maxomai: dog (dog)
John Kerry issued a statement today:

The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy.


Indeed. A democratic, human-rights-respecting nation should never see this:

84yrolddorli-rainey-retired-teacher-pepper-sprayed-by-cop-seattle1111811-national-occupy-wall-street-police-beatting-brutality
133129074133136487
liz-nichols-occupy-portland-pepper-spraymore-wounds-from-rubber-bullets-at-Occupy-Denver-225x300
occupy-wall-street-13occupy-wall-street-arrest-007
OccupyWallSt protester-choked-by-police-officer-at-Occupy-Denver-300x200
riot-police-using-rubber-bullets-and-mace-at-Occupy-Denver-300x168riot-police-using-rubber-bullets-and-mace-at-Occupy-Denver

EDIT Whoops.......I'm sorry. I meant to include images of the Ukranian state's police brutality, and instead included images of American police crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street protesters. I apologize to John Kerry and to our Corporate Overlords for the oversight.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?

C&J

Mar. 9th, 2006 09:01 am
maxomai: dog (Default)
I know you've missed them; I've missed them too! And now they're back for a limited time.

JEERS to the Iraqi Civil War. The latest:



JEERS to rolling over. The Congressional GOP, ever eager for a grand Empire, has decided not to bother investigating the White House's illegal wiretaps. They were even considering passing a law to legalize these wiretaps, but probably won't -- after all, that would wreck their narrative.

CHEERS to Molly Ivins, who lays out the situation on the War on Reproductive Autonomy with her usual clarity of mind:

For years, the women's movement has been going around asking, "Who decides?" as though that were the issue. Well, here's the answer. Bill Napoli decides, and if you're not happy with that arrangement, well, you'd better be prepared to do something about it.


JEERS to Much Ado About Nothing. The media are making a big deal about Congress telling the President where he can put the Dubai ports deal. Frankly, I think Thom Hartmann has it exactly right: the GOP is going to make a big show of opposing the President on this before allowing the deal through anyway. They know this idea is a turkey, but they also know who pays the bills.

JEERS to losing whatever moral authority we had left. The State Department made a point last week of criticizing China's record on human rights. China, no stranger to the power of irony, responded by pointing out that the Bush administration hasn't exactly been a model of human rights, either. Apparently it has something to do with America's maintaining secret prisons where the CIA can torture people.

CHEERS to Unexpected Snow. Sure, it's a pain in the neck for the morning commute, but who can deny the breathtaking beauty of fresh snow on pine-covered mountains as one drives down I-5? Consider, also, that here in Oregon, the snow is generally a polite and thoughtful guest -- and knows to leave before it becomes an inconvenience.

C&J

Mar. 9th, 2006 09:01 am
maxomai: dog (Default)
I know you've missed them; I've missed them too! And now they're back for a limited time.

JEERS to the Iraqi Civil War. The latest:



JEERS to rolling over. The Congressional GOP, ever eager for a grand Empire, has decided not to bother investigating the White House's illegal wiretaps. They were even considering passing a law to legalize these wiretaps, but probably won't -- after all, that would wreck their narrative.

CHEERS to Molly Ivins, who lays out the situation on the War on Reproductive Autonomy with her usual clarity of mind:

For years, the women's movement has been going around asking, "Who decides?" as though that were the issue. Well, here's the answer. Bill Napoli decides, and if you're not happy with that arrangement, well, you'd better be prepared to do something about it.


JEERS to Much Ado About Nothing. The media are making a big deal about Congress telling the President where he can put the Dubai ports deal. Frankly, I think Thom Hartmann has it exactly right: the GOP is going to make a big show of opposing the President on this before allowing the deal through anyway. They know this idea is a turkey, but they also know who pays the bills.

JEERS to losing whatever moral authority we had left. The State Department made a point last week of criticizing China's record on human rights. China, no stranger to the power of irony, responded by pointing out that the Bush administration hasn't exactly been a model of human rights, either. Apparently it has something to do with America's maintaining secret prisons where the CIA can torture people.

CHEERS to Unexpected Snow. Sure, it's a pain in the neck for the morning commute, but who can deny the breathtaking beauty of fresh snow on pine-covered mountains as one drives down I-5? Consider, also, that here in Oregon, the snow is generally a polite and thoughtful guest -- and knows to leave before it becomes an inconvenience.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Impeach Bush by Garrison Keillor:

The peaceful lagoon that is the White House is designed for the comfort of a vulnerable man. Perfectly understandable, but not what is needed now. The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Impeach Bush by Garrison Keillor:

The peaceful lagoon that is the White House is designed for the comfort of a vulnerable man. Perfectly understandable, but not what is needed now. The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Yes, that Morrissey. Apparently they decided that he was a security threat after he made some comments about the British government.

Either that, or they realized that Smiths lyrics are a gateway to Islamic radicalism.

Yeah.

Anyway, you can read about it here.

Update Apparently, his girlfriend is in a coma, and he admitted that there are times the he could have "strangled her." (I know -- it's really serious. I would hate anything to happen to her.)
maxomai: dog (Default)
Yes, that Morrissey. Apparently they decided that he was a security threat after he made some comments about the British government.

Either that, or they realized that Smiths lyrics are a gateway to Islamic radicalism.

Yeah.

Anyway, you can read about it here.

Update Apparently, his girlfriend is in a coma, and he admitted that there are times the he could have "strangled her." (I know -- it's really serious. I would hate anything to happen to her.)

