Fury

Filed under: — Al @ 7:48 am

This takes the fear of nuclear war down one notch, which I need at the moment.

Here is the original:

12 Dec 2014

Sony Hack Thoughts

Filed under: — Al @ 11:35 am

–UPDATE Jan 25, 2016 —-

Seems the hack caused little damage to their stock price as it is now $21.13, over a year later.


My biggest surprise is that something this awful hasn’t happened before.  Usually hackers steal data and try not to make a big deal out of it.  Here, they seem clearly interested in taking down the company.  Sony is doing a great job helping them by having terrible security practices, having seeming racist email conversations, and having odd salary choices.  So far, the data made public has included:

1. Internal email communications
2. Full Employee Records (SSN, offer letters, salary, etc)
3. Medical information, including what treatments were being given and how much they cost
4. Intellectual Property (soon to be released movies, scripts)

Some of the more sensational things are the conversations between the chair of Sony Amy Pascal and a powerful producer Scott Rudin. Some published emails show them making very racist comments about President Obama and condescending ones about Angelina Jolie. The innocent victims are all the current and former rank and file at Sony who now how to live with very private medical data online and/or their SSN forever.

Someone obviously wants Sony to go down and go down hard. No one knows who actually did it yet or how they did it. Sadly if Sony would have kept all this data separate at least they could have minimized the damage. Why have accounting data on the same subnet as your intellectual property? Its insane. I have a feeling their security department is either non-existent or not big enough for their network size.

As of today their stock is worth $20.74 today and was $21.63 the day the hack was made public on Nov 24. A couple questions linger for me: will Pascal get fired for her clearly racist remarks and will lawsuits from employees be allowed to go through the courts and how much the damages will be?

30 Jan 2012

Miss Piggy Slams Fox News

Filed under: — Al @ 7:05 pm

You know when the Muppets are against you, you are in need of some serious soul searching.

28 Jul 2011

21st Century Fascism

Filed under: — Al @ 4:13 pm

The horrific bombings and murders in Norway are abhorrent. The issues underneath the headlines are pretty upsetting too. Just some basic facts: the suspect is Andrew Breivik, he wrote a 1500 page manifesto which apparently includes anti-immigrant, pro-Christian, take-back-the-government opinions on European life. Lots of hatred toward Muslims and Marxists is in there as well. Glenn Greenwald has made very good points about several prominent newspapers first reporting the bombing was done by Muslims. Then once they found out it was a white Christian, they stopped using the term terrorism! Beyond that, some prominent news media are saying he was just copying Al Qaeda, as though they invented terrorism for crying out loud. It’s amazing to sit back and watch the prism through which current events are filtered through.

Another point that I want to add is this isn’t just a one in a million crackpot, it is an ideology that is getting more and more mainstream in Europe and America. Thankfully it’s still in the deep minority, but it is getting some credibility in the US. It’s roots are in fascism from the 20th century. It’s the superior race stuff, the corporations are our friend stuff, the hatred of anything public/government. Just a reminder, because rose colored glasses make “The West” seem holy and great, that fascism was invented by “The West.” In fact, when people now use the term “Islamic Fascism” its like a slap in the face to Muslims because they were victims of Mussolini and Hitler, especially the Northern Africa nations like Libya and Morocco.

My main point is that we all must follow the law of universality: that we must apply the rules equally to all. If politically motivated murder is not terrorism when it’s a white person, then its not terrorism when it’s anyone else. If you want to condemn all Muslims for 9/11, then you must condemn all Christians for the Norway bombings.

24 Mar 2011

The Future of Newspapers

Filed under: — Al @ 6:39 pm

Check out this excellent testimony and discussion about the future of newspapers held in Congress May 6, 2009. Arianna Huffington made some terrible statements in this panel, including something to the effect of “Rupert Murdoch has some great ideas about the future of newspapers.” Sigh. It sheds some light on her recent decision to put the liar/distorter/race baiter Andrew Breitbart on the front page of her famous aggregator of news, the Huffington Post. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, at least watch David Simon’s initial remarks which occurs between minutes 38 and 48. Simon is the creator of the all time great show “The Wire.”

14 Feb 2011

Sam Cooke Remembered

Filed under: — Al @ 12:36 pm

Sam Cooke was a very talented musician and civil rights activist. He wrote and performed some of the most famous songs of all time. He was senselessly murdered at the age of 33, in Los Angeles in 1964. According to Wikipedia, he “had 29 top-40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1964.” He is considered a major pioneer of Soul Music. He also was a trailblazer by taking control of the business side of his art too, founding his own label and publishing company.

Check out this documentary about Cooke here on youtube. It is divided into 5 parts, here is the 1st…

18 Jan 2011

Onion: “Has Obama Failed To Reduce Hostility Toward Obnoxious Americans Abroad?”

Filed under: — Al @ 2:32 pm

10 Jan 2011

Time Magazine – Now For Adults

Filed under: — Al @ 3:28 pm

“Time Advanced” readers graduate from glossy photos, and is for people with growing vocabularies and who don’t want to read about out-of-touch trend pieces on ‘virginity pledges.’

