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stevenleser

Profile Information

Name: Steven Leser
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 22,450

Journal Archives

If we can have gun exceptions in GD, we should be able to have religion exceptions.

Religion and whether it should be subjected to satire is about as hot a topic as can be. It should be an exception for a week or two.

I am saying this because I saw Nance's OP on the subject was locked and I think others have been locked too.

Children's rights ombudsman in anti-LGBT Russia says "No sex ed, read Tolstoy instead!"

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russia-will-never-introduce-sex-education-in-schools-children-s-ombudsman/512222.html

You don't need sex education when you have Russian literary giants Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky to enlighten you on the murky realities of the bedroom.

This, at least, appears to be the view of Russia's children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, who said on Monday that the country would not introduce sex education in schools because it contradicts Russia's moral norms and traditions.

"I am often asked: When will you have sex education? I say: Never," Astakhov snapped at a meeting with Russian parents, Interfax news agency reported.
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Astakhov gave his own recipe for teaching teenagers about sex last year, when he said Russian literature offered a goldmine of information on the subject.

“Children need to read more, it has everything on love and relationship of the sexes,” Astakhov told Rossia-24 television.
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(More at above link)

South Dakota Same Sex Marriage Ban Struck down

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/12/south-dakota-gay-marriage_n_6458402.html

A judge ruled South Dakota's gay marriage ban unconstitutional on Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier wrote that the plaintiffs in the case "have a fundamental right to marry."

"South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification," Schreier wrote.

The decision is stayed pending a possible appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Russian citizens now have to fear being tagged in the wrong Social Media post

Putin, in my humble opinion, is now officially more repressive than was Nikita Kruschev. Even Kruschev allowed fairly significant criticism of the regime and system from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who published "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (Оди́н день Ива́на Дени́совича Odin den' Ivana Denisovicha) with permission from Kruschev and his government. Now, being tagged in the wrong article or video on Facebook, Twitter or VKontakte which makes it appear that one supports criticism of Putin's regime results in arrest or other repression in Russia.

http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41558

THE PERILS OF BEING TAGGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN RUSSIA

The Russian government's excessive control over social media made international headlines last week. The state media oversight agency, at the request of prosecutors, forced the popular social network Facebook to block a support page for a Russian opposition leader and prominent anti-corruption activist, Alexei Navalny, who is on trial in a case he has called politically motivated.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Many social media users are finding themselves in trouble with the Russian authorities for joining groups, getting tagged, and sharing content on social media sites.

Who among us has not been tagged in an unflattering photo or an offensive post? It might lead us to wonder why we took that group picture after midnight or raise some eyebrows at work. It might also make us regret the evaporation of privacy. But it should not lead to legal trouble with the authorities. Yet this is precisely what happened to a woman in Perm, Russia.

In September, Yevgeniya Vychigina was prosecuted and fined for being tagged by a friend in a so-called "extremist" video on the Russian social media site VKontakte. Featuring interviews with self-styled "partisans" who attacked police officers, the video was undeniably controversial. Yet Vychigina was no partisan. She was neither in the video nor supported the video's message.

Her friend simply wanted her to watch it, and she claims to have accepted the tag without watching the video. After she accepted the video, it appeared on Vychigina's Vkontakte page, leading a court to fine her for "disseminating extremist materials." The case reveals the absurd and alarming scope of Internet censorship in Russia.
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(More at above link)

FBI says they have enough information to accuse North Korea of the Sony Hack

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/fbi-sony-hack_n_6354450.html?ir=Politics&utm_campaign=121914&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-politics&utm_content=FullStory

Note: The below includes two paragraphs written by the HuffPo author and the entire text from the FBI which is not copyrighted:

The FBI released a statement Friday on the Sony hacking, saying there's enough information to conclude North Korea is responsible for the attack.

"We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there," the statement said. "Further, North Korea's attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States."

Read the entire statement below:

Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.

The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations.

After discovering the intrusion into its network, SPE requested the FBI’s assistance. Since then, the FBI has been working closely with the company throughout the investigation. Sony has been a great partner in the investigation, and continues to work closely with the FBI. Sony reported this incident within hours, which is what the FBI hopes all companies will do when facing a cyber attack. Sony’s quick reporting facilitated the investigators’ ability to do their jobs, and ultimately to identify the source of these attacks.

As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following:

· Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.

· The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. Government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.

· Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.

We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. The FBI takes seriously any attempt – whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise – to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.

The FBI stands ready to assist any U.S. company that is the victim of a destructive cyber attack or breach of confidential business information. Further, the FBI will continue to work closely with multiple departments and agencies as well as with domestic, foreign, and private sector partners who have played a critical role in our ability to trace this and other cyber threats to their source. Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.

This comment is unbelievable but I guess I shouldn't be surprised

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5979364

"Kerry's European Jewish roots likely won't put him at odds with Israel"

wtf

xpost from GD:If you missed it, Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on torture & more

If you missed it live, click here to listen to tonights Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on the Senate Torture report, Police shootings, the economy, Time Magazine's person of the year and the dumbest congressmen of the new session

http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/leser/20141209.html

Or for non Flash computers/devices (i.e. iPad/iPhone) click http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/podcast-bin/stream.cgi?show=leser&datecode=20141209

If you missed it live, tonight's Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on torture & more

If you missed it live, click here to listen to tonights Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on the Senate Torture report, Police shootings, the economy, Time Magazine's person of the year and the dumbest congressmen of the new session

http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/leser/20141209.html

Or for non Flash computers/devices (i.e. iPad/iPhone) click http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/podcast-bin/stream.cgi?show=leser&datecode=20141209

Senate Releases Report on Torture

Link: http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf

Dean on 50 state strategy is a paean to Pragmatism and Centrism where necessary.

Shout out to DFW for his original OP: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025928884

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/25/people_yelled_and_carried_on_howard_dean_on_how_he_remade_the_dnc_and_dems_new_path_forward/

"I was a centrist governor" and also bragging about getting Begich elected

In other words, Dean is/was a pragmatist, as most successful politicians are.



"My experience as a governor was that the state party was weak. They were also kind of a pain in the neck. I was a centrist governor, and they were always complaining about things that I was doing, and I was very annoyed by it. "


and

"So the origin of the 50-state strategy was to be prepared to go anywhere. The idea was, if you ever wanted a Mark Begich, you had to invest in Alaska before a Mark Begich came on the horizon so you could be ready. Mark Begich is the example that I use. Nobody expected Ted Stevens to be indicted, but when he was, we were ready. So the origin was to invest in the party throughout the country. "


I love it!!!

On Edit: OMG, and this!!!!:

What do you say to those who argued that the 50-state strategy for Democrats, it brought in a lot of Democrats who were right for those particular regions, but it may have diverged sharply from the mainstream Democratic message? Was that a problem?

There was some discussion about that, and actually that happened. We ended up with some conservative Democrats from Western Pennsylvania, for example. But my point was, you can be a small regional minority party if you want to, and stay ideologically pure. But it’s more fun to have the speaker. I’d rather have inter-party fights in the majority than stay pure in the minority. So we wanted to keep a majority. And the Republicans have actually done this too. Now they did it through gerrymandering, but still. And also the Republicans have better messaging, that’s a whole other story.

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OMG, that is priceless. "But my point was, you can be a small regional minority party if you want to, and stay ideologically pure. But it’s more fun to have the speaker. I’d rather have inter-party fights in the majority than stay pure in the minority. "
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