TIA

Feb. 5th, 2006 09:10 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
It just struck me why the illegal wiretapping program (aka Total Information Awareness) will never work. Again, this is presuming that my hypothesis (posted here) that the NSA is using pattern recognition to find terrorists is correct.

Back when I worked at Rulespace we had a training exercise wherein we had to build a simple classifier to detect web pages that dealt with the Scythian culture. The classifiers ended up being really lousy, with either an incredibly bad false positive rate or an incredibly bad false negative rate, or both. The main reason was that there simply wasn't enough Scythian material out there.

So, what do we know about the illegal wiretapping?

- It's being done without obtaining the necessary warrants
- There's enough false positives so that the FBI is straining to follow all the bad leads
- It's only turned up a handful (less than ten) of new suspects
- The extent of the wiretapping is supposedly very widespread.

So given this, and assuming my hypothesis is correct, it may be that there's simply not enough terrorists in the United States to build a good classifier. If so, then this approach to detecting terrorists can only work if we hire many more people into the FBI to sift through all the thousands of false leads.

However, it does make for a good trial run for building classifiers for much larger groups -- such as drug users, women who have had abortions, gun owners ....

Addendum Another problem with this program, of course, is that any evidence obtained as a result of these searches is inadmissible in court; both because the evidence was obtained illegally and because the method used to obtain the evidence has been repeatedly shown utterly unreliable. Which makes me wonder: what will we do when we uncover a plot? Will we just disappear or assassinate people without an explanation? Do we really want our government doing that on American soil, possibly to American citizens?

TIA

Feb. 5th, 2006 09:10 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
It just struck me why the illegal wiretapping program (aka Total Information Awareness) will never work. Again, this is presuming that my hypothesis (posted here) that the NSA is using pattern recognition to find terrorists is correct.

Back when I worked at Rulespace we had a training exercise wherein we had to build a simple classifier to detect web pages that dealt with the Scythian culture. The classifiers ended up being really lousy, with either an incredibly bad false positive rate or an incredibly bad false negative rate, or both. The main reason was that there simply wasn't enough Scythian material out there.

So, what do we know about the illegal wiretapping?

- It's being done without obtaining the necessary warrants
- There's enough false positives so that the FBI is straining to follow all the bad leads
- It's only turned up a handful (less than ten) of new suspects
- The extent of the wiretapping is supposedly very widespread.

So given this, and assuming my hypothesis is correct, it may be that there's simply not enough terrorists in the United States to build a good classifier. If so, then this approach to detecting terrorists can only work if we hire many more people into the FBI to sift through all the thousands of false leads.

However, it does make for a good trial run for building classifiers for much larger groups -- such as drug users, women who have had abortions, gun owners ....

Addendum Another problem with this program, of course, is that any evidence obtained as a result of these searches is inadmissible in court; both because the evidence was obtained illegally and because the method used to obtain the evidence has been repeatedly shown utterly unreliable. Which makes me wonder: what will we do when we uncover a plot? Will we just disappear or assassinate people without an explanation? Do we really want our government doing that on American soil, possibly to American citizens?
maxomai: dog (Default)
So you've probably heard that a movement of vocal and frightening religious zealots are raging over what they regard as a slight against their prophet.

I'm referring, of course, to The American Family Association and their anger at a television show that will reportedly have Britney Speers as a conservative Christian talk show host, with a show called "Cruci fixin's."

(You thought this was going to be about the Danish cartoons, didn't you?)

I'm almost certain that someone will point out that the AFA hasn't threatened violence against NBC in order to shut down "Will and Grace." That's true, but it doesn't mean that other Christians haven't threatened violence. Anyone who's gotten a death threat from the so-called "pro-life" movement can tell you that threats have probably been issued over this incident plenty of times by now, and that the threats have simply been forwarded to the FBI with no announcement in the media. (In fact, threats of violence against "Will and Grace" are probably a daily ritual of the show.)

We can take these incidents as another point of evidence that Western democracy, for all its good points, cannot smooth over cultural differences, either within the democracy or between democracies. That last bit requires a lot more work than demanded by democracy alone.
maxomai: dog (Default)
So you've probably heard that a movement of vocal and frightening religious zealots are raging over what they regard as a slight against their prophet.

I'm referring, of course, to The American Family Association and their anger at a television show that will reportedly have Britney Speers as a conservative Christian talk show host, with a show called "Cruci fixin's."

(You thought this was going to be about the Danish cartoons, didn't you?)

I'm almost certain that someone will point out that the AFA hasn't threatened violence against NBC in order to shut down "Will and Grace." That's true, but it doesn't mean that other Christians haven't threatened violence. Anyone who's gotten a death threat from the so-called "pro-life" movement can tell you that threats have probably been issued over this incident plenty of times by now, and that the threats have simply been forwarded to the FBI with no announcement in the media. (In fact, threats of violence against "Will and Grace" are probably a daily ritual of the show.)

We can take these incidents as another point of evidence that Western democracy, for all its good points, cannot smooth over cultural differences, either within the democracy or between democracies. That last bit requires a lot more work than demanded by democracy alone.
maxomai: dog (Default)
An SPLC observer reports on an Arizona "Minuteman Movement" vigil to stop illegal immigration, Rambo-style.

My favorite part is when a neo-Nazi named Michael cheered on FOX News's coverage of their vigil. ("They're our people!")
maxomai: dog (Default)
An SPLC observer reports on an Arizona "Minuteman Movement" vigil to stop illegal immigration, Rambo-style.

My favorite part is when a neo-Nazi named Michael cheered on FOX News's coverage of their vigil. ("They're our people!")

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