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Current Topic: Current Events

Digital World: How to beat anti-Israel hackers at their own game | Internet and Technology | Jerusalem Post
Topic: Current Events 9:44 am EST, Jan  6, 2009

If you'd rather let someone else do the hacking for you, by the way, check out, where they have an application you can download and install that uses group computer technology (sort of like SETI, Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, Their application attacks anti-Israel Web sites; I don't know if it's legal, but it is easy.

No, its not legal, and as of this writing, its down.

Digital World: How to beat anti-Israel hackers at their own game | Internet and Technology | Jerusalem Post

Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe
Topic: Current Events 8:30 am EST, Nov 17, 2008

Diana Owen, who leads the American Studies program at Georgetown University, said presidents were not advised to use e-mail because of security risks and fear that messages could be intercepted.

“They could come up with some bulletproof way of protecting his e-mail and digital correspondence, but anything can be hacked,” said Ms. Owen, who has studied how presidents communicate in the Internet era. “The nature of the president’s job is that others can use e-mail for him.”

This is a rationalization for a quaint anachronism.

Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe

RE: Obama's Real Opposition
Topic: Current Events 12:33 pm EST, Nov  6, 2008

flynn23 wrote:

Bill Clinton also campaigned as a moderate, but in his first two years he was unable to govern as Congress pursued liberal priorities, including a big boost in taxes and spending. Recall Roberta Achtenberg as the scourge of the Boy Scouts and Joycelyn Elders calling for the legalization of drugs? Mr. Clinton chose -- or was forced -- to take up gun control and HillaryCare before welfare reform. Next came Newt Gingrich.

Maybe Mr. Obama has absorbed these lessons, but even if he has he'll have to be tough. The Great Society liberals who dominate Congress are old men in a hurry, and they'll run over the 47-year-old neophyte if he lets them.

I've been saying that a win for Obama didn't mean squat, but I do think that a lot of this will be tempered. There's really big problems that need to be solved immediately, and moderation will be key in getting solutions that work. I think he can make a case for priorities. But I think the likelihood of a massive swing to the left is not impossible or even unprobable and will definitely be unfortunate.

Obama's win means a very great deal in many respects, I think, but it is no more a mandate for the liberal policies advocated by many who are celebrating this victory than the election of Bush in 2004 meant that the radical right was America's new majority. Unfortunately we're now immediately seeing the "elections have consequences" (and we're going to shove them right down your throat) rhetoric from the left that we were seeing from the right in 2004. The problem is that we have two radical political ideologies battling each other for power and America is caught in the middle, trying to keep a hand on both leashes... trying to keep either group from getting too far out of control. The only way to check one is to empower the other, and neither group seems to be capable of mustering any respect at all for anyone who doesn't accept their ideology wholeheartedly... in other words neither group really respects the political views of the majority of Americans.

8 years of holding back right wing excesses are now over. Welcome to 8 years of holding back left wing excesses. I suspect that in a few years everyone who now thinks I'm a liberal will think me a Conservative. Fortunately, they may have to boil the frogs a bit before they start cutting away at civil liberties, because they've made opposition to the Bush administration's cuts such a basic aspect of their politics. I'll bet they regret it already.

RE: Obama's Real Opposition

Juan Enriquez at Pop!Tech 2008
Topic: Current Events 11:44 am EDT, Oct 29, 2008

At the 2008 Pop!Tech conference, best-selling author and debt crisis expert Juan Enriquez catalyzed a vigorous debate on the impetuses of the current American economic meltdown – and the immediate actions the country and next U.S. President will have to take to address the situation. Combining information and ideas from many sources, Juan enumerated an urgent, non-partisan10 point plan, to be implemented during the next administration’s first 60 days. Enriquez posited that failure to act – or, in his view, further misguided efforts – run the risk of triggering an irreversible economic collapse that could plague the American economy for decades.


Juan Enriquez at Pop!Tech 2008

The Big Picture | 1929 MovieTone News on Stock Market Crash
Topic: Current Events 8:19 am EDT, Oct 13, 2008

The Country is Fundamentally Sound; 'Don't Panic, Stocks are Safe!'

Fun collection of short videos.

The Big Picture | 1929 MovieTone News on Stock Market Crash

RE: BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US Elections 2008 | McCain defends rival Obama
Topic: Current Events 10:00 pm EDT, Oct 11, 2008

ubernoir wrote:
I don't support him but he has once again proved himself an American hero. Late in the day and imperfect but he took a stand.

Lets just be clear here. He did not do this just to be honorable. There have been a number of concerns raised in numerous quarters over the past few days that the attempts to link Obama with Ayers, and therefore domestic terrorism, might increase the chance that some crazy right winger might try to kill him. Given the breadth of the calls for McCain to tone it down it is almost certain that this was a capitulation to concerns that their campaign has gone too far.

Consider this:

These men didn't kill Martin Luther King, but they contributed to an atmosphere of nationalism, white supremacy and cheap unreflective patriotism that ultimately got a lot of people killed.

