“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reflections on the Loss of Freedom - A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggested that the surveillance revelations could cost the U.S. cloud-computing industry $22 to $35 billion in lost revenues over the next three years.

Tell me you did not enjoy this:

The Quest to Build an NSA-Proof Cloud
European leaders want to go head to head with Amazon and Google. But some tech executives are pushing back against the plan.

NOV 21 2013, 7:00 AM ET

BERLIN – If Germany’s special parliamentary session on U.S. surveillance this week was any indication, European politicians are still worked up about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks. Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that the revelations had “tested” U.S.-German relations. Green Party politician Hans-Christian Strobele urged the German leader to thank Snowden and offer him asylum for discovering that her cell phone “was probably bugged.” Merkel even got called a “scaredy-cat” for not standing up to Washington.   
The criticism comes as politicians in the region—from Estonia to Germany—are calling for the European Union to create a cloud-computing infrastructure of its own to compete with American providers like Amazon, Google, and Verizon.
The idea is that if the EU has its own cloud—and what form it would take, who would build it, and where it would be based remain unclear—then member states could compel providers to abide by the EU’s (comparatively) stricter data-protection rules. It's part of a backlash against the long arm of the U.S. intelligence community that has echoes everywhere from Brazil to the United Nations.
One of the main proponents of a European cloud is EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding, who was in Washington earlier this week to hammer out a treaty that would, if signed, assure that any EU citizens’ data stored in the United States be given the same privacy protections as U.S. citizens’ data (in the aftermath of the Snowden leaks, however, policymakers and privacy advocates in the U.S. are questioning the effectiveness of those protections).
Reding’s cloud formation plan essentially calls for EU nations to band together and create a European champion in cloud systems just as France, Germany, and Britain did in the 1960s, when they created aircraft manufacturer Airbus to compete with Boeing.
“For awhile now, I have been saying it’s time for the Europeans to build their own cloud,” Reding told a German radio station last week. “I think data protection needs to be thought of not as some extra cost, but something that makes us more competitive. When a company can guarantee that its customers’ data will remain secure, they will flock to you—it’s a golden business opportunity for European tech companies. It can become a sales argument.”
Indeed, part of the motivation here is a business one. European politicians want to see their companies exploit a gap in trust in U.S. companies as a result of the Snowden leaks. And two recent studies suggest that this is a sensible idea.
In one study of “industry practitioners and cloud-computing stakeholders” based outside the United States, the Cloud Security Alliance found that 56 percent of those polled would be less likely to work with U.S.-based cloud service providers due to data-protection fears. Another report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggested that the surveillance revelations could cost the U.S. cloud-computing industry $22 to $35 billion in lost revenues over the next three years.
European politicians want their companies to exploit a gap in trust in U.S. companies as a result of the Snowden leaks. And two studies suggest this is a sensible idea.
European providers have already been positioning themselves to become the router and storage solution of choice for companies in Africa, which has seen its share of traffic passing through the U.S. drop dramatically over the last 10 years. In 1999, some 70 percent of African Internet traffic went to the United States, according to a 2012 report by Analysis Mason. By 2011, the study noted, less than 5 percent of that traffic went to the U.S., “having been replaced by bandwidth to Europe.” It is unclear, however, what percentage of this data actually migrated away from American companies, many of which have built data centers in Europe to be closer to customers in the EU and Africa.
Not all Europeans share the outrage voiced by their political leaders over U.S. surveillance. A survey commissioned earlier this month by the magazine Wirtschaftswoche, for instance, found that 76 percent of Germans were not bothered by Snowden’s leaks. “Most people didn’t think that anything in their lives would be of interest to the American intelligence service,” the survey’s authors wrote. While the study didn’t ask whether Germans were concerned about charges that U.S. intelligence tapped into their chancellor’s phone, it did reveal that Germans are uneasy about their own officials: only 17 percent of those polled trusted the German government’s handling of their personal data. 
Caught between public apathy and politicians’ anger, some German tech industry figures are calling for a middle path (others, like Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, have eagerly backed Reding’s cloud proposal). They like the data-protection treaty that Reding wants to sign with the U.S., but favor more stringent use of data encryption over rash plans to build EU clouds. The thinking is that stronger and more regular use of encryption could slow, to a degree, apparent U.S. attempts to comb through the world’s Internet traffic.
One German tech industry figure I spoke with felt it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Europeans to migrate completely away from U.S. services. He likened America’s hegemony on the Internet to the control Gulf States wield over oil resources. 
“What you have with oil in the Middle East, you have in the U.S. with information,” said Malte Pollmann of Utimaco Safeware AG. “The U.S. is in a unique position of geopolitical strength in the information age—and there’s no other country like this.”
Pollmann suggested that U.S. and British intelligence services are exploiting gray zones in treaties between nations—and that European diplomats should, first and foremost, push for clarity on this issue.
“What we need right now is a debate,” Pollmann told me. “Two years from now, we will have a better idea of which tactics are clearly illegal, and which are legal, but not what we wanted. There will have to be a rebalance in terms of legal oversight. That’s why you have people like [Google's] Eric Schmidt saying ‘I don’t know’ if it is legal for the U.S. and British intelligence agencies to tap into Google’s cables.”
“What you have with oil in the Middle East, you have in the U.S. with information.”
The CEO of a leading German marketing consultancy described the mood among German executives like this: They’re bothered by the U.S. government’s intelligence-gathering overreach, but they don’t see the U.S. as Europe’s main threat the way some politicians might.
“It’s sad and stupid that Merkel’s phone was listened to,” said this CEO, who asked not to be named because he was critical of some of the countries in which he consults. “But I think most of the economic elites in Germany still see the U.S. as a strong ally. They don’t see economic espionage as the motive. Most economic elites here agree that the real danger and threat is in the emerging powers, like China.”
This CEO said his business stores most of its data on clouds in the United States, and that he wasn’t concerned about the situation because everything the company does is encrypted. 
“We are using fully encrypted hard disks,” he noted. “As for phone communication—it just hasn’t been a topic for us. Many times what we are saying on the phone really isn’t too sensitive. And, if it is sensitive—construction plans or stock market-related transactions—we just don’t talk about it on the phone.”
Pollmann also echoed this sentiment.

“In the end,” he noted, “It’s cheaper to fly someplace and have a conversation in a room than to build elaborate systems for super-secret conversations.”


  1. .

    The reason I don't use Google Chrome or any of the 'elite' services offered by the various service providers that offer to store your personal information 'safely' in the clouds.


  2. Argentinean Defense Minister Agustin Rossi has called for a joint plan among South American countries to cope with the US spying activities.

    Rossi made the remarks during a meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim in Brasilia on Thursday.

    "I believe that UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) must have a joint defense strategy,” the Argentinean minister said, adding, “The issue of cyber-defense undoubtedly deserves to be addressed."


    Reports have shown that Argentina was has been also targeted by the NSA.

  3. On this day in 1995, the Dow finished above 5000 for the first time ever.

  4. Does any country in the world trust or respect us? We spend a fortune on bureaucracies to protect us; yet, a low level civilian employee was able to gather at least 200,000 documents without any security system noticing. One might have thought his peers or supervisor might have noticed a lack of productivity otherwise.

    Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
    ___H. L. Mencken

  5. The Judge is a good man.

    He was the one who said:

    "The 2nd Amendment isn't about shooting deer. It's about shooting tyrants."


  6. Topic: Brandeis University
    What Americans Don’t Know About Palestinian Culture
    Jonathan S. Tobin
    11.20.2013 - 6:45 PM

    Some Jewish liberals got a terrible shock last week when British journalist Tom Gross broke a story about a fascist-style military rally held on the campus of Al Quds University. Al Quds is a Palestinian college located in Jerusalem and has had an academic partnership with both Brandeis University and Bard College in the United States. The rally was organized by the Al Quds branch of the Islamic Jihad group (though it was joined by much of the rest of the student body that joined the jihadi storm troopers in marching on an Israeli flag) and followed two other demonstrations sponsored by Hamas to honor suicide bombers at the school.

