Stalked by PUMAs


The PUMAs found a bright shiny object!

“The Obama boobery with the oath, led to a second oath. But the Bible, like the once disdained flag lapel pin, was nowhere to be seen,” sniped the Hillaryis44 blog, referring to a row during the presidential campaign over a missing lapel pin.

“Expect a third oath when bitter small town gun- and Bible-toting America finds out.”

The next four years are going to be blogging gold.

Barack Obama Sworn in Again, But Without a Bible [Times Online]

On Day 1 we also waited for an apology, or some sort of action from B.O., for the remarks by a preacher, not Rick Warren, at the inaugural.

H44 agrees with WorldNetDaily on Lowery, just as PumaPac is always tuning to Fox. We know who the line about hard-working white Americans reached.

Oh, and for the record, Caroline’s out again. Really. No takebacks.


Anybody got anything on this Russell Tice guy who went on Keef last night and said that journalists were being spied on? He said stuff at the end about how the Federal B.I. was tapping his phone and that he handwrote a letter to a Black Eagle staffer because he was fearing keystroke malware. This raises a bit of a red flag.

In short, is Tice legit, or did KO get played? I’m not sure what to think at this point.

Yes, I know — the NSA probably did all of this stuff. I’m just not certain that this guy just pointed out the undisclosed location of the smoking gun. Or that this guy is completely sane. I mean, the number of people who claim that the FBI is tapping their phones and the number of people who (a) put on the foil and (b) are not the Hanson Brothers are very, very similar.

As I am trying to get some work done: assistance kindly requested. Kthxbai.

@nojo: Good.

WTH does “Hillary is 44” mean anyway?

@chicago bureau: I don’t know anything about him but I suspected crazee after I heard that and his claim that he offered to appear in a Hopicorn commercial but was turned down. Sounds to me like Team Black Eagle figured him to be a few bells short of a cathedral.

@nojo: Of the names that have been floated, I’m for Randi Weingarten. She doesn’t take shit from anybody, including Mayor-for-Life Bloomberg.

@Jamie Sommers: “Hillary will be elected the 44th President”

@chicago bureau: This ain’t the first time Keef has over-sold a segment. I was waiting for the Promised Details — or any details, really — and they weren’t forthcoming. There may (and probably is) a story there, but we haven’t heard it yet.

Fucking Kennedy fuck. Fucking bye. Why doesn’t she do something useful like petition to have CheneyCo and Caligutard carted off to The Hague?

@Jamie Sommers: Maybe “Hillary is 44” means she is to be, should be, shoulda been, the 44th president.

@nojo: There are many rumors of whistles to be blown by government employees who no longer need fear retaliation.

@nojo: Ah. I see.

@FlyingChainSaw: Did you see where she’s trying to claim that she’s backing out because Teddy is dying. Dude’s been knock knock knockin on hell’s door now for about six months. The dilletente never really wanted this job, just the title. Let Uncle Teddy buy the princess another pony and let’s never speak of her again.

Anyone see the footage MSNBC was running of her last night? She lumbers across a stage worse than Jodie Foster.

Prommie: No doubt. However, the goverment employees who no longer need fear retaliation, but who nevertheless are one step removed from howl-at-the-moon crazy? I don’t think they help much.

Who knows — Tice may be completely sane. But there is room for doubt.

@chicago bureau: Well, the NSA called him a psycho and forced him out, according to Wikipedia. Lots of links from 2006ish turn up in Google where he’s claiming he’s being wiretapped, so at least he’s consistent.

@chicago bureau: Dude worked for No Such Agency, so tinfoil may be a wise precaution. Still, I can’t help smelling a whiff of The Conversation in this.

IanJ: Who wrote that Wikipedia article? I mean, the DoD and the NSA want to discredit any person who dares —

[dramatic pause]

Wait a minute.

[another dramatic pause]

Oh, Christ. This guy’s going to go Code Pink on us, isn’t he? He’s going to be the next Cindy Sheehan.

Oh well — regardless of whether he’s got the goods, he’s going to be a fame whore and wear out his welcome very quickly.

Of more concern, however, is the effect on Keef. The dude overreaches — a lot — but he bought into this very quickly. This may be a step too far, which he may ultimately have to dial back. (Apparently, Tice is coming onto tonight’s show — some skepticism and digging may be required.)

@nojo: That, and possibly plastic surgery. Still, they can track your DNA.

(Pass me a Risperdal, pls.)

@chicago bureau: Shows like Keef’s are supposed to have producers who do the digging. Did he hire Rather’s producer without checking the resume?

@chicago bureau: What was his actual contention? I haven’t seen the clip yet.

@chicago bureau: The dude overreaches — a lot

I love it when Keef tries to lead on Richard Wolffe with a loaded question, and Wolffe waves it off like a batter waiting for the right pitch.

@chicago bureau: OK, so the guy worked for the NSA and he didn’t know how to scan for keystroke loggers? BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Or rootkits that would obscure them? BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Or monitor outbound packet traffic from his own PC? BEEEEEEEEEEEP! Or how to set up an anonymizing proxy and acquire Web services from that server? BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Or how to buy a crappy pay-as-you-go-phone (with email service bundled) with cash to send email? BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Sounds like he is looking for a book deal and knew just enough to raise some provocative vapors with a credulous twit like KO. I am sure it’s true but a guy who is really a peripheral player like this just kills the story’s credibility.

From Raw Story:

Tice first began alleging that there were illegal activities going on at both the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency in December 2005, several months after being fired by the NSA. He also served at that time as a source for the New York Times story which revealed the existence of the NSA’s wireless wiretapping program.

Over the next several months, however, Tice was frustrated in his attempts to testify before Congress, had his credibility attacked by Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, and was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in an apparent attempt at intimidation.

IanJ: His claim is that NSA actively spied on journalists, which would ace any claim that wiretapping was for only non-U.S. Americans with ties to terrorism.

nojo: I love KO, but there is this small nagging little voice inside of me that is raising serious questions about the man.