Let me be clear--This is the ghost that McCain Campaign is summoning. This is the Ring Of Power that they want to wield. The Muslim charge, the "Hussein" thing is nothing more than today's red-baiting, and it is what it was then--a cover for racists. You may say I'm overreacting, and I really hope you're right. 999,000 out 1 million times we'll go on like normal and proceed to Election Day. But if some shit pops off, the thug and thug-mongers will not be able to throw up their hands and say "How could I have known?" Ignorance will not save them. Their stupidity is a scourge on us all.

RE: BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US Elections 2008 | McCain defends rival Obama

Topic: Current Events 8:42 am EDT, Oct  8, 2008

A Word, brought to you by the Violent Femmes:

Well I'm reading this poem
and it's so profound
and I like its rhythm
and I like its sound
it's by a very famous poet
no critic can criticise
and then I pause a moment
and I start to realize
he's tellin'
lies lies lies
on the motel TV.
I dig the evangelist
he'll tell you all about that
and then he tell you all about this
he's preachin' up a storm
by the sea of Galilee
he's mixin' up the truth
with something funny I start to see
he's tellin'
lies lies lies
I never had this problem
with nobody in the government
I guess I always figured
they never mean what they meant
and GOD help us all
not to be so stone surprised
when we wake up in the stars
with the skies in our eyes
if we keep tellin'
lies lies lies


The Nation - Who You Callin’ a Maverick? -
Topic: Current Events 1:35 pm EDT, Oct  6, 2008

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

I enjoyed this history of the Maverick family, many of whom seem to have made their mark on American culture. However, I'm not sure the NYT account is entirely accurate.

Wikipedia has Samuel Maverick as one of the first Slave holders in Massachussets. Wikipedia seems to largely rely on this source which suggests that he got in trouble with the government for bringing slavery to the colony, and not because he was agitating for anyone's rights.

If not the earliest, Maverick was one of the earliest slaveholders in Massachusetts, having purchased one or more slaves of Capt. William Pierce, who brought some from Tortugas in 1638. Slavery was always repugnant to the feelings of our Puritan fathers, and from this fact, and the Episcopacy of Maverick, there was gradually engendered an ill-feeling between him and the government, which began to show itself as early as March, 1635, when the Court ordered Maverick to leave Noddle's Island by the following December, and take up his abode in Boston, and, in the "meantyme" not give "entertainment to any strangers for a longer tyme than one night without leave from some Assistant, and all this to be done under the penalty of £100."

The Nation - Who You Callin’ a Maverick? -

RE: The scariest thing about Sarah Palin isn't how unqualified she is - it's what her candidacy says about America | The Smirking Chimp
Topic: Current Events 9:01 am EDT, Oct  6, 2008

Jello wrote:
Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.

Its to be expected that delegates to the RNC would love their candidate no matter what. An advertisement appears attached to this article which offers precisely the sort of brain washing propaganda that is the foundation of this country's bitter partisanship. Its not just that people are incapable of objective consideration of their political choices, its that they have been taught from a very young age thats it wrong to do that. If you pick a side at least there are some people who can stomach talking to you about politics, but if you refuse to you are everyone's enemy. That means being constantly subject to personal attacks on your thinking from every quarter, strafed with the best oversimplified talking points and logic defying straw men that our nation's pundit class can come up with. It takes serious intellectual strength to remain independent and engaged and very few people have the spine for it.

The most important difference between America and the rest of the world is the bill of rights and the system of checks and balances that usually enforces it. I don't understand why some governments in Asia refuse to allow democratic elections or go out of their way to suppress the development of multi-party politics. Its not as if different people would be in power if they did. Its simply a more refined sort of manipulation... presenting people with false choices... tricking them into voting against their self interest instead of forcing them to.

As for Palin, the post convention boost in the Republican's fortunes appears to be waning. The narrative is that the economic chaos of the past few weeks is costing them. Clearly, a lot of Americans paid attention to the VP debate. Thats Palin's most important moment, and I suspect her impact on people's thinking to be built into the polls over the next few days. All signs are pointing down. America didn't react as negatively to her as I originally expected, but there is only a very tiny segment of the population that is open to the idea that it might make sense to consider their choice in this election, and if they sway it only shows up as a few percentage points in the polls. Thats why Rove didn't bother with the traditional play to the center. There are way more bitterly partisan people out there who don't bother to show up for the polls than objective swing voters who are persuaded by campaigning.

A political system can have three states: Apathy, Partisanship, or Totalitarianism. Having seen all three I continue to insist that the first is the best.

RE: The scariest thing about Sarah Palin isn't how unqualified she is - it's what her candidacy says about America | The Smirking Chimp

Paulson was an architect of the crisis
Topic: Current Events 9:55 am EDT, Oct  3, 2008

They wanted an exemption for their brokerage units from an old regulation that limited the amount of debt they could take on.... The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left to become Treasury secretary.


The same genius, Hank Paulson, that helped us to get into this, and has utterly failed to see this coming until it was all but on top of is, is trying to get us out.

Paulson was an architect of the crisis

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