    The story about the event, illustrated by a much-circulated picture of the Islamic Jihad group in black uniforms and masks giving a Nazi-style salute, posed a dilemma for Brandeis. While no one in charge at Bard seemed particularly exercised about the fact that their partner held pep rallies for terrorism the way a typical American school does for football or basketball, Brandeis is an avowedly Jewish institution and when the Washington Free Beacon posed a question about what it was doing in a relationship with such a place, the university was initially flummoxed and hunkered down, offering no comment about the story even as many of their students and faculty expressed outrage. It took more than a week, but yesterday Brandeis extracted its head from the sand and President Frederick Lawrence announced that it was reevaluating its relationship with Al Quds. Lawrence’s move came after he called on Al Quds President Sari Nusseibeh to condemn the rally in Arabic and English. Instead, the renowned Palestine “moderate” rationalized the rally, defended the students, and blamed the controversy on “vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists” leaving Brandeis no choice but to back out of their relationship.

    1. But there’s more to this story than just this distressing exchange. The problem here is not just that terror groups are as accepted at Palestinian universities—even those that are generally respected abroad as Al Quds is—as sports teams are at their American counterparts. It’s that most Americans, including American Jews like those who run Brandeis, haven’t a clue about why this is so or how pervasive this trend is in Palestinian society.

      If much of the discussion about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians on college campuses and throughout the rest of the American liberal world seem so skewed it is not just because Israel is often unfairly smeared as an “apartheid state.” It is also because many Americans simply don’t know the first thing about contemporary Palestinian culture. Websites like Palestine Media Watch and Memri, which provide constant updates about what is broadcast and printed by Palestinian sources, could give them a quick lesson about how deeply hatred of Israel and the Jews is embedded in popular Palestinian culture as well as its politics. But those who bring up these unhappy facts are more often dismissed as biased extremists who don’t understand the Palestinians.

      But the point about campus activities at Al Quds is that there is nothing exceptional about large groups of students demonstrating their hate for Israel and their devotion not to Palestinian nationalism but its extreme Islamist adherents such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad that call for the death of Jews. Such groups are not just welcome at Palestinian schools but an essential part of the fabric of student life as well as the general culture.

      Thus, the shock here is not that Brandeis (if not Bard) has been alerted to the true nature of their partner and even a respected front man like Nusseibeh. Rather, it’s that it never occurred to anyone in authority at Brandeis that this was the inevitable result of any cooperation with Al Quds. If it had or if more American academics got their heads out of the sand and realized the cancer of hate that is still the dominating feature of Palestinian political culture, the assumption that Israel is the villain of the Middle East conflict might be challenged more often


    3. Did Hollywood bigwigs help Israel buy arms in the 1970s and '80s?
      Longtime Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan says they did, in an interview set to air Monday on the Israeli investigative journalism program 'Uvda.'

      Sinatra was a courier from time to time.

    4. Sinatra?

      Wow. That's news to me.

  7. John Boehner is now enrolled in Obamacare. :)

    1. I thought Congress was exempt from The Monster?

    2. No, Congress is required to participate.

    3. Thanks for confirming it is a Monster.


    4. They just get a subsidy of 70 percent!

      "Members of Congress and their staff who will have to get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act would continue to receive a government contribution toward premiums next year but only if they enroll in a specific ACA plan, under a revised Obama administration policy unveiled Monday.
      The policy was issued as House Republican leaders floated a plan, as part of the maneuvering over the budgetary deadlock, to end that contribution for Congress and certain employees who will be forced out of their current health program.

      The administration’s policy would keep the subsidy in place only for members of Congress and affected staff who enroll in a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) plan to become available in the District of Columbia. Such plans most commonly will be aimed at employees of businesses with fewer than 50 workers.
      Members of Congress and Capitol Hill workers, like almost all other federal employees, currently are eligible for the Federal

      Employees Health Benefits Program, in which the government pays about 70 percent of the total premium cost on average. However, under the ACA, House and Senate members and certain personal staff — although not other Hill employees — instead will have to get their insurance through the ACA’s marketplace effective with the 2014 calendar year."

    5. .

      Also wasn't there leeway for each Sneator to determine which of his people would be required to be under it and which wouldn't? I know when they asked Reid about it, he said he wasn't sure which of his people would be in it.


    6. Has anyone read this bill?

  8. Population of Massachusetts: 6.6 Million

    Population of USA 313 Million.

    Approximately two-thirds of Massachusetts' population lives in Greater Boston.
    It has a Flat Tax Rat of 5.25 percent, headed toward 5 percent.

    The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the Massachusetts gross state product in 2012 was US$404 billion.[127]

    The per capita personal income in 2012 was $53,221, making it the third highest state in the nation.[128] 13 Fortune 500 companies are located in Massachusetts, the largest of which are the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston and MassMutual Financial Services of Springfield.[129]

    CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Massachusetts as the fifth best state in the nation.[130]
    Sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher education, biotechnology, finance, health care, and tourism. Route 128 was a major center for the development of minicomputers and electronics.[89] High technology remains an important sector, though few of the largest technology companies are based there. In recent years tourism has played an ever-important role in the state's economy, with Boston and Cape Cod being the leading destinations. Other popular tourist destinations include Salem, Plymouth and the Berkshires. As of April 2013, the state's unemployment rate was 6.4%,[131] below the national level of 7.6 %

    1. Might be a tad more difficult to concoct a master healthcare plan to cover the entire country than for greater Boston.

    2. Are you saying that Massachusetts is not a comparable microcosm?

  9. Charlie Manson getting married.

    True love has finally come to Charlie.

    1. "Dan Cupid is a raw laddie buck"

    2. Just keep him away from the cutlery. The bride can cut the cake... ...or not.

    3. A powerful story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America.

      A powerful story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America.

      Nearly 50 years ago, a Zen Buddhist monk—fleeing a cloud of suspicion—arrived in Manhattan, penniless and alone. Eido Shimano would quickly build an unrivaled community of followers: Zen students he culled from the heights of New York society to form arguably the most prestigious Japanese Buddhist organization in the country. Authors, entertainers, and scions of vast fortunes, all questing for spiritual enlightenment, flocked to study and live in his spacious compound. But always there were whispers that things were not what they seemed.

      With sexual-abuse allegations against Zen leaders in the U.S. now stunningly common, The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side examines a dangerously complicated corner of the tradition—and shows how aspects of Buddhist practice may actually facilitate abuse. Featuring exclusive reporting and interviews, the book is a powerful true story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—and a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America.

      An essayist, reporter, and critic, Mark Oppenheimer is one of the country’s leading investigators of religion. He writes a religion column for The New York Times and also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, The Forward, and Tablet, among other publications. Oppenheimer has a doctorate in American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative. The author of three previous books, he lives with his family in New Haven, Connecticut.


      It's mostly died out in Japan, but all the rage for some in NY, Maui, Bay Area, LA, etc.


  10. Nov 21 (Reuters) - Nearly 80,000 Californians have enrolled in private health insurance plans through the state's exchange marketplace created under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the Covered California exchange said on Thursday.

    The latest data, which charts enrollment from the Oct. 1 start through Nov. 19, means that about 20,000 more people signed up for plans since the exchange's initial update on its enrollment released Nov. 13.

    California, which is the most populous U.S. state and embraced the Affordable Care Act early on, is considered a crucial region for the administration's enrollment effort. The state is one of 14 operating their own exchanges, as opposed to relying on the federal government.

    Last week, the U.S. government released initial data showing that 106,000 people had enrolled in new exchanges nationwide from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2. California's enrollment amounted to about one-third of all sign-ups during that period and outnumbered the combined tallies of all 36 states that use the faulty website operated by the federal government.

    Covered California also released data on Thursday showing
    that nearly 23 percent . . . . . . . .


    1. DougWed Nov 20, 04:40:00 AM EST

      Rufus bought the same BS that the LA Times spouted about CA enrollments. Several things are bogus, the biggest one being counting the 79,519 medicaid applicants.

      Many Docs already don't take them as patients: When this train wreck comes calling, look out below.

      Rufus will insist that they, as well as the rest of us will be getting better health care than ever.



      I am currently working to implement ACA for a major insurer in California. You have been talking about claiming that 50,000 enrollees is a win for Covered California even though the numbers fall far short of the estimates. It’s even worse than that. We have yet to fully process a clean file from the exchange. At the insurer level, this effectively means that we have enrolled and effectuated zero users as of today.

