Scribbles: Notes from NSFWCORP Staff

  1. A Scribble

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  2. A Scribble

    Up is down and everyone is excited in the wrong direction! So, the lamenting about the 1965 Voting Rights Act is remarkably misplaced. Jim Crow laws and the like are still illegal. Voter ID bills were coming no matter what. It makes sense for Congress to be forced to re-up the act versus let the old data go in perpetuity (as was designed by the act). Indeed, the only ones who truly should be lamenting right now because of this particular SCOTUS decision are the Hispanics in Texas. For everyone else, there will be little practical impact, even the rest of the South...

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  3. A Scribble

    As everyone (romantically) falls atop one another with glee that DOMA is dead, let me be the buzzkill... DOMA is alive and kicking and causing a rift in the country that will be filled by a civil (culture) war. All SCOTUS did was require the Feds to take one foot out of the politics of hate. The President derides DOMA as being sooooo unconstitutional, yet, no comment on the remaining provisions. The more impacting Full Faith and Credit exemption is still in effect. Now the REAL tensions begin.

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  4. A Scribble

    A Tumbler of snapshots from Mother Russia:

    http://uralvtg.tumblr.com/

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  5. A Scribble

    You get some weird murders in Canada. Dellen Millard, a rich kid in Alberta, killed a man for his truck--though he could've bought a dozen like it. Now they're investigating the livestock incinerator on Millard's farm, seeing if he used it to get rid of various other people who went missing in his company. A spox for the company that made it said, "That's not what the unit is for." Now this is where I have to quibble. You could say that about the woodchipper in Fargo, but to be fair, Mr. Spox, sir, burning dead bodies is exactly what the unit is for. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/tim-bosma-case-details-dellen-millard-livestock-incinerator-135236909.html

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  6. A Scribble

    Great anecdote by Bill Murray about how he did the movie Garfield because he thought it was written by Joel Coen of the Coen Bros., when it was really written by some schmuck named Joel Cohen:

    “Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you're looping a movie, if it takes two days, that's a lot. I don't know if I should even tell this story, because it's kind of mean. What the hell? It's interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, ‘That's the line? Well, I can't say that.’ And you sit there and go, ‘What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense?’ And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, ‘OK, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we're dealing with.’ So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, ‘Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?’ And then they explained it to me: it wasn't written by that Joel Coen."

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  7. A Scribble

    Not Safe For Wahhabis: the not-as-censored photos of the Girls of the IDF.

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  8. A Scribble

    Now I'm no legal expert, but isn't this a dumb thing to admit? That you took a job only to collect info for a leak? I guess it depends on what Snowden's gonna be charged with in the end, but regardless, doesn't this admission show criminal intent on his part?

    Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked information on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, says he sought the job with Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence on the agency's data collection networks.

    In a June 12 interview with the South China Morning Post published Monday, Snowden, who previously worked as a CIA technician, said he took the position with the intention of collecting information on the NSA.

    “My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he said. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/edward-snowden-booz-allen-hamilton_n_3491203.html

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  9. A Scribble

    Rick Santorum is in the movie business now. His first one will be a Western.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/24/rick-santorum-now-running-christian-movie-studio/

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  10. A Scribble

    Boston Globe story on Asheville as test case for using redistricting to break up the influence of left-leaning strongholds. However, it misses the state legislature imposing districts to influence local elections too, which is a bit more unprecedented than congressional gerrymandering.

    And, if anyone wants a laugh at my expense this morning, here's a colleague and myself explaining the redistricting a few years back, with all the budget a local newspaper can supply.

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  11. A Scribble

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  12. A Scribble

    Libertarian anti-statist Rand Paul demands massive increase in dreaded National-Security State apparatus if he's going to support immigration reform — 20,000 extra border guards "not enough."

    As reader @AaronMDellutri reminded me (I'd forgotten), Rand Paul previously proposed building a massive network of "underground electric fences" on the border, along with "helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border."

  13. A Scribble

    Snowden is in Moscow now, waiting in Sheremetyevo Airport for his flight out to Venezuela via Cuba.

    Since he's a libertarian, it must be noted that the libertarian Cato Institute ranked Hong Kong the #1 "freest" country in the world, and ranked Venezuela the "least free" country on earth, ranked #144th in the world.

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  14. A Scribble

    Wiccan Academy. Do they have evening classes? Can we send Patrick?

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  15. A Scribble

    It is a sad state of affairs when opponents have to resort to petitions and lawsuits to protect their beliefs

    says a Creationist, while believers nod and loudly agree while cooking up the next law to ban abortion, gay marriage, an Islamic way of life, and research into rising tide levels.

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  16. A Scribble

    Britain out spooks the NSA: Operation Tempora.

