Saturday, August 17, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Today's Internets - "What’s it like to write inside the head of a killer? Notably simple. It’s really an easy thing..."
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple:
"What’s it like to write inside the head of a killer?
Notably simple. It’s really an easy thing. There is no such thing, I believe, as a killer who sees themselves as the villain of their own story. Sometimes the victim of their own story, sure, but never the villain. Once you take the entirely reasonable step of deciding that the erasure of human life is unremarkable, and applying basic logic to the provision of that service, you’re off to the races. It’s really not that hard to adopt the sort of personality and mindset that sees human life as unspecial. It’s actually quite calming, in many ways.
All of the above, of course, makes me sound demented. But seriously. Imagine a world in which people will die every day regardless of your own actions. Too many to count. If you elect to kill one person today, your actions will not skew the numbers. “One murder is statistically utterly unimportant." And if you’re removing the body from sight, what does it matter anyway? What made that one person more special than all the others who died today? Nothing at all. Purely in terms of the mathematics, any possible pain and suffering you are causing is in fact within the statistical margin of error for today’s body count. Which, from a certain perspective, means it doesn’t exist.
I spent four days thinking like that."
Best TKD Ever.
Judge Orders Doctors To Pump Prisoner's Stomach, Doctors Tell Judge To Piss Off - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"A warrant is supposed to be the last word in gathering evidence in criminal cases, right? The court speaketh and we jumpeth. But what if the warrant requires evidence to be gathered in a way that necessitates the skills of trained professionals? And what if those conscripted professionals find the ordered procedures unethical and abhorrent? And then they...refuse?
...The subject of compelling suspects to provide body fluids or stomach contents has received plenty of attention from a Fourth Amendment perspective, but conscripting medical personnel to do the honors is relatively untested territory. Many medical facilities, like the Aurora Sinai Medical Center, have policies requiring patient consent before doctors and nurses will start working as police proxies. but that sometimes annoys the authorities."
Cop Records Police Chief Pushing Ticket Quotas, Boasting About Always Finding a Reason to Stop Someone - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
""I wanna stop that car load of dumb sh*** in the car, I wanna stop it, but they are not going to do anything wrong. Hell, I'll get behind or the other lane and I'd start crowding them. Kinda dirty pool but i got two or three arrests out of it.""
"Did we, mate? Fucking amazing." - Welsh language, sports, cooking, death metal and straight as the new gay. Hilarious.
"In another case, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority over some NSA operations, did not learn about a new collection method until it had been in operation for many months. The court ruled it unconstitutional. So the NSA was not always informing the court of its actions. And yes, they improperly accessed content of communications..."
"We live in a surreal world in which a “transparent” government insists on the need for secret courts; our President prosecutes whistle-blowers and maintains a secret “kill list”; and private information is collected in secret and stored indefinitely by intelligence agencies."
"It turns out that the NSA's domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we've learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it's easier that way. I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight.
Do you remember those old spy movies, when the higher ups in government decide that the mission is more important than the spy's life? It's going to be the same way with you. You might think that your friendly relationship with the government means that they're going to protect you, but they won't. The NSA doesn't care about you or your customers, and will burn you the moment it's convenient to do so. We're already starting to see that. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are pleading with the government to allow them to explain details of what information they provided in response to National Security Letters and other government demands. They've lost the trust of their customers, and explaining what they do -- and don't do -- is how to get it back. The government has refused; they don't care. It will be the same with you."
A Guide to the Deceptions, Misinformation, and Word Games Officials Use to Mislead the Public About NSA Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation:
"It’s been two months since President Barack Obama first said that he welcomes a debate about NSA surveillance, which he once again reiterated last week at his press conference. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to have a real debate about a subject when the administration constantly and intentionally misleads Americans about the NSA’s capabilities and supposed legal powers. Infamously, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper was forced to apologize for lying to Congress about whether the government was collecting information on millions of Americans, but that was merely the tip of the administration’s iceberg of mendacity and misdirection. At this point, it seems nothing the government says about the NSA can be taken at face value...
