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September 21st, 2010
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Over the weekend, led by "Anonymous" and the users of the 4chan message boards, a coordinated and massive DDoS attack Friday and Saturday took down the websites of both the MPAA and the anti-BitTorrent group AiPlex Software. Many unaffiliated sympathizers joined forces to attack the MPAA’s website. Continuing with "Operation Payback," an attack was later launched on the RIAA's web site. These attacks occurred before the announcement of the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) by a group of U.S. senators on Monday, September 20.
Anonymous has written and released an open letter on Scribd.com in light of their recent attacks on the AiPlex, MPAA and RIAA servers. The letter is posted after the LJ-cut.
4chan stated: We target the bastard group that has thus far led this charge against our websites, like The Pirate Bay. We target MPAA.ORG! The IP is designated at "188.8.131.52″, and our firing time remains THE SAME. All details are just as before, but we have reaimed our crosshairs on this much larger target. We have the manpower, we have the botnets, it's time we do to them what they keep doing to us.
As word spread of the attacks, sympathizers who had never even been on 4chan joined the attacks, simply by loading up their "Low Orbit Ion Cannons" (LOIC) and following a set of simple instructions. LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) is an application that was exploited during Anonymous' "Project Chanology" to attack The Church of Scientology's many web sites. LOIC attempts to DDoS the target site by sending TCP, UDP, or HTTP requests to the site until the site is shut down.
With some loose coordination through a community like 4chan, or any Internet-based community, large amounts of attention can be brought to a cause. No lawyer, no injunction, and no police force can stop these kind of attacks from happening. Little wonder that yhe Virus Research Laboratories network Panda Security has dubbed this weekend’s attacks as “the future of cyber protests."
Multiple sources after the LJ-cut. The Torrentfreak articles have many excellent links. ( Collapse )
Advocates had been optimistic that the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress could overcome objections to repeal of the law barring gays from serving openly in the military. The move is unpopular among Republicans, military officers and social conservatives.
But in the end, Senate Democrats were expected to fall at least one vote short of the 60 needed to limit debate and advance the legislation .
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican to support repealing the law and widely seen as the crucial 60th vote, announced Tuesday that she would not support advancing the bill because Democrats wouldn't allow the Republicans sufficient leeway to offer amendments.
Now, gay rights advocates say they worry they have lost a crucial opportunity to change the law. If Democrats lose seats in the upcoming elections this fall, repealing the law will prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year.
"The whole thing is a political train wreck," said Richard Socarides, a former White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.
Socarides said President Barack Obama "badly miscalculated" the Pentagon's support for repeal, while Democrats made only a "token effort" to advance the bill.
"If it was a priority for the Democratic leadership, they would get a clean vote on this," he said.
Senate Democrats attached the repeal provision to a bill authorizing $726 billion in military spending next year. With little time left for debate before this fall's congressional elections, the bill received little attention until gay rights groups backed by pop star Lady Gaga began an aggressive push to turn it into an election issue.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., gave Republicans the chance to offer only one amendment to address GOP objections on the military's policy on gays.
Collins said she planned to vote against advancing the bill unless Democrats agree to extend debate so that her colleagues could weigh in on other issues.
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, said the senator would be willing to allow more debate on the bill after the November elections.
But "today's vote isn't about an arcane Senate procedures," he said. "It's about a GOP's pattern of obstructing debate on policies important to the American people."
An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.
Top defense leaders, including Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, have said they support a repeal but want to move slowly to ensure changes won't hurt morale.
Gates has asked Congress not to act until the military finishes a study, due Dec. 1, on how to lift the ban without causing problems.
He also has said he could live with the proposed legislation because it would postpone implementation until 60 days after the Pentagon completes its review and the president certifies that repeal won't hurt morale, recruiting or retention.
In another blow to the bill, Obama's pick to lead the Marine Corps told a Senate panel on Tuesday that he worried that changing the policy would serve as a "distraction" to Marines fighting in Afghanistan.
