Podcast #329: Summer Salad from Jun 30, 2017   
Hypp Fractal - "Euphoria" - Midnight C_C - "ôll_llô" - Impendulo Audiobinger - "Head Knocker" Resonancedj - "Like This Hotel" - Volume 4 (V/A) Audiobinger - "The Cypher" D-Smoker - "Bizntrak" - Volume 4 (V/A) Artofescapism - "Half the Point" Lobo Loco - "Maximum Respect for YOU" - Little Caesar Komiku - "Xenobiological Forest" - It's time for adventure ! vol 5 Anonymous420 - "Bitcoin Day" - Startup Nation Anonymous420 - "Summer™" - Startup Nation Springtide - "Distant Thunder, Sunday Morning (Again) ." - Sounds strange, weird, but unmistakably romantic (beta) Jenny Hval - "Period Piece" - Live at WFMU for Sophisticated Boom Boom with Sheila B, 10/14/2016 Tapes and Tubes - "Salad Days" - Retroactive PC-One - "A Dark Blue Arc (Instrumental Acoustic)" - PC-One Sgons (Instrumentals) Frederic Lardon feat Laura Palmée - "Dans le love" - Korgi Frederic Lardon feat Laura Palmée - "Dans la glotte" - Korgi http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/73418
          Anonymous lance une opération contre l’Arabie Saoudite   

Pour protester contre le traitement des femmes en Arabie Saoudite, Anonymous lance une opération d’envergure contre les sites Internet du royaume. Depuis quelques heure, ce 30 juin, une opération d’envergure signée #Anonymous vise le Royaume d’Arabie Saoudite. « Le but est de prote...

Cet article Anonymous lance une opération contre l’Arabie Saoudite est apparu en premier sur ZATAZ.

          Chris Cachor posted a discussion   
Chris Cachor posted a discussion

Dealer Website Survey/Questionnaire

I wanted to do a little research on dealer websites from the perspective of internet managers and I'm hoping some of you can help me. This is an anonymous survey I put together today that I'm hoping validates some of the things I've been reading on the forums. Feel free to answer any of the questions...there are none that are "required". If you have a couple minutes to kill  -> https://dcresearch.typeform.com/to/IGnPcrModerators: If this is against the rules please let me know.Note: I'm also looking to take this survey around locally. I'll share the results with everyone on here ASAP!See More

          Commentaires sur MSI GS63 7RE-014X, ultrabook 15 pouces i7 Kaby GTX 1050 Ti SSD IPS à 1499€ par Eve   
@Anonymous : Merci pour ces précisions, c'est corrigé ;)
          Commentaires sur MSI GS63 7RE-014X, ultrabook 15 pouces i7 Kaby GTX 1050 Ti SSD IPS à 1499€ par Anonymous   
Très bon article, mais quelques fautes (j'en ai relevé deux, il y en a peut-être que je n'ai pas vu): -Il y a 2 haut-parleurs et non 4 -Il y a 3 ventilateurs et non 2 (2 pour le GPU, 1 pour le CPU)
          Global shipping feels fallout from Maersk cyber attack   

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON (Reuters) - Global shipping is still feeling the effects of a cyber attack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk two days ago, showing the scale of the damage a computer virus can unleash on the technology dependent and inter-connected industry.

About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea, with ships and ports acting as the arteries of the global economy. Ports increasingly rely on communications systems to keep operations running smoothly, and any IT glitches can create major disruptions for complex logistic supply chains.

The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping. Several port terminals run by a Maersk division, including in the United States, India, Spain, the Netherlands, were still struggling to revert to normal operations on Thursday after experiencing massive disruptions.

South Florida Container Terminal, for example, said dry cargo could not be delivered and no container would be received. Anil Diggikar, chairman of JNPT port, near the Indian commercial hub of Mumbai, told Reuters that he did not know "when exactly the terminal will be running smoothly".

His uncertainty was echoed by Maersk itself, which told Reuters that a number of IT systems were still shut down and that it could not say when normal business operations would be resumed.

It said it was not able to comment on specific questions regarding the breach of its IT systems or the state of its cyber security as it had "all available hands focused on practical stuff and getting things back to normal".

The impact of the attack on the company has reverberated across the industry given its position as the world's biggest container shipping line and also operator of 76 ports via its APM Terminals division.

Container ships transport much of the world's consumer goods and food, while dry bulk ships haul commodities including coal and grain and tankers carry vital oil and gas supplies.

"As Maersk is about 18 percent of all container trade, can you imagine the panic this must be causing in the logistic chain of all those cargo owners all over the world?" said Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping, one of Thailand's largest dry cargo ship owners.

"Right now none of them know where any of their cargoes (or)containers are. And this 'black hole' of lack of knowledge will continue till Maersk are able to bring back their systems on line."


The computer virus, which researchers are calling GoldenEye or Petya, began its spread on Tuesday in Ukraine and affected companies in dozens of countries.

Maersk said the attack had caused outages at its computer systems across the world.

In an example of the turmoil that ensued, the unloading of vessels at the group's Tacoma terminal was severely slowed on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Dean McGrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23 there.

The terminal is a key supply line for the delivery of domestic goods such as milk and groceries and construction materials to Anchorage, Alaska.

"They went back to basics and did everything on paper," McGrath said.

Ong Choo Kiat, President of U-Ming Marine Transport, Taiwan's largest dry bulk ship owner, said the fact Maersk had been affected rang alarm bells for the whole shipping industry as the Danish company was regarded as a leader in IT technology.

"But they ended up one of the first few casualties. I therefore conclude that shipping is lacking behind the other industry in term of cyber security," he said.

"How long would it takes to catch up? I don't know. But recently all owners and operators are definitely more aware of the risk of cyber security and beginning to pay more attention to it."

In a leading transport survey by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright published this week, 87 percent of respondents from the shipping industry believed cyber attacks would increase over the next five years - a level that was higher than counterparts in the aviation, rail and logistics industries.


Apart from the reliance on computer systems, ships themselves are increasingly exposed to interference through electronic navigation devices such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and lack the backup systems airliners have to prevent crashes, according to cyber security experts.

There were no indications that GPS and other electronic navigation aids were affected by this week's attack, but security specialists say such systems are vulnerable to signal loss from deliberate jamming by hackers.

Last year, South Korea said hundreds of fishing vessels had returned early to port after its GPS signals were jammed by North Korea, which denied responsibility.

"The Maersk attack raises our awareness of the vulnerability of shipping and ports to technological failure," said Professor David Last, a previous president of Britain's Royal Institute of Navigation.

"When GPS fails, ships' captains lose their principal means of navigation and much of their communications and computer links. They have to slow down and miss port schedules," said Last, who is also a strategic advisor to the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland.

A number of countries including the UK and the United States are looking into deploying a radar based back up navigation system for ships called eLoran, but this will take time to develop.

David Nordell, head of strategy and policy for London-based think tank, the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace and Security Science, said the global shipping and port industries were vulnerable to cyber attack, because their operating technologies tend to be old.

"It's certainly possible to imagine that two container ships, or, even worse, oil or gas tankers, could be hacked into colliding, resulting in loss of life and cargo, and perhaps total loss of the vessels," Nordell said.

"Carried out in a strategically sensitive location such as the Malacca Straits or the Bosphorus, a collision like this could block shipping for enough time to cause serious dislocations to trade."


Cyber risks also pose challenges for insurance cover.

In a particularly secretive industry, information about the nature of cyber attacks is still scarce, which insurance and shipping officials say is an obstacle to mitigating the risk, which means there are gaps in insurance cover available.

"There has been a lot of non-reporting (of breaches) on ships, and we’re trying efforts where even if there could be anonymous reporting on a platform so we can start to get the information and the data," said Andrew Kinsey, senior marine consultant at insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty.

There is also a gap in provision, because most existing cyber or hull insurance policies - which insure the ship itself - will not cover the risk of a navigation system being jammed or physical damage to the ship caused by a hacking attack.

"The industry is just waking up to its vulnerability," said Colin Gillespie, deputy director of loss prevention with ship insurer North.

"Perhaps it is time for insurers, reinsurers, ship operators and port operators to sit down together and consider these risks in detail. A collective response is needed - we are all under attack."

(Additional reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Copenhagen, Keith Wallis and Carolyn Cohn in London, Euan Rocha in Mumbai, Miyoung Kim in Singapore, Alexander Cornwell in Dubai, Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore, Adam Jourdan and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Pravin Char)

          Hefty Politics   
Hefty Politics Beauty is, to some degree, relative. Check out the example of "female intrasexual competition" in this question from the Philip Galanes column in the NYT:
Thin in the Midwest I am a single woman in Manhattan. I was just offered a great job in Chicago. When I went to visit, I was struck by how thin I was there, compared with women in New York. Is this a horrible reason to take the job?


I assume you are joking (sort of). But having come from a spate of New York City meals where women and men seemed to believe that balsamic vinegar and mustard are two of the major food groups, I get it, sister. We all have self-image issues, and you probably won't escape yours by moving to the Windy City. (Off the top of my head, I can think of 50 qualities more important than "thin.") Still, you mentioned that the job in Chicago is "great," and I've always loved visiting. So, you tell us: What have you got to lose?
This isn't a "self-image" issue; it's a possibility of a tradeoff between the place she probably wants to live -- NYC -- and getting a leg up in the mating market by moving to a lesser pond. Would you -- if you were this woman -- make the move? What about if you were a guy writing about going to a place where there's a lot less competition on wealth and achievement? Understanding and being honest about how well you compete in a mating market is the best way to make the most useful decisions -- including, perhaps whether you should move to another area. In short, as I wrote in the column that I sent out earlier this week, "context matters."
          Re: Multnomah County Republicans Formally Allow Militia Groups to Run Security   
"The volunteers are afraid of going to Portland street fairs and Portland events because of what happened to them,"

'What happened to them' being that some of the Oath Keeper's friends in Patriot Prayer sent an anonymous letter to threaten themselves to claim victim-hood, misunderstanding that Antifa would never deign to send a missive to public entities, since, you know, they don't beleive public institutions are legitimate.
Posted by The Beans
          Re: Win Tickets to the I, Anonymous Show / Lez Stand Up Combo!   
Form not showing for me. :\
Posted by Satorical
          Re: This Week’s Featured I, Anonymous!   
Here's a goal you could have....get rid of your sexist, double standard age requirements. So you're in your mid to upper 40's and want to date someone as young as 32, who would be let's say 13-17 years younger than you (depending on your exact age). But you don't want to date anyone that's older than 49, or let's say 0-4 years older than you. What's with the double standard????
Posted by gofigure
          Re: This Week’s Featured I, Anonymous!   
As someone who ended up on dates with too many middle aged men who did nothing but smoke pot and play video games all day, I understand where the person is coming from, if not the manner in which they expressed it. Goals can be anything and they need not be anything related to success. I once had goals to go to Italy and Thailand. I became disabled and unable to work and will never achieve those goals due to the reality of my illness and the size of my limited income. Almost everyone has goals (even if they're as simple as make damn fine cup of coffee in the morning) and it's not that much to ask that people want to do more than just get out of bed every day. It seems like you have absolutely zero sense of humor or self-awareness and that's certainly going to prevent you from successfully dating. Instead of spending so much time telling someone who wants someone with goals to F*** off, why not focus on someone that might be available to you and wanting to date you and is wholly unconcerned with your goals?
Posted by Christina Rae
          Re: This Week’s Featured I, Anonymous!   
Our corporate (and academic) taskmasters have developed the buzzwords around "goals" and "achievement" as a way to reward compliant, conformist behavior. So "must have goals" is an easy get-out-of-jail-free card for a dating scenario. If I end up thinking your workout regime isn't intense enough, your dog is the wrong breed, your vegetables aren't the right kind of organic, you don't (or do) like IPAs, [fill in the annoying blank], then I can just say our goals don't align and ghost you. Magic!
Posted by eprophet
          How a Bitcoin Whitehat Hacker Helped the FBI Catch a Murderer   
whitehat (1).jpg

An ethical hacker breached the database of a phony darknet website offering hitman services and leaked the data. The information from the data dump helped the FBI in their investigation of a man who murdered his wife.

In November 2016, Stephen Carl Allwine, 47, of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, killed his wife in “one of the most bizarre cases ever seen,” police officers reported. The husband tried to mask the murder as a suicide, including putting a 9 mm pistol next to Amy Allwine’s elbow. However, detectives arriving on the scene identified the case as murder and collected evidence — mostly electronic devices, such as computers — belonging to Mr. Allwine. Later on, in January, investigators arrested and charged Mr. Allwine with second-degree murder based on the forensic evaluation of the confiscated electronic equipment.

In May 2016, a hacker called “bRpsd” breached the database of a controversial hitman service offered on a darknet website. The service, “Besa Mafia,” offered a link between customers and hitmen, who could register on the site anonymously. The price for a murder ranged between $5,000 and $200,000, but clients seeking to avoid fatalities could also hire a contractor to beat up a victim for $500 or set somebody’s car on fire for $1,000.

The hacker uploaded the data dump to a public internet website. The leaked files contained user accounts, email addresses, personal messages between the Besa Mafia admin and its customers, “hit” orders and a folder named “victims,” providing additional information on the targets.

The breach highlighted the fake nature of the website, which operated only to collect money from the customers. Chris Monteiro, an independent researcher who also hacked into the site, stated the owner or owners of Besa Mafia had made at least 50 bitcoins ($127,500 based on the current value of the cryptocurrency) from the scam operation.

According to a message posted by a Besa Mafia administrator and uncovered in the dump, “[T]his website is to scam criminals of their money. We report them for 2 reasons: to stop murder, this is moral and right; to avoid being charged with conspiracy to murder or association to murder, if we get caught.”

The leak of the Besa Mafia database helped the police investigating the murder of Mrs. Allwine. As the officers analyzed her husband’s devices, they discovered the suspect had accessed the dark web as early as 2014. Furthermore, investigators identified the pseudonym Mr. Allwine used on the darknet, “dogdaygod,” which was also linked to his email, “dogdaygod@hmamail.com,” in some cases. Detectives found bitcoin addresses in the conversations between Besa Mafia and Mr. Allwine, which linked the husband directly to the “dogdaygod” pseudonym, providing authorities with necessary evidence for the case.

Eventually, law enforcement agents analyzed the data dump bRpsd leaked and discovered Mr. Allwine’s email in the list. In addition, investigators found messages between the suspect and the Besa Mafia admin. According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Allwine paid between $10,000 to $15,000 to the supposed hitman service to kill his wife. The complaint detailed how Mr. Allwine had decided to have the hitman shoot Mrs. Allwine at close range and burn down the house afterward.

However, once the funds were transferred, the Besa Mafia communicator told Mr. Allwine that “local police [have] stopped the hitman [from] driving a stolen vehicle and taken [him] to jail prior to the hit,” thus rendering him unable to complete his “service.” The complaint cited Sergeant McAlister who reported that during that time, “no one was apprehended in Minnesota and western Wisconsin in a stolen vehicle and possession of a gun.”

It is likely that the ethical hacker’s data breach had an impact on Mr. Allwine’s case; on March 24, 2017, the Washington County District Court charged him with first-degree murder. In addition, officers have gathered more evidence in the case — a drug called scopolamine was discovered at 45 times higher than the recommended level in Mrs. Allwine’s body. Investigators subsequently discovered that her husband had also ordered the substance on the dark web.

The post How a Bitcoin Whitehat Hacker Helped the FBI Catch a Murderer appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Registration Deadline: Sep 30, 2017; Submission Deadline: Sep 30, 2017

Paris and the entire country of France is world-famous for its cuisine, with a non-exhaustive list of delicacies and culinary systems. The culinary reputation of Paris is very rich, cultured and diverse. French food culture,  according to UNESCO, is important for 'bringing people together to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking' and the power to create 'togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature'.

French food culture includes such wonders as the croissant, éclair, bouillon, crepe, and, of course, the baguette. Wine (there are as many types of wines as there are regions in France), bread (usually eaten in some form with each meal) and cheese (there are over 400 types of cheese in France made from all types of milk, including goat) are the staples of French food culture and French life.

The word and idea of a restaurant, which really came into modern times at the end of the French Revolution when the nouveau riche (newly rich) had more money to spend, come from French. From cafes to bistros, the world owes a lot to the French for the commercialization of specialty foods and making them available to the public. The first Parisian restaurant was founded by Beauvilliers in 1782 in the Rue de Richelieu, called the Grande Taverne de Londres. He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and serving them at small individual tables." Following the revolution, the abolition of the guild system made it easier to open restaurants. Also, since so many aristocrats fled or were executed, their former cooks and servants found new employment and Paris became the center of the new restaurant scene, which, to some degree, it remains today.

The aim of this architecture competition is to design a new 21st century restaurant and wine bar on the promenade along the River Seine in Paris. The restaurant should be unique and innovative in all respects and should invent new ways to provide an overall sensory experience to the customers. The restaurant should experiment with unique materials, volumetric compositions layout systems and other transitional spaces to make it a new prototype and exemplary typology that will become an active gastronomical hub in the heart of the French capital. The participants should:

Create an architectural icon along the River Seine, that will become a popular destination for the residents and everyone who visits the city.  The participants must consider the attributes of light, color, materiality, aesthetic quality that will add a sense of identity to the restaurant, eventually creating a landmark along the picturesque context of River Seine. The participants are free to create their own design language, ranging from contemporary to traditional but should be able to merge the shell with the existing context in a respectful and additive fashion.

Create an experience within a restaurant shell that adds to the programmed interior space. The participants must try to create a wholesome experience for the end user rather than just a self-referential interior space. The participants are free to design a thematic or a generic interior environment but it should have an immersive effect on the customers, stimulating their sensory experience.

Maximize the use of the waterfront context and the promenade into the architectural concept for the restaurant. The participants are required to use the unique nature of the site into their design proposal and architectural built form. The participants can use the water element and picturesque surroundings and develop the restaurant as an open, semi-open seating zone. The quai or the dock-promenade can be used as an extension of the restaurant and cultured into a social and leisure zone.



  • Start of Competition and Early Registration: 1st July 2017
  • Early Registration ends: 31st August 2017
  • Standard Registration starts: 1st September 2017
  • Deadline for Questions: 10th September 2017
  • Standard Registration ends: 30th September 2017
  • Closing day for Submissions 30th September 2017
  • Announcement of Winners: 24th October 2017

*Note: All deadlines are 11:59 pm - 00:00 IST (India).



Winning participants will receive prizes totaling INR 2,00,000 with the distribution as follows:

First prize- INR 1,00,000/- + Certificate

Second prize- INR 60,000/- + Certificate

Third prize- INR 40,000/- + Certificate

10 Honorable mentions

Winners and honorable mentions will be published on archasm’s website and several international architecture magazines and websites partnered by us.



Early Registration:

From 1st July 2017 to 31st August 2017

  • For Indian nationals- INR 1500 (per team)
  • For Foreign nationals- EUR 60 (per team)


Standard Registration:

From 1st September 2017 to 30th September 2017

  • For Indian nationals- INR 1800 (per team)
  • For Foreign nationals- EUR 80 (per team)

Entrants may register by filling the registration form and submitting it with the appropriate payment through our secure gateway on our website www.archasm.in



Group discounts apply for a minimum of 5 teams from one particular architecture school/university as our initiative to promote more participation from students.

Send us the following details at queries@archasm.in to avail the offer.

  • Names of all the participating teams members and their respective team leaders.
  • Name of the university.
  • School ID proofs of the team leaders.



It will not be possible to amend or update any information relating to your registration including the names of team members once validated.



  • Participant teams will be disqualified if any of the competition rules or submission requirements are not considered. Participation assumes acceptance of the regulations.
  • Team code is the only means of identification of a team as it is an anonymous competition.
  • The official language of the competition is English.
  • The registration fee is non-refundable.
  • Contacting the Jury is prohibited.
  • archasm as the competition organizer, reserves the right to modify the competition schedule if deemed necessary.


Terms and Conditions                                          

Please see the terms and conditions section on www.archasm.in.


Competition project disclaimer

This is an open international competition hosted by archasm to generate progressive design ideas. There are no plans for the riverside restaurant to be built. The competition is organized for education purpose only.


Other details

Website: www.archasm.in

Facebook: facebook.com/atarchasm

Instagram: instagram.com/archasm_competitions

Read the full post on Bustler
          TS150:Lyft, Disneyland, Church Going Gays, Lady Business $$   
This week, Bryan took a Lyft for the first time! It was as delightful as an emu leg in Disneyland. Meanwhile, Erin reveals that women get waaay less financial loans for businesses than men do. And Bryan discusses a new poll revealing how LGBTs feel about religion. Plus, the Secret app! Share with friends, anonymously...   Watch Us!  Every Wednesday on Funny or Die Subscribe and Rate Us! iTunes Tweet Us!  @gibblertron & @bryansafi Use the Hashtag #tspod Email Us! shadethrowing@gmail.com Like Us! Throwing Shade Facebook Page Old School Listen! RSS Feed
          Updated Wiki: Documentation   


The current state of documentation is based on the fact YOU know some details of authentication and IIS configuration. Sorry, but that's it for now.

Also check out the FAQ.



The assemblies are not signed and therefor are not deployable to deploy to GAC. The Installation is a simple XCOPY to the application BIN folder. Check out the IIS configuration and find the application to run the code in. Copy the DLL (and PDB if you like) into the BIN directory.
-> c:\inetpub\wwwroot\bin
--> GK.IIS.SignInAsADifferentUser.dll
--> GK.IIS.SignInAsADifferentUser.pdb


We need another handler entry in "system.webServer" (see minimal configuration)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
            <add name="GK.IIS.SignInAsADifferentUser" path="*.signinas" verb="*" type="GK.IIS.SignInAsADifferentUser.SignInAsHandler" resourceType="Unspecified" preCondition="integratedMode" />


The current version is tested using the following parameters:
  • IIS 7
  • Windows Authentication (Anonymous disabled)
  • App Pool settings
    • .NET Framework 2.0
    • Manged Pipeline as Inetgrated


The usage is based on a set of known urls that are described in the next sections. Access the solution using your browser an start like this:
Switch user with:


This will Display the current username, auth scheme and server Name


This will Redirect to the auth page with a unique id that is needed to avoid the usage of session state. The request is using the HTTPCache to Keep some information.

auth.signinas (+ request param with guid)

This will send the 401 until the user has switched. If the user is authenticated with a different identity the page will Redirect to the current dir's default page (using ./ as the url)


This will display th cache used for the solution to avoid sessionstate config


This will delete the cache to start fresh

          @Anonymous From my limited copyright knowledge, or...   
From my limited copyright knowledge, originality must be claimed indeed because the test is an objective one, regardless of the "obvious" originality one may find (that would lead to an unwelcome subjective test).
would the portrait be deemed to have originality, that would also reverse the onus of proof and the defendant would have to establish non-originality
          Morning Joe hosts: Trump team blackmailed us with a National Enquirer story   

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough described President Donald Trump’s “unmoored behavior” in a Washington Post column where they alleged that “this year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked.” Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote they ignored the “desperate pleas” from the White House.

The Enquirer, which endorsed Trump during the presidential election, frequently smeared his opponents during the presidential campaign with anonymously sourced stories and disreputable claims from Trump confidant Roger Stone.  

The Washington Post column came in response to personal attacks made against the duo by Trump, who wrote yesterday on Twitter: “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..” “...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Scarborough discussed the Enquirer incident on the June 30 broadcast of Morning Joe, describing a bizarre blackmail scheme orchestrated by Trump and senior White House officials: “They said if you call the president up and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story. I had, I will just say, three people at the very top of the administration calling me, and the response was like, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Brzezinski said the calls occurred during the same time period when the Enquirer was harassing her teenage children.

Trump reacted to the Enquirer allegation on Twitter, calling it “FAKE NEWS” and claiming Scarborough called him in an attempt to stop a story from running. Scarborough responded by writing, “Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven't spoken with you in many months.”

In March 2016, the Post reported that Trump has a “very cozy relationship” with the Enquirer and quoted the New York Daily News’ comment that he is “very close” to the tabloid’s chief executive, David Pecker. A business associate of Pecker’s told The New Yorker that Pecker told him “very bluntly that he had killed all sorts of stories for Trump,” and Pecker himself acknowledged that he views potential stories "bashing Trump" as "bashing American Media" -- the Enquirer's parent company -- because Trump is "a personal friend." The profile also reported that Trump has personally provided Pecker with stories.   

Scarborough referenced the friendship between Trump and Pecker on Morning Joe, saying, “What makes it even worse for them is Donald Trump called me during the campaign and bragged about his friend who ran the National Enquirer. He would always say, ‘Have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen the Ben Carson story? Have you seen that story in the Enquirer?’ And then he would talk about it.”

Scarborough added, “There were all these stories that were planted in the National Enquirer for people that Donald Trump wanted to attack and then he would talk about on the campaign trail.”

In one infamous case, the Enquirer published a baseless cover story alleging that the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Trump subsequently promoted the bogus story about his then-primary opponent during a Fox News appearance where he said, “I mean, what was he doing -- what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” He also complained that not enough people were reporting on the conspiracy theory.

Under fire for advancing the baseless claim, Trump responded by defending the Enquirer’s reputation, saying, “This was a magazine that frankly, in many respects, should be very respected.”

Pecker is reportedly considering a bid to take over Time Inc., which owns Time magazine, Fortune, and other media properties. The move would surely please Trump, who in 2013 repeatedly used social media to boost the idea that Pecker should run the company.


New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman reports that according to "three sources familiar with the private conversations," Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was in contact with Scarborough about a then-upcoming Enquirer story about Scarborough's not-yet-public relationship with Brzezinski. Kushner reportedly "told Scarborough that he would need to personally apologize to Trump in exchange for getting Enquirer owner David Pecker to stop the story":

According to three sources familiar with the private conversations, what happened was this: After the inauguration, Morning Joe’s coverage of Trump turned sharply negative. “This presidency is fake and failed,” Brzezinski said on March 6, for example. Around this time, Scarborough and Brzezinski found out the Enquirer was preparing a story about their affair. While Scarborough and Brzezinski’s relationship had been gossiped about in media circles for some time, it was not yet public, and the tabloid was going to report that they had left their spouses to be together.

In mid-April, Scarborough texted with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the pending Enquirer story. Kushner told Scarborough that he would need to personally apologize to Trump in exchange for getting Enquirer owner David Pecker to stop the story. (A spokesperson for Kushner declined to comment). Scarborough says he refused, and the Enquirer published the story in print on June 5, headlined “Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal!”

          Why Do Journalists Use Anonymous Sources? Former WaPo Executive Editor and VP Explains   
Newswise image
          Comment on Giving the finger by Anonymous   
She certainly seems to be a freak that likes to par-tah with rockin' joe
          Comment on Giving the finger by Anonymous   
Yeah! Well said....afterall Senator Sasse is the one who has the image of him standing on his head for his Twitter feed....so, so dignified and refined to those he serves. Then there are those images of him in his running attire with Senators in suits. Refinement to the hilt. Stick a microphone in front of Ben to badmouth Trump and the media is sure to walk away with a score. Funny how that works when you are positioning your next romp for office. HELLLLOOOOOO Iowa, how are ya?
          Comment on Giving the finger by Anonymous   
Well that's a hoot coming from the most self-possessed character at this board.
          Military disrupting life in Deir Abu Mash’al for 2 weeks, since 3 residents killed Border Police officer   

The Palestinian village of Deir Abu Mash'al lies some 25 kilometers northwest of Ramallah. It has a population of about 5,000, many of whom work in Ramallah. About 150 of the residents work in Israel and have to cross the Ni'lin checkpoint on their commute every day. On the evening of Friday, 16 June 2017, three residents of the village carried out an attack near Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem, killing Border Police Officer Hadas Malka, 23, and wounding four other people. The three assailants, Baraa Saleh, 18, ‘Adel ‘Ankush, 18, and Ousama ‘Ata, 19, were shot to death by Israeli security forces over the course of the attack. Ever since then, Israel has been disrupting the lives of all residents of the village, although they were not involved in the attack and have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Following the attack, Border Police officers and soldiers entered the village and imposed several restrictive measures. On the night of the attack itself, Israeli security forces installed an iron gate at the main entrance to the village and refused to let anyone cross it in either direction, neither on foot nor by car. The military also blocked off the three dirt roads leading to the village with stones and piles of earth. The next day, village residents removed some of the blockage from two roads, enough to enable only a four-wheel drive to get through. This recurred over the following days, with the military blocking the roads and residents removing the obstacles.

Soldiers stand beside the gate installed by the military at the main entrance to the village. Photo by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 19 June '17
Soldiers stand beside the gate installed by the military at the main entrance to the village. Photo by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 19 June '17

On Monday, 19 June 2017, security forces allowed most of the village residents to leave the village on foot via the main entrance, barring men between the ages of 15 and 25. The next day, the forces opened the gate part of the way, allowing cars through but only after lengthy checks, including searches of the cars. The ban on exit by men aged 15 to 25 remained in place.

It wasn’t until the evening of Saturday, 24 June 2017, when the high holiday of ‘Eid al-Fitr began, that security forces made travel by car easier. Nonetheless, the iron gate remains in place and forces are stationed beside it some of the time, performing random checks.

In addition to the restrictions on movement, which have affected the entire population of the village, security forces confiscated some 50 vehicles from residents for ostensibly lacking licenses. In addition, 50 village residents who work in Israel – all from the assailants’ extended families – had their work permits revoked. The permits were revoked when they reached the checkpoint on their way to work, without prior notice and with no opportunity to challenge the decision.

On Sunday, 18 June, soldiers raided five homes in the village, three of them belonging to the families of the assailants. The soldiers informed the parents of the assailants that their houses for the actions of their sons. If this occurs, 15 people, including 5 innocent minors, will be left without a roof over their heads.

In one home, the soldiers damaged property and left a mess behind them. ‘Adel ‘Ankush’s mother, 46, was arrested on 21 June and is still in custody. On 29 June, forces again entered the village, arresting ‘Ancush’s father and searching Ousamah Ata’s home once again.

When the forces first entered the village, violent altercations erupted between them and local residents, during which two young men from the village were hurt. They were taken to hospital in Ramallah in an ambulance that had to use a bypass dirt road. Three days later, on 19 June, security forces returned to the village at 5:00 A.M. and went into a home to carry out arrests. This also resulted in altercations in which two more local residents were hurt. The clashes ended when the forces left the village at around 8:00 A.M.

For almost two weeks now, ever since the attack, the military has been disrupting the lives of all 5,000 or so residents of the village, although they have been accused of no personal wrongdoing. This automatic form of retaliation has become a matter of policy for the military, in a cynical abuse of its power to mistreat civilians. This kind of collective harm is morally and legally indefensible.

One of the dirt roads blocked by the military. Photo by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 19 June '17
One of the dirt roads blocked by the military. Photo by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 19 June '17

On 21 June 2017, B’Tselem field researcher 'Amer 'Aruri spoke with two village residents who feared to disclose their names, and with another who agreed to be identified.

A village resident who preferred to remain anonymous related:

I’m a merchant, and I have a permit to enter Israel. On Saturday I wasn’t able to leave, but on Sunday, 18 June, I had to get to the bank in Ramallah. I have a regular car that can’t drive on the unpaved farm roads, so I borrowed my brother’s four-wheel drive. It took me about half an hour on the farm road just to get to Deir Nidham, and there I took the main road to Ramallah. The trip took almost an hour. Usually, it takes half an hour at most to get to Ramallah.

On Tuesday, 20 June 2017, I heard that the soldiers had opened the gate and lifted the closure. At around eleven o’clock in the morning, I set out in my car towards the main exit. When I got there, I saw that the soldiers were still there. They opened the iron gate part of the way. Cars were going both ways and the soldiers were checking every single car going in or out, as well as the IDs of the passengers. There was a huge traffic jam at the entrance. 

When it was my turn, the soldier went through my car from top to bottom. He even popped the hood and opened the trunk. He checked my ID and asked me sarcastically if I had an M16 . I said no and drove off.

Another resident said:

I am from the ‘Ata family. I work in construction inside Israel. On Sunday, 18 June 2017, at around four o’clock in the morning, I got to Ni’lin checkpoint after going the long way on a farm road to get out of the village. There were five more laborers with me in the car, four of them from our family. At the checkpoint, they only let the laborer who wasn’t from our family through. They turned the rest of us back. I asked the guard why I wasn’t allowed across, and he said our family was “causing trouble”.

I couldn’t do anything that day, so I went back home. Other laborers from the ‘Ata, ‘Ankush and Saleh families told me that the exact same thing happened to them. 

I have five children and no other source of income. The day I went back home, my employer called me and said that if I didn’t come in to work, he’d fire me. I don’t know what I’ll do if they don’t give me my permit back. ‘Eid al-Fitr is coming up and I don’t think I’ll be able to buy the kids clothes, as is the custom on high holidays. I’m worried that if I don’t go back to work, I’ll need the money to put food on the table. 

Muhammad Faiz Muhammad ‘Ata, a married father of five, said in his testimony:

Damaged property and mess left by soldiers in the 'Ata home. Photo courtesy of the family, 21 June '17

I live in the al-Mu’alaka neighborhood in the village, in  a two-story building. The second story is still under construction. We have a livestock pen next to the house. 

Today, 21 June 2017, at six in the morning, I heard loud banging on the door. I opened it and found myself facing soldiers and an officer. The officer ordered me to lie down on the floor, but I refused. One of the soldiers grabbed me and sat me down on the floor. The other soldiers came in and started searching our home. I got up immediately and followed them. I told them my wife and children were asleep, but it was no use.

The soldiers went into the kitchen and threw the dishes on the floor. The sound of the breaking dishes woke my wife and children. When they saw the soldiers in the house, some of them started crying. Several soldiers went into our bedroom and started throwing our clothes on the floor. They also turned over the couches and the tables in the living room. I asked the officer if they had a search warrant. He said: “They kill Jews and want a search warrant”?

This went on for about an hour. They left a terrible mess all over the house. In the kitchen, they broke dishes and spilled rice. They broke a livestock milking pump that we were keeping on the second story. They turned the living room upside down and left clothes all over the floor in our bedroom. I don’t know what they were looking for and why they came into our house. They refused to tell me. 

Photos: Damaged property and mess left by soldiers in the 'Ata home. Photos courtesy of the family, 21 June '17

Damaged property and mess left by soldiers in the 'Ata home. Photo courtesy of the family, 21 June '17

           Shook 01 -1 per custommer "Shook"   
Artist(s) : Unknown Artists
Label(s) : Shook
Format :12" Ltd
Bass msuic anonymous masterpiece... deep and dub... with a heavy powerfull Bassline. MASTERPIECE !
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          Nested Enumerable::Any in C++/CLI (difficult++)   

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/THines01/archive/2017/04/19/244531.aspx

I frequently use the construct in C# (C-Sharp) to cross-reference the contents of two repositories simultaneously with one compound command:

IEnumerable<string> arr_strSources = new string[]{"Alpha", "Bravo", "Charlie", "Delta"};
IEnumerable<string> arr_strPieces = new string[] { "phha", "lie", "zelt" };
bool blnRetVal = arr_strPieces.Any(strPiece => arr_strSources.Any(strSource => strSource.Contains(strPiece)));
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Found = {0}", blnRetVal);

That code searches for the presence of ANY string in arr_strSources that contains ANY substring in arr_strPieces.
If found, it simply returns TRUE.
In C++, this task is not syntactically as easy.
The biggest problem is the SCOPE and type of the anonymous variable.
Where the C# framework dynamically handles the conversion, it must be explicit in C++.

Here is the example:

To handle the scope of the second IEnumerable::String^, I created a class that (when instantiated) has a method that returns a Func that tests the contents.
The same thing happens with the individual Strings (another class used to handle the scoping).

This is nowhere as "cute" as the C# code, but it satisfies my curiosity.


          Dildo Roulette   
So here is the second requested cap.  I was actually pretty intrigued by the idea and hopefully did it justice.  From, who we'll call Anonymous 2 (certainly a lot of you Anonymous people out there!) the request below:

"Captions where the guy's manhood is turned into a dildo by a cute girl, making him slowly turn into a girl with the dildo being used on her to make the change permanent if she orgasms"

And here's the result.  Enjoy!


          Permanent NuBody   
Ok, I asked, you answered and you shall receive!  This post goes out to well I guess we'll call you Anonymous 1.  Anonymous 1 was looking for a little something with a bodysuit that becomes permanent.  This was originally supposed to be a short one panel cap but I guess I got carried away!

I'm going to try to get to some of the other requests later this week.  I hope you like it Anonymous 1!


          Twitter reportedly explores the idea of a fake news button   

See something on Twitter that may be false? Maybe an alternative fact?

The company is "exploring" a feature that would let you flag the tweet as containing "misleading, false, or harmful information," The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing two anonymous people familiar with the matter.

It remains to be seen if the feature will ever see the light of the day.

"We are not currently testing this nor do we have any current plans to ship it," a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable.

Twitter product managers and engineers, like those at other tech companies, often brainstorm and create features that never get implemented.

Take, for example, Twitter's exploration of expanding tweets to more than 140 characters or an edit button.

Introducing a fake news button wouldn't be too difficult. Twitter already has a drop-down menu on each tweet where Twitter users can report a tweet as harassment, for example.

According to the anonymous sources speaking to The Washington Post, the feature could appear in this menu.

Meanwhile, Facebook, Twitter's big competitor in the industry of sharing news on a social media platform, has taken the fight against fake news seriously.

Facebook's latest effort, announced this week, involves forbidding publishers to change the headline or image of an article.

Facebook also rolled out a tool in March that cites third-party fact-checking organisations like Snopes and Politifact when a story shared on the platform potentially contains false information.

Twitter isn't naive to fake news being shared on the platform.

Indeed, its new ad campaign involved someone sharing alternative facts related to climate change.

Read the full article here.

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 12:08

More about

Twitter fake news

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          Anonymous: Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist   
100000.00 - 100000.00 GBP Annual + GBP100000/annum: Anonymous: Consultant Psychiatrist GBP130,000K to GBP150,000K Nottingham Immediate Start Goodall Brazier is looking for a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist & Locum Consultant Psychiatrist based in East Midlands on behalf of our client; a GBP500 million+ turnover priv Derbyshire
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          Can You Host a Drupal Website on an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance?   
Can You Host a Drupal Website on an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance?
David Csonka Wed, 02/01/2017 - 05:15

If you are at the decision point of wondering which Amazon Web Services EC2 server type to host your Drupal website, you have hopefully already gone through a checklist to ensure that using AWS for your Drupal hosting makes sense. Starting at the lowest price point to access Amazon's EC2 web server platform, the "micro" instance is bound to be one of the most popular levels of service.

The AWS EC2 server types range from micro, to standard small, medium, large and a wide variety of other specially set up instance types for edge case needs. When selecting an EC2 micro as your Drupal web host, you'll want to take care to determine if the micro instance is suitable for your Drupal website's needs.

Burstable Instances

Micro instances are classified by AWS as "burstable", as in they provide a small amount of consistent CPU resources and will allow for an increase in CPU capacity in short bursts when additional cycles are available. They are well suited for lower throughput applications and web sites that consume significant compute cycles periodically but very little CPU at other times for background processes, daemons, etc. 

Amazon provides a series of charts highlighting CPU demand profiles which it deems are inappropriate for micro instances.

Considering Computer Cycles

Basically, if your application has consistently intensive computing needs you're going to want to use a standard class instance type, small, medium, or larger depending on your requirements. But even though at a steady state micro instances receive a fraction of the compute resources that standard small instances do, micros can intermittently and briefly burst up to 2 ECU's (EC2 Compute Unit). This is double the number of ECU's available for a standard small instance. 

Therefore, if you have a website with relatively low computing needs, like a blog, or a development site that doesn't receive much or any public traffic, a micro instance could be perfect suited for your project. A Drupal site that has the vast majority of its traffic coming from anonymous visitors (which can have completely cached pages delivered) can work quite well with a micro instance. Full caching that is augmented with APC or Varnish can help even a little micro server hundreds of requests.

However, if your Drupal site handles a lot of authenticated traffic (logged in users are considered authenticated), with users accessing dynamic content and viewing uncached pages, you're definitely going to want to consider a larger capacity standard class instance, or set up a robust auto-scaling system to roll out extra instances on demand to handle the load. Trying to do any work as an admin when your Drupal site has many modules installed, especially memory hogs like Rules or Views, can potentially bog down your micro server. You can utilize AWS Cloudwatch alarms to monitor CPU utilization of your micro instance to help determine if it is being overwhelmed.

Confused about hosting Drupal with Amazon AWS?

If you're considering using Amazon AWS to host your Drupal website, but haven't worked with it before, you might want to check out our other tutorials and blog posts on working with Amazon AWS. Specifically, review our tutorial on running a Drupal website on Amazon Web Services.

If you're not sure if you can set up Amazon AWS hosting on your own, don't worry we might be able to help you! Contact Us


          Trump loves to say media companies are 'failing' — here's how they're actually performing   

Trump watching Super BowlReuters/Carlos Barria

President Donald Trump often labels media companies as "failing." He's taken shots at BuzzFeed during press conferences. He's repeatedly pounded on CNN, and particularly enjoyed that network's recent journalism stumble.

And of course, Trump has hammered the MSNBC show "Morning Joe" this week, causing a political firestorm that has stretched across both parties.

If you follow the advertising business, you'd not be surprised to hear that traditional media business models are under a lot of pressure as consumer consumption habits are going through rapid changes driven by technology.

But here's an ongoing question: are the media companies Trump refers to as failing" actually failing? 

Here's a look at how these companies are performing from an audience and financial perspective.


"Failing" CNN

Screenshot via CNN

CNN is a frequent Trump target.

But CNN just enjoyed a 39% jump in it ratings for adults aged 25 to 54, reported Variety.

It's true that a few years ago, CNN was really struggling. But lately all of cable news networks have enjoyed a resurgence, as Ad Age's Anthony Crupi noted recently on Twitter.


Nielsen says that CNN averaged over 1 million viewers during prime time during the second quarter of this year.


CNN's parent company Time Warner pulled in  $7.74 billion during its most recent quarter, a jump of 5.8% versus last year, reported Deadline. But ad sales were down for the company's cable networks.

'Low rated' 'Morning Joe'

Morning Joe

This week, President Trump has been in attack mode when it comes to the MSNBC show.


"Morning Joe" averaged just under 1 million viewers during the second quarter of this year, according to Nielsen. That's up from roughly 600,000 average viewers a year ago and lands MSNBC just behind Fox News in the morning news race, per Nielsen.


MSNBC has been on a recent ratings surge, and SNL Kagan says the network will pull in $267.8 million this year, reports Variety. Parent company NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp., pulled in close to $7.9 billion during the first quarter this year, up 14.7% versus the same period last year, reported the Los Angeles Times.

'Failing New York Times'

Getty Images/Mario Tama

President Trump has frequently referred to the New York Times as "failing."

It's true that at the height of the recession, the Times had to borrow money from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. But recently, the company has seen a surge in subscriptions and scoops thanks in part to Trump. But there's no question newspapers continue to grapple with a declining circulation and print advertising landscape.


The Times' website exceeded 94 million unique users in May, per comScore, a jump of 36% from last year. 


The Times reported that it now has over 2.2 million digital-only subscribers. However, print ad revenue slipped 18% during its most recent quarter. Overall revenue landed at $399 million in the first quarter, up 5% versus the same period in 2016.

'Failing pile of garbage' Buzzfeed

Getty Images/Kimberly White

At a press conference earlier this year, Trump referred to BuzzFeed as a "failing pile of garbage."


According to comScore, BuzzFeed reached over 80.1 million unique users in May, an increase of 8% from the previous year. BuzzFeed has launched several sub-brands on social media platforms, such as the food-focused Tasty–which boasts of nearly 87 million followers on Facebook. Overall the company says it generates 9 billion views a month across all of its distribution outlets.


BuzzFeed has received two rounds of investment from NBCUniversal, putting its valuation at $1.5 billion. The company is projecting $350 million in revenue this year, according to Bloomberg.


Thomson Reuters

This past week, President Trump took a shot at the Washington Post and Amazon.

 Actually, Amazon doesn't technically own the Washington Post, founder Jeff Bezos does. 


The Washington Post's web traffic exceeded 80.7 million unique users in May, up 28% versus the same month in 2016, according to comScore. The media company has produced a number of big scoops this past year.


The company does not report its revenue publicly, but according to Politico Washington Post went on a hiring spree following the 2016 election. 

ABC, CBS, other TV networks

Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

Trump has labeled several other big TV networks as 'failing' though it's not always clear what he's referring to.


CBS has one of the top shows on TV in "The Big Bang Theory," while ABC has a long-running hit in "Scandal."


While primetime TV ratings continue to shrink, ABC just reported that it was able to achieve high single-digit rate increases during the recently completed "upfront" ad sales period.

Meanwhile, CBS said that its first quarter revenue was $3.34 billion down from $3.59 billion during the same quarter last year when the network aired the Super Bowl.

Vanity Fair "way down, big trouble, dead"

Vanity Fair/Annie Leibovitz

Last year, Vanity Fair posted a scathing review of one of President Trump's restaurants, and he did not like it.

There's no doubt that Vanity Fair is facing a tough market for print advertising. Still, the company reported an immediate jump in business following Trump's tweet.


Vanity Fair nabbed 13,000 new subscriptions within 24 hours of Trump's social media response, according to Poynter. The magazine says it reeled in 107,460 new subscribers from December of last year through June, a jump of 365% from the same time period the year prior.


Parent company Conde Nast is private and does not report revenue data publicly.

See Also:

          Marin General gets anonymous donation of $10M for new hospital campus   
The Marin General Hospital Foundation this week received a $10 million gift from an anonymous local family. The Marin-based family foundation has given to other health care organizations but is a first-time donor to this hospital. This donation will go toward the hospital’s $535 million renovation, which is a part of the effort to meet seismic safety regulations required by 2030. “It’s being erected as we speak,” Lee Domanico, CEO of the Greenbrae hospital, told the Business Times. “The…

          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 454822)   
Dean Koontz, The Taking Review: "'Apocalyptical thriller' The rain keeps Molly Sloan indoors so she works on her book that she hopes to complete soon. However, she observes the oddity of the torrent pouring at over seven inches an hour and it has luminescent glow as if snow...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 570609)   
The Christ Clone Trilogy It began as a scientist's plan to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life by cloning live cells found on the Shroud of Turin . . . It will become a nightmare of worldwide destruction and the ultimate battle between good and evil! Tightly woven around...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 493498)   
The Stand
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 572844)   
This is the very best, and it's free online: http://thesealedportion.com
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 573121)   
The Bible.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 524455)   
In 1950, the novel "Raptured" by Ernest Angley
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 572929)   
Penthouse December edition
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10275099)   
First you spread false Zionist propaganda and then you can't even read it right. It does not say that the Ayatollah said this, it says a website with ties to the Ayatollah. Iran also has the biggest jewish community in all Muslim Counries and they are part of their government....
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 7242133)   
First you spread false Zionist propaganda and then you can't even read it right. It does not say that the Ayatollah said this, it says a website with ties to the Ayatollah. Iran also has the biggest jewish community in all Muslim Counries and they are part of their government....
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10304218)   
:bump: It is like iran is trying to start a fight! [/quote] If anything "Fighting Back" is more like it. After all, Iran is the one being threatened with war and "sanctions" ALL the time. Even though IAEA is in FULL SUPERVISION of all their nuclear programs.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10304218)   
First you spread false Zionist propaganda and then you can't even read it right. It does not say that the Ayatollah said this, it says a website with ties to the Ayatollah. Iran also has the biggest jewish community in all Muslim Counries and they are part of their government....
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 9553901)   
Pretty powerful kit they got there...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10275099)   
coincidences, common hate, something is strange here. WasnÂt supposed according with all "holy" books everyone be good to each other?
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 3767410)   
worldnetdaily forgot to take their meds today
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10267097)   
Or true. [/quote] Iran has Ballistic Missiles and are probably already nuclear... [/quote] yes they have also flying saucers and f35 fighter jets and stealth soldiers with laser weapons. [/quote] They have about 40 thousand suicide bombers in their service, nothing to laugh at...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 5525428)   
I wonder how "Reza Kahlili's" book sales are doing now that the author's bit has been picked up by WND? :scheming:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10267097)   
Or true. [/quote] Iran has Ballistic Missiles and are probably already nuclear... [/quote] yes they have also flying saucers and f35 fighter jets and stealth soldiers with laser weapons.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10263363)   
Or true. [/quote] Pipe down Mohammad. 5 stars OP, should be pinned. :applause:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10267097)   
fuck this old bastard. nuke him!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10230878)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 10279776)   
Or true.
          Playing with Clojure core interfaces   

One of Alan Perlis’ famous quote is

It is better to have 100 functions operate on one data structure than 10 functions on 10 data structures.

In a recent talk about reducers (available here), Rich Hickey playfully asserted that it might be even better to have 100 functions operate on anything. This article aims to show the effective way clojure offers to emulate common datastructures to use standard functions on pretend datastructures.

Let’s see how we can leverage the clojure transient interface to provide access to simple key/value stores. For the purpose of this article we’ll use everyone’s favorite outsourced heap: redis hand in hand with the carmine library.

This is what accessing redis looks like from carmine:

(require '[taoensso.carmine :as r :refer [wcar get set del]])

(def server-spec {}) ;; will connect to localhost

(wcar server-spec
  (r/set "a" "b")
  (r/get "a") ;; => "b"
  (r/del "a"))

Ideally, we’d like to be able to treat redis like a standard transient map:

(def redis (instance->transient server-spec))

;; assuming we're starting from an empty redis instance
(pr-str redis)
;; => "{}"
(assoc! redis :a :a)
(:a redis)
;; => :a
(pr-str redis)
;; => "{:a :a}"
(assoc! redis :b {:a 0 :b 1})
;; => {:a :a, :b {:b 1, :a 0}}
(assoc! (:b redis) :c 2)
;; {:b 1, :a 0, :c 2}
(-> redis :b (dissoc! :c :b))
;; {:a 0}
(count redis)
;; => 2
(seq redis)
;; => ([:a :a] [:b {:a 0}])
(dissoc! redis :b)
(dissoc! redis :a)
;; => {}
(assoc! redis :c #{:foo :bar})
;; {:c #{:foo :bar}}

This article will walk you through how to achieve that, on top of the carmine library presented above.

Please note that while this makes for an interesting exercise with protocols, it is not recommended to use it extensively, some of the chosen strategies to make this example easier are suboptimal at best.

Basic building blocks

To achieve homomorphism, clojure relies on interfaces, they provide a uniform way to access resources implementing them.

Looking at clojure’s source code, a mere two interfaces provide the necessary functionality for setting, retrieving and removing keys: clojure.lang.ILookup and clojure.lang.ITransientMap:

/* src/jvm/clojure/lang/ILookup.java */
public interface ILookup{
  Object valAt(Object key);
  Object valAt(Object key, Object notFound);

/* src/jvm/clojure/lang/ITransientMap.java */
public interface ITransientMap extends ITransientAssociative, Counted{

  ITransientMap assoc(Object key, Object val);
  ITransientMap without(Object key);
  IPersistentMap persistent();

In the above protocols:

  • valAt provides lookups and is shared across transients and persistent structures
  • assoc mutates a transient map to set a key to a value
  • without mutates a transient map to remove a key

The simplest way to implement java interfaces or clojure protocols is to make use of reify which generates anonymous classes implementing a list of provide protocol or interface.

With this, we can go on and write a fake transient:

(ns transient.redis
  (:require [taoensso.carmine :as r :refer [wcarl]]))

(defn instance->transient
    (valAt [this k]
      (wcar spec (r/get k)))
    (valAt [this k default]
      (or (.valAt this k) default))
    (assoc [this k v]
      (wcar spec (r/set k v))
      this) ;; transients always return themselves on mutation.
    (without [this k]
      (wcar spec (r/del k))

This gives a nice and clean interface to redis for keys:

(def kv (instance->transient {})) ;; connect to localhost

(assoc! kv "a" "b")
(get kv "a")
(dissoc! kv "a")

Taking advantage of homoiconicity

One of the nice properties of clojure is its homoiconic nature, meaning that all standard data can be printed and read back in by the reader without loss of information. Clojure even now provides a way to add new types to the reader through tagged literals.

A first improvement we can make to our implementation is to use pr-str and read-string as a cheap serializer/deserializer.

(ns transient.redis
  (:refer-clojure :exclude [read-string])
  (:require [taoensso.carmine :as r :refer [wcarl]]
            [clojure.edn :refer [read-string]]))

(defn instance->transient
    (valAt [this k]
      (when-let [res (wcar spec (r/get (pr-str k)))]
         (read-string res)))
    (valAt [this k default]
      (or (.valAt this k) default))
    (assoc [this k v]
      (wcar spec (r/set (pr-str k) (pr-str v)))
    (without [this k]
      (wcar spec (r/del (pr-str k)))

You’ll note that in the above, we’re using clojure.edn/read-string instead of clojure.core/read-string. This is because clojure.core/read-string is not safe for arbitrary inputs since it might end up calling eval on input.

More protocols

We’ve now reached a good first step for our key value interface. We could go a bit further though, since redis supports data-types which resemble clojure’s. If we look at redis sets, lists and hashes, they map to clojure sets, vectors and maps without to much contorsion.

Fortunately, clojure provides transient versions of sets, vectors and maps. To coerce our redis connection instance we will need to implement a variety of interfaces described below.


This protocol should be implemented by all types and provides a way to yield the length of a collection.

public interface Counted {
    int count();


This protocol is implemented by any datastructure which can be coerced to a seq:

public interface ISeq {
  ISeq seq();

When calling seq on a map, it is expected to receive a list of IMapEntry structures as defined in the following interface:

public interface IMapEntry extends Map.Entry{
  Object key();
  Object val();

Map entries also happen to implement Counted, Indexed (see below) and Seqable. This is the protocol that allows you to write:

(map key {:a 0 :b 1})


This protocol allows lookup in collections with nth:

public interface Indexed extends Counted{
  Object nth(int i);
  Object nth(int i, Object notFound);


Much like ITransientAssociative, ITransientVector gives a way to mutate on vector like structures:

public interface ITransientVector extends ITransientAssociative, Indexed{
  ITransientVector assocN(int i, Object val);
  ITransientVector pop();


ITransientSet completes the list of transient collections

public interface ITransientSet extends ITransientCollection, Counted{
  public ITransientSet disjoin(Object key) ;
	public boolean contains(Object key);
	public Object get(Object key);

Redis Operations

Let’s now look at how the redis world can be mapped to the clojure world.

Redis Instance

The global redis instance can be seen as a map, just like in our first example. If we want it to implement Seqable and Counted, there is no other choice but to issue the redis command KEYS * and count the results for Counted or map them to clojure values for Seqable.

We have already seen how to implement ILookup and ITransientMap above, but we’ll add a twist, when creating values, instead of always using the SET command, we can look at the type of value we’re fed with set?, map? and sequential? to create matching types in redis (set, hash or list) while still defaulting to string keys.

Likewise, when retrieving keys, we can use the redis TYPE command to lookup the key type and yield a transient vector, map or set when we encounter the matching redis types.

without does not need to change, since it works on any key type.

This gives us and updated instance->transient:

(valAt [this k]
  (let [k    (pr-str k)
		type (wcar spec (r/type k))]
	(condp = type
	  "string" (read-string (wcar spec (r/get k)))
	  "hash"   (hash->transient spec k)
	  "list"   (list->transient spec k)
	  "set"    (set->transient spec k)
	  "none"   nil
	  (throw (ex-info "unsupported redis type" {:type type})))))
(assoc [this k v]
  (let [k (pr-str k)]
	 (set? v)        (doseq [member v]    ;; Call SADD on all members
					   (wcar spec (r/sadd k (pr-str member))))
	 (map? v)        (doseq [[subk v] v]  ;; Call HSET on all entries
					   (wcar spec (r/hset k (pr-str subk) (pr-str v))))
	 (sequential? v) (doseq [e v]         ;; Call LPUSH on all entries
					   (wcar spec (r/lpush k (pr-str e))))
	  ;; Default to a plain SET
	 :else           (wcar spec (r/set k (pr-str v)))))

As explained above we can now also implement Counted and Seqable:

(count [this]
  (count (wcar spec (r/keys "*"))))
(seq [this]
  (let [keys (wcar spec (r/keys "*"))]
	(for [k keys]
	  (->mapentry (read-string k) (.valAt this (read-string k))))))

Beware that calling KEYS * is very suboptimal and should not be done in real life scenarios.

