Finding God in a Dog

Friday Miscellany!

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Thursday Miscellany!

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Tuesday Miscellany!

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Monday Miscellany!

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Wednesday Miscellany!

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  • If you make a living from or otherwise rely on sex work, hemp, tobacco, firearms, or online sales of birth control, you need to know about Operation Choke Point. And yes, this is the Obama Administration’s work.

  • Israel is preparing for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

  • It’s Iraq and Iran versus ISIS … yesterday 107 died including an Iranian soldier.

  • Syrian rebel groups are defecting to join ISIS while other groups blackmail the US for weapons and money.

  • Bonddad predicts the U3 unemployment rate will go below 6% before the end of the year. He doesn’t say anything about the U6 rate, which is bound to still be completely awful at over 10%.

Via Brian Krebs: Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes

via Finding God in a Dog This is a re-blog from another site. Go do this now. —maxomai

Originally posted by briankrebs_rss at Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes

If you use Microsoft products or Adobe Flash Player, please take a moment to read this post and update your software. Adobe today issued a critical update that plugs at least three security holes in Flash. Separately, Microsoft released six security updates that address 29 vulnerabilities in Windows and Internet Explorer.

brokenwindowsMost of the bugs that Microsoft nixed with today’s updates (24 of the 29 flaws) are fixed in a single patch for the company’s Internet Explorer browser. According to Microsoft, one of those 24 flaws (a weakness in the way IE checks Extended Validation SSL certificates) was already disclosed publicly prior to today’s bulletins.

The other critical patch from Microsoft fixes a security problem with the way that Windows handles files meant to opened and edited by Windows Journal, a note-taking application built in to more recent versions of the operating system (including Windows Vista, 7 and 8).

More details on the rest of the updates that Microsoft released today can be found at Microsoft’s Technet blog, Qualys’s site, and the SANS Internet Storm Center.

Adobe’s Flash Player update brings Flash to version on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. Adobe said it is not aware of exploits in the wild for any of the vulnerabilities fixed in this release.

To see which version of Flash you have installed, check this link. Chrome and IE10/IE11 on Windows 8.x should auto-update their versions of Flash, although my installation of Chrome says it is up-to-date and yet is still running v.

brokenflash-aFlash has a built-in auto-updater, but you might wait days or weeks for it to prompt you to update, regardless of its settings. The most recent versions of Flash are available from the Adobe download center, but beware potentially unwanted add-ons, like McAfee Security Scan). To avoid this, uncheck the pre-checked box before downloading, or grab your OS-specific Flash download from here. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply this patch twice, once with IE and again using the alternative browser (Firefox, Opera, e.g.).

If you have Adobe AIR installed (required by some programs like Tweetdeck and Pandora Desktop), you’ll want to update this program. AIR ships with an auto-update function that should prompt users to update when they start an application that requires it; the newest, patched version is v. for Windows, Mac, and Android, and can be downloaded manually from here.


ISIS captures former Iraqi WMD site

via Finding God in a Dog The bad news around the Twitterverse right now is that the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has captured a former Iraqi chemical
weapons site, possibly loaded with useless artillery shells that used
to contain mustard gas.

Of course, we know Iraq once had WMDs, and that the Hussein regime
used them during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and on the Kurdish
population. We also know that the UN inspectors determined that those
weapons were useless in 2003 before the US invaded. Today’s reports
are consistent with these data — apparently this is more like a toxic
waste dump than an arsenal. The real question is whether anything on
that site can be turned into a practical weapon.

Stay tuned, kids.

2014 Predictions Mid-Year Update

via Finding God in a Dog Last year I made my Predictions for 2014. Let’s see how I’m doing.

  1. Neither the US House nor the US Senate will change hands. - So far, too early to tell.

  2. Mitch McConnell will lose his Senate seat. - He won his primary bid handily, but the polls have him down slightly compared to his Democratic opponent, Alison Grimes.

  3. Wendy Davis will lose her bid to become Texas governor. - She’s still down double digits in the polls, but new allegations of corruption, combined with the life breathed into her race by the Hobby Lobby decision, might change her fortunes. I’m not holding my breath.

  4. The major issues of 2014 will be guns and health care. - So far the antics of Texas Open Carry have kept guns in the forefront, while the Hobby Lobby decision has galvanized Democrats. Too early to call yet, but I’m confident that this one will pan out.