@IanJ: The contention is that the NSA engaged in deliberate domestic spying against innocent groups — Hoover Redux.

The alleged method is that all domestic communications are monitored, with some kind of sampling or selection applied to weed out obvious irrelevant messages. Only where Tice was told to set those aside in an “ignore” pile, he suspects that was the pile his superiors actually wanted to investigate.

It’s very plausible, given what we already know about the black room in SF, but Tice didn’t name any of the groups affected, nor was any evidence or detail offered in support of his claim. (Something like “visit our website for documentation” would have been nice.) Despite Keef’s pitches throughout the show, the segment itself was maddeningly vague.

@Jamie Sommers: I believe this story more than I believe she was really really serious about being a United States senator. Ed Kennedy did one thing his brothers didn’t do: die really young. It could be she is just normally animal attached to the old fuck. She has the leisure to choose. Her family should have advised her better. She looked stupid making a play for her uncle’s old seat. I think once she parks Ed in a grave, she can start her new career, shaving her head and chaining herself to a tree and howling for the referral of CheneyCo and Caligutard to the Hague.

@chicago bureau: Keef is a News Entertainer, and a very enjoyable one. But like Politico during the campaign, I wouldn’t necessarily trust him as a source.

@FlyingChainSaw: Hmm, another topic on which you harbor an amazingly thorough and erudite knowledge. Vienna for the inauguration, my ass.

@nojo: I have a spreadsheet from the ATF you’d find interesting, their own list of groups to monitor for subversive or dangerous activities. Like the fucking Quakers and the Louisville Friends of Animal Amputees. By the middle of the CheneyCo administration, the whole national security apparatus had sprawled completely out of control. It would not surprise me that journalists and the League of Nice People Who Think War is Yukky were on NSA watch lists but it would surprise me the analysts would bother much with produce from those targets.

@FlyingChainSaw: If you wanna get geeky about it, when I heard the keylogger line, my first thought was Dude, you’re running Windows?

Not that Macs aren’t prey to the same things, rootkits and all. But if you’re that paranoid, get an SELinux laptop and implement the rest of the list.

@FlyingChainSaw: Wait a minute. How did you know about LNPWTWIY? <narrows eyes>

@nojo: Just because the DOD nominally trashed the “total information awareness” program doesn’t mean they really trashed it. I has no doubts that the NSA and Defense do monitor ALL electronic communications, using some method to search for key words and location combinations. And they monitor all credit card transactions and cel phone tracking and all manner of shit with no regard whatsoever for the constitution or the law. Wasn’t there some speculation that this was how they got Spitzer?

Almost every public encryption key used in the world came from the NSA including the encryption for digital cell phones and banks and Wifi.

By law in the US America and many other places, every phone switch must have Lawful Intercept HW/SW installed.

Plus they share with others. Including the UK and Canada City.

Waves to NSA! Hello! Hey, why are there black helos circling my hou

@ManchuCandidate: MD5 finally got cracked, but how are the SHA’s doing?

@chicago bureau: KO is a fucking twit. Reaches for the easy stuff that is high noise, no signal, when there is stuff that is pure signal, no noise that could be presented in a whisper and still be devastating.

He’s all about Keith being righteous and has no clue how to deliver the killing blow.

If he wanted a real show and snipers over his shoulder, he could have hired retired investigative reporters (they used to be called just reporters) who’ve ended up working for commercial private investigative companies and as contract PIs and better PIs and forensic accountants and just torn into CheneyCo, night after night.

Like all TV twits, they have no stomach for actually finding news – stuff that has never ever seen the light of day – and fighting the monsters that enslave our republic to the death.

I had to look those up because I’m blissfully ignorant of crypto algorithms short of 1 = a , 2 =b. Anything I know (which is very little) comes from James Bamford and other intelligence writers.

The telco stuff I know because I deal with that stuff.

According to wiki, SHAs are apparently vulnerable.

@Prommie: NSA has rooms in the big network interchanges in the US MAE-East and MAE-West as well as splicing/tapping facilities at other interconnection points in SoCal and New Jersey where optical fiber links carry intercontinental traffic. They don’t monitor everything – but they have the capability to. Massive switches in these facilities pipe parallel streams of all Internet and circuit-switched telephony traffic to NSA filtering facilities. All the communications companies folded when asked to install these facilities and splices. Only QWEST said no and the CEO ended up being indicted.

I stopped watching KO when he gave Barry a free pass on his FISA compromise vote including the Telecom Immunity. He’s a clown.

I am going to be real interested to see if there is anything meaningful that comes out of this administration to fix that abomination of a bill that Barry voted for. Meaning – some return to the real limits of the original FISA law. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out at the time – Barry’s rationale for voting for it was something along the lines of – “Trust Me”. Not a limit on executive electronic eavesdropping by rule of law, but a limit based only on the moral fiber of the man in the oval office.

I am not optimistic. I expect Barry is going to do the right thing about a lot of the most egregious outrages of Cheney/Bush – including Geneva Convention, Habeus Corpus, Gitmo, and reinstituting rule of law on detainments and prosecutions. All well and good.

But on this particular issue… the Executive prerogative to eavesdrop… Barry likes it.

As much as Cheney/Bush.

And there was an awful lot of ATT money and lobbying talent embedded in the Obama campaign. Nope – not optimistic.

My only real hope here is that Barry will appoint Supreme Court Justices that will declare the shit he voted for unconstitutional.

Telecomm immunity is a shit issue. Shielding them from liability is the right thing to do, the government committed the crime, not the telecomms, they were the victims as much as us. Its only an issue to the fucking trial lawyers.

“Telecomm immunity is a shit issue” = “Rule of Law is a shit issue”

Not every Telco went along with the illegal government requests.

@nojo: Or some legacy OS that no one even remembers. SELinux was rumored to have a backdoor built in by the NSA, which may have spooked this guy. There’s like 80 odd OSes that will run on Intel processors.