We’re also missing the ->mapentry function above, which can be simply be:

(defn ->mapentry
  [k v]
	(nth [this i]         (nth [k v] i))     ;; carry over
	(nth [this i def]     (nth [k v] i def)) ;; carry over to nth
	(seq [this]           (list k v))        ;; we know all elems
	(count [this]         2)                 ;; always two elems
	(getKey [this]        k)                 ;; IMapEntry extends Map.Entry
	(getValue [this]      v)                 ;;
	(key [this]           k)                 
	(val [this]           v)))

Redis Hashes

Redis hashes will implement the same interfaces than redis instances: ILookup, ITransientMap, Counted and Seqable. The logic will closely resemble our initial version. Lookups will be done using HGET, removals with HDEL. To count elements or coerce a hash to a seq, we can count on the HGETALL command which yields a list containing keys and values. Since the output list is flattened we can use (partition 2) to obtain the desired structure:

(defn hash->transient
  [spec k]
	(valAt [this subk]
	  (when-let [res (wcar spec (r/hget k (pr-str subk)))]
		(read-string res)))
	(valAt [this subk default]
	  (or (.valAt this subk) default))
	(assoc [this subk v]
	  (wcar spec (r/hset k (pr-str subk) (pr-str v)))
	(without [this subk]
	  (wcar spec (r/hdel k (pr-str subk)))
	(count [this]
	  (count (partition 2 (wcar spec (r/hgetall k)))))
	(seq [this]
	  (for [[k v] (partition 2 (wcar spec (r/hgetall k)))]
		(->mapentry (read-string k)
					(read-string v))))))

Redis Sets

Redis sets are very similar to hashes. Additions to the set are done with SADD, deletions with SREM, we have an efficient way of counting the set with SCARD. SISMEMBER will tell us if we have a matching member in our set (it returns either 0 or 1, so we need to coerce it to a boolean with pos?). Last, SMEMBERS will help in implementing seq:

(defn set->transient
  [spec k]
	(count [this]
	  (wcar spec (r/scard k)))
	(seq [this]
	  (map read-string (wcar spec (r/smembers k))))
	(conj [this v]
	  (wcar spec (r/sadd k (pr-str v)))
	(disjoin [this v]
	  (wcar spec (r/srem k (pr-str v)))
	(contains [this v]
	  (let [member (wcar spec (r/sismember k (pr-str v)))]
		(pos? member)))
	(get [this v]
	  (when (.contains this v)

Redis Lists

To finish off with our tour of structures, vectors and lists will be mapped to redis lists. A list’s length is reported by LLEN, we can retrieve all members with LRANGE 0 -1 while LSET, LPOP and LPUSH will implement mutation operations:

(defn list->transient
  [spec k]
	(count [this]
	  (wcar spec (r/llen k)))
	(seq [this]
	  (map read-string (wcar spec (r/lrange k 0 -1))))
	(conj [this v]
	  (wcar spec (r/lpush k (pr-str v)))
	(assocN [this index v]
	  (wcar spec (r/lset k index v))
	(pop [this]
	  (wcar spec (r/lpop k))

Behaving like functions

A property of both sets and maps is to behave like functions which test for membership (on sets) and lookup keys (on maps).

This is done by yet another interface: IFn:

public interface IFn extends Callable, Runnable{
  public Object invoke() ;
  public Object invoke(Object arg1) ;
  public Object invoke(Object arg1, Object arg2) ;
  /* ... */

We can add the signature to our set and map implementations:

;; hash->transient
    (invoke [this subk]
      (.valAt this subk))

;; set->transient
    (invoke [this member]
      (when (.contains this member)

Our transients now fully behave like clojure datastructures!

The cherry on top: pretty printing

Our transient facade is getting there, but we’re still faced with a problem: in doesn’t look good in the repl. Without going any further a redis instance looks like this: #<transient$instance$reify__8580 redis.transient$instance$reify__8580@3850ea4b>. Likewise, when dealing with sets, lists or maps.

By digging around, we find that printing is done with clojure.core/pr which ultimately calls clojure.core/pr-on, defined at https://github.com/clojure/clojure/blob/eccff113e7d68411d60f7204711ab71027dc5356/src/clj/clojure/core.clj#L3532-L3544.

We can rely on print-method’s ability to look either at the class of an object or at its metadata to dispatch to the appropriate pretty printer:

(defmulti print-method (fn [x writer]
                         (let [t (get (meta x) :type)]
                           (if (keyword? t) t (class x)))))

We can now write a dispatch method which expects our transient’s metadata to contain the keys :type, used by print-method’s dispatch function, prefix and suffix specify how to enclose the contents of collections.

(defmethod print-method :redis
  [obj ^java.io.Writer writer]

  ;; extract additional metadata
  (let [{:keys [prefix suffix sep tuple?]} (meta obj)]
    (.write writer prefix)

    ;; ensure we have elements to show
    (when (pos? (count obj))
      (loop [[item & items] (seq obj)]
        ;; handle map tuples differently
        (if tuple?
            (print-method (key item) writer)
            (.write writer " ")
            (print-method (val item) writer))
          (print-method item writer))

        ;; show separator when there are more elems
        (when (seq items)
          (.write writer (str sep  " "))
          (recur items))))

    (.write writer suffix)))

With this in place we can add metadata to our closures:

(defn ->mapentry
  [k v]
  ^{:type :redis :prefix "[" :suffix "]"}

(defn hash->transient
  [k v]
  ^{:type :redis :prefix "{" :suffix "}" :sep "," :tuple? true}

(defn set->transient
  [k v]
  ^{:type :redis :prefix "#{" :suffix "}"}

(defn list->transient
  [k v]
  ^{:type :redis :prefix "[" :suffix "]"}

(defn instance->transient
  [k v]
  ^{:type :redis :prefix "{" :suffix "}" :sep "," :tuple? true}

Wrapping up

All the bits are now in place, and the example code shown above works as expected. I’ve posted the output here.

I didn’t publish a library on purpose since I don’t think you should use this for any serious work, but it does make for an interesting playground.

While testing this implementation I found out that contains? cannot be called on transient sets because of a limitation in the runtime, I created a JIRA issue to discuss this here: http://dev.clojure.org/jira/browse/CLJ-1581.

          Most Forwarded: Opalesque most forwarded article - week 26: Investing - U.S. hedge fund in anonymous bet against Tesco shares, Hedge funds made repeated attempts to invest in Veneto banks, Steve Cohen&#039;s Point72 takes stake in struggling electronics retailer Conn&#039;s, Hedge fund Excalibur bets Riksbank will tighten by end of year   
U.S. hedge fund in anonymous bet against Tesco shares From FT.com: A $20bn New York hedge fund is using an offshore shell company to anonymously bet against the shares of the UK supermarket Tesco, raising fresh questions over the efficacy of European short selling discl....
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          Hacking group Anonymous claims NASA is about to announce ‘evidence of alien life’   
– Hacking group Anonymous claims NASA is about to announce ‘evidence of alien life’: NASA is “on the verge” of announcing the discovery of alien life, according to a new video by hacking group Anonymous. NASA is “on the verge” of announcing the discovery of alien life, according to the latest video from hacktivist group ... Read more
          Google Collect the User Data of Android   

After doing research using the HTC Android phone, a leading analyst, Samy Kamkar, found that these devices take data location then sent it to Google several times in each hour.

Tech Info - Shortly after heard news about the iPhone capable track the users location, Google as the owner of the operating system was publicly admitted the truth of the news.

HTC AndroidNow, a Google spokesman admitted that this company located in Mountain View was indeed doing a reconnaissance to the users. However it was done for the sake of services such as maps, search for shops or restaurants as well as studying the traffic on some streets.
"The phone knows your location, and it is necessary for the various services which we offer," said Google spokesman, Mike Nelson, as quoted by Computer Business Review on Monday, April 25, 2011.

"All the share location features on Android can be controlled by the user. We provide notification and control for the collection, use and share the location so we could offer a more quality mobile experience on the Android," He add.

"All of location data that is sent back to the Google location server is an anonymous and can not be traced to one specific user," he concluded.

Before Google, Apple, which is one of giant gadget, shocking millions of its users, after it emerged that the iPhone could collect their location data. The news immediately provoked hard reactions from various of the communications regulator of the world, including South Korea which is committed to conduct an investigation against Apple. But, the Apple so far has not also provided comments related to the news.
          Samsung is developing solid-state phone batteries that won’t explode   
Samsung is taking steps to ensure another Galaxy Note 7 fiasco doesn’t happen: it is developing solid-state batteries for smartphones, something that could be available to consumers within the next handful of years. The tip comes from an unnamed Samsung executive who recently spoke to a Korean publication anonymously, saying that the technology is only one or two years away. … Continue reading
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          [№無喱哈]:上传了 1 张新图片到相册《默认相册》   

          Ticket to Write: Vases by ancient Greek painter can bring goosebumps    
One of the greatest artists of ancient Athens — that's fifth century B.C., mind you — will have dozens of his finest vases displayed this summer at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art.I know.Wow.The anonymous artist, known as the Berlin Painter, created "some of the greatest masterpieces of classical antiquity," said Adam Levine, the museum's associate curator of ancient art.The exhibit, "The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C.," [...]
          HAUNTCAST 5 – Son of Hauntcast   
Hauntcast 5 - "Son of Hauntcast" Chris' confession to Hauntoholics Anonymous kicks off the fifth installment featuring an interview with Ghostess Deanna of Dead End Haunt and the Florida Haunters group, News From Beyond, Top Ten Ways To Save Money and Finance Your Haunt, Fright Flicks and Horror Reviews, Letters to the Garage, [...]

          Kommentar zu WhatsApp und das Adressbuch-Problem von Anonymous   
Tippfehler: "gehen soll" => "gehen sollen" "gesamten Facebook" => "gesamte Facebook" "weißt" => "weist" Ansonsten ein sehr schöner Artikel.
          Kommentar zu Edelstahloberflächen richtig reinigen – so funktioniert es! von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu 10 geniale Grusel-Schocker für Halloween zum Selberbacken von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu Diese 10 Putztricks hast du noch nie gesehen von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu Tipps zur Organisation und Pflege der Hausapotheke von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu 6 sensationelle Putztricks fürs Badezimmer von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu Tipps zur Organisation und Pflege der Hausapotheke von Anonymous   
          Anonymous asked a new question: відпустка   
          Anonymous asked a new question: Стажировка на раб месте   
          Anonymous answered to the question "Ремонт орендованих приміщень"   
          The "Crime of the Century" is Bad Journalism   

The latest propaganda piece from The Washington Post, "Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault," is based, as usual, mostly on anonymous sources determined to make former President Barack Obama look good. The gist is that Obama tried his best to punish Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 election, but he fell short and left the matter in the hands of President Donald Trump, who has done nothing.

So Trump is blamed for Obama's failure. How convenient.

The essence of the piece is that "intelligence" was "captured" that somehow proved that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave "specific instructions" that he wanted  to "defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

Pardon me, but I don't believe this for a moment. This "intelligence" may be what the Post seeks to expose-Russian "active measures" or disinformation.

As we reported back in January, "Looking at the election objectively, it is possible to say that Russian leader Vladimir Putin may have had a personal vendetta against the former U.S. secretary of state for some reason, stemming from allegations of U.S. meddling in Russian internal affairs. On the other hand, Putin may have preferred that Clinton become the U.S. president because her failed Russian ‘reset' had facilitated Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and he believed he could continue to take advantage of her."

This makes far more sense than the Post story.

Remember that Obama won the 2012 election after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney's claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had also been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be "flexible" in changing his positions to benefit Russia.

"These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term," we noted.

The Post story by Greg Miller and others is an obvious response to the observation that, if Obama thought the Russian interference was such a big deal, what did Obama try to do about it?

One can read the entire article if you are interested in how pro-Obama propaganda is manufactured by the Post. Some parts of the article are more ludicrous than others, such as this paragraph:

"Throughout his presidency, Obama's approach to national security challenges was deliberate and cautious. He came into office seeking to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was loath to act without support from allies overseas and firm political footing at home. He was drawn only reluctantly into foreign crises, such as the civil war in Syria, that presented no clear exit for the United States."

The paragraph is designed to mask Obama's indifference to Russian aggression in places like Crimea, Ukraine and Syria. In regard to the latter, Obama failed to save Syria from Russian aggression and facilitated a conflict-through secret arms shipments to the region-that now stands at 500,000 dead.

Obama's alleged "cautious" approach in the Middle East was to support jihadist groups in Syria and Libya, and back regimes such as the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, which was overthrown by the military backed by the people.

The hero in the Post account is Obama's CIA director John Brennan, who joined the agency after admitting to voting for Moscow's man in the 1976 presidential election, Gus Hall of the Communist Party USA. Suddenly, we are led to believe, as CIA director, he became anti-Russian after discovering a Moscow plot in 2016 to disrupt the presidential election.

"In political terms," the paper said, "Russia's interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy."

This is complete nonsense. There is no evidence any votes were changed as a result of this so-called "interference."

The crime of the century is bad journalism based on anonymous sources who hide behind papers like the Post to spread their self-serving and partisan propaganda.

"This account of the Obama administration's response to Russia's interference is based on interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services," the Post said. "Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue."

One paragraph in particular tells you everything you know about the anonymous sources behind this story. "Those closest to Obama defend the administration's response to Russia's meddling," the Post said. Yes, indeed, those "closest to Obama" would certainly do so.

Then we're told that that "They believe that a series of warnings-including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September-prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of U.S. voting systems."

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for this dramatic statement. It's completely made up.

Remember, this is the same Obama who once assured Putin that after he won his re-election campaign in 2012, he would have "more flexibility" with the Russian leader and be able to offer more concessions.

Now, all of a sudden, Obama is rough and tough and gets things done with the Russian leader. What a joke.

The paper reported that "Obama confronted Putin directly during a meeting of world leaders in Hangzhou, China. Accompanied only by interpreters, Obama told Putin that ‘we knew what he was doing and [he] better stop or else,' according to a senior aide who subsequently spoke with Obama. Putin responded by demanding proof and accusing the United States of interfering in Russia's internal affairs."

Or else?

It sounds like the red line in Syria that Obama had warned the Syrian regime not to cross. But they crossed it anyway.

Obama's so-called "secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault" exists in the minds of Post reporters who are waging a not-so-secret struggle to rehabilitate the former president's disastrous foreign policy toward Russia and most of the rest of the world.

Let's not forget one more debacle-Obama's deal with Russian client state Iran to facilitate the regime's nuclear weapons program and world-wide terrorism.

That may end up being another crime of the century, on par with President Bill Clinton's deal with North Korea that was supposed to prevent the communist regime from getting its hands on nuclear weapons.

Speaking of North Korea, whose nuclear weapons program accelerated under Obama, hear the words of Otto Warmbier's father about his son being released after Trump took office: "I think the results speak for themselves."

Obama's "cautious and deliberate" approach was to let the young man languish in a North Korean prison while being tortured to near death.

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          Final Fantasy XV : Les Empires concrétise la farce   
Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, un free to play sur iOS et Android

Lancé en Nouvelle-Zélande dans l'indifférence générale le 1er avril dernier, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire semble avoir convaincu les actionnaires de Square Enix, qui publie aujourd'hui cet étrange free to play dans le reste du monde

          The Best Reverse Cell Phone Lookup - Why You Must 'Pick and Choose' - Important!   
Databases for Reverse Cell Phone lookup are a common sight on the internet. The service comes in handy when you need to identify an anonymous caller or if you need to make a check on someone's identity or numerous other reasons. You can use a database quickly and easily from work, the library or home, basically, anywhere that you have a computer with an Internet connection.
          Find Someone's Name Using a Cell Phone Number - Three Things You Must Pay Attention To! Beware!   
Do you have Caller ID? How helpful is it when an anonymous number shows up? Not very helpful, is it?
          100% réussite à l'examen de certification CEH   
100% réussite à l'examen de certification CEH
Un clin d'oeil donné par Baptiste aux Anonymous, suite à la réussite de son examen CEH v9: une belle victoire! ;)
Nous souhaitons féliciter l'ensemble de nos participants à notre toute dernière session CEH v9 : nous avons le plaisir d'afficher à nouveau un taux de réussite de 100%  à l'examen de Certification CEH Ethical Hacker !   ​Tous les candidats ont travaillé durement tout au long de cette semaine: après de longues journées de cours, ...
          Hello Fellow Info-philes!   
I thought about creating a dummy blog for the LIBR203 assignment - so embarrassing to have people actually read what you've written and know that it's you (isn't "internet" synonymous with "anonymous" for us introverts?) - but I have several stuttering blog-starts scattered around the web already. I don't need to add more to the meaningless blog-clutter.

As you can see, I was enthusiastic about this blog for about a week two years ago and then abandoned it. I no longer live in Portland, OR, where I went to college and lived off and on for an additional three years. I would live in Portland forever if it weren't for that pesky ever-present cloud cover. It was too much for me, so I moved back to the Bay Area, where there is unending sunshine and a beautiful library system. Portland is full of overeducated underpaid blibliophiles, so the small (relatively) number of books the libraries have the budget to provide are nearly always checked out. I will never forget being 274th on a waiting list for The Marriage Plot. I caved to pressure and bought the book so I wouldn't have to wait two years to read it. At my local Santa Clara library, on the other hand, I've never been higher than 17th on a list, despite wanting to read some very popular books. What does all this mean? Mostly that I really like libraries.

And now, here's a list in no particular order of books I think everyone should read:
Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Strong Poison/Have His Carcase/Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
The Golden Compass/The Subtle Knife/The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
Anything by Madeleine L'Engle
          The Earth is Flat: Implementing A Concatenative Language in Gazelle   

The Earth is Flat

(Edit: I forgot to explain how to install and set up Gazelle. Please see my previous post to that effect.)
Hi everyone - work at my startup, Agri-Esprit, has been brisk lately but I've nevertheless made some progress on Gazelle. I am getting very close to porting Gazelle into itself, which will me a major milestone for the language. The layer which handles modules and macro-expansion is still a bit messy, but at this stage a complete rewrite in Gazelle itself is the better refactoring strategy. Plus, I don't want to accumulate any more macro-expansion code in the standard libraries, because that all needs a serious rewrite, as it is written in Emacs Lisp.
But, to whet your appetites and to exercise Gazelle a bit in preparation2, I thought I would write a multi-part series about building a tiny concatenative language using Gazelle. This language will be called flat, because concatenative code is at least superficially flat2.

The Semantics of Flat

Flat programs look like this:
3 3 +
Which results in 3.
[add-one 1 +] define-word
Which defines a word, which is the flat version of a function, which adds one to a value.
10 add-one message
Which calls that word.

10 my-words:times-3

looks up the word times-3 in the package my-words and calls it on 10.
flat, like most concatenative languages, operates with respect to a stack3 (two, actually) and the above programs can't be understood without reference to it. The first program pushes 3 onto the stack twice and then adds the result. The second program pushes a quotation onto the stack and then uses it to define a new word, and the third pushes 10 onto the stack and calls the word.
flat is a homoiconic language. Which is to say that a flat program is itself a piece of data that can be manipulated by stack and, given that flat lives in Javascript, via Gazelle, flat programs are also Javascript objects. But what sort of objects?

Representing Flat Programs

A flat program is a Javascript array. Furthermore, it is a Javascript array which contains any of the following:
literal numbers
that is, things denoted by 10, 13, 33.2 and so on
literal strings
that is, `test flight`, `pancakes`, "swords"
of which more later
flat programs
that is, things which satisfy this definition.
The two literal types, strings and numbers, and the flat programs themselves are rather transparently represented by the equivalent Javascript objects. Only symbols and keywords require elaboration.
symbols and keywords are roughly similar to the objects in Common Lisp which share their names4. That is, symbols will be used to denote things and keywords will be used to denote themselves. Further elaborating, symbols will eventually be resolved into words during interpretation of flat programs, while keywords will provide a convenient way to refer to a set of objects which have no role but to denote themselves.
How might we implement these objects using Gazelle?


Gazelle provides some tiny wrappers over a pretty standard Javascript class system, so we could implement our symbols and keywords thusly:

 (("hooves/hooves" :all)
  ("hooves/class-utils" :all))

 (define-class+ keyword Object
   (this.set-name name)

 (define-method keyword set-name (name)
   (if (string? name)
       (set! this.name name)
     (throw (new Error "Keywords can only have names which are strings."))))

 (define-method keyword get-name ()

 (define-class+ symbol Object
   (name :- (opt package undefined))
   (this.set-name name)
   (this.set-package package)

 (define-method symbol set-name (name)
   (if (string? name)
       (set! this.name name)
     (throw (new Error "Symbols can only have names which are strings."))))

 (define-method symbol set-package (name)
   (if (|| (string? name)
           (undefined? name))
       (set! this.package name)
     (throw (new Error "Symbols only have package names which are undefined or strings."))))

 (define-method symbol get-name ()

 (define-method symbol get-package ()

More Ambitiously

However, this is somewhat underambitious, in my opinion. I'm interested in eventually letting people construct flat programs using a DOM based graphical user interface. As a consequence, I'm building the entire flat system on top of the Maria Model View Controller framework. I've used Maria for a lot of things lately, and so I've built a nice set of wrappers based on the underlying Javascript framework. The above class definitions look like this, using Gazelle's maria+ library:

 (("hooves/hooves" :all)
  ("maria+/maria+" :all))

 (define-maria-model+ keyword-model
   (external-properties name)
   (constructor (name)
                (this.set-name name)

 (define-maria-model+ symbol-model
   (external-properties package name)
   (constructor (name :- (opt package undefined))
                (this.set-package package)
                (this.set-name name)

You'll note this is much more succinct definition. The framework's define-maria-model macros automatically define getters and setters for properties which are listed in the external-properties sub-form of the class definition5.
One creates symbols and keywords in Gazelle/Javascript with new:

(var s1 (new symbol-model "some-name" "some-package"))
(var k1 (new keyword-model "some-keyword-name"))

So far, so easy. The entire reason we want to implement symbols and keywords is because Javascript has no convenient representation of identifiers that we can piggyback on while writing new languages. So it isn't really enough just to have models that denote symbols and keywords, we need to have a succinct way of indicating that we want to construct symbols. That is, we want to write somewhere something like:

a b c 10 11 +

and have it denote the Javascript/Gazelle object:

 (new symbol-model "a")
 (new symbol-model "b")
 (new symbol-model "c")
 (new symbol-model "+")]

Denoting flat programs at Compile/Transcode Time

Easy things first. If we are satisfied with denoting all of our flat programs statically, then we can use the macro-expansion environment, that is Emacs Lisp, and its representation of symbols and keywords, and a macro, to translate something like (program a b +) into [: (new symbol-model "a") (new symbol-model "b") (new symbol-model "+")]
This is easy using a Gazelle macro:

 (define-macro+ program ((tail terms))
   (let ((-keyword `(from "flat/flat" keyword-model))
         (-symbol `(from "flat/flat" symbol-model)))
      (cons : (loop for term in terms collect
                    (match term
                           ((or (string item)
                                (number item))
                           ((keyword k)
                            `(new ,-keyword ,(substring (symbol-name k) 1)))
                           ((symbol (funcall #'symbol-name name))
                            (let ((parts (split-string name ":")))
                              (match parts
                                     ((list package-name name)
                                      `(new ,-symbol ,name ,package-name))
                                     ((list name)
                                      `(new ,-symbol ,name)))))
                           ((p #'vectorp v)
                            `(program ,@(coerce v 'list))))))

Here we define an external macro named locally program, which loops through its body, bound to terms by the pattern matching expression that constitutes macro arguments in Gazelle, and checks the type of each thing, expanding it to the proper Gazelle expression. Note here that we bind local versions of -keyword and -symbol because we want our macro to expand to the versions of these values which are bound in this package, not in the macro-expansion environment. The only slightly tricky aspect is that we have to choose a representation for the user to enter package qualified symbols, package:symbol, which expands to a new symbol-model with a name and package argument.
Note that it is possible in flat, apparently, to have symbols which are in no package and that these symbols are not keywords. They do have a special meaning, however, of which more later.

Denoting flat programs at Run Time

We'd like flat to be liberated from the Emacs Lisp/Gazelle environment. One good reason for this is that it could then be easily used by Javascript programmers who are not using Gazelle. Gazelle does aim to be a good citizen of the Javascript ecosystem, after all.
However, if we want to make using flat at run time, when the macro-expansion and Lisp reader are fond, but distant, memories, then we need to implement a flat reader. This is excellent practice for eventually implementing a Lisp reader, which must, after all, read symbols, numbers, and sub-expressions.


Javascript is a sad place for a Lisp to live, since it lacks a good, simple programmatic representation of source code and a reader to translate text to this representation. These two things are a major benefit of Lisp, but even Lisp's simple syntax isn't so easy to write a parser for. As we'll see, even flat, which is simpler than Lisp in a lot of ways, presents a modest task when it comes to parsing.
Luckily, I have a method of writing parsers which I feel makes them easy to denote, test and use: a parsing monad.
During the creation of flat, I also constructed a an implementation of monadic parsers and a variety of parser combinators called parseltonge, since it constitutes a domain specific language for parsers.
I want to go into the implementation of parseltongue because otherwise the parser for flat will seem like magic and because parseltongue constitutes a particularly nice example of why I programmed Gazelle. It enables access to abstractions which would otherwise be impossible in Javascript.


At the heart of parseltongue is the notion of a parser. A parser is a just a function which accepts an input and produces either a Success, of which more later, which contains the result of the parser and the new input state (monadic parsers are purely functional), or a Failure, in which case a reason of some kind is enclosed6.

Success and Failure

Parsers either succeed or fail, and so we provide an abstract representation of this condition that we can easily construct and pattern match against. Success and Failure are represented by Javascript classes called Success* and Failure*. They have constructors that one can use without new called Success and Failure and custom pattern matchers called Success and Failure, so that pattern matching and construction of instance is symmetric.
Here is how we define this range of things:

 (define-class+ Success* Object (value)
   (set! this.value value)

 (define+ (Success val)
   (new Success* val))

 (define-class+ Failure* Object (reason)
   (set! this.reason reason)

 (define+ (Failure reason)
   (new Failure* reason))

 (define-pattern+ Success (value-pattern)
   `(instance (from "parseltongue/parseltongue" Success*)
              { value ,value-pattern}))

 (define-pattern+ Failure (reason-pattern)
   `(instance (from "parseltongue/parseltongue" Failure*)
              { reason ,reason-pattern}))

Now we can say something like:

(define (maybe-first-character string)
 (if (< string.length 1)
   (Failure "String too small.")
  (Success [string 0])))

(match (maybe-first-character "something")
  ((Success val) val)
  ((Failure reason) (throw (new Error reason))))

Of course in this case, it hardly affords us anything more that using throw, try, and catch. But I find this strategy is easier to understand when you want to handle unusual circumstances and/or combine and enhance error messages, or even resume a computation.

The parser state

To efficiently represent the state of a parser, we implement the following class:

(define-class+ Parse-State Object (string :- (opt cursor 0))
   (set! this.string string)
   (set! this.cursor cursor))

 (define-method Parse-State head ()
   [this.string this.cursor])

 (define-method Parse-State rest ()
   (if (< this.cursor this.string.length)
       (new Parse-State this.string (_+ this.cursor 1))

 (define-method Parse-State nth-rest-unsafe (n)
   (new Parse-State this.string (_+ this.cursor n)))

 (define-method Parse-State parsed ()
   (this.string.substring 0 this.cursor))

 (define-method Parse-State unparsed ()
   (this.string.substring this.cursor this.string.length))

 (define-method Parse-State length-left ()
   (_- this.string.length this.cursor))

 (define-method Parse-State take (n)
   (if (< n (this.length-left))
        [: (this.string.substring this.cursor
            (_+ this.cursor n))
           (new Parse-State this.string (_+ this.cursor n))])
     (Failure (_+ "Cannot take "
               n " items from "
               { parsed (this.parsed)
                 unparsed  (this.unparsed)})))))

The main idea here is that we add a cursor to a string, and parsing advances the cursor rather than chopping the string up. This way our parsing doesn't involve the creation and chopping up of a lot of strings. Plus, this way our error messages can describe both the parsed and unparsed part of an input, which sometimes is more informative than just the latter.
So, each of our parsers will take such an object, do something with it, and return either a Failure with a reason or a Success, with a value and a new Parse-State.

Baby's First Parser

Here is a parser:

 (define+ (p-item input)
   (new Success
        [: (input.head) (input.rest)]))

It is handy to keep straight, in one's head, writing parseltongue code, whether a value is a parser or a parser-producer, that is, whether it is a function which is a parser or a function which takes some arguments, possibly parsers, and returns a parser. By convention, then, parsers are prefixed with p- and parser producers are prefixed, rather uncreatively, with pp-, which is a bit ugly but helps keep one's thinking straight.
We can use the above parser to write new parser that only parses the letter "a" in the following way:

 (define+ (p-a input)
  (match (p-item input)
    ((and success (Success [: "a" rest]))
     (comment "The pattern matching ensures that only `a` matches.")
    ((instance Failure* failure)
     (comment "Given that p-item doesn't appear to ever fail, this
  shouldn't really happen.")

Here we are using the pattern matcher to assert that we only match against a Successful parse of an item which, furthermore, must be the string "a". This is the great utility of pattern matching in Gazelle: extremely succinct and expressive denotations of program flow.
One can write parsers in this style, but one rapidly encounters bottlenecks that require lots of code to perform simple parsings. For instance, suppose we want to parse "[", then "a" or "b" then "]". To write such a parser by hand, in the style above, is cumbersome. We can write it in parseltongue quite simply:

 (define+ p-bracketed-a
    (pp-str "["))
    (:bind character (pp-or (pp-str "a")
                            (pp-str "b")))
    (pp-str "]")
    (pp-return character))

But how does this work?

Magical Macros

If you haven't already guessed, it is quite difficult to expose the functionality above in pure Javascript because parser, which is a Gazelle macro, performs meta-programmatic transformations which are difficult to simulate using the usual tricks Javascript allows for meta-programming9.
However, underlying the macro magic is one function, called pp-bind, since it produces a parser, which accepts two arguments: a parser and a function which accepts a value of some kind and returns a new parser. pp-bind allows the programmer to create a new parser which expresses a chain between the value parsed by the first parser and the subsequent parsing behavior. Here is the implementation from parseltongue:

 (define+ (pp-bind mv mf)
   (lambda (input)
     (match (mv input)
      ((Success [: rval new-input])
       ((mf rval) new-input))
      ((Failure reason)
        (_+ "Parse failed with reason: " reason ", parse state: "
        (JSON.stringify { parsed (input.parsed)
            unparsed  (input.unparsed)})))))))

If you've thought about monads a lot, this is a fairly straightforward implementation of bind for parsers10. The function returns a closure over the values passed in, mv here is the parser, or the monadic value, and mf is the function which returns a new parser, or the monadic-function. The parser is applied to the input of the anonymous function, the value is extracted with a pattern match, and then that value is passed to mf, which results in a new parser, which is passed the input. Hence, mf can represent a block of code which constructs the next parser in a chain depending on the result of a previous parser.
This function is called pp-bind because it represents an extension of the programming-language level notion of binding. That is, mf, which is a function of a single argument, represents a value dependent on a variable which is unbound (denoted by the argument to the function), and pp-bind modifies the behavior of a standard function application by changing the process that relates expressions to bindings in such an expression.
The macro parser just makes chaining many pp-binds easier. Here is what it looks like:

 (define-macro+ parser ((tail body))
   (let ((pp-bind `(from "parseltongue/parseltongue" pp-bind))
         (pp-return `(from "parseltongue/parseltongue" pp-return))
         (pp-and `(from "parseltongue/parseltongue" pp-and)))
     (match body
            ((list* (list :bind pattern expr) body0 body)
             `(,pp-bind ,expr
                        (lambda (,pattern)
                          (parser ,body0 ,@body))))
            ((list* (list :let pattern expr) body0 body)
             `(_let ((,pattern ,expr))
                    `(,pp-bind ,body0 ,@body)))
            ((list (list* :aside aside-body) body0 body)
             `(progn ,@aside-body
                     (,pp-bind ,body0 ,@body)))
            ((list* expr body0 body)
             `(,pp-and ,expr
                      (parser ,body0 ,@body)))
            ((list expr)

The body of a parser consists of either
  • expressions which evaluate to parsers
  • :bind expressions, which bind a variables via pattern matching to the values produced by a parser
  • :let expressions, which bind values via patterns using regular binding semantics
  • :aside expressions, which just evaluate code but don't insert or bind things (useful for debugging)
:bind expressions just expand to calls to pp-bind which pass the expression on the rhs of the expression through pp-bind to a function which takes one argument and matches it, and then performs the rest of the pp-bind. As such, a parser expression always results in a parser.
When an expression which isn't a :bind, :let, or :aside is encountered, it is processed as though through :bind with a hidden variable. It produces no binding, but does pass through pp-bind.
Using parseltongue, it is pretty easy to write naive parsers for flat that we can call at run-time, in the Javascript only environment, to parse a string denoting a flat program in a Javascript representation that is easy to interpret:

The Flat Parser

parseltongue makes this pretty anti-climactic:

 (define+ p-unqualified-symbol
    (:bind symbol-name (pp-rx "[-+0-9a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]*[-+a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]+[-+0-9a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]*"))
    (pp-return (new symbol-model symbol-name))))
 (define+ p-qualified-symbol
    (:bind symbol-package (pp-rx "[-+0-9a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]+"))
    (pp-str ":")
    (:bind symbol-name (pp-rx "[-+0-9a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]+"))
    (pp-return (new symbol-model symbol-name symbol-package))))
 (define+ p-keyword
    (pp-str ":")
    (:bind keyword-name (pp-rx "[-+0-9a-zA-Z-+=*/_~!@$%^&<>{}?]+"))
    (pp-return (new keyword-model keyword-name))))

 (define+ p-symbol
   (pp-or p-qualified-symbol p-unqualified-symbol))

 (define+ p-program
   (lambda (input)
     (.. (parser
          (:bind result
                  (pp-or p-keyword p-symbol p-number p-doublequote-string p-singlequote-string
                          (pp-str "[")
                          (:bind program p-program)
                          (pp-str "]")
                          (pp-return program)))))
          (pp-return result))
         (call this input))))

The only wrinkle here is that p-program is a recursive parser, so we wrap it into an explicit lambda expression so that the recursive reference to p-program is sure to be defined by the time we actually invoke the code. Note the use of handy parser producers from parseltongue. pp-rx parses anything which matches the regular expression passed in (string denotation only) that also appears at the beginning of the input. pp-str matchers only the indicated string. pp-seq-of-whitespace-separated takes a parser and produces a new parser which parses a sequence of the input parsers, separated by whitespaces. Using these terms, we easily construct a parser for flat, which is just a sequence of literals, symbols or keywords or programs in brackets separated by whitespaces.

Next Time

Next time I'll write the flat interpreter and introduce how I do really dumb unit tests in Gazelle. Until then, I hope this is meaningful to someone out there!

1. The actual origin of flat is I am working on a project where I want an easy to serialize representation of certain kinds of logic, for instance, whether a player is allowed to enter a room given the contents of her inventory.
2. flat is not actually flat because there is special syntax for denoting quotations (the flat equivalent of anonymous functions), for simplicity's sake, and because people find it odd to use a language with words named things like [ and ]. It turns out to be a matter of some esoteric interest and non-trivial complexity to produce a language that is truly flat, but such things, or at least elaborations on such things, exist. See, for instance, The XY Language, which implements a version of itself which is really flat.
3. See Om for a noteworthy counterexample.
4. I've never been entirely happy with the relationship between the things we call symbols in Common Lisp and the things we call Keywords. Indeed, keywords are symbols which reside in the keyword
package and which have the special property that they denote themselves. But this makes writing code over symbols and keywords somewhat cumbersome because one cannot method dispatch between the two things, even though they really do have different meanings.
5. maria+ has lots of fun features that allow you to specify the types of properties such that the setters check them for you. But this is for another blog post.
6. For the egg-heads, parsers return values in a Maybe-like monad.
7. Note that Gazelle supports multiline strings.
8. For those familiar with Haskell do syntax, :bind pattern expr above corresponds to = pattern <- expr = in Haskell.
9. namely using anonymous and higher-order-functions to control evaluation of blocks of code. I have some vague ideas about exposing the interface implied by parser in pure Javascript, but none are satisfactory. If any Javascript wizard out there has any suggestions, do tell.
10. For performance reasons and for simplicity, this parsing monad is deterministic. That is, it is just the state monad, untransformed by the multiple options monad transformer. See Drew Crampsie's SMUG or my kind of undermaintained Parseltongue (both for Common Lisp) for non-deterministic parsers. The primary reason I did not make Gazelle's parseltongue non-deterministic is because pp-or and pp-zero-or-more are very hard to get right in a non-deterministic context.

          On Lisps   
My recent release of Gazelle, a Javascript Lisp dialect, has, unsurprisingly, produced some commentary about my choice to implement the system in Emacs Lisp. Coincidentally, this also comes on the tail of a long (and mostly civil, I might add) discussion I had in the Lisp sub-reddit about the merits of including in our rhetorical ecosystem discussion about unusual Lisp dialects like Newlisp and Picolisp, in which I argued that its useful to discuss and even program in these dialects. Many people express strong opinions to the contrary, and while some of the objections relate to aspects of Newlisp's implementation, like One Reference Only Memory Management, to which, as a dabbler in language implementation, I cannot speak, a lot of the distaste for these dialects, and for Emacs Lisp, seems to relate to their use of dynamic scope.

Now, in general, I like my Lisps static. A lot of what I fiddle with in Lisp has to do with emulating features I like in Haskell (poorly), and Haskell hews pretty close to orthodoxy on the scope issue. My favorite Lisp is probably Racket, and the only support it provides for dynamic-like bindings is through parameters. In short, I am no fan of dynamic binding, and was delighted as anyone when Emacs Lisp began to support lexical binding natively, and would be happy to program without it in any language.

However, I do not view dynamic scope as the kiss of death like many people seem to, especially when programming in Lisp dialects. Of which more later. I'd like to make the case that perhaps, just maybe, we should think of default dynamic scope in a Lisp as a wart, rather than language nullifying feature.

Why do I feel this way?

 Well, it has something to do with Concatenative Languages.


Consider the following diagram:
dynamicish                                   lexicish
+--------+  +--------+      +-----------+   +--------+
|factor  |  |picolisp|      |common lisp|   |haskell |
|        |  |        |      |           |   |        |
+--------+  +--------+      +-----------+   +--------+
 +--------+    +---------+        +-------+
 |joy     |    |newlisp  |        |scheme |
 |        |    |         |        |       |
 +--------+    +---------+        +-------+
Where the left hand side of each box indicates the position of the language inside on a sloppily conceived of axis going from "dynamicish" to "lexicish", ideas which we will try to pin down as we go. (If, by the way, any actual computer scientists are reading this, I apologize in advance for the conceptual butchery I am no doubt in the process of committing.)

One thing this diagram reflects is the intuitive degree to which we can depend on the nature of binding in the language - Picolisp and Newlisp here obviously favor dynamic binding, Common Lisp supports both well, Scheme favors lexical bindings somewhat more than Common Lisp, and a language like Haskell is pretty much straight lexical binding. (Exceptions abound of course, given the power of these languages to add features.)

What is interesting is that if we change the above diagram by relabling the axes:
code is simple data            code is not simple data
+--------+  +--------+      +-----------+   +--------+
|factor  |  |picolisp|      |common lisp|   |haskell |
|        |  |        |      |           |   |        |
+--------+  +--------+      +-----------+   +--------+
 +--------+    +---------+        +-------+
 |joy     |    |newlisp  |        |scheme |
 |        |    |         |        |       |
 +--------+    +---------+        +-------+

We don't really need to move the boxes around very much. This is particularly true if we make ourselves clearer and say that code is data when the "official" result of evaluating a piece of "code data" that represents a piece of code is encodable in that data in a simple form. Examples will clarify that horrible monster of a sentence, hopefully.

Concatenative Languages and Quotations

Put aside for the moment the oddness of concatenative languages, and questions which may be appearing in your mind about why anyone would want to program in one. The point here isn't to convince you of their merits. The point is that concatenative languages (except Forth), as it lacks quotations) provide an example of languages where "code is data" is particularly true, and where that data is particularly simple while still retaining a consistent meaning.
Concatenative languages are based on the composition of functions which map one stack onto another stack (usually). Because all functions in such languages have the same interface, one writes a concatenative program as a list of functions, as in this piece of Factor code:

1 1 +

Which evaluates to "2" and is read from left to right as "take the stack and return it with 1 pushed onto it", do that again, and then "take the stack, return a new stack with the result of the first two items removed and added together". Note the utter absence of variable bindings (functions do have names, of course). This (arguably punishing) simplicity makes evaluation unusually simple: begin at the left with an empty stack, and call each "word" on the stack until you run out of functions. We can represent a program as a flat list of lexemes, each of which denotes a function. So the representation of code can be a list and its meaning is simple.

Here is what is interesting about these languages to me: they lack a notion of variable binding, and so you might think they they lack anonymous functions, which they do, strictly speaking. However, because code is easily represented as a list, lists serve the same role as anonymous functions and in languages like Factor, these fragments of code (called quotations because they are introduced via something like quote in Lisps) are constantly exploited to perform the equivalent of "functional programming" idioms in Factor. For instance, to add one to each number in a list of numbers, one writes in Factor:

{ 1 2 3 } [ 1 + ] map

Or, less succinctly, but more evocatively:

{ 1 2 3 } 1 [ + ] curry map

Where I have just shown that one can curry, really, partially apply, and compose (not illustrated) quotations.

The question one must ask is what do we really need for functional programming? We must be able to apply functions, compose them, and partially apply them. Many, but not all, uses of lexical scope in more lexical languages reduce transparently to these operations. We might write in Scheme:

(map (curry + 1) (list 1 2 3))

For instance, with (a simple) curry being implemented as:

(define (curry f a)
  (lambda (b) (f a b)))

Where we are exploiting the lexical scope introduced by curry to stick two values into the lambda.
In a dynamic Lisp, we might say instead, as I often say in Emacs Lisp when I don't want to engage the machinery of the old lexical-let implementation in cl.el:

(defun curry (f a)
 `(lambda (b) (funcall #',f ,a)))

Code is Sort of Data

Factor uses a special data type called a quotation for its, um, quotations, but this has more to do with type safety and compiltion than with the semantics of what a quotation is. It is still basically a list, so let us imagine that the implementation of the curry word is:

: curry ( item quotation -- quotations ) cons ;

That is, effectively, curry is cons. It adds an element to the front of a list.
Now, the dynamic, Emacs Lisp version

(defun curry (f a)
 `(lambda (b) (funcall #',f ,a))) ; thanks to coroi on reddit 
for pointing out an error 
                                  ; here. 

Has something in common with the Factor version. They both operate on and return a simple representation of code, a list. The extra complexity of Emacs Lisp lies in its evaluator. For instance:

(funcall (curry #'+ 1) 1)

is evaluated in the following way: the call to curry is evaluated, returning a list. 1 evaluates to 1, of course, and then funcall does the following. The evaluator can see that the first argument is a lambda because its head is lambda. That means that it extends the dynamic environment with a binding of 1 to b, and then recursively evaluates the body. That means the evaluator is carrying around an environment which it needs to resolve the meaning of code. Still, its pretty simple: just (conceptually) a list of stacks for each possible variable binding with the latest binding on the tops.

The Scheme code, in contrast:

(define (curry f a)
 (lambda (b) (f a b)))

Doesn't deal with any simple data structure. f is a procedure, and its representation is complex, hidden and has a lot to do with compiling the Scheme code, probably. The return value, as the result of a lambda expression, is also a procedure, and similarly inscrutible. The compiler probably does some efficient fiddling to encode in the lambda itself where the references f and a point to: in all likelihood, the compiled code removes the mention of specific symbols entirely. Even though the lambda represents a piece of code in some sense, as it is executable, its representation is now quite complicated. We can still say "Code is data" of Scheme lambda expressions, but it is not very transparent or interesting data.

What about Quotations?

In Factor, quotations and lambdas are the same thing, because there are no symbols to bind in any scopes. Higher order functions and macros are basically the same!
In Emacs Lisp quotations are pretty close to lambdas too: if they happen to have as their head a lambda, then they are, subject to some constraints, actually lambda expressions. If not, you can still call eval on them and if all of their free symbols are located in the dynamic environment that you call eval from, then you get a "meaningful" result. In picolisp, where this philosophy is entirely embraced, one can write higher order functions that do the same thing as macros because they can inspect code passed in.

In Scheme, a quotation introduces syntax, primarily because you want to use quotation during macro construction and hygienic macros need to know more than just the list-structure of the code they work on to ensure hygiene. So already the representation of code in just a quotation is more complicated. This is the primary reason that Scheme is "more staticy/lexical" than Common Lisp, in which a quotation really does produce just a regular list. Scheme wants to ensure macro hygeine, and for that reason static or lexical concerns must even enter into your primary code represantation. In Common Lisp there is a macro system which is distinct from the function system, but allows you to use regular list operations to build the generated code. In Scheme the macro system is somewhat more cumbersome conceptually, with special operations on "syntax" objects to enforce lexical hygeine. Complexity has crawled deep into the language.

Finally, in a language like Haskell, you don't really have quotations at all. The representation of any kind of code has become fairly complex and generally not worth fiddling with (template metahaskell aside).

What does this mean?

The point of the above discussion is twofold:
  1. Languages lie on a continuum between dynamic and static and that positions on that continuum have complexity and flexibility payoffs and penalties. The very dynamic languages pick up a lot of flexibility (which is good and bad) and the static languages pick up a lot of complexity, but get certain conceptual guarantees and speed in exchange.
  2. Especially in Lisps, which provide facilities for meta-programming, this distinction isn't extremely important. Heck, even Factor has an implementation of lambda with lexically scoped variables that compiles down to stack code. Emacs Lisp has a lexical-let form that gets you 99% of what you want. Specific features of closures that you need at any given moment can easily be built in dynamic lisps. If you want to program functionally, for instance, you can whip up good curry and compose operations in any of these languages and away you go.
I can't find the reference at the moment, but I recall reading from one of the Factor maintainer's that they use lexical variables in less than ten percent of the Factor code base. I suspect if you examine any large Lisp project you will find that for the most part the actual use of the semantics of lexical scope is small.
There is absolutely an argument to be made that dynamic scope introduces certain kinds of hard to find bugs, and I agree with that assessment. I don't think dynamic scope is optimal by any means, but the case against it is somewhat overstated. A dynamically scoped Lisp is still extremely powerful and in some ways more flexible than an efficiently compiled lexical lisp.

Actual Code

I work hard on making my Emacs Lisp code readable and clear, and so I wanted to show a bit of the implementation of Gazelle here, to drive the point home that in a Lisp the exact feature set under the hood doesn't make as big of a difference as it might seem.

(defun-match- prim:transcode ('_false)
  (prim:insert "false"))

(defun-match prim:transcode ('_true)
  (prim:insert "true"))

(defun-match prim:transcode ('_null)
  (prim:insert "null"))

(defun-match prim:transcode ('_undefined)
  (prim:insert "undefined"))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((non-kw-symbol s))
  (prim:insert (prim:mangle s)))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((keyword k))
  (prim:insert "\"")
  (prim:insert (prim:mangle (prim:kw->symbol k)))
  (prim:insert "\""))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((number n))
  (prim:insertf "%s" n))

(defun prim:transcode-string (string)
  (prim:insert "\"")
  (loop for character in (coerce string 'list) do
        (match character
               (?\n (insert "\\n"))
               (?\t (insert "\\t"))
               (?\" (insert "\\\""))
               (?\\ (insert "\\"))
               (else (insert else))))
  (prim:insert "\""))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((string s))
  (prim:transcode-string  s))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((list '_var (non-kw-symbol s) expr))
  (prim:insert "var ")
  (prim:transcode s)
  (prim:insert " = ")
  (prim:transcode expr))

(defun-match prim:transcode 
       ((list '_return 
              (list (and which 
                    (or '_for '_while '_try '_var '_=)) (tail body))))
  (recur `(,which ,@body)))

(defun-match prim:transcode 
       ((list '_return 
               (and which (or '_throw '_continue '_break)) expression)))
  (recur `(,which ,expression)))

(defun-match prim:transcode ((list '_return expression))
  (prim:insert "return ")
   (prim:transcode expression)))

This is a small excerpt from the prim module, which converts a primitive representation of Javascript in s-expressions to Javascript source code. That transcoder consists of one large function definition, split up into several invocations of defun-match (the initial defun-match- clears previous function bindings to the provided function name), each of which matches its pattern against the input and executes when the match succeeds. Matches are tried in the order in which the defun-match forms are compiled, in most cases from top to bottom. defun-match allows you to tail-recur to the same function without growing the stack, so in many cases (two shown above), prim:transcode calls itself to perform the actual transcoding.

I can only ultimately speak for myself, but I find that this code is clear, readable (once you get used to the pattern matching) and self documenting. If you can write code like this in Emacs Lisp, is it really such a crime to do so?

And given that by really thinking about the different ways to program in different Lisp and Lisp-like languages we can learn a great deal about programming, even in our favorite dialects, is it really useful to stifle conversation and development in alternative Lisps?
I really don't think so.
          Parenlab Updates!   

Nothing makes software grow like using it every day. I've been doing all my Matlab coding in Parenlab (read about it here and get it here) for the past few weeks and the code base has developed significantly. Now that there is a functioning "require" system its time to document some of the developments.

setq extensions

Matlab is not very functional, whereas Lisp is. In Lisp I've come to see the use of setq as code smell, but its hard to avoid in Matlab. In fact, lots of my Matlab code involves long stretches of assignment. Parenlab lets me escape some of this by allowing more functional idioms, but I decided it would be best to add better support for assignment. To that end, setq can now be written as either:

(setq x 10)


(:= x 10)

And can contain an arbitrary number of name/value pairs, eg:

(:= x 10 y 11 z 13)

Setting occurs sequentially, from left to right. Matlab provides the deal function for parallel setting, eg:

(:= [x y z] (deal 10 11 12))

Sets x,y and z "at the same time" with respect to the evaluation environment.

Implicit Single Return Value Functions

Matlab highly encourages functions with multiple return values, and part of that idiom is forcing all returned values from a function, even if there is only one, to have a name. The function interface definition on the first line of a function file, eg:

[a,b,c] = function someFunction(q,r,s)

Specifies the names of the output arguments (a, b, and c, in thsi case), and setting their values in the function body determines how they are returned.

In parenlab, therefore, one writes defuns like this:

(defun (a b c) some-function (q r s) ...)

And in the body, uses setq to assign return values. This is fine, but feels a bit odd coming from Lisp. So now, if you write:

(defun some-function (a b c) ...)

and the last expression in the body of the function is a value producing expression, rather than a statement, parenlab automatically handles assigning a single return value, the last value in the body. That last qualifier about value producing statements is a bit of a drag, since many Matlab and parenlab forms don't produce values, but I am working on resolutions to this issue. Of which more later!

Nested function definitions

At the top level, defun creates a new function in a new .m file, which is the idiom for defining functions in Matlab. Inside functions, however, one can define internal functions using the same defun syntax. These internal functions are not subject to the restrictions of regular anonymous functions: they can have full bodies and side-effect the lexically scoped environments they are created in. Parenlab now supports such nested function definitions and, via this feature, much more functional anonymous functions in this context.

For instance, using the single-return value feature above and this new capability, the following code:

(defun demo-nested (a)
 (defun add-a (b)
  (+ a b)))

transcodes to:

function [o111218] = demoNested(a)
o111218 = @addA;

function [o111219] = addA(b)
  o111219 = plus(a, b);



Inside a function definition, a defun can appear anywhere. It is transcoded as a reference to the function to be defined, which is transcoded at the bottom of the enclosing function, where it can capture the lexical scope. Anonymous functions inside other functions are expanded into defun's rather than @ style anonymous functions, eg we could write instead:

(defun demo-nested (a)
  (lambda (b)
    (+ a b)))

And get the same effect. Parenlab will assign a gensymed name to internal anonymous functions.

Better let, let* and progn support inside functions

Parenlab used to always expand let and its brethren in terms of matlab lambda (@) expressions, which can only contain in their body a single value producing expression, and which capture a static copy of their lexical scope, which forbids side effects. Inside functions, this is no longer the case, and lambda, and all the terms that depend on it, like let and let* now expand into full function calls, which means they can have arbitrary bodies with side effects on their lexical scope.

To remind people of this distinction, lest they be surprised that this doesn't work at top-level, the bodies of lambda expressions and lets still require a progn to express the intent for multiple expressions. Matlab's somewhat onerous restrictions on using value-bearing expressions anywhere a value needs to be still apply, however. You can't say:

(lambda (a)
  (setq b a))

Because setq doesn't have a return value. This turns out not to be something you frequently want to do, but bear it in mind.

require expressions.

Parenlab now allows you to express simple project dependencies via require. For instance, the expression:


Causes parenlab to transcode the contents of the specified file and add its location to the Matlab path. The file is not executed, however. Parenlab maintains a dictionary of hashes for each require file and only recompiles a file when its been changed since the last invokation for require on it. This means that require statements are cheap, generally, as compilation is only induced when needed.

direct execution of Emacs Lisp

Parenlab macros are defined in Emacs Lisp, rather than in Parenlab itself. Complex macros often require a library of utility functions to do their work. Parenlab lets you define these Elisp functions inline via the elisp form. elisp executes its body in Emacs Lisp during compilation, so you can write:

  (defun valid-bindingp (o)
    (and (listp o)
         (= 2 (length o))
         (symbolp (car o)))))

(defmacro my-with (binding &rest body)
   (assert (valid-bindingp binding)
           () "Binding must be a 2 el list whose car is symbol.")
        (,(car binding)) (progn ,@body)) ,(cadr binding)))

Stupid Language Tricks:

Keywords, which ordinarily transcode to strings, now behave specially if they are in the function location during an application or in a (function :x) form. When this happens, they are transcoded to struct access expressions. So, you can say:

(:x (struct :x 10)) -> 10


(funcall #':x (struct :x 10)) -> 10

I admit, this is a silly feature, but remarkably convenient.

Mostly arbitrary expressions in the function position:

If a non-symbol or non-keyword is encountered in the function position of an expression, it is evaluated and its value is used as a function, which you can't do in Matlab. So:

((lambda (x) (+ x 1)) 10) -> 11

All Sorts of Awesome Standard Macros

There a lots of iteration related macros, for instance forcell

(forcell (index value) cell-array 

Takes some of the pain out of working with cell arrays with the Matlab loop feature, which gives you a one element cell array for each value in the array by default. Poke around in the code for other iteration expressions that make life more pleasant.

The macro capture collects the current environment into a struct and returns it as a value. This is handy for debugging functions. There is also now support for try and catch

Extended standard library.

Lots of handy little functions like directory-files, and the like.

Further refinements to parenlab-aux.el

This is still specific to my Matlab setup, but parenlab-aux now does a better job of simulating the Lisp experience. For instance, parenlab-eval-last-sexp now makes an honest attempt to print the result to the mini-buffer if that makes sense. If anyone actually wants to work with parenlab, contact me and I'll help set things up.

