Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin


It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.

But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes . . . and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

4x4 Off-Road Racing (Commodore 64)

Advertisement for 4x4 Off-Road Racing by Epyx for the Commodore 64 from the May 1988 issue of Run Magazine.




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Judge Napolitano: ‘It Appears Obama Has Given Up His Constitutional Role as President’

Judge Napolitano: ‘It Appears Obama Has Given Up His Constitutional Role as President’

Once again, President Obama is looking to use his executive powers to modify ObamaCare, going around Congress. This time, it’s a proposed rule that would expand insurance through the Affordable Care Act to temporary and seasonal government workers.

The law, as it was passed, prohibits extending coverage to temporary employees. The move comes as House Speaker John Boehner pursues a lawsuit against the president for using executive orders instead of seeking changes to laws through Congress.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said this that this is “yet another violation of the Constitution” because once again the president is moving to spend money that was not authorized by Congress.

...

“It appears as though he has given up his constitutional role as president and has now taken on the role of ideologue in chief to change whatever laws he can by whatever means he can in the two years he has remaining. The Constitution be damned.

New ‘chokehold’ video shows NYPD scuffle with pregnant woman | New York Post

New ‘chokehold’ video shows NYPD scuffle with pregnant woman




BitPay Launches Facebook App for Easy Bitcoin Sharing

BitPay Launches Facebook App for Easy Bitcoin Sharing




Scientists reveal the secrets of mysterious ship found under 9/11 ruins

Scientists reveal the secrets of mysterious ship found under 9/11 ruins




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin


In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, August 1990

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, August 1990




Monday, July 28, 2014

Libertarian Wyllie tells DeLand crowd it’s a ‘three-way race’ for governor

Libertarian Wyllie tells DeLand crowd it’s a ‘three-way race’ for governor


“I’m not used to going places where people know who I am when I walk up, so thank you for that,” Wyllie, Florida’s rising third-party candidate for governor, said when he took the stage at a “Patriots United” rally held by the conservative, grassroots Liberty Belles of Florida.

A few days after Quinnipiac University’s latest polling put Wyllie at about 9 percent in the governor’s race, the relatively unknown Dunedin Libertarian was projecting confidence.

“I know there’s some Republicans in the crowd here today, and there’s probably a few people who were thinking about voting for Rick Scott,” Wyllie said. “They’re probably thinking: Hey, (Wyllie) sounds pretty good, but does he have a chance to win? Folks, I do have a chance to win… This race is a three-way race.”

The stump speech that followed was equally scathing toward Gov. Scott (who polled at 37 percent in that Quinnipiac poll) and his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist (who led with 39). Without Wyllie in the race, the poll showed Crist leading 45 to 40.

John Stossel: Why are we giving the police so much power?

John Stossel: Why are we giving the police so much power?

To a hammer, everything resembles a nail. SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams were once used only in emergencies such as riots or robberies where hostages were taken. But today there are more than 50,000 “no-knock raids” a year.

It’s not because crime got worse. There is less crime today. Crime peaked around 1990 and is now at a 40-year low. But as politicians keep passing new criminal laws, police find new reasons to deploy their heavy equipment.

Washington Post reporter Radley Balko points out that they’ve used SWAT teams to raid such threatening haunts as truck stops with video poker machines, unlicensed barber shops and a frat house where underage drinking was reported.

In New York City, these men in black raided standup comedian Joe Lipari’s apartment.

“I had bad customer service at the Apple Store,” Lipari told me in an interview for my upcoming TV special “Policing America.” “So I bitched about it on Facebook. I thought I was funny. I quoted ‘Fight Club,’” the 1999 movie about bored yuppies who attack parts of consumer culture they hate.

“People (on Facebook) were immediately responding that it was obviously from ‘Fight Club,’” says Lipari. “It was a good time, until 90 minutes later, a SWAT team knocked on my door. Everyone’s got their guns drawn.”

It took only that long for authorities to deem Lipari a threat and authorize a raid by a dozen armed men. Yet, says Lipari, “if they took 90 seconds to Google me, they would have seen I’m teaching a yoga class in an hour, that I had a comedy show.”

Lipari has no police record. If he is a threat, so are you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall


Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer manufacturer to market its machines to the public, selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. Those halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers with the company between 1976 and 1994 share their memories of the groundbreaking moments, soaring business highs, and stunning employee turnover that came with being on top in the early days of the microcomputer industry. This updated second edition includes additional interviews and first-hand material from major Commodore figures like marketing guru Kit Spencer, chip designer Bill Mensch, and Commodore co-founder Manfred Kapp.