19 Dec 2010

Some Things You Might Have Missed

Filed under: — Al @ 8:45 pm

#1 Peter Orszag, Obama’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, will join Citibank in a senior position. Where do you think Tim Geithner and the rest of the “economics” team is headed after they leave their current positions? Note that Orszag isn’t starting at the bottom even though his career has yet to involve any commercial experience, according to his wikipedia page. He’s going straight from government to a senior position at a major, bailed out bank.

#2 Richard Holbrooke died and his obituaries by major news media was fawning. Prominent people were lining up to praise him. I personally watched Andrea Mitchell and Rachel Maddow gush. One thing I learned while reading some articles about him is Holbrooke was very careful to make friends with major media people throughout his career. I don’t think it’s okay to speak ill of the dead, but I would just like to put some perspective here because it may not be getting through. Holbrooke was very interested in using war as a means to an end. He was very much behind the Clinton-Bosnia bombings, the Clinton-Iraq Sanctions that killed something like 500,000 children, he was prominently in favor of the W. Bush-Iraq invasion. The list is quite long, he also may have helped aid the genocide in East Timor. When Obama appointed him, it was a clear sign his foreign policy was going to be bad for innocent civilians everywhere. It’s one thing to be sad about someone’s death and say so on TV, it’s a whole other to speak about his record as though he did the opposite of the reality. And I think it’s important to say so.

16 Dec 2010

Video – How U.S. Media Works in Favor of Israel

Filed under: — Al @ 1:04 pm

This is just part 1 of a 3 part series. This journalist really lays out the terrible bias in terms that are extremely difficult to refute. One staggering point: the number of Palestinians that died against Israeli’s died was about 5 to 1 in 2000 and 8 to 1 in 2004, the NBC, CBS and ABC covered Israeli deaths about 4 to 1, almost the exact opposite. Those are overall deaths. When looking at coverage of childrens deaths, the media coverage is up to 14 times greater when it’s an Israeli child. The tragedy of this is hard to contemplate.

Here’s a famous old song that kinda explains how brain washing works…

08 Dec 2010

So Why Is Wikileaks Good Again?…A Reminder

Filed under: — Al @ 3:20 pm

The powers that be have cut their funding, removed them from DNS (you can only access their site via an IP address now), publicly called for one of their founder’s murder, yet they haven’t even been charged with a crime. And if they did charge them with a crime, then now being a journalist is a crime and the NY Times, etc. would need to be charged since they published the documents too. And since most news is misinforming the public by saying that wikileaks dumped 250K cables on the internet, its worth noting that only 960 of the 251,297 diplomatic cables have been released, all 960 redacted to hide innocent names. Only 250,337 cables to go!

30 Nov 2010

NY Times Admits Running Story By Govt Before Publishing

Filed under: — Al @ 11:56 am

This is outright proof the US news media is mainly interested in protecting power and the powerful. It is somewhat shocking to see Executive Editor Bill Keller openly admit to running their wikileaks stories past the US government to see if THEY think something is too damaging before publishing them. Truly startling, see the interview below. I really like Carne Ross’ immediate reaction to Keller’s confession. Glenn Greenwald has a great article about the coverage of yesterday’s wikileaks story.

11 Oct 2010

Banksy Intro to “The Simpsons”

Filed under: — Al @ 9:02 pm

Banksy is a graffiti artist from the UK. Check out some of his work here. I don’t know how long Fox will let this intro last on youtube, so check it out while you can. I’m amazed this was allowed to air in the first place. Props to “The Simpsons” for still doing edgy stuff after 22 seasons.

15 Sep 2010

Another Sign We Live in 1984

Filed under: — Al @ 10:52 am

Doublespeak lives and it’s as strong as ever…

(emphasis added)
“The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten its image with a new name: corn sugar. The Corn Refiners Association applied Tuesday to the federal government for permission to use the name on food labels.”

“Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming “canola oil” in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming “dried plums” in 2000.”

“”I found (high fructose corn syrup) in things that you would never think needed it, or should have it,” said Leib, 36. “I found it in jars of pickles, in English muffins and bread. Why do we need extra sweeteners?””

“The average American ate 35.7 pounds of high fructose corn syrup last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down 21 percent from 45.4 pounds 10 years before.”

“They’re not saying this is a healthy vitamin, or health product,” he said. “They’re just trying to move away from the negative associations.”

19 Aug 2010

Hide the Evidence

Filed under: — Al @ 5:17 pm

“The decision to use 1.8 million gallons of dispersants amounted to an environmental trade-off — it meant less oil tainting the surface, where there is noticeable and productive life, but the risk of longer-term problems down below. ”

A major study just published shows that a huge, 22 mile oil plume is just sitting a half mile under the surface of the ocean and not going away. This defies what BP has been saying and top government officials. This is so sick, they claim that the oil is magically gone, but it wasn’t magic, they dispersed it so the surface oil would go away as quick as possible, while the underwater oil would stay a lot longer. But they know that if people can’t see it, then they will more likely believe all is well. Orwell rolls in his grave.

The study was lead by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and you can read their findings here. Or read the AP version of the story here.

