Crap you should read Monday (8/8)

Sorry for the late entry, but some technical crap on the site kept me from posting all morning. Here’s to a Horn-y Monday afternoon…

 

Debt Downgrade:

Even though a “deal” was reached last week to raised the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on our debts, S&P  has downgraded the United States’ Credit rating. Our nation had a perfect AAA since the ratings were established in 1917, but now we’ve been downgraded to a AA+. As of yet, the other two major credit agencies haven’t downgraded the US. In reality, this could mean nothing, so long as the confidence of investors remains steady, but this could be yet another step towards diminishing the world’s trust in our economic system. Oh wait, the DOW dropped 634 points on Monday, guess we know the result now!!

Although our debt is damn high and needs to be curtailed, the main reason S&P knocked our perfect rating down was its feeling that our Congress can’t act to clean up the situation. The debt ceiling was a no-brainer issue. It had to be raised and has never not been raised. But Republicans, specifically House Republicans and Tea Partyers, hijacked the system and killed the confidence in our government’s ability to govern.

Some people, especially Tea Partyers, are jumping on the Obama blame-wagon, and using this as proof of his poor leadership. Its such a ridiculous assertion. Its like an arsonist blaming a burning building on the Fire Chief and his poor policies, when it was the arsonist that lit the match and stoked the flame. Yes, Obama’s “leadership” and negotiating should be heavily questioned, but the debt deal and its repercussions are the sole blame of Congressional games that used our country as a pawn. They knew that the ramifications could be disastrous, but were willing to do so to win their game and push their policy.

It kinda sucks that S&P knows what such a downgrade can do to world confidence in our government, especially since they knew this was a mess created by obnoxious political games. But while it might be considered irresponsible for S&P to do this, its definitely not as irresponsible as the House Republicans and Tea Partyers who caused this mess. Let’s just hope that China doesn’t get jittery, otherwise we’re F’d.

Financial Systems brace for impact of Credit Rating downgrade — Reuters

Everyone in Times Square was shocked...how could the Steelers give Lamar Woodley that kind of cash?

 

Perry for Prayer:

Texas Governor (and likely Republican Presidential Candidate) Rick Perry hosted a call for prayer in Houston’s Reliant Stadium this weekend and allegedly 30,000 people showed up this “Event”. Sure its nice that people got together to pray, but this wasn’t just an evangelical day, it was a 7-hour political gathering ministered by the Governor to discuss what needs to be fixed in our country. Of course the solution is always the same…prayer, and “leadership” through God.

A Governor of a state should NEVER minister a prayer gathering. This is a blatant offense to the separation of Church and State; when you take public office you’re no longer able to do these things. You are a representative of EVERYONE in your state, not just your Church. This is a scary trait in someone running for President of our country. Our issues cannot be solved by prayer, but rather by action. If there is a God, I truly hope he doesn’t care about American politics…he has a world to worry about. To pretend otherwise is naive and dangerous.

But this is what people want in a “leader” which they aren’t getting from the Secular Obama. Our country is in peril, which means that God hates us now for some reason, and that reason must be Obama. After all, if he didn’t hate Obama, why did he make him half black? This spiritual gathering was “proof” to Texans that Perry can be a leader and call on God to attack the big problems. Pissing on one of the main tenets of the Constitution is suddenly the litmus test for “leadership”.

Regardless, its moves like this that will likely put Perry at the forefront of the Republican race once he finally announces. We all know that Big Business and the Religious right rule the GOP, so with the loud religious backing, big business and their dollars will start flowing soon.

Rick Perry’s Call to prayer — Guardian

"Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from Heaven above, and watches Fox News."

 

Get Hacked:

More than 10,000 Hackers united over the weekend at 19th annual DefCon hosted at the Rio in Las Vegas. The Rio hosted the hackers (who only register under “handles”, not their real names) and security consultants who got together for lectures, contests, and to prove that the current security world is ill-equipped to handle hacking. It also turns into a job-fair of sorts, as the best get noticed and brought into the corporate world.

Presentations this year were on topics such as “hacking office printers, wireless water meters, smart phones, laptop batteries and the network used at correctional facilities to open and close prison doors.” There were also games to test your skills such as “Capture the Flag” where hackers try to steal files from each other; a 5-minute challenge to hack a voting machine; and another called “Crack me if you can” where challengers try to crack as many passwords as possible in 48 hours…the winner got $600.

They also held a contest for “Social Engineering” where the challengers are faced with coming up with new bits to tricking people into downloading malicious software, or to fall victim to “phishing” scams.

I’m not quite sure how this thing doesn’t turn into an arrest-fest. This is a convention of people who make a living breaking the law. Yes, they provide a valuable service, ala Frank Abagnale (subject of Spielberg’s Catch me if you Can), but not everyone is there for charity. These conventions blatantly show that hacking, or AntiSecurity is a business. If it’s a business, then people are trying to make money in it. It’s an industry of escalation, which is very dangerous to the privacy of the public. People are constantly pushing the boundaries, and hacking into your privacy, just to prove that it can be done.

Don’t believe me? Go to the next story….

