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Monthly Archive: July 2013

Jul 30 2013

This is not going to end well

British prime minister David Cameron has begun a campaign against access to pornography on the internet. He wants all new computers to block pornography as the default. People wanting to view it have to explicitly request that they be allowed to do so and show that they are above a certain age before being granted …

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Jul 30 2013

A refresher in basic logic

I have been gratified that this blog seems to attract a sophisticated and knowledgeable commentariat, people who add greatly to the information and quality of the discourse. I have learned a lot from them. Hence it is surprising and a little jarring to once in a way find comments that seem to display a level …

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Jul 30 2013

The importance of journalists being adversarial

Many people in the US do not realize the extent to which the government has gone to instill fear in journalists. One way they have done this by threatening to cut off access to them. This should not be a serious problem if journalists were doing their jobs the proper way, which is to investigate …

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Jul 29 2013

Give this man a prize

This interview with Reza Aslan about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth has been all over the internet but I got to watch it only today. The scholar of religions amazingly keeps his cool with what has to be one of the most obtuse interviewers I have ever seen. …

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Jul 29 2013

That’s gratitude for you

Joseph Bonneau, a software engineer at Google, was the first recipient of a new prize awarded beginning in 2012 by the NSA for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper for his paper The science of guessing: analyzing an anonymized corpus of 70 million passwords. The day after receiving the award he wrote a blog post that …

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Jul 29 2013

“The ‘peace process’ is whatever the US supports”

Via Juan Cole, I came across this clip from 1990 in which Noam Chomsky talks about how in the propaganda model, words have technical meanings in addition to their normal meanings. In the US media it is the technical meanings that are used because they provide justification for anything that the US government does. What …

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Jul 29 2013

“Hell is better than a homophobic heaven”

The outspoken archbishop, Nobel prize winner, and human rights activist Desmond Tutu made the following remarks recently. South Africa’s iconic retired archbishop, Desmond Tutu, said on Friday that if he had his pick, he’d go to hell before heading to a heaven that condemned homosexuality as sin.

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Jul 29 2013

Cue the two-minute hate on Edward Snowden’s father

Lon Snowden has had the nerve to say that his son is better off in Russia than in the US. [I]n a telephone interview with the Associated Press, the elder Snowden said he had lost faith in recent weeks that his son would be treated fairly by the justice department. He now thinks his 30-year-old …

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Jul 29 2013

Making sure the poor are also miserable

Most if us live within our means and keep some sort of rough budget of what we can afford and it usually works to keep spending in check. It is tempting to think that that is what keeps us out of debt, and one of the easiest traps that those of us who are not …

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Jul 28 2013

More explosive NSA revelations to come soon

In an interview today on the ABC TV’s This Week, Glenn Greenwald says that this coming week will see the release of yet another story that backs up one of Edward Snowden’s most explosive allegations that has been vigorously denied by the government, that low-level people in the NSA could, if they wished, search through …

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