04 Aug 2010

Pentagon Denies Embed Request to Reporter Behind McChrystal Story

Filed under: — Al @ 2:47 pm

From DemocracyNow!

The Pentagon has rejected an embed request from the reporter whose recent article in Rolling Stone magazine led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. The reporter, Michael Hastings, quoted McChrystal and his aides making disparaging remarks about top administration officials. The Pentagon says it’s denied Hastings’ request to embed with US troops in Afghanistan because it can’t trust him to abide by military reporting rules.

Retaliation can come in many ways, and here is a very public and blatant one. If you haven’t read that article, make sure to. It’s still very relevant with that general gone because it lays out how that war is going and probably will go for a long time. You can read it here. It’s very interesting how “Rolling Stone” is doing the best journalism, while rags like “Newsweek” are going bankrupt and being bought by rich-Conrgressional-husbands for $1.

US military retialiates against Michael Hastings

10 Feb 2010

Constitution Has Always Applied to Foreigners

Filed under: — Al @ 4:30 pm

Glenn Greenwald does an excellent job dispelling this terrible myth going around that non-Americans don’t get any rights here in America.

First, the U.S. Supreme Court, in 2008, issued a highly publicized opinion, in Boumediene v. Bush, which, by itself, makes clear how false is the claim that the Constitution applies only to Americans. The Boumediene Court held that it was unconstitutional for the Military Commissions Act to deny habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo detainees, none of whom was an American citizen (indeed, the detainees were all foreign nationals outside of the U.S.). If the Constitution applied only to U.S. citizens, that decision would obviously be impossible. What’s more, although the decision was 5-4, none of the 9 Justices — and, indeed, not even the Bush administration — argued that the Constitution applies only to American citizens. That is such an inane, false, discredited proposition that no responsible person would ever make that claim.

What divided the Boumediene Court was the question of whether foreigners held by the U.S. military outside of the U.S. (as opposed to inside the U.S.) enjoy Constitutional protections. They debated how Guantanamo should be viewed in that regard (as foreign soil or something else). But not even the 4 dissenting judges believed — as Susan Collins and other claim — that Constitutional rights only extend to Americans. To the contrary, Justice Scalia, in his scathing dissent, approvingly quoted Justice Jackson in conceding that foreigners detained inside the U.S. are protected by the Constitution

I’m starting to get the feeling that Republicans only problem with America is that gosh darn pesky Constitution. It keeps getting in the way of things they want to do like lock up scary brown people even when there is no proof of a crime.

Read the full column here.

26 Jan 2010

Religious War, “They Started It!”

Filed under: — Al @ 9:42 pm

This cracks me up, even though it’s sick on so many levels. It boils down the “war on terra” to a nice, little, easy to understand nub.

Memo to Doocy…it’s not just Muslims upset by the “Jesus Rifles,” it’s pretty much everybody with a brain or a conscience.

08 Jan 2010

The Crotch Bomber

Filed under: — Al @ 2:24 pm

Of course this post is about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who allegedly hid chemicals in his underwear that “could have, if all went as planned, effected an explosion that might have at least disabled or even downed the plane,” a Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Thus, the crotch bomber.

All this lame talk about Obama not connecting the dots to catch the crotch bomber, how about this one from 3 years ago!

Wouldn’t it be bad to have the perfect police state anyway? The entire interview, from June 19, 2006, is hilarious, by the way…

04 Jan 2010

2009: Year in Review

Filed under: — Al @ 11:35 am

From the Inauguration, to Newspapers crumbling, to the Peace Prize, to Democrats. 2010 really is the Year of the Tiger!

Goodbye to 2009, Hello to 2010: Year of the Tiger


Once again hands are raised in stupefaction. How could they have missed him – meaning in this case Umar Abdulmutallab the Nigerian bomber on that flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Why, his own father – one of the most powerful bankers in Africa – gave the US embassy in Lagos a warning! He was on the US master computer list of potential terrorists but never made it on to the watch list.

The Truthers reject the obvious answers – caution, bureaucratic inertia, buck-passing, turf fights – and say it was a plot. Obama joins Bush and Cheney in the big conspiracy. It won’t be long before David Griffin rushes out a book on the affair.

Personally, I’m not at all dismayed at evidence that intelligence gathering networks are flawed, that bureaucrats pass the buck. Hyper-efficiency in these matters indicates we have arrived at the perfect police state.

Of course there is room for common sense and elementary vigilance. In the case of the Virginia Tech killer there was plenty of evidence that Cho Seung-hui was a time bomb waiting to explode. Students talked about him as a possible shooter and refused to take classes with him. His essays so disturbed one of his teachers with their violent ravings that she arranged a secret signal in case she needed security during her tutorials.

And then was there was proof positive that the time bomb had exploded and the mass murder session began in the engineering building, the police state proved all too human in actual performance. The police cowered behind their cruisers until Cho Seung-hui finished off the last batch of his 32 victims, then killed himself. Then the police bravely rushed in and started sticking their guns in the faces of the traumatised students, screaming at them to freeze or be shot.

Read the rest here

Democracy Now!
May 21, 2024

Powered by WordPress