@Hose Manikin: Plenty of anguish around these parts when the FISA vote (and similar maneuvers, like the AIPAC handjob) happened — I tried to cut some slack for a week or two, then threw up my hands. That’s when I dropped Unicorn for Barry, although I kept the image for symbolic moments.

Wasn’t watching Olbermann yet. But I do find him very entertaining, just the thing for 5 p.m. supper on the Left Coast.

Obviously most of us remain supporters in these parts, but I don’t think anyone here is stereotypically in the tank. Barry’s a shrewd politician, making some very calculated moves, and some of those calculations undermine the principles and values we clearly share with him. That’s the frustrating part, but by now we’re used to it.

@FlyingChainSaw: I fell asleep during the 10pm repeat of KO, which says a lot about how his entertainment value has decreased now that he is no longer in the opposition. Do we really need a HopeFoxNews? Rachel remains intriguing if a bit too coy, and both of them do some fun stuff, but I think I’ll go back to Survivorman or whatever else is on in that timeslot.

@nojo: Richard Wolfe is dreamy, and I don’t even play on that team.

@nabisco: Tell me about it. British accent + premature gray + first-rate intellect = total dreamboat.

@nabisco: It’s fun watching KO try to push the war-crimes story. I keep thinking: Good fucking luck.

@nojo: Amiga, or BeOS – which had a browser. Like 5 people used it.

“The rule of law.” Do you tear up when you say that, like Henry Hyde? Seriously, you’re saying the woman who was raped should have faought harder. They were not the cause of the problem, the cause of ther problem was a criminal administration, which is gone now.

@FlyingChainSaw: BeOS crossed my mind, but then you’d have to find an old PowerPC to run it. And my old Powerbook G4 is completely trashed.

@nojo: Now I’m just thinking of running HPUX (or Tru64 or whatever the fuck they called it) running on an Alpha. I so wanted an Alpha-based machine in college… Never had the funds.

@Hose Manikin: The fucking bullshit class action suits had already been filed, I was more disappointed in Obama voting against telecom immunity than for FISA. Fucking bullshit fucking lawsuits are destroying this country. Fucking fear of lawsuits is why our schools suck and why they need so many fucking administrators, fucking bullshit lawsuits are why fucking public works projects take fucking years longer than they should and cost multiple times what they should, fucking enviros here are suing to stop an offshore windfarm, for god’s sake, suing so we can stick to coal and nuke, yay. Fucking bullshit lawsuits are why there are no see-saws in the playgrounds of america anymore, and why I can’t play lawn darts.

Fuck plaintiffs lawyers, they are destroying the fucking country.

Rule of law my ass, it was about a couple hundred million in legal fees, is what it was about.

@nabisco: Both of them could be useful if they’d hire a real research team and break news. Lord knows, Irwin Knoll’s Progressive (Rothchild is a twit), Covert Action Quarterly and Dugger, Armstrong and Dubose’s editions of the Texas Observer haven’t been replaced. There hasn’t been news in the paper since 1983. Maddow has potential if she gets rid of the snark and hires the right researchers to drop cluster bombs on the bad guys every night.

@nojo: Bush did every single fucking thing wrong. I’ll cut Barry some slack for now.

@Prommie: I think comparing multimillion-dollar (or is it billion-dollar?) telecomm companies with a woman being raped is a tad inaccurate. They were not and are not powerless to a) understand what the gov’t wanted them to do and b) resist. If anything, Paulson’s $700 billion walkaway should’ve illustrated how multinational companies and banks can steer the government, not the other way around. At the very least, they were accomplices with the NSA.

@nojo: Or find a PPC emulator. Cripes, I found a VM for CP/M the other day. Haven’t had a chance to see if I can fire it up in Fusion. Still have CP/M software on 3.5” floppies. Finding a working drive at reasonable cost might be an issue, however.

@blogenfreude: What do you mean? Gave the neocons the war they wanted. Strangled the US budget by miring it in catastrophic debt. Only failed to hand the Social Security trust over the Wall Street to churn to destruction. Given his real constituents’ interest, he did nearly perfect. Unless you labor under some fantasy he gives a rat’s ass about the states except as an enterprise worthy of busting out.

“tearing up?” – Every time. I can barely see the keyboard right now.

It’s not rape if you don’t say “no”. The telco were asked to participate in illegal activities. Some telcos said “no”. More telcos said “yes”. That does not make them rape victims. That makes them co-conspirators.

Of course its all moot now. The criminal activities pursued under the “criminal administration” that you decry are all legal now – thanks to the bill that Barry passed. So I guess you are ok with it. No tears.

EDIT: Just saw that eck already made this point. props.

@flippin eck: Ya don’t argue with the cop who pulled you over. You do what he says or you get a stick to the head and a charge of resisting. Yeah, businesses have influence, as a fucking lobbyist for fucking business, I have a fucking clue, believe it or not, but they don’t have shit for influence if they are directly opposed from the top, which in this case the telecomms were. If you are a regulated business, and you get on the executive’s bad side, they can put you out of business right quick, too.

What theory of justice requires a civil fucking lawsuit here? I don’t want any fucking money, I certainly don’t want it from the poor fucking companies that were strong-armed by the government, and besides, they would just raise their rates to pay the fucking judgment, so it would all be a fucking bullshit waste of time, oh, except for the 20% to the lawyers and 20% more to the class action administrater, making the telephone company raise my rates by a dollar so the fucking lawyer can fucking send me a coupon for 60 cents?

Oh, yes, the rule of law requires that, oh, oh, the golden dream of democracy and equality is but a tarnished statue of a whore, if this civil suit cannot go forward.

Fuuuuuuck me.

Only the telcos were immunized, not the Bush admin. Go after them.

@flippin eck: It is true QWEST just said no. The first time and every time they were pressured. They all could have done the same.

I think they already have immunity from civil suits stemming from their actions.

@FlyingChainSaw: Bah. Its just, like gun control, a non-issue, fucking put away Bush for giving the order to ask them to cooperate, leave them alone. Torture, illegal wars, massive fraud, murders, war crimes, detention without trial, there is so much more to get irate about than preserving the viability of bullshit civil suits that would do no good for anyone but the fucking asshat class action lawyers.
@ManchuCandidate: the FISA reauthorization gave them immunity from civil liability, there were several suits already filed.

