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User Journal

Journal: Undercover police cars

Journal by Timex
I was on my way to work today and saw a State Trooper's car on the side of the road. I knew it was a State Trooper not because of the distinctive two-tone blue that cruisers have (this one was black), but because it had several antennas and a radar gun on the driver's side.

It reminded me of the graphic that has gone around on Facebook with a picture of a police car in Europe (bright colors designed to attract attention) compared with an American undercover police car (designed to look like any other car and not stick out in traffic). It occurs to me that there are a few different reasons why American police departments (on the state and local levels) might employ cars with stealth-ish designs, one or more of which may apply:
  • The police department may not be able to afford the number of officers required to patrol all parts of their jurisdiction. Having undercover cruisers means the people are going to be more careful about their habits in an attempt to not get ticketed.
  • The police department is attempting to generate revenue for their {State|Community} by catching people off-guard.

In the first case, it would make sense, and it kinda works after a fashion. That isn't what bothers me.

In the second case, it's sneaky and underhanded. My train of thought (such as it is) went on to consider the fact that when people hunt, they have legal restrictions on what they are allowed to do to bag their prey. They cannot set certain traps or route their prey into certain areas for the purpose of killing them. If a hunter is found to have employed entrapment techniques, the Games Warden will likely take the kill and the hunter could lose his hunting license.

Why are police allowed to get away with the same sort of thing?

User Journal

Journal: Warren and Sanders... Sanders and Warren 4

Journal by fustakrakich

Marsha Marsha Marsha!.. They're supposed to be the democrat's answer to Rand and Ron, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice... or something..

So, they're making headlines by voting against the Syrian War (Has it officially started yet? I really don't know)... Of course it is bullshit because the thing was going to pass anyway without their votes. Now, had they been real schwing votes, how much you wanna bet their speeches (and votes) would be different? This is the same gimmick the republicans used on Obamacare... Their votes weren't needed and they still can collect the windfall, economic and political. They can continue to pretend to be the opposition party while scaring the feeble minded out of voting for somebody who "doesn't have a chance".

User Journal

Journal: My foes list

Journal by Nimey

If anyone cares, my foes list is made up largely of two groups:
1) Climate-change deniers, the sort for whom nothing will change their minds.
2) THE STATE IS ALWAYS WRONG AND EVIL fringe libertarians, ditto.

User Journal

Journal: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot 61

Journal by damn_registrars
I had a little bit of downtime yesterday afternoon with my phone in my hand and decided to see how awful slashdot is with the default browser on Android. It is - as one might expect - rather bad. More so, the front page actually had conservative advertisements on the page (beyond the usual collection of conservative stories). The first ad was touting Paul Ryan being scheduled to appear at a conference about medicare and medicaid. Being as I was not logged in to slashdot through my phone at all, this appears to be part of the new default set of ads served up to newbies.

Well done, slashdot. Might as well cater to your own base. You wouldn't want people to think that other opinions are welcomed here or anything.

PS - I liked it better when we had ads for mail-order-brides on the front page. At least that was something that performs a useful service. The GOP can't claim that.
The Military

Journal: James Foley Is Not a War Ad 10

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

by David Swanson / September 13th, 2014

                               

To the extent that the U.S. public is newly, and probably momentarily, accepting of war -- an extent that is wildly exaggerated, but still real -- it is because of videos of beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

When 9-11 victims were used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9-11, some of the victims' relatives pushed back.

Now James Foley is pushing back from the grave.

Here is video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about the last NATO protest before the recent one in Wales. I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO and war. And I've met Wexler who has tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie .

Watch Foley in the video discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley cheering like a weapons-maker or a Congress member for President Obama's announcement of more war. Try to imagine Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

You can't do it. He's not an ad for war any more than the WMDs were a justification for war. His absence as a war justification has been exposed even faster than the absence of the WMDs was.

While ISIS may have purchased Sotloff, if not Foley, from another group, when Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

The Coalition of the Willing is already crumbling. What if people in the United States were to watch the video of Foley when he was alive and speaking and laughing, not the one when he was a prop in a piece of propaganda almost certainly aimed at provoking the violence that Obama has just obligingly announced?

Foley said he believed his responsibility was to the truth. It didn't set him free. Is it perhaps not too late for the rest of us?

User Journal

Journal: Conservative mindfuck 2

Journal by damn_registrars
The situation in Ukraine should be causing conservatives to collectively blow their gaskets, except that most of them discarded logic long ago. Let's examine their beliefs on the matter. Many conservatives believe:
  • That Obama is a communist (which is obviously wrong)
  • That Marxist communism was the dominant philosophy for most of the existence of the USSR (also obviously wrong)
  • That communism and fascism are in any meaningful way similar philosophically (also obviously wrong)
  • That Vladimir Putin is attempting to reinstate communism in Russia (also completely and utterly wrong)

If we were to suspend reality long enough to pretend that those statement are not all pure crap, we then have a bigger situation in current events to address - Obama vs. Putin over Ukraine. If the two were philosophically aligned, why would they be so doggedly opposed to letting the other get an upper hand in the situation? Surely, two communists should be able to agree on how to take over a third country for Marxist happiness, should they not?

