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Mme. Defarge

Mme. Defarge's Journal
Mme. Defarge's Journal
May 1, 2022

The symbolic "pantsing" of Putin!

Hacking Hacking Russia was off-limits. The Ukraine war made it a free-for-all.

Experts anticipated a Moscow-led cyber-assault; instead, unprecedented attacks by hacktivists and criminals have wreaked havoc in Russia

By Joseph Menn
 May 1, 2022

Yet the third month of war finds Russia, not the United States, struggling under an unprecedented hacking wave that entwines government activity, political voluntarism and criminal action.

Digital assailants have plundered the country’s personal financial data, defaced websites and handed decades of government emails to anti-secrecy activists abroad. One recent survey showed more passwords and other sensitive data from Russia were dumped onto the open Web in March than information from any other country.

The broadcasting cache and some of the other notable spoils were obtained by a small hacktivist group formed as the war began looking inevitable, called Network Battalion 65.

“Federation government: your lack of honor and blatant war crimes have earned you a special prize,” read one note left on a victim’s network. “This bank is hacked, ransomed and soon to have sensitive data dumped on the Internet.

But perhaps the most important victim of the wave of attacks has been the myth of Russian cyber-superiority, which for decades helped scare hackers in other countries — as well as criminals within its borders — away from targeting a nation with such a formidable operation.

“The sense that Russia is off-limits has somewhat expired, and hacktivism is one of the most accessible forms of striking at an unjust regime or its supporting infrastructure,” said Emma Best, co-founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets, which validated and published the regulator and broadcast troves among others.

While many of the hackers want to inform the public about Russia’s role in areas including propaganda and energy production, Best said a secondary motivation post-invasion is “the symbolic ‘pantsing’” of Putin and some of the oligarchs.
April 21, 2022


Took me four damn tries!!!

April 14, 2022

A symbolic horse head in every citizen's bed

When a friend asked me to defend my assertion that Governor Abbot’s actions amounted to extortion and were deeply corrupt, I replied that, “It’s clearly meant to destroy the Biden presidency and punish the entire country for the fact that a Democrat was elected to that office. A symbolic horse head in every citizen’s bed. It serves as a future warning , i.e., elect a Democrat and everyone will suffer.”

White House, truckers blast Texas as inspections snarl Mexico traffic

Huge, multi-mile traffic jams at numerous U.S. border crossings in Mexico worsened Wednesday as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) largely kept in place his new restrictions that require secondary inspections of commercial trucks and other vehicles.

The new policy, announced last week, has led some truckers to remain snarled in traffic for more than 30 hours, prompting desperate pleas from fruit and vegetable importers, the auto industry and other executives who said their products are being caught up in a political standoff.

In an afternoon news conference, Abbott said he would relax inspections only on trucks entering Texas from Nuevo León, Mexico, because that region’s governor had agreed to tighter security measures. But he was keeping the restrictions up in other entry points until other governors would follow suit.

“Clogged bridges can end only through the type of collaboration that we are demonstrating today between Texas and Nuevo León,” Abbott said.

Businesses on both sides of the border were not mollified by the governor’s Wednesday announcement, and they said the economic consequences were piling up.


April 9, 2022

Portland's World Naked Bike Ride is back this summer

Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride is back this summer https://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/2022/04/portlands-world-naked-bike-ride-is-back-this-summer.html

Maybe this will help my beleaguered home town get some of its quirky mojo back.

After sitting out the COVID summers, Portland’s nakedest bike ride is back and almost as naked as ever.

Almost because organizers are asking people to wear masks on their faces during the ride. Covering every other body part, however, is up to rider discretion.

This year’s World Naked Bike Ride will take place on the evening of July 30. So far, that’s the extent of the details. Would-be riders should keep an eye on pdxwnbr.org or follow @pdxwnbr on Twitter for more details as the event gets closer.

Every year, excluding the last two, bike riders gather in Portland and around the world and remove as many of their clothes as they want and ride through town to draw awareness to bicycle safety, fossil fuel dependency and really whatever cause they want.

April 6, 2022

IRS identification verification letter

Has anyone received this?

April 5, 2022

Your Morning Splash of Happiness!

I LOVED this story in today’s Washington Post.

The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages.

How did he get this way? And what was going on in his brain? But also: why was he cleaning carpets for a living?
To Vaughn, all of that is missing the point. He’s not interested in impressing anyone. He only counted his languages because I asked him to. He understands that he seems to remember names, numbers, dates and sounds far better than most people. Even to him, that has always been a mystery. But his reason for dedicating his life to learning so many languages has not.

He thought, at first, that there were two languages. English, like his dad spoke, and Spanish like his mom spoke. Vaughn liked visiting his family in Orizaba, Mexico, liked the way the Spanish words sounded in his mouth.
But growing up in Maryland, he often tried not to use them. He didn’t want to feel even more different than the other kids. He was already browner than them. He already didn’t understand why they laughed at certain things, or why they seemed to be able to follow instructions from the teacher that made no sense to him. Spanish was his first secret.
When some distant cousins of his dad’s came to visit from Belgium, they used words different than Vaughn had ever heard. Vaughn became more and more frustrated that once again, he couldn’t understand.
“I was like, ‘I want that power,' ” Vaughn remembers.

From then on, he was entranced by every language he encountered. His mom’s French record albums. A German dictionary he found at one of his dad’s handyman jobs. A boy from the Soviet Union who joined his junior high class. By then, one of Vaughn’s favorite places was the library. He checked out a beginner’s guide to Russian.
Soon after, he overheard a Russian woman in a grocery store.

“Здравствуйте, как поживаете?”.
Vaughn asked. Hello, how are you? He explained that he was trying to learn Russian.
He liked the look he put on that woman’s face.
“Like she was hit with a splash of happiness,” Vaughn remembers.


April 4, 2022

Romance Writer Accused of Husband's Murder

Her trial starts today in Portland, Oregon and can be streamed live on the KGW streaming app./platform.


Crampton Brophy, now 71, has spent more than three years in jail after being charged with gunning down her husband, Oregon Culinary Institute chef Daniel Brophy, in June 2018. Prosecutors claim the case has parallels to Crampton Brophy’s fiction, including an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband.”


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