Yeah – that was the fig leaf that Barry used to justify his vote. “I can still go after a criminal prosecution”. That was the fig leaf that KO used to excuse Barry for his vote. Greenwald showed it was not likely, particularly as the activity has now been made legal.

Finally there was so much ATT and Telco money and influence in the Obama campaign, that he is beholden. There will be no criminal prosecutions. This new administration is in the Telco pocket. Bought and paid for.

@Hose Manikin: Oh. Thanks. Those evil telcos control us now? Scary, should I wear a tinfoil hat?


Did you squeal? Because the LNPWTWIY is not to be trifled with, bucko.

@Hose Manikin:

By the way, can I just tell you that that is possibly the sexiest screenname I have ever seen?


Tinfoil at your fashion discretion.

It’s just Washington business as usual.

Telcos will have no more influence over this administration than Oil Companies had over the last.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again:
Not my intent, but I see it now. I guess screenname appreciation, like art, properly belongs in the eye of the beholder.

I meant the gubbiment types. My bad for not making that clear.

I’d think the telcos will have less influence. Much less influence. Its a more competitive field, too, and less cartel-ish, I just cannot see them as being on the same plane of evil as the oil industry.

Yes, human nature has not changed, interested parties will want to have input on legislation that affects them, its sad but true.

@ManchuCandidate: Do they still have seesaws, teeter-totters, up their in canada city, Manchu? The lawyers have made them all disappear, down here.


To Be Determined.

BTW – Laphroiag for $27 at COSTCO. I loaded up.

Nope. All gone by 1995.

Eggads, not my best day. I meant individual civil immunity for actions not the organizations.

@Prommie: Ya don’t argue with the cop who pulled you over. You do what he says or you get a stick to the head and a charge of resisting.
Librarians did. They were in the forefront of resistance to the PATRIOT act, both openly, as in the 4 in CT who were threatened with jail but sued the government and won, and quietly, as in the thousands of libraries that began destroying electronic patron records rather than keep something that could be subpoenaed and that would violate their patrons’ right to privacy and information.
B&N, Borders, Blockbuster? Handed over the list of what you bought or rented without so much as a whimper.

@Hose Manikin: What The Fuck? What Costco? Where? Damn, shit, hell and damn, I want that bad. Costcos here don’t have liquor licenses, so I know this incredible find will not be available within thousands of miles of me.

@Hose Manikin:

I am TOTALLY there. Is there a limit on how much you can get?

@Mistress Cynica: Thats all beautiful, and I mean that sincerely, and I was filled with admiration at the time when I read of it, but you know, if you didn’t do that, I would not at all hold it against you, you know what I mean?

I found it at my local San Francisco outlet. Too bad about your liquor laws. They always have some single malts here, usually Glenlivet, Glemorange, or McCallum – but this is the first time I’ve seen Laphroaig.

I don’t think so – but with Costco, you never know what is going to be there from one week to the next. They make big purchases, blow it out, then you may never see it again. I got mine last week.

@FlyingChainSaw: I totes agree. I was fortunate to catch the tail end of the Dubose Observer in the mid-80s, and have never seen anything like it. Rachel’s weekly snarkfest with the Original Wonkette leave me upset due to the cuteness factor, although my wife and I love marvelling at how big of a neck AMC has.

@mellbell: All of the talking heads on MSNBC seem to rock the salt ‘n pepper look. I had this thought today that they seem ripped from a Tom Tomorrow ‘toon. Has Fineman finally decided whether he’s jet black, all gray or a mix of the two?

It’s not bad, considering. Only took about some 50+ hours…

BREAKING Princess Caroline update: “Her candidacy for the Senate was derailed by alleged problems involving taxes and a household employee.” Don’t any of these people pay their help on the books? It’s not like it’s gonna break them.
@Prommie: Let me first say that I agree with you in many ways about our litigious society, and that I have way too many other things to be upset about to get riled up about the telecomm immunity, BUT you’re getting dangerously close to giving everybody a get-out-of-jail-free Nuremberg defense. Most businesses, who answer to shareholders, can’t afford the consequences of standing on principle. I can understand that. But I have a lot more respect for people and institutions whose attitude is, “I’m standing up for what is right, and damn the consequences.”

Speaking of CP/M, I still have a couple of Kaypro 10s. Last time I fired them up was last Spring and they both still worked.
My Amiga, alas, wouldn’t come up, and I don’t care enough to troubleshoot every can on the system board.

@Mistress Cynica: I was going to say, this is starting to sound like we’re giving Telcos the following-orders defense…

Are we still living in the moment where if you receive a “national security letter” (whatever they’re called), you’re not supposed to even mention its existence? That was always one of my favorites.

Those Kaypros have got to be worth something. They are part of PC history.

I used to sell Digital Research MP/M with Microsoft Basic (they weren’t in the OS business yet – Gates would sometimes answer the support line), running Peachtree Accounting software on Altos computers with some custom software (written by high school students we hired) in a bundled package for Stereo Stores to run their business.

One of the great stories of the era was Gary Killdall of Digital Research standing up IBM execs who wanted to negotiate a deal for his OS to run their new PC’s. He was too busy hang gliding or surfing or some such shit. So they went to plan “b” – Bill Gates. If Killdall took that meeting, Bill Gates would be managing a string of Starbuck franchises today.

@Hose Manikin: I’ll bet there’s nothing in that bag for my mom’s Apple III.

@Prommie: @Mistress Cynica:
“i’m standing up for what is right and damn the consequences”
cyn, i applaud your efforts to stem the tide of the criminally stupid.
and prommie, how could you say “stones from the river” was the best novel you ever read and contradict yourself by saying “i would not hold it against anyone who didn’t” no, i don’t exactly know what you mean. perspectives.
bloggie said W didn’t do a single thing right. according to whom?
he accomplished every goal his pupeteers desired to perfection.

in solidarity with cyn and those millitant librarians. i love a librarian.

