Monthly Archives: August 2017

Guard Your Mind Like the Precious Resource It Is 

I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence.  Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)Something I’ve been working on personally is becoming more in control of my emotions and, more importantly, trying not  to immediately respond when something makes me angry. In order to do this, I’ve found it necessary to be conscious of the anger itself. Specifically, I’ve noticed that when we get angry we tend to move into a state of mind that is obsessively focused on the source of this anger. We dwell on how we were wronged over and over in our minds like an uncontrollable movie, which then makes us even more angry. In an attempt to stop the movie and momentarily feel better about the situation, we tend to lash out. It feels good for a second, but it almost never gets you anywhere.

Source: Guard Your Mind Like the Precious Resource It Is | Liberty Blitzkrieg

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USE ONE WORD TO DEFEND OFFENSIVE MONUMENTS. CALL IT ‘ART.’ THAT’S WHAT LIBERALS DO. 

For decades conservatives have tried to remove government funding for the arts, not because conservatives are opposed to art, but because they did not want their money going to deviant and political art. The Left has always defended deviancy, whether by visual means or comedy, by calling it ART. That’s the magic word. But it only works if you’re a leftist. We need to make it work for us.

How many of you remember how Leftists defended the “Piss Christ” so-called art of the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano?The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art‘s “Awards in the Visual Arts” competition, which was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects.”We were told that it was “art,” and therefore could not be criticized. “Supporters argued that the controversy over Piss Christ is an issue of artistic freedom and freedom of speech….

Beginning September 27, 2012, Piss Christ was on display at the Edward Tyler Nahem Gallery in New York, at the Serrano show Body and Spirit. Religious groups and some lawmakers called for President Barack Obama to denounce the artwork, comparing it to the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims that the White House had condemned earlier that month.” Did he? No. Why? It was art by someone his political friends supported.

Then there was “The Holy Virgin Mary” painting created by Chris Ofili in 1996. It was one of the works included in the Sensation exhibition in London, Berlin, and New York in 1997–2000. “The subject of the work, and its execution, caused considerable controversy in New York, with Rudolph Giuliani – then Mayor of New York City – describing Ofili’s work as ‘sick.’ In 1998, Ofili was the first black artist to be awarded the Turner Prize. The painting was sold for £2.9 million ($4.6 million) in June 2015.”What was its composition?:On a yellow-orange background, the large painting (8 feet high and 6 feet wide) depicts a black woman wearing a blue robe, a traditional attribute of the Virgin Mary.

The work employs mixed media, including oil paint, glitter, and polyester resin, and also elephant dung, map pins and collaged pornographic images. The central Black Madonna is surrounded by many collaged images that resemble butterflies at first sight, but on closer inspection are photographs of female genitalia; an ironic reference to the putti that appear in traditional religious art. A lump of dried, varnished elephant dung forms one bared breast, and the painting is displayed leaning against the gallery wall, supported by two other lumps of elephant dung, decorated with coloured pins: the pins on the left are arranged to spell out “Virgin” and the one on the right “Mary.”

Source: USE ONE WORD TO DEFEND OFFENSIVE MONUMENTS. CALL IT ‘ART.’ THAT’S WHAT LIBERALS DO. – Godfather Politics

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Factbox: U.S. arrests of Russian cyber criminals hit record high 

U.S. action against suspected Russian cyber criminals has surged to a record high this year despite efforts by President Donald Trump to improve ties with Moscow.The United States has arrested or indicted seven Russians on U.S. cyber crime charges in 2017. On average, just two Russian cyber criminals were extradited to the United States each year between 2010 and the start of this year.Below is a breakdown of the arrests and indictments so far this year:

Source: Factbox: U.S. arrests of Russian cyber criminals hit record high – World | The Star Online

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Hackable flaw in connected cars is ‘unpatchable’, warn researchers 

The news for the motoring public was bad enough a few weeks ago: a team of researchers had demonstrated yet another hackable flaw in connected vehicles – in the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus standard – that could enable a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on safety systems including brakes, airbags and power steering.Kind of a big deal, since the CAN is essentially the brain of the car – it handles a vehicle’s internal communication system of electronic control units (ECUs) that the researchers noted, “is driven by as much as 100,000,000 lines of code”.And the news got worse this past week, with word that the flaw – which applies to virtually every modern car, not just a single brand or model – is unfixable. As Bleeping Computer put it, “this flaw is not a vulnerability in the classic meaning of the word … (It) is more of a CAN standard design choice that makes it unpatchable.” To patch it would require “changing how the CAN standard works at its lowest levels”.