    A couple of things about this (and it's early days although the Guardian now have a good number of actual reporters on this):

    This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites

    If this is literally true (and still true -- security online has changed enormously in the last two years) it means GCHQ either can break on demand standard cryptography used online (possible but probably not true at this scale AIUI) or that Facebook are complicit in this (there's a third possibility, more worrying and similar to what corporates and government do to their own users to log and monitor Internet usage -- but it's unlikely in this case unless other details from the Guardian are wrong or misleading). I can explain this further for people who don't understand how cryptography and the Internet work, which probably isn't a bad idea given the glut of untutored nonsense we'll see because of this. (That daft Reason article Jason linked to is a case in point.)

    Then there's this, not technical but really disturbing:

    The criteria are security, terror, organised crime. And economic well-being.

    The first is vague but understood to mean national security I believe. Terror and organised crime also most people know what that is and shouldn't be surprised here. Economic well being is another matter entirely. If a Chinese company is buying stock for a hostile takeover of a significant UK employer, would that be targeted? How about Russian? Or Arab? Or just someone building a better mousetrap -- even for most people accepting warrantless behaviour here (and there's a rising feeling of meh about this suggesting an end state where the State is once more the important thing, a kind of reversion to the 16th century; I'm really hoping for sumptuary laws) there are presumably limits.

  17. A Scribble

    For Leigh: at school I was in a bad that was briefly called The Sticky Ends. Our first album was going to be called Reverse Transcriptase.

  18. A Scribble

    Feedback from an idiot:

    Your article on Michael Hastings was uncalled for. Pissing on a dead person who cannot respond is the lowest form of cowardice journalism, if it is journalism at all.

    However he died, and it is unclear what happened at this point, it is sad to read such crass, denunciation of him and his journalism style delivered in a glib and unfeeling fashion.

    He may have been a Gonzo journalist, but he was worthy of much better than he got from your article. In death, it is my hope that someone offers you better than you gave him.

    Beki Halpin Austin, TX

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  19. A Scribble

    Turns out the famous McLibel leaflet that led McDonald's to sue 2 environmental activists in London, leading to the longest lawsuit in UK history — the defamatory leaflet was written by an undercover police officer who'd infiltrated the environmentalist groups, according to The Guardian.

    The snitch, Bob Lambert, also sabotaged and provoked other environmental and leftist groups over the years, had affairs with 4 women, and had a child with one of the women whom he abandoned after the operation was called off. There's a book and TV documentary coming out next week about it all.

    I think I'll post some of the material I cut out of my NSA Whistleblowers piece about a CIA-hired snitch in the late 60s/early 70s named Peter Ferrera, who infiltrated the alt-press and dissident scene.

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  20. A Scribble

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  21. A Scribble

    "I love gridlock." Antonin Scalia comes to my fair city.

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  22. A Scribble

  23. A Scribble

    Todashev's corpse finally flown back to Chechnya for reburial. The FBI held his corpse back for a month by not releasing his green card. Had no idea a corpse needed a green card. The FBI is acting like it has something to hide in this case. As the Boston Globe puts it,

    During his final voluntary interview, Todashev was shot multiple times and killed by an agent who said the man attacked him. Details of what happened in the moments before the shooting remain shrouded in secrecy, with the FBI refusing to release any information, citing an ongoing investigation.

    Unnamed law enforcement officials have leaked various, conflicting versions of the altercation to various news organizations, including the Globe. Some allege that Todashev wielded a knife, sword, blade, or broomstick. Others have told reporters that he was unarmed.

    The Muslim civil rights group [CAIR] representing the family has called for an independent investigation into the shooting and has begun its own examination of whether excessive force was used.

  24. A Scribble

  25. A Scribble

    This disclaimer just tickles me pink: "Editor's Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Government."

    http://theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=10031

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  26. A Scribble

    The Art Pope-backed Civitas Institute has unveiled a database of people arrested at the Moral Monday protests, including a "Pick the Protester" game.

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  27. A Scribble

    Exodus International, the oldest, most powerful "ex-gay" group, is shutting down and has apologized to the LGBT community.

    I'm stunned, quite honestly. These were the guys who hosted Falwell back in 2005, after all, and based on what I saw there, I figured they were the type to hold on long after the writing was on the wall.

    I think this is a cultural change that's migrated so deep that even the evangelical bubble's starting to feel the pressure.

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  28. A Scribble

    Sign language is now a safety hazard.

  29. A Scribble

    A fun map I think John would enjoy. It's a big file so it'll take a minute or so to load, but worth the information it contains. Ethnic groups of the Middle East & their languages.

    Very cool.

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  30. A Scribble

    Reading Patricia Billings, who's not only white but downright blond, toss the word "white" around as a pejorative reminded me that I've never, ever heard a redneck, white-trash or otherwise ordinary melanin-deprived human use that word pejoratively. There's an implication, when it's used as such by very snotty, privileged pale people, that they have somehow risen above their skin color and constitute a meritocracy that transcends mere dermatology.

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