MegaCon 2014 - Star Wars

MegaCon 2014 - Star Wars



Join Peter Mayhew and Tom Kane as they discuss their experiences being part of the iconic Star Wars series.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6opZAw-02Tk




Family Computing, May 1984

Family Computing, Issue Number 9, May 1984




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Michigan Dept of Agri Forces Farmer to Dump 248 Gallons of Organic Milk and Break 1200 Free Range Eggs

Michigan Dept of Agri Forces Farmer to Dump 248 Gallons of Organic Milk and Break 1200 Free Range Eggs 


While Americans in the nearby city of Detroit face life in third world conditions, unable to even afford running water, the state of Michigan decided to direct its resources towards cracking down on a small food co-op in Standish for having the utter audacity to provide milk, butter, cream and eggs to people who bought shares in the organic dairy.


The Michigan Department of Agriculture must be so proud of their deeds, after they forced Joe and Brenda Golimbieski, the owners of Hill High Dairy and Jenny Samuelson, the owner of My Family Co-op, to dump out 248 gallons of milk, to break 100 dozen eggs, and to destroy an undisclosed amount of fresh cream, butter and cheese.

'Weird Al' Yankovic Gets First No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 with 'Mandatory Fun'

'Weird Al' Yankovic Gets First No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 with 'Mandatory Fun'




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin


Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

MegaCon 2014 - Q & A With The Comic Book Men

MegaCon 2014 - Q & A With The Comic Book Men



Bryan Johnson, Ming Chen, and Mike Zapcic of AMC's hit show COMIC BOOK MEN discuss being on a TV show that airs after The Walking Dead and what it's like to work at Kevin Smith's comic book store Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnT8kQTJ5Bc




Flipull by Taito for the Nintendo Game Boy

Advertisement for Flipull by Taito for the Nintendo Game Boy from the August 1990 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Look Upon JURASSIC WORLD’s Comic Con Exclusive Poster!!

Look Upon JURASSIC WORLD’s Comic Con Exclusive Poster!!



NBC: World on edge before the Eagle landed

NBC: World on edge before the Eagle landed




Justin Amash's support for free enterprise earns enmity of Big Business

Justin Amash's support for free enterprise earns enmity of Big Business

Ellis explained that Amash is too beholden to principles and the Constitution: “He’s got his explanations for why he’s voted,” Ellis said, “but I don’t really care. I’m a businessman, I look at the bottom line.”

What has Amash done in his three and a half years in the House to earn the Chamber’s wrath? Look over his Chamber of Commerce scorecard and you see a handful of votes where he gets a demerit from the business lobby.

Amash in 2012 voted against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that subsidizes U.S. exports with taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign companies and governments. He opposes Ex-Im’s renewal this year, too.

Amash opposed as too profligate a few budget agreements the Chamber supported. He twice opposed patent legislation the Chamber backed. Amash twice crossed the Chamber by opposing cybersecurity legislation that gave immunity to tech companies cooperating with U.S. intelligence data collection. When highway bills spent more than the Highway Trust Fund could afford, Amash also voted no, to the Chamber’s disapproval.

Some of these issues are complex disputes (such as patent law), but on others Amash’s problem was simply taking the whole free-enterprise, limited-government thing a little too seriously.

The tension between “free enterprise” and “pro-business” is nothing new — the Chamber supported the bailouts and President Obama’s stimulus and regularly backs corporate subsidies. But somehow, Democrats have until now convinced most of the mainstream media that arguments for free enterprise are simply defenses of corporate America.

Let’s hope nobody believes that line anymore.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Memphis Creates Task Force to Arrest, Fine Uber and Lyft Drivers

Memphis Creates Task Force to Arrest, Fine Uber and Lyft Drivers




Michigan Loses ‘Right To Farm’ This Week: A Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers

Michigan Loses ‘Right To Farm’ This Week: A Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers




Banks Repaid Fed Bailout With Other Fed Money: Government Report

Banks Repaid Fed Bailout With Other Fed Money: Government Report

All told, including dividend, interest and other payments, U.S. banks have repaid the government $211.5 billion under the Capital Purchase Program (CPP), the first phase of the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), according to a report Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog. That’s more than the $204.9 billion the banks initially got under TARP.

$211.5 billion minus $204.9 billion equals profit, right?