Monadic Parser Combinators

Part of my long term plan is to eventually make parenlab self hosting, the largest obstacle to which is a good Lisp reader. I like writing parsers in a monadic style, so now parenlab comes with a parser combinator library, which you can use by saying:


This builds the library and adds it to the path. You can then write a simple vector parser like this:

(:= =vector
     (parser ((ignore (=>string "["))
              (numbers (=>zero-or-more #'=number))
              (ignore (=>string "]")))
         (cell2mat numbers)))

There is rudimentary support for parsing a subset of Lisp via the =sexpression parser in this library. S-expressions are parsed into nested cell arrays. There isn't support for quotation or sharp quotation yet. And the error messages aren't useful. Might eventually move to a different monad for better error reporting.


Parenlab is definitely a usable Lisp, for me - I'm already a lot more productive in Matlab than I would be in the base language, and I haven't run into any performance issues, though your mileage will vary if you use this with Octave. Please let me know if anyone starts using the library. Criticism, suggestions and contributions are more than welcome!

          Parenlab: S-expressions on top of Matlab/Octave   

I am two people - one of them is a numerical scientist who spends most of his time writing code in Matlab to do data analysis. The other is a freelance Lisp programmer, where I do regular software engineering. I've long been a Lisp enthusiast, and I do a fair amount of Lisp programming in Emacs Lisp as part of my scientific work, since Emacs is my Matlab IDE, but I didn't start really programming in Lisp for "real things" until recently. As the number of hours dedicated to Lisp increased in my life, I began to really miss the features in Lisp that I didn't have in Matlab; in particular s-expression motion and editing and metaprogramming.

I can't abandon Matlab, however. Matlab's support for numerical programming is exceptional, true, but the real value is that its plotting system is rich, well integrated and customizable. Plus, I have 7+ years of Matlab utilities which it would take significant time to reproduce in another numerical analysis language, even if it was feature complete otherwise.

So I brought the mountain to Muhammad.


Parenlab is a Lisp which compiles to Matlab by way of Emacs Lisp. What this means is that the syntax is Emacs Lisp and the Semantics is Matlab. Metaprogramming is possible via macros which transform the elisp representation of Matlab code before the code is translated to Matlab. Because I use Emacs as my Matlab IDE, this is a reasonable solution - just use the Emacs Lisp interpreter as the macro language. One day, Parenlab may be self-hosting.


The parenlab code:

(let* ((x (range 0 (* 2 pi) 100))
       (y (sin x)))
 (plot x y :color "g"))

Is converted to:

    @(x)funcall(@(y)plot(x, y, 'color', 'g'), sin(x)),...
     range(0, mtimes(2, pi), 100))


(defun (a b c) some-function (a b c)
   (setq a (++ a b c))
   (setq b (++ a b c))
   (setq c (++ a b c)))

Is converted to a file, called someFunction.m which contains:

function [a,b,c] = someFunction(a,b,c)
a = plusplus(a, b, c);
b = plusplus(a, b, c);
c = plusplus(a, b, c);

defuns can be sprinkled throughout your script files - they will be transcoded as they are encountered and produce no output in the currently building function. One can also say:

(script some-script-name 

Which indicates the code beneath should be transcoded to a script file rather than "in place."

Parenlab is still a work in progress, but it is rapidly approaching the point where any functionality you wish can be expressed in Parenlab.

Notes on Usage


Parenlab, like Parenscript, tries to make life easy by letting you write lisp-style identifiers. In doing so, it mangles names during translation. Eg, a parenlab symbol:


Will be rendered as:


eg, dashes followed by letters are converted to camel case. Other "special" characters are transcoded according to the following table:

("+" "plus")
("-" "minus")
("*" "mtimes")
("<" "lessThan")
(">" "greaterThan")
("$" "cash")
("=" "equal")
("!" "bang")
("?" "who")
(":" ":")
("/" "divide")
("\\" "mdivide")
("#" "hash")
("@" "at"))

These choices are made to improve transcoding, so that many operators don't need special cases. Eg (* 10 10) translates to mtimes(10,10) - conveniently using Matlab's built in mtimes function, which is equivalent to Matlab's * operator.

One wrinkle is that : is reserved to preserve simple matrix construction expressions. For instance,


transcodes to


This syntax is limited by how the lisp reader reads symbols. For complex generation expressions, use the (: ) macro. Eg:

(: start step stop)

Keywords, that is symbols starting with :, are transcoded to mangled strings, so that :a-keyword becomes 'aKeyword'.

Since many matlab functions use strings as keyword arguments, this lets you use keywords for them instead.

nil transcodes to []. There are no true and false values in Matlab.

Scope and Variables

Scope in Matlab is funny - only limited lambdas are allowed in scripts and functions, although nested functions with full definitions and full lexical scope behavior are allowed within functions (though not anonymously).

Sort of like in Python, lambdas are restricted to single-expression-only bodies. While they do form closures over their lexical environment, those closures are static, that is, they do not permit side effects of any kind.

That is,

(setq y 10)
(setq f 
 (lambda (x) 
   (setq y x)))

Will compile fine in Parenlab, but produce an error, because the inner setq is not an expression, but a statement, which isn't allowed. Parenlab does provide a progn form, so you might try:

(setq y 10)
(setq f 
 (lambda (x) 
   (progn (setq y 10)

This will generate Matlab code which uses eval to produce code which expresses this intent, but you'll still get an error, saying that the lambda tries to modify its static environment, which is not allowed. let and let* are implemented using lambda, so they create static lexical environments. It is conceivable that major cross compilation tricks could be used to simulate dynamic scopes, but I'd prefer to keep things simple.

You shouldn't be using side effects anyway.

The rule of thumb is write Matlab code with s-expressions, not Lisp code that calls Matlab functions. Parenlab tries to bridge the gap but in some ways Matlab is too limited.

If Statements

If in Matlab is "flat", in that each branch is a series of statements or expressions and the if statement itself doesn't return a value. Parenlab if statements are not flat - they return the value of whatever branch is evaluated.

This rule is sometimes inconveneint for the Matlab idiom, so it can be disabled if the branches are blocks. A statement of the form:

(if condition 

Transcodes to:

 if condition 
    some code
    some other code

Ordinarily, if expands to

fif(@()condition, @()true-code, @()false-code)

Here we use the trick of using lambda to delay evaluation. This if expansion cannot perform side effects, unfortunately. Use (block) legs if you want regular matlab semantics. Both legs must be blocks.

Cell Arrays

Indexing is identical function calls, syntactically, so the index expression:


Is written as

(x 1:10)

In parenlab. Matlab also has cell array indexing, which looks like this:


Which is expressed like this in Parenlab:

({} x 1:10)

These are macros, not functions, and so the use of end as an identifier inside them is fine, eg:

({} x 1:end)

Will convert to:



Structure access can be written as symbol.name since the parenlab mangler leaves dots in symbol names. Programmatic access, where a string is used, is written with ->, eg:

(-> s :field)

Which is equivalent to s.('field'). -> supports nested access, so you can say;

(-> s :f1 :f2 :f3)

Which is like this: s.('f1').('f2').('f3') which may not actually be valid Matlab syntax. Parenlab implements this as a function call.


In elisp, parenlab macros can be defined with pl:def-pl-macro. During transcoding, the form defmacro causes a new parenlab macro to be defined and generates no output. Parenlab macros have the same semantics as regular Macros. You get syntax passed to the macro as arguments, you transform it into valid parenlab, and you return the result.

For instance, a macro which introduces a lexical variable binding called with, like this:

(with x 10 (* 2 x)) ;-> 20

Is implemented like this:

(pl:def-pl-macro with (symbol value expression)
 `(funcall (lambda (,symbol) ,expression) ,value))

Or, inside some Parenlab code:

(defmacro with (symbol value expression)
 `(funcall (lambda (,symbol) ,expression) ,value))

Other Notes

Right now you use parenlab by invoking pl:transcode on an s-expression. This will transcode in the current buffer. pl:transcode-to-string will transcode to a string instead.

Parenlab requires matlab-mode so that it can indent its outputted code correctly.

I have a highly idiosyncratic Matlab setup, so I put some integration code in auxilliary.el. If you have a Matlab process running in a buffer called *evalshell*, then this code will let you load a parenlab file and press C-c C-c to "compile" and execute the code therein. This process will write any script and defun forms to files before executing the code. C-x C-e will evaluate the last s-expression as Matlab code in the interpreter.

Parenlab depends on Shadchen-el my pattern matching library.

          Gotham actor Donal Logue's Asking for Help To Find His Missing Trans Daughter   

Donal Logue, who plays Harvy Bullock on Gotham, and his ex-wife are asking for the world to help them find their lost daughter.

Their 16-year-old transgender daughter, named Jade, went missing after last being seen in Brooklyn earlier this week.

It was Logue who first went to twitter asking for Jade to come back home and for anyone who had any information to please help them.

“Jade. We miss you and love you. Please come home,” he wrote. “If you can see this, just know I love and miss you dearly.”

Later, Kasey Walker, who’s the birth mother of Jade, talked to the New York Daily News expressing the same.

 “We obviously hope she’s OK. We hope she’s safe, and we’re making every attempt and effort,” she said.

“I can’t say anything more right now, just that we pray she’s OK and safe.”

If any of you have any helpful information that can help these two worried parents, please share that information by calling (800) 577-TIPS. You will be allowed to remain anonymous.

Our hearts go out to the two parents and we hope Jade returns home soon.

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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 648659)   
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1538156)   
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1287579)   
:yoda: [/quote] WELL..WE GOT CLEAN UP HITTERS comming in!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1287579)   
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2320396)   
iran will help there turkish brothers.
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Ya../ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3UMx-7pNhw&feature=related dont forget..greece..ya they love yall too..
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1557264)   
Ezekiel 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the ADONAY YHWH. 14 And they shall sever out men of...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1557264)   
Ezekiel 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the ADONAY YHWH. 14 And they shall sever out men of...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2329397)   
But you have to face the facts. The two best armed allies of the USA will be fighting each other. [/quote] Germany??? What, not that crap again! Geographically 110% the size of the State of Kentucky---ROTF---LMFAO. Turkey??? Ever heard of computer viruses and replacement parts???...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1557264)   
But you have to face the facts. The two best armed allies of the USA will be fighting each other. [/quote] Germany??? What, not that crap again! Geographically 110% the size of the State of Kentucky---ROTF---LMFAO. Turkey??? Ever heard of computer viruses and replacement parts???...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
Brazil does not have a million man army. [/quote] Tongue in cheek humor: A brazillian is more than A million.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1234191)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2216390)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1540953)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
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:erdojaja: Turks foaming hatred as usual..... [/quote] I guess it never seems weird to you that Israel has problems with virtually any nation they come in contact with? Surely it's all just anti-semitism, right? You're a joke
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2216390)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation! [/quote] We had a fight with them back in the history and we got our land that way unlike israel, Nazis killed jewish...
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Fuck the jewish people, Fuck the TURKS. If you ask me that would be the best war ever. Wipe each other out. If I was running my own country I would bomb them both. heck I would bomb the fuck out of jerusalem, flatten it and then move onto Mecca then the Vatican. jewish people are the...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2283348)   
how many of you guys are fondling their balls while fantasizing about the others extinction? lol, I can clearly see you nutjobs sitting with a warboner in front of mothers notebook.:jerkit:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 968792)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2322579)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 968792)   
Palestine is the genuine biblical Israel. Those anti semites occupying Israel right now (zionists) are coming to an end shortly.
          Just a dream: Sony 150-600mm lens   
An anonymous source created and sent me this image of a Sony 150-600mm A-mount lens. It’s a nice dream but it’s just that…a dream. I have to confess I have not heard of any possible ... - Source: www.sonyalpharumors.com
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation! [/quote] so you should give your lands to native americans. idiot [/quote] Maye YOU should take my land from me...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1617690)   
Arent you already fucked, bailout ass ? Go eat some shit from your toilet. You just deserve that, moron germans just gave their salaries to you, thank them because you have internet connection just because they gave you the money, you have no value for the world, siesta ass. [/quote] SO...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense. [/quote] You have no clue about who would run and who would hide...the 'direct descendants' of old...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1441880)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation! [/quote] so you should give your lands to native americans. idiot
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2216390)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation! [/quote] We had a fight with them back in the history and we got our land that way unlike israel, Nazis killed jewish...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2322579)   
Arent you already fucked, bailout ass ? Go eat some shit from your toilet. You just deserve that, moron germans just gave their salaries to you, thank them because you have internet connection just because they gave you the money, you have no value for the world, siesta ass. [/quote] SO...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2322579)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation! [/quote] We had a fight with them back in the history and we got our land that way unlike israel, Nazis killed jewish...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2216390)   
Arent you already fucked, bailout ass ? Go eat some shit from your toilet. You just deserve that, moron germans just gave their salaries to you, thank them because you have internet connection just because they gave you the money, you have no value for the world, siesta ass. [/quote] SO...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
And that other poster from Turkey whinning about Israel being occupied territory...maybe we'll get Greece's territory back from Turkey's illegal occupation!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1141695)   
:chuckle: [/quote] Direct descendants of Genghis Khan with state of the art weapons, my guess is most of the would be turkey hunters would run and hide if they had any sense.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
All of the Men on this country is trained to be a soldier, for one and half year. [/quote] CHILL OUT---it was 'tongue in cheek humor: A brazillian is more than A million, i.e. a brazillian soldiers. And your 'mandatory conscription' stuff: EXCELLENT!!! Often I...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2283348)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2216390)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2294742)   
"FOR BEHOLD, in those days and at that time when I shall reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for their treatment of...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2322579)   
All of the Men on this country is trained to be a soldier, for one and half year.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 983329)   
Turkey stronger than Brazil? Think about it...Brazillian soldiers...why, that's way more than a million!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1431005)   
You have intrigued me with your intelligent response, and I am impressed that you realize the commonality of Genghis khan and the mongols as ancestors of the modern day Ashkenazim jewish people and the Turks. I am also impressed by your knowledge of how religion has been used as a method...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1556386)   

          The Truth About Bitcoins   
Stefan Molyneux looks at the rise of Bitcoin and discusses its history, mining, fees, altcoins, regulatory hypocrisy, worldwide awareness, comparisons to gold, anonymous transactions, possible government […]
          Comment on Matura 2017, këtu gjeni rezultatet e provimit të Matematikës by Anonymous   
          Comment on Rama kërkon ndihmë: Nëse do ishte ti kryeministër çfarë do përmirësoje? by Anonymous   
Jam nje qytetar i thjesht i komunitetit shqiptar,,,, nese une do isha kryeministri nje nje dite jo me shume do beja te mundur mundësimin e tre gjerave shumë kryesore dhe parimore per mua,,,,, 1) kam kuptuar qe ka shume fabrika kurumi por te hapura nga kompani te huaja (turke) ,, kur fare mire mund te jen shqiptare,, keshtu do rritej me shume punsimi njerëzve dhe do behej e mundur ulja e varfërisë dhe korrektesimit ne paguarjen e taksave.... 2) vendosja e filtrave ne fabrikat e Shqipërisë sepse ka nje ndotje te larte te oksigjenit neper qytete e Shqipërisë,,,,gje qe ka ndikuar ne shendetin e shume qytetare,, veçoj ketu qytetin e Elbasanit,,, Me fabrikën e kurumit (Metalurgjiku) 3) dhe nje tjetër shqetësim shumë i lart per mua Jan shkollat e larta qe nuk kan nje pages standarte sikur mund te gjendet ne europ,,, ne Shqipëri ne zezonet e provimeve ben pune miku edhe leku,,, ai qe nuk ka njeren nga keto dyja sado i zoti te jete krahasohet me një nxenes të nivelit te ulet sepse mungon drejtësia,,,,, Te flasesh per ndryshimet apo per përmirësimin e Shqipërisë nuk ka te mbaruar sepse problemet Jan nga me te shumtat edhe me reciproke si, drita, uji i pishem, rrugët, pemët, përmirësimi shkollave, spitalet pa aparaturat kryesore te teknologjisë se fundit,shumë e shumë te tjera qe Jan te pafundme por kryesore per qytetaret,,,,,,, Mundësisht te tregohet edhe pak me shume vëmendje neper fshatrat e qyteteve,,,,, Mendoj se kaq eshte Jan te kuptueshme dëshirat e mia dhe te shumë qytetareve te tjere qe mund ti mundësonin ne nje dite
          Comment on Cristiano Ronaldo, P. Diddy … Who Would You Rather Have Follow You? by Anonymous   
una ask stupid qst some times ..
          Comment on Swazzi – “Elele” (Prod. by DJ Coublon) by Anonymous   
Very nice music $ video is very neat infact carry on......
          Comment on MI Abaga, Dagrin, Modenine… Who Made You Fall In Love With Nigerian Rap Music? by Anonymous   
D incredible MR
          Comment on Cristiano Ronaldo, P. Diddy … Who Would You Rather Have Follow You? by Anonymous   
Christiano Ronaldo
          Comment on Cristiano Ronaldo, P. Diddy … Who Would You Rather Have Follow You? by Anonymous   
If them follow you wetin e add for your body?...
          PriWeb 2017 1.2   
There a many good reasons for anonymous surfing the Internet: Whether it’s privacy protection, the usage of streaming services, censorship or the fight against mass surveillance.
          Surf Anonymous Free    
Surf Anonymous Free is the most advanced and reliable software for Internet users who want to ensure that their sessions and all online activities are secure and private.
          Ticket to Write: Vases by ancient Greek painter can bring goosebumps    
One of the greatest artists of ancient Athens — that’s fifth century B.C., mind you — will have dozens of his finest vases displayed this summer at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art.I know.Wow.The anonymous artist, known as the Berlin Painter, created “some of the greatest masterpieces of classical antiquity,” said Adam Levine, the museum’s associate curator of ancient art.The exhibit, “The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian [...]
          Comment on Suggestions for Cover of “Africa’s Sankofa Innovation” Book by Anonymous   
A2 is the best choice to pick. Why? It allow people to areas of focus. May you include marine symbol as part of the programs. You can pick A7 title design and replace with A2. The A2 symbols should be in color that will make it more pronounce.Thank you!
          Comment on How Fintechs Can Build Efficient Solutions for Intra-African Remittance by Anonymous   
Quite a bright idea...but the missing piece on the analysis is the regulatory aspect...of the banking, mobile money and forex industry in the respective countries.
          Voici une sélection des meilleurs textes de Regard critique à l'hiver 2012   
Six des meilleurs articles de Regard critique publiés à l'hiver 2012 ont été mis à jour et réunis dans un cahier spécial maintenant disponible en ligne. Au menu : La réduction des émissions résultant du déboisement et de la dégradation forestière (Marc Lebel-Racine) Le « péril jihadiste » en Syrie (Benjamin Ducol) Le risque de pandémie grippale (Nadia Naffakh) ONG et entreprises au secours du développement durable (Mathieu Hamelin) Cyberespace et Anonymous (Maxime Pinard) Les assassinats ciblés (Marie-Michèle Longchamps) Cahier spécial - sélection des meilleurs textes de Regard critique (hiver 2012)  
          Comment on Stiefel-Whitney cycles as intersections by ranicki   
The previous reply was not meant to be anonymous! Andrew
          Comment on Stiefel-Whitney cycles as intersections by Anonymous   
The notes http://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~aar/euler.pdf use Kreck's derivation of the Chern and Stiefel-Whitney classes from the Euler class to prove the (well-known) identification of the mod 2 reduction of a complex vector bundle with the Stiefel-Whitney classes of the underlying real vector bundle.
          Nouveaux défis de la sécurité internationale - un Regard critique   
«L'existence de nouvelles menaces contre les intérêts des États, mais aussi l'apparition de nouvelles formes de résistances citoyennes [...] ont permis de mesurer à quel point la toile bouleverse la conception traditionnelle de la ''sécurité'', mais plus fondamentalement, de la liberté.» Philippe Côté-Martine (doctorant aux HEI) est le nouveau rédacteur en chef de Regard critique. Il introduit ainsi le numéro d'hiver deRegard critique. Les nouvelles menaces n'émanent toutefois pas seulement d'Internet, comme le montre le dossier central du numéro: Regard d'expert: un entretien avec Aurélie Campana sur la place du terrorisme dans les diverses menaces qui planent. Mme Campana est professeure au Département de science politique et titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les conflits identitaires et le terrorisme  Cyberespace et Anonymous: entre fantasmes et réalités complexesMaxime Pinard, candidat Master 2, UPMF Grenoble  Portraits de conflits asymétriques Abderraazzak El-Laia, candidat maîtrise HEI  Les rapports ambigus de l'État et du crime organisé Hobivola A. Rabearivelo, candidat doctorat HEI  Les assassinats ciblés : lorsque la fin justifie les moyensMarie-Michèle Longchamps, candidate maîtrise droit international, U. Laval Les autres textes abordent l'accord de Durban sur les changements climatiques (Raïhan Cherrouk), les mutations de la violence armée(Anne-Cécile Dequen), la gestion du risque de la pandémie grippale(Nadia Naffakh), la crise sociale à l'est du Rio Grande (Anne-Marie Rouleau), les tensions communautaires au Nigeria (Otaifolehabor Ben), la Hongrie et l'autoritarisme (Bruno Lavallée-Montambault), la crise del'Euro (Marie-Christine Aubé et Otaifolehabor Ben) et le changement de leadership chinois en 2012 (Vincent Fradette).
          Comentario en HP renueva su programa anti piratería por Articulo Indexado en la Blogosfera de Sysmaya   
[...] Actualizados : HP renueva su programa anti piratería Microsoft elimina por error el navegador Chrome Anonymous anuncia destrucción total de [...]
          Comentario en Microsoft elimina por error el navegador Chrome por Articulo Indexado en la Blogosfera de Sysmaya   
[...] Actualizados : Microsoft elimina por error el navegador Chrome Anonymous anuncia destrucción total de Facebook Infectan con malware el sitio de Mysql.com [...]
          Comentario en Anonymous anuncia destrucción total de Facebook por Articulo Indexado en la Blogosfera de Sysmaya   
[...] Actualizados : Anonymous anuncia destrucción total de Facebook Infectan con malware el sitio de Mysql.com "Medio millón de descargas en 12 horas" [...]
          A Twitter Hashstorm: The Alt-Right Controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention   
from: http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc17/photo/271/
"Southern Baptists overwhelmingly pass a resolution June 14 condemning
the racism of the alt-right movement. Photo by Adam Covington"

The Southern Baptist Convention first rejected then resurrected a resolution against the alt-right and white supremacy. This occurred at their annual meeting held in Phoenix, AZ, a couple weeks ago in June, 2017. Click here for a sequence of events. There are many different ways to understand this process, and it stirred quite a controversy.

An Outsiders Perspective

It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I stand not as a member of the SBC but as a very interested observer from the Catholic Church who cares deeply about race. My colleague (a Roman Catholic priest) and I attended the Convention as representatives of the US Catholic Bishops in Christian friendship.

I spent much of the Convention glued to my Twitter feed, and I'm not typically an avid Twitter user.

News of the proposed resolution against the alt-right and white supremacy broke before the Convention. Twitter was chock full of some of the nastiest, most vile messages against it. Yet, I sensed something was awry. SBC pastors and leaders, as well as most church folks, are some of the most polite people I have ever met. They have a very Southern way of being indirect about grievances and disagreement. While they are also not shy about engaging in debate, what I saw on Twitter did not match the tone or timbre of what I have come to know as the SBC.

I suspect the #sbc17 hashtag was being rigorously trolled by alt-right activists. The vile, pornographic language and level of aggressiveness in the tweets signaled the work of outsiders. The language was so consistent in these tweets, actually, that it could have been the work of just a few (or even a single individual) using continuously new, anonymous accounts making it seems like the outcry was bigger than it really was. 

However, there were also few voices competing with these, before the Convention started. The glaring silence of others in the SBC worried me. Were there no contrary opinions? Were feelings against racism too weak or afraid of the alt-right to speak out? Was the SBC so weary from backlash against repudiating the Confederate Flag last year that it no longer had will to stand up to white supremacy this year? I wondered.

A lot has happened in one year. The campaign of Donald Trump has been associated with a significant increase in violent actions and rhetoric along racial lines. Trump received 81% of the white Evangelical Christian vote--which would soundly describe most SBC members. In the wake of Trump, many in our culture--like myself--were left wondering where do white Evangelicals--like many in the SBC--really stand on racism? Were all the apologies in the past just lip service? Most Americans understand that voters had only a couple choices for president and complex political issues had to be boiled down to a single vote. We get that. But what has been noticeably absent is  white Evangelicals holding Trump accountable since the election. They could be saying to Trump: "Yes, we voted for you, but that was in spite of--and not because of--the racist rhetoric, and we condemn that rhetoric." That outcry has been pretty minimal from the white Evangelical community, which comes across as an endorsement.

When the alt-right resolution failed to be brought to the floor on Day one of the two-day Convention, and when the messengers failed to keep any semblance of it alive after that, Twitter just blew up. It blew up in a way that raised my spirits.

I was so wound up I could barely sleep that night as tweets poured in.

I was so encouraged by the groundswell of support. SBC members simply did not want to leave Phoenix with the world unsure about where their denomination stands on the alt-right and white supremacy. It wasn’t just one Twitter account leading the charge, although there were key leaders in this effort. It was dozens and dozens of formerly silent Twitter accounts erupting all at once. At least one group organized a meeting to draft a new resolution with the resolution's original author, Texas pastor Rev. Dwight McKissic. The Resolutions Committee itself sought to find a way to remedy this. Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, had a hand in drafting the revised version. 

I was grateful to witness this.  It was a pure blessing to see both the Twitter messages appearing one after the other in rapid succession and being part of conversations in the convention center hallways. Dozens and dozens of pastors and SBC members entered the fray.

It will be hard to walk away from SBC 2017 without at least a shadow of a doubt as to where the membership stands. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, remarked that the SBC has indeed gotten a "black eye."  

Yes, the SBC stumbled and fell here. It may be hard to wash all the dirt off.  But the stumble created a moment that allowed the SBC to mobilize to make it right.  That movement was pure blessing to watch. I am not a voting member, but as a fellow Christian who cares deeply about what happens here, my heart was with the SBC every step of the way. I am optimistic about the health of the SBC after this.

My assessment: Those who want to put racism behind them are sincere and passionate. There is also a gap between SBC leadership and the membership as well as a generational gap among pastors. When the SBC messengers voted last year to repudiate the Confederate Flag, once person spoke on the Convention floor that it was a fine resolution for pastors but it may be difficult to explain to churchgoers back home. A lot of people want to believe that the SBC has put its racist past behind it, but its rank-and-file membership seems divided as to the necessity of these resolutions and the relevance of symbols like the Confederate Flag.

Some members of the SBC were upset with the headlines coming out the Convention. Those headlines may--or may not--have been unfair. Still, I would urge the SBC not to spend a lot of energy feeling like victims of sensationalistic journalists trying to exploit a controversy for juicy headlines. The hesitation of the SBC over this issue opens real wounds and makes real people wonder where the SBC really stands.  I saw African-American pastors and families shed tears on the Convention floor in shock over what they thought would be a routine denouncement of racism that was instead killed in committee--at a time when our nation cannot afford to be neutral on race.  These are sincere questions that deserve answers.

While I believe SBC senior leaders are sincere in wanting to put racism behind them, they may be guilty of tone deafness here. They underestimated what message it would send by avoiding this topic. Case in point: Alt-right groups were initially declaring this a victory for white supremacy. Perhaps SBC leaders simply wanted to avoid a difficult topic, but sometimes the best way to attract controversy is by attempting to avoid it. Still, those fighting passionately for racial equality and reconciliation are an impressive bunch, and they give the SBC a bright future.

          Sandy Hook Update - Lawyer found in overturned car, bullet in head, declared "sucide"   
Anonymous 2 
A lawyer named Gugsa Abraham (Abe) Dabela was found in his overturned car on a lonely country road close to his home in small, upscale Redding, CT. The local police, including chief Douglas Fuchs, determined right away that the car had crashed and overturned because Mr. Dabela had been drinking. Dabela was so embarrassed that he shot himself in the back of the head inside the car, they said. A shoe print was found on his back. Perhaps he trampled on himself too?
Attorney Dabela, a bachelor, used to frequent a couple of local establishments where also Redding police and firemen could be found on a regular basis. Were tongues being let loose there? Did Mr. Dabela hear something that he found troubling? [Editor's note: His background appears impeccable:

The reason I ask is because Redding police chief Douglas Fuchs bragged during the Sandy Hook event that he was on speed dial with then Newtown police chief Michael Kehoe. He also bragged about how he and his men were the first on the SH scene, even before Newtown police showed up and he had to take command of the situation. OK.

          Trump loves to say media companies are 'failing' — here's how they're actually performing   

Trump watching Super Bowl

President Donald Trump often labels media companies as "failing." He's taken shots at BuzzFeed during press conferences. He's repeatedly pounded on CNN, and particularly enjoyed that network's recent journalism stumble.

And of course, Trump has hammered the MSNBC show "Morning Joe" this week, causing a political firestorm that has stretched across both parties.

If you follow the advertising business, you'd not be surprised to hear that traditional media business models are under a lot of pressure as consumer consumption habits are going through rapid changes driven by technology.

But here's an ongoing question: are the media companies Trump refers to as failing" actually failing? 

Here's a look at how these companies are performing from an audience and financial perspective.


"Failing" CNN

CNN is a frequent Trump target.

But CNN just enjoyed a 39% jump in it ratings for adults aged 25 to 54, reported Variety.

It's true that a few years ago, CNN was really struggling. But lately all of cable news networks have enjoyed a resurgence, as Ad Age's Anthony Crupi noted recently on Twitter.


Nielsen says that CNN averaged over 1 million viewers during prime time during the second quarter of this year.


CNN's parent company Time Warner pulled in  $7.74 billion during its most recent quarter, a jump of 5.8% versus last year, reported Deadline. But ad sales were down for the company's cable networks.

'Low rated' 'Morning Joe'

This week, President Trump has been in attack mode when it comes to the MSNBC show.


"Morning Joe" averaged just under 1 million viewers during the second quarter of this year, according to Nielsen. That's up from roughly 600,000 average viewers a year ago and lands MSNBC just behind Fox News in the morning news race, per Nielsen.


MSNBC has been on a recent ratings surge, and SNL Kagan says the network will pull in $267.8 million this year, reports Variety. Parent company NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp., pulled in close to $7.9 billion during the first quarter this year, up 14.7% versus the same period last year, reported the Los Angeles Times.

'Failing New York Times'

President Trump has frequently referred to the New York Times as "failing."

It's true that at the height of the recession, the Times had to borrow money from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. But recently, the company has seen a surge in subscriptions and scoops thanks in part to Trump. But there's no question newspapers continue to grapple with a declining circulation and print advertising landscape.


The Times' website exceeded 94 million unique users in May, per comScore, a jump of 36% from last year. 


The Times reported that it now has over 2.2 million digital-only subscribers. However, print ad revenue slipped 18% during its most recent quarter. Overall revenue landed at $399 million in the first quarter, up 5% versus the same period in 2016.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
          Kommentar zu Neu von Nikon: AF-S Nikkor 70–200 mm 1:2,8E FL ED VR von Anonymous   
          Kommentar zu Handel lohnt nicht mehr: Isarfoto wandelt sich zum Beratungs- und Service-Unternehmen von Anonymous   
          6/30/2017: Camilla: Her Story: DREAM DOLLS FIND   

SHoWN a box of immaculate 300-year-old dolls in tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, last year, the Roadshow experts were amazed. But when the anonymous owner let slip she had the whole doll’s house at home, expert Fergus Gambon jumped in his car and...
          Comment on Trying to get pregnant? by Anonymous   
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          Want to buy a Dali etching? Go to Goodwill   

The Tacoma, Wash. Goodwill has a special treat up for e-auction — a Salvador Dali work that was just dropped off anonymously.The Tacoma, Wash. Goodwill has a special treat up for e-auction — a Salvador Dali work that was just dropped off anonymously.

          Comment on Blair Benjamin by Anonymous   
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          . Net Full Stack Web Framework Developer   
NY-New York, Must be local to New York City. Will require on site interview with client. No reimbursement for relocation or travel. Note From Manager: Must be able to solve the problem with the latest C# language (features and code). Must have experience with patterns such as LINQ, lambda expressions, dynamic / parallel LINQ, anonymous methods, types, etc. Job Description: Front Office Developer Passionate res
          You're Thinking About the Dictionary All Wrong, Lexicographers Say   
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Outline: It seems like ever since "bootylicious" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004, dictionaries have been trying to play catch up to ever-evolving languages of slang , especially when it comes to words originating with African Americans and other communities of color. User-generated definitions found on websites like Urban Dictionary and Genius are also giving them some competition.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 74795258)   
Wrong Mnemosyne.
          The café by the sea : a novel / Jenny Colgan.   
cover imageYears ago Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up - and she hasn't looked back. What would she have done on Mure? It's a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious...and hopelessly in love with her boss. But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she's suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers - all strapping, loud, and seemingly incapable of basic housework - and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking - and finds herself restoring a dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a cafe by the sea.
          Back in Black   
Some new goodies coming to  The Darkness Chamber Fair Black Magic which opens 1st July and runs till 22nd July. Credits Bikini :: *Exclusive* Ruffle Bikini with Texture Hud ( Freya, Hourglass, Isis,Maitreya, Physique, TMP, Venus) *Thank you* – ::OOPS:: @ TDCF opens 1st July Necklace ::*Exclusive* Secrets Necklace with texture hud *Thank you* – Zombie […]
          NASA Responds to InfoWars Claim: We Don’t Have Child Sex Slaves on Mars   

For the second time this week, NASA has had to shut down ridiculous claims about the organization.

“There are no humans on Mars. There are active rovers on Mars. There was a rumor going around last week that there weren’t. There are. But there are no humans,” spokesperson for Mars exploration at NASA Guy Webster told The Daily Beast after claims were made on Alex Jones’ “The Alex Jones Show” that there was a colony of kidnapped children on Mars.

On Thursday, Jones hosted Robert David Steele on his radio program. “We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride,” Steel said. “So that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.”

If you find the idea of children slaves on Mars to be outlandish and bizarre, remember who the messenger is: Jones, a known conspiracy theorist. In the past, he propagated the Pizzagate scandal — another debunked conspiracy having to do with a made-up child sex ring. He has also denied that the Sandy Hook massacre was real.

Apparently Jones was comfortable supporting Steele’s theory because “Look, I know that 90 percent of the NASA missions are secret and I’ve been told by high level NASA engineers that you have no idea. There is so much stuff going on,” he said on his show.

NASA’s reassurance that, no, there are no humans on Mars, comes just days after the organization had to shut down rumors of alien activity as well. After a YouTuber posted a video saying that NASA was on the verge of announcing the discovery of alien life, a NASA spokesperson told The Washington Post: “While we’re excited about the latest findings from NASA’s Kepler space observatory, there’s no pending announcement regarding Extra-Terrestrial life.”

You can watch the “Info Wars” video with Jones and Steele below. (The space conspiracy is mentioned around the three-minute mark):

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: Megyn Kelly's Alex Jones Interview Struggles Against US Open Golf

Megyn Kelly Needles Alex Jones on Sandy Hook: 'You're Trying to Have It All Ways'

Alex Jones Sends Condolences to Sandy Hook Families Before Megan Kelly Interview

Connecticut NBC Station Won't Air Megyn Kelly Interview With Alex Jones

          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 34613420)   
and you too pal
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 75160661)   
I ask Chris come magia for a place, he dos ir un One hour i can confirmo that. Ver Well done chris
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 75160661)   
Will done chris
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 75034787)   
"they eventually got a Catholic priest in to go around and do whatever blessings he did. " ...and not that it mattered/would have helped because by the time he'd arrived (days later), the voices had stopped visiting anyway. ps. kind regards.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 41839363)   
"I deal in spiritual world, devoid of material things" When I was a child around the age of 6 (1971 ish), I had only what can only be described (by me) as "visitations", perhaps 3 or 4 nights on a trot. Each time I was in bed at night - before I slept, and the...
          Comment on Bye Bye Byes by Anonymous   
Overall I like this: - Play-in teams are competing for something real - No more than 4 teams in any meet will really keep the intensity and speed up, both in-person and on TV - Higher chance of being on TV - I LOVE that the highest placing individual advances. Winning was simply too high a bar to meet. This is a fantastic change. - Could result in more upsets (you need to beat 2 teams to advance, not 3) Downsides: - Potential to compete three days in a row for some teams. - Could result in fewer upsets (only 2 teams can advance, not 3) - No individual event finals - It will be on TV and we'll still get 90 seconds of chalk-feet and they'll still cut away mid-routine for 90% of routines Overall I view this as a positive step. I like that the NCAA is willing to change and evolve (hopefully) for the benefit of the sport. I think we can look back in 5-10 years and see how these changes helped or hurt. That's how progress is made, one routine at a time. My question to other posters - what's the ideal TV format? Sometimes the live feed is a 4-way split screen so you can see everything happening, but it's all tiny. The other is that you can select your feed and choose the event/team you want. But that only seems to work on a computer. What is the ideal way to broadcast 4 simultaneous teams on one channel on TV? Thoughts?
          Comment on Bye Bye Byes by Anonymous   
If nothing else, I'm enjoying the DEFCON 1 meltdowns some people are having over this. And yay, no more byes! Couldn't stand that they were called byes in the first place and they made watching Nationals an arduous experience.
          Equal2lance2 replied to Stig of The Dump's discussion Linear Park Detours   
Equal2lance2 replied to Stig of The Dump's discussion Linear Park Detours

          Jilden replied to Stig of The Dump's discussion Linear Park Detours   
Jilden replied to Stig of The Dump's discussion Linear Park Detours

          Comment on Θεϊκό Ψητό Συκώτι Μοσχαρίσιο, με Καπνιστή Πάπρικα by Anonymous   
Σας ευχαριστω πολύ για την απαντηση σας...θα το κανω στο τηγανι καλο απόγευμα και ευχαριστω για ολες τις ωραιες συνταγες σας
          Comment on Μοσχάρι Κοκκινιστό & τα Μυστικά της Γεύσης by Anonymous   
Δεν έχω αποφασίσει γιατί σας λατρεύω περισσότερο, για την άψογη κ αναλυτικότατη γραφή σας στα θέματα γαστρονομίας ή για την υπέροχη μαγειρική σας; Σαφέστατα κ για τα δύο!!! Άλλωστε, η αγάπη σε αυτό που κάνετε συνδυαστικά με την ικανότητά σας επιφέρει αυτά τα -ευτυχώς για εμάς- εξαίρετα αποτελέσματα!!! Μπράβο σας!!!!
          Some of Billy Collins' Music Poems   

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice" 

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better. 


The Five Spot, 1964

There’s always a lesson to be learned,
whether in a hotel bar
or over tea in a teahouse,
no matter which way it goes,
for you or against,
what you want to hear or what you don’t.

Seeing Roland Kirk, for example,
with two then three saxophones
in his mouth at once
and a kazoo, no less,
hanging from his neck at the ready.

Even in my youth I saw
this not as a lesson in keeping busy
with one thing or another,
but as a joyous impossible lesson
in how to do it all at once,

pleasing and displeasing yourself
with harmony here and discord there.
But what else did I know
as the waitress lit the candle
on my round table in the dark?
What did I know about anything?



In the old joke,
the marriage counselor
tells the couple who never talks anymore
to go to a jazz club because at a jazz club
everyone talks during the bass solo.

But of course, no one starts talking
just because of a bass solo
or any other solo for that matter.

The quieter bass solo just reveals
the people in the club
who have been talking all along,
the same ones you can hear
on some well-known recordings.

Bill Evans, for example,
who is opening a new door into the piano
while some guy chats up his date
at one of the little tables in the back.

I have listened to that album
so many times I can anticipate the moment
of his drunken laugh
as if it were a strange note in the tune.

And so, anonymous man,
you have become part of my listening,
your romance a romance lost in the past

and a reminder somehow
that each member of that trio has died since then
and maybe so have you and, sadly, maybe she.



You are so beautiful and I am a fool
to be in love with you
is a theme that keeps coming up
in songs and poems.
There seems to be no room for variation.
I have never heard anyone sing
I am so beautiful
and you are a fool to be in love with me,
even though this notion has surely
crossed the minds of women and men alike.
You are so beautiful, too bad you are a fool
is another one you don't hear.
Or, you are a fool to consider me beautiful.
That one you will never hear, guaranteed.

For no particular reason this afternoon
I am listening to Johnny Hartman
whose dark voice can curl around
the concepts on love, beauty, and foolishness
like no one else's can.
It feels like smoke curling up from a cigarette
someone left burning on a baby grand piano
around three o'clock in the morning;
smoke that billows up into the bright lights
while out there in the darkness
some of the beautiful fools have gathered
around little tables to listen,
some with their eyes closed,
others leaning forward into the music
as if it were holding them up,
or twirling the loose ice in a glass,
slipping by degrees into a rhythmic dream.

Yes, there is all this foolish beauty,
borne beyond midnight,
that has no desire to go home,
especially now when everyone in the room
is watching the large man with the tenor sax
that hangs from his neck like a golden fish.
He moves forward to the edge of the stage
and hands the instrument down to me
and nods that I should play.
So I put the mouthpiece to my lips
and blow into it with all my living breath.
We are all so foolish,
my long bebop solo begins by saying,
so damn foolish
we have become beautiful without even knowing it. 

          By: Anonymous   
Tugster Scott - would you be interested in about 2500 words and 6 or so pics?
          Error while making ajax request on IIS 8.5   

I developed an mvc application which worked well on visual studio but when i deployed it to iis sever 8.5 i got bellow error while making an ajax request

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> 
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> 
<title>IIS 8.0 Detailed Error - 404.0 - Not Found</title> 
<style type="text/css"> 
.config_source code{font-size:.8em;color:#000000;} 
ul,ol{margin:10px 0 10px 5px;} 
fieldset{padding:0 15px 10px 15px;word-break:break-all;} 
.summary-container fieldset{padding-bottom:5px;margin-top:4px;} 
legend.no-expand-all{padding:2px 15px 4px 10px;margin:0 0 0 -12px;} 
legend{color:#333333;;margin:4px 0 8px -12px;_margin-top:0px; 
h3{font-size:1.4em;margin:10px 0 0 0;color:#CC0000;} 
h4{font-size:1.2em;margin:10px 0 5px 0; 
}#header{width:96%;margin:0 0 0 0;padding:6px 2% 6px 2%;font-family:"trebuchet MS",Verdana,sans-serif; 
}#content{margin:0 0 0 2%;position:relative;} 
.content-container p{margin:0 0 10px 0; 
}#server_version{width:96%;_height:1px;min-height:1px;margin:0 0 5px 0;padding:11px 2% 8px 2%;color:#FFFFFF; 
 background-color:#5A7FA5;border-bottom:1px solid #C1CFDD;border-top:1px solid #4A6C8E;font-weight:normal; 
}#server_version p{margin:5px 0;} 
table{margin:4px 0 4px 0;width:100%;border:none;} 
td,th{vertical-align:top;padding:3px 0;text-align:left;font-weight:normal;border:none;} 
thead th{background-color:#ebebeb;width:25%; 
}#details-right th{width:20%;} 
table tr.alt td,table tr.alt th{} 
.preferred{padding:0 5px 2px 5px;font-weight:normal;background:#006633;color:#FFF;font-size:.8em;} 
<div id="content"> 
<div class="content-container"> 
  <h3>HTTP Error 404.0 - Not Found</h3> 
  <h4>The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.</h4> 
<div class="content-container"> 
 <fieldset><h4>Most likely causes:</h4> 
  <ul> 	<li>The directory or file specified does not exist on the Web server.</li> 	<li>The URL contains a typographical error.</li> 	<li>A custom filter or module, such as URLScan, restricts access to the file.</li> </ul> 
<div class="content-container"> 
 <fieldset><h4>Things you can try:</h4> 
  <ul> 	<li>Create the content on the Web server.</li> 	<li>Review the browser URL.</li> 	<li>Create a tracing rule to track failed requests for this HTTP status code and see which module is calling SetStatus. For more information about creating a tracing rule for failed requests, click <a href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=66439">here</a>. </li> </ul> 
<div class="content-container"> 
 <fieldset><h4>Detailed Error Information:</h4> 
  <div id="details-left"> 
   <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> 
    <tr class="alt"><th>Module</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IIS Web Core</td></tr> 
    <tr class="alt"><th>Handler</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;StaticFile</td></tr> 
    <tr><th>Error Code</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;0x80070002</td></tr> 
  <div id="details-right"> 
   <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> 
    <tr class="alt"><th>Requested URL</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;http://www.ileev.com:80/Files/rdimages/articles/Culture-Cinema/Top 10 Horror Movies 2013/8-You</td></tr> 
    <tr><th>Physical Path</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;E:\HostingSpaces\ileev.com\ileev.com\wwwroot\Files\rdimages\articles\Culture-Cinema\Top 10 Horror Movies 2013\8-You</td></tr> 
    <tr class="alt"><th>Logon Method</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Anonymous</td></tr> 
    <tr><th>Logon User</th><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Anonymous</td></tr> 
   <div class="clear"></div> 
<div class="content-container"> 
 <fieldset><h4>More Information:</h4> 
  This error means that the file or directory does not exist on the server. Create the file or directory and try the request again. 
  <p><a href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=62293&amp;IIS70Error=404,0,0x80070002,9200">View more information &raquo;</a></p> 

          Re: Short Sited   
Actually UR paid hundreds of thousands a year to keep up the property. But, you're right, pro football fan, the property is too valuable to be kept as a stadium.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
Jward, it's not vacant. In case you didn't notice, there's a stadium on it.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
If all of this land around Richmond is so valuable, why is all of it still vacant? Valuable on paper doesn't mean anything if no one is interested in developing it.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
Something to keep in mind for all Richmond City residents- in regard to this, the FanHouse controversy, and other matters-

There are no noise or disturbing the peace ordinances are in effect since December.
If the police do come and ask a house/business to turn down their noise, and they fail to do so, the police can come back and issue a summons for 'failure to act', but I strongly question how many police will bother.

Residents are not receiving satisfactory answers on this issue from City Council or the Mayor's office and with the warmer weather coming its going to be a bigger issue. In know many residents in my neighborhood are fleeing the City.

Frankly, the feeling is that the government has failed and abandoned us.

I suggest that local officials concentrate on keeping longtime, loyal homeowners/taxpayers first, bringing in more students, tourists, developers second.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
If VCU gets the spot I hope it uses only donor money and that the City charges full price for it. That land is far too valuable to be given away on the hope that VCU football might happen and be successful.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
I get the impression from the article that the land is far too valuable to use for football. If VCU wants a team, in other words, it should get a stadium in a less-desirable location: just because there's already a stadium here doesn't mean the city can afford to keep using it for sports.

I wonder why the city subsidized (I assume) UR football all these years.
Posted by Anonymous
          Re: Short Sited   
VCU Division I football could be a great success in Richmond. Carytown could derive tremendous financial benefit from game day crowds.
Posted by Anonymous
          Salon flips out over Identitarian campaign   
I saw this on my Twitter feed:

The leftist Salon website has noticed the European Identitarian campaign I wrote about last month. What is happening is that there are ships being operated by various NGOs which are picking up illegal immigrants from the coast of Africa and, in contravention of international law, ferrying them to Europe (they are supposed to be taken to the nearest African port).

The Identitarians have launched a campaign to operate a vessel of their own, a bit like the Rainbow Warrior, to block the NGO ships. The campaign has, to the consternation of Salon, quickly raised funds. (At our last meeting of the Melbourne Traditionalists we raised money to send off to this campaign.)

In their hit piece, Salon quotes one of the Identitarians as saying:
This massive immigration is changing the face of our continent. We are losing our safety, our way of life, and there is a danger we Europeans will become a minority in our own European homelands.

The Salon piece then continues:
The group writes that “humanitarian NGOs traffick hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Europe and endanger the security and future of our continent. They are responsible for the mass drowning of thousands of Africans in the Mediterranean.”

As The Observer recently reported, the group has raised nearly $100,000 in less than three weeks through an anonymous crowd funding campaign. The group says it plans to pay for vessels, travel costs and film equipment. Italian Identitarians claim they have been offered ships and support from people with boat driving licenses.

The Identitarian statements sound reasonable enough to me. And, as I wrote in my original post on the campaign, it is a template changer - it marks a shift toward a more activist response to what is happening in Europe. And this, I expect, is what has caught the attention of the leftists at Salon.
          Ticket to Write: Vases by ancient Greek painter can bring goosebumps    
One of the greatest artists of ancient Athens — that’s fifth century B.C., mind you — will have dozens of his finest vases displayed this summer at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art.I know.Wow.The anonymous artist, known as the Berlin Painter, created “some of the greatest masterpieces of classical antiquity,” said Adam Levine, the museum’s associate curator of ancient art.The exhibit, “The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian [...]
          #39730: Checking if wp_new_comment() return value is a WP_Error   

Since wp_new_comment() can return WP_Error (also it can be returned through pre_comments_approved filter), we should check it in all call occurrences.

This essentially affects adding new comments (via ajax) in post admin where the result was a new empty comment (with anonymous avatar) with not working links (since they don't have comment id). I added the check before get_comment($comment_id) (*) call and comments list building.

The patch also fix all other wp_new_comment() calls I found.

(*): In general, maybe should WP_Comment take care to the object passed in the constructor by checking if it's a WP_Error

          Arnold’s Park Renovation Fundraising Efforts Underway   
DICKINSON COUNTY, Iowa  —  Last month, Arnold’s Park announced a big renovation plan, and the fundraising efforts to make it happen will begin on Saturday. Renovating the 128-year-old amusement park will cost $12 million. Park leaders say an anonymous donor came forward and pledged to match $6 million for the renovation. So far, the campaign has raised two million of those matching dollars. Phase one of the project is already underway, most of which is infrastructure work. Phase two–which will include an expansion of […]
          20-Year-Old Missing Man   
06.29.17 01:03 PM *Los Angeles:* The family of William Arthur Goodeve and the Los Angeles Police Department's Missing Person's Detectives are asking for the public's help in locating him. On June 23, 2017, around 11 p.m., Goodeve was last seen in the 2300 block of Scarff Street, in the City of Los Angeles. His family is concerned because he has not made contact. Goodeve is described as a 20-year-old White male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 155 pounds. Image: http://lapdonline.org/assets/jpg/nr17201lp%201.jpg Image: http://lapdonline.org/assets/jpg/nr17201lp%202.jpg If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of William Arthur Goodeve, please contact Missing Persons Unit at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS...
          Comment on Djevojčica lakše povrijeđena od udara auta u Bijeloj by Anonymous   
Tek kad neko strada u velikom stilu pred neke izbore uradice to neko da pogodi temu u predizbornoj kampanji jer tek se sjete gdje je Bijela i raskrsnica na Panorami kad nas brizno posjete da u domu kulture odrze promociju svoje stranke i kandidata sramota!
          Comment on Baošići odlučili da počnu s feštama i bez para iz gradske turističke kase by Anonymous   
Naucni rad, napisala ga bivsa ministarka Vlahovic.
          6/30/2017: News: Hot bot’s £2m pot   
AN R2-D2 robot made from parts salvaged from the Star Wars films has sold for more than £2million. The 43-inch-tall replica was constructed using pieces from four movies by an anonymous British fan. It took seven years to build and sold for £2.13m...
          U.S. steel stocks gain after report on import tariffs   
Trump and a small group of his advisers made clear at a meeting of top officials at the White House on Monday that they want to impose tariffs on steel and likely other imports, according to a report from news website Axios that cites anonymous sources. The White House expects to delay the release of the highly anticipated "Section 232" study until after Trump has...
          iZombie, Season 3, Episode 13: Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2   

Ok… that happened. Talk about a game changing episode.

After the action of last week the gang gathers together to deal with the aftermath of losing 12 Fillmore Graves people. Major is traumatised, Justin horrified and asks where Liv was. And she tells him about sleeping with Chase.

Ok, I appreciate the honesty, but ye gods, Liv, timing! Timing!

Justin doesn’t hear any explanation and storms out - he doesn’t accept brains as a reason because he has been on brains and he has been able to resist

This is something iZombie has touched on previous seasons but never really developed, especially not this season where the brains have been reduced to comic relief. The struggle of having your personality stripped, of having to resist alien thoughts and urges, of being drawn into situations and opinions which you’d normally reject. There’s a horror to that this show has completely lost and it was needed in this scene

Another problem is that this scene seems to exist entirely to remove Justin from the plot line. Maybe he’ll appear again in season 4 for some relationship angst, but just when all the action is heating up he has been completely removed from the plot line. Contrast with every other one of Liv’s relationship, Justin has been completely sidelined. It’s lucky he didn’t die last episode but, really, a corpse would have had as much presence.

Also last week I said how they didn’t shame Katty for her sex life- well in this episode there’s a lot of harping on her low standard and addiction to anonymous sex (and the only objection is Ravi’s self esteemed).

We have a brief interlude with Blaine who is not seeing business go well. He’s lost a shipment of smuggled brains and a minion. And Chase doesn’t accept his deal to provide brains because Chase has decided unprocessed brains and their personality changes are dangerous to his unit (he’s not wrong) and despite his shortage, he’s banned his men from going to Blaine’s bar - and that’s half his business. It also means less bars full of choreographer brains which, I have to say was awesome.

Another twist is Major - mourning Natalie and his squad mates, he goes to Chase and asks to be scratched. Chase warns him zombie reveal is coming and he needs to realise how bad things are going to get - but Major insists. Majoris a zombie again

At the morgue, Clive, Ravi and Liv compare notes, from Tatum bringing Chase’s dog back from Paris, to Chase being in touch with Katty (provided by Liv) and some other leaps: basically they think that Chase’s dog is apparently spreading the deadly flu around on purpose to kill loads of people and get bains on tap.

Also apparently there are dog collars that spray your dog when it barks. I did not know this and do not approve, train your dog, don’t torment it, lazy dog owners.

Time to prove this by sending Liv to check Chase’s dog - and get caught. So Liv and Clive confront Chase and tell him that Harley was not responsible for killing the zombie family.

Read more »
          [Spielleiter-Tipps] Konflikte optimieren   
Die Gruppe sitzt zappelnd am Tisch, ihre Pizza dampft unangetastet auf den Tisch, sie springen auf, gehen durch den Raum und streiten. Spannung knistert im Raum, jedes Würfelgeräusch bringt das Herz zum rasen, das Spiel lebt! Kennt Ihr das? Ich liebe solche Situationen. Doch wie kommt es dazu? Das ist eines der Hauptthemen in diesem Blog. Heutiges Thema: Konflikte. Besser gesagt: Konflikte, welche die Charaktere vor Entscheidungen stellen; Entscheidungen, die das Leben der Charaktere nachhaltig verändern können.

Verfolgen wir eine typische Rollenspielsituation: Der Auftraggeber bieten den Helden einen Auftrag an. Diesen Ausgangspunkt haben viele Abenteuer, wenn auch nicht alle. Der hagere alte Mann betritt die schummrige Taverne, steuert auf die Helden zu, gibt Ihnen alle Informationen und verschwindet wieder im Dunkeln mit der Versprechung einer hohen Belohnung. Werden die Spieler hier aufspringen und vor Spannung zittern? Wahrscheinlich nicht, doch wie bringen wir sie dazu? Mit einem Konflikt? Probieren wir es ...

Doch was ist eigentlich ein Konflikt? Neigen wir unser Haupt, während wir Anonymous zuhören, wie er die Wikipedia zitiert:

"Ein Konflikt (lat.: confligere = zusammentreffen, kämpfen; PPP: conflictum) ist dann gegeben, wenn Zielsetzungen oder Wertvorstellungen von Personen, gesellschaftlichen Gruppen, Organisationen oder Staaten unvereinbar sind."

