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Conspiratards FINALLY bonk their noses on the one NSA fact I've been screaming about for my entire life.

Date/Time Permalink: 12/28/13 11:37:24 am
Category: Prophecies


Cory Doctorow, tied for "World's Biggest Douche" and "World's Biggest Idiot", has just now posted a story on the NSA circlejerk that illuminates the fact I've been yelling at everybody for years.

Allow me to quote "Penguin Pete's Law of Surveillance" (citation)(citation)(citation):

It does not matter how MUCH data you collect. What matters is having the EYEBALLS to READ that data.

I don't know how many times I've reposted that simple rule. While the tech community has collectively made such assholes of themselves that I've been practically blackballed out of it for daring to point out that you're all panicking about NOTHING. But now that you've heard it from Cory Doctorow, your God who can Do No Wrong, does anybody believe me now?

Huh? Do you??? Do any of you understand this simple, simple, simple fact now?

It does not matter how MUCH data you collect. What matters is having the EYEBALLS to READ that data.

The NSA, CIA, DHS, FBI, Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Barney the Purple Dinosaur can save every byte of data about all the people in the world 24-7 forever. It doesn't matter. The World Wide Web alone churns out more data in a day than the entire world population could read in their lifetimes - remember that a huge chunk of Internet data is just bots. It doesn't matter how many cameras are pointed at you. Nobody is watching them. It doesn't matter how many bots warehouse your Twitter mumblings. Nobody has the time to read them. It doesn't even matter how many "A.I." bots you have shoveling through the data looking for patterns. Just the maintenance overhead alone to maintain such a behemoth would be more than the collective processing power of the human race at this point in time. And, speaking as a programmer, there's no way to make it better.

Nineteen Eighty-Four, like many science fiction novels, failed at math: It is impossible to have this world where everybody has a telescreen in their house 24-7 watching their every move. That's because to watch 7 billion people, you need to hire 7 billion people. In shifts. And pay them. And give them holidays and sick leave.

The failure to understand this simple fact must be related to the weakness in human reasoning that makes people fall for pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing scams.

I'm still giving up on trying to teach anybody anything anymore. You're all just too stupid.

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It's Been Fun, Linux Community, But It's Time To Move On

Date/Time Permalink: 10/19/13 02:27:44 pm
Category: Site News

Those of you who pay attention (all two of you) know that my webcomic will complete its run by New Year's Eve of this year. And you've also heard me rumble that I have bigger and better things in mind for after that project's done.

Well, I've arrived at a conclusion today: Starting January 1st, 2014, penguinpetes.com will no longer be focused on Linux, Free & Open Source Software, or even technology in particular. Before you all cry "sell-out!" or just cry in general, there's three very level-headed arguments in support of this:

#1. The computer era has passed.

That's the biggest issue. Check your stats, webmasters: the overwhelming majority of devices visiting your sites right now are smartphones, tablets, and pads. Devices are getting even smaller, not larger, and users are going more towards being read-only every day, not do-it-yourself. If you own a desktop computer or a laptop right now, you're officially a dinosaur. I am a dinosaur too, and anything I have to say about computers from here on out is irrelevant to all but 1% of the population. The thing is, if installing your own operating system was a fringe concept in the PC era, it's a dusty ancient practice in the smartphone era. Smartphones, tablets, and pads are for consuming, not hacking.

Update Days later, Apple starts releasing their desktop operating system free of charge. Which is their way of also saying the desktop era is over.

#2. I have fought with every drop of blood in my veins to preserve learning, intellect, and literacy for ten years, and the world just got 1000X stupider since I started.

When I started, Linux had a foothold and my purpose was to teach everyone that we can all use technology to be self-sufficient and have maximum tech freedom. Then that proved too hard for most of you, so I had to advocate against the misologist zealots and show, no, really, manpages and Google are not too hard to use. Then even being pro-literacy proved to be too controversial a position to take, so I started focusing on the need to improve education in this country. Then science and reason came under attack, so I started advocating for civilization to start with, then promote learning, then promote computer literacy, then promote technology, then promote Linux. Eventually I lost even that foothold when the entire technology world went stark batshit crazy and turned into a collective paranoid-schitzophrenic conspiracy theorist. I am now reduced to being the only one screaming that the world is NOT going to end, and I'm being drowned out by the mobs screaming every single day that it will. Reminding me of this old meme...