But 48 percent of the banks that have repaid the CPP used money they’d gotten from other federal programs, according to the GAO report. Those programs include the Community Development Capital Initiative — another TARP program — and the Small Business Lending Fund, a program designed to encourage lending to small businesses. Both of those programs have more favorable borrowing terms for the banks than the original CPP.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

John Adams by David McCullough


The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

This is history on a grand scale—a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens


Martin Chuzzlewit is Charles Dickens' comic masterpiece about which his biographer, Forster, noted that it marked a crucial phase in the author's development as he began to delve deeper into the 'springs of character'. Old Martin Chuzzlewit, tormented by the greed and selfishness of his family, effectively drives his grandson, young Martin, to undertake a voyage to America. It is a voyage which will have crucial consequences not only for young Martin, but also for his grandfather and his grandfather's servant, Mary Graham with whom young Martin is in love. The commercial swindle of the Anglo-Bengalee company and the fraudulent Eden Land Corporation have a topicality in our own time. This strong sub-plot shows evidence of Dickens' mastery of crime where characters such as the criminal Jonas Chuzzlewit, the old nurse Mrs Gamp, and the arch-hypocrite Seth Pecksniff are the equal to any in his other great novels. Generations of readers have also delighted in Dickens' wonderful description of the London boarding-house - 'Todgers'.

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - We Need The Doctor

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - We Need The Doctor



The Ken Spivey Band performs 'We Need The Doctor' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ9ulfC5WV0




GamePro, June 1990

GamePro, Issue Number 11, June 1990




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Zogby: Rand Paul Takes Dramatic Lead in New 2016 GOP Presidential Poll

Zogby: Rand Paul Takes Dramatic Lead in New 2016 GOP Presidential Poll



John Zogby, namesake and founder of Zogby Analytics’ famous poll, recently penned an article in Forbes discussing the findings of his latest 2016 presidential primary survey. In it, he noted that clear front-runners were beginning to appear in both the Democratic and Republican primary races. According to the poll, Hillary Clinton is, as expected, in cruise control over potential Democratic rivals, holding the support of 52% of those polled, with next-in-line Joe Biden in second place with only 8% support. On the GOP side, however, the results are uniquely consequential, as Rand Paul has broken out of the pack and taken a clear lead over other potential 2016 Republican contenders.

Get ready for 8 days of 'Weird Al' Yankovic parodies with this 'Happy' cover

Get ready for 8 days of 'Weird Al' Yankovic parodies with this 'Happy' cover




Another Federal Government Official Under Investigation Claims Hard Drive Crashed

Another Federal Government Official Under Investigation Claims Hard Drive Crashed




Endless wave of illegal immigrants floods Rio Grande valley

Endless wave of illegal immigrants floods Rio Grande valley

Life jackets of all sizes and the occasional punctured raft are strewn along the banks of the Rio Grande, just south of Mission, Texas, where a relentless onslaught of illegal immigrants eagerly surrender to beleaguered Border Patrol agents around the clock.

It’s a cycle for which there is no end in sight.

“You’re going to be out here a long time,” Fernando, an El Salvadoran child, told FoxNews.com shortly after surrendering to Border Patrol authorities after midnight Saturday. “There are thousands of us.”

With most of the men and women charged with securing the Mexican border busy processing some of the 60,000 illegal immigrants who have made the harrowing - and sometimes deadly -journey to the American border in the past nine months, only a handful of Border Patrol agents drive the riverside loop in a small town called Granjeno just south of Mission, in the Rincon peninsula.

Illegal immigrants of all ages, including many unaccompanied children, run to them to surrender. They are piled into the back of Border Patrol vehicles and taken to a makeshift staging area in Rincon Village, where a large Border Patrol bus waits to transport them to McAllen’s Border Patrol facility.


Lois Lerner’s Former FEC Colleague Has Emails Go Missing Too

Lois Lerner’s Former FEC Colleague Has Emails Go Missing Too

The FEC’s Office of Inspector General sought to conduct a criminal investigation into Sands’ activities but were stymied when they found that the agency had recycled her computer hard drive.

“Therefore the OIG was unable to show that Ms. Sands’ solicitations and political activity were done from an FEC computer,” reads the letter.

Because of this, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia declined criminal prosecution.

“The FEC’s failure to retain Ms. Sands’ hard drive prevented the FEC OIG from fully pursuing appropriate criminal sanctions for Ms. Sands’ admitted violation of federal law,” wrote Issa and Jordan.