Danke, Anon! Konflikte können immer drei Lösungen haben: Die erste führt zu weiteren Konflikten, die zweite löst den Konflikt, in der dritten Variante bleibt alles beim alten, der Konflikt existiert weiter. Hierbei ist zu beachten, dass manchmal Nichtstun auch einen Konflikt im Guten, wie im Schlechten lösen kann. Welche Lösung die Spieler wählen, liegt bei ihnen. Der Spielleiter sollte sie in die Konfliktsituation bringen und abwarten. Mir macht das persönlich viel Spaß zu sehen, wie sich im Geist der Spielern das Problem entfaltet.

Der hagere Mann gehört, gut erkennbar durch seine schwarze Ordenskleidung, einem der dunklen Mächte an. Doch das Angebot, was er den Helden unterbietet ist wirklich gut: Geld dafür, dass sie eine Prinzessin in Not retten. Ist es aber zu vereinbaren, dass die Spieler kurzzeitig mit einem ihrer Feinde kurzzeitig zusammen arbeiten, um ein gemeinsames Ziel zu verfolgen? Ein klassischer Konflikt.

Ich finde, ein guter Konflikt lässt sich an der Entscheidungstiefe erkennen, welche mit einer potentiellen Lösung hervorgeht. Wenn die Entscheidung kritisch für das Leben des Charakters ist, wird der Spieler mehr darüber nachdenken. Der Spieler erlebt dadurch das Spiel intensiver. Ein Räuber steht auf der Straße, hält die eine Waffe entgegen und fragt dich: "Geld oder Leben?". Eine falsche Entscheidung führt zum sofortigen Exitus, die andere zum vermeintlichen sozialen Abstieg. Welche Opfer würde ein Mensch für sein Leben bringen? Probiert es an euren Spielern aus und sagt mir, welche Opfer sie bringen würden!

Die Spieler sollten mit etwas interagieren müssen für einen guten Konflikt. Der Wikipedia-Text gibt schon einige Beispiele: Personen, gesellschaftlichen Gruppen, Organisationen oder Staaten. Da wir uns in einer in der Regel in einer Phantasie-Welt befinden beim Rollenspiel, können die Spieler natürlich noch mit viel mehr interagieren. Besonders intensive Interaktion erreicht man durch Gefühle bei den Spielern. Liebe und Hass sind hierbei die stärksten Gefühle.

Der hagere Mann gehört, gut erkennbar durch seine schwarze Ordenskleidung, einem der dunklen Mächte an. Er bietet den Helden das Geld an, dass sie brauchen um einen ihrer Gefährten wiederbeleben zu lassen. Doch im Austausch verlangt er einen dunklen Dienst von ihnen: Das Herz einer dunklen Bestie. Gehen die Helden darauf ein, dass Leben ihres Freundes zu retten und den Feinden zu helfen oder opfern sie den Freund und kämpfen weiter gegen das Böse?

Was haltet Ihr von Konflikten in Rollenspielen? Wie nutzt ihr Konflikte? Was ist für euch ein richtig spannender Konflikt?
Das Foto stammt von izarbeltza (Bildlizenz)

          Comment on Sweden Gives Returning ISIS Fighters New Identities to Help Them “Start Over” by kevin a   
          Comment on Paradox: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wears Islamic-Themed Socks To Gay Pride Parade by P.A.Semi   
Chechnya pogroms on gays are probably FAKE NEWS, a part of Russia-bashing... An anonymous "witness" may invent whatever he likes...
          Comment on Decoupling and the Bourgain-Demeter-Guth proof of the Vinogradov main conjecture by Anonymous   
Dear Prof. Tao, I'm currently studying the latest paper of Bourgain and Demeter on decoupling (https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.06032), but there is one issue I just don't understand. In the proof of Prop. 8.4 in order to apply Thm. 5.1 the authors claim that the Fourier transform of the function $latex (x,z)\mapsto E_{S_L}g(x,y,z)$ (let's call this function $latex E_{S_L,y}g)$ for fixed $latex y$ is supported in the $latex O(K^{-1})$ neighborhood of the parabola $latex \eta=\xi^2+1$. But for Thm. 5.1 I need that the Fourier support lies in the smaller set $latex N_{C/R}([0,1])$ for some constant $latex C>0$. My question is the following: How is the Fourier transform of $latex E_{S_L,y}g$ defined in order to give the author's claim above any sense? Since $latex E_{S_L,y}g$ does not lie in any $latex L^p$ space, the usual definition does not make sense, does it? If I consider $latex E_{S_L,y}g$ as a distribution, then I'm able to conclude that it has Fourier support (in the distributional sense) in $latex N_{C/R}([0,1])$. But that doesn't seem to help me when I want to apply Thm. 5.1. May I ask you to elaborate on this issue and explain how equation (21) in the above paper can be derived?
          Broflake defined   

Perhaps you are tired of the terminology of online trashtalk, where words (such as snowflake and bro) form billowing epicycles of sincerity, appropriation and reclamation. Me too! Yet there is such a pure beauty to this morning's surprisingly viral portmanteau, Broflake.

From the Urban Dictionary:

Broflake: Straight white male offended by any feminist or ethnic activity which is not directly designed for him.

Kyle: "How come there's no Straight Pride parade"?
Me: OMG you're such a delicate little broflake.

If anything, this definition is too precise, as the word perfectly captures the broader dynamic wherein a person adopts a posture of devil-may-care principled insensitivity to offense, only to collapse in a puddle of outrage and/or legal threats when they are offended.

(For example, the NRA's Dana Loesch is an excellent candidate for Broflake of the Day for Friday, June 30, 2017. After pitching an insanely totalitarian NRA recruitment ad whose anti-violence fig leaf only drew attention to its naked thirst for bloodshed, she was apparently up all night shrieking legal threats on Twitter at random anonymous interlocutors, insisting that their mockery is not free speech.)


          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 41351223)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 52654829)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 51553366)   
Comparison with the ICO http://i.imgur.com/XAf95zG.jpg ~
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 51527054)   
Further enhancements to one of the red objects. Airplane contrails right? http://i.imgur.com/YE4tFza.jpg ~
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 36570252)   
I took a picture of this a few nights ago, sorry the image is small but if you download it you can zoom in. What is it? http://imageshack.com/a/img42/3339/a684.png
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 42988639)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 36623439)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 36623439)   
Could this be related?: first image... http://s22.postimg.org/sgvdtn0z5/geo5.jpg what is that to the right of the sun, right underneath the top telephone wire? [/quote] Trying to figure out what that object is. You can see in the other pics.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49988548)   
The universe has always been "one." Duh...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 30474188)   
yep its coming in, head for the bunkers kiddies! My camera is broken so i am unfortunately unable to take pics! :tounge:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 3738618)   
north mississippi storm chasers and spotters have a post on fb talking about this. they have a picture and lots of comments.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49270161)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 47001922)   
Is this the object you've seen? [/quote] That looks to be Venus. Venus and the Moon were in that position on the 6th: http://imgur.com/a/teDIJ It's not really shaped like that. The diamond shape is from the camera optics. The image is so out of focus that it takes...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49211960)   
this things gets brighter and brighter by the day, something is definitely up.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49805210)   
LINK ???? :bump:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 2241652)   
It is a plane. It is heading away from you at a very high altitude. That is why it looks like it isn't moving.... [/quote] BS! it is in the same position every night.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 41155065)   
I finally saw it today!!! I was in the backyard and just above the treeline the "strange" object was in the sky. I've seen this thread a thousand times and never gave another thought, but tonight I saw it!! I told my son to look at it and he kept saying it was an airplane....
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49683396)   
I live in France and recently travelled to Tenerife in the Canary Islands located just West of Morroco to visit a friend. Tenerife has the largest solar telescope in Europe and the third in size in the world due to its assured crystal clear skies. On 15 October 2013 I witnessed a bright image...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49696905)   
I live in France and recently travelled to Tenerife in the Canary Islands located just West of Morroco to visit a friend. Tenerife has the largest solar telescope in Europe and the third in size in the world due to its assured crystal clear skies. On 15 October 2013 I witnessed a bright image...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49696905)   
I live in France and recently travelled to Tenerife in the Canary Islands located just West of Morroco to visit a friend. Tenerife has the largest solar telescope in Europe and the third in size in the world due to its assured crystal clear skies. On 15 October 2013 I witnessed a bright image...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49688688)   
Any new vids/pics?!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49172854)   
These forums are absolutely WORTHLESS for discussing anything!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49433358)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 47548652)   
it's fucking VENUS you retards month after month, year after year, the Air Force gets HUNDREDS of reports of something "flying around out there" it's Venus, retards it's always Venus... every time paranoid retards.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 48736495)   
Thanks for the pictures.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49381175)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49178678)   
why, when looking at venus, does it appear to be 2 objects together instead of one? If you take your eyes slightly out of focus it splits at the point where it looks like 2 objects
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49328476)   
Your intent is deceit. You know very well that you took those pictures too late. Too many stars are showing already. Unbelievable... NEXT!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49321531)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 23513847)   
Yes he sounds precisely like that.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 49319224)   
Too bad I have always been right. LMAO! Try again...... [/quote] Wow.... You sound desperate and like 6 y.o You little maggot
          Newswire: Twitter might be working on a way for users to report fake news   

Alternative facts and the dread “fake news” aren’t limited to Facebook, as anyone who’s ever used Twitter can tell you. It’s just as easy/likely to share tweets that are rife with inaccuracies (despite being only 140 characters long)—even the president does it. So Twitter is finally, sort of working on a way to help stop the flow of misinformation. As The Washington Post reports, the social media company is looking into “adding a feature that would let users flag tweets that contain misleading, false or harmful information.”

WaPo cites two anonymous sources “familiar with the company’s projects,” who have very vague details on this proposed feature. It might be a “tiny tab” included in the drop-down menu that’s next to all tweets, and it also might never be released. Twitter wouldn’t comment on any specifics either, but Emily Horne, a spokesperson for ...

          Comment on Liverpool set to test waters with bid for Naby Keïta by Anonymous   
When Liverpool make a bid of £70 million then I,ll believe it. Until then it is just another rediculous rumour!
          Comment on How summer sales will impact Jürgen Klopp’s transfer plans by Anonymous   
If klopp was really being given 150 to 200 million he wouldn't,t need to sell many players. I for one do not believe that. Over the past seven years lfc have spent very little money, given the sales t hey have made. We have not been in the same league as the teams we are expected to compete against. Which is a great shame because Liverpool people are very ambitious, and I think that this year they will be very disalusioned. Your article intimates that we are a poor club that has to sell players to buy new ones. That is not the case, it is simply the owners perogative..
          Free Proxy: 29-Jun-2017 04:00:01 NEW   
IP Proxy Address : / High AnonymousCountry : China Last Check : 2017-06-29
          Samsung smartphones could start featuring safer solid-state batteries before the end of 2019   
Galaxy S8

Samsung could start integrating next-generation solid-state batteries into its smartphones within the next two years, according to a report published by The Korea Herald. “Our technological level to produce a solid-state battery for smartphones will be mature enough in one to two years,” said an anonymous executive with Samsung SDI, the battery-making arm of Samsung...

The post Samsung smartphones could start featuring safer solid-state batteries before the end of 2019 appeared first on MobileSyrup.

          Build the Enterprise   
One week ago, anonymous engineer "BTE Dan" put up a website called Build the Enterprise. He envisions a $1 trillion spaceship modeled on the USS Enterprise. There are highly detailed plans for constructing and funding it. It quickly spread all over the news to GizMag, DailyMail and other places. The BTE website is slow to load, while waiting why not Build the Starship Enterprise from useless office supplies.
          Japan's Weekly Manga Rankings for Jun 19 - 25   
Here are the weekly manga rankings for June 19 - 25 Rank / This week's sales by copies / Cumulative sales / Titles *1. 460,173 *,463,374 Tokyo Ghoul:re Vol.11 *2. 172,663 *,172,663 Berserk Vol.39 *3. 147,944 *,147,944 Uchuu Kyoudai Vol.31 *4. 137,682 *,258,542 Magi Vol.34 *5. *72,121 *,*72,121 Kakegurui Vol.7 *6. *61,183 *,*61,183 Shokuryou Jinrui: Starving Anonymous Vol.3 *7. *58,374 *,115,384 Magi: Sinbad no Bouken Vol.14 *8. *55,740 *,*55,740 Ballroom e Youkoso Vol.9 *9. *49,831 *,197,84...
          Alleged Dropbox hack underlines danger of reusing passwords   
(LiveHacking.Com) – News broke yesterday of an alleged hack on Dropbox that could have potentially leaked the passwords of millions of users. An anonymous hacker posted a few hundred usernames and passwords on Pastebin and claimed that they were for Dropbox accounts. The leaked list is for accounts with email addresses starting with the letter […]
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          The Philippines a Century Hence   
(by José Rizal Translated by Charles E. Derbyshire)

NOTE: This famous essay of Rizal entitled "Filipinas de cien años" was first published in La Solidaridad, Madrid, between September 30, 1889, and February 1, 1890

PART ONE: Following our usual custom of facing squarely the most difficult and delicate questions related to the Philippines, without weighing the consequences that our frankness may bring upon us, we shall in the present article treat of their future.

In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past, and this, for the Philippines may be reduced in general terms to what follows.

Scarcely had they been attached to the Spanish crown than they had sustained with their blood and the efforts of their sons the wars and ambitions, and conquest of the Spanish people, and in these struggles, in that terrible crisis when a people changes its form of government, its laws, usages, customs, religion and beliefs; the Philippines was depopulated, impoverished and retarded -- caught in their metamorphosis without confidence in their past, without faith in their present and with no fond home of the years to come. The former rulers who had merely endeavored to secure the fear and submission of their subjects, habituated by them to servitude, fell like leaves from a dead tree, and the people, who had no love for them nor knew what liberty was, easily changed masters, perhaps hoping to gain something by the innovation.

Then began a new era for the Filipinos. They gradually lost their ancient traditions, their recollections, -- they forgot their writings, their songs, their poetry, their laws in order to learn by heart other doctrines, which they did not understand, other ethics, other tastes, different from those inspired in their race by their climate and their way of thinking. Then there was a falling-off, they were lowered in their own eyes, they became ashamed of what was distinctively their own, in order to admire and praise that was foreign and incomprehensible; their spirit was broken and they acquiesced.

Thus years and centuries rolled on. Religious shows, rites that caught the eye, songs, lights, images arrayed with gold, worship in a strange language, legends, miracles and sermons, hypnotized the already naturally superstitious spirits of the country but did not succeed in destroying it altogether, in spite of the whole system afterwards developed and operated with unyielding tenacity.

When the ethical abasement of the inhabitants had reached this stage, when they had become disheartened and disgusted with themselves, an effort was made to add the final stroke for reducing so many dormant wills and intellects to nothingness, in order to make of the individual a sort of toiler, a brute, a beast of burden and to develop a race without mind or heart. “Then the end sought was revealed, it was taken for granted, and the race was insulted, an effort was made to deny it every virtue, every human characteristic, and there were even writers and priests who pushed the movement still further by trying to deny to the natives of the country not only capacity for virtue but also even the tendency to vice.

Then this which they had thought would be death was sure salvation. Some dying persons are restored to health by a heroic remedy.

So great endurance reached its climax with the insults, and the lethargic spirit woke up to life. His sensitiveness, the chief trait of the native, was touched, and while he had the forbearance to suffer and die under a foreign flag, he had it not when they whom he served repaid his sacrifices with insults and jests. Then he began to study himself and to realize his misfortune. Those who had not expected this result, like all despotic masters, regarded as a wrong every complaint, every protest, and punished it with death, endeavoring thus to stifle every cry of sorrow with blood, and they made mistake after mistake.

The spirit of the people was not thereby cowed, and even though it had been awakened in only a few hearts, its flame nevertheless was surely and consumingly propagated, thanks to abuses and the stupid endeavors of certain classes to stifle noble and generous sentiments. Thus when a flame catches a garment, fear and confusion propagate it more and more, and each shake, each blow, is a blast from the bellows to fan it into life.

Undoubtedly during all this time there were not lacking generous and noble spirits among the dominant race that tired to struggle for the rights of humanity and justice, or sordid and cowardly ones among the dominated that aided the debasement of their own country. But both were exceptions and we are speaking in general terms.

Such is an outline of their past. We know their present. Now what will their future be?

Will the Philippine Islands continue to be a Spanish colony, and if so, what kind of colony? Will they become a province of Spain, with or without autonomy? And to reach this stage, what kind of sacrifices will have to be made?

Will they be separated from the mother country to live independently, to fall into the hands of other nations, or to ally themselves with neighboring powers?

It is impossible to reply to these questions, for to all of them both yes and now may be answered, according to the time desired to be covered. When there is in nature no fixed condition, how much less must there be in the life of a people, being endowed with mobility and movement! So, it is that in order to deal with those questions, it is necessary to presume an unlimited period of time, and in accordance therewith try to forecast future events.

PART TWO: What will become of the Philippines within a century? Will they continue to be a Spanish colony?

Had this question been asked three centuries ago, when at Legazpi’s death the Malayan Filipinos began to be gradually undeceived and, finding the yoke heavy, tried in vain to shake it off without any doubt whatsoever the reply would have been easy. To a spirit enthusiastic over the liberty of the country, to those unconquerable Kagayanes who nourished within themselves the spirit of Mgalats, to the descendants of the heroic Gat Pulintang and Gat Salakab of the Province of Batangas, independence was assured, it was merely a question of getting together and making a determination. But for him who, disillusioned by sad experience, saw everywhere discord and disorder, apathy and brutalization in the lower classes, discouragement and disunion in the upper, only one answer presented itself, and it was: extend his hands to the chains, bow his neck beneath the yoke and accept the future with the resignation of an invalid who watches the leaves fall and foresees a long winter amid whose snows he discerns the outlines of his grave. At the time discord justified pessimism -- but three centuries passed, the meek had become accustomed to the yoke, and each new generation, begotten in chains, was constantly better adapted to the new order of things.

Now then, are the Philippines in the same condition they were three centuries ago?

For the liberal Spaniards the ethical condition of the people remains the same, that is, the native Filipinos have not advanced; for the friars and their followers the people have been redeemed from savagery, that is, they have progressed; for many Filipinos ethics, spirit and customs have decayed, as decay all the good qualities of a people that falls into slavery that is, they have retrograded.

Laying aside these considerations, so as not to get away from our subject let us draw the brief parallel between the political situation then and the situation at present, in order to see if what was not possible at that time can be so now, or vice versa.

Let us pass over the loyalty the Filipinos may feel for Spain; let us suppose for a moment, along with Spanish writers, that there exist only motives for hatred and jealousy between the two races; let us admit the assertions flaunted by many that three centuries of domination have not awakened in the sensitive heart of the native a single spark of affection or gratitude; and we may see whether or not the Spanish cause has gained ground in the Islands.

Formerly the Spanish authority was upheld among the natives by a handful of soldiers, three to five hundred at most, many of whom were engaged in trade and were scattered about not only in the Islands but also among the neighboring nations, occupied in long wars against the Mohammedans in the south, against the British and Dutch, and ceaselessly harassed by Japanese, Chinese, or some tribes in the interior. Then communication with Mexico and Spain was slow, rare and difficult; frequent and violent the disturbances among the ruling powers in the Islands, the treasury nearly always empty, and the life of the colonists dependent upon one frail ship that handled the Chinese trade. Then the seas in those regions were infested with pirates, all enemies of the Spanish name, which was defended by an impoverished fleet, generally manned by rude adventurers, when not by foreigners and enemies, which was checked and an expedition of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, which was checked and frustrated by the mutiny of the Chinese rowers, who killed him and thwarted all his plans and schemes. Yet in spite of so many adverse circumstances the Spanish authority had been upheld for more than three centuries and, though it has been curtailed, still continues to rule the destinies of the Philippine group.

On the other hand, the present situation seems to be gilded and rosy -- as we might say, a beautiful morning compared to the vexed and stormy night of the past. The material forces at the disposal of the Spanish sovereign have now been trebled; the fleet relatively improved: there is more organization in both civil and military affairs; communication with the sovereign country is swifter and surer; she has no enemies abroad; her possession is assured and the country dominated seems to have less spirit, less aspiration for independence, a world that is to it almost incomprehensible. Everything then at first glance presages another three centuries, at least, of peaceful domination and tranquil suzerainty.

But above the material considerations are arising others, invisible, of an ethical nature, far more powerful and transcendental.

Orientals and the Malays, in particular, are a sensitive people: delicacy of sentiment is predominant with them. Even now, in spite of contact with the Occidental nations, who have ideas different from his, we see the Malayan Filipino sacrifice everything -- liberty, ease, welfare, name for the sake of an aspiration or a conceit sometimes scientific, or of some other nature but at the least word which wounds his self-love he forgets all his sacrifices, the labor expended, to treasure in his memory and never forget the slight he thinks he has received.

So the Philippine peoples have remained faithful during three centuries, giving up their liberty and their independence, sometimes dazzled by the hope of the Paradise promised, sometimes cajoled by the friendship offered them by a noble and generous people like the Spanish, sometimes also compelled by superiority of arms of which they were ignorant and which timid spirits invested with a mysterious character, or sometimes because the invading foreigner took advantage of internecine feuds to step in as the peacemaker in discord and thus after to dominate both parties and subject them to his authority.

Spanish domination once established, was firmly maintained, thanks to the attachment of the people, to their mutual dissensions, and to the fact that the sensitive self-love of the native had not yet been wounded. Then the people saw their own countrymen in the higher ranks of the army, their general officers fighting beside the heroes of Spain and sharing their laurels, begrudged neither character, reputation nor consideration; then fidelity and attachment to Spain, love for the fatherland, made of the native encomendero and even general, as during the English invasion; then there had not yet been invented the insulting and ridiculous epithets with which recently the most laborious and painful achievements of the native leaders have been stigmatized; not then had it become the fashion to insult and slander in stereotyped phrase, in newspapers and books published with governmental and superior ecclesiastical approval, the people that paid, fought and poured out its blood for the Spanish name, nor was it considered either noble or witty to offend a whole race, which was forbidden to reply or defend itself, and if there were religious hypochondriacs who in the leisure of their cloisters dared to write against it, as did the Augustinian Gaspar de San Agustin and the Jesuit Velarde, their loathsome abortions never saw the light, and still less were they themselves rewarded with miters and raised to high offices. True it is that neither were the natives of that time such as we are now: three centuries of brutalization and obscurantism have necessarily had some influence upon us, the most beautiful work of divinity in the hands of certain artisans may finally be converted into a caricature.

The priests of that epoch, wishing to establish their domination over the people, got in touch with it and made common cause with it against the oppressive encomenderos. Naturally, the people saw in them learning and some prestige and placed its confidence in them, followed their advice, and listened to them in the darkest hours. If they wrote, they did so in defense of the rights of the native and made his cry reach even to the distant steps of the Throne. And not a few priests, both secular and regular, undertook dangerous journeys, as representatives of the country, and this, along with the strict and public residencia then required of the governing powers, from the captain-general to the most insignificant official, rather consoled and pacified the wounded spirits, satisfying, even though it were only in form, all the malcontents.

All this has passed away. The derisive laughter penetrates like mortal poison into the heart of the native who pays and suffers and it becomes more offensive the more immunity it enjoys. A common sore the general affront offered to a whole race, has wiped away the old feuds among different provinces. The people no longer have confidence in its former protectors, now its exploiters and executioners. The masks have fallen. It has been that the love and piety of the past have come to resemble the devotion of a nurse, who, unable to live elsewhere, desires the eternal infancy, eternal weakness, for the child in order to go on drawing her wages and existing at its expense, it has seen not only that she does not nourish it to make it grow but that she poisons it to stunt its growth and at the slightest protest she flies into a rage! The ancient show of justice, the holy residencia has disappeared; confusion of ideas begins to prevail; the regard shown for a governor-general, lie La Torre, becomes a crime in the government of his successor, sufficient to cause the citizen to lose his liberty and his home; if he obeys the order of one official, as in the recent matter of admitting corpses into the church, it is enough to have the obedient subjects later harassed and persecuted in every possible way; obligations and taxes increase without thereby increasing rights, privileges and liberties or assuring the few in existence; a regime of continual terror and uncertainty disturbs the minds, a regime worse than a period of disorder for the fears that the imagination conjures up are generally greater than the reality; the country is poor; the financial crisis through which it is passing is acute, and every one points out with the finger the persons who are causing the trouble, yet no one dares lay hands upon them!

True it is that the Penal Code has come like a drop of balm to such bitterness. But of what use are all the codes in the world, if by means of confidential reports, if for trifling reasons, if through anonymous traitors any honest citizen may be exiled or banished without a hearing, without a trial? Of what use is that Penal Code, of what use is life, if there is no security in the home, no faith in justice and confidence in tranquility of conscience? Of what use is all that array of terms, all that collection of articles, when the cowardly accusation of a traitor has more influence in the timorous ears of the supreme autocrat than all the cries for justice?

If this state of affairs should continue, what will be come of the Philippines within a century?

The batteries are gradually becoming charged and if the prudence of the government does not provide an outlet for the currents that are accumulating, some day the spark will be generated. This is not the place to speak of what outcome such a deplorable conflict might have, for it depends upon chance, upon the weapons and upon a thousand circumstances which man cannot foresee. But even though all the advantages should be on the government’s side and therefore the probability of success, it would be a Pyrrhic victory, and not government ought to desire such.

If those who guide the destinies of the Philippines remain obstinate, and instead of introducing reforms try to make the condition of the country retrograde; to push their severity and repression to extremes against the classes that suffer and think they are going to force the latter to venture and put into play the wretchedness of an unquiet life, filled with privation and bitterness, against the hope of securing something indefinite. What would be lost in the struggle? Almost nothing: the life of the numerous discontented classes has no such great attraction that it should be preferred to a glorious death. It may indeed be a suicidal attempt -- but then, what? Would not a bloody chasm yawn between victors and vanquished and might not the latter with time and experience become equal in strength, since they are superior in numbers to their dominators? Who disputes this? All the petty instructions that have occurred in the Philippines were the work of a few fanatics or discontented soldiers, who had to deceive and humbug the people or avail themselves of their powers over their subordinates to gain their ends. So they all failed. No insurrection had a popular character or was based on a need of the whole race or fought for human rights or justice, so it left no ineffaceable impressions, but rather when they saw that they had been duped the people bound up their wounds and applauded the overthrow of the disturbers of their peace! But what if the movement springs from the people themselves and based its causes upon their woes?

So then, if the prudence and wise reforms of our ministers do not find capable and determined interpreters among the colonial governors and faithful perpetrators among those whom the frequent perpetrators among those whom the frequent political changes send to fill such a delicate post; if met with the eternal it is out of order, preferred by the elements who see their livelihood in the backwardness of their subjects, it just claims are to go unheeded, as being of a subversive tendency; if the country is denied representation in the Cortes and an authorized voice to cry out against all kinds of abuses, which escape through the complexity of the laws; if in short, the system, prolific in results of alienating the goodwill of the natives, is to continue, pricking his apathetic mind with insults and charges of ingratitude, we can assert that in a few yeas the present state of affairs will have been modified completely -- and inevitably. There now exists a factor which was formerly lacking -- the spirit of the nation has been aroused and a common misfortune, a common debasement has united all the inhabitants of the Islands. A numerous enlightened class now exists within and without the Islands, a class created and continually augmented by the stupidity of certain governing powers, which forces the inhabitants to leave the country, to secure education abroad, and it is maintained thanks to the provocation and the system of espionage in vogue. This class, whose number is cumulatively increasing, is in constant communication with the rest of the Islands, and if today it constitutes only the brain of the country in a few years it will form the whole nervous system and manifest its existence in all its acts.

Now, statecraft has various means at its disposal for checking a people on the road to progress; the brutalization of the masses through a caste addicted to the government, aristocratic, as in the Dutch colonies, or theocratic as in the Philippines; the impoverishment of the country; the gradual extermination of the inhabitants; and fostering of feuds among the races.

Brutalization of the Malayan Filipinos has been demonstrated to be impossible. In spite of the dark horde of friars in whose hands rests the instruction of youth, which miserably wastes years and years in the colleges, issuing therefrom tired, weary and disgusted with books: in spite of the censorship which tries to close every avenue to progress; in spite of all the pupils, confessionals, books, and missals that inculcate hatred toward not only all scientific knowledge but even toward the Spanish language itself; in spite of this whole elaborate system perfected and tenaciously operated by those who wish to keep the Islands in holy ignorance; there exist writers, freethinkers, historians, philosophers, chemists, physicians, artists, and jurists. Enlightenment is spreading and the persecution it suffers quickens it. No, the divine flame of thought is inextinguishable in the Filipino people and somehow or other it will shine forth and compel recognition. It is impossible to brutalize the inhabitants of the Philippines!

May poverty arrest their development? Perhaps, but it is a very dangerous means. Experience has everywhere shown us and especially in the Philippines, that the classes which are better off have always been addicted to peace and order, because they live comparatively better and may be the losers in civil disturbances. Wealth brings with it refinement, the spirit of conservation, while poverty inspires adventurous ideas, the desire to change things and has little care for life. Machiavelli himself held this means of subjecting of a people to be perilous, observing that loss of welfare stirs up more obdurate enemies than loss of life. Moreover, when there are wealth and abundance, there is less discontent, less compliant and the government, itself wealthier, has more means for sustaining itself. On the other hand, there occurs in a poor country what becomes in a house where bread is wanting? And further, of what use to the mother country would a poor and lean colony be?

Neither is possible gradually to exterminate the inhabitants. The Philippine races, like all the Malays, do not succumb before the foreigner, like the Australians, the Polynesians and the Indians of the New World. In spite of the numerous wars the Filipinos have had to carry on, in spite of the epidemics that have periodically visited them, their number has trebled, as has that of the Malays of Java and the Moluccas. The Filipino embraces civilization and lives and thrives in every clime, in contact with every people. Rum, that poison which exterminated the natives of the Pacific islands, has no power in the Philippines, but rather, comparison of their present condition with that described by the earlier historians, makes it appear that the Filipinos have grown soberer. The petty wars with the inhabitants of the south consume only the soldiers, people who by their fidelity to the Spanish flag, far from being a menace, are surely one of its solidest supports.

Three remains the fostering of internecine feuds among the provinces.

This was formerly possible, when communication from one island to another was rare and difficult, when there were not steamers or telegraph lines, when the regiments were formed according to the various provinces, when some provinces were cajoled by awards of privileges and honor and other were protected from the strongest. But now that the privileges have disappeared, that through a spirit of distrust the regiments have been reorganized, that the inhabitants move from one island to another, communication and exchange of impressions naturally increase, and as all see themselves threatened by the same peril and wounded in the same feelings, they clasp hands and make common cause. It is true that the union is not yet wholly perfected, but to this end the measures of good government, the vexations to which the townspeople are subjected, the frequent changes of officials, the scarcity of centers of learning, forces of the youth of all the islands to come together and begin to get acquainted. The journeys to Europe contribute not a little to tighten the bonds, for abroad the inhabitants of most widely separated provinces are impressed by their patriotic feelings, from sailors even to the wealthiest merchants, and at the sight of modern liberty and the memory of the misfortunes of their country, they embrace and call one another brothers.

In short, then, the advancement and ethical progress of the Philippines are inevitable, are decreed by fate.

The Islands cannot remain in the condition they are without requiring from the sovereign country more liberty. Mutatis mutandis. For new men, a new social order.

To wish that the alleged child remain in its swaddling clothes is to risk that it may turn against the nurse and flee, tearing away the old rags that bind it.

The Philippines, then, will remain under Spanish domination, but with more law and greater liberty, or they will declare themselves independent after steeping themselves and the mother country in blood.

As no one should desire or hope for such an unfortunate rupture, which would be an evil for all and only the final argument in the most desperate predicament, let us see by what forms of peaceful evolution the Islands may remain subjected to the Spanish authority, with the very least detriment to the rights, interests and dignity of both parties.

PART THREE: If the Philippines must remain under the control of Spain, they will necessarily have to be transformed in a political sense, for the course of their history and the needs of their inhabitants so required. This we demonstrated in the preceding article.

We also said that this transformation will be violent and fatal if it proceeds from the ranks of the people, but peaceful and fruitful if it emanates from the upper classes.

Some governors have realized this truth, and impelled by their patriotism, have been trying to introduce needed reforms in order to forestall events. But notwithstanding all that have been ordered up to the present time, they have produced scanty results, for the government as well as for the country. Even those that promised only a happy issue have at times caused injury, for the simple reason that they have been based upon unstable grounds.

We said and once more we repeat, and all will ever assert, that reforms, which have a palliative character, are not only ineffectual but even prejudicial when the government is confronted with evils that must be cured radically. And were we not convinced of the honesty and rectitude of some governors, we would be tempted to say that all the partial reforms are only plasters and salves of a physician, who, not knowing how to cure the cancer, and not daring to root it out, tries in this way to alleviate the patient’s sufferings or to temporize with the cowardice of the timid and ignorant.

All the reforms of our liberal ministers were, have been, are, and will be good -- when carried out.

When we think of them, we are reminded of the dieting of Sancho Panza in this Barataria Island. He took his seat at a sumptuous and well-appointed table “covered with fruit and many varieties of food differently prepared,” but between the wretch’s mouth and each dish the physician Pedro Rezio interposed his wand, saying, “Take it away!” The dish removed, Sancho was as hungry as ever. Truth is that the despotic Pedro Rezio gave reasons, which seem to have been written by Cervantes especially for the colonial administrations. “You must not eat, Mr. Governor, except according to the usage and custom of other islands, where there are governors.” Something was found to be wrong with each dish: one was too hot, another too moist, and so on, just like our Pedro Rezio on both sides of the sea. Great good did his cook’s skill do Sancho!

In the case of our country, the reforms take the place of the dishes, the Philippines are Sancho, while the part of the quack physician is played by many persons interested in not having the dishes touched, perhaps that they may themselves get the benefit of them.

The result is that the long suffering Sancho, or the Philippines, misses his liberty, rejects all government and ends up by rebelling against his quack physician.

In this manner, so long as the Philippines have no liberty of the press, have no voice in the Cortes to make known to the government and to the nation whether or not their decrees have been duly obeyed, whether or not these benefit the country, all the able efforts of the colonial ministers will meet the fate of the dishes in Barataria Island.

The minister, then, who wants his reforms to be reforms, must begin by declaring the press in the Philippines free and by instituting Filipino delegates.

The free press in the Philippines, because their complaints rarely ever reach the Peninsula, very rarely, and if they do they are so secret, so mysterious that no newspaper dares to publish them, or if it does reproduce them, it does so tardily and badly.

A government that rules a country from a great distance is the one that has the most need for a free press more so even than the government of the home country, if it wishes to rule rightly and fitly. The government that governs in a country may even dispense with the press (if it can), because it is on the ground, because it has eyes and ears, and because it directly observes what it rules and administers. But the government that governs from afar absolutely requires that the truth and the facts reach its knowledge by every possible channel so that it may weigh and estimate them better, and this need increases when a country like the Philippines is concerned, where the inhabitants speak and complain in a language unknown to the authorities. To govern in any other way may also be called governing, but it is to govern badly. It amounts to pronouncing judgment after hearing only one of the parties; it is steering a ship without reckoning its conditions, the state of the sea, the reefs and shoals, the direction of the winds and currents. It is managing a house by endeavoring merely to give it polish and a fine appearance without watching the money chest, without looking after the servants and the members of the family.

But routine is a declivity down which many governments slide, and routine says that freedom of the press is dangerous. Let us see what History says: uprisings and revolutions have always occurred in countries tyrannized over, in countries where human thought and the human heart have been forced to remain silent.

If the great Napoleon had not tyrannized over the press, perhaps it would have warned him of the peril into which he was hurled and have made him understand that the people were weary and the earth wanted peace. Perhaps his genius, instead of being dissipated in foreign aggrandizement would have become intensive in laboring to strengthen his position and thus have assured it. Spain herself records in her history more revolutions when the press was gagged. What colonies have become independent while they had a free press and enjoyed liberty? Is it preferable to govern blindly or to govern with ample knowledge?

Someone will answer that in colonies with a free press, the prestige of the rulers, that prop of false governments, will be greatly imperiled. We answer that the prestige of the nation is not by abetting and concealing abuses, but by rebuking and punishing them. Moreover, to this prestige is applicable what Napoleon said about great men and their valets. Who endure and know all the false pretensions and petty persecutions of those sham gods, do not need a free press in order to recognize them; they have long ago lost their prestige. The free press is needed by the government, the government which still dreams of the prestige which it builds upon mined ground.

We say the same about the Filipino representatives.

What risks does the government see in them? One of three things, either that they will prove unruly, become political trimmers, or act properly.

Supposing that we should yield to the most absurd pessimism and admit the insult, great for the Philippines but still greater for Spain, that all the representatives would be separatists and that in all their contentions they would advocate separatist ideas; does not a patriotic Spanish majority exist there, is there not present there the vigilance of the governing powers to combat and oppose such intentions? And would not this be better than the discontent that ferments and expands in the secrecy of the home, in the huts and in the field? Certainly the Spanish people does not spare its blood where patriotism is concerned but would not a struggle of principles in parliament be preferable to the exchange of shot in swampy lands, three thousand leagues from home in impenetrable forests, under a burning sun or amid torrential rains? These pacific struggles of ideas, besides being a thermometer for the government, have the advantage of being cheap and glorious, because the Spanish parliament especially abounds in oratorical paladins invincible in debate. Moreover, it is said that the Filipinos are indolent and peaceful -- then what need for government fear? Hasn’t it any influence in the elections? Frankly speaking, it is a great compliment to the separatists to fear them in the midst of the Cortes of the nation.

Now then, if the real objection to the Filipino delegates, is that they smell like Igorots, which so disturbed in open Senate the doughty General Salamanca, then Don Sinibaldo de Mas, who saw the Igorots in person and wanted to live with them, can affirm that they will smell at worst like powder, and Señor Salamanca undoubtedly has no fear of that odor. And if this were all, the Filipinos, who there in their own country are accustomed to bathe every day, when they become representatives may give up such a dirty custom, at least during the legislative session so as not to offend the delicate nostrils of Salamanca with the odor of the bath.

It is useless to answer certain objections of some fine writers regarding the rather brown skins and faces with somewhat wide nostrils. Questions of taste are peculiar to each race. China, for example, which has four hundred million inhabitants and a very ancient civilization, considers all Europeans ugly and calls them “fankwai”, or red devils. Its taste has a hundred million more adherents than the Europeans. Moreover, if this is the question, we would have to admit the inferiority of the Latins, especially the Spaniards, to the Saxons, who are much whiter.

And so long as it is not asserted that the Spanish parliament is an assemblage of Adonises, Antoniuses, pretty boys and other like paragons, so long as the purpose of resorting thither is to legislate and not to philosophize or wonder through imaginary spheres, we maintain that the government ought not to pause at these obligations. Law has no skin nor reason nostrils.

So we see no serious reason why the Philippines may not have representatives. By their institution many malcontents would be silenced, and instead of blaming its troubles upon the government, as now happens, the country would bear them better, for it could at least complain and with its sons among its legislators, would in a way become responsible for their actions.

We are not sure that we serve the true interests of our country by asking for representatives. We know that the lack of enlightenment, the indolence, the egotism, of our fellow countrymen, and the boldness, the cunning and the powerful methods of those who wish their obscurantism, may convert reform into a harmful instrument. But we wish to be loyal to the government and we are pointing out to it the road that appears best to us so that its effort may not come to grief, so that discontent may disappear. If after so just, as well as necessary, a measure has been introduced, the Filipino people are so stupid and weak that they are treacherous to their own interests, then let the responsibility fall upon them, let them suffer all consequences. Every country gets the fate it deserves and the government can say that it has done its duty.

These are the two fundamental reforms, which properly interpreted and applied, will dissipate all clouds, assure affection toward Spain, and make all succeeding reforms fruitful. These are the reforms sine quibus non.

It is puerile to fear that independence may come thorough them. The free press will keep the government in touch with public opinion, and the representatives, if they are, as they ought to be, the best from among the sons of the Philippines, will be their hostages. With no cause for discontent, how then attempt to stir up the masses of the people?

Likewise inadmissible is the obligation offered by some regarding the imperfect culture of the majority of the inhabitants. Aside from the fact that it is not so imperfect as is averred, there is no plausible reason why the ignorant and the defective (whether through their own or another’s fault) should be denied representation to look after them and see that they are not abused. They are the very ones who most need it. No one ceases to be a man, no one forfeits his rights to civilization merely by being more or less uncultured, and since the Filipino is regarded as a fit citizen when he is asked to pay taxes or shed his blood to defend the fatherland why must this fitness be denied him when the question arises of granting him some right? Moreover, how is he to be held responsible for his ignorance, when it is acknowledged by all, friends and enemies that his zeal for learning is so great that even before the coming of the Spaniards every one could read and write, and that we now see the humblest families make enormous sacrifices to the extent of working as servants in order to learn Spanish? How can the country be expected to become enlightened under present conditions when we see all the decrees issued by the government in favor of education meet with Pedro Rezios who prevent execution whereof because they have in their hands what they call education? If the Filipino, then, is sufficiently intelligent to pay taxes, he must also be able to choose and retain the one who looks after him and his interests, with the product whereof he serves the government of his nation. To reason otherwise is to reason stupidly.

When the laws and the acts of officials are kept under surveillance, the word justice may cease to be a colonial jest. The thing that makes the English most respected in their possessions is their strict and speedy justice so that the inhabitants repose entire confidence in the judges. Justice is the foremost virtue of the civilized races. It subdues the barbarous nations, while injustice arouses the weakest.

Offices and trusts should be awarded by competition, publishing the work and the judgment thereon, so that there may be stimulus and that discontent may not be bred. Then, if the native does not shake off his indolence he can not complain when he sees all the offices filled by Castilas.

We presume that it will not be the Spaniard who fears to enter in this contest, for thus will he be able to prove his superiority by the superiority of intelligence. Although this is not the custom in the sovereign country, it should be practiced in the colonies, for the reason that genuine prestige should be sought by means of moral qualities, because the colonizers ought to be, or at least to seem, upright, honest and intelligent, just as a man stimulates virtues when he deals with a stranger. The offices and trusts so earned will do away with arbitrary dismissal and develop employees and officials capable and cognizant of their duties. The offices held by natives, instead of endangering the Spanish domination, will merely serve to assure it, for what interest would they have in converting the sure and stable into the uncertain and problematical? The native is, moreover, very fond of peace and prefers a humble present to a brilliant future. Let the various Filipinos still holding office speak in this matter, they are the most unshaken conservatives.

We could add other minor reforms touching commerce, agriculture, security of the individual and of property, education, and so on, but these are points with which we shall deal in other articles. For the present we are satisfied with the outlines and no one can say that we ask too much.

There will be lacking critics to accuse us of Utopianism: but what is Utopia? Utopia was a country imagined by Thomas Moore, wherein existed universal suffrage, religious toleration, almost complete abolition of the death penalty and so on. When the book was published these things were looked upon as dreams, impossibilities, that is Utopianism. Yet civilization has left the country of Utopia far behind, the human will and conscience have worked greater miracles, have abolished slavery and the death penalty for adultery -- things impossible for even Utopia itself!

The French colonies have their representatives. The question has also been raised in the English parliament of giving representation to the Crown colonies, for the others already enjoy some autonomy. The press there is also free. Only Spain, which in the sixteenth century was the model nation in civilization, lags far behind. Cuba and Puerto Rico, whose inhabitants do not number a third of those of the Philippines, and who have not made such sacrifices for Spain, have numerous representatives. The Philippines in the early days had theirs, who conferred with the King and Pope on the needs of the country. They had them in Spain’s critical moments, when she groaned under the Napoleonic yoke, and they did not take advantage of the sovereign country’s misfortunes like other colonies but tightened more firmly the bonds that united them to be the nation, giving proofs of their loyalty and they continued until many years later. What crime have the Islands committed that they are deprived of their rights?

To recapitulate: the Philippines will remain Spanish if they enter upon the life of law and civilization, if the rights of their inhabitants are respected, if the other rights due them are granted, if the liberal policy of the government is carried out without trickery or meanness, without subterfuges or false interpretations.

Otherwise, if an attempt is made to see in the Islands a lode to be exploited, a resource to satisfy ambitions, thus to relieve the sovereign country of taxes, killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, and shutting its ears to all cries of reasons the, however, great may be the loyalty of the Filipinos, it will be impossible to hinder the operations of the inexorable laws of history. Colonies established to subserve the policy and the commerce of the sovereign country, all eventually become independent said Bachelet, and before Bachelet, all the Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek, Roman, English, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies have said it.

Close indeed are the bonds that unite us to Spain. Two peoples do not live for three centuries in continual contact, sharing the same lot, shedding their blood on the same fields, holding the same beliefs, worshipping the same God, interchanging the same ideas, but that ties are formed between them stronger than those engendered by affection. Machiavelli, the great reader of the human heart said: la natura degli huomini, e cosi obligarsi pe li beneficii che essi fanno come per quelli che essi ricevono (it is human nature to be bound as much by benefits conferred as by those received). All this, and more, is true but it is pure sentimentality, and in the arena of politics stern necessity and interests prevail. Howsoever much the Filipinos owe Spain, they can not be required to forego their redemption, to have their liberal and enlightened sons wander about in exile from their native land, the rudest aspirations stifled in its atmosphere, the peaceful inhabitants living in constant alarm, with the fortune of the two peoples dependent upon the whim of one man. Spain can not claim, nor even in the name of God himself, that six millions of people should be brutalized, exploited and oppressed, denied light and the rights inherent to a human being and then heap upon them slights and insults. There is no claim of gratitude that can excuse, there is not enough power in the world to justify the offenses against the liberty of the individual, against the sanctity of the home, against the laws, against peace and honor, offenses that are committed three daily. There is no divinity that can proclaim the sacrifice of our dearest affections, the sacrifice of the family, the sacrileges and wrongs that are committed by persons who have the name of God on their lips. No one can require an impossibility of the Filipino people. The noble Spanish people, so jealous of its rights and liberties, cannot bid the Filipinos to renounce theirs. A people that prides itself on the glories of the past cannot ask another, trained by it, to accept abjection and dishonor its own name!

We, who today are struggling by the legal and peaceful means of debate so understand it, and with our gaze fixed upon our ideals, shall not cease to plead our cause, withou t going beyond the pale of the law, but if violence first silences us or we have the misfortune to fall (which is possible for we are mortal) then we do not know what course will be taken by the numerous tendencies that will rush in to occupy the places that we leave vacant.

If what we desire is not realized. . .

In contemplating such an unfortunate eventuality, we must not turn away in horror, and so instead of closing our eyes we will face what the future may bring. For this purpose, after throwing the handful of dust due to Cerberus, let us frankly descend into the abyss and sound its terrible mysteries.

PART FOUR: History does not record in its annals any lasting domination exercised by one people over another, of different races, of diverse usages and customs, of opposite and divergent ideals.

One of the two had to yield and succumb. Either the foreigner was driven out, as happened in the case of Carthaginians, the Moors and the French in Spain, or else these autochthons had to give way and perish, as was the case with the inhabitants of the New World.

One of the longest dominations was that of the Moors in Spain, which lasted seven centuries. But, even though the conquerors lived in the country conquered, even though the Peninsula was broken up into small states, which gradually emerged like little islands in the midst of the great Saracen inundation and in spite of the chivalrous spirit, the gallantry and the religious toleration of the caliphs, they were finally driven out after bloody and stubborn conflicts, which formed the Spanish nation and created the Spain of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The existence of a foreign body within another endowed with strength and activity is contrary to all natural and ethical laws. Science teaches us that it is either assimilated, destroys the organism, is eliminated or becomes encysted.

Encystment of a conquering people is possible, for it signifies complete isolation, absolute inertia, and debility in the conquering element. Encystment thus means the tomb of the foreign invader.

Now applying these considerations to the Philippines, we must conclude, as a deduction from all we have said, that if their population be not assimilated to the Spanish nation, if the dominators do not enter into the spirit of their inhabitants, if equitable laws and free and liberal reforms do not make each forget that they belong to different races, or if both peoples be not amalgamated to constitute one mass, socially and politically, homogeneous, that is, not harassed by opposing tendencies and antagonistic ideas and interests some day the Philippines will fatally and infallibly declare themselves independent. To this law of destiny can be opposed neither Spanish patriotism, nor the love of all Filipinos for Spain, not the doubtful future of dismemberment and intestine strife in the Islands themselves. Necessity is the most powerful divinity the world knows, and necessity is the resultant of physical forces set in operation by ethical forces.

We have said and statistics prove that it is impossible to exterminate the Filipino people. And even were it possible what interest would Spain have in the destruction of the inhabitants of a country she can not populate or cultivate, whose climate is to a certain extent disastrous to her? What good would the Philippines be without the Filipinos? Quite otherwise, under her colonial system and the transitory character of the Spanish who go to the colonies, a colony is so much the more useful and productive to her as it possesses inhabitants and wealth. Moreover, in order to destroy the six million Malays, even supposing them to be in their infancy and that they have never learned to fight and defend themselves, Spain would have to sacrifice at least a fourth of her population. This we commend to the notice of the partisans of colonial exploitation.

But nothing of this kind can happen. The menace is that when the education and liberty necessary to human existence are denied by Spain to the Filipinos, then they will seek enlightenment abroad, behind the mother country’s back or they will secure by hook or by crook some advantages in their country with the result that the opposition of purblind and paretic politicians will not only be futile but even prejudicial because it will convert motives for love and gratitude into resentment and hatred.

Hatred and resentment on one side, mistrust and anger on the other, will finally result in a violent terrible collision, especially when there exist elements interested in having disturbances, so that they may get something in the excitement, demonstrates their mighty power, foster lamentations and recriminations, or employ violent measures. It is to be expected that the government will triumph and be generally (as is the custom) severe in punishment, either to teach a stern lesson in order to vaunt its strength or even to revenge upon the vanquished the spells of excitement and terror that the danger caused it. An unavoidable concomitant of those catastrophes is the accumulation of acts of injustice committed against the innocent and peaceful inhabitants. Private reprisals, denunciation, despicable accusations, resentments, covetousness, the opportune moment for calumny, the haste and hurried procedure of the court martials, the pretext of the integrity of the fatherland and the safety of the state, which cloaks and justifies everything, even for scrupulous minds, which unfortunately are still rare and above all the panic-stricken timidity, the cowardice that battens upon the conquered -- all these things augment the severe measures and the number of the victims. The result is that a chasm of blood is then opened between the two peoples that the wounded and the afflicted, instead of becoming fewer, are increased, for to the families and friends of the guilty, who always think the punishment excessive and the judge unjust, must be added the families and friends of the innocent, who see no advantage in living and working submissively and peacefully. Note, too, that if severe measures are dangerous in a nation made up of homogeneous population, the peril is increased a hundred-fold when the government is formed a race different from the governed. In the former an injustice may still be ascribed to one man alone, to a governor actuated by personal malice, and with the death of the tyrant the victim is reconciled to the government of his nation. But in a county dominated by a foreign race, even the most just act of severity is construed as injustice and oppression, because it is ordered by a foreigner, who is unsympathetic or is an enemy of the country, and the offense hurts not only the victim but his entire race, because it is not usually regarded as personal and so the resentment naturally spreads to the whole governing race and does not die out with the offender.

Hence the great prudence and fine tact that should be exercised by colonizing countries, and the fact that government regards the colonies in general and our colonial office in particular, as training schools, contributes notably to the fulfillment of the great law that the colonies sooner or later declare themselves independent.

Such is the descent down which the peoples are precipitated. In proportion as they are bathed in blood and drenched in tears and gall, the colony, if it has any vitality, learns how to struggle and perfect itself in fighting while the mother country whose colonial life depends upon peace and the submission of the subjects, is constantly weakened and even though she makes heroic efforts, as her number is less and she has only a fictitious existence, she finally perishes. She is like the rich voluptuary accustomed to be waited upon by a crowd of servants toiling and planting for him and who on the day his slaves refuse him obedience, as he does not live by his own efforts, must die.

Reprisals, wrongs and suspicions on one part and on the other the sentiment of patriotism and liberty, which is aroused in these incessant conflicts, insurrections and uprisings, operate to generalize the movement and one of the two peoples must succumb. The struggle will be brief, for it will amount to a slavery much more cruel than death for the people and to a dishonorable loss of prestige for the dominator. One of the peoples must succumb.

Spain, from the number of her inhabitants, from the condition of her army and navy, from the distance she is situated from the Islands, from her scanty knowledge of them, and from struggling against a people whose love and goodwill she has alienated, will necessarily have to give way, if she does not wish to risk not only her other possessions and her future in Africa, but also her very independence in Europe. All this is at the cost of bloodshed, and crime, after mortal conflicts, murders, conflagrations, military executions, famine and misery.

The Spaniard is gallant and patriotic, and sacrifices everything in favorable moments, for his country’s good. He has the intrepidity of his bull. The Filipino loves his country no less and although he is quieter, more peaceful and with difficulty stirred up, when he is once aroused he does not hesitate and for him the struggle means death to one or the other combatant. He has all the meekness and all the tenacity and ferocity of his carabao. Climate affects bipeds in the same way that it does quadrupeds.

The terrible lessons and the hard teachings that these conflicts will have afforded the Filipinos will operate to improve and strengthen their ethical nature. The Spain of the fifteenth century was not the Spain of the eighth. With their bitter experience, instead of intestine conflicts of some islands against others, as is generally feared, they will extend mutual support, like shipwrecked persons when they reach an island after a fearful night of storm. Nor may it be said that we shall partake of the fate of the small American republics. They achieved their independence easily and their inhabitants are animated by a different spirit from what the Filipinos are. Besides the danger of falling again into other hands, English or German, for example, will force the Filipinos to be sensible and prudent. Absence of any great preponderance of one race over the others will free their imagination from all mad ambitions of domination, and as they tendency of countries that have been tyrannized over, when they once shake off the yoke, is to adopt the freest government, like a boy leaving school, like the beat of the pendulum or by a law of reaction, the Islands will probably declare themselves a federal republic.

If the Philippines secure their independence after heroic and stubborn conflicts, they can rest assured that neither England or Germany, nor France, and still less Holland will dare to take up what Spain has been unable to hold. Within a few years Africa will completely absorb the attention of the Europeans, and there is no sensible nation which, in order to secure a group of poor and hostile islands, will neglect the immense territory offered by the Dark Continent, untouched, undeveloped and almost undefended. England has enough colonies in the Orient and is not going to sacrifice her Indian Empire for the poor Philippine Islands -- if she had entertained such an intention she would not have restored Manila in 1763, but would have kept some point in the Philippines whence she might gradually expand. Moreover, what need has John Bull the trader to exhaust himself over the Philippines, when he is already lord of the Orient, when he has Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai? It is probable the England will look favorably upon the independence of the Philippines, for it will open their ports to her and afford greater freedom to her commerce. Furthermore, there exist in the United Kingdom tendencies and opinions to the effect that she already has too many colonies, that they are harmful, that they greatly weaken the sovereign country.

For the same reasons Germany will not care to run any risk, and because a scattering of her forces and a war in distant countries will endanger her existence on the continent. Thus we see her attitude, as much in the Pacific as in Africa, is confined to conquering easy territory that belongs to nobody. Germany avoids any foreign complications.

France has enough to do and see more of a future in Tongking and China, besides the fact that the French spirit does not shine in zeal for colonization. France loves glory, but the glory and laurels that grow on the battlefields of Europe. The echo from battlefields in the Fear East hardly satisfies her craving for renown, for it reaches her quite faintly. She has also other obligations, both internally and on the continent.

Holland is sensible and will be content to keep the Moluccas and Java. Sumatra offers her a greater future than the Philippines whose seas and coasts have a sinister omen for Dutch expeditions. Holland proceeds with great caution in Sumatra and Borneo, from fear of losing everything.

China will consider herself fortunate if she succeeds in keeping herself intact and is not dismembered or partitioned among the European powers that they are colonizing the continent of Asia.

The same is true with Japan. On the north side she has Russia, who envies and watches her, on the south England, with whom she is in accord even to her official language. She is, moreover, under such diplomatic pressure from Europe that she can not think of outside affairs until she is freed from it, which will not be an easy matter. True it is that she has an excess of population, but Korea attracts her more than the Philippines and is also easier to seize.

