Hey, it’s been a little more than 60 years, but they finally finished tallying up all the points from that war that they had over there in the whole world, and Fox News is proud to announce the grand champion of the Holocaust…
Congratulations, Elie Wiesel! All your hard work has obviously not gone to waste.
While I know who Wiesel is and what he is a hero for doing, I actually respect him a little less for going on Fox News in the first place. I think we should start boycotting people who go on Fox News. Clearly, they have a problem with their judgment skills.
I mean, seriously Fox News, “Holocaust Winner”? Did he win a holocaust in a contest? Or did he win the holocaust, as in, he came out of it the winner? Or…WTF?
“Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evolution – a theory so simple that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals and us – with imagination, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.”—A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist - Speakeasy - WSJ (via rainbowhill)
Imagine paying extra to visit Facebook. Imagine not being able to check your tweets with your smartphone while on the go. Imagine wireless carriers charging us to do even more stuff that costs them little extra to do (like they already do with texting). This is horrible and they’re thinking about considering it.
I remember back in the AOL days when AOL used to charge X amount of dollars for X amount of hours online. Ridiculous, right? Of course. Well, it seems like wireless carriers may be thinking about going backwards. In fact, in some ways, they already have with their $60/mo-for-1GB-style plans. Now they want to micromanage what they let us do on their connections.
This is ridiculous. Please clock the link above and read more about this nightmarish scenario.
Posted this on my tech blog and thought that posting it here, too, would be a no-brainer.
666cast episode 37 for 12/12/10: This week I ponder why we like to leave things up to other people, rather than taking on responsibility ourselves. I also ask myself how I blame others when I should blame myself.
<p>I’m agnostic and I don’t really know why I’m not an atheist. I see all the ecidence backing it up, but I’m having a hard time saying, i am an atheist. I’m a bit lost seeing as my family is mostly Catholic as are my friends. Any advice on the subject?</p>
Here you will find some thoughts in regards to the meaning of the terms atheism and agnosticism.
In regards to coming out as a non-believer it will all depend on your personal circumstances. See here for some thoughts on the matter as well.
I know how hard it is to fight that cognitive dissonance between what we know it is right and not being able to live to those standards.How you address it is something highly personal and individual. No one has the right answer for you but yourself.
In my case the transition from believer to atheist has been a positive gain overall, not withstanding a few rough times and some frayed relationships. Was it worth it? I say yes. And a million times yes. No doubt about it.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring”. -Carl Sagan
All of the folks out there that are going after Al Qaeda or other extremist-types with the actual means to cause physical harm, GOOD ON YOU! Keep up the good work!! All the other folks out there who go after pissed off kids and other losers who have precisely zero means to commit the acts they say they want to commit: EFF YOU.
Among the principles the United States was founded on, none of them encourages or condones the arrest of people who would LIKE to harm others but can’t actually do it. In fact, one of the most basic concepts behind our country is the idea that every human is entitled to freedom of thought.
What happens when you find a 21 year-old guy or a 19 year-old kid who are pissed off at the government and dream of killing people?
it’s even got the latest anonymous video embedded in it.
Here’s a screencap I took at about 4:07pm ET today:
Of course, now Beck will whine and moan about how he was hacked and use that to his advantage and his troops will rally.
As much as I enjoy seeing hacks like this happen, ultimately, sadly, they’re not really that useful. They’re sort of counterproductive for the reason I just mentioned, actually. Unless you present a short, concise argument/point through your hack, you’re not going to win the heart and mind of anyone who didn’t already agree with you. You’re sure as hell not going to convert any Glennenites to your cause by playing your hip, cool music video after hacking their Pope’s website.
And if all you’re doing is pissing them off, your efforts only serve to make it more annoying for all of us while Glenn and his fellow victims play the victim and go whining all the way to the bank.
Do real damage—be concise and make a point that no one can argue with or get bored with before you’re done making it (a nearly 2 minute YT vid? Yikes!).
Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says
A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.
The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.
Hit up the above link (in the headline) to read the whole piece. Depressing stuff. The USG hasn’t really lived up to its principles at a lot of points in its history, has it? :\
The USG trumps up threat then tells us how they're protecting us from it.
This is something I’ve noticed the USG and the FBI doing for a while. See if you can notice what’s wrong with the following cutting from a November 28, 2010 article at LATimes.com reporting on a 19 year-old naturalized American (originally from Somalia) who wanted to blow up a bunch of Americans (I’ll add italics to make it obvious):
“The threat was very real,” said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale.”