Source: Hackable flaw in connected cars is ‘unpatchable’, warn researchers – Naked Security

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Convert FLAC to MP3 Audio Format on MacOS with ‘FLAC to MP3 Mac’

Raw data and quality lossless audio formats such as WAV, AIFF or FLAC will indeed take up users’ data storage space. For those who like to listen to music on mp3 music player devices and smartphones, those formats may be inappropriate or not friendly with small data storage space. So, converting these audio formats to a smaller audio file format such as mp3 is a good choice for that. If you have a Mac, you can use FLAC To MP3 Mac free app which handles the FLAC to MP3 conversion on Mac OS very well.AdvantageThis application is a simple app but has some interesting features. Besides converting FLAC audio file format, you can also convert much more audio file formats like WMA, WAV, AIFF and others to mp3 format. In fact, you’re not only able to convert the audio file format to the mp3 format, but also export to 5 different audio file formats, M4A, AAC, OGG, WMA, and WAV.Not only that, but you can also extract audio from a video by using this app and change the audio format. The app supports most of the popular video formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, MPG, WMV, and M4P, etc.Besides converting to small size audio formats, the app could also create FLAC files from lossless raw audio formats like WAV or AAC. Simply selecting the output format as FLAC then dragging and dropping raw audio files onto the application will immediately start creating FLAC music.

Source: Convert FLAC to MP3 Audio Format on MacOS with ‘FLAC to MP3 Mac’ | Megaleecher.Net

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Social Media is A Tool of the CIA: “Facebook, Google and Other Social Media Used to Spy on People”

A CBS news article published in 2011 entitled “Social Media Is a Tool of the CIA. Seriously”  reveals the “unspoken truth” which the mainstream media including CBS have failed to address. The CIA is  “using Facebook, Twitter, Google (GOOG) and other social media to spy on people.”This article published by CBS refutes the lies of the MSM (and CBS). It confirms the insidious relationship between the CIA, the Search Engines,  Social Media and major advertising conglomerates: “You don’t need to wear a tinfoil hat to believe that the CIA is using Facebook, Twitter, Google (GOOG) and other social media to spy on people. That’s because the CIA publishes a helpful list of press releases [link inactive] on all the social media ventures it sponsors, via its technology investment arm In-Q-Tel. … “The report acknowledges that “privacy” is threatened by the advertisers, yet at the same time these advertisers are “in bed with the CIA”,  acting on behalf and in liaison with US intelligence.

Source: Social Media is A Tool of the CIA: “Facebook, Google and Other Social Media Used to Spy on People” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Nazi Fears And ‘Hate Speech’ Hysteria Are Being Amplified To Attack Civil Liberties

It doesn’t take courage to denounce Nazism. Moreover, it appears many of the people incessantly proclaiming how anti-Nazi they are, happen to be the same folks who have the most to answer for when it comes to all sorts of transgressions against the world over the past couple of decades. That said, I’ll give my quick two cents on the Nazi, white supremacist hysteria currently being amplified by the corporate media.The general proclivity to obsess about how one’s group, whether it be a nation, political tribe, or race/religion is superior to all others represents such an immature and unconscious way of seeing the world, it’s really hard for me to believe so many people still see reality through such a lens. This type of thinking tends to attract very insecure people. People who cannot look at themselves individually and be proud of the person they see. As such, they scurry around looking for a group with an established superiority myth which they can then latch themselves onto in order to feel better about themselves.The good news when it comes to Nazism/white supremacy, at least here in the U.S., is that most people appear to be at least conscious enough not to fall for the most basic and primal type of tribalism — i.e., finding a race-based superiority cult attractive. In contrast, the more nuanced superiority cults, such as those based on mindless nationalism or political identity, are far more entrenched here at home, and present a much greater danger to our future.

Source: Nazi Fears And ‘Hate Speech’ Hysteria Are Being Amplified To Attack Civil Liberties

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Convicted felon Martin Shkreli finds novel way to be a jerk online

Martin Shkreli, the so-called “pharma bro” and former CEO who was recently convicted on securities fraud and wire fraud, has been recently buying up domain names of journalists that appear to have written critically about him.The list includes Rob Beschizza of Boing Boing, Meg Tirrell of CNBC, Maxwell Tani of Business Insider (who reported Tuesday about the domain buys), and our personal favorite: trashythecat.com.

In at least two cases, he has used those domain names to create websites that mock those reporters.

For instance, MayaKosoff.com, named for a reporter at Vanity Fair, simply reads: “Here we honor one of the most vibrant Social Justice advocates today.”

Source: Convicted felon Martin Shkreli finds novel way to be a jerk online | Ars Technica

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Big brands shun straight, white Britain in their adverts

Advertisers are so worried about being accused of racism or homophobia they are shying away from using images of white people and straight couples.Marketing departments are even putting diversity above relevance to their target audience to avoid accusations of bigotry, a survey of 500 companies has found.A third of advertisers questioned said they had used fewer white models and heterosexual couples over the past year. More than a third of these said they were taking this approach to “prevent perceived discrimination”.