      The process requires enrollees to make a payment to be truly “enrolled”. The state anounced in September that their payment processing would not be made available to enrolless until 2014 sometime. Covered CA was supposed to process a binder payment when users enrolled but they couldn’t get it to work. Without being able to process payments, nobody has bene fully effectuated – at least at my insurer.

      Once we process files, we will notify enrollees that they must make a payment before they are enrolled. I have serious doubts that we will see high rates of payments which means that the current estimates of 50-60K enrollees will drop dramatically when people are asked to pay to finish their enrollment. We don’t even know who has enrolled for our plans yet.

      It is truly a failure."

    2. My Doc was forward looking:

      He decided to drop 1400 of his 1800 patient a year ago, which he did in September.

      I paid him $1,600 to be part of the 400 under a "VIP Md" setup or some such.

      So far so good: He's had to refill one prescription.

      Next I have to figure out what to do about my Cardiologist who I've also not seen since my policy was terminated.

    3. Gp's Brain probly benefits from Hybrid Vigor:

      He's Half Japanese and Half Black.

      Cardiologist is a Jew, naturally.

    4. Have a mechanical heart implanted now and you won't have to worry about it later.

      Preventative medicine, my lad.

    5. Pig valves, you ignoramus.
      The state of the art replacement is with pig valves

      Learn More About Heart Valve Surgery and Download a Free Treatment Guide
      Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute
      Request an Appointment: 866.296.8652

    6. .

      Or, go to Amazon and order my book, The Dummies Guide to DIY Heart Replacement. $23.95 Published by Hearts-R-Us Publishing, Banksville, Cayman Islands.

      Be one of the next 500 to purchase my book and receive a free, matched set of stainless steel rib spreaders and retractors.


    7. ...government numbers, the gold standard of accounting...

  11. To the gods, it is said, all things are right, and good and true and beautiful but to us some things and good and some things are bad, some things beautiful and some things ugly.

    Natural Music

    The old voice of the ocean, the bird-chatter of little rivers,
    (Winter has given them gold for silver
    To stain their water and bladed green for brown to line their banks)
    From different throats intone one language.
    So I believe if we were strong enough to listen without
    Divisions of desire and terror
    To the storm of the sick nations, the rage of the hunger smitten cities,
    Those voices also would be found
    Clean as a child's; or like some girl's breathing who dances alone
    By the ocean-shore, dreaming of lovers.

    Robinson Jeffers

    Who is correct, ourselves or the gods?

    Ought the question be asked?

    1. Quo licit Jovi, Non licit bovi --- What is permitted the gods is not permitted the cattle

  12. Nice fellow on Fox News is telling how when he was blind from meningitis he was on a plane and the stewardess kept taking his seeing dog away. Last seat on the plane, it was no cause of trouble. When they landed somewhere the airline threw dog and blind man off the flight, and all the other passengers got off the plane too and refused to continue!

    Wonderful encouraging story.

    And the fellow regained his sight.

    1. Albert Rizzi case.

    2. Thought it was said he regained his sight but now think I'm wrong about that.

      Wonderful story.

    3. The picture I saw yesterday: His eyes didn't look blind, wonder if he's just legally blind?

    4. At the end of the interview the interviewer leaned forward and said "I am going to shake your hand now" so he must have some blindness though from looking it is hard to tell.

  13. Barton Gellman fired back Thursday at Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward over Woodward's remarks that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden should have come to him first with documents "instead of others, particularly The Guardian." Woodward also said he doesn't consider Snowden a hero.


    Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron told HuffPost that “Bob is speaking for himself and not for The Washington Post." (Gellman, too, is speaking for himself and not the Post).


    But since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos closed on his purchase of the paper last month, Woodward -- who accepts a salary of just $25 a month from the Post -- has increased his presence in the newsroom. He recently told HuffPost that "those of us who have been around, like myself, and have clearly benefited from our association with the Post, we want to redouble, triple our efforts."

  14. City of Brotherly Love ground zero for 'knockout game' -

    Taken all in all I'd rather be in Idaho than Phil a del phi a.

    1. How Trayvon's Kockout Game Went Bad

    2. Concealed Carry - never leave home without it

      Mr. Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made all men equal.

  15. California won't extend health plans

    Spurning President Obama's call to let insurers extend canceled health policies, California won't allow 1 million policyholders to keep their health plan for another year.

    The board of the Covered California health exchange voted unanimously to break with the president and keep its requirement that insurers terminate most individual policies Dec. 31 because the policies don't meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

    Officials acknowledged that their decision won't satisfy angry consumers and will mean many of them will pay significantly more for new coverage come January.

  16. Cyberwar in the Underworld: Anonymous versus Los Zetas in Mexico
    Posted by Managing Editor for • February 26, 2013

    Due to Anonymous’ loose structure, any operation can move forward or be cancelled in a capricious manner.

    Furthermore, as a collective, members can do more than just dissent against a planned operation and opt out;
    they can actively work against the operation by launching counterattacks against factions with whom they disagree.

    They can also prevent members from accessing online forum, where many members find each other.
    Internal schisms and “civil wars” have occurred among Anonymous members who wanted to undertake operations in accordance with the hacker ethos,
    others who wanted to take on morals-motivated attacks, and yet others who were purely interested in hacking for “spite and fun.”

    By attempting to reverse hack Anonymous and by threatening to kill ten innocent people in the event of any subsequent release of information about the cartel, Los Zetas took advantage of these divisions by significantly raising the stakes.

    It quickly became the first Anonymous operation where there was the potential for significant loss of life.
    As previously discussed, several Anonymous members had serious misgivings about moving forward with the threat against Los Zetas because of the danger while others wanted to move forward.

    Because of Anonymous’ collective structure, much of its decision-making and control of information is murky and contradictory.
    The reasons it did not renege on its agreement are subject to speculation.

    After all, the collective was not bound by any agreement to retreat from its threat and the killings of random people at the hands of Los Zetas would not have affected the collective in a meaningful manner.
    Perhaps only a small cadre of Anonymous members had access to the information on Los Zetas which was not available to the rest of the collective and to which the rest of the collective was, ironically, denied access.

    Therefore, in fact, rather than in spirit, Anonymous does have a type of hierarchy when it comes to the possession of critical information and to making decisions about how to use it. Perhaps it was this cadre within Anonymous that felt threatened by Los Zetas attempts to reverse hack them, find them, and exact revenge or whose consciences would have been deeply affected by the deaths of innocent people had the collective put Los Zetas to the test.

    Paul Rexton Kan is an Associate Professor of National Security Studies and the Henry L. Stimson Chair of Military Studies at the U.S. Army War College. He is the author of Drugs and Contemporary Warfare and the recent book, Cartels at War: Mexico’s Drug-Fueled Violence and the Challenge to US National Security.


    With the new Anonymous group focusing on the activities of Los Zetas in the small city of Acuña, Coahuila,
    the hacktivist collective is returning to the brink. 

    The new clash between the two groups began only recently, with Anonymous striking first.
    In April, four college graduates from Acuña returned to their hometown to find it completely under control of Los Zetas. 

    In response, they decided to form an Anonymous affiliate.  According to a spokesperson for the group,

    “We were not here in 2005 when the Zetas arrived in Acuña. We were already gone to college, but every time we returned to visit, we would see and hear how quickly the situation was worsening in our town”.

      The group’s goal is to expose the Zetas' activities in the city and the gang's alleged ties to Mexico’s current governing party, Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

     The group has branded itself as “Anonymous FreeAcuña” and began publishing photos of homes and businesses it says belong to cartel operatives on its blog, Facebook and Twitter.

    Unlike the first clash, there are some notable differences. 

    First, there appears to be no predicate event like the kidnapping of an Anonymous member. 
    Instead, some young people returned to their hometown of Acuña and saw that Los Zetas had tightened their grip on it. 

    Second, along with a video announcement from a masked Anonymous spokesperson declaring the operation, a blog and Twitter account linked to Anonymous FreeAcuña appeared suddenly. 

    Members appeared to spread the word and recruit online in various forums. 
    In fact, in the comment section of the online version of my Yale Journal of International Affairs article,

    someone claiming to be a part of Anonymous FreeAcuña left the following message on May 11: 

    We are an ANONYMOUS cell group in Acuña, Coahuila Mexico, border city with Del Rio, Texas.