“Like the IRS’s destruction of Lois Lerner’s hard drive, the FEC’s recycling of Ms. Sands’ hard drive may have also destroyed material responsive to Freedom of Information Act and congressional oversight requests,” the letter continued.

Lerner’s computer hard drive crashed in the middle of 2011, right around the time that questions were being raised over whether the IRS’s enforcement agency was targeting conservative non-profit groups while considering whether to grant them tax-exempt status.

Monday, July 14, 2014

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - The Dalek Dance

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - The Dalek Dance



The Ken Spivey band performs 'The Dalek Dance' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j__ipNMSo8I




Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon


Charles Mason (1728-1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, and major caffeine abuse. We follow the mismatched pair--one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic--from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back, through the strange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenment's dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.

The Big U by Neal Stephenson


The New York Times Book Review called Neal Stephenson's most recent novel "electrifying" and "hilarious". but if you want to know Stephenson was doing twenty years before he wrote the epic Cryptonomicon, it's back-to-school time. Back to The Big U, that is, a hilarious send-up of American college life starring after years our of print, The Big U is required reading for anyone interested in the early work of this singular writer.

TPUG - Issue Number 2 - March 1984

TPUG - Issue Number 2 - March 1984




Friday, July 11, 2014

John Lott: Obama Said 'I Don't Believe People Should Be Able to Own Guns'

John Lott: Obama Said 'I Don't Believe People Should Be Able to Own Guns'




Corporate welfare’s quiet enablers: How democrats pander to big business

Corporate welfare’s quiet enablers: How democrats pander to big business


This tale starts 15 years ago when my old boss, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, was trying to construct a left-right coalition to reform the bank. While a few libertarians were willing to voice free-market criticism of the bank, the impetus for reform was primarily among Democrats and the left. Indeed, Sanders’ failed 2002 amendment proposing to restrict the bank’s subsidies garnered only 22 Republican votes but had 111 Democratic backers – mostly progressive legislators who, in the words of Sanders, saw the Ex-Im Bank program as “one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare.”

 As Salon’s David Dayen reports, liberals in subsequent years “highlighted how Enron, the failed energy giant, benefited from $675 million in Ex-Im loans”; how “Ex-Im gave an $18 million loan to a Chinese steel mill, which was later on accused of dumping steel into U.S. markets and hurting U.S. workers” and how, “Ex-Im loan guarantees helped build one of the largest coal plants in the world.” By 2008, the progressive-themed criticism of the bank had become so central to Democrats’ agenda that Barack Obama used a presidential campaign speech in 2008 to lambast the bank as “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”

Fast forward to the last few years. In 2012, Democrats rammed a bill reauthorizing the bank through the Senate, and Obama held a public ceremony to sign the reauthorization bill into law. At the same time, Republicans provided most of the congressional votes against the bank.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - The Moment

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - The Moment



The Ken Spivey Band performs 'The Moment' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ1t3_1I7PI





Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia—a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails granddaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

QuickShot Python

Advertisement for the QuickShot Python Joystick from the June 1990 issue of GamePro.




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.

COSTCO REMOVING D'SOUZA'S 'AMERICA' FROM SHELVES

COSTCO REMOVING D'SOUZA'S 'AMERICA' FROM SHELVES



The wholesale giant Costco has issued an order to remove all copies of Dinesh D’Souza’s bestselling book, “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” from the shelves of its stores nationwide, WND has confirmed.


The book, in this midterm election year, is a strong rebuttal of the progressive ideology behind President Obama’s policies, which have been supported by Costco co-founder and director Jim Sinegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated the president. A Washington Post political reporter has noted Obama’s “romance” with the nation’s second-largest retailer.


At Amazon.com, D’Souza’s book, released June 2, is ranked No. 5 overall and No. 1 in Political Commentary and Opinion.

Costco has sold more than 3,600 copies of “America” nationwide, with about 700 copies sold last week as D’Souza’s film by the same name opened at more than 1,000 movie theaters nationwide.


But Costco’s book department issued the “pull order,” requiring all Costco stores nationwide to remove the book, confirmed Scott Losse, an inventory control specialist in the book department at the Costco Wholesale corporate office in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.


The July 1 order required all copies to be removed by July 15.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams


Step aside, Bill Gates! Here comes today′s real technology guru and his totally original, laugh-out-loud New York Times bestseller that looks at the approaching new millennium and boldly predicts: more stupidity ahead.