When government officials can’t directly answer a question with a secret definition, officials will often answer a different question than they were asked. For example, if asked, “can you read Americans’ email without a warrant,” officials will answer: “we cannot target Americans’ email without a warrant.” As we explained last week, the NSA’s warped definition of word “target” is full of so many holes that it allows the NSA to reach into untold number of Americans’ emails, some which can be purely domestic...
Another tried and true technique in the NSA obfuscation playbook is to deny it does one invasive thing or another “under this program.” When it’s later revealed the NSA actually does do the spying it said it didn’t, officials can claim it was just part of another program not referred to in the initial answer."
The bitter, ironic relationship pill of 21st century America.
"Recently, the New York Times treated us to another epic hagiography of the American career woman. The problem is familiar, and dire: women with degrees from prestigious universities and six-figure incomes feel vaguely unhappy. The article begins with the story of Sheilah, a wife who starts working fewer hours to cope with the demands of motherhood. Even though she was working much less than her husband, she balked at doing her new domestic duties, even as a nanny did much of the work anyway...
In the hopes of improving her marriage, she quit her job entirely. “A sense of personal dislocation set in,” we are told. ”Without a salary or an independent work identity, her self-confidence plummeted.” The author of the piece, Judith Warner, begins to weave her thesis: traditional sex roles beget personal and marital failure...
Sheilah starts volunteering. Her husband Mark’s words about her volunteering are damning, if not surprising: “I look back on it as the beginning of the end of our marriage…Once she started to work, she started to place more value in herself, and because she put more value in herself, she put herself in front of a lot of things — family, and ultimately, her marriage.” The Times informs us that Sheilah and Mark “agree the job drove a destructive wedge between them.”
Her aim to realize herself destroys her marriage and her family. And Sheilah isn’t exactly cutting her own path – her family supports her divorce. Her father is complicit in the destruction of her family; he commended her for her independence as a child, and that’s now bearing bitter fruit. In America, these fathers are the rule, not the exception, saying they only want ‘what’s best for my daughter.’ Parenthetically, Sheilah refused to take Mark’s last name – let that be an omen to any man contending with a woman who insists on keeping her name...
In truth, tradition was set to fail. Tradition had little chance of succeeding with a woman bred to believe her worth lay in making money and dominating others. Even in the most traditional of eras, some are pariahs, and are simply not suited for marriage or motherhood. Sheilah is a suggestive example...
Carrie chafed at her husband’s expectation of a clean house; she would blab on inanely at the dinner table, boring her husband. Foolishly, he suggested she go back to work to become interesting again. Carrie takes his advice, and soon enough, packs her schedule with attending to the children and a full-time job. She has little time to enjoy her husband, or catch her breath. “I think a big issue is that we both want to be taken care of at the end of the day, and neither of us has any energy to take care of the other,” Carrie said. “It’s the proverbial ‘meet me at the door with a martini and slippers.’ Don’t we all want that? A clean house and someone at the door? I think when I wasn’t working I had some guilt that that wasn’t me, but now I want to be that other person. . . . When you’re absolutely exhausted, it’s hard to be emotionally generous.”
The irony is sweet, and tragic. The American career woman, in all her glory, vindicates the modest demands of the traditional father: a clean home, an attentive wife and her warm dinner after a long day’s work to provide for the family. Carrie admits that given her strenuous obligations, she wants that now. Implicitly, it’s not all that much to ask. The feminist harangues about the oppressiveness of domestic life start to ring hollow."
