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Messages - Cain

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The kid's stupid enough his later life is probably going to be a mess anyway.  He doesn't need the state to aid in that.

Shit, a fine and a public apology would be a sufficient punishment, IMO.  He was an idiot, but 5 years in prison?  Can't say I'd be comfortable in a society which deems that acceptable, even given the spectacular idiocy on show.

German food critic and author Wolfgang Fassbender wrote that "the biggest challenge when eating surströmming is to vomit only after the first bite, as opposed to before."

RPG Ghetto / Re: Dragon Age: Origins playthrough and commentary thread
« on: April 16, 2014, 01:52:21 pm »
I should probably explain the options a bit more, as I did kinda simplify it.

1) outright possession.  We let Kitty take over Amalia.
2) Refuse to negotiate
3) Lie to the father that Amalia is dead
4) Force the father to help us fight Kitty
5) Promise to set Kitty free but she cannot have Amalia, keep to that deal
6) Promise to set Kitty free while telling her she cannot have Amalia, let Kitty bribe us to take Amalia
7) Betray Kitty by promising to help, then killing her

The way I see it, most people are voting for 1), but some of you may prefer 5) or 6) or feel that maybe double-crossing a desire demon is a fun game.  Just letting people tailor their choices more effectively.

Just yesterday, I was complaining that "pathological idiot" didn't have an entry in the DSM-V.

I think I just found a case study for conclusively proving the existence of this affliction.

Oh boy, you're going to regret that question.

knows the horrors of Scandanavian cuisine.

Prince Bandar, international politics tutor to George W Bush, Iran-Contra player, former Saudi Ambassador to the USA, has stepped down as head of Saudi intelligence.

No reason has been given so far, and he is currently tipped to be replaced by his deputy, General Yousef Al Idrissi.

No reading tea leaves on this one today, but worth making a note of.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: April 16, 2014, 12:25:59 pm »
I've got 3/1 odds of it happening in the first month.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Who's angry?
« on: April 16, 2014, 12:24:43 pm »
The All Seeing Eye in the Pyramid.

By which I mean "Google".  First of all was looking up information on the "1994 Dearborn Method" she mentioned in the comments, as it sounded familiar for some reason (still not sure if I'm misremembering something else, probably am).  I noticed one of the articles had a very similar name to the person in the comments.

So I hit up Google again and a bag of crazy came out.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Who's angry?
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:31:41 am »
Check out the crank in the comments.  And then read this.  Yes, they are the same person.

They probably did shout that at one point.

Apparently, Jaime and Tyrion's actors are quite the scamps, doing things like dancing on the set when they're not meant to be and making inappropriate jokes in serious scenes.  It seems they're trying to impress the amazingly dour camera crew for Game of Thrones, who so far have resisted even cracking a smile at their antics.

RPG Ghetto / Re: Dragon Age: Origins playthrough and commentary thread
« on: April 16, 2014, 09:32:05 am »
This one seems OK for now.

Also, vote counted.  I wont be doing a final tally until next Monday due to my hilarious work schedule, however (essay today, work tomorrow night, Friday off, work Saturday night, get back on a normal sleep schedule Sunday).

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Things go boom
« on: April 16, 2014, 09:25:07 am »
Bump.  Russ Baker again has an important piece up about inconsistencies in the report into the bombings, which he believes are suggestive of intelligence community "games"* taking place.

The other day, we explained a key point missing from most coverage of the Boston Bombing story: that the US government may have been in contact with the alleged bombers before the Russians ever warned about them.

In March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB alleging that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva were adherents of radical Islam and that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was preparing to travel to Russia to join unspecified underground groups in Dagestan and Chechnya. The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston (Boston JTTF) conducted an assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to determine whether he posed a threat to national security and closed the assessment three months later having found no link or “nexus” to terrorism.

So, in March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB (Russian internal security service, comparable to the FBI), warning about terrorist threats posed by the Tsarnaev family.

We have long been told that this Russian warning was the first time the Tsarnaevs were on the US government’s radar.

But wait. Go to Page 18 of the summary report, and take a close look at Section V, under a heading “INFORMATION OBTAINED OR FIRST ACCESSED AND REVIEWED AFTER THE BOMBINGS.”

That heading seems to suggest that what follows in Section V was unknown to American law enforcement prior to the bombings. The first item in the list–and the only one to be redacted—is of primary interest:

This information included certain [approximately two lines redacted] to show that Tsarnaev intended to pursue jihad…

After that paragraph comes a sub-section labeled JANUARY 2011 COMMUNICATIONS. The entirety of that section, including a lengthy footnote, has been redacted.