    We are in the middle of cyber warfare with the ZETAS and already tangling with the Gulf Cartel: is a diary of what we are doing. It is a bilingual blog that explains step by step who we are and what we do.
    Anonymous FREEACUNA

    The third notable difference is the presence of the blog itself and the publishing of information about Los Zetas operations in and around the town of Acuna. 

    1. ....

      The initial clash did not feature a blog that was maintained by Anonymous. 

      Rather, information about Los Zetas and their collaborators appeared to be closely held by a few core members of the collective who communicated with a select few in the media and online. 

      Now, Anonymous FreeAcuña is acting almost like a clearinghouse of information about the drug cartel. 
      According to a spokesperson,

      “We get literally hundreds of pieces of information and we go through them carefully.
      If we cannot get at least two confirmations and a visual confirmation, we won't post it.”

      In some instances, it is feeding information to journalists and to the online media. 

      Finally, unlike the 2011 incident, there are no demands sought by Anonymous FreeAcuña. 

      There is no captive to bargain for, other than town of Acuna itself. 
      Even so, the group is not demanding that the drug cartel leave town or cease its operations in exchange for stopping the flow of information. 

      It is merely publishing information that comes its way, hoping that some action will be taken. 

      The group does claim a success in the arrest of Alfredo Andrade Parra, a major narcotics trafficker based in Acuña who was wanted on federal charges in Del Rio and San Antonio.

      The differences between this current operation and the one in the fall of 2011 reveal the evolution of cyber war in the underworld.  Anonymous FreeAcuña has opened another front in the cyber war against Los Zetas in less than two years.

        An important question is why did an Anonymous group return to battle Los Zetas in cyberspace?

    2. Reminds me:
      Some crazy family locked their car north of the border and walked into mexico.

      Went missing 'til a couple of days ago when their bodies were found buried in the San Bernadino Desert.

      Not like the good old college days when we could walk around drunk in Tijuana.

  18. BARBRA STREISAND’s 15-year marriage to JAMES BROLIN has ex­ploded in spectacular fashion – with the dashing actor declaring: “I want out!”
    November 5, 2013

    BARBRA STREISAND’s 15-year marriage to JAMES BROLIN has ex­ploded in spectacular fashion – with the dashing actor declaring: “I want out!”

    Sources say Brolin, 73, is sick and tired of his diva wife’s controlling ways, bossing him around and treating him as “a second-rate citizen,” and he’s signing on for tons of showbiz work to put some separation between them.

    “James finally lost it totally and, in a fit of rage, he told her, ‘I want out!’ – and it sent Barbra into a fury.”


    A Hallmark Holiday With James Brolin
    November 19, 2013

    ""I've been married 15 years and going strong," Brolin shares. "Never had an 'I'm out the door' moment. Never once. I feel so protected by her and she feels so protected by me. On our property we built a separate building which I jokingly call 'the B&B.' So, rather than drive to Carmel, we walk 300 feet and spend the weekend in this other building."

    ...go figure!

    1. Neighbor lady and husband - retired bird prof - have a home that looks like Hawaii inside. Lots of water pools, little waterfall and stream, all sorts of flowers and stuff, and exotic birds galore.....some even flying around. No, I don't know what they do about that, but I can go to Hawaii just by driving out there.

    2. Quirk just skates out to the fishing hut on the lake.

      He has a vivid imagination.

    3. I guess they're called actors for a reason.

    4. There is no bad publicity, especially if you have something coming up.

  19. How will John Boehner be able to credibly argue that the Affordable Care Act "doesn't work" when he is enrolled in it?

  20. How will millions of Americans be able to argue that ObamaCare (I see Rufus has changed the name to ACA - when Hero O said, until now, he liked ObamaCare - now he is calling it the ACA) heh heh ---that ObamaCare 'works' when millions of Americans have already gotten screwed over by it, with millions and millions to come?

    That is the better question.

    1. Thou shalt not utter "Obamacare" from this moment forward.

      ACA True Believers Fanclub

    2. No shit!

      O loved the term ObamaCare until just lately. Appealed to his vanity.

      Now it's ACA.


  21. Replies
    1. "That b---- was f---ing crazy," Star said of Atkins. "She was a crazy f---ing whore. 'Oh Charlie, I did this for you.' She didn't know what she was doing."

      A 25-year-old girl named Star says she already feels like she's married to serial killer Charles Manson.

      They haven't had a wedding yet, but she told Rolling Stone it will happen.

      "I'll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married," she told the magazine in an interview posted online.

      "When that will be, we don't know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this. We haven't told anybody about that."

      Star looks very similar to Manson Family member Susan Atkins, a.k.a. Sexy Sadie, who was jailed for her role in nine murders under Manson's orders in California. She died in 2009.

      "That b---- was f---ing crazy," Star said of Atkins. "She was a crazy f---ing whore. 'Oh Charlie, I did this for you.' She didn't know what she was doing."

      Manson, 79, led a commune in the late 1960s and was found guilty of conspiring in the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. He was sentenced to death, but that was later changed to a life sentence.

      While photos of Manson and Atkins show her wearing a ring on her left hand, Manson told the magazine he doesn't actually plan to marry Star.

      "We're just playing that for public consumption," he said.

    2. Only the body ages, the spirit is ever young.

      A marriage made in hea v e n the California slammer.

      One can only wish the happy newly weds a fine hour or two of....what do they call it.......conjugal visiting.....


    3. “Any preoccupation with ideas of what is right or wrong in conduct shows an arrested intellectual development.”

    4. .

      But then, would anyone in their right mind take anything Wilde said seriously?


  22. Fainting Goat Story:

    Jose Canseco pulled over with goats wearing diapers in the back of his car

    The former MLB slugger told his thousands of Twitter followers that he and model Leila Knight got some fainting goats and even asked for name suggestions.

    1. "'Just got pulled over with goats in the car. The cop laughed at our poor goats.'

      Great picture of goat looking at police cruiser.

  23. What else?

    Sabotaging the Medicaid Expansion

    Americans for Prosperity, funded by Charles and David Koch, launched advertising campaigns to strong-arm state lawmakers to block the expansion Medicaid in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Once again, in the 26 states that blocked the Medicaid expansion, we're left with five to eight million people who are consequently unable to afford exchange policies but who also make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

    In Alaska yesterday, Governor Sean Parnell, a Republican, obviously, rejected the Medicaid expansion thus denying health insurance to 40,000 Alaskans. Parnell said, "I believe a costly Medicaid expansion especially on top of the broken Obamacare system is a hot mess."

    That's a lie. Fact: the federal government pays the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion for 2014 through 2016. The states pay nothing. So it's not costly at all. In fact, it's free for the first three years.

    What happens when the expansion is blocked throughout more than half the nation? Potentially millions of pissed-off working class Americans due to what's perceived as punitively expensive Obamacare premiums -- premiums that are only too expensive because Republican governors blocked the Medicaid expansion.

    There's more.

    Sabotaging ACA Marketplace Enrollment

    Speaking of the Koch brothers and Alaska, a group called Foundation for Government Accountability launched a campaign to convince Alaskans to deliberately not buy insurance policies in order to undermine ACA enrollment goals, and, naturally, to express their self-defeating hatred of President Obama. Smart.

    A pair of websites, along with accompanying Facebook pages, were launched back in September: and And go figure:

    1. Based in Naples, Fla., the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit that "promotes public policies that achieve limited, constitutional government and a robust economy that will be an engine for job creation across the states." One of the foundation's directors is Robert Levy, the chairman of the board of the Cato Institute, the Washington, D.C. think tank with a long and complicated relationship with the Koch brothers.

      Yep. All roads lead back to the Kochs.

      There's something especially visceral and sinister about well-protected billionaires telling middle class Americans to go without health insurance in order to, you know, kick Obama in nuts.

      At the end of the day, if not enough people enroll in the exchanges, the law entirely falls apart. Combined with everything else, that's sabotage, plain and simple, while the Koch brothers can rest assured knowing they'll never be without quality healthcare, so screw it. Let fly. After all, the traditional press won't really cover it with the same hard-nippled vigor with which they've covered the buggy website, or with which they've almost universally blamed the low enrollment numbers on the president.

      For that, much of the press is an active, though not entirely knowing conspirator in the sabotage plot. And there's no indication any of

      Insurance for Me, but not for Thee

    2. "In fact, it's free for the first three years."