Source: Big brands shun straight, white Britain in their adverts | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

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The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling

Parents are fed up. As mass schooling becomes more restrictive, more standardized and more far-reaching into a child’s young life, many parents are choosing alternatives. Increasingly, these parents are reclaiming their child’s education and are refocusing learning around children, family, and community in several different ways.With back-to-school time upon us, more than two million U.S. children will be avoiding the school bus altogether in favor of homeschooling, an educational choice that has accelerated in recent years among both liberal and conservative families. While homeschooling for religious freedom remains an important driver for many families, 2012 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveal that a main reason for homeschooling is “concern about the environment of other schools.”Beyond homeschooling, an additional two million children will be educated this fall in charter schools. According to recent U.S. Department of Education data, the number of students currently enrolled in charter schools increased from 0.9 million in 2004 to 2.7 million in 2014, while the number of children enrolled in traditional public schools declined by 0.4 million during that same period. Taxpayer-funded but administered by predominantly private educational organizations, charter schools allow parents flexibility in choosing a school that is better aligned with their expectations and their child’s needs. Charter schools are often exempt from district policies and collective bargaining agreements that can halt innovation and experimentation, allowing them more instructional and organizational freedom. Demand for charter schools often outweighs current supply, with statewide charter caps, admissions lotteries, and long waiting lists leaving many parents discouraged and angry.

Source: The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling | Intellectual Takeout

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NSA ramps up PR campaign to keep its mass spying powers 

The NSA has begun what is likely to be a determined PR campaign to retain mass spying laws as they head toward expiration at the end of the year.In a post on its website titled “Section 702 Saves Lives, Protects the Nation and Allies,” America’s surveillance nerve center argues it “relies” on the controversial part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to “uncover the identities or plans of terrorists.”The law has “played both a unique and decisive role in national defense,” it goes on, adding that it also “informs” the intelligence community’s “cybersecurity efforts.”The post then goes on to claim that the NSA’s interpretation of Section 702 enabled it to reveal the identities of “overseas terrorists” responsible for an unspecified attack that resulting in the death of more than 20 people last year and claims it enabled them to “refute the terrorist organization’s denial of any involvement.”

Source: NSA ramps up PR campaign to keep its mass spying powers • The Register

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12,000 Child Porn Sites Identified in Mexico – American Renaissance

Mexico has been the world’s largest distributor and the second-largest producer of child pornography for at least half a decade, and a new report on the situation suggests nothing has changed.The federal Congress called on state governments to strengthen their efforts against it after a report by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) revealed it had detected over 12,300 Mexican internet accounts that distribute photographs and videos of children being sexually abused.According to data gathered by the Federal Police’s Center of Cybercrime against Minors, Veracruz is one of the states where the crime has noticeably increased in recent years, targeting girls aged between 11 and 15.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that there are 16,700 websites worldwide dedicated to distributing child pornography, and that 73% of the victims appear to be younger than 10 “in pictures that are increasingly graphic and violent.”Congress has also asked the Veracruz government for a detailed report on the measures it has set in place to combat child pornography.

Source: 12,000 Child Porn Sites Identified in Mexico – American Renaissance

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‘Demon Goat’ With Human-Like Face Terrifies Indian Village [Video]

A strange mutant goat has terrified an Indian village and taken the internet by storm with its odd, human-like face.Images of the goat first made their way online earlier this month when they were posted to Facebook by Samiraa Aissa, a curator of viral internet content relating to animals. The video and images of the goat that Aissa shared have since racked up more than 60 million views.Aissa’s photos and videos show that the goat has numerous features on its face that make it look oddly human. The animal’s nose is bent inwards and its lips face upwards. This strange rearrangement of the snout makes it appear as though the goat’s face is somewhat human-like.

Source: ‘Demon Goat’ With Human-Like Face Terrifies Indian Village [Video]

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The Media’s Revisionist History of Nazis

How gullible is the mainstream media? Very. Surely it could not be deliberate. (!)That so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was about neither uniting nor “the Right.” Whatever its sponsors may pretend to, there is nothing — zero — that is “Right,” “conservative,” much less “Republican” about Nazis, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.

Edmund Burke enthusiasts these are not.Yet the historical revisionism that places Nazis on the Right is so rampant that it is used as an assumed truth simply because the mainstream media constantly repeats it, whether out of sheer laziness or — could it be? — incredible ideological bias. So let’s start here to put a halt to this game by going back, back, back to the origins of Nazis.Let’s turn to economist Ludwig von Mises and his classic text from the Austrian School of Economics: Socialism.

The first edition of the book refuting “virtually every form of socialism ever devised” appeared in 1922, and as another famed economist, F.A. Hayek, would write in his foreword to the book: “When Socialism first appeared in 1922, its impact was profound. It gradually but fundamentally altered the outlook of many of the young idealists returning to their university studies after World War I. I know, for I was one of them.”Twenty-five years later von Mises updated the book with an epilogue, which took on Nazis, Fascists and Communists in the aftermath of World War II. Here, in part, are his words:

Source: The Media’s Revisionist History of Nazis | The American Spectator

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Money Isn’t a Gift from the State – Foundation for Economic Education

I’ve begun working on a new book on the gold standard. In the first chapter I plan to discuss the origin of money, as a preliminary to discussing how silver and gold became the world’s dominant commodity monies.

The topic of the origin of money has become controversial in recent years. The dominant view among economists (for good reason), suggested by Adam Smith in the eighteenth century and fleshed out by Carl Menger in the nineteenth, is that money is a market-born institution.

Convergence on one or two commodities as the common media of payment emerged from the actions of barterers seeking more effective trading strategies, without anyone aiming at the final result. But this view has lately been challenged by a resurgence of the “state theory of money,” also known as Cartalism, which argues that governments played an essential role in the establishment of money.