Perhaps the great American Republic, whose interests lie in the Pacific and who has no hand in the spoliation of Africa, may dream some day of foreign possession. This is not impossible, for the example is contagious, covetousness and ambition are among the strongest vices, and Harrison manifested something of this sort in the Samoan question. But the Panama Canal is not opened nor the territory of the States congested with inhabitants, and in case she should openly attempt it the European powers would not allow her to proceed, for they know very well that the appetite is sharpened by the first bites. North America would be quite a troublesome rival, if she should once get into the business. Furthermore, this is contrary to her traditions.

Very likely the Philippines will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at the price of so much blood and sacrifice. With the new men that will spring from their soil and with the recollection of their past, they will perhaps strife to enter freely upon the wide road of progress, and all will labor together to strengthen their fatherland, both internally and externally, with the same enthusiasm, with which a youth falls again to tilling the land of his ancestors who long wasted and abandoned through the neglect of those who have withheld it from him. Then the mines will be made to give up their gold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead, and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by their nature, ability and instincts, and once more free, like the bird that leaves its cage, like the flower that unfolds to the air, will recover the pristine virtues that are gradually dying out and will again become addicted to peace -- cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable and daring.

These and many other things may come to pass within something like a hundred years, but the most logical prognostication, the prophecy based on the best probabilities, may err through remote and insignificant causes: An octopus that seized Mark Anthony’s ship altered the face of the world; a cross on Calvary and a just man nailed thereon changed the ethics of half the human race, and yet before Christ, how many just men wrongly perished and how many crosses were raised on that hill! The death of the just sanctified his work and made his teaching unanswerable. A sunken road at the battle of Waterloo buried all the glories of two brilliant decades, the whole napoleonic world, and freed Europe. Upon what chance accidents will the destiny of the Philippines depend?

Nevertheless, it is not well to trust to accident, for there is sometimes an imperceptible and incomprehensible logic in the workings of history. Fortunately, peoples as well as governments are subjects to it.

Therefore, we repeat and we will ever repeat, while there is time, and that is better to keep pace with the desire of a people than to give way before them; the former begets sympathy and love, the latter contempt and anger. Since it is necessary to grant six million Filipinos their rights, so that they may be in fact Spaniards, let the government grant these rights freely and spontaneously, without damaging reservations, without irritating mistrust. We shall never tire of repeating this while a ray of hope is left us, for we prefer this unpleasant task to the need of some day saying to the mother country: “Spain, we have sent our youth in serving thy interests in the interests of our country; we have looked to thee, we have expended the whole light of our intellects, all the fervor and enthusiasm of our hearts in working for the good of what was tine, to draw from them a glance of love, a liberal policy and that would assure us the peace of our native land and thy sway over loyal but unfortunate islands! Spain, thou hast remained deaf, and wrapped up in thy pride, hast pursued thy fatal course and accused us of being traitors, merely because we love our country because we tell thee the truth and hate all kinds of injustice. What dost thou wish us to tell our wretched country when it asks about the result of our efforts? Must we say to it that, since for it we have lost everything -- yo
          IRYU - Team Medical Dragon Season 2 - Episode 1 - Untitled   

After successfully pulling off a Batista procedure that called for a high level of technical expertise, the members of Team Dragon had each gone their separate ways. However, an anonymous email and a patient willing to die bring the team back together at Meishin to once again make the impossible possible.
Mike Arrington says he knows who the anonymous blogger, Dead 2.0, is, but he hasn't told the rest of us. It could be a good thing for the tech blogosphere to put a name to this person, might make people think again before taking cheap shots if they could end up being responsible for what they say.
          Comment on Video from Bamberg :) by Anonymous   
I love you Tine, greetings from Mexico!! :D You're the best trumpetist. I love youuuuu <3
          Comment on SK841, destination: Zurich by Anonymous   
Give Kids The world-wide is a non-profit organization that provides week-long vacations to children with severe illnesses and their meriting families at a imaginary this is so pretty and im truly crocked when i focus about situation like this!<br />personally i bang perkins edifice and when i discovered <a href="http://www.perkins-coupons.seokatalog.co.uk" rel="nofollow">perkins coupons</a> now its smooth cheaper then e'er to run through there my lunches and dinners with my family.we didn't see some hot us as well. I think visiting them now and once again when I was maturation up. I connect that I always had to have thing chocolate spell there and in my retention their cocoa parched goods were forever great.
          Comment on SK841, destination: Zurich by Anonymous   
          Forscher haben ein Smartphone entwickelt, das ohne Batterie funktioniert   

Akku Smartphone

Der kommerzielle Erfolg von Zusatzakkus hat uns gezeigt, dass unsere Geräte ständig mehr Strom verlangen.

Wenn wir jedoch bereit sind die Fähigkeiten der Handys ein wenig herunterzuschrauben, dann könnte das ewige Aufladen bald wegfallen, haben Forscher der Universität von Washington herausgefunden.

Das Gerät verwendet eine Technik namens Backscatter. Im Wesentlichen verwendet es die Radiowellen um uns herum, um miteinander zu kommunizieren. Der Prototyp steckt noch in den Kinderschuhen, aber der Test zeigte, wie ein Sprachanruf des akkulosen Telefons an ein Android-Smartphone funktioniert hat.

Der Weg bis hierhin war nicht einfach. Das Team hatte zuvor schon Tests mit Backscatter gemacht, das sie vorher passives Wlan nannten. Diese Tests wurden mit Geräten durchgeführt, die minimal Strom verbrauchten. Für singende Poster und sprechende T-Shirts hat es damals gereicht, aber nicht, um ein Smartphone zu betreiben. Also haben sie das System deutlich vereinfacht.

„Analoge, menschliche Sprache in digitale Signale zu verwandeln benötigt viel Energie“, so der Forscher Vamsi Talla, der den Prototypen mitentwickelte, zu „Wired“. „Wenn man mit analoger Technologie kommuniziert, ist man deutlich energieeffizienter.“

Alte Technologie neu erfunden

Die Backscatter-Technologie wurde von Grund auf neu erfunden, auch weil sie zuletzt im Kalten Krieg zum Einsatz kam. Das akkulose Handy sendet digitale Signale, wenn Nummern eingegeben werden und wechselt dann in den analogen Modus, wenn es um Stimmübertragungen geht.

Das Signal wird über eine unlizensierte Frequenz gesendet, das sich mit einem digitalen Netzwerk über Skype verbindet. Die Basisstation verbindet sich nicht nur mit dem Netzwerk, es liefert auch die notwendige Energie, damit es funktioniert. Die derzeitige Basisstation funktioniert bis 15 Meter Entfernung und ist deshalb nicht wirklich mobil. Wenn die Technik sich weiterentwickelt, dann könnten vielleicht Basisstationen an Telefonmasten angebracht werden.

Unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen längere Distanzen möglich

Laut Tallo könnte sich die Reichweite enorm erhöhen, wenn Telefonmasten zum Einsatz kämen. Er hält einen Kilometer Reichweite für realistisch.

Das Team arbeitet ebenfalls daran, wie ein Anruf funktionieren soll und auch an der Sprachqualität wird gefeilt. Derzeit wird das Gerät wie ein Walkie Talkie verwendet. Man muss einen Knopf drücken, um vom Sprechen zum Zuhören wechseln zu können. Ein E-Ink-Display ist derzeit ebenfalls im Gespräch, um Textnachrichten versenden zu können, geauso wie eine Kameraanbindung.

Wir sind gespannt darauf, wie sich die Technologie weiterentwickeln wird. Vielleicht liegt die Zukunft moderner Smartphones darin keine Akkus mehr verwenden zu müssen.


 Eine neue Erfindung der Nasa hat es gerade sehr viel wahrscheinlicher gemacht, dass Menschen zum Mars reisen

 Anonymous ist sicher: die Nasa hat außerirdisches Leben gefunden

 Stephen Hawking: Wir müssen in den nächsten drei Jahren eine wichtige Aufgabe lösen, um zu überleben

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          Comment on ‘Apa Hak Pihak Hotel Boleh Sentuh Barang Peribadi Kami?’ by anonymous   
hahaha.. lawak gila.. orang gila yang hantar mesej tu kot
When I lived in Melbourne I had personalised number plates (car tags). MANDO. It's one habit we Australians seem to have, when abbreviating someones name, to stick an O on the end. Thus, when abbreviating my name from Manderson it becomes Mando and was for quite some years. Of course, when I was a short trousered urchin, my friends of the time would tee hee as they abbreviated it to Mandy and I endured that particular cognomen for a number of years. Little bastards. We'll pass over any similarly juvenile 'humour' in which I might have participated!

Now I wouldn't want you to think *I* went out and got those number plates! Nope, they were my 40th birthday present from my second wife. I was, however, inordinately pleased at receiving them and would say, to any who cared to listen, that I 'used to think people with personalised plates were wankers and now I are one'. You can tell that my standards of humour haven't improved appreciably over the last half century!

A couple of years later I awoke one Saturday morning and went out to the car, to find someone had left a note under the wiper. Uh huh. Did this mean some neighbour objected to the way I parked? Nope, it was from one Campbell Manderson offering to buy my plates, at a premium, as he'd always wanted MANDO as his rego.

A pity then that he had left no phone number, no address and I had never heard of him! Might have been able to turn a tidy profit, especially as my second wife and I had parted ways by then.

I notice that the tradition continues; someone left a note on my previous post, Three dags[^] wanting to get a quote or two from yours truly about a post I wrote way back in 2006 about Adams Ribs[^], for possible inclusion in an article to be published in the Chicago Sun Times.

Such a pity then that the journalist posted as Anonymous and I have no way to reply save through these pages.

I'd love to be quoted. Contact me at rob (dot) manderson (at) gmail (dot) com.
          Comment on Shakespeare Sigma Round Keepnet – Green, 3 m by Anonymous   
          Comment on Keepnet 10ft / 3m Approved Fish Friendly Mesh Multi-Tilt. Coarse, Match or Carp by Anonymous   
          Comment on Charles Bentley Sport Lightweight 2.2M Fishing Equipment Keep Trap Net by Anonymous   
          Comment on 2.1m (6ft 10in) Keep Net & Bank Stick For Match Carp Course Fishing Adjustable Tilt Head Net by Anonymous   
          Comment on Shakespeare Sigma Round Keepnet – Green, 3 m by Anonymous   
          Comment on Keepnet 10ft / 3m Approved Fish Friendly Mesh Multi-Tilt. Coarse, Match or Carp by Anonymous   
          Comment on Charles Bentley Sport Lightweight 2.2M Fishing Equipment Keep Trap Net by Anonymous   
          Comment on Charles Bentley Sport Lightweight 2.2M Fishing Equipment Keep Trap Net by Anonymous   
          Comment on Shakespeare Omni Put In Pole – Black, 8m by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> Pretty good though for fishing close in for silvers, use the end 4 sections to land fish close in good
          Comment on KOALA PRODUCTS EVA Alloy Frame Wind Beater Pole Roller by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> Wanted a large rest for 3 x 4.5m beachcaster rods. Saw this on the Amazon site and decided it fitted the bill. Actually it will fit 4-5 rods it is so large. I have tried it out on a windy shoreline over a couple of weeks and the frame which fits on any normal single support (just remove the Y clip and replace it with the frame) met all my expectations. A good product, well made and well padded to avoid any damage to your rods.
          Comment on Browning Roller Front Pole Bar Fishing Equipment by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> This item is brilliant easy to install and easy to use has full height adjustment and smooth roller action when shipping in and out .Outstanding all round performance
          Comment on Browning Starter Fishing Combo Pole Set – Black/Red by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> perfect starter kit ,all you need to get started, good quality, and accessories are a compliment to the package overall
          Comment on Maver Competition XL Flat Bed Roller by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> Exactly what I was looking for to help support my pole. I ordered two rollers and am very pleased with them
          Comment on Delkim EV Plus Bite Alarms: Green by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> I got these for my son for a Christmas gift. Ideal for what he needs and at a price I think you will find hard to beat.
          Comment on XQ Max Pole Fishing Combo by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> Brilliant highly recommend to all my son is very pleased with it his only 8 years old he loves it as he does completions
          Comment on Hardy EWS Flyweight Breathable Waders SL by Anonymous   
<strong></strong> Very pleased with this purchase. I had contacted the vendor to check product size before purchase and they were very helpful and obviously knew their product range wellI have never owned any items produced by the Hardy brand before but was keen to purchase these as the brand is one I have seen in various tackle shops and has a good reputation. The product itself looks to be of a very good quality but is yet to face more than a few dips in Rutland Water but so far have performed well (better than me anyway!) and are very comfortable and light - ideal for my purposes.
          Comment on When You’re Happy to Give, But Unwilling to Receive by Anonymous   
Unfortunately I never ask for help anymore. I tried reaching out when desperate for understanding when dealing with mental issues...asking for a bit of time to do a calling or apologizing for not being able to do a service because I was struggling...and members backed away and avoided. The stigma I guess. You are broken and unusable if going through things like that. No one to talk to anymore...you don't exist. I then became fodder for gossip that keeps trickling back to me and is so painfully sharp. I never expected any of this and it was a heartbreakingly difficult experience that seems to never end as I still have the issues, still have the stigma, and still have the avoidance many years later. Sometimes it's unbearable. But it doesn't stop me from a strong testimony,, attending my meetings or keeping my covenants. I know there are others dealing with the same issues as I do because I read about it over and over. But in my little ward out here in the Southern states and somewhat secluded...they stay quiet. Probably because this is what happens. So most of us are hurting and alone. Many inactive or barely hanging on. But I'm blessed to know my Savior lives and that He listens to me, that there is no stigma with him... no harshness, no judgement, no avoidance...only love, mercy, a constant listening ear, peace when I need it the most and never-ending support. For that I'm so thankful and so blessed.
          Authentic Models Eye of Time Clock   

Historical Desk Watch

This Authentic Models Eye of Time Clock is both pocket sized and easy to read. A fantastic spherical desk watch, it has become a highly collectible item today and makes for a wonderful piece of historical decor.

Dual Function

Originally created by an anonymous watchmaker in Regency London, these clocks served travellers well. In times of need the lenses on the clock doubled to read maps and light the safari cooking fire. 

Price: £30.42 Special Price: £22.81

          Authentic Models Eye of Time Clock, Chrome   

Historical Desk Watch

This Authentic Models Eye of Time Clock in Chrome is both pocket sized and easy to read. A fantastic spherical desk watch, it has become a highly collectible item today and makes for a wonderful piece of historical decor.

Dual Function

Originally created by an anonymous watchmaker in Regency London, these clocks served travellers well. In times of need the lenses on the clock doubled to read maps and light the safari cooking fire. 

Price: £30.42 Special Price: £22.81

          Authentic Models Library Eye of Time Clock   

Historical Desk Watch

This Authentic Models Library Eye of Time Clock in Chrome is both pocket sized and easy to read. A fantastic spherical desk watch, it has become a highly collectible item today and makes for a wonderful piece of historical decor.

Dual Function

Originally created by an anonymous watchmaker in Regency London, these clocks served travellers well. In times of need the lenses on the clock doubled to read maps and light the safari cooking fire. 

Price: £47.92 Special Price: £35.94

          ISIS or not ISIS, anzi Isis ou pas Isis   

Nei mesi scorsi (vedi ad es. il 17.03.2016) ho aggiunto dei post da riconsiderare ora come profetici, alla luce di eventi che si sono verificati qualche volta a sorpresa, talora invece in risposta a interrogativi appena sfiorati.
Per esempio la questione del ritorno dei Tedeschi a Riccione: fandonia colossale apparsa sui giornali locali, paragonabile ad un impiastro su una gamba di legno. Durante le mie passeggiate nei mesi di luglio e agosto ho cercato la fatidica D sulle targhe europee dei veicoli parcheggiati a Riccione trovandone solo uno o due esemplari al giorno. Oggi il turista tedesco ama passare le vacanze a basso prezzo là dove può sentirsi superiore anche se questo comporta una serie di piccoli sacrifici, che anzi a tale scopo diventano graditi. Quella che mi stupisce e mi rattrista è poi l’assenza dei tedeschi di seconda generazione ovvero quelli che da bambini vennero a giocare sulle nostre spiagge. Nessuno di loro, ora che sono diventati genitori, sembra aver la minima nostalgia di quei tempi felici. L’Euro e i mille pregiudizi ad esso correlati, ci ha irreversibilmente rovinato quello che era un fiorente mercato. Buggerando intere generazioni di riccionesi che hanno inutilmente imparato la lingua di Goethe come prima lingua straniera.
I giornali hanno poi riportato alla ribalta Charlie Hébdo e la sua stupidissima pseudosatira.
(N.B. Definizione di gesto stupido: atto che produce un danno senza conseguire un vantaggio né per sé né per altri).
Anzi, mi pare che in definitiva l’ISIS ricavi qualche simpatia almeno indiretta, confermando che al peggio non v’è limite.
In questi mesi estivi i giornali hanno riportato che, effettivamente, alcune associazioni di hacker (p.es. Anonymous) stanno rendendo la vita difficile agli adepti del califfato. Tuttavia non sono poi così convinto della loro efficacia nei confronti dello stato islamico, scoprendo che nessuna delle banche conquistate dall’ISIS ha perso il rispettivo codice di registrazione SWIFT.
Contrariamente a Papa Ratzinger che al momento delle sue inattese e rapide dimissioni fu spinto a decidere in tal senso dal blocco del codice SWIFT attribuito allo IOR (banca Vaticana).
Consiglio di visitare la pagina Wikipedia a proposito di questa SWIFT, un approfondimento s’impone, per una comparazione anche in francese ed inglese.
Scoprirete allora che tale società ha sede in Belgio, quindi non è un caso fortuito se le banche islamiche conservano senza problemi il loro codice SWIFT pur trafficando apertamente con valute, petrolio, armi, esplosivi, divise e esercitazioni militari. Dopo alcuni attentati, nessuno intende rischiare di suscitare il vespaio derivato da annessi e connessi di questa spinosa problematica. nel cui ambito, omertà e ipocrisia sono complimenti se non virtù.
Nel frattempo il numero dei rifugiati in Europa aumenta, pur con la certezza che una percentuale di queste persone sia militante del califfato, infiltrata a costo zero.
Per avere qualche risposta e qualche certezza in più perché gli aspiranti al premio Nobel di Charlie Hébdo non pubblicano qualche vignetta sul tema “cherchez le SWIFT” ossia “cherchez l’argent”?
Certo che vilipendere i terremotati “c’est plus facile”?
Tutta qui la famosa fratérnité de France? Suvvia, Messieurs, potete fare di meglio!
          Anonymous in the New York Post!!!   
Anonymous in the New York Post!!! New York Post reports about Anonymous and the Scientology documentary (see my channel for that)

          Do Not Make Me Miss My Stop!   
by Anonymous

You're not the usual U of P student. Wrong ethnicity, wrong body type. That’s ok, because I'm a "townie" and don't resemble them either (especially in the wallet dept). You’re new to taking the bus back to campus. I signaled my stop and started collecting myself to get off. You were up front, closer to the driver, looking like you'd get off at my stop too. But then you realized this was NOT the stop and shit got real! You told the driver to keep moving. OH. HELL. NO. How you gonna tell him not to stop when you didn't ring for it in the first place?!

Learn bus etiquette. Then learn where your damn bus stop is.

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          Feeling Concerned and Need Advice   
by Anonymous

I have a neighbor who had his kids solicit lawn mowing jobs. I thought they were going to do it and then he showed up to do it. He did the front for $20. Then he showed up a day later and offered to do the back. I gave him $60.00 because that is what I paid the last guy. Then, he showed up with two flower pots and said they were only $20. I said I don't have money. He said $15 then. I said seriously I don't have cash. He showed up the next day and I gave him the $15.00. Then, yesterday he swung by the house with one of the kids and asked my daughter for the $15.00 which I had already paid. She didn't have the money. He is friendly but obviously sketchy. He told me he's had 5 DUIs. I don't want him coming over to my house all the time and trying to get money from me. This is a serious inquiry. What do you suggest I do? I don't want him or his kids on my property any more. He is not working and looking for any cash he can get.

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          Multnomah County Republicans Formally Allow Militia Groups to Run Security   
by Doug Brown

A Three Percenters militia member running security at a pro-Donald Trump event in April
A Three Percenters militia member running security at a pro-Donald Trump event in April Doug Brown

The Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) has formally decided to pair up with right-wing militia groups to run security at local events.

The formal resolution was passed on on Monday and its text was leaked to the Mercury Friday morning. MCRP Chairman James Buchal, despite being displeased with the leak, confirmed his group approved pairing up with the Oregon Three Percenters and Oath Keepers via a resolution earlier this week:

Proposed Resolution of Chairman Buchal: Resolve that the MCRP may utilize volunteers from the Oregon Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and other security groups. To provide security where such volunteers are certified to provide private security service by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Kay Bridges moved and Janice Dysinger seconded. Resolution passed.

Update: We got ahold of the meeting minutes from Monday night MCRP meeting at the Shiloh Inn. Here's the relevant section:


The Guardian reported late last month—in the wake of the MAX hate crime stabbings and ahead of a June 4 alt-right rally downtown—that the MCRP was considering allowing the militia groups to run security for right-wing events. It's now official.

Such arrangements have already caused uproar. At the June 4 rally, a militia member was spotted helping a federal cop detain and arrest a protester. The Department of Justice announced it would investigate the incident.

Militia groups have also previously volunteered as security at pro-Donald Trump rallies in Lake Oswego in March and at Patriot Prayer's Vancouver, WA, rally in April. Patriot Prayer is hosting a rally in downtown Portland Friday evening.

"The volunteers are afraid of going to Portland street fairs and Portland events because of what happened to them," Buchal tells the Mercury, specifically citing the anonymous email threat regarding the MCRP marching in the 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade that led to the parade's cancellation. "Our only recourse is volunteers because we got no money. This volunteer resource is available."

Using these volunteer militia groups is necessary, Buchal said, because of "unhinged people screaming at (Republicans), in one case shoving them and in another case spitting on them. They don't feel like it's safe environment out there."

The resolution calls for the militia members to be certified by the state to run private security. Buchal said he didn't know if the Republicans will ask each militia member to prove their certification before working security, as the kinks haven't been worked out yet.

"I don't understand how it's a whole hell of a lot different than rich people hiring private security guards," explained Buchal about the volunteer militias. "I don't understand why it's so different."

In the Guardian last month:

The Oath Keepers are described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the US”, recruiting current and former military and law enforcement personnel. They have recently appeared at rallies from Berkeley, California, to Boston, standing with activists from the far right, activists holding what were once fringe positions who have recently risen to national prominence.

The Three Percenters are described by Political Research Associates as “a paramilitary group that pledges armed resistance against attempts to restrict private gun ownership”. They were a highly visible presence in Burns, Oregon, before and during the occupation of the Malheur wildlife refuge by rightwing militia early in 2016.

"One of the things we did before going down this road is research these groups," Buchal tells the Mercury on Friday. "Because of all this gross disinformation in the media that they’re racist, white supremacists, Nazis and so forth — I was very pleased to find their bylaws and internal procedures say that nobody’s going to tolerate racism and that kind of stuff. That’s not what it’s about. They are concerned that with the government overstepping its constitutional bounds."

This post has been updated with more quotes from James Buchal and more information on the militias.

For the latest in information about rallies, marches, and political events, consult the Mercury's RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY calendar. Want to publicize an event? Send the info to calendar@portlandmercury.com.

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          Win Tickets to the I, Anonymous Show / Lez Stand Up Combo!   
by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey


There's going to be double the fun at the I, Anonymous Show on Wednesday, July 5! Not only will the hilarious Caitlin Weierhauser be choosing the funniest, weirdest I, Anonymous submissions to chat and make jokes about, this month's panel will feature some of your faves from the crazy popular Lez Stand Up show! Watch panel members Kirsten Kuppenbender, Laura Ann Whitley, and Carlos the Rollerblader get REAL about people's strangest confessions and angriest rants! This is going to be a good one, folks, so you don't want to miss it!

Get your tickets now (only $10 advance) here! Or if you're feeling super lucky, try to win TWO TICKETS to the I, Anonymous/Lez Stand Up show this coming Wednesday, July 5, 7:30 pm at Curious Comedy Theater, by filling out the form below! But hurry! Deadline for entry is 4 pm TODAY. Good luck!

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          Jesus & Our Culture of Addiction   
Alcohol, smoking, drugs, gambling, food, video games, internet, sex, shopping and work have been referred to as the ten most common addictions. Someone put together a rather long list of addictions from A to Z. It would seem that almost any substance or activity that provides some kind of rush, satisfaction, pleasure or ecstasy is now considered a prime candidate for addiction. Thus, almost anyone is now a possible candidate to become an addict.

Addictions often get labeled as either a hedonistic choice or a disease of the brain. In the book, Addiction and Virtue, Kent Dunnington makes the case, using Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, that addictions are instead best understood as a complex habit. It's well known that people are a sum of their habits. Addiction happens to be a very alluring yet destructive habit. Dunning explores the role of reason and appetite in forming habits, emphasizing that addictions are a complex habit formed as a rationale response to a moral and intellectual crisis.

Dunnington makes a case that addictions are how many people react to the deep longings swirling around in them. Addictions are new to human history, one of the tragic by-products of our Industrial Revolution and Enlightenment. Our uniquely individualistic, hedonistic culture breeds meaninglessness, arbitrariness, boredom and loneliness. As people get reduced to cogs and cubicles in our post-Industrial, Information-age society, and as doubt and cynicism chew away at our certainty, absolutes and beliefs, humans must find a way to cope.

For the Christian, addiction is certainly a sin. And like all sins, it is one for which repentance and forgiveness are needed. But unlike most sins, addiction is in a category all its own, being a complex habit that is more then just a series of bad moral choices or a disease in the neurons. Understanding the roots of addiction in our culture help bring about Christian compassion for those that are addicted. It also helps mobilize Christians to better understand their culture, which will result in more accurate criticisms as well as more helpful solutions. This is where Jesus comes in.

When Jesus entered his culture, there was much to critique. Instead of rampant addictions, he addressed demonic possession. The evils of Empire, the terror of kings, the thousands of crucifixions, the chronic starvation and disease - this is what Jesus confronted. The trauma that filled people, the brokenness, the ache caused by unrestrained wickedness and demonic activity met its match in Jesus.

To all who would listen, Jesus called people to repent, to turn away from the evil, to return to God - for the kingdom of God had come. The sign of God come to Earth through Jesus was evident in demons being powerless before him, being sent away almost effortlessly. Thousands of the crippled and diseased - products of not enough food, brutal wars, and slave labor - found healing and hope in Jesus. Jesus was recognized as a king, the Son of David, the Messiah, the deliverer, the forgiver of sins - and he was a direct threat to Caesar, King Herod, and all others with power who propped up the destructive status quo.

And here we are, followers of this King Jesus, in a culture that fuels addictions. What can Jesus do through his followers in response to loneliness, boredom, meaninglessness in our culture and communities? If the kingdom was still coming into our neighborhoods today through those that trust Jesus - what kind of healing and hope would that bring to addicts?

In the Spirit of Jesus, Christians must be astute critics of culture. But this will only have credibility to the degree that they are honest and humble about how they are both products of that same culture and have also been able to create an alternative society that brings about healing from the more destructive elements of the culture.  Bill Wilson, one of the famous founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, was an alcoholic who found healing and hope through Jesus through passionate and pious Christians. His story of how he became a Christian has been published for all to read. 

Interestingly, a recent survey showed that the majority of people who are getting help from A.A. got connected through former A.A. members. Only 1% of the respondents said that their church referred them to an A.A. meeting. Without making too much of this stat, and recognizing that churches are one of the places you might find a A.A. meeting happen, there seems to be a disconnect between churches and success in overcoming addictions. Spirituality infuses the recovery outlined in A.A. Spirituality infuses church...but not in a way that helps fuel healing. Why is this?

Dunnington points out how addicts are "a kind of unwitting modern prophet" that the church ought to heed. Imagine a church that heeded this prophecy. Imagine how a church like that could help answer Jesus' prayer for the kingdom to come. Imagine how a church like that could help answer the prayer of the addict: "God, save me." Imagine how difficult it would be to be part of a church like that - difficult yet inspiring.

This reminds me of another of Jesus' words: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you as well." Difficult words to live by, yet when done so very inspiring - both for those that do it and those who see it.

How do you see addicts? Or do you prefer to not see them? We can be sure that Jesus would see them. And that he would have compassion on them, as sheep without a shepherd. And he would bring them healing and salvation. Addiction is a complex habit, hence it requires a complex, indirect response. It's not that people aren't delivered from their habit of addictions, it's that too few are saved. And it's that the church as a whole too often judges or overlooks addicts.

The irony being that we all breathe the same cultural air, and but for the grace of God, they could be you. Maybe if more addicts were welcomed into the church, the church would feel more urgency in embracing a spirituality that brings healing and not just warm fuzzy feelings.

Dunnington's book illuminates the role of virtue and habits from the perspective of philosophy (Aristotle) and theology (Aquinas). These explorations into ancient virtues and centuries of developed thought on the role of reason and appetite in human behavior will enrich your perspective. It will also reveal how negligent most Christians are in regard to habit, to habits of virtue, and to habits of spirituality. Dunnington's insights on addictions as habit and sin will deepen your understanding of how close we all are to becoming addicts.

The loftiest suggestions come in tying addiction to idolatry, pointing to renewed worship of God (not praise songs, but attitude and allegiance) as a way to bring order and meaning to life. This alternative, along with a resulting loving community of Jesus-followers has potential to help nurture more healing for more addicts who refuse to be bored, who refuse to live without purpose, and who will do whatever it takes to avoid the feelings of loneliness.  The difficulty is in the pervasive weak worship of too many churches, the ambivalent communities, and the anemic Christian ministries.

Still, Jesus speaks to all with ears to hear: "Repent, for the kingdom of God has come." And those with eyes to see: Jesus heals as he preaches.

My argument has been that addiction is a habit informed as all habits are, by rationality. And I have been trying to probe the structure of this rationality. I have been trying to display how addiction insinuates itself into the cogitative estimation by supplying order and integrity to an addicted person's life - order and integrity that we as human beings, and particularly as modern human beings, crave.

Addiction, I have argued, operates as a moral and spiritual strategy, carrying out particular functions in the moral life and empowering a person for the pursuit, albeit misguided, of ecstatic satisfaction. This is why I have paid much attention to the constructive and positive potential of addiction and have elaborated little on the destruction and havoc it wrecks. Addiction is mysteriously powerful, but if we fail to ask what the power consists in, then we make it not only mysterious but also foreign.

I have attempted to make addiction less foreign, giving us ways to think about the pull that addiction has on all of our lives. I hope my analysis has shown how near, rather than how far, each of us is to the major addict.
~ Kent Dunnington, Addiction and Virtue, pg 167

          Secure Anonymous Web Proxy   
Well on a slight digression from my normal electronic wafflings. An exciting topic on which I have managed to scare a mate and have an argument with my missus who now thinks I'm sort of Internet crook!

Ok so it's not obvious from my Title but anyway - my friend and I were talking about how people could monitor all yoru web browsing and emails. Something that I'm not impressed about - there is even a European directive that states that all this data must be stored for two years by the ISPs - yes that's right that fact that you visited the 'Jubbly Jugs Website' every day for six months is all neatly recorded on your internet transation logs.

The UK Government is actually going to go further and store all this information on a central database plus all your phone records - presumably so Gordon Brown can find out great web sites to visit. Anyway I digress - my missus thinks this is fine and
will help catch paedohiles and terrorists etc - well I'm not bloody fine about it !
To me having the state track every single move I make is not acceptable, it's Big Brother and I don't think the UK government in particular can be trusted to
a) look after this data
b) use it responsibly

Anyway my missus thinks I'm hiding something now !

And why did I scare my friend ? Well he shares my opinions on this and has done something about it - he uses a variety of anonymous proxies so that his whereabouts cannot be tracked. Which is fine apart from the list he is using - you see it is a very old hacker trick still well used today. You hack into a server, install a web proxy on it and then slowly add it to lists for secure anonymous web proxies.

Then lots of people start using this secure anonymous proxy to protect their identities. Unfortunately the nasty guys are actually logging all your data and transactions from that server so in fact you're handing all your information over directly over to the bad guys.

Free Secure Anonymous Proxy - unless you're very certain on it's origins and who controls that server I wouldn't go near them if I was you.

I pay a few Euros a month to completely encrypt all my data so Mr Brown can't see any of my traffic haha! The tool does loads of other stuff as well check it out.

Identity Cloaker
          Comment on "Peak Current Year?" by Steve Sailer   
Anonymous, just picked up that issue off the free desk at our library. There is a most haunting photograph of a young Indonesian girl, writhing in pain,while being restrained on a table top as a woman performs FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) on her. The room is filled with women performing the procedure on multiple girls...
          Private Internet Access Review 2017   

Private Internet Access is an anonymous VPN service provider with largest number of server spread across the globe. Online users' who wish to protect their privacy and mask their original identity or wishes to unblock censorship

The post Private Internet Access Review 2017 appeared first on VPN Analysis.

          New Podcast Aims to Change the Conversation About Public Transit   

(AP Photo/Janet Hostetter)

From the back seat of a Lyft to a walk in the neighborhood with an aging resident, a new podcast tags along with Twin Cities residents on their daily commutes in an attempt to illustrate how big transportation discussions play out in individuals’ lives.

Each episode of “Here to There,” by local public affairs agency Apparatus and the transportation advocates at Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips (the latter two merged in January), takes on a different facet of transportation: health, sustainability, employment, accessibility and more.

Co-host Laura Monn Ginsburg says the show is driven by a simple reality. “I have to get from here to there every day. How do I do it, what are my choices, do I even really feel like I have a choice?” she asks. “If we’re talking about a topic as broad as health, as broad as equity, as broad as accessibility, how do we remember that there are individuals living these things out day to day?”

In the first half of each episode, she and co-host Leili Fatehi join a Twin Cities resident for an actual trip, and then talk to an expert or advocate for a broader perspective. For a show on transit and employment, they ride along with a Lyft driver and popular local DJ who talks about the uncertainty of making rent in the gig economy. In the second half, they speak to a transit union president about how, perhaps paradoxically, this rise of transportation gig work is coinciding with a labor shortage for more traditional transit jobs like bus drivers, despite their relatively good pay and dependable schedules.

In another — Ginsburg’s favorite episode so far, she admits — she interviews her own dad, a super commuter who has been crossing the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area daily for 10 years. It’s not a perfect arrangement, he says, but he’s found ways to make the experience comfortable: exiting the highway when possible to drive through neighborhoods he describes as “relaxing” and “familiar.” And yet, though there’s no convenient transit option that would take him to work, he expresses support for public transportation.

“I think public transportation is a quality of life, and a quality of city life, that speaks to the vibrancy of your city,” he says, the rumble of his tires on the highway audible beneath him.

That nuance is too often missing, says Fatehi.

“The conversation around transportation has really been dominated by legislative controversy like funding for transit versus funding for roads,” she says. “We felt like that has dominated so much of the public face of what is the transportation conversation in Minnesota that we felt like we needed some sort of a venue to look beyond just that to what else is happening, what else matters.”

But talk of funding transit and multimodality does resurface, episode after episode. Jessica Treat, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips, sums up the issue this way: “We’re a region where, still, really car is king and seeing past that and building for the future has been challenging.” On top of that, she says, the impacts of a lacking transit system aren’t felt equally. “There’s a lot of people who can’t access jobs because the jobs are often disconnected from where low-income people and people of color are living.”

The Twin Cities assess a quarter-cent sales tax for transit, which recently funded a new light-rail line linking Minneapolis and St. Paul’s downtowns. For years, advocacy groups have been pushing to increase the sales tax, but it’s not been easy, especially now that both the state house and senate are Republican controlled.

“There’s this notion that multimodality only benefits people in the metro area, and everyone else in the state is paying for it and not reaping any benefits. And that’s just not accurate,” says Fatehi. But the perception of an urban-rural, driver-transit rider divide has fueled partisan gridlock.

Treat hopes the podcast is able to add complexity to the conversation, and demonstrate why funding transit is important for everyone — even those who mostly drive. The website for “Here to There” also hosts a survey that invites residents to share their own commuting stories. While the majority of respondents so far have said their primary mode is a private vehicle, many also report using a vast array of tools, and many of the drivers express frustration.

“Commuting in general is awful — I would rather teleport immediately to where I want to be,” says one anonymous respondent. “I absolutely hate driving a single passenger private vehicle, but have been unable to find anyone who commutes the same trip with flexible hours to accommodate my school schedule.”

Flexibility is the subject of another episode on car-sharing, and the impact on one resident when Car2Go left Minneapolis. The podcast also takes on the damaging legacy of highway construction and a project to mitigate it, the future of electric and self-driving vehicles, and the health benefits of cycling. In a future episode — Fatehi’s favorite — the hosts go on an accessibility walk with a local disability activist, navigating a supposedly pedestrian-friendly part of town in a wheelchair and wearing goggles that simulate blindness. “I really think anyone who is a planner should have to do this,” she says.

Six episodes are online already; all 10 will be up by end of July.

          As Civilian Casualties Rise, Syrian Children Attend Secret Schools   

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn now to Syria.

The NewsHour sent freelance video journalist Toby Muse there recently to see how civilians are faring.

As Margaret Warner reports, many have become targets in the country’s civil war.

And a warning: Some images may be disturbing.

MARGARET WARNER: Within the walls of a secret school in Northwest Syria, young students are studying arithmetic, English and Arabic.

Their wide eyes and smiles betray little of the war raging just outside in the streets of their town of al-Bab and across their country.

QUESTION: What does he think when he hears the planes fly overhead?

CHILD (through translator): I don’t have any fear.

MARGARET WARNER: Run by teachers who asked to remain anonymous, this classroom was opened just weeks ago in al-Bab, a city of 120,000 less than an hour from Aleppo, and now ostensibly under control of the rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA.

In FSA areas like these, the Syrian government is increasingly turning to air and long-range artillery attacks, hitting not only rebels, but civilian institutions, too.

Six schools in al-Bab were bombed in the last two months, this one by a MiG fighter jet in September, just before students were set to return from summer vacations.

Although some schools remain standing, the scorched murals and homework sheets amidst the rubble warn parents not to send their children back. That’s given rise to clandestine classrooms like this one in places thought safer from detection and attack.

ABDUL LATIF, opposition activist: We are all terrified from the situation, because we do not know when we will die.

MARGARET WARNER: Abdul Latif is an opposition activist in al-Bab.

ABDUL LATIF: It’s not the schools are the target only. It’s anywhere, anyplace. All places here in the city are a target.

MARGARET WARNER: On the day a NewsHour crew visited town, reports of a fighter jet approaching sent residents fleeing for safety.

Though reliable statistics are hard to come by, one activist group estimates more than 32,000 have been killed in the 19 months since the Syrian civil war began.

And, of those, the vast majority are estimated to be civilians.

TOM MALINOWSKI, Human Rights Watch: It’s one of the worst civilian death tolls of any conflict in the world in the last few years.

MARGARET WARNER: Tom Malinowski is director of Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C., which is working to monitor the situation on the ground.

TOM MALINOWSKI: One horrific example involves the shelling and bombing of bread lines in cities like Aleppo.

Syrian civilians come out to line up for bread at these bakeries. It’s the only way that they have of feeding their families. And when a large group of people gathers, a bomb lands or a shell lands. It’s very hard to imagine that that’s random.

MARGARET WARNER: One instance, on Aug. 21, a government helicopter opened fire on a bread line in an Aleppo suburb, killing 21.

JEFFREY WHITE, Washington Institute for Near East Policy: They attack bakeries where they know people are going to be and to get at the food supply for the population. They burn houses, dwellings for civilians.

MARGARET WARNER: Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says the Syrian government is waging a deliberate scorched-earth strategy.

JEFFREY WHITE: It’s trying to get at FSA units that are embedded inside the population. Where the people are, the FSA tends to be.

But it is also to punish the people, the civilians, for supporting the FSA. The relationship between the FSA units and the people is critical to the success of the rebellion.

MARGARET WARNER: Why don’t the regime forces just go in these areas and take them and hold them?

JEFFREY WHITE: It basically can’t do that any longer. Six months ago, they could go anywhere in the country, effectively, where they wanted with armor and mechanized forces simply push the FSA out of the area and reestablish a presence. The opposition is strong enough now that for the regime’s ground forces to go into those areas is a punishing affair for the regime.

MARGARET WARNER: Throughout this conflict, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed the high civilian deaths on the rebels themselves, foreign agents and military accidents.

PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, Syria (through translator): We do not carry out these acts because we love to spill blood. This battle was forced upon us, and the result is this blood that has been spilled.

MARGARET WARNER: Malinowski of Human Rights Watch says the rebels do have abuses to account for, too.

TOM MALINOWSKI: The overwhelming majority of human rights abuses in this conflict have been committed by the Syrian government and its militia allies. That doesn’t mean that the rebels have been perfect.

MARGARET WARNER: Just today, video surfaced of FSA forces allegedly executing unarmed Syrian soldiers, though the veracity of the video could not be verified.

Still, when it comes to killing civilians, independent observers hold the regime primarily responsible.

In late May, more than 100 men, women and children were butchered in the village of Houla. A United Nations-appointed panel said government forces and loyalist militias were responsible for the massacre.

Then too, President Assad denied his regime’s forces were involved.

BASHAR AL-ASSAD (through translator): In reality, even monsters wouldn’t carry out what we have seen, especially what we saw in the Houla massacre. We as Syrians have will continue to feel embarrassment every time we remember it as long as we are alive.

MARGARET WARNER: Tom Malinowski says the Assad regime will ultimately pay a price for a pattern of killing that violates the Geneva Conventions.

TOM MALINOWSKI: If the government is bombing a city, even with the intent of killing rebels, but if it’s using weapons that are — fall indiscriminately and kill a lot of civilians, that’s also a violation of international law.

MARGARET WARNER: But the threat of legal action offers no protection to these students, who now dream of what they will become when they grow up.

CHILD (through translator): A dentist.

CHILD (through translator): a teacher.

MARGARET WARNER: No one can tell them when this war will end, what kind of country they will inherit, and whether they will live to fulfill those dreams.

The post As Civilian Casualties Rise, Syrian Children Attend Secret Schools appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

          As Civilian Casualties Rise, Syrian Children Attend Secret Schools   

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn now to Syria.

The NewsHour sent freelance video journalist Toby Muse there recently to see how civilians are faring.

As Margaret Warner reports, many have become targets in the country’s civil war.

And a warning: Some images may be disturbing.

MARGARET WARNER: Within the walls of a secret school in Northwest Syria, young students are studying arithmetic, English and Arabic.

Their wide eyes and smiles betray little of the war raging just outside in the streets of their town of al-Bab and across their country.

QUESTION: What does he think when he hears the planes fly overhead?

CHILD (through translator): I don’t have any fear.

MARGARET WARNER: Run by teachers who asked to remain anonymous, this classroom was opened just weeks ago in al-Bab, a city of 120,000 less than an hour from Aleppo, and now ostensibly under control of the rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA.

In FSA areas like these, the Syrian government is increasingly turning to air and long-range artillery attacks, hitting not only rebels, but civilian institutions, too.

Six schools in al-Bab were bombed in the last two months, this one by a MiG fighter jet in September, just before students were set to return from summer vacations.

Although some schools remain standing, the scorched murals and homework sheets amidst the rubble warn parents not to send their children back. That’s given rise to clandestine classrooms like this one in places thought safer from detection and attack.

ABDUL LATIF, opposition activist: We are all terrified from the situation, because we do not know when we will die.

MARGARET WARNER: Abdul Latif is an opposition activist in al-Bab.

ABDUL LATIF: It’s not the schools are the target only. It’s anywhere, anyplace. All places here in the city are a target.

MARGARET WARNER: On the day a NewsHour crew visited town, reports of a fighter jet approaching sent residents fleeing for safety.

Though reliable statistics are hard to come by, one activist group estimates more than 32,000 have been killed in the 19 months since the Syrian civil war began.

And, of those, the vast majority are estimated to be civilians.

TOM MALINOWSKI, Human Rights Watch: It’s one of the worst civilian death tolls of any conflict in the world in the last few years.

MARGARET WARNER: Tom Malinowski is director of Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C., which is working to monitor the situation on the ground.

TOM MALINOWSKI: One horrific example involves the shelling and bombing of bread lines in cities like Aleppo.

Syrian civilians come out to line up for bread at these bakeries. It’s the only way that they have of feeding their families. And when a large group of people gathers, a bomb lands or a shell lands. It’s very hard to imagine that that’s random.

MARGARET WARNER: One instance, on Aug. 21, a government helicopter opened fire on a bread line in an Aleppo suburb, killing 21.

JEFFREY WHITE, Washington Institute for Near East Policy: They attack bakeries where they know people are going to be and to get at the food supply for the population. They burn houses, dwellings for civilians.

MARGARET WARNER: Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says the Syrian government is waging a deliberate scorched-earth strategy.

JEFFREY WHITE: It’s trying to get at FSA units that are embedded inside the population. Where the people are, the FSA tends to be.

But it is also to punish the people, the civilians, for supporting the FSA. The relationship between the FSA units and the people is critical to the success of the rebellion.

MARGARET WARNER: Why don’t the regime forces just go in these areas and take them and hold them?

JEFFREY WHITE: It basically can’t do that any longer. Six months ago, they could go anywhere in the country, effectively, where they wanted with armor and mechanized forces simply push the FSA out of the area and reestablish a presence. The opposition is strong enough now that for the regime’s ground forces to go into those areas is a punishing affair for the regime.

MARGARET WARNER: Throughout this conflict, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed the high civilian deaths on the rebels themselves, foreign agents and military accidents.

PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, Syria (through translator): We do not carry out these acts because we love to spill blood. This battle was forced upon us, and the result is this blood that has been spilled.

MARGARET WARNER: Malinowski of Human Rights Watch says the rebels do have abuses to account for, too.

TOM MALINOWSKI: The overwhelming majority of human rights abuses in this conflict have been committed by the Syrian government and its militia allies. That doesn’t mean that the rebels have been perfect.

MARGARET WARNER: Just today, video surfaced of FSA forces allegedly executing unarmed Syrian soldiers, though the veracity of the video could not be verified.

Still, when it comes to killing civilians, independent observers hold the regime primarily responsible.

In late May, more than 100 men, women and children were butchered in the village of Houla. A United Nations-appointed panel said government forces and loyalist militias were responsible for the massacre.

Then too, President Assad denied his regime’s forces were involved.

BASHAR AL-ASSAD (through translator): In reality, even monsters wouldn’t carry out what we have seen, especially what we saw in the Houla massacre. We as Syrians have will continue to feel embarrassment every time we remember it as long as we are alive.

MARGARET WARNER: Tom Malinowski says the Assad regime will ultimately pay a price for a pattern of killing that violates the Geneva Conventions.

TOM MALINOWSKI: If the government is bombing a city, even with the intent of killing rebels, but if it’s using weapons that are — fall indiscriminately and kill a lot of civilians, that’s also a violation of international law.

MARGARET WARNER: But the threat of legal action offers no protection to these students, who now dream of what they will become when they grow up.

CHILD (through translator): A dentist.

CHILD (through translator): a teacher.

MARGARET WARNER: No one can tell them when this war will end, what kind of country they will inherit, and whether they will live to fulfill those dreams.

The post As Civilian Casualties Rise, Syrian Children Attend Secret Schools appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424) (OP)   
went on for an hour... shes off now...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424) (OP)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424) (OP)   
hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo anyone out there!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424) (OP)   
hello we need a moderator there is a girl by the name of 2nd has her button stuck and shes on the phone we can all hear her!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424) (OP)   
hello hello anyone there?
          Original Message by Anonymous Coward (UID 24820424)   
can someone reboot the GLP chat its pinging at 1500
          Trump strikes at China with arms sales to Taiwan   
Crazy hot this weekend on the coast, but good riding.

The Trump Administration State Department released a large arms deal for Taiwan, something which has been long predicted but had been held up. According to Defense News, the deal was worth $1.3 on the surface, but will need Congressional approval and may end up below that figure. Lawmakers have 30 days to object, according to AP....
The State Department has approved arms sales to Taiwan worth a total of $1.4 billion, the first such deal with the self-governing island since President Donald Trump took office, officials said Thursday.

The sale will anger China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory. It comes at a delicate time for relations between Washington and Beijing over efforts to rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.
Note that the routine formula is followed: we learn that China will be angry, but we do not learn that the people of Taiwan -- our ally! -- will gain protection. Thus, the framing is entirely negative. Sad. Further down, we are told the relationship has deteriorated but not that Beijing was the cause. Why are there alt-facts? Because the media refuses to accurately describe the world.

I've placed the Nelson Report comments on the arms sale at the bottom of this post, but one quote from an anonymous and well placed Nelson Report reader said it all:
"Chris, word on the street is that WH has called this "F- China Month".
A longtime and knowledgeable observer said that Washington was rapidly accepting that it would need to stop delaying arms sales so that they can be rolled out in packages. Rather, they would have to be sent to Congress as soon as the Pentagon approves them. This would increase the deterrent effect. US-Taiwan Business Council head Rupert Hammond-Chambers added
“The Council supports the return to a normal and regular process for assessing all Taiwan arms sales requests and sales. Packaging several years’ worth of items drives up the overall dollar value of each tranche of notifications. Each Taiwan arms sale also becomes a rare and compelling event, drawing significantly more attention than it might otherwise garner. This creates a more substantial opportunity for Chinese protests and posturing in response to each sale, protests that have had a deterrent effect on U.S. willingness to release needed but advanced systems to Taiwan - such as new-build fighters and submarines. It would be in the U.S. interest to provide less of an impetus for Chinese protests in response to Taiwan arms sales, and moving away from packaging would be a substantial step in the right direction.”
Recall that this package was delayed by the Obama Administration -- an actual sellout of Taiwan's interests to please China.

The US-Taiwan Business Council says the deal is for...
The published FMS Congressional Notifications (transmittal numbers 16-67, 16-68, 16-69, 16-70, 16-73, 16-74, and 16-75) were for SM-2 Block IIIA All-Up Rounds, associated equipment and technical support (US$125 million); MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo Conversion Kits, spare parts and other support and assistance (US$175 million); MK 48 Mod 6AT Heavyweight Torpedoes, other support, spare parts, training, and assistance (US$250 million); Hardware, software, and other upgrades to the AN/SLQ-32(V)3 Electronic Warfare Systems supporting Taiwan’s KEELUNG Class destroyers (US$80 million); AGM-154C JSOW Air-to-Ground Missiles, spare/repair parts and other support and assistance (US$185.5 million); AGM-88B HARMs and Training HARMs, spare/repair parts, testing, and other support and assistance (US$147.5 million); SRP Operations and Maintenance follow-on sustainment (US$400 million).[i]
Note that these are largely upgrades and additions to current systems. Nothing really major here. Details are here. ADDED: Note comment below about the package actually having some new/interesting things...

Meanwhile this week a Senate Committee backs a bill calling for port calls in Taiwan by US naval ships (FocusTw):
The Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a provision that will allow U.S. naval vessels to make regular stops at Taiwanese ports.

The provision was adopted by a vote 21-6 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, which will now move on to the full Senate for consideration.

It stipulates re-establishing "regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung or any other suitable ports in Taiwan" and permitting "U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan," according to a summary of the bill.
It also calls for the US to provide technical support for weapons development in Taiwan, for indigenous undersea warfare vehicles (subs!!) and mines. China had a fainting spell and called for smelling salts over this. UPDATE: Apparently ROCN visits to PACOM ports such as Guam, Hawaii, and Yokusaka are also included in this, a Navy friend tells me.

This is good news all around. It illustrates the old observation that whenever the US moves farther from China it moves closer to Taiwan. By the same token, it shows that Taiwan will always be at the mercy of the US relationship with China. But I don't expect that relationship to improve much... especially since the US sanctioned Chinese banks for dealing with N Korea. A clear signal, that....
Daily Links:
Below READ MORE is the Nelson Report:

SUMMARY: the Administration delivered a "one-two punch" today for anyone who thinks that Xi Jinping somehow snowed Trump into going easy on Beijing because of alleged help on N. Korea, and being "transactional" on the vital question of helping Taiwan keep some semblance of an effective defense capability to deter PLA adventurism in a crisis:
First, while Xi is still in Hong Kong (!) State announced a $1.4 billion arms sale package; then Treasury's OFAC announced it was finally implementing some "secondary sanctions" against Chinese banks and businesses still underwriting the Kim Regime in N. Korea despite Beijing's claims to oppose Kim's nukes, missiles and threats to one and all.
Both come just before a Xi-Trump bilateral at the Hamburg G-20, and that coincides with the end of what a frankly sarcastic player calls "the Magic 100 Day Trade Review", virtually guaranteeing more will come as various "enforcement" decisions come due. Steel, anyone?
A senior US-China hand preferring ANON status:
"You have to read the OFAC decision as a 'vote of no confidence' by Trump in terms of Xi's willingness or ability to somehow 'fix' the N. Korea problem.  Trump now apparently realizes that the Chinese will always disappoint him. In fact, that they are built to do that!"
National Security Advisor McMaster was politer yesterday at the Center for a New American Security, saying China represents a vital lever to pressure North Korea to step back from nuclear weapons.     
"I think one the key elements of the strategy is that decision, how much China is able, really willing, able to help," McMaster said. "China does have a great deal of control over that situation, largely through coercive power related to its economic relations...The North Korean problem is not a problem between the United States and North Korea. It's a problem between North Korea, China and the world. And China recognizes that this is a big problem for them..."
God help us, Treasury is Tweeting, also:
Treasury targets Chinese bank serving as gateway for illicit N Korean financial activity, and issues sanctions: treasury.gov/press-center/p...
Looking at the big picture, Loyal Reader Frank Jannuzi, Mansfield Foundation:
"These are modest steps, probably long overdue from a technical standpoint.  That said, these moves will not significantly curtail China-DPRK trade and investment or encourage Beijing to be more cooperative at the UN.  To the contrary, Trump's mercurial nature will likely undercut Chinese support for U.S. pressure tactics and exacerbate growing tensions in U.S.-China relations.  Gonna be a long hot summer..."
Oh yeah!! Here's an ANON quote on which the protection need is self-evident, both on content and point of origin:
"Chris, word on the street is that WH has called this "F- China Month".
Sigh, so much for good taste. Scroll down for the gory details of Trump's latest "mercurial". Here's the arms sale story from the official "background brief", attributable to a "U.S. Government official":
This afternoon, the Department of State approved and delivered Congressional notifications for several sales to Taiwan cumulatively valued at approximately $1.4 billion. The notifications from DSCA are attached.
Systems include:
·        Early Warning Radar Surveillance Technical Support ($400 million)
·        AGM-154C Joint Stand-off Weapon (JSOW) ($185.5 million)
·        AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation (HARM) Missiles ($147.5 million)
·        MK 48 6AT Heavy Weight Torpedoes ($250 million)
·        MK 46 to MK-54 Torpedo Upgrade ($175 million)
·        SM-2 Missile Components ($125 million)
·        AN/SLQ-32A Electronic Warfare (EW) Shipboard Suite Upgrade ($80 million) 
The Administration has formally notified Congress of seven proposed defense sales for Taiwan cumulatively valued at $1.3 billion.
Under long-standing U.S. policy, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act and based on an assessment of Taiwan's defense needs. There is no change to our longstanding "one China" policy based on the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. Today's notifications are consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, and our support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.
These sales represent upgrades including converting current defensive legacy systems from analog to digital.
Across decades and Presidential Administrations, the United States has remained deeply committed to meeting Taiwan's defense needs. This Administration is resolved to fully implement the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act under which the United States makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services in such quantity necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.
Taiwan's defensive capability gives it the confidence to engage with the mainland in dialogue to improve cross-Strait relations.  In this context, our arms sales to Taiwan support peace and stability -- not only in the Taiwan Strait, but also in the entire Asia Pacific region. We support further development of cross-Strait relations at a pace and scope acceptable to people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Here's the AP story, which needs a couple of clarification/corrections:

US approves 1st arms sale to Taiwan under Trump

[story removed]

Your Editor: two points...first, the TRA does not "require" arms sales, but it doesrequire that the Administration consult with Congress on what is needed to help Taiwan preserve the peaceful status quo vis a vis the Mainland. 