... and of course, President Lawnchair is building (another!) "coalition of the willing".

User Journal

Journal: Android International 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

Google struggles dealing with people who are in one place but want to use a language from another place.

It's gotten better in chrome on a computer. I can pretty much search in chrome and get my results in English. But on android it's a mess.

When I search in Android Chrome - I get google.hu and I haven't found a way to get it to use google.com

Today I decided to start using 2 factor authentication with gmail. Seems like a good idea and it's free so why not? Once I turned it on and set it up on my computer then I went to my phone. On my Android phone it said, "Now you need to go to the web." and took me to a form in Hungarian. There was no option to switch it to English.

Everything in my phone is set to use English but this is all completely ignored in favor of where the browser has decided that I am physically located. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me. I want it in US English - no matter where I am in the world.

It's a weird thing. On the one hand I love that they are willing to sms the codes to any number world wide (though I switched to the app). So in some ways they are way ahead of others. But then you run into something that is just so backwards. And finding a way to send feedback to Google? Not so easy.

User Journal

Journal: More Than Enough - Comcast declares war on Tor 31

Journal by PopeRatzo

If you haven't dumped Comcast yet, you better hurry:

http://www.deepdotweb.com/2014/09/13/comcast-declares-war-tor/

Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an âoeillegal service.â The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.
The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.
The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:

"Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that arenâ(TM)t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day."

User Journal

Journal: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I enquired about when subscription renewal would be available again and the reply I got was that the subscription process will not be coming back. Must not make enough income to make it worthwhile. I liked seeing stories a little early and would try to quickly email and warn of dupes when I could. But it is a business. So it goes.

A long, long time ago I registered a domain that I thought would be awesome to use for a number of purposes. SleepingArmadillo.com Actually I thought the best use of this would be as a name for a craft beer. But I thought it would be good for almost anything but I never actually did anything with it. I just had a static html page with a photo of a 'sleeping' armadillo taken on a road near my home when I was living in Florida.

I ended up selling it to a band. The page they have now has a cool little cover image - I like it. I didn't make any profit on the deal but I enjoyed doing it.

It made me want to register something else that may be useful someday. It's not easy to do. I ended up with busypenguin.com I have no idea what I'll do with it. Right now I think it could be a clever Linux site but I don't have the time or desire to do it. I don't think it would be a good beer name. Sleeping Armadillo was genius. Busy Penguin was just the best I could get that day. I like it, don't get me wrong, just not sure at all what I'll do with it.

User Journal

Journal: The FBI is a PITA

Journal by Austrian Anarchy
Yes, government as a whole is too but the FBI is especially a pain. For a book project, I did a few FOIA requests that I've mentioned various places. They will not even supply information that they have released in the past, but is no longer available through their regular publications, and they use "the person in question is still alive" as their catch-all denial mechanism. Including denying requests for FBI wanted posters of a guy who is still at large.

After you have watched and read the information from various places on how to do a FOIA, let me add this - it is much easier to start with a dead person in your information excavation than it is to start with a live person.

Being dead is not enough either, the FBI must KNOW they are dead and they will not take your word for it either. They might not even take your proof of death.

When I requested information on a series of bombs in banks, I was denied all information, even public statements made by the director, on the basis of the bomber still being alive.

Finally a light came on, I asked for all of the public statements and briefings by director J. Edgar Hoover (they KNOW he is dead) for the time period in question, and they accepted that one. They haven't provided anything yet, but they did not flat out deny it.

AG John Mitchell, someone else they know is dead, made joint statements with the FBI director about the bomb plot too. I've submitted a FOIA request to DOJ for his statements and am awaiting a response.

Another interesting aspect, my bomber did a false enlistment with the US Army for a few months and he was declared AWOL around the time of his bombs being discovered. There was no mention in the press of any charges being brought against him for the false enlistment, or his conduct, etc. So I emailed off a FOIA to them at the email address they provided. The email to the DAG1 office bounced! Found another and tried it. Still waiting for a response there too.
User Journal

Journal: Give me Catholic Heaven, Islamic Paradise is too hard 10

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

this guy is clearly NOT a mathematician, but if he was:
 
You have 4 wives on earth. Each one of those wives has 70 black eyed virgins for you in paradise. Each one of those black eyed virgins has 70 servant girls. That is 19,884 women for you to have sex with in paradise.
 
But it gets worse. Each one of those women has been given YOU by Allah for a term of 70 years. That means you will be having sex, nonstop, from the time you die for the first 1,391,880 years you are in paradise. You're going to need eternity from then on just to rest up from that.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam

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