Source: Money Isn’t a Gift from the State – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

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Court Calls Out Government For The ‘General Warrant’ It Served To Facebook

In a disturbing case involving the sex trafficking of minors, the 11th Circuit Appeals Court has reached a few interesting conclusions involving digital searches and the Fourth Amendment. Included in the court’s findings are rulings on the use of the All Writs Act to force Apple to unlock a device, an email warrant served to Microsoft, and warrants used to obtain a vast amount of information from Facebook. [h/t Orin Kerr]The All Writs Act received a ton of free publicity thanks to Apple’s fight with the DOJ over the (forced) unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Ultimately, the DOJ hired outside help to crack open the phone, abandoning its search for helpful precedent. (And, ultimately, the phone — the shooter’s work-issued phone — contained nothing of interest.)

Here, the Appeals Court finds [PDF] there’s nothing wrong with using the 1789 All Writs Act to paper over holes in the 200+ years of legislation.The authority granted by the All Writs Act is broad but not boundless. The Act “is a residual source of authority” that permits issuing writs only if they “are not otherwise covered by statute.” Penn. Bureau of Corr. v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 474 U.S. 34, 43, 106 S. Ct. 355, 361 (1985). It is a gap filler. “Where a statute specifically addresses the particular issue at hand, it is that authority, and not the All Writs Act, that is controlling.” Id. And where Congress has proscribed a certain type of judicial action, the Act cannot overcome that proscription. See id. The bypass order meets this requirement because no statute expressly permits or prohibits it.

Source: Court Calls Out Government For The ‘General Warrant’ It Served To Facebook | Techdirt

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Leftists and Media Cheer as Mega-Corporations Strip Away Free Speech Rights

Some 25 years ago when I made the move from the political left to the political right, I took with me three liberal ideals: I remained an extremist on the issues of free speech and the rights of the accused, and have held on to my loathing for Big Business. A quick glance at today’s headlines proves that those ideals no longer belong to the left.From President Trump to George Zimmerman to Antifa, the Democrat Party and its media have surrendered all claims of the moral high ground on the issue of due process and have even embraced (as long as it is against the correct people, meaning everyone from neo-Nazis to Trump supporters) violent vigilantism. Then — like something out of Robocop or Demolition Man — there is the issue of how those who call themselves progressive and liberals cheer on corporations that have seized control of how Americans communicate and how those corporations have used that control to censor us.Case in point, a headline I never thought I would read at the left-wing Guardian:The far right is losing its ability to speak freely online. Should the left defend it?

Source: Nolte: Leftists and Media Cheer as Mega-Corporations Strip Away Free Speech Rights – Breitbart

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Finally! Christian Ministry Sues SPLC “Hate Group” Charge

Coral Ridge Ministries is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the SPLC illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry’s reputation and subjects the ministry todisgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public If you disagree with any view the Left espouses you are a hater and belong to a hate group.”In its lawsuit, D. James Kennedy Ministries also alleges religious discrimination by Amazon’s charity partner program AmazonSmile, which makes a small donation to shoppers’ designated nonprofits. Since AmazonSmile uses the SPLC as one way to determine organizations’ eligibility, and the SPLC based its “anti-LGBT” designation on the ministry’s Christian convictions, the suit claims that D. James Kennedy Ministries was wrongly excluded from the program and possible donations due to its religious beliefs.Part of [D. James Kennedy Ministries] defense against calling opposition to same-sex marriage hateful comes from the US Supreme Court decision that made it legal. “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises,” the court wrote, “and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” (Christianity Today)You can read the full press release at the end of this article.The SPLC and its Leftist cohorts have a history of labeling any person or group that does not agree with them as “haters.”If you disagreed with a policy advocated by former Pres. Obama, you were a racist and were most likely a member of the KKK or some other white supremacist group.If you oppose same-sexuality and believe that transgenderism is immoral and unscientific, you guessed it, you are a hater and self-identify with others that make up a hate group.The SPLC has found a way to rake in the cash and advance its Leftist agenda with its charge of “hate.” When it ran out of skin heads and Neo-Nazi groups that are few and far between, it needed to find a new way to raise funds. It did this by appropriating and redefining the word “hate.” Since “hate speech” and “hate crimes” were in vogue, why not create a “hate group” designation?

Source: Finally! Christian Ministry Sues Southern Poverty Law Center over “Hate Group” Charge • Gary DeMar

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No More Gone With the Wind In Memphis

The dismantling of American history continues. The Orpheum theater in Memphis announces that it will no longer show the Hollywood classic Gone With the Wind:For the first time 34-years, the Orpheum Theatre will not show “Gone With The Wind” during its Summer movie series in 2018.“Gone With The Wind” was shown on August 11th, and after the theater received several comments about the showing, management made the decision to not show it again.“Several comments”? There are quite a few movies that I would vote never to show again. What do you think my chances are if I complain to theater management? This is the theater’s statement:

Source: No More Gone With the Wind In Memphis | Power Line

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Suspected Colombian drug lord claims feds destroyed evidence

A highly prized Colombian defendant has accused U.S. law enforcement agencies of destroying Blackberry messages and withholding emails that he claims would show he was working for them as a confidential informant in the federal government’s battles against South America’s underworld.Henry De Jesus Lopez Londoño, who was extradited to Miami on a cocaine-trafficking conspiracy charge last year, says the missing text messages and emails would reveal that federal agents authorized him to infiltrate dangerous criminal organizations with specific assignments — and that he wasn’t committing crimes on his own.