      Grown Ups call that bait and switch, Rufus.

    3. "FREE"


      Perpetual Motion and Lowering the levels of The Seas are too.

    4. Hell, those Governors could just turn their states back in when the leases are up. more bills from that day forward.

      FREE Healthcare!

      ...until it's not.

    5. Sadly, sooner rather that later, we have already run out of other peoples money to the tune of about 17 trillion dollars, and counting.

      On the next inevitable interest rate cycle, this gig will be up.

      What a gift to our offspring:

      "Free" unpayable interest payments on an enormous mountain of debt.

    6. "There's something especially visceral and sinister about well-protected billionaires telling middle class Americans to go without health insurance in order to, you know, kick Obama in nuts."

      Seek help, Rufus:

      I'm starting to pity you.

      It was more fun when I thought you were sane but wrong.
      This is getting sad.

    7. The States Never pay more than 10% of the cost of the Medicaid expansion.

      That small amount will almost surely be overwhelmed by the increased economic activity brought on by the program.

    8. There's something especially visceral and sinister about an egomaniac that does not know jack shit about insurance or healthcare imposing his wet dream on the nation.

      ("We didn't realize that buying health insurance is complicated.")

    9. Rufus IIFri Nov 22, 08:17:00 AM EST


      You're hilarious Rufus, keep it up, I won't call in the shrinks, honest.

    10. A Sixty Year Old Man that believes in The Free Lunch!

    11. Maybe there's a group mental health rate, or a rate for two or more......?

    12. That's a lie. Fact: the federal government pays the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion for 2014 through 2016. The states pay nothing. So it's not costly at all. In fact, it's free for the first three years.

      Wow sounds like my cable sign up promotion, 3 free months!

      then? can you switch to another provider?

      What NO?

      "So it's not costly at all. In fact, it's free for the first three years"

      Can a grown man actually say that without giggling?

      "That's a lie. Fact: the federal government pays"

      No the TAXPAYER pays...

      What a fucking moron....

    13. :-)

      Either that or he's insane and really believes.

    14. - We Are Anonymous - We Are The Collective - We Are Legion - We Are Anonymous -

      Who are the Dead End Kids?

  24. Canseco looks like an Hispanic Pete Rose.


    1. Possessed better than Obsessed.

      Winning is everything.

  25. There is indeed!

    Quirk at your service.

    For Group Rates:


    Contact Quirk
    Box 100000001
    Detroit, Michigan

    (specializing in faulty thought, depression, aggression, hallucinations, organic caused mental deficiencies, stalking and many other problem areas - "you name it, we specialize in it")

    1. Since I'm retired and have no income, can I get a subsidy?

    2. Absolutely. Sure you can get a subsidy at SaneRUs.

      Just enroll in our GroupsPlansRUs/SaneRUs and and sign on the dotted to pay the lifetime fees.

      We give a Cash Back Offer you can't pass up. This is a subsidy. Think of it as signing on to buying a huge pickup truck you don't really really need but looks great in yard, years and year to pay and with a few bucks in pocket too!

    3. Heh, I'll be ripping them off wrt to them lifetime fees.

      Ain't that much left of this lifetime.


    4. Anonymous Stages Protest In Support Of Teens In Trouble Over Kissing Photo

      - We Are Anonymous - We Are Legion - We Are The Collective -


    5. Anonymous takes on Moroccan authorities over kissing case

      We Are Anonymous - We Are Legion - We Are The Collective - We r Anonymous -

      Resistance is Futile

  26. Monthly estimated domestic crude oil production exceeded crude oil imports in October for the first time since February 1995, while total petroleum net imports were the lowest since February 1991. What the fracking frack, Rufus?

    1. Yes, and we're still Importing 7 Million barrels/day, Teresita.

    2. Is this you? or is this me?

      I swear you swore that if we saw you it would be me...

      I aint you... nor do I pretend to be you.....

      So why not just be honest and say it....

      You have no dignity, you lie and your threats/hissy fits are getting old....

      Go ahead...

      we are listening...

    3. As for your point. What is the total amount of oil USED in 1991, 1995 and 2013?

      How much oil sits untapped in the USA?

    4. Of course, you could ask yourself, "with Europe in full-bore recession, and the U.S. and Japan right on the edge, why is Brent Crude selling for $110.00/bbl?"

    5. Why does Rufus not have Solar Hot Water?

    6. Because Rufus is moving. And, why can you and Quirk do nothing but attack others, personally? Is there Nothing in your life that you're positive about?

    7. -Doug is Anonymous - Doug is the Collective - Doug is Legion - Doug is Anonymous -

      . . . . .Doug is Ad Hominem . . . . . .

      Resistance is Futile

    8. Because Rufus is moving.

      Makes perfect sense.


      You said that before.

      I rarely attack Bob or Deuce - Quirk, just for entertainment, like you.

      But with Quirk it's and inside joke.

      With you, I maintain a vain hope that we might bring you back to sanity.

    9. I've maintained here, only partly in jest, that the whole wind blown riffle was a literary event, a contest between two opposed readings of the Christian Bible.

      One wonders how he could show such callous disregard of the human carnage, the 600,000 or even more dead Americans, all that pain, and treat it so lightly as a wind riffle across the prairie?

      It has been documented that Fudd is …
      …. a fella that would not even protect the women of his community from a rapist.

      The girls and he, combined to create a Zone of Silence about the assault.
      He broke down and told us about it, self discipline never being on of Fudd's character points. It seems that 'Breaking Cover' was an attempt to clear his conscience. Saying he had only been concerned with appearances, his daughter's reputation not her or their family friends and neighbor's safety, not his community's security.

      After she had been raped, after the news leaked out of Fudd's butt, there were suspicions in the community that the assault may well have been a "family affair".

      Farmer Fudd, he and the girls subsequently moved from that town.

      His wife will no longer sleep in the same room with him.

    10. .

      Because Rufus is moving. And, why can you and Quirk do nothing but attack others, personally?

      This from the man who would never attack anyone personally.

      Except if you disagree with him. Then you become goddamned fucking racist idiots who are dumb as rocks and just don't get it.

      Oh, but don't take it personal.


  27. His post is oddly quiet about that part of the experience. Which is curious. As a 64-year-old heavy smoker, it’s a marvel that Boehner will be able to purchase individual market coverage at all. I wonder what crazy law guarantees that he can?

    At any rate, since he didn’t disclose which plan he’d settled on, or what his options were, I thought I’d try to re-create his experience for you. So on Thursday night I possibly perjured myself, and created an account on D.C.’s health insurance exchange for a nonexistent 64-year-old man seeking individual coverage.

    Because he’s shopping on the D.C. exchange, and not in Ohio under, I am assuming that his wife, Debbie Boehner, a real estate agent in suburban Cincinnati, has her own coverage, and so he’s not purchasing a spousal plan.

    It turns out, Boehner, who as speaker makes $223,500 a year, has a lot of affordable options to choose from.

    The cheapest policy for a 64-year-old is a high-deductible, bronze-plated BlueCross BlueShield plan with a $372.14 premium.

    Just under 2 percent of Boehner’s income. Not bad for a man on the cusp of his golden years!

    Now Boehner just had a birthday, so in just under a year he’ll qualify for Medicare. If I were him, I’d probably take my chances with a cheap plan like this one and pocket the savings for my retirement, which could come as early as January 2015. Who’s to say?

    Then again, Boehner has a stressful job, and that smoking habit. Plus, his net worth is in the low millions. Under the circumstances (and since he’ll only be enrolled for a year anyhow) it might be worth it for him to purchase something more expensive.

    I counted five $0 deductible plans (three gold-plated, two bronze-plated) ranging in price from $699.86 a month — or 3.7 percent of Boehner’s annual income …

    A Heck of a Deal

    1. He has to pay for whatever it is that turns him and his family orange.

      You have no idea what that might cost.

      Nor do I, but I am experimenting w/various substances in the kitchen and bathroom.

    2. We are Anonymous - We are the Collective

      Denounce Singularity

      Resistance is Futile

      Denounce Singularity

  28. Dance Production Brings 'Anonymous' To The Stage

    It’s not everyday you see a dancers illustrating the formation of a botnet,
    or the damage done by a DDoS attack, with a flourish of modern dance movements,
    the frenetic sounds of electro-acuoustic beats and a classical musical ensemble.