Perhaps this misunderstanding accounts for our second concern, the claim that today's announcement does not "violate" the TRA. Huh!?  How did anyone at State get that idea? Matt is a valued colleague and experienced reporter, so we have nodoubt he quoted Nauret accurately...

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

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Independence Day weekend at Daytona International Speedway got off to a troubling start. Daytona Beach Police responded to a bomb... Read More »
          Comment on Lions team to play New Zealand in 2nd Test by Don P   
Taliesin Know what it's like @ times trying to go agin the mainstream here. I'm afraid you're never going to convince some (any?; altho I myself keep @ it!?) regrds AWJ & I personally think that all the excrement heaped upon his head is, in part @ least, somewhat of an excuse for the BIL's tour losses, esp last Sat. It's how the TEAM were outperformed that was the real issue. Guys like Farrell, Furlong, Kruis & George for instance, felt the pinch (& or the pain?) & were out of their comfort levels & were relatively anonymous for me. Not much comfort perhaps, but AWJ's 'scapegoating' is not an answer for the BIL's & a somewhat pointless excercise methinks.
          Comment on Rate the Match: New Zealand v Lions 1st Test by Don P   
Trio Ctd.. bit late now, as team picked & Gatland had his own ideas & poss a bit much English bias? POM, Kruis were ineffective for me. Prob gone for Itoje, Lawes, altho some of the AWJ flack seems somewhat pointless to me. Have Warbuton &/or O'Brien in the b/row, altho Tuperic interesting & might have got quicker ball? Don't mind Webb either, but either Biggar (a team combo) or Sexton as Farrell just too orthodox & frankly anonymous last wk. Also I'd put 1/2penny @ f/back & moved Williams to wing in place of Nowell, who got caught out too easily in 'D' early doors in the tour. Anyway, done now, so we'll see.
          Kommentar zu OnePlus 5 – 5,5 Zoll Smartphone mit Dual-Kamera für 516,99€ von Anonymous   
Ganz schön teuer für so ein Wannabe iPhone
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          Can New York Keep Immigration Agents Out of The Courthouses?    

Public defenders claim immigration officers have already made more arrests inside and outside state courts so far in 2017 than they did in the previous two years combined. They worry the presence of these federal agents will deter immigrants from coming to court.

Recently, WNYC reported on ICE agents looking for a woman charged with prostitution at a court for defendants considered victims of human trafficking.

These incidents led the City Council's committees on courts and immigration to hold a joint hearing Thursday to solicit ideas about what, if anything, can be done — because courts are public buildings. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has been calling on the court administration to act.

Legal Aid lawyers, other public defenders and advocates for victims of domestic violence gave a range of suggestions. Several said the state's court system should ban ICE agents from entering a courthouse because it's not as public as other places.

"It's not a park," said Justine Olderman, managing director of Bronx Defenders.

Others suggested the city might be able to make its own rules because it's the landlord for all courts within the five boroughs.

Tina Luongo, who heads the criminal practice of the Legal Aid Society, expressed frustration with what she considers a lack of action.

"Do something, somebody, and let the federal government try to sue us," she said.

One popular suggestion was for the state's chief judge to issue a rule blocking court officers from cooperating with immigration agents. Stan German, executive director of New York County Defender Services, says ICE deportation officers sometimes ask court officers for information about who's on the docket.

"We've also had a case where ICE called up ahead and said that they could not arrive until 2:15 in the afternoon," German recalled. "So when my lawyer showed up to do the case in the morning, the sergeant in the courtroom part said come back at 2:15 because ICE is going to be here at 2:15."

The court officers' union has urged members to cooperate with all law enforcement authorities, including ICE. Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, said courthouse records are public records.

"We cannot deny anybody that access," he said. "We're a public building."

"If the chief judge makes a rule we'll follow the rule, but right now that's not the rule," he added.

Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, said the Office of Court Administration maintains "a continuing dialogue with the defense bar and immigration advocates and welcomes their input.

"This is a fluid situation that continues to evolve and we will make changes in operational policy as needed," Chalfen said.

Another idea is to allow immigrants to be anonymous in court. Hamra Ahmad, director of legal services for Her Justice — which advocates for victims of domestic violence and provides free services for low income women — said anonymity is permitted for celebrities when they don't want to attract attention in divorce and custody cases.

Chalfen said these arrangements are only made in civil courts, and are up to individual judges.

Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that the Immigrant Defense Project issued a survey of more than 200 attorneys and advocates who work with immigrants and their families in the courts. Among those who work with survivors of violence, it found 67 percent said they had a client who decided not to seek help from the courts due to fear of ICE. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong title for Hamra Ahmad of Her Justice. She is director of legal services, not executive director.

          Wife From MX    
"Wife From MX " Added: 2017-06-30, Description: These pics were took by her and she likes to feel excited for others to watch her.. She did an edit to the pics so she can be anonymous.., Rating: 3.641, Views: 128,755
          Samsung is developing solid-state phone batteries that won’t explode   
Samsung is taking steps to ensure another Galaxy Note 7 fiasco doesn’t happen: it is developing solid-state batteries for smartphones, something that could be available to consumers within the next handful of years. The tip comes from an unnamed Samsung executive who recently spoke to a Korean publication anonymously, saying that the technology is only one or two years away. … Continue reading
          The Beat Back Tape   

The good people over at Bring That Beat Back just released their first tape. Please take some time to check it out and support good people making good music for a great cause.

"The digital version and pre-orders for The Beetbak Tape are now available on our Bandcamp page. The tape is just under 70 min. long and features tracks by several of the artists who Jack and I have interviewed on beetbak, plus a handful of related artists. All proceeds from this tape, digital and physical, will be donated to Jean in the Front Row, who I have also interviewed on this site and written about here. Any support and assistance in spreading the word is greatly appreciated by Jack and I, and, of course, Jean as well. We hope people enjoy and support this tape because we have several other projects lined up for the next couple years; reissues, unreleased and new projects from some of the artists featured on this compilation. A huge thank you to anyone who supports and to all the artists who submitted songs, beats and drops out of the kindness of their hearts to help raise some money for Jean and make a cool compilation for the readers of the this blog to enjoy!"

The Beetbak Tape - 2017

A01-Beetbak Intro
A02-Napom, Supherb & Marc tha Murderah "I Want the Paper"
A03-Eclipse & Orko "Age of the Last MC"
A04-Aki&theWildOutPosse "CustomMadeTargets"
A05-BullySquad "Blastit"
A06-Bomedybeats Interlude
A07-Name Science "Trying Days"
A08-A.K.M. of Cypha 7 "Fuck the Police"
A09-Zombie619er "R.O.T.I.M."
A10-Labjaxx "Settings Anonymous"
A11-ThEX2 "Writers(Ryze)"
A12-Massdog Music Outro

B01-NautilusInk Intro
B02-Android Masters "Space Ogeez"
B03-Jahli & Labjaxx "Motion Moduate"
B04-DK NoDeal "Blk Baby Boy"
B05-Aki&theWildOutPosse "TroubleMyWay"
B06-Asia/MsKiddo "Skadipp(KillBill Vol.1-2 Trailer)"
B07-Imperator "48 Bars Out the Blue"
B08-Bomedybeats Interlude II
B09-Syndrome228, Quaesar, BigMass & RoachtheDJ "2Mex Live-A-Cation"
B10-Aki Khalaq & the Blak Prints "Red&BlackRoses"
B11-Bomedybeats "Space is the Place"
B12-BigMass "Struggle Through Life"
B13-Ownworld Syndrome Outro

A1 produced by JackDevo762
A2 produced by Smach Gordan aka Napom
A4, B5, B6 & B10 produced by the "BigHomie" Ak
A5 & A11 produced by Debit aka Syndrome228
A6, A9, B2, B8 & B11 produced by Koobaatoo Asparagus
A7 produced by Diabase
A10 produced by Sloj
A12, B9 & B12 produced by Massdog Music
B1 produced by NautilusInk aka Memphisto
B3 produced by Ill Primitivo
B4 produced by Fat Jack
B13 produced by Sloj, Labjaxx, Flexx & Liquid

Beetbak Bandcamp

          Victim Identified in Yesterday's Homicide on Trinidad Ave NE   
Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 6.42.04 AM

There was some online chatter yesterday about a man found dead on a porch in Trinidad, and a bit of confusion because it was originally discussed as a shooting. The press release from MPD provides a bit more detail on what the Washington Post says may have been a fatal beating (cause of death still pending).

Press release:

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred in the 1300 block of Trinidad Avenue, Northeast, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

At approximately 7:58 am, members of the Fifth District responded to the listed location for the report of an unconscious male. Upon arrival, members located an adult male suffering from apparent trauma to the head. DC Fire and EMS responded to the scene and found no signs consistent with life. The victim remained on the scene and was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

The decedent has been identified as 29-year-old Michael Vest, of Northeast, DC.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.
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Originally, I was ordained a Baptist minister. Though I am now a liturgical/sacramental priest, I do like to look in on my Baptist friends. I wrote a post on the Baptists’ problem with speaking in tongues. It became my most read post. Meanwhile, the issue became hotter, so I decided to revise the article and print it again with some of the good comments added. Basically, the problem involves the intellect vs the spirit.

Two Christian writers can help shed light on Southern Baptists’ (as well as others’) problem with “tongues”. One is the Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, and the other, St. Paul. Both of these men recognize they possess two mental systems. Paul uses the word “understanding” (in Greek, the intellect) to describe one of the systems. He uses the word translated as “spirit” for the other system. We hear him describing how he works with his two systems in 1 Cor 14:15 “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also...I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also”. In other words, he is fully aware that he is using two distinct “mental” systems in his spirituality.
St. John of the Cross, similarly describes two systems. He uses the word “sensual” (the understanding, will, and memory) for one system and “spirit” for the other.

Both men were conscious that the two systems had real problems with one another. For more on this. St. Paul describes the problem as follows: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.”1Co 2:14) St. John of the Cross describes this same problem as follows: "The sensual part of a man has no capacity for that which is pure spirit.” (Bk. 1 IX 4). . St John goes further: “For anything that the soul (the intellect) can do of its own accord at this time (i.e. when God has infused Himself), serves only, to hinder inward peace and the work which God is accomplishing in the spirit.” (Bk. 1 IX) The intellect is getting in God’s way.

For St. John, God communicates directly with the spirit mind, outside the intellect’s capabilities. God even deliberately “binds (the intellect's) inner faculties and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory. When once the soul (intellect) begins to enter therein (arrive at that state), its inability to reflect with the faculties grows ever greater.”Bk. (1 IX 4) At some point, the soul can go dark ( flat line). Thus, the title of St John’s book is: "Dark Night of the Soul”. Flat lining is a positive thing spiritually, but intolerable to the intellect.

St. Paul also wants to flatline the intellect, but unlike St. John of the Cross who lets God do it, St. Paul works on the experience himself: He tells us how he does it. 1Co 14:4 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself (in Greek: “is a house builder,”, i.e. “building up his house”). He describes then how this gets his intellect to “go dark.”. “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding (intellect) is unfruitful (Greek: “barren,” not producing intellectual fruit”).(1 Co 14:14).

Today, if you read the attacks on “speaking in tongues”, you will quickly discern the resistance of the intellect to “go dark”, “to be unfruitful”, to enter “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Some attackers are appalled by an intellect becoming unfruitful. Others, only mock what they see or hear. In our present age of reason, most intellects struggle furiously to maintain domination over the consciousness. The word hegemony is useful. Hegemony is used to describe the dominance of one state over another. It is mostly used about political states, but it can be used with states of consciousness. The intellect demands hegemony in the modern mind. The idea of losing your mind temporally for the sake of making direct contact with God is unacceptable to most. See another take.

Which brings us back to the Southern Baptists. Baptists have two historical forces at work that give them problems with “tongues”. Fundamentalists among the Baptists get their title as the guardians of the fundamentals of the faith, i.e. correct theology. Guarding the fundamentals is a cerebral activity.

Secondly, Baptists got their name for their insistence upon reaching an age of accountability before being baptized -- believers baptism. Psychologists attribute this age of accountability which occurs around puberty, as resulting from the interconnections of the brain’s neurons reaching a level of maturity which makes rational thought possible. In other words, a core Baptist belief is the demand that you must be capable of understanding what you are doing. Spirituality as rational.

Following is a thoughtful comment received:
Anonymous said...
Fr Don has demonstrated something I have observed about the evangelical mind. Movie and TV often portrays evangelicals as emotional or simple-minded. In fact, behind some of the emotions of conversion is a tremendous rationality. Rather than conversion being a matter of emotion, Baptist theology tends to cast it as an act of the mind or will - the opposite of many of the images that are used to slam evangelicals like Southern Baptists.

I am wondering about the origins of this intellectual view of faith. The Baptist opposition to speaking in tongues seems rooted in their public embracing of dispensationalism. Rather than asking how to do the works of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, their rational theology reasons that the absence of those works today is proof that they were temporary gifts given to establish the Church until the canon of scripture was set. This position leads them to misinterpret Paul's state about spiritual gifts ceasing when that which is perfect is come (1 Corinthians 13). Clearly Paul is envisioning the coming of Christ and the life of the kingdom of God when partial revelation will give way to the fullness of God's presence and relationship with us.

In his books, "Surprised by the Power of God" and "Surprised by the Voice of God", former Baptist theologian Jack Deere shares a compelling account of his shift from dispensationalism to embracing the power and gifts and the Holy Spirit as described in the bible. I have come to a place where I cannot preach about a Jesus who cannot, or will not, do today all that the bible says he will do. This has not been a rational change and much as a change of heart. Speaking in tongues has become a wonderful means of prayer that helps me go beyond the limitations of my intellect. The child-like faith I exercise in praying from my born-again spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit helps me open up to God's ability to do beyond my wildest dreams. Like others, I constantly fall short of the fullness that is truly available - and is what I believe to be God's highest will for us. But I can't rationalize that reality away based on my short-fall because I have tasted enough of the real to know that there is gold in those hills that is worth the effort to mine it.

          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
Ich finde, das, was heutzutage als ''Rassissmus'' verhöhnt wird, ist einfachste Natur: wenn sich ein Löwe nur mit Löwen fortpflanzt, ist er dann auch ein Rassist? Natürlich nicht! Er sorgt nur dafür, dass sein Erbmaterial weiter gereicht wird und nichts anderes. Dass nun seit Jahrzehnten irgendwelche geisteskranken (und kinderlosen) Liberale nun meinen, dass sich jeder mit jedem vermischen soll, damit am Ende irgendein Gemisch ohne Identität, Herkunft und Heimat übrig bleibt, ist nichts anders als ein politisches Druckmittel, um die Massen zu beherrschen. Jene Vollpfosten, die auch meinen, eine EHE, die zur Fortpflanzung gedacht ist, auch auf Homopaare übertragen werden soll.
          Kommentar zu Unabhängige ÖR? ZDF-Ver­wal­tungs­rat wählt Ministerpräsidentin Dreyer zur Vorsitzenden von Anonymous   
Das ist mittlerweile so pervers und abartig, dass man schon geisteskrank sein muss, um dieses Trauerspiel nicht zu durschauen: Witzfiguren erschaffen sich eine Parallelwelt, nennen das Freiheit/Demokratie und maßen sich anschließend an, alles andere als Fake News abzustempeln.
          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
So so. Es gibt also keine menschlichen Rassen. Ich schaue diese Seite fast täglich, da man tatsächlich interessante Informationen bekommt. Aber was soll das jetzt? Ein Kommentator schreibt, dass alle Menschen auf der Erde dieselbe Rasse haben. ??? Der Mensch ist eine biologische Art der biologischen Gattung des Menschenaffen. Eine Bulldogge und ein Cockerspaniel sind auch dieselbe Rasse oder was? Deine Mission auf dieser Seite finde ich absolut wichtig und ich werde das hier auch weiter verfolgen. Aber diese Aussage, dass man einer unwissenschaftlichen Denke anhängt, wenn man meint es gibt unterschiedliche menschliche Rassen, finde ich ein wenig befremdlich. Nein, eigentlich nicht nur wenig. Man könnte ja fast schon meinen, dass Du ein Problem mit der Bezeichnung 'Rasse' hast, wenn Du einfach mal so behauptest, es gäbe keine Rassen.
          Kommentar zu Der WDR unterschlägt, dass der neue „Petya“-Hackerangriff vor allem auch Russland getroffen hat von Anonymous   
"Russland" wurde nicht getroffen sondern russische (staatliche) Konzerne wie z.B. Rosneft. Der Stand der Dinge ist das der als NotPetya bezeichnete Fake-Erpresservirus (Die Erpresserfunktion ist nur Fake - der Schadsoftware kommt es darauf an möglichst viel an Daten zu zerstören) in einem Update eines ukrainischen Buchungsprogramm namens Me.Doc versteckt war. Dafür muß sich jemand Zugriff auf den Update-Server dieser Software verschafft haben. Alle Firmen die in der Ukraine Steuern zahlen - auch internationale Konzerne wie Maersk oder eben Rosneft die Tankstellen in der Ukraine betreiben sind letztendlich betroffen. https://heise.de/-3757607
          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
<i>Du kannst aber nicht abstreiten, dass Weiße, Asiaten und Schwarze sich äußerlich unterscheiden, oder?</i> Entschuldigung, aber was sind "Weiße" - wie weiß muss man sein, um dazu zu gehören? Was sind "Asiaten"? Ich kann inzwischen zu bestimmt über 90% einen Chinesen von einem Japaner unterschieden und erkenne meistens auch Koreaner als solche. Aber ganz sicher sieht ein Inder anders aus als ein Chinese, um nur ein Beispiel zu nennen. Alleine daran erkennt man doch den Unsinn. Und was sind "Schwarze"? Gehören da auch "Braune" dazu? Bis zu welcher Schattierung? "Schwarze" sind einfach an ihren Lebensraum angepasst, man findet dunkelhäutige Menschen daher nicht nur in Afrika. Alleine die Unterscheidung (und Einteilung) nach Hautpigmentierung ist völliger Humbug. Der Begriff "Rasse" wird von den meisten Biologen längst nicht mehr verwendet. Man redet von Unterarten, gographischen Variationen oder wie auch immer, sicher auch dem Missbrauch des Rassebegriffs geschuldet, aber auch das führt natürlich zu keiner klaren Abgenzung solcher Gruppen. Beim Menschen, der mobilsten und (zumindest unter den Wirbeltieren) anpassungsfähigsten aller Arten, kommen wir damit ohnehin nicht weit. Dieses Thema mit dem Thema "genderneutral" zu vermischen, ist auch nicht sehr klug. Leider wird immer viel Richtiges mit noch mehr Falschen unter einen Hut gebracht. Eine Sache ist, dass es natürlich Schwachsinn ist, zu versuchen, verschiedene Geschlechter oder Hautfarben oder was auch immer irgendwie aus dem Bewusstsein zu verbannen. Die Leute, die das tun, verwechseln Vielfalt mit Einfalt - sie minen, sie würden für Ersteres stehen, erreichen aber Letzteres. Eine andere Sache ist, die Tatsache, dass es verschiedene Hautfarben gibt, immer und immer wieder für das Ausgrenzen von Menschen zu benutzen. Das eine ist, Grenzen zu kontrollieren und zu schützen, Einwanderung zu steuern, auch die Akzeptanz der Einheimischen nicht überzustrapazieren. Etwas anderes ist die Denke, die es leider immer noch allzu häufig gibt: "Du siehst nicht aus wie wir, du gehörst hier nicht her".
          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
Bartels ist ein fürchterlicher Opportunist und als Sport-Kommentator ein aufgeblasener Narzist. Unvergessen sein Kommentar bei Schwimmen in Rio 2016, als er über den Sieg einer Amerikanerin jubelte, ja, lautsatrk jubelte, weil diese eine Russin besiegt hatte (mit Dopinvergangenheit, ja, aber sie war nicht die einzige bei diesen und allen Spielen zuvor, und die vielen anderen kamen längst nicht alle aus Russland). Das vorweg. Das Spiel gestern sah ich und ich hörte auch zu, obwohl der Bartels bei mir Ohrenkrebs verursacht. Und ich kann nur bestätigen: Die Szene hatte ich wohl wahrgenommen, aber bereits wieder vergessen, als er sich nochmal dazu und zu seiner Affen-Äußerung meldete. Da erst wurde mir das bewusst. Zu dem Zeitpunkt, als er es sagte, verband ich damit nicht einmal ansatzweise Rassismus. Die Frage ist natürlich, ob er sich selber genötigt sah, Abbitte für seinen Spruch zu leisten oder ob er von der Redaktion genötigt WURDE. Randbemerkung: Irgendwelche Ausfälle im Publikum etwa gegen den Spieler Rüdiger konnten weit und breit nicht beobachtet oder vernommen werden. Diese existierten nur in den Wunschträumen der deutschen "Qualitäts"-Journalisten (selbsternannt). Damit hätte man etwas anfangen können, aber die selbsterfüllende Prophezeiung hat hier nicht funktioniert.
          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
Du kannst aber nicht abstreiten, dass Weiße, Asiaten und Schwarze sich äußerlich unterscheiden, oder? Die Genetik ist auch grundverschieden. Diese genderneutrale und rassenneutrale Lehre ist der Bullshit, die auch noch pseudowissenschaftlich zementiert wird, denn kein Mensch mit gesundem Menschenverstand kann die Tatsache abstreiten, dass sich Menschen unterscheiden.
          Kommentar zu Rassismusprobleme in der ARD: Verordnete „political correctness“ statt aufgeklärte Weltanschauung von Anonymous   
Gerade diesen Bullshit gelesen, dass Bartels doch so integer ist und so ein Vorbildjournalist. Wenn er aber irrational, herablassend, hämisch und RASSISTISCH gegen Russland, dessen Führung und dessen Athleten offen im zwangsfinanzierten TV hetzt, ist das aber kein Problem? https://www.gmx.net/magazine/sport/fussball/nationalmannschaft/tom-bartels-entschuldigung-affen-spruch-deutschland-mexiko-32404460 Dieser Hu...ohn!
          Kommentar zu Von ARD und ZDF desinformiert, lügt Sigmar Gabriel auf einer Pressekonferenz in Russland von gradischnik   
Anonymous,....Ich weiß absolut nicht, warum Sie solchen Quatsch verbreiten. Ich habe vor 40 jahren Tastfunken gelernt. zwischendurch nicht mehr ausgeübt. Ich kann es immer noch spontan. Ich kenne Deutschrussen und hier aufgewachsen, die 20 Jahre lang nur noch mit der deutschen Sprache sprechen und auch Denken, aber russich sprechen die allemal spontan. Das ist auch genauso umgekehrt....und Putin antwortet nicht immer auf deutsche Journalisten, denn da kommen auch die duseligsten Fragen.
          Kommentar zu Von ARD und ZDF desinformiert, lügt Sigmar Gabriel auf einer Pressekonferenz in Russland von Anonymous   
Außerdem es gab schon andere Fall, ein deutsche Reporter hat Putin Frage gestellt auf Deutsch, und Putin hat die Frage falsch verstanden. Also er vergisst langsam, und will das für ihn lieber ein Übersetzer spricht.
          Kommentar zu Von ARD und ZDF desinformiert, lügt Sigmar Gabriel auf einer Pressekonferenz in Russland von Anonymous   
Genau, aber er hat nicht ganz korrekt Willi übersetzt
          Gunfire Damages Several Vehicles, TriMet Bus in Northeast Portland -- No Injuries   
On Wednesday June 28, 2017, at 11:41 p.m., North Precinct officers responded to Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lombard Street on the report of gunfire that damaged a TriMet bus.

As officers were responding to the scene they received additional information that a suspect appeared to be shooting at a person in a car but struck the bus instead.

Officers arrived in the area and located evidence of gunfire in the parking lot of Taco Bell, located on the southwest corner of the intersection. Several cars were damaged in addition to the TriMet bus. No gunshot victims were located at the scene or arrived at any area hospitals.
Witnesses described several black males involved in a disturbance leading to gunfire and several vehicles were driven out of the area after the shots.

Several officers, including a Canine Unit, searched the neighborhood but did not locate any suspects.

Based on information learned at the scene, the Gang Enforcement Team responded to conduct an investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 503-823-4106 or email information to gangs@portlandoregon.gov.

Information learned from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube should be shared with investigators as these tips may lead to the identification of a suspect or suspects.

If you see a gun crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

The Portland Police Bureau works closely with Enough is Enough PDX, a community-led campaign aimed at encouraging people to take a stand against gang violence in the area.

For more information about Enough is Enough PDX and how you can get involved, please visit https://www.facebook.com/EnoughIsEnoughPDX

Additional information about Enough is Enough PDX and other City efforts addressing youth violence can be found at the Office of Youth Violence Prevention, http://www.portlandonline.com/safeyouth/

Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a minimum $250 cash reward to anyone who reports a convicted felon or a juvenile in possession of a firearm and tipsters can remain anonymous. Rewards of up to $1,000 are available for other unsolved felony crimes - $2,500 for unsolved homicides.

Submit an anonymous tip:

Text CRIMES (274637) - Type 823HELP, followed by the tip.

Online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php

Call 503-823-HELP (4357)

Visit http://tipsoft.com to download the TipSubmit app.


          Comment on SEO Tips For Beginners by Anonymous   
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          'Serious Implications' in Fight to Harvest LinkedIn Data   

Direct link to article... [littlegreenfootballs.com]

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — In a case pitting privacy rights against the freedom to public information, a federal judge Thursday weighed whether to restore a company’s access to LinkedIn data so it can tell employers which of their workers are “flight risks.”

“If restrictions are placed on that process, that has serious implications for future research, access and speech,” U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said at the Thursday hearing.

Plaintiff hiQ collected and analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of public LinkedIn profile pages. Its attorneys on Thursday asked Chen to grant a temporary restraining order to bar LinkedIn from cutting off its access to public member profiles.

LinkedIn claims hiQ uses anonymous, automated bots to bypass security measures that block entities from scraping data from its website.

More: ‘Serious Implications’ in Fight to Harvest LinkedIn Data

          The Java Programming Language Course 2017 for $15   
Give Yourself a Foundation In Java, Eclipse, & Object Oriented Programming
Expires April 04, 2022 23:59 PST
Buy now and get 92% off


Whether you're an amateur who is just interested in building apps for your own personal use or you want to become a professional app-building machine, this immersive Java course will teach you everything you need to know. No experience necessary, just a willingness to learn! Before you know it you'll be designing your own apps in Java and have a nuanced understanding of Object Oriented Programming.

  • Access 51 lectures & 8.5 hours of content 24/7
  • Learn Java, Eclipse, & Object Oriented Programming
  • Explore Java Swing & inheritance in Java
  • Discuss Java interfaces & anonymous classes
  • Read & write Java to a disk
  • Discover Java BufferedReader class


Details & Requirements

  • Length of time users can access this course: lifetime
  • Access options: web streaming, mobile streaming
  • Certification of completion not included
  • Redemption deadline: redeem your code within 30 days of purchase
  • Experience level required: all levels


  • Internet required


Paulo Dichone has a degree in Computer Science from Whitworth University, and is a proud programming geek. He has extensive experience in Android App Development particularly in Mobile Apps (Android and iOS) and Web Development. He is also the founder of Magadistudio, a mobile app development company based in the Inland Northwest (WA).

Paulo is passionate about teaching people Android app development.

          The 5 best apps to help you manage your money   

texting phone anonymous millennial

Every time a paycheck clears your bank account, you may feel pretty powerful. But if you're not paying close attention to your spending, that money could be gone just as quickly as it hit your account.

As dull as it may seem, creating a budget is crucial. In fact, ignoring your cash flow and spending patterns are among the dumbest things you could do with your money.

But budgets don't have to be rigid. Believe it or not, once you establish the habit of tracking your money, the effort can be minimal.

Below, Business Insider rounded up five apps that make it surprisingly easy to keep tabs on your money.

SEE ALSO: A 27-year-old with $181,000 in the bank explains the simple calculation that keeps him from overspending

DON'T MISS: A financial expert says too many people have a terrible money habit — and you can fix it in a month


Why it's good: Mint, the popular budgeting app from Intuit, is an all-in-one resource for managing your money. Sync your bank accounts, credit cards, and monthly bills to one account and get a snapshot of your net worth at any time. It also keeps track of your investment portfolio and flags unnecessary fees.

The app categorizes your spending into several categories and calculates your average monthly spending for each, which becomes your budget. If you're spending too much already, you'll want to manually reduce the limits. The charts and graphs make it easy to see where you stand at any given time. Plus, Mint sends notifications if you go over your budget or if you have bills coming up. 

Best feature: You can check your credit score for free inside the app, and get an easy-to-understand explainer on credit.

Cost: Free

Level Money

Why it's good: Capital One's Level Money does the work for you.

After linking your bank accounts, credit cards, income, and how much you want to save, the app will crunch the numbers and give you a "spendable" amount — how much money you can afford to spend each day, in whichever way you decide.

Level Money breaks the numbers down into smaller amounts, rather than taking a monthly approach to budgeting.

Best feature: Easily compare your month over month spending and set up custom "trackers" to keep an eye on specific types of purchases over time, like how much goes toward Uber or Lyft rides, for instance.

Cost: Free


Why it's good: Penny, an AI chatbot, can text with you about your finances. After linking all the appropriate accounts, she can answer any money question you ask. Penny will also give you information you didn't know you needed, from how much you spent today to what bills are coming up and what subscriptions are raising their rates.

For certain responses, she'll include simple charts, graphs and even the occasional gif. You can only respond with pre-populated messages — like, "Breakdown for category" or "Thanks, Penny!" — so the bot will understand and be able to answer quickly, which keeps the interface as simple as possible.

Best feature: There's minimal clutter since it's just a long text thread, and you only see what you ask for.

Cost: Free, but there's a premium membership available called Penny+ that allows you to edit transaction names, create new spending categories, refresh balances at any time, and set custom bill reminders.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
          Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel by Jeremy Blachman   

          Comment on What is Mike Parry doing now? by Anonymous   
TS boasted about their listening figures every year,since moz became programme controler and TS have sacked or lost the best presenters the station is obviously in freefall. I used to listen morning till night including weekends and have now decided to switch off for good, will keep watching press for latest listening figures but suspect they won't be published<br />Goodby Talksport
          Comment on In Stunning Announcement, DOJ Warns Not To Trust Stories Based On "Anonymous Sources" by David Farrar   
DOJ Warns Not To Trust Stories Based On "Anonymous Sources". Wasn't this how this whole coup d'etatgate started?
          Comment on Rage about anonymous online comments is building: change is coming by john M oberuch   
thank you
          Comment on Rage about anonymous online comments is building: change is coming by tran ming   
Excellent, especially about the corporate/political juggernaut.
          NYT Quietly Corrects Major Falsehood They Helped Spread on Russia Investigation   

Thursday night The New York Times quietly issued a correction online that admitted one of the media’s major talking points about the Russia investigation wasn’t actually true. The correction was discreetly placed on their website under a 5 day-old article on Trump and Russia by Maggie Haberman called “Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies.”

So what did the Times finally admit wasn’t true? That oft-repeated claim that “Seventeen” intelligence agencies assessed that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. Here’s what the paper had to say about that:

Correction: June 29, 2017

A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.

This correction is a hugely significant admission because this lie was widely propagated for over the past nine months. It was repeated by every major media outlet, on talk show hosts like The View and even by Hillary Clinton during the final presidential debate. This “fact” that the left ran with was the basis of many smug headlines meant to shame those on the right criticizing the media’s use of anonymous sources in the Russia investigation. For example, this USA Today article from October 21, still on their website, says in the headline, “Yes, 17 Intelligence Agencies Really Did Say Russia Was Behind Hacking.”

However the Times wasn’t the first on the left to correct this myth. Obama appointee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper contradicted the media’s narrative when he testified May 8, saying only “three” intelligence agencies actually made this assessment, not 17.

For finally admitting months after the fact, that one of their major talking points wasn’t actually true, the paper earned mockery from those on the left on Twitter:



The Young Turks’ Michael Tracey:


          WashPost Comes to CNN's Defense in Two Odd Stories on Russia-Obsession PR Crisis   

The Washington Post offered a strangely bifurcated approach in covering the scandals at CNN. On Wednesday, media reporter Paul Farhi reported an entire story on the firestorm over an unsubstantiated story causing three (voluntary) resignations in the Investigative Unit, but offered no reporting on the Project Veritas expose.

The headline in Wednesday’s paper was “After CNN retraction, president cries foul.” It was a strange headline, because Farhi reported Trump was taking a “victory lap,” not so much crying foul. Farhi focused on the alleged inaccuracy of Trump’s tweet that CNN was looking at “big management changes.” The New York Post reported on Wednesday that CNN president Jeff Zucker may not survive an AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Farhi ran a fairly pro-CNN piece after the Trump tweets were quoted, letting outgoing I-Unit chief Lex Haris boost CNN as a “news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else.” Farhi concluded the report boosting CNN, that “Its investment in journalism has paid off with a series of solid stories.” CNN PR can't be upset with him. He didn't point out that CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter did a whole hour-long show on Sunday without mentioning their retracted story that led to resignations.

Farhi’s reporting on PV was posted after the newspaper was published, and then appeared in Thursday’s newspaper. The headline for that was “Project Veritas’s editing quagmire: Latest ‘gotcha’ video omits some key facts.”  This story was more pro-CNN than the first. It read like an opposition-research report on James O’Keefe and his checkered career in undercover stunts. How much was Bonifield quoted from the video? Just 44 words. CNN wasn't in a "quagmire."

The media reporter insisted that O'Keefe "caused a stir" about CNN, “But it’s what the video doesn’t show that may be as important as what it does.” But then the story takes several paragraphs to get to the point. (Inside the headline was “In video of CNN producer dissing Russia coverage, Project Veritas doesn’t address the scope of his job.”)

Farhi wrote:

Yet the video includes several journalistic evasions and shortcuts that would likely elicit outrage from critics if a mainstream news organization had employed the same techniques.

For example, it never mentions that Bonifield is a producer of health and medical stories, raising questions about how relevant his views are, and how informed he is, about CNN’s political coverage. It also doesn’t disclose that he is based in Atlanta — not in Washington or New York, where most of CNN’s coverage of national affairs and politics are produced.

It's not true that PV didn't mention Bonifield was in Atlanta.  O'Keefe announced his location -- if not the fact that he was based in Atlanta -- at the 2:30 mark in the video.

But let’s put Farhi aside for one second, and just laugh at The Washington Post as a whole for one minute. Their critical stories on Trump often use anonymous sources, which don’t let us know where on Earth the sources are based, where they’re getting their information, or where they actually work. The Post counts on their "glorious brand" and says "trust us." At least PV has someone on tape, with a name and a face.

Farhi’s (and CNN’s) take here is insulting to Bonifield, like health reporters and producers are apolitical dummies and CNN reporters in Atlanta might not watch the network or know much about politics. So are we supposed to think the Health Unit isn’t covering political issues? In fact, Bonifield’s unit just ran a Nasty-gram asserting Republican defunding of Planned Parenthood will force women to travel to Mexico for their contraceptives.

Farhi also disdained undercover reporting as unethical:

Although some mainstream news organizations have engaged in “undercover” journalism, the practice is uncommon and generally considered unethical.

Project Veritas, which is headed by O’Keefe, regularly uses such methods in order to expose what it says is corruption and fraud. Its operatives often have gained access to their targets by using false identities and by lying about or failing to disclose their actual intentions. Its various projects have also been clouded by accusations of deceptive editing.

But undercover reporting isn’t always disdained by the Post.....when it’s pleasing to the Left. I tweeted at him Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan's 2016 column on a Mother Jones expose of private prisons, which began: "Undercover reporting is the James Dean of journalism: thrilling, but dangerous."

When a Mother Jones journalist misleads a prison corporation and takes a job to expose them, well, that’s the “public interest,” but exposing CNN is not:

New York University journalism professor Brooke Kroeger, who wrote the 2012 book Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception, told me she is a believer in this kind of journalism — “but only under very controlled circumstances and for something really important that matters to the public interest.”

She puts Mother Jones’s Louisiana prison reporting in that category, and has added it to the NYU database in which thousands of examples over many decades are collected.

Speaking of stunt reporters, the Post put the PV-bashing story right next to a story puffing Brian "I Don't Like Bullies" Karem, who yelled ("mansplained"?) at deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that liberal reporters were only interested in doing their job (and not ruining the president. Nobody should believe that.

PS: J. Christian Adams at PJ Media reports a conservative e-mailer accused Farhi of lying, and Farhi expressed offense at the idea he would know something was a lie, and he would report it anyway, and then wrote "apologize or drop dead."

          Comment on Jennifer Lawrence by Anonymous   
Visitor Rating: 13%
          Sven Vermeulen: Structuring infrastructural deployments   

Many organizations struggle with the all-time increase in IP address allocation and the accompanying need for segmentation. In the past, governing the segments within the organization means keeping close control over the service deployments, firewall rules, etc.

Lately, the idea of micro-segmentation, supported through software-defined networking solutions, seems to defy the need for a segmentation governance. However, I think that that is a very short-sighted sales proposition. Even with micro-segmentation, or even pure point-to-point / peer2peer communication flow control, you'll still be needing a high level overview of the services within your scope.

In this blog post, I'll give some insights in how we are approaching this in the company I work for. In short, it starts with requirements gathering, creating labels to assign to deployments, creating groups based on one or two labels in a layered approach, and finally fixating the resulting schema and start mapping guidance documents (policies) toward the presented architecture.

As always, start with the requirements

From an infrastructure architect point of view, creating structure is one way of dealing with the onslaught in complexity that is prevalent within the wider organizational architecture. By creating a framework in which infrastructural services can be positioned, architects and other stakeholders (such as information security officers, process managers, service delivery owners, project and team leaders ...) can support the wide organization in its endeavor of becoming or remaining competitive.

Structure can be provided through various viewpoints. As such, while creating such framework, the initial intention is not to start drawing borders or creating a complex graph. Instead, look at attributes that one would assign to an infrastructural service, and treat those as labels. Create a nice portfolio of attributes which will help guide the development of such framework.

The following list gives some ideas in labels or attributes that one can use. But be creative, and use experienced people in devising the "true" list of attributes that fits the needs of your organization. Be sure to describe them properly and unambiguously - the list here is just an example, as are the descriptions.

  • tenant identifies the organizational aggregation of business units which are sufficiently similar in areas such as policies (same policies in use), governance (decision bodies or approval structure), charging, etc. It could be a hierarchical aspect (such as organization) as well.
  • location provides insight in the physical (if applicable) location of the service. This could be an actual building name, but can also be structured depending on the size of the environment. If it is structured, make sure to devise a structure up front. Consider things such as regions, countries, cities, data centers, etc. A special case location value could be the jurisdiction, if that is something that concerns the organization.
  • service type tells you what kind of service an asset is. It can be a workstation, a server/host, server/guest, network device, virtual or physical appliance, sensor, tablet, etc.
  • trust level provides information on how controlled and trusted the service is. Consider the differences between unmanaged (no patching, no users doing any maintenance), open (one or more admins, but no active controlled maintenance), controlled (basic maintenance and monitoring, but with still administrative access by others), managed (actively maintained, no privileged access without strict control), hardened (actively maintained, additional security measures taken) and kiosk (actively maintained, additional security measures taken and limited, well-known interfacing).
  • compliance set identifies specific compliance-related attributes, such as the PCI-DSS compliancy level that a system has to adhere to.
  • consumer group informs about the main consumer group, active on the service. This could be an identification of the relationship that consumer group has with the organization (anonymous, customer, provider, partner, employee, ...) or the actual name of the consumer group.
  • architectural purpose gives insight in the purpose of the service in infrastructural terms. Is it a client system, a gateway, a mid-tier system, a processing system, a data management system, a batch server, a reporting system, etc.
  • domain could be interpreted as to the company purpose of the system. Is it for commercial purposes (such as customer-facing software), corporate functions (company management), development, infrastructure/operations ...
  • production status provides information about the production state of a service. Is it a production service, or a pre-production (final testing before going to production), staging (aggregation of multiple changes) or development environment?

Given the final set of labels, the next step is to aggregate results to create a high-level view of the environment.

Creating a layered structure

Chances are high that you'll end up with several attributes, and many of these will have multiple possible values. What we don't want is to end in an N-dimensional infrastructure architecture overview. Sure, it sounds sexy to do so, but you want to show the infrastructure architecture to several stakeholders in your organization. And projecting an N-dimensional structure on a 2-dimensional slide is not only challenging - you'll possibly create a projection which leaves out important details or make it hard to interpret.

Instead, we looked at a layered approach, with each layer handling one or two requirements. The top layer represents the requirement which the organization seems to see as the most defining attribute. It is the attribute where, if its value changes, most of its architecture changes (and thus the impact of a service relocation is the largest).

Suppose for instance that the domain attribute is seen as the most defining one: the organization has strict rules about placing corporate services and commercial services in separate environments, or the security officers want to see the commercial services, which are well exposed to many end users, be in a separate environment from corporate services. Or perhaps the company offers commercial services for multiple tenants, and as such wants several separate "commercial services" environments while having a single corporate service domain.

In this case, part of the infrastructure architecture overview on the top level could look like so (hypothetical example):

Top level view

This also shows that, next to the corporate and commercial interests of the organization, a strong development support focus is prevalent as well. This of course depends on the type of organization or company and how significant in-house development is, but in this example it is seen as a major decisive factor for service positioning.

These top-level blocks (depicted as locations, for those of you using Archimate) are what we call "zones". These are not networks, but clearly bounded areas in which multiple services are positioned, and for which particular handling rules exist. These rules are generally written down in policies and standards - more about that later.

Inside each of these zones, a substructure is made available as well, based on another attribute. For instance, let's assume that this is the architectural purpose. This could be because the company has a requirement on segregating workstations and other client-oriented zones from the application hosting related ones. Security-wise, the company might have a principle where mid-tier services (API and presentation layer exposures) are separate from processing services, and where data is located in a separate zone to ensure specific data access or more optimal infrastructure services.

This zoning result could then be depicted as follows:

Detailed top-level view

From this viewpoint, we can also deduce that this company provides separate workstation services: corporate workstation services (most likely managed workstations with focus on application disclosure, end user computing, etc.) and development workstations (most likely controlled workstations but with more open privileged access for the developer).

By making this separation explicit, the organization makes it clear that the development workstations will have a different position, and even a different access profile toward other services within the company.

We're not done yet. For instance, on the mid-tier level, we could look at the consumer group of the services:

Mid-tier explained

This separation can be established due to security reasons (isolating services that are exposed to anonymous users from customer services or even partner services), but one can also envision this to be from a management point of view (availability requirements can differ, capacity management is more uncertain for anonymous-facing services than authenticated, etc.)

Going one layer down, we use a production status attribute as the defining requirement:

Anonymous user detail

At this point, our company decided that the defined layers are sufficiently established and make for a good overview. We used different defining properties than the ones displayed above (again, find a good balance that fits the company or organization that you're focusing on), but found that the ones we used were mostly involved in existing policies and principles, while the other ones are not that decisive for infrastructure architectural purposes.

For instance, the tenant might not be selected as a deciding attribute, because there will be larger tenants and smaller tenants (which could make the resulting zone set very convoluted) or because some commercial services are offered toward multiple tenants and the organizations' strategy would be to move toward multi-tenant services rather than multiple deployments.

Now, in the zoning structure there is still another layer, which from an infrastructure architecture point is less about rules and guidelines and more about manageability from an organizational point of view. For instance, in the above example, a SAP deployment for HR purposes (which is obviously a corporate service) might have its Enterprise Portal service in the Corporate Services > Mid-tier > Group Employees > Production zone. However, another service such as an on-premise SharePoint deployment for group collaboration might be in Corporate Services > Mid-tier > Group Employees > Production zone as well. Yet both services are supported through different teams.

This "final" layer thus enables grouping of services based on the supporting team (again, this is an example), which is organizationally aligned with the business units of the company, and potentially further isolation of services based on other attributes which are not defining for all services. For instance, the company might have a policy that services with a certain business impact assessment score must be in isolated segments with no other deployments within the same segment.

What about management services

Now, the above picture is missing some of the (in my opinion) most important services: infrastructure support and management services. These services do not shine in functional offerings (which many non-IT people generally look at) but are needed for non-functional requirements: manageability, cost control, security (if security can be defined as a non-functional - let's not discuss that right now).

Let's first consider interfaces - gateways and other services which are positioned between zones or the "outside world". In the past, we would speak of a demilitarized zone (DMZ). In more recent publications, one can find this as an interface zone, or a set of Zone Interface Points (ZIPs) for accessing and interacting with the services within a zone.

In many cases, several of these interface points and gateways are used in the organization to support a number of non-functional requirements. They can be used for intelligent load balancing, providing virtual patching capabilities, validating content against malware before passing it on to the actual services, etc.

Depending on the top level zone, different gateways might be needed (i.e. different requirements). Interfaces for commercial services will have a strong focus on security and manageability. Those for the corporate services might be more integration-oriented, and have different data leakage requirements than those for commercial services.

Also, inside such an interface zone, one can imagine a substructure to take place as well: egress interfaces (for communication that is exiting the zone), ingress interfaces (for communication that is entering the zone) and internal interfaces (used for routing between the subzones within the zone).

Yet, there will also be requirements which are company-wide. Hence, one could envision a structure where there is a company-wide interface zone (with mandatory requirements regardless of the zone that they support) as well as a zone-specific interface zone (with the mandatory requirements specific to that zone).

Before I show a picture of this, let's consider management services. Unlike interfaces, these services are more oriented toward the operational management of the infrastructure. Software deployment, configuration management, identity & access management services, etc. Are services one can put under management services.

And like with interfaces, one can envision the need for both company-wide management services, as well as zone-specific management services.

This information brings us to a final picture, one that assists the organization in providing a more manageable view on its deployment landscape. It does not show the 3rd layer (i.e. production versus non-production deployments) and only displays the second layer through specialization information, which I've quickly made a few examples for (you don't want to make such decisions in a few hours, like I did for this post).

General overview

If the organization took an alternative approach for structuring (different requirements and grouping) the resulting diagram could look quite different:

Alternative general overview

Flows, flows and more flows

With the high-level picture ready, it is not a bad idea to look at how flows are handled in such an architecture. As the interface layer is available on both company-wide level as well as the next, flows will cross multiple zones.

Consider the case of a corporate workstation connecting to a reporting server (like a Cognos or PowerBI or whatever fancy tool is used), and this reporting server is pulling data from a database system. Now, this database system is positioned in the Commercial zone, while the reporting server is in the Corporate zone. The flows could then look like so:

Flow example

Note for the Archimate people: I'm sorry that I'm abusing the flow relation here. I didn't want to create abstract services in the locations and then use the "serves" or "used by" relation and then explaining readers that the arrows are then inverse from what they imagine.

In this picture, the corporate workstation does not connect to the reporting server directly. It goes through the internal interface layer for the corporate zone. This internal interface layer can offer services such as reverse proxies or intelligent load balancers. The idea here is that, if the organization wants, it can introduce additional controls or supporting services in this internal interface layer without impacting the system deployments themselves much.

But the true flow challenge is in the next one, where a processing system connects to a data layer. Here, the processing server will first connect to the egress interface for corporate, then through the company-wide internal interface, toward the ingress interface of the commercial and then to the data layer.

Now, why three different interfaces, and what would be inside it?

On the corporate level, the egress interface could be focusing on privacy controls or data leakage controls. On the company-wide internal interface more functional routing capabilities could be provided, while on the commercial level the ingress could be a database activity monitoring (DAM) system such as a database firewall to provide enhanced auditing and access controls.

Does that mean that all flows need to have at least three gateways? No, this is a functional picture. If the organization agrees, then one or more of these interface levels can have a simple pass-through setup. It is well possible that database connections only connect directly to a DAM service and that such flows are allowed to immediately go through other interfaces.

The importance thus is not to make flows more difficult to provide, but to provide several areas where the organization can introduce controls.

Making policies and standards more visible

One of the effects of having a better structure of the company-wide deployments (i.e. a good zoning solution) is that one can start making policies more clear, and potentially even simple to implement with supporting tools (such as software defined network solutions).

For instance, a company might want to protect its production data and establish that it cannot be used for non-production use, but that there are no restrictions for the other data environments. Another rule could be that web-based access toward the mid-tier is only allowed through an interface.

These are simple statements which, if a company has a good IP plan, are easy to implement - one doesn't need zoning, although it helps. But it goes further than access controls.

For instance, the company might require corporate workstations to be under heavy data leakage prevention and protection measures, while developer workstations are more open (but don't have any production data access). This not only reveals an access control, but also implies particular minimal requirements (for the Corporate > Workstation zone) and services (for the Corporate interfaces).

This zoning structure does not necessarily make any statements about the location (assuming it isn't picked as one of the requirements in the beginning). One can easily extend this to include cloud-based services or services offered by third parties.

Finally, it also supports making policies and standards more realistic. I often see policies that make bold statements such as "all software deployments must be done through the company software distribution tool", but the policies don't consider development environments (production status) or unmanaged, open or controlled deployments (trust level). When challenged, the policy owner might shrug away the comment with "it's obvious that this policy does not apply to our sandbox environment" or so.

With a proper zoning structure, policies can establish the rules for the right set of zones, and actually pin-point which zones are affected by a statement. This is also important if a company has many, many policies. With a good zoning structure, the policies can be assigned with meta-data so that affected roles (such as project leaders, architects, solution engineers, etc.) can easily get an overview of the policies that influence a given zone.

For instance, if I want to position a new management service, I am less concerned about workstation-specific policies. And if the management service is specific for the development environment (such as a new version control system) many corporate or commercially oriented policies don't apply either.


The above approach for structuring an organization is documented here in a high-level manner. It takes many assumptions or hypothetical decisions which are to be tailored toward the company itself. In my company, a different zoning structure is selected, taking into account that it is a financial service provider with entities in multiple countries, handling several thousand of systems and with an ongoing effort to include cloud providers within its infrastructure architecture.

Yet the approach itself is followed in an equal fashion. We looked at requirements, created a layered structure, and finished the zoning schema. Once the schema was established, the requirements for all the zones were written out further, and a mapping of existing deployments (as-is) toward the new zoning picture is on-going. For those thinking that it is just slideware right now - it isn't. Some of the structures that come out of the zoning exercise are already prevalent in the organization, and new environments (due to mergers and acquisitions) are directed to this new situation.

Still, we know we have a large exercise ahead before it is finished, but I believe that it will benefit us greatly, not only from a security point of view, but also clarity and manageability of the environment.

          Comment on Micro Minutia by Anonymous   
I like it. J.W.
          Anonim casa de evacuare   
scăpa de casa 973rdAnonymous este încă un alt feeric punct şi faceţi clic pe tip nou camera de evacuare joc dezvoltat de ENA jocuri pentru drum liber. Vis o situaţie că eşti prins în interiorul o casă anonim. Veţi avea mai mult entuziasm suplimentare în joc acest punct şi faceţi clic pe joc de evacuare. Aveţi nevoie pentru a scăpa de la Casa de găsirea obiectelor pentru imaginind puzzle-uri. Nu există nici o pentru a vă ajuta să obţineţi în afara casei. Acum sa stralucirea ta care se întâmplă pentru a vă ajuta. Acest lucru ar putea întâmpla numai în cazul în care aveţi dorinţa. Ca esti persoana de problemă rezolvarea de natura, cu siguranţă veţi găsi obiectele necesare pentru a rezolva puzzle-uri. Au mai distractiv si simt fantabulous de joc nou ENA jocuri zilnic. Bun Luck şi cele mai bune urări din ENA jocuri.
          Comment on 5 Most Significant Instagram Benefits for Business Marketing by Anonymous   
Great find, Erik. We hear so much about Instagram, but it is great to have such a detailed, analytical article about the benefits of the use of Instagram in Business. I started using it in business before there were Instagram videos and felt like I was the only one at the time. Yay! The community of Instagram business users is growing!
          Comment on How to Start a Blog in 7 Simple Steps [INFOGRAPHIC] by Anonymous   
Great IG. Thinking of using it in a post I'm working on.
          Comment on Do You Want to Consolidate Multiple Websites? by Anonymous   
Not a bad idea at all! Yes, I am maintaining a TON of websites, but most people don't know that about me. lol (I guess, now they do.)
          Comment on How to use Jojoba oil for your skin and hair by Anonymous   
You are welcome crom :)
          Comment on How to use Jojoba oil for your skin and hair by Anonymous   
I didn't realize jojoba oil could be used to treat acne, thanks Jane!
          Comment on Three ways to write for the Web by Anonymous   
Well written! I like the fact that it mentions that writing style that is required is a mixture of the 3 types discussed in the article.
          Comment on 9 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Social Media by Anonymous   
Good post, the gated content sounds interesting.
          Boys of Tech 381: Trolling the FBI   
Norway may ban fossil-fuel cars by 2025, Larry Page rumoured to be secretly funding a flying car start-up company, Anonymous hacker breaks into ISIS supporter's Twitter account, Kevin Mitnick is coming to New Zealand, Apple announces iOS 10.
          Install WordPress on AWS EC2 Instance   
WordPress and AWS
After successful completion of first and second step i.e. creating an EC2 instanceand connecting to EC2 instance in AWS using PuTTY and Terminal respectively. Further moving ahead, it is time to install Apache, PHP, MySQL to run WordPress on an EC2 instance. If you are not familiar with command line / Linux commands just run these commands in same order.

NOTE: This instruction is for Amazon Linux and will not work if you are trying different machine image like Ubuntu or Windows Server.

Connect to your instance via PuTTY  (Windows) / Terminal (Mac OS) / Bash (Linux OS)

Just to make sure everything is up to date
sudo yum -y update

If you want, you may directly switch from ‘ec2-user’ user to root using sudo su command.

Install multiple software packages:
sudo yum install -y httpd24 php70 mysql56-server php70-mysqlnd

Start Apache Server:
sudo service httpd start

Create a page to check your PHP installation

a) vi test.php
b) Type i to start the insert mode
c) Type <?php phpinfo() ?>
d) Hit escape button and type :wq, now hit enter to exit
e) Open a browser and http://ec2-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com/test.php (use you public IP DNS followed by /test.php)

If you see a phpinfo page then you are good to move forward, otherwise you may want to start over.

Delete the test.php file as it is for the information only and you definitely don’t want to give away sensitive information about your server:

rm -f /var/www/html/test.php

Secure Start SQL service

Start MySQL service and run secure installation
sudo service mysqld start
sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, enter a password for the root account. By default, the root account does not have a password set, so press Enter.

Type Y to set a password, and enter a secure password twice
1) Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
2) Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
3) Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
4) Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

Restart MySQL to pick up the changes:
sudo service mysqld restart

Login into MySQL and Create a database for WordPress

Log in to the MySQL server as the root user and enter your MySQL root password when prompted
mysql -u root –p

Create a user name and password for your MySQL database.
CREATE USER 'aksgeek'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'aksgeekpassword';
Replace ‘aksgeek’ with your WordPress username and ‘aksgeekpassword’ with your strong password.

Create a database for WordPress:


CREATE DATABASE `wordpressdb`;

(you can create a database with any name)
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `wordpressdb`.* TO "aksgeek"@"localhost";

Install WordPress
cd /var/www/html
wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
tar -xzf latest.tar.gz
cd wordpress/
mv wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php
nano wp-config.php

Start editing wp-config.php. (user arrow keys to move around)

define('DB_NAME', 'wordpressdb');
define('DB_USER', 'aksgeek');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'aksgeekpassword');
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

Visit https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ to randomly generate a set of key values that you can copy and paste into your wp-config.php file.
Ctrl + X
Save modified buffer (ANSWERING "No" WILL DESTROY CHANGES) ? Y
File Name to Write [DOS Format]: wp-config.php  hit Enter.