His lawyers claim he was an “undercover asset” for three federal investigative agencies from the fall of 2008 until the end of 2011, before his arrest the following year in Argentina. Prosecutors counter that the agents’ text messages to and from the informant were lost because their Blackberry phones were replaced and cannot be found. They also say there were no emails exchanged between the agents and informant.Among the smorgasbord of illicit groups that the defendant says he was asked to penetrate: a drug cartel headed by one-time Mexican fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, members of the al-Qaida terrorist network in Colombia and the Russian mob’s ties to the Venezuelan military.

Source: Suspected Colombian drug lord claims feds destroyed evidence | Miami Herald

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Chrome will soon let you permanently mute websites

A lot of awful things can happen on the internet, but few are as terrible as landing on a website that automatically plays videos with sound. Thankfully, this is something Google is addressing in a future update to Chrome. You will be able to block sound on a per domain basis using the page info bubble.According to Google’s François Beaufort, the Chrome team is still experimenting with this feature. In the early version, the sound toggle is in the page info popup, which you can access by clicking on the far left of the address bar.

Source: Chrome will soon let you permanently mute websites

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Bill Gates and Richard Branson Back Startup That Grows ‘Clean Meat’ 

Gates and other business giants to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that’s less reliant on feed, land and water.Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup’s website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously backed several social-minded retail startups.”I’m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats,” Branson said in an email in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

Source: Bill Gates and Richard Branson Back Startup That Grows ‘Clean Meat’ – Bloomberg

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Scientists remotely hacked a brain, controlling body movements – BGR

Imagine someone remotely controlling your brain, forcing your body’s central processing organ to send messages to your muscles that you didn’t authorize. It’s an incredibly scary thought, but scientists have managed to accomplish this science fiction nightmare for real, albeit on a much small scale, and they were even able to prompt their test subject to run, freeze in place, or even completely lose control over their limbs. Thankfully, the research will be used for good rather than evil… for now.

The effort, led by physics professor Arnd Pralle, PhD, of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, focused on a technique called “magneto-thermal stimulation.” It’s not exactly a simple process — it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field. When those magnetic inputs are applied, the particles heat up, causing the neurons to fire.

Source: Scientists remotely hacked a brain, controlling body movements – BGR

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Identity theft at ‘epidemic’ levels, warn experts 

Identity theft is running at “epidemic” levels in the UK, fraud prevention service Cifas has glumly announced.Ever the bearer of bad news, the organisation has been saying the same thing for years. Since 2008 (when ID fraud fell after the credit crunch), reporting of the problem by Cifas’s 360 members across banking and financial services rose steadily from 77,000 cases in 2009 to 173,000 in 2016.In the first six month of 2017, the figure reached 89,000, which implies a rise of around 9% for this year as a whole, or 500 individual identities stolen every single day in a crime that now makes up half of all fraud. Should ID theft breach 200,000 in 2018, nobody will be surprised.If a bad thing keeps getting worse, it’s probably worth asking why. A clue comes in the breakdown of the individual fraud types that make up ID theft as a whole.

Source: Identity theft at ‘epidemic’ levels, warn experts – Naked Security

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6-year-old holds lemonade stand to end student lunch debt in CDA

A second-grader at Hayden Meadows Elementary School has a goal to raise money to help end outstanding school lunch debts of families in the Coeur d’Alene School District. How?  Her “Lemonade 4 Lunch” lemonade stand.This is not her first lemonade stand.  Amiah, 6, raised more than 40 dollars at her first lemonade stand.  Amiah’s mom said her daughter had so much fun, she wanted to keep doing it.  CDA Schools posted on Facebook and said Amiah’s fundraising efforts for her first lemonade stand was enough to pay off the debt for all reduced-price lunch students at her elementary school, Ramsey Elementary and Dalton Elementary.“I’m raising money to help pay off the student lunch bill for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools,” Amiah said.

Source: 6-year-old holds lemonade stand to end student lunch debt in CDA | KREM.com

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Big data finds the Medieval Warm Period – no denial here 