    Yet that’s precisely what a Boston composer and NY choreographer have done to tell the story of the subversive online community
    through a unique dance production that premiered last weekend.

    On Friday, the same day that hacker Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the vigilante attacks of Anonymous,
    an altogether more artistic outcome for the online network took place.

    The hour-long premier of Hack Politik at the Boston University Dance Theatre,
    had nine dancers and a musical ensemble perform specially-composed songs to reflect the story of the Anonymous spam attacks on PayPal and MasterCard in December 2010.

    - We Are Anonymous - We Are Legion - We Are The Collective - We Are Anonymous -

  29. "His head explodes in a cloud of blood, and Jackie crawls on the trunk to retrieve his skull."

    This is the day.

    Be ready for it.

    1. Oswald was the Collective - Kennedy the Singularity

      Anonymous is the Collective -

      They are Legion - They Are Anonymous - Who is Anonymous

      Who is Doctor Who?

      Who are the Anonymous Singularities -

    2. Who are the Dead End Kids?

  30. Who is Whacky -- He is Amorphous

    - He is the Singularity - Anonymous is the Collective -

    1. Embrace the Collective - Embrace Anonymous -

      Be one with Collective - Become Anonymous - Become the Legion

      Become a Legend in the Forest of the Mind

      Be Amorphous - Be Anonymous - Be Legion

      Denounce the Singularity


  31. Say hello to Safeplug, Pogoplug’s $49 Tor-in-a-box for anonymous surfing

    You may know Pogoplug as the maker of little “personal cloud” devices for streaming media from your home to your smartphone, or, if you’re more up to speed with what the company’s been doing, you may be aware of its Dropbox-battling cloud storage services. But while security has always been a necessary aspect of these plays, Pogoplug is now jumping headfirst into that space with its new product, Safeplug.

    Safeplug is essentially Linux-based hardware packaging for Tor, which is slightly-hard-to-use software for people who want to surf the web anonymously. Tor does this using encryption and by bouncing everyone’s traffic around other users’ connections, making it almost – but not always — impossible to see who’s visiting which page. Safeplug also automatically blocks ads.

  32. SUNNY!

    I'm not racist but some of my best friends hate ObamaCare


    Nice friendly discussion today folks. But I see Whackopath is back, again to ruin it all, so I am signing

    out for now

    1. Anonymous is the Collective

      Denounce Singularity

  33. Pakistani doctor who helped US find Osama bin Laden charged with murder

    Shakil Afridi, hailed as a hero by US officials, charged with murder over death of patient eight years ago in blow to his chances of going free

  34. I'm feeling pretty frisky for an old man!

    I miss my niece. If she were here right now she would take care of me.


    1. The main slogan of ANONYMOUS is “KNOWLEDGE IS FREE” this means that all that is hidden, all that is corrupt,
      all that is done to keep the people ignorant must come to light.

      All knowledge must be free,
      which brings us to today’s topic – NARCO RANCHES outside of Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila
      but whose owners not only live in Acuña but are involved in the political circles of the city with friendly ties to the spheres of power in Saltillo, Coahuila.

    2. .

      The vacuum is in the closet.


    3. .

      Way to break up a developing string, rat. You ass.



    4. There are no Rooms for Racists.


    5. “You ask, what is our aim?
      I can answer in one word.

      It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory!
      However long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

    6. .

      Shouldn't you be off milking a horse or something?



    7. “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy,
      or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter.

      The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given,
      he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. ”

    8. .

      You lost the war when first you gave up half your demands. Now, like an aging Quixote you stumble along mumbling the words of others pathetically chasing the impossible dream and looking silly and sad as you do it.


    9. “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
      ___Winston Churchill

      Now, pay attention: "never give in, except to convictions of honour and GOOD SENSE". Whatever your problem, this is not the Battle of Britain.

    10. Sure it is the same figh.

      The battle against fascism, hate and racism, it continues right here.

      It was fought against Franco in Spain, Hitler in Europe and Farmer Fudd right here.

      Farmer Fudd is the character that illustrates the close minded minded, xenophobic, racist fascist home grown American bigot.
      The scourge of our society, the worst of our culture.

      No one here utilizes that character as an avatar, as a sign-in, nom de plume or nom de guerre.
      Not yesterday, nor the month or year before.

      It should not offend those to whom it does not address,

  35. “Cyber vigilantism” now appears to be an accepted approach within the Anonymous movement.

    Vigilantes, however, still often pay a price for their activities.
    No matter the safety protocols that have been put in place by Anonymous FreeAcuña, Los Zetas will respond in a public or private way.

    Los Zetas have a “criminal brand” that includes their prowess in information operations and electronic warfare.
    They have a reflexive need to control information about them.
    By choosing to “out” the various parts of their organizational infrastructure,
    Anonymous FreeAcuña have struck Los Zetas in a vulnerable place.

    Aside from attacking them physically or undermining their finances, striking at their anonymity is acutely painful for the cartel.

    Los Zetas may now choose to carry through on their 2011 threat to kill ten innocent people or it may choose to issue another similar threat in an effort to coerce the new Anonymous group to cease its operations.

    A fear during the initial clash in 2011 was that Los Zetas would kill random people, place the symbol of Anonymous—Guy Fawkes masks—on the corpses and make it appear as though they had tracked down some members of the collective.

    They may also be able to “reverse hack” some members of the Anonymous FreeAcuña group or those who provide it with information.

    No matter how Los Zetas respond, it will yet another demonstration of the weakness of the Mexican government;
    it is once again sidelined in this sort of conflict.

  36. Los Zetas
    Trained as an elite band of Mexican anti-drug commandos, the Zetas evolved into mercenaries for the infamous Gulf Cartel, bringing a new wave of brutality to Mexico’s escalating drug wars.

    Bolstered by an influx of assassins, bandits, thieves, thugs and corrupt federal, state and local police officers, the Zetas have since evolved into a well-financed and heavily armed drug smuggling force of their own.

    Known for mounting the severed heads of their rivals on poles or hanging their dismembered bodies from bridges in cities throughout Mexico, the Zetas have easily become the most feared criminal gang in Mexico —

    The Zetas are not the archetypal drug-smuggling organization.

    It has managed to diversify its sources of revenue.
    Rather than concentrating on trafficking drugs, the Zetas’ portfolio includes everything from piracy, extortion, kidnapping, and migrant smuggling to theft from oil pipelines and levying taxes on other criminal organizations.

    Some of these activities provide the group with greater profits than they receive from drugs.
    And the Zetas’ drug trade is itself diversified.
    Not only does it smuggle drugs into the United States, where there is a considerable markup in prices;
    it also supplies local drug markets along the entire route to the United States from Central America.

    1. Over the past few months, Mexican authorities have unearthed more than 140 bodies from mass graves in the state of Tamaulipas. Many of the victims were kidnapped off buses and killed when they refused to work for the Zetas. Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico, is across the border from Brownsville, Texas.

      Authorities suspect Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales’ younger brother, Omar Treviño Morales, alias “Z-42,” has taken over the organization since Miguel Ángel’s arrest, according to Jiménez Ornelas.

      Omar, 39, allegedly has committed 1,000 murders and has the reputation for being just as brutal as his elder brother.
      “Z-40” took over the leadership role that was vacated eight months ago when Lazcano died.
      Since “Z-42” took control, the criminal organization has adopted a lower public profile with fewer acts of violence, according to “Mexico’s Zetas Are Not Finished Yet” report, published in October by the global security firm Stratfor.

  37. .

    IRS left taxpayer data vulnerable to attack, report says

    The Internal Revenue Service failed to demonstrate that it fully addressed security weaknesses in recent years, potentially leaving sensitive taxpayer information vulnerable to attack, according to an auditor’s report.

    The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS had only partially implemented 42 percent of the corrective plans it checked off as completed in recent years...


    1. The group, which Symantec internally calls “Hidden Lynx,” has been active since at least 2009 and is most likely a “hackers for hire” service, the report said. It’s one of several hack teams in China, though security experts claim it’s the most advanced. (Hacking Google: not easy.)

      This winter, Mandiant, another security firm, outed “Comment Crew” or “Shanghai Group,” another Chinese hacking team,and linked it to the country’s military.