TJ/ Been looking at Obamas dancing at ball and the Bidens frenching and making out while dancing. God, what is it with straight people? Do we have to see that sort of overt sexual behavior everywhere we look? Get a room, people. It’s supposed to be the inauguration of the president of the USA not saturday night at Scandals in Valley Stream.

@Ewalda: Buddy of mine has an Osbourne in his garage. I think it’s used now as a paperweight.

@prommie, Mistress Cynica: Here’s the difference, I think, between librarians and telcom/bookstores. The former has nothing to lose by standing up for what’s right and nowhere to hide if they do something wrong. The latter only does the right thing if they think there will be a significant hit to the bottom line if they don’t. They could give up the names/numbers because they don’t want trouble with the guvmint, sure, but they also know they can grease some gov’mint palms to protect their arses with immunity when they scratch gov’mint’s back.
The cop and the driver have unequal power as do the rapist and victim. It’s an imperfect analogy tho’ because telco and gov’mint are rapist and cop, respectively, while we are the victims w/o power or recourse.


Hear Here! I don’t care what they do behind closed doors, but open heterosexuality in public? Tsk.

Credo (formerly Working Assets) also told the Bush/Cheney NSA to go fuck themselves. No consequences for them other than a huge boom in sales and revenue.

“…telco and gov’mint are rapist and cop, respectively, while we are the victims w/o power or recourse.” – Jamie

Historically, if the cops are not going to enforce the law (as in the case of warrantless search requests for Telco surveillance) the final citizen recourse to illegal abuse by private corporations is civil litigation and the courts. As regards the Telcos, that protection was specifically removed from the citizen arsenal by the Barry supported Telecom immunity and expanded Executive Power under the FISA compromise capitulation.

But we don’t have to worry about that because Barry says “trust me with this power” and we like Barry and so everything is ok.

Play with this Stinquers – look how you can zoom in.

@blogenfreude: I clamped a Gigapan Imager to the railing on the north media platform

I love geek porn.

But Daddy wants a Technocrane for his birthday. And a Genesis to hang on it.

@blogenfreude: Kristen Gillibrand, it appears. Until the story shifts three times tonight.

@nojo: When I first saw it I thought he’d used a Hasselblad, but I was wrong – Canon digital SLR.

@Prommie: I was just explaining the California liquor laws to Benedick in the back of class. When I lived on the East Coast I went through shock at how fucked up the liquor laws are in Jersey and NY (and DC, and Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and Maryland). Must be hold overs from the Mob days. Here, you can buy any hard liquor and beer and wine 24/7 at just about any type of grocery store (and CostCo, Sam’s Club, Target, and Sprawl-Mart). I think Delaware is the only East Coast state that approaches Cali’s liberal liquor laws.

@Nojo, FCS, others: I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about with the computer stuff.

@nojo: And what the hell would you DO with all that gear?

that was great! i saw some guy picking his nose. amazin clarity. amazin

It doesn’t quite do her rancor justice, but SNL’s take on Ann Coulter defending Bush’s legacy is nevertheless pretty good.

@nojo: Story Shift #1: All prospective NY senators are showing up at the guv’s office Friday. Field’s open again.

I thought about putting in to the county commission for an appointment to the state legislature when our then-state rep joined the Beel Richardson administration a few years ago. Seat went to a Hispanic former educator who also worked a little as a liquor lobbyist. The fix was probably in from the get go on that one, although he turned out OK. Politics as performance art but still getting the job done might have been fun, though.

Washington’s (State) liquor laws are a trip.

We have state run and state owned liquor stores like any good commie republic. You can buy beer and wine at grocery stores, but you must go to the state run stores during official business hours to get tha hard stuff. How this came about, I’ve no idea.

@blogenfreude: Does that come with ammunition?

@Original Andrew: Same deal with Oregon, and I’ve never thought to research the history. You grow up with it, it’s just a fact of life.

@blogenfreude: See that guy with the potato? Fucking tuberist.

@Mistress Cynica: Not to forget librarians swashbuckling heroism in confronting the diabolical DMCA.

@nabisco: Oh, I meant no news in the paper since 1983 generally, as in MSM, not the Observer. Lou was there until the mid-1990s before moving on to found the Populist Progressive in like Idaho or something.

@Original Andrew: Oh man, you wouldn’t even believe it, the laws have been relaxed considerably over the last decade or so, like how just a few years ago they finally allowed the liquor stores to be open on Sunday! Until recently you couldn’t even serve liquor in an establishment without a full menu and a bunch of hassle, the dive bars and little neighborhood pubs used to be beer and wine only!!

@Ewalda: The Kaypros were workhorses. Sold my last one to a community college in New Jersey that used them for writing classes in like 1990. Great machines and great software package for the time but the oscilloscope screen was so bad on the eyes I ended up wearing glasses – until one day after I’d been using a nice amber monitor for months in a gig far away from the old country and the Kaypros I realized I could read street signs again at night without them.

@Hose Manikin: And we would have avoided the crappification of PC software. A relative worked for an RBOC and had the assignment to pull together teams to evaluate candidate technologies. DR-DOS ruled the RBOCs desktops and was considered superior in every way, until the company’s fortunes rendered it ineligible to be a vendor company to the RBOC. MS-DOS? A generation behind in features and nowhere near as stable as DR-DOS.

@FlyingChainSaw: Hightower is still writing at the Observer, FSM love him.

@Original Andrew: That is so fucked up. This is why California is the promised land – your FSM-given right to buy single-malt or Grey Goose at 8 am on a Sunday at Target or Costco. In Jersey, only one outlet of a chain can sell liquor – lucky for me, the Trader Joe’s I shopped at had the liquor license (but still could only sell beer and wine, no hard liquor like here), but there were people driving in from across the state to buy cases of Charles Shaw swill (Two Buck Chuck was Three Bucks in Jersey). The Whole Paycheck in Montclair had the liquor license and then transfered it to the new store going up in one of the fancier towns. Crazee. Sometimes you want to buy a bottle of Tanqueray at 4 am, and that’s when you want to be in a Safeway in California.