In short, the zombie apocalypse is over. The zombies won.

#3. My career has focused more on being an author and artist anyway, so my website should be, too. I'm ready to become someone else now. I think I'll be the Gen-X Robert Anton Wilson. I'm going to devote the rest of my career to the most audacious messing-with-minds possible, pulling off feats of culture-jamming, cranking out books, and making you all feel stupid. I have tried to teach all of you how to be wizards, but none of you want to be wizards, you only want to sit in the audience and gawp while I'm up on stage being the wizard. Fine then, I'll be that wizard. From this day forward, you'll never know when I'm kidding and when I'm being serious. I'll just fool you, fool you, and fool you, and you'll never know how I did it. I don't show my cards any more.

#3-1/2. I will no longer be associated with assholes like this. Me, when I advocated Linux, I was saying Linux is all about Google and Amazon and being installed on supercomputers and the space station. Only to get dragged back down to be associated with these endless filthy hippies everywhere. If there was a way to make Linux explode and kill everybody in the room whenever a hippie got close to it, I'd submit the kernel patch myself. Knowing Linus, he'd probably approve it, too.

NOTE When the above-mentioned hippie's story ran on Reddit's Linux forum, I replied to somebody championing this idiot as "the right sort of person to open up free software and open source ideas to a broader community." I ran across my reply to that thread, now long-since deleted in the dusts of time. I have saved a copy here, because it says everything I have ever had to say about "Linux advocacy":

"the right sort of person to open up free software and open source
ideas to a broader community. "

Ooooooh, I get it! This is yet another populist ploy to hold a
folk-music festival for the penguins and bang tambourines and shave
heads and hustle people for money to spread the tent-revival good news
of FOSS. Because it's not just sensible technology deployed by all the
top Fortune 500 tech companies save one - it's a religion, a
"lifestyle," a "philosophy." A charity.

This is fun! I've played this game before! Let's see here, I remember
my role. Ah, yes, for not joining the circlejerk, I must be an
obstructive meanie elitist who wants to keep Linux away from people
and have it restricted to only us exclusive ivory-tower eggheads! Did
I remember all the adjectives this time?

Yeah, we've been there, Bob Dylan. The times, they really did a-change
- to the mobile platform. It's too late to push for the "year of Linux
on the desktop" now that the desktop is going away.

But I was there for the drive to get Linux on TV, and the charity rush
to promote Linux in a radio ad, and the crooks who wanted to shake us
all down to have a Linux sticker on that racecar, and on and on and

Linux is on the space station. It won, and it won without any help
from filthy, stinking, pot-reeking hippies like this guy and his
little fan club. It has been built by, maintained by, used by, and
will continue to thrive by the people like me who got a haircut and a
real job and took Linux to the industrial and business sector, where
profits, not flower power, win the day.

If self-righteous, idealistic, clueless hippies like these are the
solution to anything, I want my problem back.

EDIT Ooooh, downvote the scary, scary smart person who's known what
he's talking about for 20 years in the tech community. I hope I didn't
make you soak your Pampers pull-up!

Don't Panic! - The strip archives will still be there, blog will be overhauled or maybe scrapped and replaced altogether, new sections will be added, and I might even change the domain name.

One thing for sure, I'm not going to care about having a "geek" audience anymore. "Geeks" are dead, and although president Obama and I and a few others have made a valiant effort to get the STEMmer thing off the ground, it isn't going to happen this generation. I've raised my kids and talked to their friends enough to know that the Millennial generation is on its way, God bless 'em, and some of them are 10X the STEMmer spokesperson I'll ever be. The spark will pass, so it's time to get out of the way and let them talk to the generation that has hope. Baby Boomers, Gen-X, and Gen-Y: as far as Western enlightenment goes, we're three waves of the greatest waste of protein in the history of civilization, and the books that the Millennial generation writes will seriously ask why our time was known as "The Second Dark Ages."

For everybody older than 25 and younger than 70, you are the people who want magic, not science. And it's about time I started working towards my retirement.

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The Last Laugh: Edward The Lying Snowjob Is Now A Bum On The Streets Of Russia

Date/Time Permalink: 10/07/13 01:01:41 pm
Category: Prophecies

Just had to revisit the most sensationalized and hyped (and LIED) story in the history of tech journalism. This one last time, snowy-boy has been shown to be the washed-up con artist he always was. Gawker breaks the photo:

Oh... not what everybody but me expected, heh? How the mighty have fallen.