      “There is no question they’re working on behalf of the Chinese government,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm, who has been tracking Symantec’s group for years. It’s possible the hackers act like digital defense contractors for China, Alperovitch said.

      Crowdstrike employees internally refer to the group as “Aurora Panda.”

      More than half (52.8%) of its targets since November 2011 have been in the U.S., with another 15.5% in Taiwan and 9% in China. U.S. companies and officials have repeatedly documented Chinese hackers theft of intellectual property from American firms.

      In 2010, Google fingered Chinese hackers in a 2009 breach of its corporate systems. The company accused the hackers of trying, unsuccessfully, to break into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

    2. security experts claim it’s the most advanced. (Hacking Google: not easy.)

      Deuce hacked Google and then he erased all the evidence that Rat is a murderer!

      Deuce also proved Obama's birth certificate was forged on Photoshop.

  38. Emily Alpert Reyes

    November 21, 2013, 9:00 a.m.

    A surging share of Americans believe that doctors should do everything possible to save a life despite concerns over the costs and consequences of such intensive care.

    The new survey, released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, surprised doctors and bioethicists who have advocated for physicians and families to carefully weigh aggressive medical treatments for patients near death.

    Invasive procedures may not lengthen or improve life for the chronically ill, they warn. Many Americans agree with them: Two out of three people believe there are some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, the survey found.

    However, the percentage of Americans who say physicians should always do everything possible to save a life has more than doubled between 1990 and 2013, vaulting from 15% to 31%. Far fewer people offer no opinion than in the past.

    When asked about their own lives, 20% said doctors should do everything possible to save them, even if they had an incurable disease, were in great pain, were totally dependent on someone else for care or had trouble doing day-to-day activities. An additional 46% said they would want doctors to stop their treatment in some of those cases, but not others.

    At the same time, Pew found that a growing share of Americans believe that people suffering severe pain or living with an incurable disease have the moral right to end their own lives. This spring, 62% of adults surveyed said that someone in “a great deal of pain” has a right to commit suicide. Only 55% said the same in 1990.

    “It’s a puzzle,” said Cary Funk, senior researcher with the Pew Research Center. But as the complicated results of the survey show, “beliefs about end-of-life treatment tend to be complex.”

    The findings do have one thing in common: Patients want more control over their care, as the pendulum swings away from doctors having all the power, said Paul L. Schneider, president of the Southern California Bioethics Committee Consortium.

    Doctors and patients should ultimately share decisions, Schneider said, but some physicians are reluctant to argue with their patients or tell them continuing treatment is futile.

    As physicians, “very commonly we find ourselves doing aggressive care at the request of patients and families and shaking our heads when we walk away, wondering whether we’re doing the right thing,” Schneider said. “This points to a growing gap between where the public is and where many doctors are.”

    At the same time, some doctors may opt for aggressive treatments simply because of “inertia,” said Jonathan Bergman, UCLA assistant professor of urology and family medicine.

    “That reflects a failure of the medical community to have honest and difficult conversations with patients,” Bergman said. “When we explain things to patients ahead of time, they often choose not to have a very aggressive intervention.” That, paradoxically, can help them live longer, he added.

    Less educated people are more likely to think doctors should do everything possible to save a life, no matter the circumstances, Pew found. So are Latino and black Americans, as well as younger people and those who have not given much thought to their end-of-life wishes.,0,2679771.story#ixzz2lOTISmVN

    1. . . . a failure of the medical community to have honest and difficult conversations with patients,” Bergman said. “When we explain things to patients ahead of time, they often choose not to have a very aggressive intervention.” That, paradoxically, can help them live longer, he added.

      Less educated people are more likely to think doctors should do everything possible to save a life, no matter the circumstances, Pew found. So are Latino and black Americans, as well as younger people and those who have not given much thought . . .


  39. Israel Hayom StaffFri Nov 22, 12:14:00 PM EST

    Friday February 10, 2012

    Hacker group Anonymous threatens to wipe Israel off the web

    Hacktivist group Anonymous publishes video threatening Israel and planning a three-stage attack, including erasing Israel from the Internet • Video: You [Israel] try to better the lives of a select few while carelessly trampling the liberties of the masses.

    Hacker group Anonymous released a video on Friday warning that Israel was “unworthy to exist in its current form and therefore will face the wrath of Anonymous.” The threat follows two months of hacking attacks against Israel, during which the country was reportedly subjected to 1,000 hacking attempts a minute and had dozens of both government and commerce websites taken down by hackers.

    The video criticizes “Zionist bigotry” and says Israel is trying to “better the lives of a select few while carelessly trampling the liberties of the masses .. As the world weeps you [Israel] laugh, while planning your next attack. All of this is done in the veil of peace but so long as your regime exists, peace shall be hindered. You label all who refuse to comply with your superstitious demands as anti-Semitic and have taken steps to ensure a nuclear holocaust.”


    1. As cyber-war begins, Israeli hackers hit back
      Anti-Israel groups start predicted hacking operation, with little initial major success.

      An Israeli ‘strike force’ responds with pro-Israel content on a resonant domain name

      By David Shamah April 7, 2013,

      The hackers claimed to be identified with Anonymous, but Dr. Tal Pavel of MiddleEasterNet said that the group behind OpIsrael was most likely an ad-hoc assembly of Arab hacktivists calling themselves “Dangerous Hackers.” The group was not necessarily associated with international hacking group Anonymous, Pavel said, and on Saturday, individuals claiming to be members of Anonymous posted on the forum site 4Chan that they were not associated with OpIsrael. However, another alleged Anonymous site, possibly located in Sweden, on Saturday night claimed that Anonymous hackers were involved in the anti-Israel cyber attack.

      A Twitter feed, ostensibly by Anonymous hackers, claimed it had stolen passwords and information from Israeli sites, including the Facebook account login data for Israeli government officials. However, Pavel said, such claims could not be trusted, because hacker groups often recycled old information from previously leaked databases, claiming it was fresh, in order to score a public relations victory. In several instances in recent days, said Pavel, he discovered that names and passwords hackers claimed to have stolen from Israeli servers last week were several years old

    2. A group called the Israeli Elite Strike Force over the weekend disabled dozens of sites in Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and several north African countries – and even acquired a domain name associated with the OpIsrael attack — Instead of listing the sites anti-Israel hackers have defaced, that site features educational facts about Israel and the Jewish people, and a warning to anti-Israel groups that Israeli hackers were ready to fight fire with fire.

  40. In Israel, Cyberattack On Haifa Road Network Work Of Unknown, Sophisticated Hackers

    By DANIEL ESTRIN 10/27/13

    HADERA, Israel -- HADERA, Israel (AP) — When Israel's military chief delivered a high-profile speech this month outlining the greatest threats his country might face in the future, he listed computer sabotage as a top concern, warning a sophisticated cyberattack could one day bring the nation to a standstill.

    Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was not speaking empty words.
    Exactly one month before his address, a major artery in Israel's national road network in the northern city of Haifa was shut down because of a cyberattack, cybersecurity experts tell The Associated Press, knocking key operations out of commission two days in a row and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

    One expert, speaking on condition of anonymity because the breach of security was a classified matter,
    said a Trojan horse attack targeted the security camera system in the Carmel Tunnels toll road on Sept. 8.
    A Trojan horse is a malicious computer program that users unknowingly install that can give hackers complete control over their systems.

    The attack caused an immediate 20-minute lockdown of the roadway.
    The next day, the expert said, it shut down the roadway again during morning rush hour.
    It remained shut for eight hours, causing massive congestion.

    The expert said investigators believe the attack was the work of unknown, sophisticated hackers,
    similar to the Anonymous hacking group that led attacks on Israeli websites in April.

    He said investigators determined it was not sophisticated enough to be the work of an enemy government like Iran.

  41. Anonymous Could Be Caned in Singapore

    Members of the worldwide hacktivist collective also face fines and jail time.

    By Luke Hunt

    Six members of Anonymous face hefty fines,
    jail and in some cases a possible caning after being arrested and charged in Singapore for defacing websites,
    including one linked to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
    and spray-painting graffiti identifying the international hacking and protest group.

    Among them is James Raj, a 35-year-old who allegedly posted a Guy Fawkes mask, symbol of the group,
    on the Ang Mo Kio district website late last month.
    Websites belonging to the prime minister’s office were also hacked following threats of a crackdown by the authorities and Lee.