Hey kids. I am home. After flight/train/bus/train, I need to decompress. Look forward to catching up tomorrow…

@FlyingChainSaw: There’s nothing like the whine of that Kaypro 10 hard drive coming up to speed. It’s amazing to think that they cost $7k in 1984 dolluhs, if memory serves me. I used them in a custom-developed retail/rental system, in conjunction with TEC MA191 cash registers that were fitted with a crude memory board. Essentially, all we did was capture cash register keystrokes. That was one of the most enjoyable work years I ever had.

@blogenfreude: Interesting choice of capture gear. The G10 is a clamshell camera – not a digital SLR. This approach of using software to combine and resolve multiple images avoids the pincushioning distortions inherent in wide-angle lenses, though you may be able to use the sort of corrective lenses used in architectural photography they are very expensive. Still, the effective focal length here looks to be like 17 degrees with no apparent pincushioning. The columns and stairs of the Capitol are totally square. Astounding. I considered the G9 or a younger relative when I was exploring this class of gear and ended up with a Finepix E900 because the color trueness impressed me in ways that Canon disappointed with, to my eye, rather cartoony color rendering.

@FlyingChainSaw: Amazing w/ a clamshell – I assumed he had to have an SLR. I have a Nikon D1-X – one of the first. I seriously need to get a medium format that takes digital and film backs. If such a thing exists anymore.

@Ewalda: Oh, gosh, you lived at the edge. The 10s were running Winchester drives, if I remember correctly. I lusted after them but my practice at the time couldn’t take the hit so I ended up using, the first one unto death, two Kaypro 2s. I was able to strip down WordStar to its basics reducing its size to the point that I could run word processing, spell check and communications software (remember the program ‘modem’? I used mine to drive a Bell 212A modified to single-line use from multiline) on a single floppy disc, running in A: drive, and using B: for all my clients’ files, and my undergraduate coursework, each of which had their own archival floppies. Neat and it just worked. And, for the time, reasonable in terms of cost when you compared it to the offerings from Apple and IBM. Last time I remember reading a user manual and being able to navigate its index and instructional expository to a satisfactory conclusion. The manuals Kaypro packed were very good and they gave me an appreciation of that genre of non-fiction as a worthy and important one in its own right. The manuals these days are general non-existent or hostile. “You go over there someplace in the fucking program and do some shit like this and then this other shit happens and if it fucks up, well, go suck your sysadmin’s dick and maybe he’ll do some shit and shut you the fuck up” is the general tenor of those instruments these days.

nojo: Gillibrand is legit, insofar as it goes. Moderate, female, Upstater — in fact, currently representing the home district of the ancestral home of (a) yours truly and (b) Mommy 1.0. And she was the one that bounced John Sweeney, remember. If she can break-even Upstate, she can have a mortal lock on that seat. And she so wants it. People in the House were, if I have this right, getting real tired of her social climbing deal.

But, for Paterson, the downside is dreadful. Some knucklehead winger will take that seat — before Sweeney, there was the big ball of hate that was Jerry Solomon. It’s that kind of district. And Andrew Cuomo is free and clear to go for Paterson’s job, and now has incentive.

[ADD: word is that the Democratic bigwigs are counting on New York getting a House member yanked in the next Census — unless their big plan to shout random numbers at Census takers in other states goes wrong. So Gillibrand’s seat would go away anyhow.]

@Hose Manikin: Yes, this. Unfortunately, although we should “trust but verify” we cannot do so because Barry won’t allow us to the latter. This is part of the reason why I said on Tuesday that there’s a whole lotta people gettin’ their hypes up who are bound for a disappointing thud.

@chicago bureau: FYI -the Tice dude is going to be O’Keef again tonite.

@FlyingChainSaw: The 10 came with lots of software on the HDD (10mb, wheee!), and a ton of book-length manuals. It was a joy. And, like your 2, it was “portable”! The keyboard clipped onto the front of the machine and there was a handle on the back. It weighed ~25lbs, but hey, there was no such thing as a laptop 25 years ago. I need to take pictures of my old computers and cameras and upload them to my Flickr page. I’ll let you know.

@blogenfreude: The film guys, Pentax, H’blad, Mayima, etc. have options for digital backs and there is an outfit – Phase One – which I think is a completely digital gear company has their own offering of medium format bodies and backs. I am waiting to see if there are offerings for backs for existing gear for auld stalwarts like the Fuji medium format cameras, some of which are truly great and can be had for comparatively short bucks. Still, given the density of the sensors and the apparent trajectory of improvement, I dunno, I am wondering if I should just hold onto the auld Leica and Canon 35mm SLRs and see if first-party or aftermarket offerings hit the shelves sometime soon. In the meantime, with the E900, I don’t feel I am missing out on the digital photographic revolution under way.

@FlyingChainSaw: On the other hand, I could just try and find a cheap Mamiya 6 or 7.

@baked: I think courage and strength to resist your own government because you know it is wrong, while these are great, heroic things, you cannot use to stick to make heroism mandatory, you use the carrot of recognition and praise. There are dumb and weak people in the world, too, and I just don’t think those people should be punished, subjected to civil lawsuits, especially, for failure to exhibit heroism.

Thats all, I am not taking anything away from the librarians, I was touched by it, admired, honored it, when I read of it.

@Jamie Sommers: The former has nothing to lose by standing up for what’s right and nowhere to hide if they do something wrong.
The librarians who stood up to protect patron privacy risked criminal charges, which at that time could have meant a one way ticket to Gitmo. They risked their jobs, if their library board didn’t back them up. They risked the public funding that supports their libraries, and the negative publicity about “supporting/protecting terrorists.” Yes, they had no profits to worry about, but there were plenty of possible consequences, personal, professional, and financial.
@FlyingChainSaw: swashbuckling heroism in confronting the diabolical DMCA. The guy who led that fight was the Dean of the OSU (OK) library, Ed Johnson, who hired me.
/end radical militant librarian rant

Jamie Sommers: Watching it now. Tice seems shaky, speculative about evidence that he supposedly saw. Gut instinct? Not credible.