According to the FBI, they arrested Mohamud after he dialed a cellphone that he thought would detonate a huge bomb — six 55-gallon drums, diesel fuel and a large box of screws — in a large white van parked near the tree lighting.
But the bomb was a fake built by the FBI, and the packed crowds who enjoyed a youth choir and a symphony orchestra at Friday’s holiday celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square were never in danger, authorities said.
Let me break this down for you:
The FBI finds this teenager who’s pissed at the USG, builds a pretend bomb for him, hands him the detonator and then arrests him when he activates it.
Where’s the crime there, exactly?
I mean, sure, he’s “wrongthinking” like in the Orwell novel, 1984, but wrongthinking isn’t illegal (yet).
On top of that, this guy had no obvious means to make a bomb to kill anyone on his own. He’s a kid. I remember how moody and obnoxious I was when I was 19! (If you think I’m bad now!)
Why is it that we only hear about these toothless tigers and not actual threats being foiled by the FBI? Hell, the Times Square Bomber from earlier this year failed in his attempt to blow up a bomb only because he was a complete and utter fucktard. The FBI didn’t catch him beforehand and nearly lost him as he tried to flee the country.
Seems the FBI can only catch a terrorist if they arm him and supply him first. It’s like a literal version of the “Straw Man Argument" where you, effectively, make a false statement and then prove it wrong to show how cool you are. This time, they prop up this kid as a terrorist and then brag about it when they take him down.
In short, Apple seems to be using it’s position to stop certain information from getting onto it’s devices. Want to listen to your favorite local radio station now that you live in a different city? Sorry, you won’t be able to on your iPhone. That’s a shame since it’s just a little station with a tiny budget and not much ability to reach a national audience. Now, thanks to Apple, a great (and inexpensive) channel for reaching a national audience is gone.
Then, we’ve got Apple deciding whether or not you can read about competitors to Apple on Apple devices. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like Apple telling me what I can and can’t read on my iDevice. Sure, I can always pull up that Android magazine’s website in Safari, but then, what’s the difference between Safari and an app?
Finally, that last article I link to above talks about how Apple has stopped accepting apps that allow in-app donations to charity orgs (or anyone else). Why is this? It sure seems like it’s because it means money passes through Apple’s infrastructure without them getting a cut.
Over all, I feel that it’s this kind of “walled garden” mentality that makes us less free as consumers. When we start accepting limits on what content we are allowed to consume and how we consume that content, I think we become less free as a people, too.
You don’t really appreciate how important Net Neutrality is until you don’t have it anymore.
“The WikiLeaks affair has twofold value. On the one hand, it turns out to be a bogus scandal, a scandal that only appears to be a scandal against the backdrop of the hypocrisy governing relations between the state, the citizenry and the press. On the other hand, it heralds a sea change in international communication – and prefigures a regressive future of “crabwise” progress.”—
Yes, that’s right, Assange’s SWISS bank account has been closed—there’s buckets of irony there. How many international criminals have used Swiss bank accounts for hiding their money?? And here comes Assange who, apparently, lied on his application regarding a Geneva residence. I’m sure this lie coming to light now has nothing to do with international pressure.
Assange should go to the bank that all the baddies on TV go to.
Meanwhile, George W. Bush’s ATM card is still working fine, I bet—and he admitted to ordering torture!
My favorite is how he admits that a goodly chunk of the remaining docs to be published refer to UFOs. :) And no, it doesn’t sound like there’s anything really “good” in there like admissions of cover-ups or the like. :(
My own sense is that we should err on the side of telling the truth, even when it’s inconvenient or when it makes our lives—or the business of government—more complicated. And that people who tell the truth should at the very least not be denigrated. That’s something I learned when I was young, and that I tried to impart to my three boys when they were growing up. As Albert Einstein is reported to have said long ago, “The search for truth implies a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
And shouldn’t news organizations be defending WikiLeaks and doing some soul-searching of their own about why they aren’t devoting more resources to the search for the truth? Why is it that the National Enquirer and Internet blogs sometimes seem better than they are at finding out what’s really going on?
Scientists De-age Mice--could mean huge implications for humans.