"The country is sinking fast under mounds of debt, unemployment, and alienation. The government pushes propaganda and policies that undermine the very concept of a nation, so no wonder growing numbers of Americans are jettisoning any feeling of duty toward their homeland like so much gassy ballast. Social atomization and the sheer massive scale of a bloated 300+ million population of competing races, ethnicities, behaviors, and temperaments herded like cats under ever-tightening rules and regulations and surveillance drones doomed to fail are splintering hard-earned loyalty and severing bonhomie. Obscene inequality of wealth and the total abandonment of noblesse oblige by the ruling classes has emboldened the leeches and parasites and sociopaths and hedonists and nihilists and clear thinkers. In the land of the left-behind, the poolsider is king.
...the interviewer asks RattLife Surfer if he feels guilty for taking advantage of Obama’s removal of restrictions on qualifying for food stamps, and helping himself to $200 of “free” money every month. He says no, and I believe him. It would be strange to feel guilt for sucking a pittance of Danegeld from fat cats helping themselves to ungodly profits from arcane financial transactions abetted by a cognitive firewall between the masses and the gated 0.1%ers on the hunt for ever-cheaper labor imported from shitholes. RattLife has made a very rational decision regarding his well-being: He has looked at the world he inherited, at the immense chasm between the haves and (relative) have-nots, and has figured that slaving away in a cube farm or a grimy sweatshop on a stagnating wage to serve a smaller and smaller cadre of super wealthy and femcunt HR schoolmarms is no life at all. What is the point of busting your hump when the brass ring has moved from your fingertips to Alpha Centauri?"
Thursday, August 15, 2013
8/16 - bench, pushups
Age 52/No Excuses. Never too late, never too old, never give up.
Bodybuilding.com - Body Transformation: Rose To The Challenge!:
Age 52/No Excuses. Never too late, never too old, never give up.
Bodybuilding.com - Body Transformation: Rose To The Challenge!:
"It took Anna 30 years to ditch her 'someday' attitude and build a body fit to compete. At age 52, she unveiled the best physique of her life! See how you can too!"
"...after seeing some bootleg footage on GammaSquad, I’d like to retract that shit back into my word-butt because MOTHER OF GOD THE RACCOON. What could’ve been the death knell for this thing is now easily the greatest part because as you can see by the GIF below, that’s the closest to an actual raccoon with a machine gun you’ll ever see in your life...
To put things in perspective, DC Comics is only just now getting around to putting Superman and Batman, their biggest, most recognizable characters, in a movie together after hesitating for over a decade while Marvel’s on their 87th film and literally going, “What else we got? A raccoon with a gun in space? Turn it into money.”"
"Here in Britain, our weakling government is attempting to launch a web filter that would somehow erase “violent material” from Internet provision — placing it, by association, in the same category as child pornography. Every week seems to bring a new attempt to ban something or other because it’s uncomfortably or scary or perhaps even indefensibly disgusting. Meanwhile, Jim Carrey is refusing to promote his latest film, Kick-Ass 2, following a change of heart in which he “cannot support that level of violence.” That, right there, is the problem, as I see it.
Imagine if Mr. Carrey had instead decided to do the press tour for Kick-Ass 2. Imagine if, on every stop on the junket, he’d used this promotional soapbox to talk about real-world violence versus violent fiction. His reticence to appear in support of the film comes from the Newtown shooting event — an event, like all the others, characterized by those left behind saying, “I don’t understand.” The fact that he didn’t use the opportunity is less a failure of intelligence and imagination than it is a symptom of the way we generally demonize violent acts and violent work. We make them Other, and we just distance ourselves. They are Other, and they didn’t come from us, and we’re just going to stand over there and shake our heads sadly. And, moreover, anyone who gets closer to it in order to experience or understand it must be a freak...
I can watch footage of Sammy Yatim being shot, but my government doesn’t think I should watch violent films, and Jim Carrey needs to pretend he was never in a violent film. In every case, violent fictional content is separated, sometimes with the consent and intent of the creators and performers, from discussion. And yet it’s fine for our television news providers (which in the U.S. and the U.K. has probably never been worse) to hammer us with this crap and then insist that it must be witnessed — but that no one can or should ever hope to understand it...