KO dropped the ball — there has been a lot of talking, mostly by wingers, some by unfriendly government higher-ups, about Tice not being all there. No probing. Poor.

I’m going to guess that Conyers is going to put him in front of a microphone. He would probably get blown apart by Republican cross-examination, though, so even Conyers wouldn’t chance it for a cheap photo-op hearing. Strange, I know.

Have I dug myself into a hole? Damn, I hate when I do that.

@FlyingChainSaw: When digital cameras came out, and for years after, I wondered why someone wasn’t selling digital backs for the common SLRs. I love photography, but I was never in a position to invest in real, serious equipment, I had a basic, totally manual SLR that I used all the way up to my first digital camera. I was waiting for someone to make a digital back for the old thing.

@FlyingChainSaw: Yup.
As I said, I was working with CP/M and MP/M and when I got my first look at Dos on a PC I was openly derisive about how far behind DR’s stuff it was. I predicted that the IBM PC would never succeed as a result, and this was proof that the era of dinosaur computer companies like IBM was coming to an end. They were simply not fast enough to keep up with new generation of Altos, Vector, Victor, Eagle, Hyperion, etc. running the far more advanced DR OS. Microsoft should have stuck to what they knew how to do – which was write BASIC compilers. It was laughable.

BTW – My technology investment advice has not improved since 1982. You know – just in case I ever hit my replenished stock of Laphroiag too hard and start throwing around hi-tech stock suggestions.

Nojo – you are authorized to delete any such comments immediately.

Y’all make me feel so ignorant sometimes, its why I love this place.

@blogenfreude: Those cameras, running film scanned by a commercial quality scanner, will probably blow away your Nikon. You gotta wanna for the extra resolution and color trueness, though. Scans won’t be cheap.

@FlyingChainSaw: No color worries – almost all my photos are B&W.

@Promnight: The market will develop. In the meantime, film can be scanned and give you superior quality. I still run film cameras I am very comfortable with – but now I scan the slides from their pictures and process them at home with a digital dark-room and the results are shockingly good sometimes. Dare I say better looking than Cibachrome process prints? I am a vocal proponent of the digital photography revolution at the production end. Still, I have a little Kodachrome left in the ‘fridge, Fuji still makes good positive film which I use regularly, and the Nikon scanner keeps me in the film game for as long as I like (or manufacturers develop emulsions) until I am completely satisfied I have a digital image capture solution that exceeds the experience I have in capturing images on film. That said, on this trip to Vienna, I just grabbed the E900. Outdoors in full light which will comprise most all of my photo time, the thing just works and the color trueness is really exceptional.

@Hose Manikin: Oh, hey, I think civilized society can forgive you for having wild ideas like, gosh, quality matters.

@chicago bureau: The best part was the following segment, when the NYT dude did his best to distance himself from it.

I’ve been watching KO for a few months now, and this is the first time I’ve seen him make such a flagrant misstep. Last night’s interview would have been better done as a packaged feature, with some kind of substantiation on offer — Tice’s halting remarks could have been edited, and context provided at the pace the rest of the show runs.

As it stands, what we got is a single-source story, something KO warns about when, say, announcing breaking news about Princess Caroline. For that matter, we didn’t even get a story — what we got was a lead., and a reasonable suspicion that TIA migrated from Defense to the NSA.

Worth pursuing. But not yet a headline.

@Hose Manikin: Embarrassing remarks are forever.

prommie, it was your remark that you would understand one not accepting the consequences of doing the right thing that startled.
i see the exact parallel between the librarians and the townspeople from the book. i understood why some looked the other way, but that was wrong. so i don’t forgive people for not taking justice into their own hands when the opportunity arises. i don’t let dogs sit in hot cars in the summer, i call 911. astounds me how many people can walk by. the cop is always agreeable, and the owner always humiliated. and there should be a fine. fixed.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m with you. My daughter is a radical militant librarian, and we’ve talked about just how brave those librarians were. She is so hardline, she scores way down in the lower left corner of the lower left quadrant on the Political Compass survey. She’s more of an anarchist/commie than I am!

@Ewalda: While admiring librarians wholeheartedly I wonder at the system itself: why do the authors whose books are loaned by libraries not receive payment per loan? Why should writers underwrite the libraries?

I don’t understand why everyone was so down on Caroline K. She would have worked hard and been helpful for left-leaning causes. Instead we’ve now been stuck with a pr0-NRA (you can like people who like guns and still loathe the NRA and all it stands for) Republican-lite who will most likely cast Doubt on Hope.

Where I live, there is a local Republican ‘developer’ who wants to co-opt a state ski area, snatch land next to a historic residence (built by the Met star Adelaïde Galli-Curci) to build a fortess-like redoubt of golf, hotel, time-share, condo, trash on the top of Belleayre. This would be the first ‘development’ in the heart of the Catskill park and is a very bad idea. Shumer is all for it even though the developer is using state land for a private development and even though study groups have shown that skiing in this area will be over in about 15 years at most. Now this new senator is going to go full-bore on to push this through against vigorous local opposition. In this area we turned down a casino but we might not be able to stop this. So that you know, while not properly respected for its unique properties, this area comprises thousands of square miles of wilderness 100 miles from NYC. Most of the forests are second growth but are now getting on for 100 years old. And there are still patches of old-growth up in the mountains. CK would have helped to protect this area. Gillebrand won’t. When this kind of politician talks about development what they mean is WalMart. I hope I’m wrong about her but very upset with this news. Local people wanted CK.

I seriously doubt I’ll be voting for Paterson. Although it’s razor thin, we have a Democratic majority in NY for the first time in 30-odd years. Paterson seems unwilling to use it.

@Hose Manikin: @Ewalda: Had a Commodore 128 that had three computers in one — a 64, a 128, and a Z80 processor (I think) that ran CP/M.