Move your WordPress installation to root or in subdirectory / folder

You may want to run your WordPress blog from root like your_public_dns.amazonaws.com/)  then
mv * /var/www/html/


Most of you want to install it in a subdirectory or folder (for example, your_public_dns.amazonaws.com/blog, then
mkdir /var/www/html/blog
mv * /var/www/html/blog

To allow WordPress to use permalinks
sudo nano /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

<Directory "/var/www/html">
    # Possible values for the Options directive are "None", "All",
    # or any combination of:
    #   Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks SymLinksifOwnerMatch ExecCGI MultiViews
    # Note that "MultiViews" must be named *explicitly* --- "Options All"
    # doesn't give it to you.
    # The Options directive is both complicated and important.  Please see
    # http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/core.html#options
    # for more information.
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

    # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
    # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
    #   Options FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    AllowOverride None

    # Controls who can get stuff from this server.
    Require all granted

Find the section that starts with <Directory "/var/www/html"> and change the AllowOverride None line to AllowOverride All.

To ensure that the httpd and mysqld services start at every system boot
sudo chkconfig httpd on
sudo chkconfig mysqld on

Open a web browser and enter the URL of your WordPress blog, you should see the WordPress installation screen

Example for root installation:  http://ec2-xx-xxx-xxx-xxx-us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com


for subdirectory / folder (blog): http://ec2-xx-xxx-xxx-xxx-us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com/blog.

Enter your site name, username, password and email address and hit submit.

Congratulations!! You are running WordPress blog on Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 instance.


Having trouble updating and downloading themes/plugin in WordPress blog as it is asking for FTP credentials then run this command:
sudo chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html

          Celebrating Our Success: A National Award for the Library at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace!   

Guest Blog Post by Cindi Malinick and Lisa Junkin Lopez

Since its opening more than two years ago, tens of thousands of Girl Scouts and visitors from around the world have enjoyed Girls Writing the World: A Library, Reimagined, an installation at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia. This week, the exhibition was awarded a National Recognition from the American Alliance of Museums for “Excellence in Exhibition” for “Creating Big Change in a Small Package.” This tremendous honor places Girl Scouts of the USA in the company of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Getty, among other recipients this year.

What were these big changes in a small package? The library was transformed from the traditional historic house museum presentation (static and singular-sensory), with little connection to Girl Scouts or even Juliette Gordon Low, to an interactive and layered space. Visitors are encouraged to touch, listen, and see the importance of the written and spoken word as necessary tools to building girls of courage, confidence, and character. The exhibit includes different languages and learning styles, as well as a seamless intersection of art and history, resulting in a bright, creative, and thought-provoking space. Some of the first Girl Scout badges are displayed, highlighting the importance of learning different languages. iPads feature video content of a poetry recited at the White House by Rita Dove, the former Poet Laureate of the United States (and a Girl Scout!). The room’s historic furnishings are filled with a revolving collection of books by, for, and about girls and to underscore the multiple roles and contributions they’ve made at Girl Scouts and throughout history. Whether visitors are leaving their own lines of poetry under the “PoeTree,” inspired by a 1920s Girl Scout silhouette graphic; playing Scrabble in Spanish; or reading Juliette Gordon Low’s musings from her journal, there are plenty of opportunities for them to find their own voices and connect. All within the cozy heart  of a library!

Beyond the museum community, girls, troop leaders, and other visitors have also shared their love for the installation. In 2016, the birthplace conducted three months of focused evaluations to understand how visitors experience the birthplace, including the library. Juliette Gordon Low believed that Girl Scouts should be decision-makers for the organization, saying, “if it isn’t right, the girls won’t take to it, and it won’t last.”[1] Birthplace staff followed her advice, turning to girls (and their troop leaders!) to understand how the library exhibit resonates. Their responses were overwhelming: girls feel the library is engaging, historically rich, and relevant to today’s girls.

“Dear Daisy, I felt very honored to visit your house today. My favorite room in the house was the Reimagined Library, because we did so many hands-on activities. My favorite thing we did was making our own self-portraits, because we learned how empowering art is for us. We heard about how you made a difference by founding Girl Scouts. Here’s how I would like to make a difference: keeping your legacy [alive] for as long as I can.”

                 —Morgan, age 13, participating in the “Dear Daisy” postcard activity

“When I tell my friends and family about this house, I’ll say that it was fun and educational at the same time. I would recommend it to my friends.”

—Anonymous Girl Scout

“In the library, it was neat to see that communication was a key element for Girl Scouts to focus on! Then and now!”

—Anonymous Girl Scout volunteer

So, what’s next for the birthplace? This year, the site is introducing two new Girl Scout Troop Experience programs that promise to be a big hit. The first, She’s Got Game, uses vintage Girl Scout activities, theater games, and mindfulness exercises to encourage risk taking and confidence building. The second, Over Cups of Tea, launching next month, offers a special tea experience for Seniors and Ambassadors in the parlor. The program explores how women and girls have historically launched new social movements—such as Girl Scouts, women’s suffrage, and the Civil Rights Movement—from their own parlors, kitchens, and dining rooms.

Planning a visit to see the birthplace and Girls Writing the World? For more information on our programs, tours, and other projects, visit www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org.

[1] As remembered by Dorris Hough in Juliette Low and the Girl Scouts: Juliette Low Goes Camping, p. 114.

Jasper Morrison 2008 年在伦敦开了一个杂货店,出售的物品除了少数是他设计的外,其他都是从世界各地找来的。与传统的杂货店相比,它更像是一个具有收藏形式的小店,早期可能就是在某地某个商店发现一个东西不错,然后购买几个放到自己店里再出售。Jasper Morrison 一直是匿名设计(anonymous design)持续的推崇者和布道者,从 Super Normal 时期开始,这些没有设计师署名的设计,用户也不会去追求这些物品的著作来源,当优秀的设计与谦逊的身姿相结合...
          Bloons Tower Defense 5   
Bine ati venit la Bloons Tower 5. Dacă aţi jucat versiunile mai vechi, aceasta are acelaşi concept ca cele vechi dar modificat pentru a deschide o nouă experienţă de apărare a turn. Aici vă lupta hoardele de valuri inamice şi asupra câştigă puncte, debloca noi elemente de apărare sau eroi care lets tu luptă monştri noi străin balon, apoi puteţi configura un cont pentru a deschide avantaje precum deţine agenţi, specialitatea clădiri şi acces premium. Dar acest lucru nu împiedică să câştige jocul, puteţi încă să arate abilităţile strategice la maxim de a lua în Cartografierea strategică şi finanţarea de cele expediate în apărarea dumneavoastră ca player gratuit. Puteţi, de asemenea, alege să joace ca oaspete şi vreau doar să distreze fiind un jucător anonymousoverlordmonkeybrainiac. Eşti gata să ia pe plumb de sablare baloane din calea ta apoi cataramă şi configurarea mouse-ul în apărare de desen şi de a fi partea de sus la leaderboard
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 837988)   
When I see it, it goes from slender to obese, and stops at that point! How horrific! :scream:
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 836041)   
lol never looked at it in that way.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 748620)   
Bytch! That's my girl your ogglin'!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 365611)   
One of them actually looks like Sarah Palin. Now we know why she quit being a Governor. :D
          Original Message by Anonymous Coward (UID 837167)   
I wish someone would post another add for flat tummies. I am tired of seeing the lady go from fat to thin on this site. Am I being too critical? or are...
          Lazy loading Dojo   

Loading and instantiating Dojo can make a web page appear slow. So in an experiment I wanted to load dojo after the page had loaded and filled the screen with information.
This works very well and I thought I should write a small example. I am utilizing this on the front page of dominoexperts.com's site for the live performance graph.
This is how it works:

After onload, run all your onload scripts and when done run a function to load dojo like this:

function loadGraph() {
 djConfig = {afterOnLoad : true,
  addOnLoad:function() {initLoader();},
  useXDomain: true
 var e = document.createElement("script");
 e.type = "text/javascript";

As you might have guessed dojo.js is loaded trough a script-insertion. The 4 last lines of the script inserts a <script> node in the <head> part of the DOM after the page is 
done and displayed. This is the nice part because we use the half a second of attention span, when the user is still looking at the screen before deciding what to do on the page, to load dojo.

I have streamlined the dojo loading further by combining all the JavaScript’s into one using the ?dapmerge DAP feature. This can of course be done manually if you prefer.

I will return with some exiting info on how to do dojo builds trough DAP shortly. 

Please disregard the useXDomain:true line. It is only because I had an xdomain build I use for other things. This works just as well when you load from the same domain.

Dojo has support for late loading trough the "afterOnLoad : true" property of djConfig. To be able to run your own scripts when dojo has loaded just add an anonymous 
function to the addOnLoad property of djConfig. I added the initLoader() that will do all the dojo.requires and start painting the graphs - see code below.

function initLoader() {

Since all the require files are already streamlined into the original dojo load the only files dojo need to load is the browser dependent files (which I did not want to include in the build). This is of course not needed. You can put in your require and have dojo load the files you need one by one. It will just take a little longer.

          Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 30. Juni 2017 von Anonymous   
ist das einer von Flüchtlingen aus Syrien?
          Campus climate roundup   
This seems an important point: requiring students to engage in social justice work impinges on their moral independence [Julie Lawton, DePaul Law] 7 minutes of madness: astounding Michael Moynihan video on the Evergreen State blowup [Vice News, language] Classics in ruins [Sandra Kotta/Quillette, parts one, two] “Princeton Appears To Penalize Minority Candidates for Not Obsessing About Their Race” [Coyote] Claim: college violated Title IX by not doing more to stop anonymous off-campus social media posts [T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post on suit against University of Mary Washington] Historical figure almost wholly forgotten except as name on building. Worth exhuming just to manifest our disdain? [Charles Reichmann, San Francisco Chronicle on Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley] More: Online shaming mobs from both sides of the political spectrum now going after provocative academics [Heterodox Academy] Tags: colleges and universities, political…
          Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 30. Juni 2017 von Anonymous   
bei der hat er voll ins Schwarze getroffen, deswegen jaulen sie jetzt.
          Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 30. Juni 2017 von Anonymous   
Auf der Tagesschau-Seite steht er (natürlich) nicht (obwohl da alles Kritische über den Gastgeber natürlich fast täglich steht). Aber slebst auf der Sportschau-Seite und dort auf der Confed-Cup-Seite steht er nicht. Dort steht z.B. <i>Dopingermittlungen und Aus trüben Russlands Vorfreude</i> und ansonsten wirklich jeder Fliegenfurz von diesem Turnier. Aber nicht dieser Brief. Jedenfalls bis jetzt. Scheint nicht so wichtig zu sein, was der Kapitän zu sagen hat, au0er wenn es negativ gegenüber Russland wäre, dann wäre es natürlich sogar auf der Tagesschau-Seite.
          Celebrities, Students, Educators, Parents and More Come Together for XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE   

XQ Institute and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) invite the public to help rethink the future of American high schools with a special one-hour event, "EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live." The telecast will air live from Los Angeles on all four major U.S. networks - ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC - on Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.

"EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live" will combine live musical, comedy and documentary segments to bring to life the past, present and future of the American high school system. Audiences can expect to see the biggest stars from film, television, sports, music and digital media in the televised event.

Over the past 100 years, the United States has gone from the typewriter to the touchscreen and the switchboard to the smartphone, yet its high schools have remained virtually unchanged. To prepare America's youth for the 21st century, high schools must be rethought and reshaped so every student can succeed in college, career and life. XQ seeks to bring Americans together to create new school models reflecting the needs and experiences of the students they serve.

The broadcast will challenge viewers to understand that transforming high school education is crucial for the future of our country. And, it will show how educators, parents, school administrators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and students can serve as key influencers of change. This challenge of reshaping the education system starts at the local level, requiring each and every person to come to the table with a shared commitment to ignite change. This telecast will give viewers insight into how to spark this transformation and tools to initiate the process within their communities.

The telecast will be produced by Done + Dusted and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Additional partners of the telecast include Anonymous Content, MACRO and Wise Entertainment.

A tune-in campaign will launch in early July. The show will also include multi-platform digital components to encourage viewers to engage and participate online, on mobile and in their communities. To join the movement and learn more, visit https://xqsuperschool.org/live/.

          Arquitetura - Casa Parque de Estacionamento   

A espetacular "Car Park House" é uma residência privada projetada por  Anonymous Architects, com vistas impressionantes de Los Angeles, Califórnia. O conceito de arquitetura ousada nasceu da ideia louca de literalmente dirigir seu carro no telhado de sua casa. A casa contemporânea fica em um declive muito íngreme da rua, e é projetado para flutuar sobre a encosta. Isso reduz a quantidade de fundação necessária e também significa que a única maneira de acessar a casa é sobre a ponte. O telhado tem estacionamento para dois veículos, e tem um espaço de convés com vistas deslumbrantes da cidade abaixo.
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          The Gender GP   
I was browsing one day through Quora. It takes up far too much of my time, though I can’t seem to get away from it. As you might expect, one of the topics I follow on Quora (among plenty of others) is gender, and I was delighted to come across a doctor writing openly about gender issues, in particular trans-gender issues.

Helen Webberley: Gender GP
The doctor is Helen Webberley, a General Practitioner from the UK. Her website, www.gendergp.co.uk, offers amazing access to a sympathetic doctor: “advice on gender issues, counselling and diagnosis, blood tests and monitoring, prescription medication”. And it comes with a plethora of means to get in touch: an email address, a mobile phone number, and the option to do face-to-face video conferencing with Helen. There is also a series of short videos explaining her own views about transgenderism and its treatment, and explaining how Helen can help.

If you’ve read any of this blog at all, you will know how much I am looking for answers to my questions, not just about my own gender, but about the medical treatment of transgender people. You will also know how sceptical I am about the current state of the science behind gender treatment. I have (several times) approached doctors who treat transgender patients (including surgeons who perform sex reassignment surgery ) and also doctors who are themselves transgender, for their own perspectives. They have all quietly declined to be interviewed publicly.

So I wasn’t filled with confidence that Helen would agree, but I got in touch, and she replied immediately and very positively. Here she is, sitting on my virtual couch:

How did you first get interested in treatment of transgender people?

I have always been interested in equality and diversity – it has always appalled me that anyone should be bullied due to their size, colour, hair, gender, preferences, religion etc. I got very interested in Sexual Health in the 90s and did lots of specialist training in this area, and then taught widely on how the medical profession should not judge differing sexual behaviours.

When I became a GP in Wales, I had a transgender person asking me for help, and the nearest clinic was in London. I made it my business to find out more about gender issues and how to treat them, and how to help this person who couldn’t possibly travel to London. It was fascinating, and very rewarding.

What made you decide to pursue it as far as you have (the website, etc)? Why not just treat patients in your own region?

I love technology, and was intrigued as to why healthcare was so far behind the rest of business when providing services online. I made my own website www.mywebdoctor.co.uk offering free advice to those who couldn’t get in to see their GP. I thought it would sit at the bottom of the huge pile of websites in the sky, but I was surprised at how many people asked for help.

I had an idea to offer specific help for transgender people, so I made a special dedicated Transgender page. When I woke up the next morning, I realised just how big a need it was!! From here it has progressed to www.GenderGP.co.uk .

Do you still have a normal GP practice?

Doctor, doctor! Gimme the news!
Until April 2016 I was the senior partner in a GP practice in Wales. My interest and work with the transgender community has meant that I have had to let this go, as I no longer had time to do both. After a brief spell of ill health, I decided to pursue my current interest and now I am a freelance GP and a full-time gender specialist.

What opportunities exist for other doctors who want to specialise in the treatment of transgender people?

There isn't really any official training available in transgender care. But with access to the Internet, there is now endless opportunity for doctors to read policies, guidelines and research to help them to understand more about the needs of the trans community and how best to help them.

I really believe that gender care should be a routine part of General Practice, just as contraception and menopause treatment is. GPs are good at dealing with stress, family issues, workplace problems and hormones. These are the nuts and bolts of gender care and GPs should be offering this routinely.

I have found that a lot of the dysphoria that gender variant people suffer is not due to their variance, but the attitude and responses from society and, ashamedly, the medical profession. If we sort that out, we are a long, long way toward making gender care very simple and easy and less demanding on the doctor and the patient. Trans people are startlingly well-informed: listen to them about their diagnosis and management plans – they have done most of the work for us.

I am presenting a piece of work at the WPATH this year – "Gender dysphoria or medical dysphoria: what causes distress amongst trans patients?"

I find myself concerned about transgender children. How does one determine whether it's ethical to treat children for transgenderism, especially since no long-term studies have been done looking at the outcomes?

The children I have met have been amazing. The diagnosis is often so clear cut, and allowing them to go through a life-changing puberty, that so clearly doesn’t match their true gender, is bordering on inhumane.

By blocking puberty and giving them time to mature and understand what they want and need for their future, you are preventing them from having to have life-threatening surgery in the future, and a life of mismatch and potential humiliation.

I so totally agree with you about the lack of evidence, and that we are guessing and feeling our way, hoping it is right. But we need to prevent transgirls developing into big hairy men, and transboys developing into shapely, delicate females. There is a reason why the suicide rate is so high in this group, and we must stop their bodies developing wrongly.

If you could wave a magic wand, and change one thing about the treatment of transgender people, what would it be?

Allow them to help shape and dictate their care. If they want to try hormones, take hormones, have an operation, change their bodies – make it easy for them, not the huge struggle they seem to face at the moment.

It seems that transgender issues seem to have burst onto the public stage in the last couple of years. Do you have any thoughts about why this might be? And where it might all lead?

The true prevalence of transgenderism of any degree (remembering that gender is a spectrum on which we all lie, somewhere between 0 and 100%) is massively underestimated, I expect. In the 80s, people felt more confident to come out as gay, and the same is happening now for the trans community. We are about to see the true extent of exactly how common it is to have some variance with your gender. Is ‘male’ and ‘female’ a human generated idea – and have we got it all wrong?

Human X and Y chromosomes
The concept that there are two genders is wrong (in my view). There are two sex-determination systems – XX and XY – and our society has presumed that our gender identity matches those and has made this dictate everything from what you should wear, to what job you should have, to what role you should take in life, to what bathroom you should use, to what gender you should choose to marry.

In the olden days, we also presumed that our sex-determination system also matches our sexual identity (who we are attracted to), but look how wrong we were about that. Again, society dictated that there would only be one sexual identity and we made all the rules about marriage and commitment to fit that. Latterly we have had to re-write the rulebook.

I believe that everyone is on a spectrum of gender (identifying as male or female or somewhere in between) and identity (fancying men or women or anywhere in between) and preference (liking pink or blue or fairies or sport or animals or trains). Society shapes this and suppresses our liberty to express somewhere else along the spectrum. I would love to see what happened in a new society, born without rigid rules and constraints and expectations. Would I have been a very feminine heterosexual?

My video talks about the sphere of diversity, and in that sphere are lots of spectra, and where we lie on each spectrum gives us a unique point within the sphere, unique to you and to me, and excitingly different.

Do you ever refuse to treat someone for gender issues? How do you determine if a person is suitable to be treated or not?

I would be very concerned about someone whose gender issues seemed to stem from a bad experience in earlier life. For example a person who wanted to hide from their genitals and sexuality due to a previous history of sexual abuse.

As my service is a remote service, I do not treat anyone who is shown to have manipulated the system in order to get medication.

Most people are absolutely honest and genuine and so grateful to have the chance to get the care they need, but sometimes I have to signpost people back to their GP.

Have you ever come under criticism from colleagues or the public for what you do?

Oh yes. In one year I have been reported to the GMC twice (but they have found no concerns) and threatened to once – all by leading doctors in this field in the UK.

AMAB? I thought you said...
A transmale counsellor working in the field said I wasn’t qualified. A well-known psychiatrist said that I wasn’t qualified and did not do a comprehensive enough assessment. If the diagnosis of an AMAB who has been cross-dressing for years, and would now like to develop some soft skin, breasts and shapely thighs isn’t a clear enough self-diagnosis, what is? Gay people don’t need a psychiatric evaluation before they are allowed a same-sex marriage. Not all people with abdominal pain are excluded for delusions before taking out their appendix.

Some of these healthcare professionals are supposed to be caring and helping the trans community, but the stories I hear of people’s experiences in their GIC make my toes curl, so I am not surprised that I am not always treated with respect. I wonder whether they are just keeping the GIC waiting list so long to fuel their private practice. I can’t see any other reason that they would not welcome an experienced GP who is helping relieve the burden of their work.

One of them publically wrote about how gender care that is straightforward should be delivered by people’s GPs, and in the same month I received a letter of concern from him via the GMC for doing just that!

Gender care needs to be brought under the auspices of General Practice, and done by good old (modern) GPs who are used to dealing with everyday people, every day. If we don’t start encouraging GPs to embrace this field of medicine, then the waiting lists for the GICs will soon be 10 years, not 2!

The public have been great, I have received so many letters, cards, reviews, testimonials – and every one has been truly complimentary. I have changed many lives for the better, and I expect saved a few desperate lives of people who thought they had nowhere else to turn.

Do you have any thoughts about the autogynephilia model of Bailey and Blanchard?

I had never heard of it so I just looked it up. The majority of transgender patients I have had the pleasure of treating could no way fit into this model. I guess that these ideas could be made to fit some people, but to generalise and say this theory explains gender issues is outright wrong.

I have never really thought about the philosophical arguments so much. I have always concentrated on the physical, psychological and social needs of my patients, so the theory is interesting but a bit mind boggling!

Which famous person would you most like to meet, and why?

My family and friends laugh at me because I just have no interest in ‘famous’ people. I would like to be famous for really transforming gender care in the UK and the rest of the world. I would like to shake hands with my future self for helping trans people to access safe and easy healthcare without fear of humiliation, prejudice or judgement.


As always in my interviews, I like to reflect a little about the answers.

First, Helen seems to be extremely unusual: a doctor who treats trans people and is willing to talk about it openly and willingly. She seems so open, so inviting, in contrast to the attitude of many other (but not all) doctors, which seems to be to be with awkwardness and silence (a vestige, perhaps, of the “shame, secrecy and trauma” which Alice Dreger talked about with intersex children).

Accepting: Webberley
In addition, Helen offers a multitude of ways for people to get in touch with her, which leads me to wonder how she can possibly get any work done. I seem to be forever answering emails, and I don’t have people all over the world asking me about hormones!

I approached a surgeon who performs sex reassignment surgery, and he declined to be interviewed. In fact, he was barely polite with my request. He would not consent to be named publicly. When I offered him an anonymous interview, he was sure that he would be recognised by his answers.

So I guess my point is: so what? If you are a doctor, and you are performing perfectly legal operations, believing in good faith that you are acting for the benefit of your patients, why should you hide? Surely you either believe in what you do, or you don’t. And if you don’t, why are you doing it?

Helen comes across as completely the opposite. Open, friendly, non-judgmental. Willing to discuss some very sensitive issues very freely. I see her very much as a step in the right direction: the direction which says that you don’t need to hide if your gender doesn’t quite fit the slot, but are deserving of sympathy and acceptance and respect. She isn’t hiding; instead she is out there trying to be noticed.

I found myself surprised (read: astonished) that she had never come across the autogynephilia model. I thought everybody knew about that one! But again I find this refreshing: that someone can come to a field (you might say a minefield) like gender, and just apply their own take on it, and be so positive, without being subject to what other people want you to think about it.

I couldn’t help challenging Helen on some of her practices. I believe medicine should be guided by science, and yet the science is lacking in a lot of areas. Again I found her answer refreshing: “guessing, feeling our way, hoping it is right”. How humble, and how different from the dogmatic certainty of people like Paul McHugh.

I am impressed (in case you couldn’t have guessed) with Helen. I find myself hoping that she is in the vanguard of a new wave of doctors: open, receptive, non-judgmental, willing to listen to trans people instead of dictating to them . I wish there were a hundred like her—and perhaps soon there will be.

My thanks, as always, to Helen for her patience, not just with my questions, but with my flurry of emails requesting clarifications on several points. My thanks, too, to her husband Mike for reviewing the final draft.

Form an orderly queue, please. The doctor will see you now.
          Abigail Austen   
If you could look at my hit counter, you would see that one of the most popular blog posts I ever wrote was the one concerning Jan Hamilton, the elite British soldier who underwent transition and was firmly in the public eye a few years ago. The documentary Sex Change Soldier, followed her journey through transition, and every time it airs somewhere around the world, I get a bump in the hit counter as people get online to try to find out the latest. But there hasn't been any for years.

You can also see (from the comments under that post) that lots of people are interested in making contact with Jan, and I even went so far as to contact the producers of the documentary to ask if they could put me in touch. Nothing.

Abigail Austen
Then, out of the blue last week I got an email from Jan herself-- except she isn't Jan, she is Abigail Austen ("Abi"). I knew that already, of course, but I hadn't published that info on my blog because I believed that Austen was trying to move on with her life and try to find some anonymity.

But since she got in touch, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to interview her, and she agreed. It turns out there is a lot to tell. As always, I was a bit nervous about what questions to ask: I have never before interviewed someone who has been thoroughly trained to resist the most probing of interrogations! Here is how we got on:

It's been 8 years since the documentary about your transition. Can you tell us briefly what's been happening in your life since then?

I decided to quietly get my life into order, away from what had become a very intrusive press. It got so bad, I had to move out of my home for a bit. Journalists were hiding out in my garden!

The Scottish Police were looking for people, so I joined there for a few years. I enjoyed being a cop, but my profile made it difficult to avoid a fight. I was causing more aggravated assaults by myself than the rest of my division put together, merely for being me.

After three years, I was offered a job with NATO in Afghanistan. I went to Kandahar with the US Army, right into the heartland of the Taliban. I stayed on combat operations continuously for three years, coming home late 2014. After that, I took some much-needed time off and wrote a book about it all, called Lord Roberts’ Valet. Then, I took off for the Ukraine, where I work in security operations.

Can you tell us why you changed your name to Abi Austen? Was that an attempt to become anonymous again after the negative publicity associated with the name Jan Hamilton?

No, it was because my family rejected me. I didn’t want that name anymore. My grandmother was an Austin, and I loved her very much, so I went with that, and added a little Jane Austen twist to the spelling.

You briefly pursued a career as a police officer. How did that pan out?

Mentioned a bit about that above. The senior management were supportive of me, but it was a hard gig with some of my fellow officers. I had a publicised spat with them over the pension fund when they insisted in enrolling me as a man, which I am patently not. By the end, it was all becoming waaay too stressful… So I swapped it out for going back to war!

After how badly the military treated you, it must have been very difficult to return to a career in the armed forces, however tangential. What made you decide to return?

I have always found military service enjoyable, rewarding and exciting. So it actually wasn’t that hard. I love Afghanistan. I’ve travelled there for over twenty years. The offer from NATO was a real opportunity to put my life into order, and it all came good. It’s all in the book. My move back to Afghanistan was as much because I wanted to go back there (I do love the place) as any desire to work with the military. I am not some sort of military nut. Far from it. In fact, the book is quite scathing about military culture

What sort of reaction did you have from your colleagues when you returned to the military? Were they accepting? Or is there still an undercurrent of transphobia?

Back to the action: Austen
Well, I didn’t arrive with a rep where the Americans were concerned. They just saw me as another chick: and I had skills they wanted. So the Yanks were just great. I really owe the United States. They are a country of second chances, and they really helped me change my life about. Kandahar turned into one of the great adventures of my life and I will always admire and respect America for the sacrifice they make for all our freedoms.

You worked for the US military, not the British. Is this because they were more accepting of you, or because you didn't want to work for the Brits, or some other reason?

There were some Brit special forces in Kandahar. Reaction was mixed, which reflects society. I don’t really stand out in any way, I’m just a chick, but some of them obviously knew who I am from all the media stuff in the UK. For people under 30, nobody really cared. In fact, many of the young ones wanted their picture taken with me. Over 30, and it was more mixed. The army is a big ball of testosterone and men somehow feel threatened by people like me. I don’t know why, but it can be difficult sometimes.

Do you think attitudes to transgender people in the military are changing? In what way?

The military are a reflection of the society they represent. However, it is also a conservative organisation, so attitudes lag. The military is beginning to understand that gender dysphoria is a medical, not a psycho-sexual issue, so they are beginning to discuss it in adult terms. However, I think it will be a generation before gender is openly discussed in wider society, and the military will always be behind that curve of popular opinion because of its own internal culture.

Do you think the changes have something to do with you personally?

In my own small way, I think I have helped change attitudes. However, there are others out there who have fought the good fight. I’m about to take part in an exhibition here in the UK, on transgendered service personnel, called Dry Your Eyes, Princess, which will tour Liverpool, Belfast and Manchester. I did a three-hour taped interview for that exhibition which covers many of the details of my life.

I do know that the US is currently lifting their own ban, and my example in serving in Kandahar helped alter concerns on operational robustness. I met several very senior officers and politicians on that very subject. But I’d also say, I regard that part of my life as something from the past. These days, I am just a chick.

Now you have a book out. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Got it covered: the book
Lord Roberts’ Valet is the story of my 1,000 days in Kandahar, at the eye of the storm. It’s the inside track on how the war was fought and all the mess-ups we made over there. I experienced everything from the frontline, to the politics of the White House: and it’s all there in the book. The historic context, the story of the war, the sacrifice, the tears, the laughter and the madness. I genuinely don’t think there’s been a book quite like this before on Afghanistan and I’m quite proud of it. There’s a fair amount on the web now on it. Check out the website here:  http://www.lordrobertsvalet.com

Did Kristin Beck's book Warrior Princess have anything to do with your decision to write it?

Kristin Beck? Nope, good luck to her, but this is a different story.

How did you choose the title?

Lord Roberts’ Valet is about my war and the war the West fought. The story behind the title is in the book, so I won’t spoil it. I have a follow-up coming out later this year called Sugar and Spice, which will chronicle my own journey to where I am now.

What are your next plans? More armed conflict? Or have you something else in mind?

I’d like to think I have one more mission in me. My time in Kandahar proved to me that my skills are just as sharp as ever, no matter what physical form I live in. I also know that being me has made me a much happier and better person to be around. I have never regretted a single day of my life as Abi. I have a few irons in the fire right now, but I’ll hang onto those dreams for now...

You've been "stealth" for years; what made you decide to re-emerge?

I don’t like that term. I just call this living life. I’m proud of all that I am and all I have achieved. I’ve never hidden away at all. Right now, I have a book (and soon two) that I think worthy of a read and I’m just doing what any author would do: telling folks about what’s on offer. I’ve never hidden away. If anybody wanted to speak to me, I’ve been there; and, over the years, I have talked to and helped many people on their own particular journeys. That part of life will always be with me, but I regard the ‘trans’ part as ‘transformation’ and ‘transitory’. It’s history, nothing more. I am a female, and a very happy one too. There comes a point where you don’t need to fight anymore, and I am at that point.

Can you tell us a little about your personal life these days? A relationship?

Yep, very happily in love. My partner and I have a lovely life and we intend getting married quite soon. It’s all good….

What interests or hobbies do you have?

Love Zumba, I actually have an instructor’s certificate in it. And I still go running, but I’m not really made for sprinting these days.

What famous person would you most like to meet and why?

Not all fighting: Afghanistan
To be honest, I’ve met an awful lot of famous people already. Some I’ve liked, some I have wondered what all the fuss was about. I don’t judge people on their fame. I just like genuine people for themselves. So; happy to meet anybody, they don’t have to be famous, just real people.

Do you have a message for people out there who have been thinking about you?

I’d like to say ‘thank-you’ to everybody who has written to me and sent good wishes through the years. My documentary is still in rotation around the world and I get notes from the most unlikely places. I think that there are a lot more folks affected by this issue than have ever been able to express their true selves. I wish everybody true happiness and love. I’ve been on my own particular road. If my own experience is any use, I know it can have a very happy ending.

I will be on Lorraine Kelly’s ITV show on 05 November, here in the UK. Could you also mention that I have a Facebook page and a YouTube video will be up this week. All folks have to do is Google "Lord Roberts’ Valet".


As with all my interviews, a little discussion and analysis now follows.

First, I admit I was concerned about Austen. Having heard nothing about her life, I naturally assumed that she had fallen into obscurity and perhaps misery. And let's face it, the documentary doesn't exactly end on a high note. So I was delighted to hear that she is not only doing OK, she is actually doing brilliantly. My first emailed question to her was: I just want to know you are OK.

Second, I was intrigued to find that she had gone back to working with the military. On the one hand, this must have been a tough decision. The military treated her extremely badly at the time of transition, and it must have been very painful to consider returning. And yet, by her own admission, she loves what she does. She is extremely highly trained, and has a lot of valuable experience to draw upon. And, from the excerpt from the book (available on the website) it's clear she has lost none of that traditional coolness under pressure.

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I view the military with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I admire the job they do. On the other, I find most military types to be intimidating, and I find their rigidity and inflexibility of thought to be stifling at times. But I can imagine that, if the military is your thing, you might find nothing in civilian life quite hits the spot. And the opportunity to do that thing, the thing you are trained for and love most of all, while being accepted as your true self, must be a very powerful experience. The press-release for the book contains this quote from an unnamed senior US general:
I don’t care if you are a man, woman, Martian or dachshund. My only question is whether you can do the job required or not. Welcome to the team.
Third, I'm a little surprised at one particular word which Austen uses more than once: chick. It doesn't quite fit for someone who is so trained and so capable, to refer to herself as "just a chick". It's not a word that I personally would feel comfortable applying to any woman, whether I myself was presenting as a woman or a man. Likewise, if someone applied it to Vivienne, it would make me bristle slightly because of its connotations of sexism. So why does Austen use it in reference to herself?

Fourth, I came away from this interview feeling that, while Austen has told us a lot about her career, she has told us surprisingly little about herself. This tone also comes across in our email exchange. My questions were intended for the reader to get a sense of Abi the woman, Abi the person, and yet she gives us little to go on: very brief details about her grandmother, her partner, Zumba, and some hints of "irons in the fire". That makes it very hard to get any sense of Austen's real personality. I guess she might say: read the book!

I can understand why Austen may feel a little bit reluctant to let too much slip. I suppose it would be easy for some tabloid journalist, hungry for a story, to take some little detail out of context, and blow it up into an article to fill up some column inches. So I am not blaming her for her reticence, just a little disappointed. I suppose I had hoped that we (she and I) might click a little over some common ground. That may yet happen.

Meanwhile, I await the Sugar and Spice memoir with some anticipation, and I will be sure to let you know if I hear of anything.


My thanks to Abi for taking time to answer my questions and send me her photos. The website again is here. The contents of this post are copyright © Vivienne Marcus and Abigail Austen 2015. No reproduction of any part of the text is permitted, altered or unaltered, in printed or electronic form, without permission. All photographs are copyright © Abigail Austen and used by kind permission.
           A week of symfony #546 (12-18 June 2017)    

This week, Symfony introduced Webpack Encore, the new official tool to manage web assets in Symfony applications. Meanwhile, we continued removing some dependencies from the upcoming Symfony 3.4 version, such as Doctrine Cache and the Stopwatch component. Lastly, we announced the dates and Call for Papers deadlines of the next Symfony conferences in London, San Francisco, Berlin and Cluj (Romania).

Symfony development highlights

2.7 changelog:

  • 4cff052: [HttpFoundation] added support for new 7.1 session options
  • d44f143: [Filesystem] added workaround in Filesystem::rename for PHP bug
  • baf988d: [Translation, FrameworkBundle] fixed resource loading order inconsistency
  • f392282: [Routing] expose request in route conditions if possible
  • 551e5ba: [HttpKernel] fixed two edge cases in ResponseCacheStrategy
  • 3c2b1ff: [HttpKernel] keep s-maxage when expiry and validation are used in combination
  • c8884e7: [TwigBundle] added Content-Type header for exception response
  • 436d5e4: [FrameworkBundle] clean assets of the bundules that no longer exist

3.2 changelog:

  • aa94dd6: [PropertyAccess] fixed usage with anonymous classes
  • dce2671: [PropertyAccess] do not silence TypeErrors from client code
  • dddc5bd: [SecurityBundle] move cache of the firewall context into the request parameters

3.3 changelog:

  • 6852b10: [PhpUnit Bridge] fixed the conditional definition of the SymfonyTestsListener
  • 7fc2552: [DependencyInjection] fixed keys resolution in ResolveParameterPlaceHoldersPass
  • 748a999: [Yaml] fixed linting yaml with constants as keys
  • 3278915: [Config] fixed ** GlobResource on Windows
  • 57bed81: [HttpFoundation] added back support for legacy constant values
  • 4667262: [FrameworkBundle] don't set pre-defined esi/ssi services
  • 60e3a99: [WebServerBundle] fixed router script option BC
  • 772ab3d: [Config] fixed Composer resources between web/cli

3.4 changelog:

  • 18ecbd7, a75a32d: [FrameworkBundle] removed dependency on Doctrine cache
  • cc2363f, 17d23a7: [FrameworkBundle] drop hard dependency on the Stopwatch component
  • 0300412: [SecurityBundle] give info about called security listeners in profile
  • 936c1a5: [FrameworkBundle] deprecate useless --no-prefix option
  • 2fe6e69: [WebProfilerBundle] sticky ajax window
  • a03e194: [DependencyInjection] reference instead of inline for array-params
  • 1ed41b5: [Serializer] allow to provide timezone in DateTimeNormalizer
  • bf094ef: [Security] consistent error handling in remember me services
  • e992eae: [Yaml] deprecate using the non-specific tag
  • bc4dd8f: [Security] trigger a deprecation when a voter is missing the VoterInterface
  • 1f6330a: [Validator] added support to check specific DNS record type for URL
  • 6727a26: [FrameworkBundle] allow .yaml file extension everywhere
  • 1cdbb7d: [Serializer] Xml encoder optional type cast
  • 0478ecd: [HttpFoundation] shift responsibility for keeping Date header to ResponseHeaderBag

Master changelog:

  • 3bbb657: [HttpFoundation] removed obsolete ini settings for sessions

Newest issues and pull requests

Twig development highlights

Master changelog:

  • 53cfcea: fixed deprecation when using Twig_Profiler_Dumper_Html

Silex development highlights

Master changelog:

  • 268e3d3: fixed RedirectableUrlMatcher needs to return a proper array with the _route parameter
  • 9cbf194: added JSON manifest version strategy support
  • 6260671: fixed error using EsiFragment with provider and Twig functions

They talked about us

Be trained by Symfony experts - 2017-07-03 Paris - 2017-07-10 Paris - 2017-07-10 Paris

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          The Best VPN Services   

The need for secure, anonymous connections to the Internet has increased considerably in the past few years, as more and more users come to realize the importance of not being seen and followed online. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network service providers — grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. We’ll be updating the list regularly, so leave your feedback in the comments for services we should add (or even remove). These VPNs offer solutions that will mask your online presence to keep you safe. But remember, VPNs might not be as...

Read the full article: The Best VPN Services

          How to Use a Fake IP Address & Mask Yourself Online   

We’ve argued before that online anonymity is important. And, as the notion of privacy gets trampled on with each passing year, online privacy will only become more important. You’d be surprised by what someone can do with just your IP address. Which is why many people use fake IP addresses. To be clear, “fake IP address” is a bit of a misnomer that implies creating a new one out of thin air. That’s not possible. The best you can do is hide your IP address behind someone else’s already-existing IP address. This means you can’t truly be anonymous on the...

Read the full article: How to Use a Fake IP Address & Mask Yourself Online

          Nintendo Shuts Down “Donkey Kong” Remake For Roku   

Many gaming fans love to play old arcade games through emulators or remakes, but Nintendo is less amused by fan-made recreations. This week the company took down a remake of the 1981 classic Donkey Kong, as it infringes its copyrights. The developer of the remake is disappointed but doesn't plan to challenge Nintendo's request.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

          200 ‘Pirate’ Media Player Sellers Shut Down After EU Court Ruling   

Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is reporting that 200 entities selling 'pirate' media players have ceased trading recently. The development appears to be a direct result of an April 2017 ruling by the European Court of Justice, which found that selling piracy-configured devices is a breach of copyright law.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

          New Lawsuit Demands ISP Blockades Against ‘Pirate’ Site Sci-Hub   

Shortly after Sci-Hub was ordered to pay $15 million in piracy damages to Elsevier, the American Chemical Society filed a lawsuit of its own against the "Pirate Bay for Science." The scientific society would also like to see a cut of the loot. In addition, it asks the court for a broad injunction which would require ISPs to block the site.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

          The Death Row Complex, by Kristen Elise, Ph.D.   

The anticipated prequel to The Vesuvius Isotope

An anonymous warning is sent to the White House, and a genetically engineered biological weapon is released in a California prison. The unpublished data of biologist Katrina Stone may hold the key to harnessing the lethal bacterium--and to its creation in the desperate world from which biotechnology is born. 

Purchase The Death Row Complex in print

Purchase The Death Row Complex for Kindle

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          Anonymous: CNC Miller/Programmer   
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          Breaking News: Black M.D., Dr. Henry Bello, Former Employee Commits Mass Shooting in Bronx Hospital, Shooting 7, Killing 1; Killer Has been Killed   

Outside the crime scene at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital/Robert Kalfus

By “W” and An Anonymous Reader

Gunman opens fire inside Bronx hospital, multiple people shot
By Larry Celona, Shawn Cohen and Danika Fears
June 30, 2017 | 3:18pm | Updated
A man with a doctor’s coat and a rifle opened fire on multiple floors of a Bronx hospital Friday afternoon, killing one woman and injuring up to six people, sources said.

The shooter, Henry Bello, is a former employee at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, according to sources.


Killer, Dr. Henry Bello

He’s dead, sources said.

Bello went on a shooting spree around 3 p.m., opening fire on five floors of the hospital, sources said. There was an explosion on another floor, sources said.

Three of the victims are doctors, according to the New York Times.

As a gunman opened fire, people inside hid in place as authorities searched for the gunman.

“What do you do when you hospital has shooter in it,” @herrydrk posted on Instagram, with a photo showing her door boarded up with a chair and and [sic] garbage can.

She later took a selfie in the same room, with the caption, “Nice start of the weekend.”

Another Instagram user, @bodonf, posted a video in Spanish calling himself “just a guy stuck in a room in the hospital.”

He said was told to stay put while the hospital was placed on lockdown.

           New New York City Fire Department Recruitment Campaign: No Whites Need Apply   


New FDNY 'Diversity Hiring' Campaign...
By An Anonymous Reader

Sending a photo of the new FDNY hiring campaign spotted today in SE Queens.

See if you can find anything wrong with this picture.

The obvious message? 'These are the people we're looking for, whites need not apply: we don't need you, don't want you, we have “more than enough of you already.”

This is almost the exact same area where the New York City Department of Education posted an unashamedly racist hiring poster with the directive: “Give our students what they need to succeed - a teacher who LOOKS LIKE THEM - Teach!,” along with a young, hip, black - book in hand - his wisdom in chalk behind him - and most importantly, dreadlocks down to his waist.

That poster was gone within 2 weeks.

The public education system has been so thoroughly ethnically cleansed - especially among top staff at almost every school in the city, and among district superintendents - that the urgency to get rid of the whites that remain is no longer that urgent.

The FDNY is another story. Full-out war has been waged on it for the last decade, starting with the court-ordered dumbing-down of the entrance exam - along with “awarded damages” to those who failed an already simple test.

With each passing year, a lower level of fitness, intelligence, and competence has been codified into the admissions process.

The greatest Fire Department in the world - a family, legacy job passed on through generations, with the highest levels of commitment - is being chiseled down to the mush that is today accepted as the norm for the NYPD: see the Youtube videos of two 5' 2," 200-lb. female “police officers” - shaped like beach balls - trying to chase and collar gangbangers in the Bronx, all the while being laughed at by the perps and their “community” cheering on their escape.

Apparently, even the requirement of proficiency in English - as a native language - is no longer deemed important: Look at the contact instructions at the bottom.

A ladder company, a firehouse, operated as a single, cohesive unit for decades, over a century - and fought fires in the same way - your life, that of your partner - depended on it.

If people have to die - because this new diverse crop doesn't much give a [bleep] about speaking English or talking to the Irishman whose back they are responsible for protecting - so be it: at least the department has been made “fully diverse.”

          Ticket to Write: Vases by ancient Greek painter can bring goosebumps    
One of the greatest artists of ancient Athens — that's fifth century B.C., mind you — will have dozens of his finest vases displayed this summer at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art.I know.Wow.The anonymous artist, known as the Berlin Painter, created "some of the greatest masterpieces of classical antiquity," said Adam Levine, the museum's associate curator of ancient art.The exhibit, "The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C.," [...]
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 13922782)   
:bsflag: There's no such thing.
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          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 5165610)   
You may be right OP. Working blacks who have jobs,mortgages to worry about,bills to pay etc probably don't have time to watch the MSM and hear about it anymore than us whites. As a retired news junkie I have time to dwell on current events but I spoke to my daughter today who barely has an...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 11518329)   
Thats because they pay no attention to the news
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 14091659)   
          Original Message by Anonymous Coward (UID 13729608)   
The Medias attempt to create a racial war is only reaching their senior citizen viewers. Treyvon is still alive or never existed.
          Keith Edwards Arrested This Morning in Masontown, Pennsylvania   
By Lehigh Acres Gazette Source Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator Thanks to an anonymous Crime Stoppers tipster, the former Lehigh Acres man accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the Fraternal Order of Eagles is now behind bars. Keith Edwards was arrested this morning in Masontown, Pennsylvania and charged with two warrants out of Lee County for grand theft and violating [...]
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          How to do Good, but Better   
Hello all! I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer thus far! I know, I know, I haven't posted much lately. I blame a beast of a move, pure post-graduation from grad school exhaustion and prolonged illness.

What has brought me back to writing here today is a topic that is more personal to me than your parents showing your significant other that embarrassing picture of you as a kid wearing your underwear as a hat. Not that I have any pictures like that (she says not making eye contact).

But first, I should probably provide a little background. I have been in social work for the better part of a decade, working mostly with homeless populations and those in homeless shelters in particular. Shelters are funded partially by things like grants and endowments, but we also depend heavily on the community for support and donations to help meet the tremendous needs our populations face.

For the most part, the community support the shelters I have worked for have received is incredible. People donating time, money, and much needed supplies saves lives and helps countless individuals get off the streets and into a better place.

There is a darker side to that community dependence, however. This is that darker side:

That veritable wall of boxes is what I walked in to work this week to see: Over 300 lbs of juice... that had expired in 2014. Not only was the juice expired, but it had been left out in the Arizona sun so long that some of the bottles had melted and fused together.

Someone had dropped off a wall of, essentially, toxic waste to a shelter that serves medically fragile homeless people. Not only is that callous, but it is dangerous! I'm grateful I had a chance to check out this anonymous donation before anyone drank any!

This is a problem that a lot of people in non-profits don't want to talk about, because we truly do need donations to survive and we don't want to discourage anyone who wants to help. However, there are times when the donations that we receive, like the wall of contaminants pictured above, goes beyond being unhelpful, they become a burden on the agencies. Not only was the juice dangerous to the health of my clients, but it meant that I then had to figure out a way to dispose of it all. Essentially, I spent most of my morning, time where I could be looking for housing opportunities for my clients, hauling boxes across a massive parking lot in 111 degree heat to a dumpster.

Sadly, this isn't a one-time thing. A month ago I received a donation of 800 pounds of rice and dried beans that had expired some 13 years ago. You read that right, 13 years! Destiny's Child was still together when that food expired.

I once worked at a shelter where a box truck drove up and dropped off 16 pallets of yogurt that had gone bad to the point where it had liquefied. I can't even count the number of times someone has dropped in with a take-out box they had dug out of their fridge after a few days and decided that they didn't want it, mold included.

Homeless shelters need more support now more than ever. Funding for necessary programs has dwindled significantly in the last 5 years, and current trends are indicating that what little funding is left will be facing challenges and cuts soon. Please, we need your generosity. No, let me rephrase that, we need your mindful generosity.

Donate to non-profits, but before you drop off that thing you don't need anymore, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Is this appropriate for the population it is going to?

I work in a men's shelter. You would be amazed at how many bras, tampons and sanitary napkins we get donated (I also get women's thongs on a regular basis, and nothing will break your sanity faster than having to confiscate one from a client who is using it as a slingshot to shoot other clients with wads of paper). These items would be much better used at a drop-in center that serves women or a domestic violence shelter.

2. Would I eat this? Would I feed this to a loved one? Is this something that someone could conceivably wear without it falling apart?

If the answer is "no," then don't donate it. I know it is hard to believe, but homeless people are still, in fact, people. If it would give you food poisoning, then it will give them food poisoning too, and believe me, their lives are hard enough already.

The same things goes for clothes. I once opened a donated trash bag full of clothes to find that not only they were moldy, but a family of mice had moved in. The bag was inside the shelter when I opened it, so we then got to pay for exterminators to come take care of our donated mice problem.

3. Am I just making something I don't want to deal with someone else's problem?

At one homeless shelter I worked at, I once took a donation of six used hamster cages. The person who dropped it off said, "I just didn't want to be bothered with them anymore and I couldn't figure out what I should do with them. So... Here you go."

This may come as a shock, but as I am a social worker, and not the owner of a hamster circus, I didn't know what to do with the cages either. What I did do with them was spent over an hour on the phone trying to find a thrift store that could sell them, drove all the way across town that day and dropped them off, before Febreezing the interior of my car to get rid of the "essence of hamster" scent.

Again, I don't want to discourage anyone from donating to good causes. However, just donating any old thing and patting yourself on the back can not only be unhelpful and counterproductive, it can be downright dangerous. If you don't know what you can do to help, ask someone who works for the agency. Every non-profit has a "needs and wants" list they will happily provide you with. Shelters are always in need of things like clean socks, toiletries and donations of edible food. What we don't need is to be designated as your alternative to paying to drop your stuff off at the landfill. Please, don't just do good things for your non-profits, do better things.

As always feel free to follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Instagram (@AtillatheHawn) and my books can be found for your reading enjoyment here!

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          Texas Medical Board again clears Sugar Land doctor in elderly patient's death   

Cris Chapa, left, and her brother, Jesse Chapa, speak at the law office of McGehee, Chang, Barnes, Landgraf, 10370 Richmond Ave., Monday, April 3, 2017, in Houston. Nearly two years after the death of their mother, Manvela Chapa, anonymous letters arrived in the mail revealing their mother hadn't died of natural causes, as they'd been led to believe, but rather after a doctor performed an operation without their consent.

          the anonymous pick replied to David Atchison's discussion new member checkin in in the group Introduce Yourself!   
the anonymous pick replied to David Atchison's discussion new member checkin in in the group Introduce Yourself!

          the anonymous pick commented on the anonymous pick's video   
the anonymous pick commented on the anonymous pick's video

          Workers move on after April BNSF cuts   
BNSF employees choose a variety of options after local jobs were eliminated

By Eric Killelea

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The plunge of coal shipments has translated into furloughs for thousands of BNSF Railway employees across the U.S., but in Eastern Montana where dozens of high-paying jobs were completely eliminated, the loss runs particularly deep.

Last year, BNSF laid off about 4,600 employees nationwide – nearly 10 percent of its workers – according to information shared by BNSF officials at the Montana Energy Conference in 2016. In Montana, where 71 percent of the company’s freight includes coal, the decline in demand coupled with record capital investment spurred the need of transfers for some and job hunting for others.

It was Wednesday, April 26 when BNSF’s Bret Bridges appeared in downtown Glendive after a flight from Alliance, Neb., to announce the company permanently eliminated 55 mechanical jobs – roughly half of the workers at the local diesel shop.

“I understand the business side of it,” said Phil Tuccillo, a former BNSF machinist and safety assistant. Tucillo worked 11 years for the company before opting out of a transfer when he took a mechanical position at Montana Rail Link in Livingston. “But I wish it never happened.”

As Tuccillo tells it, BNSF sent him down to Fort Worth in April to attend a safety and health team meeting. He was in high spirits since his hometown crew achieved a goal of completing three years of work without an injury. But that changed when he arrived at his hotel room and received a phone call from his wife, Colleen, who said she heard from her hairdresser that he and his co-workers were laid off.

“We were in shock,” said Phil, who confirmed the rumor with BNSF’s director of safety Ron Hennessey, along with chief mechanical officer Mark Grubbs down in Fort Worth. It was only last year when Grubbs had traveled north to announce that the company was furloughing 25 employees at the roundhouse. The cuts followed numerous train crew positions from Glendive and Forsyth being relocated  to Laurel in 2015. 

In Fort Worth, Tuccillo briefly attended Thursday’s safety and health meeting to find answers, before returning home early to clean out his office. His co-workers – laborers, pipefitters, electricians and machinists – considered transferring to company hubs in North Dakota and cities like Chicago, Kansas City and Seattle. They were offered $10,000 in moving packages that would be taxed but some felt the money came with a catch: They were obligated to stay in the place of their choosing for three years and if they broke contract they were expected to pay back the money. 

Tuccillo ended up working two days in Minot, before being asked to run several Glendive employees through a week-long safety training. He finished that job, took vacation, got his house ready to sell and accepted the position at the MRL.

“I could have stayed in Minot, but I didn’t feel like business was stable enough,” Tuccillo said. “I felt it would only be a matter of time before more cuts came.”

Since April, a number of Glendive’s BNSF employees have accepted transfers. 

Bob Ackerman, a retired foreman who put in 36 years with the company, said his daughter, Ashley, took a transfer for a machinist position in Galesburg, Ill. He remembers that Wednesday morning when Ashley called him from the roundhouse to say her “job was safe” only to call back 15 minutes later to tell him she was just laid off.

“The company had to do what they needed to do because of business,” Ackerman said. “But dammit, there should be some kind of allegiance to the employees.”

Ashley relocated on her own dime and has yet to receive the $10,000 moving package. She put her house up for sale, but has experienced trouble in a struggling housing market.

“It’s a domino effect,” Ackerman said. “Forty houses hit the market and you can’t give them away. There’s not a person in town the job loss is not going to affect.”

In Glendive, many railroaders have similar stories and many residents are tied in some way to the steel line that carves through downtown. But current and even former railroaders are nervous about talking on-the-record because they “need to take care of family,” according to two anonymous sources with ties to the railroad.

Town hall meeting not unusual

The hesitation to speak out is not unwarranted, especially since BNSF recently announced a town hall meeting led by BNSF’s President and CEO Carl R. Ice scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Dawson Community College. While some railroaders say such meetings are held on a regular basis, rumors are abundant and there remains a palpable fear that more job cuts are coming down the line. 

Back in April, Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison said BNSF officials told him that they expected to keep 60 jobs at the diesel shop. Despite the verbal exchange, railroad officials and spokespersons have remained mute on the subject. When asked via email to elaborate on the reasons behind the town hall meeting, BNSF’s Montana-based regional director of public affairs Ross Lane said the meeting “is not a public event, and for BNSF employees only.”

“Town Halls occur monthly throughout our system and provide an opportunity for employees to hear directly from and ask questions of BNSF leadership,” Lane wrote on Thursday.

In his email, Lane included a statement he sent the newspaper in April and mentioned that the “comment is still an accurate reflection” of the company’s “business climate.” 

“Unfortunately, long term trends in customer demand continue to negatively impact traffic volume in certain business segments, particular for coal and petroleum products,” according to Lane’s statement. “BNSF does not anticipate coal returning to peak levels and handled 480,000 fewer units of coal year-over-year in 2016. Additionally, record capital investment has resulted in more efficient and capable operations across the northern corridor. Consequently, BNSF had had to align resources with changing customer demand and traffic flows.”