Difficult topics must be engaged with, and in the way that fiction invites us to engage but numbing news-porn deliberately does not, because news wants us only to witness and have our buttons pushed, and denies greater emotional and intellectual immersion. The news doesn’t want us to think, only to react, like plants."
I can see where Atlantis goes. Obvious, with hindsight.
"...the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us."
"But now Col. Edmonds saw his chance. He teamed up with Le Queux and together they bombarded the Committee for Imperial Defence with the evidence from the Daily Mail readers. Edmonds said that the government should set up a "secret service bureau" to combat the threat. The head of the Committee - Lord Haldane - said this was ridiculous. But even he couldn't stand against the wave of spy fever that was sweeping the country. He gave in - and MI5 was set up - created in large part by the dreams of a socially excluded novelist, and the paranoid imaginings of the readers of the Daily Mail.
But the problem for MI5 was that the spy network didn't exist. The Germans did have some agents in Britain - but nothing like the 5000 that Le Queux had described. When war against Germany was declared in 1914 - MI5 immediately rounded up 21 alleged German spies and proudly announced they had broken the network. But a brilliant piece of historical research by the historian Nicholas Hiley has shown that this wasn't true. Hiley doesn't mince his words. Here are his conclusions (Kell and Holt Wilson were the director and deputy directors): "One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie. The great spy round-up of August 1914 never took place - as it was a complete fabrication designed to protect MO5(G) from the interference of politicians or bureaucrats. The claim made next day that all but one had been arrested was false, and its constant repetition by Kell and Holt-Wilson was a lie.""
Language Learning Motivation.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
8/14 - press, shrug, lateral raise, neck nod/rotation, pushups
Awesome Work - Fitness Babe of the Week – Victoria D’Ariano - ZuLu MuScle ExpreSs:
Awesome Work - Fitness Babe of the Week – Victoria D’Ariano - ZuLu MuScle ExpreSs:
"A federal judge ruled Monday that the New York Police Department violated the civil rights of New Yorkers with its broad "stop-and-frisk" policy, in a blow to the Bloomberg administration...
"The city's highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner," she wrote. "In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting "the right people" is racially discriminatory."
Police brass received warnings since at least 1999 that officers were violating rights, she said. "Despite this notice, they deliberately maintained and even escalated policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations," she wrote in a lengthy opinion. She also cited violations of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure."
NSA leak: US can spy on Americans, despite direct statements of President, Congress, top spooks - Boing Boing:
"The revelations revolve around Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, whose wording contains enough ambiguity that the Agency has been able to interpret it as giving them authority to spy on Americans and people in America."
"If I put this in a novel, people would say no way, it's too brazen, too bullshit, it could never happen. But: the "review" Obama says he wants of NSA activities? He's going to have it run by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence (to whom the NSA reports), the guy who lied to Congress about what the NSA is doing. So... the NSA will be functionally reviewing itself, with the head of the review someone with a proven history of lying to Congress about the NSA...
As I said elsewhere: "Shorter Obama: the NSA will go on fucking America's ass. But we will consider using some lubricant.""
"The SWAT Team then went to the property on Mansfield Cardinal Road one day later to execute the warrant around 7:30 a.m. They found nothing. You would think that would be the end of it. But no. The SWAT team was followed by a bunch of code enforcement officers who took care of the real demon weeds: sunflowers, blackberry bushes and okra...
The city says the farm has code enforcement violations they refused to fix. So, SWAT team!"
If Obamacare is the Law of the Land, then Why Does the Obama Administration Keep Ignoring It? - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"...their major forms of opposition—declining to expand state-based Medicaid programs, refusing to build state-run health care exchanges, saying mean things about the law—are all perfectly legal. This is true even if you think they are not serving the public, are not behaving with dignity, or are simply very bad people. The law, in combination with the Supreme Court’s Medicaid ruling last summer, gives Republican governors the ability to opt out of creating their own exchanges, and allows them to keep their current Medicaid programs without fear of penalty...