According to author Leo Tolstoy, born at the very end of the Little Ice Age, in quite a cold country: The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.So, our new technical paper in GeoResJ (vol. 14, pages 36-46) will likely be ignored.  Because after applying the latest big data technique to six 2,000 year-long proxy-temperature series we cannot confirm that recent warming is anything but natural – what might have occurred anyway, even if there was no industrial revolution.Over the last few years, I’ve worked with Dr John Abbot using artificial neural networks (ANN) to forecast monthly rainfall.  We now have a bunch of papers in international climate science journals showing these forecasts to be more skilful than output from general circulation models.During the past year, we’ve extended this work to estimating what global temperatures would have been during the twentieth century in the absence of human-emission of carbon dioxide.We began by deconstructing the six-proxy series from different geographic regions – series already published in the mainstream climate science literature.  One of these, the Northern Hemisphere composite series begins in 50 AD, ends in the year 2000, and is derived from studies of pollen, lake sediments, stalagmites and boreholes.Typical of most such temperature series, it zigzags up and down while showing two rising trends: the first peaks about 1200 AD and corresponds with a period known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), while the second peaks in 1980 and then shows decline. In between, is the Little Ice Age (LIA), which according to the Northern Hemisphere composite bottomed-out in 1650 AD.  (Of course, the MWP corresponded with a period of generally good harvests in England – when men dressed in tunics and built grand cathedrals with tall spires.  It preceded the LIA when there was famine and the Great Plague of London.)Ignoring for the moment the MWP and LIA, you might want to simply dismiss this temperature series on the basis it peaks in 1980: it doesn’t continue to rise to the very end of the record: to the year 2000?In fact, this decline is typical of most such proxy reconstructions – derived from pollen, stalagmites, boreholes, coral cores and especially tree rings.  Within mainstream climate science the decline after 1980 is referred to as “the divergence problem”, and then hidden.In denial of this problem, leading climate scientists have been known to even graft temperature measurements from thermometers onto the proxy record after 1980 to literally ‘hide the decline’.  Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, aptly described the technique as a ‘trick’.Grafting thermometer data onto the end of the proxy record generally ‘fixes’ the problem after 1980, while remodelling effectively flattens the Medieval Warm Period.There are, however, multiple lines of evidence indicating it was about a degree warmer across Europe during the MWP – corresponding with the 1200 AD rise in our Northern Hemisphere composite.  In fact, there are oodles of published technical papers based on proxy records that provide a relatively warm temperature profile for this period. This was before the Little Ice Age when it was too cold to inhabit Greenland.The modern inhabitation of Upernavik, in north west Greenland, only began in 1826, which corresponds with the beginning of the industrial age. So, the end of the Little Ice Age corresponds with the beginning of industrialisation.  But did industrialisation cause the global warming?  Tolstoy’s ‘intelligent man’ would immediately reply: But yes!In our new paper in GeoResJ, we make the assumption that an artificial neural network – remember our big data/machine learning technique – trained on proxy temperatures up until 1830, would be able to forecast the combined effect of natural climate cycles through the twentieth century.Using the proxy record from the Northern Hemisphere composite, decomposing this through signal analysis and then using the resulting component sine waves as input into an ANN, John Abbot and I generated forecasts for the period from 1830 to 2000.Our results show up to 1°C of warming. The average divergence between the proxy temperature record and our ANN projection is just 0.09 degree Celsius. This suggests that even if there had been no industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels, there would have still been warming through the twentieth century – to at least 1980, and of almost 1°C.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, relying on General Circulation Models, and giving us the Paris Accord, also estimates warming of approximately 1°C, but claims this is all our fault (human caused).For more information, including charts and a link to the

Source: Big data finds the Medieval Warm Period – no denial here | The Spectator Australia

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Hackers are using the promise of Game of Thrones spoilers to spread malware

A report from cybersecurity company Proofpoint says that it’s observed a “targeted email campaign” that is using details of leaked Game of Thrones episodes to try and spread malware to unsuspecting users.The company first came across an e-mail on August 10th with the subject line “Wanna see the Game of Thrones in advance?” The emails contained some general details of upcoming episodes, as well as a Microsoft Word attachment with malware hidden in it. Once downloaded, it would attempt to install a “9002” remote access Trojan (RAT). Proofpoint says that similar attacks in the past have been attributed to groups associated with the Chinese government, and that it’s possible that this attack could be coming from the same actors.

Source: Hackers are using the promise of Game of Thrones spoilers to spread malware – The Verge

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With new measure, ‘magic mushrooms’ could be decriminalized in California

A ballot measure could decriminalize psilocybin – known colloquially as “magic mushrooms” – in California as early as 2018.Filed at the state Attorney General office on Friday, the initiative would exempt adults aged 21 and over from criminal penalties for using, possessing, selling, transporting and cultivating psilocybin. Before California voters can vote on the measure, at least 365,880 signatures will be required to put it on the 2018 ballot.

Source: With new measure, ‘magic mushrooms’ could be decriminalized in California as early as 2018 – SFGate

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California Catholic School Removes ‘Alienating’ Jesus and Mary Statues | Truth Revolt

Parents of students at an independent K-12 Catholic school in San Anselmo, California, are accusing officials of trying to erase history for removing a large number of religious statues in order to be “inclusive” of other faiths.Amy Skewes-Cox, who heads San Domenico School’s board of trustees, said only about 18 of the school’s 180 religious icons remained as part of a plan approved unanimously by the board last year, according to the Washington Times.“If you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling,” she said.Sister Maureen McInerney, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, said the plan is to make the school more inviting to students of all faiths. “San Domenico is a Catholic school; it also welcomes people of all faith. It is making an effort to be inclusive of all faiths.”