Things to note about what this photo does NOT show:

  • He is NOT, as he claimed, running around in disguise.
  • He is NOT getting chased by US special agents, Navy seals, black helicopters, Dr. No, or black-ops ninjas.
  • He does NOT have a gorgeous, glamorous {pole-dancer / ballerina / acrobat / hooker} girlfriend on his arm.
  • He is NOT accompanied by an adoring entourage hanging on his every word.
  • He is NOT being a spy now, as opposed to his claim of having been "a spy all his life."
  • He is walking on asphalt, NOT water.

The article says, quoting his lawyer: "It should be noted he is quite poor... at the moment he is living on donations... However, the money he has left is very little."

Oh, so he's out of work, living on handouts, and pushing a shopping cart down the street? Yeah, we have a word for that here in the states. It's called A BUM! Snowjob has ditched what little chance he had to be a productive citizen in the world to become exiled from his home country, forced to cope in a foreign culture as he struggles to learn the language, and leeching off society for the rest of his life.

Not the international man of intrigue, not the sex symbol of the year, not being awarded a Nobel Peace prize or a Human Rights award or any of the other lies you've heard, not a swashbuckling superhero spinning through the sky on feats of daring-do. Just a regular old bum. A bum who could, in fact, do nothing and change nothing, because he knows nothing and never knew anything to begin with.

The only way this photo could make me happier is if Glenn Greenwald was right there beside him.

This has been yet another prophecy spake by Penguin Pete which hath come to pass. See you all on my back the next time I try to do you all a favor and warn you that you're being conned!

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THANK YOU, British Government, For Stamping Out Snowdenoia!

Date/Time Permalink: 08/19/13 08:41:47 pm
Category: Prophecies

Seeing as how I'm already the most hated person on the Internet for being the sole dissenting voice in the Summer of Snowdenoia, I guess I'd better be first in line to put on my pom-poms and cheer for the UK. Because British officials came down on The Guardian, shutting down their political muckraking at LAST!!!

Yeah, what took them so long?

The rest of you, as usual, with cry that this is a blow against freedom. As usual, it will take a few months for the hyper-frenzy to recede. As usual, you will then all be asking yourselves what the hell you were thinking. As usual, I will point to #Occupy Wall Street, "End the Fed!", the "Ron Paul R[3V0_|]ution", and the mass delusional panic over SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, ACTA, etc., as one more time when the mob ruled the Internet and the technology blogosphere, much gnashing of teeth and soiling of diapers came to pass, and in the end, nothing happened.

When will you all ever learn?

Blow against freedom? Exposure of government wrongdoing? "Whistleblowing"? Bullshit.

All Snowdenoia was about, all summer long, was a handful of tin-foil-hat Libertarians (Wrong and Random Paul, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Glenn Greenwald, and the Snowjob himself, Edward Snowden) trying to forcibly oust Obama or touch off World War 3 between the US and everybody else, at all costs. It was all bluff and smoke and mirrors, "freedom theater" for your summer wanktardy entertainment.

Did you all have fun? For those of you who turned on your friends and associates, was it worth it? For those of you who disrupted the World Wide Web, which all of us must share with you, so you can indulge yourselves in your little temper tantrum, do you feel better now?

When will you all ever learn?

When will you all ever learn?

Because the conspiracy theorists will hit you again, come the start of June 2014. Once again, there will be a carefully engineered circus of yellow journalism designed to keep the gullible fools in their basements, feverishly calling for an Internet revolution. There will be a bogeyman for you to be scared of, constructed of your comic book villains and cyberpunk nightmares. Mob frenzy will be stirred, pitchforks and torches will be handed out. There will be sharpsters exploiting your gullibility. All your favorite charlatans and conjurers of fear will come out of the woodwork with their hands out, soaking you for donations and hassling you to hassle each other with petitions and website blackouts and hacktivist DDOSs.


See you next June, hacktivists! Summer is over, and it's time to get back to business.

FOOTNOTE: How wonderfully, deliciously ironic is it that Glenn Greenwald, the chief screaming source of all the idiotic muckraking against the United States, was slapped down by the UK, and NOT the United States? Your politically-gay "boyfriend" gets detained at Heathrow, and the UK government destroys your mouthpiece's computers? All without fair trial, due process, rights per Miranda, protection under that famous 4th Amendment everybody's wringing their hands about?