    Raj, who uses “The Messiah” as his call sign, apparently carried out the attack from neighboring Malaysia.
    He faces up to three years in jail and a fine of $8,000.

    “You may think you’re anonymous – we will make the extra effort to find out who you are,” Lee had warned.

    Ang Mo Kio is a town council whose team of parliamentary members is led by Lee.

    Another five men have been charged with vandalism after spraying painting Anonymous slogans and face a fine of up to $2,000, three years in jail and could receive between three and eight strokes of the cane.

    Anonymous had been stepping up its attacks in Asia as part of the November 5 Million Mask March designed to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day. It was staged in more than 400 cities around the world to protest a range of causes including corruption, bad government, corporate greed and the environment.

    After declaring a cyberwar on the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, one Anonymous member summed it up as:

    "Remember who your enemies are:
    billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice."


  42. Political Insider - The Detroit NewsFri Nov 22, 02:42:00 PM EST

    Michigan Freedom Fund: Anonymous donors 'vital'

    The head of a group that ran anonymously funded statewide television ads supporting legislative passage of a right-to-work law is calling Secretary of State Ruth Johnson a “big government extremist” for wanting groups like his to disclose their donors’ identities.

    Greg McNeilly, president of the Michigan Freedom Fund, wrote a blistering commentary to supporters of the conservative political group this week that railed against Johnson’s call for more sunlight on so-called “dark money” that bankrolls political issue advertising.

    “Anonymous political speech is a vital American tradition and a civil right,”
    wrote McNeilly, a GOP political consultant.

    “But if big-government extremists in Lansing, like Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, have their way, issue advertisements like the Federalist Papers would be illegal in the state of Michigan.”

    Johnson’s proposed administrative rule would require financial disclosure for sponsors of issue ads that often attack a candidate for office without telling TV viewers who to vote for.

    The Republican-controlled state Senate passed a bill last week that would block the chief election officer’s rule from taking effect, shielding donors’ names from disclosure.

    But Johnson, a Republican, doesn’t appear to be standing down.

    “Voters deserve open, honest and transparent elections.
    We should all have a right to know who is behind campaign ads designed to impact elections and public policy,”

    Johnson said in statement.

    Political Insider - The Detroit News:

    1. .

      “But if big-government extremists in Lansing, like Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, have their way, issue advertisements like the Federalist Papers would be illegal in the state of Michigan.”

      In Federalist 10, Madison warned against the tyranny of the majority. That is hardly the problem today. Today, the biggest issue is tyranny of the oligarchs and based on the Citizen United decision SCOTUS, at least this court, seems quite content with it.


  43. I notice she did not use the word "right". What she "deserves' is anyone's guess, but her policy deserves a day in court.

  44. Desert Rat is going to need his sanity sleep tonight. The toxic wastes are building up rapidly in his brain today.


    1. “His character would be blamed, loathed, discussed, and adored –
      - but somewhere there, behind his mask of a hero, Desert Rat would remain faceless.

    2. As he ruled the shadows, benevolently
      In the Forest of the Mind
      Despite the theatrical boasts and bluster
      It was the place the Fudd all feared to go

  45. "“This has been escalating for a long period of time and it was time to stop it and that’s what we did this morning,” Harkin said. “Now we need to take it a step farther and change the filibuster rules on legislation.”"


    By the end of Obamas's term, "Government" in Venezuela and the USA will be indistinguishable.

  46. In the beginning, the relations between Christians and Muslims were good here but the Muslims followed the Seleka and now things have changed."

    What started as a political movement against the corrupt and autocratic Bozizé is now taking on an ominously religious character. Nearl
    all the Seleka are Muslim, including mercenaries from neighbouring Chad and the notorious Janjaweed from Sudan's Darfur region

    Unspeakable horrors in a country on the verge of genocide

    The misunderstood Muslims are doing there "peace" thing in central Africa.

  47. You know, I must admit a grievous error of long standing. For years, I have made light of Mr. Bush's "religion of peace" rubric. Today, while in the bathroom, I learned two lessons. Swift's observation that "men are never so serious, thoughtful, and intent, as when they are at stool...” is correct; because to my amazement it came to me that Islam is the religion of peace and that Muslims do love profoundly all Christians. My blindness to this obvious fact is embarrassing. The Islamic love of Christians is so intense that, the world over, Muslims are laboring 24/7 to speed Christian souls to Heaven.

    Yes, Islam is the grotesque upon which the sun never sets.

  48. Allen at stool, thinking -



    1. :-)

      ...ah, to be young and in Paris. General Gavin had a flaming affair with Hemingway's ex, Martha Gellhorn. She would later write the she had never known what sex was until Gavin.

    2. If only she had known Quirk.

      She also famously said:

      "I'm the worst fuck on seven continents"


      "I'm always glad when it's finally over"

      She could write a wonderful essay or article though.

      And nailed the 'Arabs of Palestine' and their perpetually hateful ways.

      Spent much of her time in Europe etc to avoid high USA taxes.

    3. She was brutally frank about herself, often unfairly. With the fall of Paris to the Allies, she went to Paris to cover the news of the newly liberated city. There she met Gavin. He must have been the exception to the rule because she was eternally grateful for a few weeks of living like rabbits. But Gavin was in every way an exceptional man. I recommend a perusal of his life to one and all.

      She hated growing old and put an end to it. That has always saddened me, although as I all too quickly become my grandfather, her point is better taken.

      And, yes, she studied the Arabs thoroughly and detested them as a feminist, among a host of other things. Were she living today, Arabs would not be getting the free ride from the ladies of the left.

  49. Vandal Fans!

    Don't forget, tomorrow is

    Big Blowout Day

    Vandies take on Seminoles

    Idaho Vandals
    1-9, 6th in Independents (FBS)
    Saturday, November 23, 12:30 PM (PT) on ESPU
    Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida


    Florida State

    As always your World Wide Webb Vandal Reporter will give updates throughout the game.

    It's possible, and I am hopeful, this may be our harshest thrashing of the season,Vandal Fans!

    Game Time and Place:

    Saturday, November 23, 12:30 PM (PT) on ESPU
    Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida

    1. Would be my dream match up with Idaho at 0 - 10 and Seminoles at 10 - 0.

    2. The economics is easily understood, but wouldn't Idaho benefit by practicing with real footballs rather than large spuds...just trying to be helpful.

    3. Yes, we were trying that this year, it hasn't helped.

      Some are becoming so dejected by the whole spectacle they are demanding we take up Rodeo.

    4. Fuck Spudihoe!

      Avenal Rules!

      “MR. ALLEN GILKEY Vice-Principal Counseling Mechanical Drawing Boys ' Federation Advisor Plioto Club Assistant Advisor Future Teachers Assis- tant Advisor MISS ALICE GILBERT Dean of Girls Reading Latin I, II C.S.F. Advisor Girls ' League Advisor F. H.A. Assistant Advisor MR. EDWIN BEDFORD World History Freshman History Chorus Freshman Class Advisor Dramatics Assistant Advisor MISS JILL BOSTWICK English lA U.S. History English IB Drama Coach Sophomore Class Assistant Advisor MR. DON FRANSCIONI Typing I Shorthand Freshman History General Business Yearbook Advisor Quill and Scroll Advisor MR. ROBERT HALLEY Plane Geometry Pre-Algebra Algebra n Trigonometry Student Council Advisor Band Assistant Advisor MRS. SHIRLEY HODGES Homemaliing I, n, HI, IV F. H.A. Advisor Junior Class Assistant Advisor /X^, ^im MR. WALLACE JACOBUS Chemistry Senior Math Physics Pre-Algebra Biology Photo Club Advisor Junior Class Advisor Stage Crew (Building) MR. ROGER JACOBS Typing I, II Business English Bookkeeping Office Pi ' actice Work Experience Senior Class Advisor Student Council Assistant Advisor Yearbook Assistant Advisor MISS JO ANN LANG Girls ' Physical Educa- tion Crafts G.A.A. Advisor Girls ' League Assistant Advisor Pep Club Assistant Advisor MR. LARRY LEFFLER General Metal Auto I, II Track Coach Advanced Metal Varsity Football Coach J.V. Club Assistant Advisor ”


    ...prefer Sinatra, but loved this scenery...