To add to the tech-geek conversation – I ask you all whether Barry really can have a super-encrypted Crackberry? I’m sure a team of computer engineers in Ukraine and China are working on hacking it as we speak.

@baked: Just as comparing being raped with being leaned on by secret government intelligence agencies is not a perfect analogy, comparing the systematic deportation and extermination, comparing genocide, with a system which monitors electronic communications and flags key words and persons is not quite a perfect analogy. What was it someone said above, the CEO of the non-cooperating telecom wound up indicted?

@SanFranLefty: Dude just wants to be able to keep up with his NCAA brackets in March.

My take – Despite movie portrayals, encryption done right is pretty much unbreakable, and I have no doubt that the Feds do encryption right.

Some commercial encryption is sold with backdoors for the Feds if they decide they need it. But from my understanding, even free versions of commercially available encryption programs like PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) can be implemented on your PC to be virtually unbreakable by any brute force methods including the NSA.

There is an interesting back story about Phil Zimmerman (author of PGP) and his prosecution by the feds in the nineties for making the source of PGP freely available on the internet. As open source it could be validated to have no back doors.

Vulnerabilities are the things around the encryption itself, like using easily guessed passwords or simple encryption keys – or tools like keyloggers that capture data directly from the keyboard before it is encrypted – or perhaps – a hole in the OS itself. For Barry, not a problem.

In general (not Barry’s situation) another vulnerability is being browbeaten or – you know – actually beaten/tortured to reveal a key if it is obvious you have encrypted volume on a PC and someone wants the info. I understand that laptops are regularly seized by the TSA on airport inspections. Not sure what triggers the seizure, but suspect that an encrypted PGP volume might itself raise eyebrows. i.e. – The presence of encryption itself creates vulnerability of the encrypted data.

For the encryption cognoscenti, that brings up a whole other set of interesting topics – like – How do you best hide an encrypted volume or maintain “plausible deniability” about an encrypted volume on a PC?

I find the topic interesting, but true secure encryption not worth the effort. My porn collection is just not that interesting.


This comment thread is quintessentially Stinquer: a French braid of political commentary, canny speculation re credibility of a whistleblower, link to mind-blowing panoramic inauguration composite, camera lore, computer lore and history, encryption lore, FCS’s excellent joke (re tuberist) at 9:34 pm, a rapid survey of state liquor laws, plus whatever I forgot. The Stinquer Salon.

@nabisco: Speaking of, I hope that even our sport-averse Stinquers (ahem, Benedick) will enter a bracket for this year’s NCAA tournament. I’ll set up a group on Yahoo! Sports when the time comes (at which point, hopefully, UofL will have been crowned the Big East champs).

@mellbell: We’ll need an NIT bracket for fans of teams like *cough* New Mexico.

@Hose Manikin: I don’t know about plausible deniability, but the company I work for requires that all laptop hard drives be encrypted to reduce IP loss when they’re stolen. It happens way too often, and our company (a software company) sinks or swims on its ability to keep its intellectual property private. Pudding-headed developers have a real knack for leaving their laptops full of the latest source code sitting in the back seat of their cars.

Also: when I’ve gone through TSA inspections, looking like a slightly scruffy hipster (ie, not like a suit-wearing sarariman) with a laptop, it’s been X-rayed, and that’s it. Are east-coast airports making people turn on their computers now?

@redmanlaw: We were in that same boat a few seasons ago, but have been steadily gaining back ground ever since.

I was referring to stories like this and this that got some attention last year. I was also mistaken – I was writing the comment from my recollection of the stories – it is Customs and not TSA that will copy and look at the data and seize laptops. I’ve never had a problem, but apparently it happens.

Corporate encryption to protect IP against lost laptops is prudent and makes a lot sense. Most companies should require that. But for that purpose, the encryption does not have to be too good, almost has to have a backdoor by definition (the company can get their data even if the user forgets the password), and probably would not resist a smart determined hacker and certainly not the government.

@mellbell: Our Lobo wimmin, on the other hand, have been consistently in the Top 25 and even the Top 10 when they’re on a roll. I think they beat Texas Tech last year, which has a reputation as a regional women’s basketball powerhouse. The men’s team lost to Sandy Eggo earlier this week and the fans on talk radio are getting uneasy, while the homers are all “they could still beat Utah and get a bid.” Sure. Sports talk is my refuge from OD’ing on Air America.

@mellbell: Good thinking; we got started on one as Cynics last year, didn’t we?

But let’s finish off f’ball season first. There are far too many “Here We Go Steelers” video montages on YouTube right now for me to really be thinking about anything else in Sport. Oh, except for Lance’s coasting-to-date performance Down Under.

ADD: Armstrong is riding comfortably at 39 seconds off the lead, could take over the Purple Koala or whatever they award the leader as early as tomorrow.

built by the Met star Adelaïde Galli-Curci
Galli-Curci was a bum. Just another light-hit/bad-glove Met infielder who couldn’t get the bunt down in the clutch.

@Ewalda: High time the truth came out.

It does my heart good to see so many Ewalda posts.

@SanFranLefty: He could probably have a custom client (the software that presents the email processing) tooled for his Blackberry to use crypto but all his correspondents would have to as well – and they’d have to manage the key exchanges. RIM’s network is supposed to be secured but he’d have to run his own encrypted through RIM’s untrusted network. The problem of establishing an encrypted link between correspondents is as much about logistics and usability as key length and robustness in the face of brute force attack and short cut attacks on the algorithm itself. Coupla phone calls, they could set something up pretty secure. Say, land his email at a trusted (and for regulatory reasons, auditable) server which sets up an encrypted tunnel out to a custom handheld through the RIM network. Government side, likely NSA, would control the crypto that matters and Obama would get the benefit of pretty much global portability. Stuff sent in the clear would be protected. Any crypto-secured stuff from government officials could be managed within the custom client. This looks like something that could become a sideline for Booz Allen, maybe in partnership with RIM.

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