Gee, Mr. Greenwald, I guess the United States ISN'T the Worst County In The World, now, bloody well isn't it? Over in the US, drama queens left and right throw themselves onto their swords because they just can't take the angst anymore. But where is the free reporting suppressed? In the UK. Who keeps Snowden in an airport for months while they decide whether they can allow him to enter the country? That would be Russia. Who kicks Snowden out of the country and denies him Visa to come back? That was China. So far, the US has barely lifted a finger against the Greenwald army, and what does that say about the most hated government on the Internet? That it is right, that I am right, and the feeble-brained hacktivists are wrong.

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Madness, Indeed. The Tech Community Has a Diseased Collective Mind.

Date/Time Permalink: 08/07/13 12:16:02 pm
Category: General

From the latest hacktivist scare-post:

"Let's call this the 'hacker madness' strategy. Using it, the
prosecution portrays actions taken by someone using a computer as
more dangerous or scary than they actually are by highlighting the
digital tools used to a nontechnical or even technophobic judge."

So ignorance of computers causes irrational fears in government and court. Is that everybody's point, "hacker" community? Are we on the same page that your grief is that government doesn't understand you?

What about the flipside? Paranoia in the hacker community about government and courts also comes from ignorance of how government and the law works. We fear that which we do not understand, do we not? Are IT workers not human? Are you, yourself, not human? Then are you not prone to the same faults? Because I have never, in my life, heard one single person in the tech community admit that they could have any faults at all, except for I, myself. The point of view that "all hackers are good; all government is evil" is the most monumentally unexamined assumption on the Internet, possibly in history.

What is the difference between an "Anon" on Reddit, Slashdot, or 4chan railing against the "evil government" and a fundamentalist Evangelical Christian bigot railing against the "evil gays"?

None. Both positions are bigotry formed from ignorance and paranoia.

So we have government officials dismissing you as "twentysomethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years" who might go "nihilist" on the US government.

Here's the other end of the name-calling: "Restore the Fourth" Current discussions there include calling Hayden a terrorist, threats to take weapons to the streets in a revolution, and of course, the inevitable "1984!!!" comparison. There, the name-calling goes both ways. And you, hacktivists, started it!

You know what? I see more truth to what Hayden's saying there than I see to anything any "hacktivist" has said about government this year! Doesn't make him right. It does make him better informed about you than you are of him.

To solve this ignorance, you can't stay in your basement. You have to log off, stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and go outside. Volunteer at the campaign office of your chosen candidate instead of trying to rig the election from your computer. Hang out at the courthouse and watch a few trials - they're open to the public. Consider temping at a few government contractor jobs, like Snowden only without the attempted treason part. If you must stay at home, at least flip on C-SPAN. And you can't just watch for five minutes and zone out with the typical 21st-century mosquito attention span; you have to pay attention and appreciate what they are trying to do. Those people on TV are making your government day after day. If you forgot about them, don't be surprised when they forget about you.

Instead, there's this Vice story from DefCon: Vast majority of hackers respond that they would NOT work for the NSA. That's too bad; such a person is exactly the kind we should want working in the NSA. Somebody who would be more proactive in guarding civil rights, while more efficiently filtering the information we need from the information we don't need. But it's so much easier to stand outside and complain than it is to go inside and fix it.

If there is a gap between the hacker community and government, whose fault is it for not being good ambassadors?

While some politicians force us to see things only in terms of un-mendable divisions, we have to acknowledge that hacktivists do exactly the same thing.

I see what it is. Some people want to blame all their problems on the government. And the problems are even largely imaginary. Are you in solitary confinement? Are you being tortured? Right now, this minute, as you read this? Is there a telescreen and a Big Brother poster in your room with you now? Are you being controlled by a giant, Fascist, omnipotent dystopia? No, likely as not, you're clean, well-fed, extremely comfortable by world-average standards, and are reading this post leisurely over some electronic device that most of the world only yet dreams of being able to afford.

Stop blaming the government. The government is YOU. The United States was founded by people who wanted to solve this democracy problem once and for all, and did everything within their mortal power to set up a system by which the people could govern themselves. If it's off course now, it's off course because the people LET it get off course.