"My primary concern with proposed repeal is the potential disruption to cohesion that may be caused by significant change during a period of extended combat operations," Gen. James Amos said in a written statement provided to the panel for his confirmation hearing.
During one exchange with Sen. Pete Sessions, R-Ala., Amos said he would implement any changes in the law on gay service made by Congress. He said the Marine Corps would rely on discipline and leadership to ensure order, but that he didn't envision a gag order on troops who disagreed with revoking the ban.
Some Republicans have suggested they fear troops who openly oppose gay service would be punished for speaking out.
"I don't see this as a racist issue," Amos said. "I see this as an anxious issue ... because we don't have the answers yet."
ETA: the original source links I used keep updating. Here's the original version. source
And here's the update
SO. MUCH. GODDAMN. FAIL. And I don't have an icon angry enough for this post. I also have a comment, but I'm pretty sure it would be longer than the article, so let's just sum it up as [CAPSLOCKED EXPLETIVE-FILLED RAGE]. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go scrape my Marine Corps sticker off my car, because between Amos and Jones and all their fail on DADT, I'm just going to go back to saying I was in jail for 8 years. Also, notice that repeal is unpopular among "military officers". They blahblahblahblah on about how ZOMG AFFECTS THE TROOPS, but NO ONE FUCKING ASKS THE TROOPS. Ugh.
Nienstedt appears at the beginning of the eight-minute video, which was prepared by the Knights of Columbus, and will be mailed to the state's Catholics on Wednesday, paid for by a large donation, the archbishop told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Monday evening. The archdiocesan website lists the state's Catholic population at "approximately 800,000."
"Our target is basically our Catholic people," Archbishop Nienstedt said in an interview. "To remind them of what we believe and why we believe it and why it's so important that they believe it."
Nienstedt spoke to KSTP-TV at the Catholic Defense League's annual Mass and banquet at St. Helena's Catholic Church in south Minneapolis. The archbishop was the keynote speaker at the dinner, delivering a speech to more than a hundred people titled, "In defense of Marriage and Family."
Before the speech, Nienstedt said he hoped the DVD would be a "teaching tool" to parishioners in the 217 archdiocesan parishes.
"It's not partisan politics in any way. But you know, it's kind of rallying the troops around this issue and pointing out to Catholics that this is an important issue in every election year," archbishop Nienstedt said.
The DVD will arrive in homes less than six weeks before the Nov. 2nd elections. Candidates for Minnesota governor Mark Dayton (DFL) and Tom Horner (IP) support legalizing gay marriage; Tom Emmer (R) does not.
"We're not a political force," Nienstedt said, "but we are a religious force. So we think we should be part of the conversation."
In a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the Washington D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign said, "There is a difference between civil marriage, that is marriage under the law, and marriage in the religious sense. If marriage equality becomes law in Minnesota, no church would be forced to recognize any marriage they do not agree with. This is a matter of basic equality under the law and has nothing to do with religion. This is a matter of fairness."
Earlier Monday, before the archbishop's comments, Cindy Killion, who founded the LGBT Resource Center of the Seven Rivers Region in La Crosse, WI, told the Associated Press that the DVD campaign "is insulting to homosexuals." She called gay marriage an issue of "equal rights."
Killion added, "I don't understand why it's so important to continue this culture war and paint us as the bogeymen," Killion said. "This is a secular issue, an equal-rights issue. I don't see why religion thinks it owns marriage."
by Tom Engelhardt
Compare two assessments of the American future:
In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in which 61% of Americans interviewed considered “things in the nation” to be “on the wrong track,” 66% did “not feel confident that life for our children’s generation will be better than it has been for us.” (Seven percent were “not sure,” and only 27% “felt confident.”) But here was the polling question you’re least likely to see discussed in your local newspaper or by Washington-based pundits: “Do you think America is in a state of decline, or do you feel that this is not the case?” Sixty-five percent of respondents chose as their answer: “in a state of decline.”