  5. Oregon will become the first (and perhaps only) state to reverse its own anti-gay-marriage ballot measure by a subsequent ballot measure. - We can now state that this won’t happen. A Federal Judge struck down Oregon’s gay marriage ban, and so Oregon United for Marraige has decided not to pursue a ballot measure.

  6. The US will start putting boots on the ground in East Africa. - Yesterday the Pentagon revealed that the US has 120 “advisors” on the ground in Somalia to fight Islamic terrorists. That’s a successful prediction, IMO.

  7. The US U3 unemployment rate will go below 6.5%. - This happened last month. Currently the U3 rate is at 6.1%. Another successful prediction.

  8. The movement to divest from Israel will become a major news story. - Too early to tell.

  9. Major reforms in surveillance methods will pass Congress. - Too early to tell.

  10. George Zimmerman will have another run-in with the law. - Not yet, but we have just a little less than six months to go.

  11. Super Bowl XLVIII will be Denver versus Seattle. - Called it!

Thank God *someone* is pointing this out to the young.


Let me explain why this is really important:  Because it takes a lesson every other show teaches you and corrects it.

Most shows will say “Be yourself!  Then girls will love you for you and you will have so many girlfriends!  So many!”

It’s another disappointing message to young boys that teaches them they are entitled to women.  That “hey just be you and you get girls, neat!”

Tino’s mom takes the time to say “No, be yourself because yourself is who you should be.  It won’t necessarily get you girls, some of them still won’t be interested but the most important thing is you like yourself.”

That’s a great message and if he follows through with it, it is likely to make him far more interesting as a romantic partner.

(Source: disneystheweekenders)

What should we do about #Iraq?

via Finding God in a Dog If you’ve been following the news, you’re probably aware that the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) has carved out a large part of Northwest Iraq and Eastern Syria to form a Sunni-dominated quasi-state. ISIS recently conquered substantial parts of Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit, and are reportedly pushing towards Baghdad. Iran is pledging to fight back against ISIS (read: protect Shi’ite interests), and the Kurdish north has taken Kirkuk out of ISIS hands.

President Obama is, of course, weighing his options, including direct military assistance (sending in troops).

With that in mind, here’s what I think we should do in Iraq:

Eric Cantor resigns as House Majority Leader; Kevin McCarthy Wants to Replace Him. Some take-aways.

via Finding God in a Dog House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary last night in a stunning upset that is guaranteed, barring nuclear war, to be the story of the week. He is resigning as House Majority Leader, and California Congressman Kevin McCarthy is running to replace him.

Here are my observations on the matter:

  1. Cantor was simply out-hustled. Cantor was a good fit for his district, but Brat sold himself to GOP primary voters as a better, more conservative fit, and he seized every opportunity to do it. Brat ran TV ads outlining his anti-immigration stance, where Cantor pulled his punches to avoid alienating Hispanic voters nationwide. Brat reached out to pro-gun groups such as Gun Owners of America, and Cantor didn’t even bother to answer their candidate surveys. Needless to say, those groups campaigned for Brat.

  2. Gerrymandering bit Cantor in the ass. Primary voters, including myself, are ideologues, but they’re also partisan. Brat wouldn’t have been able to sell himself as a better fit if primary voters thought there was a reasonable chance that he’d lose to the Democratic candidate. Cantor’s district is so deep-red (R+10) that even a completely unprepared upstart is likely to beat a well-funded Democrat. (Note: this isn’t a prediction of how the general election will go. There’s been no polling of Brat vs. Trammell yet. Until those numbers show up, take any prediction with a grain of salt.)

  3. To the extent that this shakes up the Washington GOP establishment, it does so by moving that establishment to the left. The Tea Party just lost its most senior member of the House, and John Boehner just lost his chief GOP opponent for Speaker of the House. This gives Boehner a lot more room to maneuver going forward. It will be interesting to see how he uses that room.

  4. On the other hand, this doesn’t change the Democrats’ chances to win control of the House by much. Those chances are still dismal in 2014, somewhat better in 2016, and really not great at all unless the Democrats take control of most of the state legislatures in 2018 and 2020.

  5. Cantor’s loss demonstrates the importance of having a good pollster on his side. He thought he was going to win by 2-to-1. If he knew the race was this close, Cantor would have pulled out the plugs to get out the vote. He didn’t, and it cost him.