If you're paranoid and ignorant of government, then you cannot run it effectively. It takes informed, rational people to make informed, rational decisions about managing their own government. No, the government did not "get like this." You all LET the government get like this, when you were too busy playing. Generations of people who did not want the responsibility of being informed and educated about their government let it drive over a cliff, and now you're all demanding that "somebody do something about it"... while you go back to playing.

I'll say it again: If you're worried about a dystopian, militarized, Nazi government turning on its citizens, then you have to say the following words over and over again: "Cut defense." But to do that, you also have to quit screaming tizzies every time a bomb kills three people at a marathon. Trust me, dozens of countries all over the world both have less militarized defense and fewer mass killing incidents. Why do you think that is?

In other words, you have to understand that the government is not this mythical dragon with magic powers. You need to understand how government works. You are not entitled to your opinion about government, until you can state an informed opinion.

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So Where Was Everybody's Righteous Indignation and Outrage Back When NSA Domestic Surveillance Was First Reported in 2008?

Date/Time Permalink: 07/27/13 03:40:06 pm
Category: General

Because here it is, when the Justice Department was going after the NSA for overstepping its bounds in 2009. And that's a follow-up to the initial revelation about NSA domestic spying back in 2008. Why, yes, even the same facts that were supposedly "leaked" this summer by Edward the Lying Snowjob:

"According to current and former intelligence officials, the spy agency now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records. The NSA receives this so-called "transactional" data from other agencies or private companies, and its sophisticated software programs analyze the various transactions for suspicious patterns."

Gee, it doesn't sound like anything was "leaked" at all, if it was common news back in 2008.

In fact, it was George W. Bush who signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 - an amendment to FISA - into law, which greatly broadened the scope of domestic data the NSA could search.

Why yes, the story of telecommunications companies cooperating with the NSA for domestic surveillance even had its own "whistleblower" at AT&T.

Wait, let's go back even further to 2005, Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts, says headline. Gee, I can't imagine how this story wasn't plastered on the front page of every tech news site back then. And those of us who pay attention remember there was a small blip on the radar in 2006 - the exposure of "Room 641A", the so-called "black room" where federal surveillance of citizens happened within AT&T's infrastructure.

As opposed to the never-ending shitstorm of Snowdenoia this year, these stories of NSA domestic spying from 2005 to 2009 got a collective reaction of about one and a half yawns from the tech and Internet communities.

Where was your mighty outrage then, O Anonymous?


Cat got your tongue?

I'll tell you exactly where your mighty outrage was. Obama would be just taking office in 2009, inheriting a bunch of problems from Bush, therefore it was too soon to blame it all on Obama.

It would have to wait until an admitted Ron Paul contributor hatched a plot to dodge through some hoops to get close to US Intel agencies long enough to pretend that he had access to "secrets," then stage a grandstanding "leak" to "expose" this big "secret" of NSA domestic surveillance. Just in time for the summer of 2013; Wrong Paul lost the election (again!), and Libertarians have to choke down the prospect of a second Obama term.

Too bad, so sad, Libertards! I don't know what you people don't understand about the word "election," but you're just going to have to face the fact that not every democratic president has a convenient smoking intern to use to hang him with in his second term.

In the meantime, the war on liberals and democrats (or all non-Paultards, for that matter) within the tech community is one of the most disgraceful, disgusting, and heinous acts of hypocrisy I've ever witnessed in my life. It has now gotten to where you can't even breathe free in your own hometown Linux user's group without kissing Libertarian ass.

Don't be fooled, kids! These monsters do not speak for Free and Open Source Software! They are bullies throwing a collective fit because their little bully politics games didn't work. Free and Open Source Software is the penultimate product of the most liberal, democratic, socialistic process ever organized in human history. It will be here long after petty pants-wetters have moved on to the next impressionable culture.

Update With perfect timing, The Atlantic prints Could the Government Get a Search Warrant for Your Thoughts? That's right folks, you heard it: You should literally get a tin-foil hat now. They're fashionable! They're hip!

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Is your baby monitor exposed to the Internet?

Date/Time Permalink: 07/18/13 09:35:37 am
Category: General

Backstory: The summer of our Snowden-noia has been something I've been railing against, well, all summer. But I just got reminded this morning of another reality check in our collective paranoia about government surveillance: We leak more data about ourselves than the NSA could harvest on their best day.