DefCon Hacker conference takes place in Vegas — Huffington Post

Oracle punk’d in hacking contest from DefCon — Reuters

"OK, so I'm in the FBI page. So its up, up, down, down, left/right, left/right, B, A, B, A then SELECT and start, got it?"

 

Anonymous Hacks Cops:

The Hacking collective Anonymous claimed responsibility for the breach of information from more than 70 local law enforcement sites over the last week. They stole and leaked emails from officers, as well as sensitive information about ongoing investigations, tips about suspected crimes from the public, profiles of gangs and gang members, and maybe most valuable to Anonymous: memos on security training.

Anonymous claims this was in relatiation for the arrests made on Anonymous and LulzSec this summer. In a statement Saturday, they claimed:

“a massive amount of confidential information that is sure to (embarrass), discredit and incriminate police officers across the US….demonstrate the inherently corrupt nature of law enforcement using their own words…disrupt and sabotage their ability to communicate and terrorize communities.”

According to Huffington Post:

The emails were mainly from sheriffs’ offices in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi. Many of the websites were operated by a Mountain Home, Ark., media services hosting company, and most, if not all, were either unavailable on Saturday or had been wiped clean of content. The company, Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, declined to comment.

Make no mistake, this is very serious, and certainly not just for fun or retaliation. Anonymous exposed the weaknesses of small town, middle America, law enforcement, and people will be clamoring for a fix. This means purchasing new security systems for ALL of America, not just big cities. This is expansion of security software to the rest of the country who thought they were safe from this crap. Someone is always selling something, and in this case its security.

Who’s buying? Everybody has to. Cha-ching!

Anonymous hacks US Law enforcement agencies — Huffington Post

"No sir, they all look exactly alike. And they won't stop smiling..."

 

No Smoking Flight:

The forces behind Pan Am, a new show glorifying the stewardesses of yore, has gone to extreme lengths to push the realism of the time period. This means you’ll get to see some serious Woman’s Lib crap, as well as a strong dash of sexual revolution, all aboard a now-defunct airline. But the one thing you won’t find on these Pan Am recreations are cigarettes. In an interesting little moment of TV re-writing history, ABC is not allowing any glorified use of tobacco, even though it was not only commonplace, but almost required from everyone in flight.

This is hysterical, but a rare sign of “responsibility” on television. There has been a concerted push by network and studio bigwigs to undue the years of product placement by Big Tobacco that always had cool or suave characters smoking cigs or cigars. It was brilliant marketing, and you have cancer numbers to prove its success.

I never understood how people every thought it was cool to smoke in an airplane, an elevator or any enclosed, claustrophobic place. Why did it take a Surgeon General and his warnings to make people realize that inhaling smoke was bad for you, and sticking yourself in tight, closed spaces with smoke was a poor idea? Even worse, how did smokers convince the world it was healthy to smoke on just one side of a restaurant or movie theater?

I guess the recent campaign is part of the same push to make it un-cool for characters to stand in front of moving vehicles, play with loaded guns, or have the protagonist seductively drinking arsenic. We are an impressionable people to be sure. Regardless, its nice to see someone making a strong push for the betterment of public health. Now if only the public cared….

No smoking on Pan Am flights on TV show — EW.com

 

Bad Beat, Chuck: 

South Florida theives really screwed a dude in Hialeah. A man and his girlfriend were sitting in a truck when 4 masked men broke in. They were both tied up with flex-cuffs, and then the man was thrown into a separate car to lead them back to the his house.

The thieves then busted into the man’s house and tied up his family while they robbed the joint. They stole thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry, because after all, this is Hialeah, and they keep thousands in cash lying around. No one was hurt, but before the theives left, they decided to do a little further damage to the family unit. They dragged in the cuffed girlfriend from the pick-up truck, and threw her in the room with the dude and his family. So there they are, man, family, and girlfriend all tied up in the same room looking at one another, waiting for the cops.

What a Sartre-eqsue hell this must have been. Especially because, it’s Hialeah, so I bet his crazy Latina wife was probably verbally abusing him in front of his attackers. The kids must have looked at Dad funny as he sat in this Sartre-esque hell. Awkward!!!!

Thieves rob man then introduce wife to girlfriend — MSNBC

"Why does Daddy keep begging 'kill me now, kill me now'?"

 

Overdrama for your Mama:

Like many NYC tourists, Theresa Shaver took a horse & carriage ride through Central Park. Unlike other tourists, she got to witness her horse go a little batty, and eventually collapse from what she assumes is over-heating and being overworked.

While Shaver is correct in fighting against this obvious animal abuse, her over-drama is hysterical and completely harmful to any rational purpose her freaking-out had. Im juss sayin, if I was the horse owner, I’d argue that his horse was faking injury so he didn’t have to listen to her annoying ass. Back-fire! Sorry, Rusty, next time just eat some beef-a-reenos and let nature do the rest.

Watch the video, then Shaver’s potty-mouthed rampage on the horse owner. I like how she suddenly became all anti-horse slavery AFTER she was the lazy-ass using the horse to get around the park to begin with.

Have a Horn-y Monday.

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