Source: California Catholic School Removes ‘Alienating’ Jesus and Mary Statues | Truth Revolt

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Pelosi’s Sins Of The Father: He Once Dedicated A Statue To Robert E. Lee

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “sins of the father” have come back with a vengeance.

After calling the Confederate statues in the halls of Congress “reprehensible,” and demanding House Speaker Paul Ryan order their removal, revelations that her father once actually dedicated a statue to former Confederate general Robert E. Lee have come to light.

According to Red Alert, Pelosi’s family history shows that her father, Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., publicly endorsed bigotry — by her own definition — when he dedicated a statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee while mayor of Baltimore.

In a speech dedicating the statue, Pelosi’s father hailed Lee and Confederate general Stonewall Jackson as a symbol of unity and a source of our “inspiration.”

“Today, with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions,” D’Alesandro, Jr. said.

Source: Pelosi’s Sins Of The Father: He Once Dedicated A Statue To Robert E. Lee | Daily Wire

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Whole Foods Will Drop Prices On Monday, Amazon Says In Detailing New Grocery Strategy

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods’ 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer’s “Whole Paycheck” nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.New prices will take effect on Monday — the same day Amazon says it will finalize its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. The online marketplace, famous for disrupting the book industry and other retail segments, also laid out its plans for combining its business with an established brick-and-mortar chain.Amazon customers would be able to receive packages — and return items bought online — at Whole Foods locations that include its Lockers service, the retailer said, outlining what customers can expect to see.

Source: Whole Foods Will Drop Prices On Monday, Amazon Says In Detailing New Grocery Strategy : The Two-Way : NPR

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“The Worst Elements of Society”: America’s Bolshevik Wannabes 

They’ve attacked and beat up elderly people attempting to attend Trump-for-President rallies; attacked people with solid iron bicycle locks, bike racks, clubs, rocks, mace, baseball bats, and bottles filled with urine and feces.  They threw cement blocks through storefront windows in D.C. on inauguration day, claiming it to be a protest against capitalism.  They’ve set police cars, civilian cars, and buildings on fire to interrupt campus speeches by conservatives.  They hospitalized a female university professor for the “crime” of inviting conservative political scientist Charles Murray to speak at Middlebury College. They organize a riot whenever a conservative or libertarian is invited (by students, never by faculty) to speak at a university.  They gather by the hundreds to scream F-bombs at those with whom they suspect they disagree on issues related to politics and government.

They’ve firebombed Republican Party offices; shut down college campuses; thrown eggs at and spit on Trump supporters; fired gunshots at and punctured tires of cars with Trump bumper stickers.  One of them shot a congressman at a baseball practice in D.C.  Another shot several people at the Family Research Council headquarters in D.C. after being informed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the preeminent purveyor of politically-inspired hate, that the pro-family organization, like so many other conservative and libertarian organizations, was supposedly a “hate group.”  They often cover their faces with masks, wear helmets, and show up at public events armed with clubs, baseball bats, and guns.

Source: “The Worst Elements of Society”: America’s Bolshevik Wannabes | Flyover-Press.com

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Antifa communism

While the progressive left claims at all times to want to live in a democracy, the tactics they employ to bend society to their will are decidedly undemocratic.Usually unable to push their views through legislatively – i.e., using the democratic process – progressives resort to the courts to overturn laws passed through legislation or approved by popular vote.

When the courts move too slowly for them or refuse to bend to the progressive will, the progressive left resorts to violence and force.Note that the latest progressive campaign to remove Confederate monuments is not being handled legislatively. Few, if any, votes have been held in state or local governments to determine the fate of the monuments.

Instead, the progressive left – led of late by the group calling itself Antifa (antifascist) — has employed violent demonstrations that  have granted cover for cowardly administrators, mayors and governors to remove the monuments ultra vires (without authority). When intimidation didn’t work, the Antifa groups have simply banded together to destroy the monuments themselves.A recent NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll found that 62 percent of Americans believe Civil War monuments should be left alone as historical symbols. Just 27 percent believe they should be removed. Even blacks, by a margin of 44-40 percent, believe the statues should stay.

Source: Antifa communism – Personal Liberty®

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The CryptoKids (still) aren’t alright

Last year, I wrote about my first FOIA experience – requesting development documents regarding the NSA’s infamous youth outreach program, the CryptoKids, and how the monolith of silence and delays shaped me into the disillusioned grump I am today. Well, just last week, almost exactly three years and a month after my initial request, records came in.One could say I was fairly enthusiastic about it.

Important lesson: never enthuse.

Once I had calmed down enough to deep dive into the docs, my concerns grew. What I thought at first were the actual development records were actually an earlier, more comprehensive version of the promotional material they had previously given me.

And while it was great that this earlier sketch revealed that Slate the Rabbit’ssweatshirt just says “Math” …

Source: The CryptoKids (still) aren’t alright

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Amazon: 1.8 Million Chicago Voters Personal Data Exposed Online 

A variety of personal information — including names, addresses, and dates of birth — for 1.8 million registered voters in Chicago was publicly exposed online on an Amazon cloud-computing server for an unknown period of time, the city’s Board of Election Commissions said.A file of the voter database was discovered August 11 by a researcher at a computer security company, which informed election officials of the exposure the following day, according to USA Today. The file was taken down three hours after officials were informed, and the incident was made public Thursday.The data was a back-up file stored on Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) servers and included partial Social Security numbers, and for some, driver’s license and state identification numbers, database manager and equipment contractor Election Systems & Software said in a statement, USA Today reports.