Case in point: This page. That's a page that harvests open security cameras on the Internet and dumps them all there for public view. Now the cameras come through at random, six to a page. You can also hit 'next' to get six more. As you surf through the feeds, you'll no doubt notice that there's several cameras pointed at baby cribs.

Don't worry, the guy who threw this together has posted on Reddit that he is aware of the problem and is trying to remove the baby monitors from the feed. But this just makes a point: Were these parents aware that they're broadcasting their sleeping children live to the world? Also, there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of feeds from cameras all over the world. What can you even do about that? Notify each parent one by one?

In fact, most of us violate our own privacy through simple sloppy carelessness so much that the government couldn't even keep up. It's the same thing with hacker-paranoia on a day-to-day basis: thousands of people (including security personnel) waste time trying to guard against Hollywood ninja-hackers and then forget to warn Gladys in reception not to put the network password on a big ol' Postit at her desk visible from the window.

The human factor. Whenever you're worrying about security exposure, the first thing you should be worrying about is the human error within your own walls. Why should a thief waste time with sophisticated safe-cracking techniques if all they have to do is just go rattling doorknobs until they find one that isn't locked?

That's just what many thieves, in fact, do. Identity thieves work this way, too. All you have to do is keep asking people for their personal data until you find somebody stupid enough to give it to you. And YES, some people really are that stupid!

The NSA doesn't have to tap your phone or read your email to find out where you are or what you're doing. You just told them where you are when you tweeted your visit to Starbucks this morning. And now you're wondering whether your own cameras at home are running. What about your laptop cam? What about the security cams at work pointed at you right now?

Am I finally making you paranoid about the right thing? Good! Quit wasting time worrying about NSA goblins and focus on not inviting the whole world to watch your sleeping baby.

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Why I'm not blogging much this summer

Date/Time Permalink: 07/16/13 01:16:48 am
Category: Site News

It used to be September. September used to be "idiot season," when new students entered the university system for the first time and got access to the Internet - at which point they'd make perfect clods of themselves until they'd gotten to know Internet culture a bit. Hence the expression "eternal September," for when 365-day-per-year Internet access became a fact of life for the general public.

We have a new September now, called "June 3rd." That's the day, in the US, when school is more or less out for everybody for summer break. Suddenly, students of every age from grade school to college have an extra six hours of their day free per weekday, no homework, no studies, and a buttload of free time on their hands.

The current Snowden-noia, as I'm now tagging it, has infested the widest corners of the Internet as a true cancer and won't stop until September. This happens every summer, regular as clockwork. Think of every idiot panic that swept the Internet in years past. Track it down. Yes, it started in the summer.

In the meantime, it's absolutely impossible and hopeless to get anyone to listen to anything you have to say on the web right now unless it's about tin-foil-hat Libertarian paranoia over the NSA, Snowden, PRISM, and Obama. Even the Zimmerman trial has come and gone like a blip on the radar; a couple days of demonstration and it'll be forgotten. All Julian Assange, Wrong Paul, Bradley Manning, Glenn Greenwald, or Edward Snowden have to do is announce that they took a poop this morning, and your eyes will be back to them. Puppet masters know their puppets, and the Lords your Gods are jealous Gods, meditating upon how to manipulate your attention day and night.

I am not a jealous God. Rather, I know that all I have to do is wait out until the current shitstorm ends... about the last week of August when school starts... and then you will all come out of your spell as you do every year. You will see that the world did not end with PRISM, exactly as it did not end with CISPA, ACTA, PIPA, SOPA, the NDAA, #Occupy, KONY2012, the DMCA, the PATRIOT act, and Wrong Paul and the Crusade to End the Fed. You will all blink your little mole eyes at the daylight and wonder what came over you, as you do every year. Long about Thanksgiving, you'll all be asking yourselves what the hell all that was about and why the screaming outrage suddenly stopped and yet nothing happened from it, exactly as is your holiday tradition.

The retard-masks will go back in the closet.

Everybody will be done having their little circlejerk party.

I am particularly disappointed in some people I used to respect. Some of the paragons of FOSS and digital freedom, who used to have sense enough to distance themselves from such crotch-grabbing redneckery, have apparently decided can't beat 'em, join 'em, and have sold out to the annual summer idiot festival. What a shame. I will be honoring them all the less in these pages.