This is kind of insanely amazing—yet I bet it got buried under news of WikiLeaks. Check out this cutting from CTV.ca:
Mon Nov 29, 10:00 PM
Scientists find way to reverse aging in mice
CTV.ca News Staff
Scientists in Boston have made an astounding discovery, taking aging mice and turning them young again, like tiny little Benjamin Buttons. (AP / Bebeto Matthews)
Scientists in Boston have made an astounding discovery, taking aging mice and turning them young again, like tiny little Benjamin Buttons.
Just like the title character in the Hollywood film version of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the mice appeared to not only stop aging but grow younger.
The gist isn’t quite as promising as it sounds, sadly. Turns out they could only reverse the aging in mice they’d already aged artificially by giving them that disease that mimics the effects of old age. However, if it works on these mice, why wouldn’t work on humans with the same disease? Or on mice and/or humans who are old, if the effects of the disease are so similar to the effects of regular old-aging?
Gizmodo’s Tim Wu blogs about how innovation was stopped in its tracks, effectively, due to capitalist interests. Funny how we’re all told capitalism is great for innovation. Too bad that’s only true until innovation might damage the current business model. Take the example of the answering machine that existed in the office of a Bell Labs engineer… in 1934.
More Reasons Why Free Speech Trumps Government Secrecy (more on why WikiLeaks should be left alone) UPDATED
If this week’s post on EFFYOU.org didn’t give you enough reasons to support WikiLeaks (or at least understand why they are important) here are a few more reasons I’ve snipped from another great post from underpaidgenius:
Jeremy Geelan contacted me about the Wikileaks mess, and wanted my two cents. His piece is an interesting juxtapositioning of cloud computing and political intrigue.
“The Internet is open, we have to embrace that. I for one, am proud there are secure silos around the world that can host material and get it out to the people. Yes we have to take the rough with the smooth, and while we do not agree with what they publish, if we live in a free society then this is what we have to swallow if I am to be able to stand up to be heard without fear.
The Internet can keep governments honest…or at least more honest than historically allowed. We have to keep things open.”
[- Alan Williamson]
STOWE BOYD, self-declared social philosopher and “webthropologist,” takes Williamson’s “We have to keep things open” stance to another level.
“What WikiLeaks represents is civil disobedience channeled through an agenda of radical openness,” declares Boyd. “The individuals involved on a personal level are deciding that laws that may or may not designate their activities as illegal are illegitimate, that our obedience to the state is coerced, and therefore can be morally opposed and countered.”
Boyd goes on to explain this in more detail as follows: “Wikileaks is an example of direct action, like Greenpeace activists attempting to shut down the Knightsnorth power station, claiming that the laws against trespass and destruction of private property were outweighed by the need to counter global warming to prevent far greater property damage around the world. They were acquitted, the first time such a claim was used as a ‘lawful excuse’ for committing a crime (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenpeace). One form of “direct action,” Boyd continues, is to expose secrets, especially when governments or large corporations are saying one thing publicly and doing another clandestinely.
“In some cases these exposés might involve criminal wrong-doing, or simply duplicitous behavior,” says Boyd.
“Amazon or other hosting providers that opt to decline support for WikiLeaks or other activists may be acting because of alternate moral viewpoints, or through coercion, or fears of future repercussions when governments may decide that the hosts are culpable in some way,” he adds.
Incidentally, according to the WSJ, Amazon has said that they weren’t coerced by the USG to drop WikiLeaks, but that they were in violation of their TOS. More miraculous timing! Like that rape charge this isn’t really a rape charge, according to a Gizmodo post (turns out he didn’t use a condom—seriously! You can clearly see why Interpol was required to catch this man! >_<).
UPDATE 20101205: Turns out it *was* a rape charge after all. Isn’t this supposed to be the communication age? >_<
Incidentally, I head Assange’s lawyer say on Democracy Now last week that when this story first broke he offered himself up to authorities to work out what was going on. Turns out they didn’t take him up on it and now want to arrest him. Go fig!
The whole problem with absolute power is that there can’t possibly be a check or balance placed on it. In case you haven’t noticed, America has no check or balance on it currently and hasn’t had one in quite a while. No military is stronger than America’s and only a few economic powers could ever hope to compete with the US economy (despite it’s recent and huge collapse).
So, why all the tough talk regarding WikiLeaks? WikiLeaks has no military, no national economy, very few ways to defend itself and it’s only power or influence in the world is through words.
Why are so many world leaders afraid of what words might end up on WikiLeaks.org? Perhaps it’s because those words draw attention to behavior that would normally not be acceptable if it were done in public?