Source: Amazon: 1.8 Million Chicago Voters Personal Data Exposed Online | Fortune.com

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99% Darkness: See How Half the World’s Population Lives on 1% of its Land

Reading stories about overpopulation, it is easy to imagine we live on a planet that is packed with people from coast to coast on every continent. As these data visualizations illustrate, the reality is quite different. Most humans are concentrated in a relatively small set of densely-packed places. Below: half of the Earth’s population lives in the vast black areas while the other half occupies the yellow.Developed by Max Galka using data from NASA / SEDAC, this map breaks down populations using small square cells, forming a gridded geography independent of political boundaries.Like tiny pixels on a huge black-and-yellow screen, the 28 million cells are binary: each yellow cell represents an 3-by-3 mile area of land with a population of 8,000 people or more (or: 900 per square mile). Any other 9-square-mile cell with lower density is shown as black.

Source: 99% Darkness: See How Half the World’s Population Lives on 1% of its Land – 99% Invisible

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Golden retriever discovers $85,000 worth of black tar heroin in backyard

A golden retriever’s owners thought their dog found a time capsule in their backyard when he started digging one day. Instead, he discovered approximately $85,000 worth of black tar heroin, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said.“Kenyon” the dog was 18 months old when he started unburying something in his family’s yard in early August.When his owners found a package underground, they told authorities they thought it was a time capsule and they filmed themselves opening it.Soon after opening the packaged, they realized it was not a time capsule, but instead some type of drug.The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Officer responded and identified the substance as over 15 ounces of black tar heroin. Sheriff Tim Svenson praised Kenyon for his backyard discovery.

Source: Golden retriever discovers $85,000 worth of black tar heroin in backyard | KATU

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How To Search Google from the Command Line

Ever had a hankering to search Google from the command line? If so, you’re going to love this nifty terminal tool.It’s called Googler and, as you can probably guess, it’s a small command-line utility which lets you search Google from the terminal.You’re not limited to regular Google web search either as the python-based tool lets you use Google site search and probe Google News for content that matches your chosen query(s).As a search tool the way search results are presented is important — and thankfully it really delivers.When you search from the command-line using Googler you’re presented with a list of search results that show the title, URL and a short text snippet. You can quickly open any result in a web browser by entering the number that corresponds to the result you want to read.A stack of other search options and parameters are available for more advanced users. These let you search for an exact phrase, search a specific version or Google, and/or narrow down search results based on a specific time period.Now, I’m not for one moment suggesting that Googler (or command line search in general) is the most practical way to find stuff on the web. It’s not. But it is novel, inventive, and, for those who spend a lot of time staring down a blinking underscore at the command line, potentially handy in a pinch.

Source: How To Search Google from the Command Line – OMG! Ubuntu!

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Where Statues Go to Retire

THE ONGOING CONTROVERSY OVER CONFEDERATE statues, which has seen these monuments removed from public spaces in more than a dozen locations in the past couple years, is the renewal of a historical tradition that has been going on for as long as humans have erected such monuments: the symbolic removal and recontextualization of artifacts from the past that are no longer relevant or welcome.Putting aside antiquity, in the recent past, this has included the removal of statues of a seemingly endless march of former leaders, all over the world: Alberto Stroessner, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Chiang Kei-shek, Saparmurat Niyazov, Hafez al-Assad, Hosni Mubarak, Enver Hoxha, Saddam Hussein, and more. Some of these statues are destroyed—symbolically, even ritually—but others are relocated, as is the case with most Confederate statues today.Sometimes statues are collected in one place, where the immortalized fallen crowd together in awkward silence, historical repositories of different eras. Take the “Garden of the Generalissimos” in Cihu, Taiwan, where scores of Chiang Kai-shek statues sit together, regarding one another. The statues are some of the thousands on the island—a controversial legacy of the late leader of the Republic of China (not to be confused with the modern mainland People’s Republic of China).

Source: Where Statues Go to Retire – Atlas Obscura

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Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p 

Verizon Wireless will start throttling video streams to resolutions as low as 480p on smartphones this week. Most data plans will get 720p video on smartphones, but customers won’t have any option to completely un-throttle video.1080p will be the highest resolution provided on tablets, effectively ruling out 4K video on Verizon’s mobile network. Anything identified as a video will not be given more than 10Mbps worth of bandwidth. This limit will affect mobile hotspot usage as well.Verizon started selling unlimited smartphone data plans in February of this year, and the carrier said at the time that it would deliver video to customers at the same resolution used by streaming video companies. “We deliver whatever the content provider gives us. We don’t manipulate the data,” Verizon told Ars in February.That changes beginning on Wednesday, both for existing customers and new ones. The changes were detailed today in an announcement of new unlimited data plans.

Source: Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p | Ars Technica

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