In The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert′s Top Secret Management Handbook, Scott Adams skewered the absurdities of the corporate world. Now he takes the next logical step, turning his keen analytical focus on how human greed, stupidity and horniness will shape the future. Featuring the same irresistible amalgam of essays and cartoons that made Adams previous works so singularly entertaining, this uproariously funny, dead-on-target tome offers half-truthful, half-farcical predictions that push all of today′s hot buttons - from business and technology to society and government.

Children - they are our future, so we′re pretty much hosed. Tip: Grab what you can while they′re still too little to stop us.

Human Potential - we′ll finally learn to use the 90 percent of the brain we don′t use today, and find out that there wasn′t anything in that part.

Computers - Technology and homeliness will combine to form a powerful type of birth control.

In The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert′s Top Secret Management Handbook, Scott Adams skewered the absurdities of the corporate world. Now he takes the next logical step, turning his keen analytical focus on how human greed, stupidity and horniness will shape the future.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin


A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who hold sway over an age of enforced peace are dead, victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - Time Lord Fest

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - Time Lord Fest



The 'Time Lord Fest' with The Ken Spivey Band at MegaCon 2014.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC-oopdp0C0




Thursday, July 3, 2014

New ACLU report takes a snapshot of police militarization in the United States

New ACLU report takes a snapshot of police militarization in the United States

Though often justified for rare incidents like school shootings or terrorist situations, the armored personnel vehicles police departments are getting from the Pentagon and through grants from the Department of Homeland Security are commonly used on drug raids.

In other words, where violent, volatile SWAT tactics were once used only in limited situations where someone was in the process of or about to commit a violent crime — where the police were using violence only to defuse an already violent situation — SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes. And because these raids often involve forced entry into homes, often at night, they’re actually creating violence and confrontation where there was none before.

Medical staff warned: Keep your mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest

Medical staff warned: Keep your mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest

A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say.

In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp. They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans. I have agreed to not to disclose their identities because they fear retaliation and prosecution.

“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told me. “We were under orders not to say anything.”

The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the BCFS, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.

The sources say security forces called themselves the “Brown Shirts.”

“It was a very submissive atmosphere,” the counselor said. “Once you stepped onto the grounds, you abided by their laws – the Brown Shirt laws.”

She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.

“Everyone was paranoid,” she said. “The children had more rights than the workers.”

She said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues.

“It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health,” she said. “I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair.”

A former nurse at the camp told me she was horrified by what she saw.

“We have so many kids coming in that there was no way to control all of the sickness – all this stuff coming into the country,” she said. “We were very concerned at one point about strep going around the base.”

Both the counselor and the nurse said their superiors tried to cover up the extent of the illnesses.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

11/22/63 by Stephen King



On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Rule 34 by Charles Stross

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Meet Edinburgh Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh, head of the Innovative Crimes Investigation Unit, otherwise known as the Rule 34 Squad. They monitor the Internet for potential criminal activity, analyzing trends in the extreme fringes of explicit content. And occasionally, even more disturbing patterns arise… Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany, Italy, and Scotland. The only things they had in common were arrests for spamming—and a taste for unorthodox entertainment. As the first officer on the scene of the most recent death, Liz finds herself sucked into an international investigation that isn’t so much asking who the killer is, but what...

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - Amy's Got A New Boy

MegaCon 2014 - The Ken Spivey Band - Amy's Got A New Boy



The Ken Spivey Band performs 'Amy's Got A New Boy' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD_UKQWEpjc




Girls of Gaming Volume 5 - Kaileena

Girls of Gaming Volume 5 - Kaileena from Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CT School District Apologizes For Blocking Conservative Websites

CT School District Apologizes For Blocking Conservative Websites

In recent weeks, a student conducting research on the district’s network came upon a pattern of information access through the district’s content filtering service…

The district has pressed Dell SonicWall for more information about how websites are assigned to categories and why there are apparent inconsistencies, as discovered by the student, in classifications particularly along conservative and liberal lines. Many of the liberal sites accessible to the student fell into the “not rated” category, which was unblocked while many of the conservative sites were in the “political/advocacy group” which is accessible to teachers but not to students. The district is trying to determine the reason for the inconsistency and if the bias is pervasive enough to justify switching to another content filtering provider.

Uh huh. As it turns out, high school student Andrew Lampart was assigned to do a report on gun control, and quickly discovered that the school Internet connection allowed him access to only one side of the debate. Then he found that the school permitted access to only one side of many debates—permitting access to gun control groups and liberal organizations, but not their counterparts. Whoops.