It is the Obama administration which has chosen to ignore the law of the land by selectively enforcing provisions, encouraging government agencies and ignoring clear legislative language that conflicts with the administration’s goals. The administration’s delay of the employer mandate, for example, is not supported by statute. And when questioned about his administration’s authority to enact the delay, Obama has not even tried to claim that it is; instead he has simply asserted the authority to delay the provision, and then returned to criticizing Republican opposition. When Republicans in the House voted to give Obama explicit authority to delay the provision, and to delay the individual mandate as well, he issued a veto threat...
In response to a provision in the law requiring congressional legislators and their staffers to buy insurance through the law’s exchanges, meanwhile, President Obama personally lobbied the Office of Personnel Management to rule that those employees could use their federal employer health benefit contributions toward the purchase of exchange-based coverage. But OPM has no authority to fund coverage not contracted through the federal benefits program. And then there is the matter of the law’s insurance subsidies. The text of the law states only that these subsidies are available in exchanges created by states. Yet the administration has embraced a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that allows the subsidies in the 34 exchanges run by the federal government. Does the Obama administration believe that Obamacare is the law of the land—or that the law of the land is whatever the Obama administration says it is? "
"Months after a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit seeking Central Intelligence Agency documents outlining the government’s drone targeted killing program, the President Barack Obama administration is again claiming that acknowledging if it has such paperwork could disclose classified secrets concerning whether it even carries out targeted killings. All the while, a federal appeals court ruled in March that everybody knows the government performs targeted killings. “The President of the United States has himself publicly acknowledged that the United States uses drone strikes against al-Qaeda,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had ruled."
"Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis doesn’t have faith in Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. Or the rest of the U.S. Army’s generals, for that matter. Writing in the August issues of The Armed Forces Journal (“Purge the generals“), Davis argues that it’s high time to sack the Army’s senior leaders for what he sees as an institutionalized epidemic of astonishing failures that not only go unreported, but are typically rewarded. All of it, he says, is creating a self-perpetuating culture of abysmal performance that won’t go away until the generals do. “Over that past 20 years, our senior leaders have amassed a record of failure in major organizational, acquisition and strategic efforts,” Davis writes. “These failures have been accompanied by the hallmarks of an organization unable and unwilling to fix itself: aggressive resistance to the reporting of problems, suppression of failed test results, public declaration of success where none was justified, and the absence of accountability.”
"Davis isn’t alone in his criticism, and it’s not just the money. Others see a mediocre Army whose leaders seem insistent on creating a smaller combat force that is mismatched for the future of American operations. In May 2007, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, comparing the prospect of U.S. defeat in the cases of Vietnam and Iraq, wrote that the debacles in the Iraq war “are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America’s general officer corps,” who have “failed to prepare our armed forces for war.”"
Does This New Research Explain the Near-Death Experience? | TDG - Science, Magick, Myth and History:
"LOTS of news coverage today (BBC, Discovery, Wired, Livescience, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, io9) for some recent experiments conducted on euthanized rats, which appears to show a coherent "surge of synchronous gamma oscillations" that occurred in the first 30 seconds after cardiac arrest in the animals. According to the paper's authors, this data suggests "the mammalian brain can, albeit paradoxically, generate neural correlates of heightened conscious processing at near-death". In interviews with news outlets, they put this into layman's terms, noting how their data might be linked to the near-death experience: All the data, they said, "show the fingerprints of neural consciousness at near-death is at a much higher level compared to the waking state. That explains the realer-than-real human experience"."
"CBS Sports Network and IMG have reached a multi-year agreement to showcase the World’s Strongest Man competition on CBS Sports Network, as part of the Network’s CBS Sports Spectacular series. CBS Sports Network will air ten 30-minute episodes from the 2013 competition, culminating with a one-hour finale crowning the 2013 World’s Strongest Man."