Lane added: “No other locations in Montana are undergoing labor reductions. However, BNSF also announced in April that mechanical work at Murray Yard in Missouri would shift to Argentine Yard in Kansas. BNSF will continue to work with our employees as they transition through this difficult time.”

Local jobs are limited

The BNSF job eliminations have taken a toll in Dawson County where the economy suffered $2.8 million in lost wages. Those who lost their mechanical jobs paying yearly salaires of $50,000-plus and were unwilling to transfer are facing the option of taking significantly smaller paychecks in the local labor market.

Jobs are limited in Eastern Montana. Extreme droughts are troubling regional wheat farmers who are anticipating low crop yields. And gone is the Bakken boom, which once enticed thousands of oilfield workers to the High Plains. Three years ago, BNSF executives told a crowd at DCC that they hired 800 new employees in Montana between 2011 and 2014 and expected to hire 500 more by 2015.

Earlier this month, North Dakota’s rig count increased by 25 to 51 – a gain, but “far from the peak” of 218 in 2012. Though a second wind may seem possible for the oilfields, experts warn not to expect a new surge of railroad and roughneck jobs.

State Rep. Alane Doane compared the loss of oilfield and railroad jobs to his “scrambling for hay” during the ongoing drought affecting his crops.

“There’s not a lot of good paying jobs in Glendive,” Doane said. “If you lost your railroad job where are you going to go? You got to figure out what to do to make it work.”

The Bloomfield farmer has reached out to former BNSF employees, but not company officials.

He said the job cuts “were devastating to the local community and economy” and considered the possibilities that businesses start “adding value” to the locally-grown commodities in order to create additional work.

State Sen. Steve Hinebauch could not be reached for comment.

For former BNSF employees, the chances of finding good-paying jobs and benefits is slim in this scarcely populated area.

Jeremiah Stotler, whose position was eliminated after four years of working as a hostler and laborer for the company, said he felt “pissed off” when he learned via Facebook that he was laid off. He had bought “a brand new truck and a brand new bike” the previous year and “knew there weren’t any jobs around to make $28 an hour plus dental, medical, vision and an awesome retirement.”

Stotler worked two more weeks on the railroad and considered transferring near his family in Seattle, but decided to stay with his girlfriend and her two children. 

“I could have gone to Mandan, but it was too far and my girlfriend’s kids need a stable male role-model in their life,” Stotler said. Instead of relocating, Stotler found a full-time job with a Glendive-based construction company. His is a solid job with consistent hours, but it does not offer benefits and he relies on his BNSF medical package expected to end in August. “If I get sick after that then I’m screwed,” Stotler said.

Stotler knows several former co-workers who welcomed transfers to Arizona and others who took local positions on farms and construction sites and at the Dawson County Correctional Facility. Some were raised here, while others had moved to town with their families during the oil boom. Stotler’s plan of action? Work construction through the summer and then put in a transfer request to Seattle.

Leaving isn’t easy

The railroad is what brought many local families to the Glendive area. Generations of men and women have clocked in countless hours here on the line. But job cuts have caused disruptions to bank accounts, the local economy, the housing market and the sense of community since families are leaving in search of work.

As for Tuccillo, he resigned from BNSF on May 19, started his new job four days later, and moved into a basement apartment with a former coworker who also took a new machinist job away from his family. Tuccillo feels lucky that his house is selling and he plans to move into a two-bedroom house next week. Colleen, who works for the state, and their two daughters bound for middle school, are expected to join him in mid-July.

“I’ve had opportunities to leave Glendive earlier in my career and I chose not to because of how close we got with people there,” Tuccillo said. “I enjoyed my job. The guys I worked with were like family. This was very hard. Glendive is a great place to raise kids and live.”

Reach Eric Killelea at rrsports@rangerreview.com.


          Challenge: Curry Chicken Salad!   
So the results are in....and...Curry Chicken Salad A won!  Whose is it, you ask??  Well, it didn't have this:

Nice cuts and cubes of red onion, chicken, celery, green apple, heated curry powder, etc.. So the winner's didn't look like this:
So pretty and creamy...
But the winner's Curry Chicken Salad did start like this:

And finish like this:

Raisins, Shredded Chicken, Almonds, etc...

Can you tell whose is whose?? 
The contest went like this:
Each curry was tested anonymously.  Testers then had to drop a penny into the correlating jar for their favorite Curry Chicken Salad.  Oh, this was a suspenseful day!! 
Especially after I had issued this taunting Facebook Challenge:
We're having a Challenge: Curry Chicken Salad. Brent made his version. I made my version. We need samplers tomorrow. There will be a vote- and a pronounced winner. Not that we're competitive or anything...but on the (far off) chance that I win, I will ridicule him about his culinary school tuition. lol!

Curry Chicken Salad A and Curry Chicken Salad B

And the winner is:::
Like I mentioned above...And guess what? 
I WIN!  i win, i win, i win!!  lol!!  Oh, I'm going to be hard to work with the rest of the week!!   I won!! Thank you, friends.  The vote was 14-7 for Curry Chicken Salad A!! As in, Curry Chicken Salad Awesome.  Curry Chicken Salad Absolutely fantastic!  Curry Chicken Salad And that's why i love our guests.  Enough?   Nope. Not yet.  But I won't make you suffer through more gloating.  After all, Chef Brent is the one who didn't win today!  Now, he gets to make Breakfast for my Sunday School class on Super Bowl Sunday!!  woo hoo!!  I'm happy all over again!! 

I'm being so not nice!  So here comes the friendly sportsmanlike part:  Even though I won (Big time!),  I think our final Curry Chicken Salad will have elements from both recipes.  I learn stuff from Chef Brent every day because I didn't graduate from culinary school, therefore I have a ton of questions about food!  And it definitely makes it easier to experiment with food when you have a trained chef on standby.  For example, who knew you were supposed to heat curry powder a little before using? I mean you don't have to, but it kind of makes the flavor better.  And while I don't like cubed chicken in my chicken salad, I might like the little bitty bits of red onion and celery, chopped to perfection.  Anyway, we'll iron out the details and look forward to serving this Curry Chicken Salad as our February special! Thank you again for catching up with us and sharing in the fun!  
Curry Chicken Salad Champion (aka Summer)

P.S. If you would like to visit our Sunday School class at 9:30 on Sunday, February 5 at FBC, Sevierville...breakfast will be French Toast Bread Pudding and Yogurt & Granola Parfaits.  Yum! 
          Glory Hole   
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          My Machine Gun Menorah -- by Avraham Burg   
(my translation from Avraham Burg's memoir, IN DAYS TO COME, p. 19-23)

On Wednesday it was all over. After much shelling and bombing, endless rumors and newsflashes, patriotic music playing on the radio and families huddling together protectively, Father returned home from the “government” and said to Mother, “Get ready, we’re going to the Kotel.” I didn’t know what exactly this Kotel was. My parents had never taught me to yearn for it. We didn’t have a photograph of it on the wall, not even a bronze engraving, as was common in so many homes at that time. The walls of Father’s large library were decorated with iconic photos of mother’s family from the old Jewish community in Hebron that had been destroyed, and next to them was a lithograph of synagogues from around the world that were no more, from the Jewish diaspora that had been wiped out – but there was nothing to commemorate the Temple. I think I’ll remember Mother’s excitement until the day I die. She dressed in her blue pleated skirt. “Does this look all right?” she asked Father, as always. “Very much so, Rivka,” he responded, as usual, and together they went down to the road to board the military transport that had come to pick them up. A dusty, unshaven soldier helped them climb into the command car. “I want to go too,” I wailed at the top of my lungs, with heavy, salty tears I can still taste to this day. It was the first great outburst of my childhood. Cries of longing and sadness, of fear and disappointment, of a parting much greater than myself. Perhaps I was curious to see the fresh battlefield, and perhaps I was just giving voice to all the fears that had built up inside me during those days and that time. The cries of a young boy who was not ready to be left without the security and protection of his parents. But nothing helped – they left without me. After a few hours they returned, and my mother pulled out a small bag from her pocketbook and gave me a few greasy cartridges from an Uzi submachine gun. “I collected them at the Kotel especially for you,” she said. She wanted to compensate me for leaving me behind, but she was also entrusting me with a little treasure.
            In those last innocent days of the State of Israel, we all had to take a home economics class at school. Once a week we left the gray, desolate schoolyard and walked a few blocks to Mr. Tarshish’s workshop. In the faded apron of a craftsman from a bygone era, in a booming voice and with a ruler he rapped against the table any time he grew angry, Mr. Tarshish taught us all the survival skills we’d ever need. How to fix a short circuit with a special iron wire, how to sand down a rough board, how to polish metal, how to change a light bulb. To this day, I don’t particularly like fix-it work, mainly because I’m not that good at it. I am not just left wing politically, I also have two left hands, far more left than my most firmly-held views. I was also never good at conforming to the mold, or copying a template exactly and without variation. Even back then my spirit sought something else, something creative and original. The complete opposite of the strict, precise work ethic of the mythic Mr. Tarshish. A few months after that war we prepared a surprise for our parents in honor of Chanukah: We made metal menorahs, the proud work of our own hands. We toiled for days, cutting the brass, bending and joining, shaping the frame and the branches. The high point for me was attaching the Uzi cartridges that Ma had brought me from the Kotel, which I used as candleholders that remain laden with significance. My souvenir from the remnants of the Temple is inextricably bound up in weaponry, violence  and bloodshed. I was not yet familiar with a Judaism of pacifism, it had not yet exerted its hold on me, and in school we had not yet reached that Biblical verse renouncing all violent associations with the Temple and its altars: “And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones, for by wielding your sword upon them you have profaned them.” And thus the Jewish Kotel and the Israeli Uzi became melded together into something new, inseparable.
            To this day we light this menorah every Chanukah, and I both love it and hate it. Each time my heart is pierced anew – by a longing for the childhood I once had but that is no longer, and by a lament for the tremendous transformation that has come over all of us, a transformation not entirely good. I need that menorah not just as a nostalgic link to those innocent bygone days, but also as a tangible reminder of all those things that I still want, and still need, to change in this world.
            I always loved Chanukah, more than any other holiday. In the beginning, in my youth, it was because of the mystery of the darkness and the small lights that banish it, and because of the modest little gifts we always received from our parents. I loved those magic moments in which Father, Mother, my sisters and I sat on the rug and played with the dreidels, the spinning tops – among the rare instances when Father came down to our childhood heights. Perhaps that’s why dreidels became my favorite collector’s item, with thousands of them now decorating the walls of our home. With time I came to love Chanukah even more, as a unique and special holiday in which Mother had a role as well. Not just as the passive woman who responds Amen to all the blessings, rituals, and customs that Father performed with flair, but also as the one who lit the candles on the nights that Father was not at home. I loved observing her in this role – she inspired me the first time I took on a public position. That was during the Chanukah that I was in first grade, when I was selected to play the part of the shamash, the candle used to light all the others. Mother ironed my white shirt, made me a cardboard crown with a paper candle on top, and rehearsed with me again and again the line I was supposed to recite in a loud voice in the class play. “To be a shamash is to bear a great responsibility,” she said to me, “and my son needs to be the best shamash there is.” So I tried, for her sake. I wanted to be the best shamash there is.
            Since Chanukah is celebrated in the winter, it is the Festival of Lights, like many other festivals of light in other cultures. We Jews, who do not worship nature in and of itself, have added more and more layers of religious meaning, as with many of our other holidays. The miracle of the jar of oil, the redemption of the Temple, the victory of the few over the many – the whole deal. Thus we transformed a festival celebrating the shortest days of the year and the approaching lengthening of the hours of daylight into a religious holiday. The sigh of relief of Adam, whose fears were alleviated when the winter nights stopped growing longer, was transformed into a great, spontaneous joy. The joy of the faithful over the redemption of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Greeks had violated it with their pagan rites and their military conquest. Our benevolent God, the master of history, stood by our ancestors in their distress and secured them a “great victory.” As a sign of gratitude, and as a means of commemoration, the ancient Jews established these eight days to give thanks to the God who delivered them and to praise His name. It was never a holiday about wars and warriors – on the contrary. The mighty ones in the Chanukah story are the Greeks, not us – we are the weak ones. But that is something that no one told me before I ascended the tall chair of the shamash on Chanukah during first grade. In my black polyester Shabbat pants, which were secured high above my belly button, I sang my lines as loudly as I could: “In our time as in those days, God’s Maccabee redeems always.” I didn’t know that in my cousin’s Moshe’s secular school down the block, they sang the same song with a slight variation: “In our time as in those days, the Maccabee redeems always.” For us it was still a religious holiday with God at the center; for them the holiday had already been appropriated by the trampling revolution of the Zionist consciousness. God was cast aside, and the Maccabee assumed center stage.
            The Zionist revolution wanted to return us to an active role in political history, and thus it grasped hold of every symbolic straw it could find. It is natural, therefore, that the heroism of the war and the struggle of the Maccabees became the most important port of call in the Zionist movement’s voyage home. The return to the land and to our memories, to language and history, to the places that once were and to the glory of the past. And we, as small children, were each the best shamash there is, the shield-bearers of this fantastic revolution. A decade later, in the army, we were already singing completely different versions of those Chanukah songs. God had disappeared entirely from the holiday, and we marched in unison—left, right, left—accompanied by the hoarse loudspeakers, keeping pace:

We carry lights
Through darkest nights
The paths aglow beneath our feet.
We found no jar of oil
No miracle but our toil
We hewed the stone with all our might--
Let there be light!

With rifles on our shoulders and heavy militaristic steps we trampled on any religious vestige of the holiday. From a Jew in my parents’ home I became a new Israeli Maccabee. We, my Israeli friends and I, don’t rely on miracles. Not like all the weak, meek, lily-livered members of our parents’ generation. We take responsibility into our own hands, we are the masters of our own fates. We are heroes – but we’re not Greek. I was transformed from an anonymous little Jewish boy from Jerusalem into the common Israeli hero, whom none of my parents’ generation or their parents before them ever dreamed of before.
            This popular modern Chanukah song has become associated, in recent years, with the opening ceremonies for Israel’s Independence Day on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. The Hasmoneans of yore became retroactive mighty heroes of the past, and the inspiration and the model for the military heroes of the present—for us—who hew the stones. By means of this marching song, which was written about the Zionist Chanukah and is played on Independence Day, the consciousness of Chanukah and Independence Day become inextricably intertwined. From marking the original moment of religious exaltation to, now, a holiday celebrating physical vigor and the victories of our time. The modern holiday of Chanukah became a day of heroism, rather than a day commemorating the rededication of the Temple. With each Uzi cartridge I fastened—any of which may have felled someone near the Kotel in ’67—I unknowingly fastened this new myth to our Israeli narrative.

          On First Looking into Masekhet Yevamot in Summer 2007: A Retrospective   
I was unmarried throughout the entire year and a half in which I first learned Seder Nashim, the order of the Talmud that deals with the relationships between husbands and wives. As I pored over Talmudic pages about who is permitted to marry whom, and how betrothal takes place, and what happens if a woman is suspected of being unfaithful, I was reminded of a story about Rabbi Akiva, who tried to come up with a midrash about the plague of frogs in Egypt. “There was just one frog,” said Akiva, interpreting the Biblical verse which literally reads, “The frog came up and covered the land of Egypt” (Exodus 8:2). His colleagues, upon hearing Akiva explain that this one frog in turn gave rise to enough frogs to cover Egypt, go on to chide him for expounding on matters of Aggada. Akiva’s expertise was halakha; he had no business coming up with creative midrashic explanations. As Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya rebuked, “Akiva, what are you doing studying Aggada? Desist from these words, and go study the laws of skin blemishes and impure tents” (Sanhedrin 67b). As a single woman living alone, I felt like I had as much business studying Seder Nashim as Rabbi Akiva had studying Aggada. But I too could not help but be drawn to fairy tales and make-believe, and often in my study of Nashim I found myself daydreaming about that one-and-only Frog who would overlook my blemishes and come to my tent in the guise of a handsome prince.
The name of the first tractate in Nashim, Yevamot, literally means sisters-in-law, and deals with the Biblical law of levirate marriage whereby a man is obligated to marry his deceased brother’s widow so long as she is childless. This is the case even if the man already has a wife, since men in Talmudic times were permitted to marry more than one woman. The rival co-wives of polygamous men are known as tzarot, a word that also means troubles. And so when I began learning this tractate during the summer of 2007, I jokingly referred to this period as my summer of tzarot. If nothing else, there was the trouble of how to understand the complicated family relationships discussed in this tracate, such as the case of a man whose brother is married to his mother-in-law, or the case of two men who accidentally switch wives under the wedding canopy, and other confusing liaisons.
And then, of course, there was the trouble of being single. Officially I was still dating Omri, but our relationship was faltering, and by that point I was pretty sure it wasn’t meant to be. I probably ought to have broken up with him sooner than I did, but I was more scared of being alone than of being with the wrong person – and this says a lot, given that I’d been married to the wrong person just two years earlier. That summer in addition to learning Yevamot, I reread D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover when a used copy appeared in the rack outside my local bookstore. I recall being struck by several passages about the difficulty of finding a suitable mate: “The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few, in most personal experiences. There’s lots of good fish in the sea – maybe! But the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you’re not mackerel or herring yourself, you are inclined to find very few good fish in the sea.” This lack of eligible single men in Jerusalem was a frequently-voiced lament among my female friends, who always seemed to far outstrip their male counterparts. Lawrence says this explicitly:‘Go ye into the streets and by-ways of Jerusalem, and see if you can find a man.’ It had been impossible to find a man in the Jerusalem of the prophet -- though there were thousands of male humans. But a man! C’est une autre chose!”
If I found no one in Jerusalem, I resolved, I would head to Harpania, a meeting place for singles who had no luck in their home towns (Yevamot 17a). Rabbi Zeira says that the town Harpania comes from the two Hebrew words har (mountain) and poneh (turn). Harpania is the city that people turn to if they come from such bad genealogical lines that no one wants to marry them: “Whoever cannot identify his family and his tribe turns there to find a mate.” It is clear from the Talmud that the Jews of Talmudic Babylonia were very preoccupied with their family trees. They prided themselves in tracing their ancestry all the way back to the Babylonian exile in the days of King Yechonia (600 BCE). And they were interested in marrying only those of “pure lineage,” those who could construct family trees back for generations. Certain parts of Babylonia were regarded as genealogically “purer” than others, and apparently Harpania was the worst; as Rava goes on to say, “Harpania is deeper than hell.” And so anyone who could not find someone to marry was encouraged to try Harpania, home of the least eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.
Jerusalem was probably not quite as bad as Harpania, but even so, the dating scene did not look good for women. Once I accompanied a friend to a singles event--the only such event I ever attended--and was distressed to see that the women outnumbered the men by nearly two to one. And the gap was not just in quantity, but in quality as well. Most of the women were dressed in stockings and modest but flattering fitted skirts, with any gray hairs dyed, and any wrinkles or skin blemishes covered by painstakingly applied make-up. The men—their pants baggy, their hair disheveled—looked like they had just rolled out of bed. I imagined the men and women as items on sale in a supermarket: The women were the perishables, stamped with expiration dates that were rapidly approaching. The men were the canned goods; they didn’t look all that appealing, but they could remain on the shelves indefinitely until someone finally decided to pick them off the shelf. Everyone sat in a circle nibbling on stale cookies and drinking apple juice from a carton in plastic cups, playing silly icebreaker games led by a pretty woman in a bright purple dress, her hair wrapped in a colorful turban. Whenever it was my turn, she flashed me a smile that seemed kind but patronizing, as if I were a little child with a long way to go, even though I imagined that we were about the same age. I thought of her as the preschool teacher and the rest of us as her toddling charges. Since when did being single become so infantilizing?
Living in Jerusalem, I was surrounded by the assumption that everyone wanted to be married, and that those who weren’t were incomplete and longing that things were otherwise. Unlike New York City or Cambridge, there was no respect for the high-powered career woman or the superstar professor; so long as she was single, she must be unhappy. I could handle being incomplete, but the thought of other people’s pity made me recoil and cringe.
The Talmud, too, looks pitifully upon any woman who does not have a man with whom to share her life and, more specifically, her bed. Five times throughout the Babylonian Talmud, the sage Reish Lakish quotes a popular folk saying to this effect: Tav L’Meytav Tan Du M’l’meytav Armelo. The phrase literally means, “It is better for a woman to sit as two than to sit alone by herself.” The rabbis’ discussion of this folk saying unleashes a flurry of colorful comments attributed to various Talmudic sages about how much a woman is willing to put up with just so that she can have a husband (118b):

Abayey: Even if her husband is the size of a sesame seed, she is proud to place her chair among the free women.
Rav Papa: Even if her husband is just a spinner of wool, she will call out to him to come sit with her at the entrance to their home.
Rav Ashi: Even if her husband is a cabbage-head, at least she will not lack for lentils in her pot.

It seems the Talmud cannot imagine a woman who could be both happy and single. Even so, Abayey, Rav Papa and Rav Ashi are not granted the last word. The passage concludes with the following assertion: “And all these women commit adultery and attribute their offspring to their husbands.” That is, all these women who so desperately want to be married are really just interested in having a convenient excuse when they find themselves pregnant as a result of their adulterous affairs. Why do they need husbands? So that they can point to a legitimate father for their bastard children!
This closing line, astonishing in its flippancy and subversiveness, casts the preceding statements in a new light: According to the Talmudic sages, a woman needs a husband so that she can “place her chair among the free women,” that is, so that she can count herself among those women who are free to have adulterous affairs! And even if her husband is a cabbage-head, she doesn’t care, because she’s just using him as a cover so that she can gallivant off and engage in extramarital sex. For this reason it is better for a woman to be married than to be alone.
To some extent Omri functioned as a similar cover for me. He was not my husband, but as my long-term boyfriend, he enabled me to place my chair among those who were free from the torture of attending singles events and being “set up” by concerned, well-meaning strangers. “Are you looking to meet someone,” people would often ask me, and immediately I would rush to assure them that no, I had quite enough lentils in my pot, thank you very much.
Shortly after I studied this passage in Yevamot, my friend Aviva came for Shabbat dinner bearing the gift of a glass jar full of hard candy. “When you finish all the sweets,” she told me, “you can save the jar and use it as a vase for the next time Omri brings you flowers.” I smiled, knowing that I would do not such thing. Instead, I washed out the jar, filled it with two kilos of lentils, and placed it in my cupboard alongside my beans, split peas and other dried goods. I put a label on the vase with a quote from the passage in Yevamot: “she does not lack for lentils in her pot.” Most nights that summer I had lentil soup for dinner – alone.
In the Talmud it is clear that men have the advantage when it comes to marriage, which is described as a one-way transaction in which a man acquires a woman and may simultaneously be legally wed to several women at once. The Talmud speaks of the sanctity of marriage, but we hear other less conventional voices as well, such as the following account in Yevamot:
When Rav would visit the city of Dardishir, he would announce:
"Who will be mine for a day?"
And when Rav Nachman would visit the city of Shachnetziv, he would announce: "Who will be mine for a day?"(Yevamot 37b)
Rav and Rav Nachman, two great third-century Babylonian sages, apparently had a practice of marrying (or perhaps simply sleeping with) women for a single day. I understand what was in it for the sages, who presumably had to travel often and could not always take their wives with them. But I can’t help but wonder what sort of woman would be interested in such a one-night stand. Perhaps in Talmudic times, too, there were far more suitable women than men? Perhaps they were so desperate for companionship that they would rather have a man for one night than be alone forever? Or perhaps these women were excited by the notion of being associated with such a great rabbinic luminary? 
            Personally I am drawn to those Talmudic stories—few and far between though they may be—of women who have free reign to choose among various men, rather than the opposite gender dynamic. This is the case with Rava’s wife, who actively chooses her husband rather than waiting around like a wallflower to be hand-picked. She is introduced in the context of a discussion about marriage and fertility, in which the rabbis put forth principles such as the following (Yevamot 34b):
A woman does not become pregnant upon her first intercourse.
For the twenty-four months after a woman gives birth, her husband will sow inside and seed outside.
A woman who commits an illicit sexual act will invert herself after intercourse lest she become pregnant.
I remember learning these passages in the morning Talmud shiur I attended at a synagogue in Jerusalem, where mine was the only womb in the room. While I knew the Talmud wasn’t talking about me personally, the discussion on the page before us was certainly more about me than about any of the men in the room. And so when we came to these passages, I suddenly felt as conspicuous as Virginia Woolf traipsing across the green quads of Oxbridge.
            Unfortunately it gets worse before it gets better. The Talmud goes on to assert, in the name of Ravin, that “any woman who waits ten years after the death of her husband before remarrying will never give birth again.” It had only been two years since Paul and I had separated, but already I was starting to worry about my dormant womb. It seemed that there was hope for me, and least according to Rav Nahman, who goes on to qualify that “This was taught only with regard to one who did not intend to remarry; but if a woman intended to remarry, then she will indeed become pregnant.” Rav Nahman suggests that a woman’s psychology may affect her womb (as we know from the nineteenth-century hysterics). If she intends to have intercourse again, her reproductive organs will not wither. I was reassured, but the subject matter at hand still seemed a little too close to home. I hunched over my volume of Talmud, hoping that none of the men in the room were familiar with my personal circumstances.
It is at this point in the passage that Rava’s wife makes her appearance, though it seems like she was there all along, sitting in on an all-male study group just like me. Unlike me, however, she was not able to remain anonymous. After hearing the discussion between Ravin and Rav Nahman, Rava leans over to his wife and tells her that the rabbis are talking about her. She, too, had been previously married and it seems she had waited a long time before remarrying and becoming Rava’s wife. “The rabbis are murmuring about you,” Rava tells her. Rava’s wife seizes upon Rav Nahman’s corollary and rushes to her own defense. She assures Rava that although she did not remarry for over a decade, her womb did not close up because she always intended to remarry, as per Rav Nahman’s corollary. Or, as she tells Rava somewhat romantically, “My eye was on you all along.”
I am impressed by the bravado of this woman who sits next to her husband while he is learning Torah with his colleagues and dares to confess that she had been interested in him for a while. She clearly has a will of her own, even though she remains nameless. We learn more about her elsewhere in the Talmud, where she is known as the daughter of Rav Hisda. The Talmud relates the following anecdote from her youth:
The daughter of Rav Hisda was sitting on her father's lap. They were seated before Rava and Rami bar Chama. Rav Hisda said to his daughter: "Which of these men do you want [to marry]?" She responded, "Both of them!" Rava said, "Then let me be the second one."
Rav Hisda's daughter, a girl young enough to still sit on her father's lap, is depicted here like a greedy child in an ice cream shop who wants both chocolate and vanilla, or like Shel Silverstein's Terrible Theresa who chooses the middle pancake from the towering stack. If given the choice between two men, she'll take them both! But Rava does not miss a beat. To the extent that he can still control his fate, he intercedes. He does not want to be the first of two men to marry Rav Hisda's daughter, which would mean that either he would die, or that they would divorce. He'd rather be the second, and so he wisely stakes his claim. Now it becomes clear how Rav Hisda’s daughter could have known in advance that she would become Rava’s wife. She had her eye on him all along because she had chosen him when she was just a young girl. She always knew that she would remarry, and so she is confident that her dormant womb will rally when she wishes to become pregnant again.
            In Yevamot, the emphasis is not just on marriage but also on having children, which is of course the first commandment in the Bible – to increase and multiply. The Talmud in Yevamot (61a) discusses a debate between Beit Hillel, who holds that a man must have at least one son and one daughter to count as having fulfilled this commandment; and Beit Shammai, who holds that a man must have two sons. All the sages agree, however, that fulfilling this mitzvah is so paramount that a man may even sell a Torah scroll so as to have enough money to have children. The Talmud then goes on to cite the case of Rav Sheshet (62b), who was childless because the classes taught by his teacher Rav Huna went on for too long. Presumably Rav Sheshet found himself staying so late in the beit midrash that by the time he got home at night, his wife was already asleep! I, on the other hand, used to go to evening classes with the deliberate goal of staying out late, so that I would not have to come home to an empty house.
            The tension between studying Torah and raising a family is dramatized in the figure of Ben Azzai, who captured my imagination when I encountered him in a conversation about procreation in Yevamot (63b). Rabbi Eliezer asserts that anyone who does not engage in this mitzvah is considered as if he has committed murder, since the commandment to procreate is juxtaposed in Genesis with the verse prohibiting bloodshed. Rabbi Yaakov then demurs that anyone who does not engage in this mitzvah is regarded as diminishing the image of God, since the commandment to procreate is also juxtaposed with the verse about man being created in the image of God. At this point, Ben Azzi chimes in and declares that anyone who neglects the commandment to procreate is regarded as if he both commits murder and diminishes the image of God. The other sages leap up and lambast Ben Azzai for his hypocrisy: “Ben Azzai, there are those who preach well and those who practice well, and those who practice well but do not preach well. But you – you preach well but do not practice what you preach!” Presumably Ben Azzai  himself was unmarried, or at least he did not have children. And so he can offer only a faltering defense: “What can I do? My soul desires Torah. The world can be sustained by others.” Ben Azzai is so enamored of Torah study that he cannot bear the thought of sacrificing his study time for the sake of raising a family.

On those nights when I found myself walking back from class alone while all my friends with kids were ensconced at home, I sometimes pretended that I, like Ben Azzai, had made a conscious choice. Certainly I had far more time to study Torah than I would if I were saddled with responsibilities of raising a family. I enjoyed waking up early every morning and rushing out the door to my daf yomi shiur, and then coming home late after attending classes on the weekly Torah portion. At the same time, I couldn't help wishing that I'd known, back then, that it was just a temporary stage of life. If only I, like Rav Hisda’s daughter, had sat on my father’s lap as a young girl and hand-picked my two husbands. Then perhaps I wouldn’t feel a flutter in my womb each time I went out among the streets and by-ways of Jerusalem, looking despairingly at the thousands of male humans in search of my Frog. All herring and mackerel, it seemed.

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          The Vision Quest   

If you happened to read my last blog post you saw that I fixed all the assistants to work with an OpenGL 3.2 Core Profile. Let's take a step back and see why this fix was necessary and what was wrong with the code.


In Krita 3.0 we introduced 'Instant preview'. This is a mechanism for speeding up big brush strokes on large canvases and uses OpenGL3. Before this mechanism Krita exclusively used OpenGL2 and below.

A side-effect of OpenGL3 is that it deprecated some functions from older versions. Now, normally this isn't a problem as Windows and Linux support a thing called Compatibility Profile, which allows the user to use new and deprecated functions together.

However on Mac OS this compatibility profile is not supported and they leave us two choices. Either don't use any functionality from OGL3, or remove all deprecated functions from our code.

Our solution

By now you might have guessed that we chose the latter option and set out to remove all deprecated functionality. The problem here is that not all of this legacy code is in Krita, but actually in Qt (which is the library we use for the graphical user-interface). More specifically, we use some functions of Qt which contains legacy code to draw our canvas decorations (Brush outline, Assistants, etc.).

Since we don't have direct control over the Qt code, we decided to copy their legacy code into Krita and use this copied code to implement our fix. This means that drawing the decorations would now make use of our copied code instead of the Qt code. Ultimately however, we don't want to keep using this copied code as it would be a nightmare to keep up-to-date with the current Qt version. Therefore, the plan was to implement our fix and send our patch back to the guys over at Qt for them to merge it into their library.

So what did this fix involve exactly?

  • Updating every Qt shader to use GLSL 1.5
  • Creating a VAO + several VBOs for uploading data to the GPU
  • Dynamically switching between old OGL versions and new versions
  • Updating Krita shaders to use GLSL 1.5
  • Creating appropriate VAO + VBOs for tool outlines and canvas textures
  • Dynamically switching between old OGL versions and new versions
Making a custom Qt installation

As you saw the fix worked well using our copied Qt code, but now the next step was to move these fixes to the current Qt 5.7 code. Of course, Qt 5.7 contained some changes that weren't in our old copied code, so I had to merge my changes manually into the new files. Luckily this all went well and my first custom Qt installation was born.

And then, le moment suprême, as we run Krita with this custom Qt version...

Well.. unfortunately it didn't run...

On start-up Krita complained that there wasn't a valid context bound or that the OpenGL implementation does not support buffers. This happened in a piece of code that is completely unrelated to my fixes, but one that I luckily recently had a look at.

The unnerving thing is that my fix contains nothing that meddles with the OpenGL context and doesn't touch the file that gave the error. What's even worse, when debug printing the current context in that file it looked perfectly intact. So what could possibly be causing this?

Well it turned out that there is no such error when I run Krita without my fix, so it had to be something I had done. Alas, there was nothing left to do but to very slowly remove parts of my fix until the error stopped appearing, while at the same time keeping the code runnable.

Finally, I found the troublesome piece of code. It was already present in Qt and I had commented it out as it is chock-full of deprecated functions. The act of commenting out this piece of code apparently has severe consequences on unrelated files. I have no idea why...

Uncommenting this piece of code no longer caused any issues and fixed the error, soooo... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sending the patch to Qt

Last Wednesday I cleaned up the fixes and sent in a change request to the Qt people. Over the coming days we will discuss the best way to implement parts of it in preparation of them taking in the changes so that we may drop our copied code and just use Qt as-is.

Their vision is to keep support for deprecated functionality, but to also allow the user to pick an OpenGL3.2 Core Profile which removes all these functions. This means I will have to implement checks in the fix to see which profile the user has requested. This incremental preparation of the patch will happen over a couple of weeks as we get closer to a solution we are both happy with.

Bonus talk

As one might imagine it is not a super fast process to update fixes and wait for comments and critique from the patch reviewers. This leaves me with some extra time in my Summer of Code to look at other parts of Krita. In particular, I am interested in the deep dark depths of the Krita painting engine.

The first part of these depths that I looked at was the way in which parts of the canvas are updated as people paint on it. This happens in a tile based manner.
The canvas is divided in tiles of size 256x256 and as paint strokes hit certain tiles only they get updated. An image would look something like this to Krita internally:

You notice I've drawn some red borders around the tiles. These borders represent where we extend each tile by 16 pixels on every side. This tile + border together is a 256x256 texture (so the effective size of the actual image tile is only 224x224).

Why do we extend each tile by 16 pixels? Well we keep what is called 'levels of detail' of the image. Effectively what this means is that we keep lower quality versions of the image (also called mip-maps). These levels of detail are progressively lower in resolution by powers of 2. So if the original image had a resolution of 1024x1024 its mip-maps would be: 512x512, 256x256, 128x128, 64x64 etc.

To see why these levels of detail are useful we have to dive into the implementation of 'Instant preview'. Essentially what that mechanic does is simulate a user's brush stroke on a lower level of detail where it is much faster to calculate and show this preview to the user, while in the background it is applying the brush stroke to the actual image. This gives the user an 'instant preview' of the brush stroke and retains the integrity of the image.

But I still haven't told you about why we need this border around the image. Well this has to do with the filtering we perform. To show a high-quality image at all zoom levels we might apply filters such as bilinear interpolation. For every pixel you see on screen bilinear interpolation takes the 4 pixels closest to the pixel you want to calculate and averages these according to how close they are.

In the image below you see a pixel with an imprecise position (because it has been zoomed in/out) called (x, y) for which we want to calculate the colour, and the 4 closest pixels in the actual image (x1,y1), (x2,y1), (x2, y2) and (x1, y2). The colour of the pixel is then taken as the average of the colour of the other pixels multiplied by the area the pixel directly diagonal from it takes up.

Now you have an idea of how bilinear interpolation works, you might ask yourself how this works when the pixel is at the edge of the image. Because obviously there aren't any pixels outside of the image to sample colours from.

Well this is exactly why we need an extra border of pixels around the image. We need at least one extra pixel around the image in order to handle the corner cases of bilinear interpolation. But what colour should this border be? It should be the colour of the pixel directly next to it! So in a way we are just taking all the pixels of the image edge and copying them to form a 1 pixel border.

But.. we have a 16 pixel border? Here is where the mip-mapping comes in. If we want to have a 1 pixel border at the lowest level of detail, we should have a border that is 2 pixels on the next higher level of detail (LoD). This is the case because if the second-to-lowest LoD is halved in size to form the lowest LoD we end up with a 1 pixel border.

In Krita we store five levels of detail (including the original image) and so we need a 1px, 2px, 4px, 8px and finally a 16px border on the original image.

So far I have been talking about these borders in the context of the image, but actually we need this border of every tile as they are little images that form the complete image. So now you hopefully understand the red lines on the Kiki image.

Speed up

You might be wondering why I am telling you all of this. While going through the code that handles all this tile business I found out that the code that extends each tile by 16 pixels takes up half of the processing time of each tile. This means that when you are drawing, half of the time it spends updating your canvas is spent on extending the tiles a little bit.

Here is my tiny benchmark of updating a full 8000x8000 canvas with and without tile borders:

Time taken on updating 8000x8000 canvas with borders: ~402ms

Time taken on CPU Time taken on GPU Total time
1 123ms 106.3ms 229.3ms
2 237ms 208.4ms 445.4ms
3 140ms 135.7ms 275.7ms
4 155ms 148.1ms 303.1ms
5 325ms 256.3ms 581.3ms
6 279ms 249.7ms 528.7ms
7 237ms 208.2ms 445.2ms
8 283ms 267.2ms 550.2ms
9 225ms 209.0ms 434.0ms
10 122ms 109.8ms 231.8ms

Time taken on updating 8000x8000 canvas without borders: ~194ms

Time taken on CPU Time taken on GPU Total time
1 55ms 52.8ms 107.8ms
2 87ms 123.8ms 210.8ms
3 82ms 125.3ms 207.3ms
4 46ms 122.8ms 168.8ms
5 245ms 197.3ms 442.3ms
6 53ms 45.6ms 98.6ms
7 46ms 125.1ms 171.1ms
8 47ms 122.9ms 169.9ms
9 50ms 122.9ms 172.9ms
10 61ms 124.7ms 185.7ms

I think the current implementation of this extending has a lot of opportunity to be optimised. So the time I have left while waiting for Qt critique I will spend on trying to get this border extension implementation optimised and possible getting a nice speed-up on the painting. I doubt it will be twice as fast, because I am sure there is a lot of other things going on during a paint stroke, but it will at least go some way to squeezing more performance out of Krita.
          International design competition launches for new Lithuanian Concert Centre   

Kaunas City Municipality and Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) have launched the Kaunas M.K. Čiurlionis Concert Centre International Design Contest. It is being run as an anonymous, one-stage competition and invites architects from across the world to produce concept designs for an emblematic new building of national and international significance. When speaking of the importance of […]

The post International design competition launches for new Lithuanian Concert Centre appeared first on Australian Design Review.

          Interior Ministry’s Official website Hacked   

September 6th 2014 –  The Official website of Interior Ministry Of Pakistan hacked by  Anti-Government Hackers. These Hacking is Trending Hot in Pakistan as the Political Unrest and Crisis in the Capital has created such environment where majority of Pakistanis are sick and tired of this Governments lies and blunders. Breaking :  Anonymous says the […]

The post Interior Ministry’s Official website Hacked appeared first on INCPak.

          Anonymous Operation Pakistan – Press Release   

Sunday -August 31, Operation Pakistan – Anonymous has watched in horror with the world as non-violent protesters from Palestine to Ferguson have been gassed, beaten, shot at and arrested this summer. And we have done everything in our power to intervene and protect them, and collect the evidence of the human rights violations perpetrated against […]

The post Anonymous Operation Pakistan – Press Release appeared first on INCPak.

          House Bill 389 Printer's Number 392   
An Act amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, in primary and election expenses, further providing for reporting by candidate and political committees and other persons and for contributions by agents, anonymous contributions and cash contributions....
          java语言中的匿名类与lambda表达式介绍与总结 (Anonymous Classes and Lambda Expressions)   

          Comment on Gil Cuerva and Jennylyn Mercado: A Unique Love Connection (sarreh not sarreh!) by Anonymous   
Nakaka happy naman alam ni writer ang eject that means nanood sya hahaha. Tama eject ang mga nega
          Comment on 1917 Falls Farm Crossing, Raleigh, NC 27614 Gorgeous Home On Corner Lot in River Run by Anonymous   
Visitor Rating: 5 Stars
          HUU Elections - voting day 2   
It seems that there was more of a campaign presence on the Hull campus today. This is possibly because it's getting closer to the end of the voting period, so the candidates have to everything they can to persuade people to vote for them.

campaign pic

However, I still think that more of the candidates should have been doing this straight away. As I said in my last post, it would get you noticed and increase the chances of people putting you as their first choice in the relevant election.

I also saw some people around the library, which was a refreshing change. In previous years there have been huge numbers of people there. Whether the library is a polling area or not (technically, it still is because of the computers), it's a place where many students go, so you should be there for as long as possible.

Once again, I didn't hear a huge amount of noise from the campaign teams. Some students would cosider this a good thing, but only because it's often accompanied by people shoving flyers in your face. However, you can still make a noise without resorting to those practices. Without it, there isn't much of an atmosphere and some students may fail to realise the importance of the event.

Anyway, that's all about the Hull campus - what about Scarborough? For those who aren't familiar with the University of Hull, it might seem strange to have a campus in an area that isn't Hull. However, it's quite common to have multiple campuses in different areas - it's something that has happened for years. For instance, before 1954, the University of Hull was actually a college that was part of the University of London.

According to a comment that was left on my last post (presumably by a campaigner), the candidates for the position of Vice-President (Scarborough Campus) were out in force and I'm guessing the people running for other positions were out there too. I say 'other positions' because this year is a rareity - we have Scarborough based candidates for more than just one exec position. This is in addition to the positions available on the Scarborough Executive Committee. I think this is really good news and I hope the same happens in future years.

So, what about the possibility of the dreaded 'student apathy™'? Yes, you read that correctly. Once again I've mentioned that phrase that makes the sky go dark, makes babies cry and also makes executive officers so stressed their heads explode. Well, it could happen. No matter how hard unions across the country have tried over the years, voter turnout has been consistently low.

At Hull, we've had highly visible themes relating to such things as Superman (last year) and Heroes (this year). These themes are an attempt to engage the student by using something that relates to them, instead of making it dry and verbose.

After talking to a reliable source (the President), voter turnout was at about 700 (this was at lunchtime today). I expect a lot of people will leave voting until the last minute, so there could be a sharp increase and this would mean the individual turnouts of the previous three years would be beaten - a great result. Apparently, there is a target of roughly 2000. Last year, around 1600 people voted, which is roughly 10%. 2000 would be a big achievement.

There are a couple of things in Hull University Union elections which make them different from those which take place in some other unions. The first is that HUU does not allow 'slates'. A slate means that multiple candidates would be campaigning as a cohesive unit. I have always had a big problem with them because firstly, it can only increase factionalisation - which also increases the chances of there being an unrepresentative exec. Secondly, there could be potential problems if only part of the slate is elected. It could lead to a divisive exec and disjointed decision making. I am glad that slates are not allowed.

In some unions they are perfectly legitimate. For instance, at the 2007 NUS Annual Conference, Student RESPECT had a slate that had four people running for different positions (Rob Owen for President, Assed Baig for National Secretary, Clare Solomon for VP (Welfare) and Siobhan Brown for VP (Further Education)).

The second difference between HUU elections and those in some other unions is that the full-time executive officers can only stay for a single one year term. In many other unions across the country, officers can campaign for a second year, which is the maximum that is allowed.

This HUU policy is something that I have consistently disagreed with. Although you can make numerous changes in one year, you could make even more of a difference and implement more long term policies if you had two years. This can be especially crucial when dealing with a university, as their hierarchies are typically much slower to respond.

However, there is a way around this problem. 2007/2008 was the first academic year where there were part-time officers on the union's executive committee. You could get elected into one of those positions and then be elected as a full-time Vice-President (or the President) for the following year. Even though that is case, you could still have a situation where the majority (or all) of the executive changes every year.

So, who is the person on the exec that is responsible for the elections? At HUU, it's the job of the Union Secretary & Treasurer (currently Jay Webster). Unfortunately, Jay is currently suspended from his duties, which means more work for the President and other exec members. Hopefully, the problem that lead to his suspension will be resolved quickly as it has a potential impact on the handover for his successor (among other things).

I must also respond to an anonymous person who commented on my previous post (about the first voting day). It is true that the sabbatical team should be able to encourage students to vote and therefore increase turnout year on year. I must also thank him for mentioning my awe-inspiring victory last year. However, I must disagree with him on one point - I think the 2006/2007 sabbatical team were much more attractive (especially the person that was responsible for Academic Representation!).

The next post will have news of day three and the results.

Technorati tags: Election, Politics, Student Unions, Students
          Huppenthal, History and Ethnic Studies   
The Mexican American Studies trial is a trip down memory lane for me, especially with former Education Superintendent John Huppenthal on the stand. Back when he was using his two aliases, Thucydides and Falcon 9, to comment on blogs across the state, my posts were on the receiving end of much of his anonymous wit, wisdom and, well, idiocy.…
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 26394091)   
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1154758)   
Let me challenge your train of thought for just a moment. What if, instead, you asked: "WHAT is the ONE true Source (of energy)?"
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 13100401)   
Jesus is and the reason why I say this is because all called on him told him I was sorry of my sins and asked for help to turn from them. I felt the presence of God after that, the only way to describe it is pure love I'm hooked.
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1194370)   
The one which brings a man freedom from bondage. The one which brings a man healing. The one which teaches a man to follow good paths and peaceful paths. The one which brings a man hope and comfort and assurance and a peace which surpasses understanding. The one which makes Himself...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 15046899)   
The Creator. The Source.
          Original Message by Anonymous Coward (UID 14932916)   
Serious question. Who is the one true God? It makes no sense that there are thousands of religions, each claiming The One True God. How are we...
          PGPD Investigating Fatal Collision in Accokeek   
The Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit is working to determine the cause of a fatal crash in Accokeek. The victim is 67-year-old James Hill of North Thames Street in Accokeek.

On June 29th, at about 8:50 pm, patrol officers were called to the intersection of Indian Head Highway and Pine Drive for the report of a crash involving three vehicles. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he died shortly thereafter.

The preliminary investigation reveals Hill was traveling eastbound on Pine Drive attempting to turn left onto northbound Indian Head Highway. That’s when Hill’s minivan was struck by a Ford heading southbound on Indian Head Highway. A third car then hit the Ford. The Ford’s driver suffered what appears to be non-life-threatening injuries. Prior to the collision, witnesses reported seeing several vehicles speeding and driving in a reckless manner southbound on Indian Head Highway.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS, text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com.

          Detectives Investigate Homicide in Forestville   
Detectives are investigating a fatal shooting in Forestville last night. The victim is 25-year-old Jerelle Burnett of Curtis Drive in Temple Hills. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.

On June 28th, at about 8:05 pm, patrol officers responded to the 6400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue for the report of a shooting. When they arrived, the officers discovered the victim outside suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Detectives are working to identify a suspect(s) and motive in this case.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit a tip online.

          Hola ‘Patas’ ¿puedes dormir?: Anonymous   
Redacción El Tijuanense / Por: Carlos Zúñiga Tijuana.- Mediante un nuevo vídeo subido a la plataforma de YouTube, el grupo internacional de hackers llamados “Anonymous” lanzaron una nueva amenaza al alcalde de Tijuana, incluso adelantaron la posible intención de Juan Manuel Gastélum de ser gobernador de Baja California. En la grabación que inicia con una […]
          Netflix a craqué, Sense8 aura un dernier épisode de 2 heures !   

L'article Netflix a craqué, Sense8 aura un dernier épisode de 2 heures ! a été publié sur L'info tout court.

Netflix a craqué, Sense8 aura un dernier épisode de 2 heures !

Netflix a craqué, Sense8 aura un dernier épisode de 2 heures !

« Nous sommes légion, nous ne pardonnons pas ». Si Anonymous ne fait pas partie de l’équation, Netflix aurait bel et bien craqué, Sense8 aura une conclusion de deux heures l’année prochaine. En effet, Lana Wachowski vient d’annoncer l’heureuse nouvelle sur twitter suite au soutien et l’implication des fans qui s’étaient fortement et mondialement mobilisés contre l’annulation du show humaniste. [...]

L'article Netflix a craqué, Sense8 aura un dernier épisode de 2 heures ! a été publié sur L'info tout court.

          Big Fish, Small Pond? Or Big Fish, Wrong Pond?   
So, the last time I emailed you, I had the hype but not the trophies. Now I’ve got both. Why is it that American editors ignore writers from New Zealand who aren’t Margaret Mahy or Joy Cowley. Down under, our buyers (readers) are piranhas. But, unfortunately for NZ authors, they are tiny piranhas.

I also review the YA books which that come out of the US and the UK and most of it, which, yeah, I know, sells, is actually formulaic which my students (I’m a high school teacher) turn their noses at – preferring to read ADULT literature.

Is this a ‘mam, this is a gentlemen’s club…’ kind of thing? Cos it sure does feel like it.
If you mean actual 'gentlemen', then no. The majority of publisher staff is female. 

If you mean 'we just don't like New Zealanders', then no. We're seeing a lot of very talented and very profitable novels coming from the southern hemisphere, and there's no prejudice that I'm aware of, unless it's a prejudice for Australia/New Zealand, not against.  (And while I realize that Australians and New Zealanders do not see themselves as in the same category, to US publishers, you are.)

If you mean 'Americans are just stupid and you can't sell anything smart to them', well, I can't say for sure, can I? We certainly can't match you for sheep jokes.

With an award under your belt and great reviews, I would start to wonder if your agent is sending the book to the right people.  Authors over here sometimes have to leave their agents because things just aren't working out.  You may be in that position, too.

At the same time, sometimes a book that can make a big splash in a smaller publishing market would be in danger of disappearing in a larger one.  Without having read your book, I can't hypothesize, but good luck.

          At Least It's Not My Beautiful Mommy   
Anonymous, you’ve put so much effort into warning about the perils of self publishing. Why bother? Considering none of them would even make it through into the real world of publishing anyway (therefore not affecting you)why are you so passionate about the subject? 
I feel bad for people who are taken in by vanity presses and who end up repaid for their money and effort only in frustration. 
Wouldn’t trashy self published books actually make what you do look better? 
Most of my books look awesome whatever you put them next to.
You don't actually need the horribly bad contestants on American Idol to make the honestly talented contestants shine.
I agree most people should not attempt to self publish, but publishing companies have also put out some pretty crap books.
Well, that's the truth.  But at least no one was deliberately swindled over those books.
I know because my daughter has devoured many thousands of books since the age of two (she was a very early reader), some of which have either bored her to tears or she has found mistakes not picked up by professional editors. In fact over time she has found quite a few and from the age of three she refused to read any books which had mistakes. At age ten she has over a thousand books (yes, one is a self published book that she refuses to part with.) Strangely enough it is the only book with mistakes she wants to keep because she said “at least it’s interesting”. The content would never be endorsed by a mainstream publishing company but this piqued the interest of child who tends to think outside the box. So to each his own.
I absolutely agree. Everyone is welcome to make as many mistakes as they like.  But for those who would rather not make a mistake, a word to the wise is a simple kindness.
          Once Upon a Time, a Chipmunk and a Penguin Went to a Motel Room   
I'm finishing an illustration-only book. It was intended for children, but it's suitable for all ages. 
Please refer to this post.
So would it be considered a children's picture book because it meets the page-count criteria, or could it be stretched to the novelty category and submitted to agents that don't accept children's fiction? It seems to me that novelty can be a tough sell, but aren't consumers more likely to purchase a novelty/gift book than, say, a fifteen-dollar picture book? I ask that realizing your answer most likely is that it depends on the pictures, but feel free to surprise me here.
It depends on the pictures---and the topic. 

There is a core audience for your book.  I'm guessing, from your question, that the topic or treatment is somewhat adult, and the only reason you think it might be a children's book is the format.  I don't suppose you've seen Baby, Mix Me a Drink?  Or Furverts?  Those are both board book formats, a format associated with infants and toddlers.  Does the format make them for that audience?  OH HELL NO.

Of course, there are some picture books published every year by children's imprints for which the audience is really adults.  The ones who skate that line in an acceptable way are usually light-hearted life advice, like: "if you love someone, set them free."  They are bought as graduation gifts (see Walk On or Oh The Places You'll Go).  The ones that don't are usually dreadful and sometimes psychotic life advice, like: "if you love someone, let them chop you down to a stump."

But graduation gifts is a difficult niche to publish into---more difficult than adult novelty books. 

Figure out who your audience is.  Good luck!
Makes your web presence anonymous. NetShade is an Internet security tool which makes your Web presence anonymous and secure. Whenever you surf the Internet, your IP address is sent to every site you visit. These sites record your IP address in a log.
          Ep 204 – The Takeaway From Cleveland   

Tim discusses his recent controversial article “Cleveland Killing Wasn’t a Tragedy”, and what he meant by it. No apologies given. Most Americans won’t leave a minute of sleep over a man being murdered live on Facebook. Tim also gives a brief overview of his view of the hacking group Anonymous, and why he sees them […]

The post Ep 204 – The Takeaway From Cleveland appeared first on The Tim Preuss Podcast.

          Ep 171 – Russia Isn’t the Enemy   

Recorded Sunday, January 1st Tim and Brian go over the recent hack of the Bilderberg Group’s website by Anonymous and the false Washington Post story accusing Russia of hacking the U.S. power grid. As mainstream media instigates a conflict with Russia, “fake news” sets the record straight. Anonymous Hacks Bilderberg Group Russia Did NOT Hack the […]

The post Ep 171 – Russia Isn’t the Enemy appeared first on The Tim Preuss Podcast.

          Ep 134 – Reasons to Vote Hillary   

Recorded Sunday, May 29th Meghan sits out this Sunday, but the quiet voice of anonymous guest “Ashley” takes her spot. The trio talks about a woman wearing a “End Domestic Abuse” t-shirt being arrested for domestic abuse. Later the guys go over 112 reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton for POTUS.

The post Ep 134 – Reasons to Vote Hillary appeared first on The Tim Preuss Podcast.

          Fakery, Fakery, and More Fakery   

“I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America.”
So says Sarah Huckabee-Sanders. The video the White House press secretary was referring to apparently is Project Veritas’  “American Pravda” report. That video–(in case you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here )–shows some private comments made by a CNN producer named John Bonifield, who apparently did not know he was being filmed. In the conversation, recorded covertly, Bonifield admits that CNN’s Russia coverage is “mostly bullshit” and that President Trump is right when he accuses the media of engaging in “witch hunting.” He also says the Russia coverage has been driven by ratings.
As for Huckabee-Sanders, her comments, shown in the video above, were made on Tuesday, June 27, one day after the Veritas video was uploaded.
“And I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary and certainly more disgraceful,” she said.
It’s hard to ague with words such as these. Certainly reporting by the mainstream media has been disgraceful–not just on Russia but in a number of other areas as well. And certainly this malfeasance on the part of the media has taken us to a dangerous place in America.
But Huckabee-Sanders’ comments came less than 24 hours after her colleague in the Trump administration, Sean Spicer, made a preposterous accusation against the Syrian government while providing no evidence to back it up. According to Spicer, the US “has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”
Spicer added, by way of warning, that if “Mr. Assad  conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”
This is the Trump administration–the same administration that has been accusing the media of purveying fake news.
On April 6, US forces launched Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base over claims made by the media that Syria had carried out a chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province, killing dozens of people. This was one day after the New York Times had reported on what it referred to as the “worst chemical attack in years in Syria.”
“Dozens of people, including children, died–some writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth–after breathing in poison that possibly contained a nerve agent or other banned chemicals, according to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers,” the Times’ April 5 report said.
One of the reporters sharing a byline on that story was Michael R. Gordon, the same New York Times reporter who, along with Judith Miller, had reported on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction back in 2002.
It’s almost like a revolving wheel, isn’t it?
And so now we have the White House claiming Assad is plotting to kill children–where pray tell did they get this information? Hard to say for sure, but certainly it’s possible it was fed to them by the Israelis. And the gullible idiots in the Trump administration either believed it…or simply followed orders and had Spicer go out, hold a press conference, accuse the Syrian president of mass murder, and threaten to attack the coun