Meanwhile, Afghan war commander General David Petraeus was interviewed last week by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. Asked whether the American war in Afghanistan, almost a decade old, was finally on the right counterinsurgency track and could go on for another nine or ten years, Petraeus agreed that we were just at the beginning of the process, that the “clock” was only now ticking, and that we needed “realistic expectations” about what could happen and how fast. “Progress” in Afghanistan, he commented, was often so slow that it could feel like “watching grass grow or paint dry.”
Now, I’m not a betting man, but I’d head for Vegas tomorrow and put my money down against the general and on Americans generally when it comes to assessing the future. I’d put money on the fact that the United States is indeed “in a state of decline” and I’d make a wager at odds that U.S. troops won’t be in Afghanistan in nine or ten years. And I’d venture to suggest as well that the two bets would be intimately connected, and that the American people understand at a visceral level far more than Washington cares to know about our real situation in the world. And I’d put my money on one more thing: however lousy it may feel, it’s not all bad news, not by a long shot.
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Interesting article with lots of links that are also interesting. I really like the idea of the US becoming just another face in the crowd. Bring on the fade to obscurity.
A woman who splashed a caustic substance on her face and claimed a stranger had attacked her faces three theft charges related to the nearly $28,000 donated to benefit her, a prosecutor says.
The felony second-degree charges filed Monday by Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik relate to donations collected for Bethany Storro after she was chemically burned Aug. 30.
Court records indicate Storro said she has spent about $1,500 of the money — on such items as dinners for her parents, clothes for herself, and a bill for an August laser facial peel. Golik said the accounts containing donated money have since been frozen.
Golik told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he issued an arrest warrant for Storro. But he said she was hospitalized as of Monday evening. He didn't know why or where, but he said police knew her location.
The prosecutor said he would leave it up to the lead detective to decide when to arrest the 28-year-old woman, who admitted to police last Thursday that her injuries were self-inflicted. Storro's parents have said all money raised for her will be returned.
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It's very hard for me to feel sorry for her, since she just made up a random Black woman attacker--to the extent that she even lied for the police sketch--and seemed to revel in the attention she got. I can't help but wonder how she would have reacted if the cops had said they'd found her "attacker." :/
And this story has seemed to have fallen into the abyss once it came out she lied.
Move over Europe, Australia has its very own battle brewing over the veil. On Sunday, Aussie Muslims rallied against recent attempts to introduce a measure to outlaw the burqa and niqab. For the most part, the arguments on either side are familiar and can best be summed up with, "Yeah, what France said." But there was one statement from a pro-veiling activist yesterday that did stand out -- because it departed from the usual defense about "freedom of choice." According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Fautmeh Ardati told protesters:
[T]o use freedom of choice as a justification, then we are also accepting of women who undress out of this same freedom of choice, and we can never do this as Muslim women. We dress like this because it is the command of Allah, not any man.
As she sees it, the only choice women have is between two extremes: "the Western secular way of life, which robs a woman of her dignity, honor and respect, where she is considered little more than a commodity to be bought and sold, or the option of Islam, where a woman's dignity, respect and honor are priceless." In other words, women have two options, but only one of them is right. What's most interesting here is the parallel between Ardati's rhetoric and that of anti-burqa campaigners in France: She sees no validity in the choice to "undress," just as President Sarkozy refuses to acknowledge the choice to veil.
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The woman's motives are unclear.
This is the follow-up.
German Gunwoman Suffocated Son With Plastic Bag
cro -- with wire reports
The 41-year-old woman who murdered three people and injured 18 in the German city of Lörrach on Sunday killed her son by suffocating him with a plastic bag, police said on Tuesday as grim details of the rampage emerged. She died after being shot 17 times by police.
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Central Florida woman claims a finance company reached out to her friends and family on Facebook in an effort to collect her debt, and she has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the practice.
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