Welcome to Medary.com Saturday, April 13 2024 @ 02:12 PM CST

Current Affairs

Farkers Discover the H&R Block Headquarters

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Warning: some images in the below Fark.com link may be offensive. That's part of the fun. Also, it's very image-intensive...low-speed users will find that it takes a long time to load.

OK, here's the deal. A group of folks over at Fark.com sieze on a photograph and apply their prodigious Adobe Photoshop skills to alter, disfigure, distort, and otherwise change the photograph to achieve humorous results. Sometimes they fail horribly. But sometimes the results are brilliantly funny.

Your mileage may vary. It's not news, it's Fark.com. Tastes like chicken.

Photoshop the H&R Block World Headquarters

My favorites so far are the Alien with the H&R Block Mouth and the Death Block.

Oh, This Could Be Bad (IRS Hacked?)

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via My Way News with an assist from the omnipresent Instapundit:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service is investigating whether unauthorized people gained access to sensitive taxpayer and bank account information but has not yet exposed any privacy breaches, an official said on Friday.

The U.S. tax agency -- whose databases include suspicious activity reports from banks about possible terrorist or criminal transactions -- launched the probe after the Government Accountability Office said in April that the IRS "routinely permitted excessive access" to the computer files.

The GAO team was able to tap into the data without authorization, and gleaned information such as bank account holders' names, social security numbers, transaction values, and any suspected terrorist activity. It said the data was at serious risk of disclosure, modification or destruction.

I think it's safe to say (having actually worked in the computer security field for a while) that while we do know how to make sure sensitive information stored in computers stays reasonably secure (i.e. AES encryption, two-factor authentication, etc., etc.), it's expensive and complex, and most organizations seem to think it's simply not worth the effort.

Hey, guys and gals, it's worth the effort.

Takings

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Now do you see what the Conservatives are worried about when they go off on "judicial activism?" The Supreme Court's decision issued yesterday to repeal the Takings clause of the Fifth Amendment should cause all home owners (and everyone who hopes someday to own a home) to take to the streets in protest. Your home is not safe from Pfizer, from Wal-Mart, from Donald Trump, from anyone else who can convince your city council that they can earn more tax money from your property than you now pay, and you now no longer have recourse--the Supreme Court Has Spoken.

Lileks (and others) on Gitmo

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James Lileks:

Q: Who's in Gitmo?

A: Operation Scoop Up The Little Lost Lambs plucked men from distant countries and brought them to Gitmo to beat them deaf for no apparent reason. There are between 400 and 30 million people at Gitmo, and somewhere between zero and 15 million people have died there.

via Instapundit, who notes that
Hysteria and political point-scoring have turned this into a joke.

Indeed.

There are now Club Gitmo t-shirts. "What happens in Gitmo stays in Gitmo."

When you to attempt to equate the killing of six million Jews or the estimated FIFTY MILLION Soviet victims in the gulags to the interrigation techniques applied by the U.S. military at Guantanamo to the worst of the worst from Afganistan and Iraq, you should expect derision, not intelligent discourse.

I am happy to oblige.

What Does "Nazi" Mean Any More?

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More musings . . .

The word "Nazi" has ceased to have any real meaning in public discourse, due to its constant misuse by the Dick Durbans, Rick Santorums, and countless others both on-line and elsewhere.

Mark Steyn, Dick Durbin

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In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) doesn't support The Troops.

On Tuesday, from the floor of the Senate, Durbin, citing a declassified FBI report, compared the treatment of prisoners at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."

Columnist Mark Steyn in the New York Sun observes:

OpinionJournal Encounters A Truth

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OpinionJournal discusses a Washington Post story:

Evangelical Republicans Trust States on Social Issues

Reading the WaPo story, OpinionJournal blogger James Taranto notes:

evangelical Protestant Republicans (EPRs) have more trust in the democratic process than do Americans in general, and presumably far more than secular liberal Democrats (SLDs). It is the SLDs, then, who are guilty of the charge they make against the EPRs--namely, trying to impose their views on others.

Seems like the WaPo is discovering a political truth I realized some time ago and mentioned in the context of the esteemable Howard Dean: The Democrats have become the Party of Psychological Projection.

Hat tip to OpinionJournal

Deep Throat Cashes In

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Universal Pictures and PublicAffairs will reportedly pay nearly $1 million for the film and book rights to the life story of W. Mark Felt, better known as "Deep Throat," a newspaper article said Thursday.

Discussion topics for today:
Do two wrongs really, really make a right?
Should a high-ranking official go public with allegations against his President? If so, how? Anonymous and technically illegal leaks to the media, or a public resignation and accusation? Or, should he have participated in the coverup (this one thrown out for the hordes of Administration officials since George Washington's administration).
Thirty years after the fact, is it moral, immoral, or neutral that that public official (or, more accurately, his family) makes a million dollars on the now elderly public official's story?

My answers:
No, two wrongs do not make a right.
Public resignation and accusation would have been the proper and most honorable action of Mr. Felt and any other official in his position.
It is unseemly at best for Mr. Felt or his family to cash in at this time. It gives the distasteful appearance that his family wants to make some money off of the old guy before he passes away.

That's what I think.

Discuss . . .