Reading a government report with redactions is like reading tea leaves in the bottom of a dirty cup. You can’t know for sure what’s been suppressed, but you can hazard some educated guesses about why certain material was deemed too dangerous for the public to know.

Consider that the Tsarnaevs lived in Cambridge—home to members of a ring of Russian spies that was broken up shortly before the Tsarnaevs came under scrutiny. Remember that the US rolled up a spy ring in June of 2010—after monitoring it for a decade, and that an exchange of prisoners quickly followed. An American mole inside Russian foreign intelligence, Col. Alexander Poteyev, who was back-channeling to American intelligence while simultaneously directing the stateside ring from Russia, fled to the US before the arrests. His role was obscured by American officials; and his identity was only revealed when a Russian court later found him guilty in absentia.

The defense’s claim that the FBI tried—but failed—to get Tamerlan to work for the US is hard to accept, not because the FBI doesn’t regularly try to recruit immigrants like the Tsarnaevs through a carrot-and/or-stick approach, but because it’s hard to imagine the FBI failing in such an endeavor. The “failure” part of the defense claim seems like a concession to the likelihood that detailed information about FBI recruitment would not be admissible in such a case. Also, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lead federal public defender is accomplished at getting her clients charges reduced—in this case, presumably to avoid the death penalty—not at exposing giant falsehoods perpetrated by her government.

If the defense is half-right—that the feds pushed Tamerlan Tsarnaev to become an operative—would they simply have accepted, willingly, if he said, “No, thanks”? Intelligence and security services don’t tend to take no for an answer, and traditionally have played very rough with those who decline. So it is unlikely that a foreign national like Tamerlan Tsarnaev—whose family arrived less than a year after 9/11 and who was given “derivative asylum status”—could simply decline to cooperate. (Family members, including Tamerlan, were later made Lawful Permanent Residents—with the hope of full citizenship. And as we shall see, the FBI agent whose job was to interact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev later said he had no objection when Tamerlan was being processed for citizenship, suggesting that he was not unhappy with Tamerlan in the least.)

The DOJ OIG also determined that the CT Agent did not attempt to elicit certain information during interviews of Tsarnaev and his parents, including information about Tsarnaev’s plans to travel to Russia, changes in lifestyle, or knowledge of and sympathy for militant separatists in Chechnya and Dagestan. The CT agent told the DOJ OIG that he did not know why he did not ask about plans to travel to Russia,

The rest of this paragraph is blacked out. In fact, that’s the first redaction you come to in the whole report. For some reason, the OIGs do not make more of this—though it demonstrates that the FBI counterterrorism officer failed to ask the questions that mattered most.

The report concludes that a Customs and Border Patrol officer most likely notified the FBI when Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Russia in 2012. The Customs officer also flagged Tamerlan so his record would be visible for his own colleagues when Tsarnaev re-entered the country.

For some reason, that notification was turned off before Tsarnaev returned. (This is not to be understated—Michael Springmann, a former US consul to Saudi Arabia, has repeatedly stated that his efforts to prevent jihadists from traveling to America were somehow overridden at higher levels)

Could the notice to the FBI have been a warning that the Russians knew the US was already in contact with the Tsarnaevs? Given the possibility that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was supposed to infiltrate anti-Russian jihadists, that essentially puts the two intelligence services on the same side in this matter. Or were the Russians worried that the Americans were playing a double game, seemingly hunting jihadists while simultaneously using those jihadists to put pressure on the Russians in their majority-Muslim, oil-bearing southern flank?

There is also the possibility that, as with the US mole in Russian intelligence, Colonel Potayev, both sides thought they were controlling the Tsarnaevs. This would have made them players in a still more dazzling game. Pull out your old spy novels for this one.

*Obligatory reference:

Quote from: Three Days of the Condor
Turner: Do we have plans to invade the Middle East?
Higgins: Are you crazy?
Turner: Am I?
Higgins: Look, Turner…
Turner: Do we have plans?
Higgins: No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a regime? That's what we're paid to do.
Turner: So Atwood just took the games too seriously. He was really going to do it, wasn't he?
Higgins: A renegade operation. Atwood knew 54/12 would never authorize it, not with the heat on the company.
Turner: What if there hadn't been any heat? Suppose I hadn't stumbled on their plan?
Higgins: Different ballgame. Fact is, there was nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, the plan was all right, the plan would've worked

Pirate the software?


Yeah, pirating is for chumps.

I'd recommend trying Ubuntu, if you're looking at Linux as a possibility.  By all accounts it is pretty newb friendly, and one of the most popular desktop Linux installs.

Windows 7 still works great, and is getting security updates and everything.

Only scrubs use MS.

Real men use an abacus, made from a tree they cut down and fashioned themselves, and with beads made of their own teeth.  Anything else would be admitting defeat.

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