I don't know which hurts more, that I have praised GNU software so ringingly in the past, or the fact that my own hometown Linux user's group has abandoned its normal programming to foam about Teh Evulz Gov'mint and hold an emergency encryption seminar. That's a mailing list with about 20-40 active members, but oh, no, that was still too large a place to hide, too much comfort to provide me.*

Me, I'd be happy to land on an NSA terrorist watchlist or two. Compared to my usual run-of-the-mill enemies, at least I'd get to be persecuted by a better class of people.

September is now the month I look forward to every year. It's at least a time when technology news websites once again start talking about technology, and leave politics to the sewers where it belongs.

* UPDATE Would you believe the Central Iowa Linux User's Group (CIALUG) actually kicked me out for not being sufficiently worshipful of Snowden? The group resisted Snowdenoia the longest, yet like the cancer it is, it crept in and took over the whole board.

Thanks a lot, guys. Enjoy your sausage-fest (I was the only one who brought women to the group, both wife and daughter) as you hunker in your bunker tuning in Alex Jones on your TOR radio apps. Keep waiting for that end of the world now! It's real important to raise awareness and demand everyone join your personal army for Internet-activism. It's much more important than respecting old friends or supporting young people and minority genders in their interest in open source technology.

Who's turning on me next? Next? Who's next?

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Edward Snowden Is Lying His Ass Off - part 2

Date/Time Permalink: 06/22/13 02:11:46 pm
Category: Prophecies

I hate to say "I told you so!"

So I'll let Jeff say it for me:

As the weeks have gone by, more and more people in the media are starting to wake up to the fact that Edward Snowden is a great big con. See below:

Let's start with a good recap of the sloppy lack of fact-checking that has gone on with basically every word reported about this story since day one, at this excellent post where Joshua Foust bravely takes on the Snowden circlejerk.

Now then, I (and many others) have been wondering "How did a GED-holder manage to get hired by US intelligence?" Well, we're getting our answer: It turned out Snowden faked his resume...

"[Snowden] stated on his resume earlier this year he attended computer-related classes at Johns Hopkins University, a Tokyo campus of the University of Maryland and the University of Liverpool in Britain.

According to the sources, the resume stated that Snowden "estimated" he would receive a master's degree in computer security from Liverpool sometime this year.

Some of the educational information listed on the resume did not check out..."

Oh, and while we're at it, the US Office of Personnel Management is now investigating the firm that should have run Snowden's background check.

"Senator Claire McCaskill described the probe into USIS as a criminal investigation into allegations the company systemically failed to adequately conduct investigations under its contract."

Oh, so he fudged his background check too. That explains the clearance.

Still trusted every word Snowden says? Combined with his inflation of his reported salary at Booz Allen Hamilton, that's three flat out lies he's been caught in already. And that pretty much covers every employer he's ever had.

Snowden's supporters lie too. Here's how one story posted to Reddit was titled:

"Snowden smuggled thousands of classified documents on one of the portable devices, despite the military’s efforts to ban them. Investigators also know how many documents were downloaded from NSA and what server he took them from"

The actual article being linked to is in fact the week-old cold coffee article on the LA Times. Search for the word 'thousands' there and carefully read the context...

"Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst in Iraq, downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents..."

No mention of any such "thousands" by Snowden.

The only smear campaign going on right now is by the typical Libertarian Paultard tin-foil-hat crowd, who are frantically trying to stamp out all opinion on the web that casts Snowden as anything less than the second coming - even going so far as to add your name to a watch list of "government conspirators." I've already been accused of being a shill for the NSA, undercover agent, etc., just for blogging this story.

So if anybody else out there is getting intimidated in social media, such that they're being discouraged from voicing their fair skepticism, feel free to tell us about it here. Long-time readers will know just how much I love taking on bullies!

In case you missed them the first time, a few more reports also saying that the Snowden story sounds Moby-Dick-size fishy:

And last but certainly not least, there's the question of the reporter who broke the story. As became known just today, Glenn Greenwald has now stepped into the story and made it about his own political views.

Which violates the hell out of journalistic integrity. When you make it obvious that you, yourself, have an ax to grind, you've pretty much damned the public's faith in you to present the bare facts of the story without meddling in it. If this turns out to be equal parts fabrication between Greenwald and Snowden, we'll also be able to look back and see exactly where the gun started smoking.

In closing, I point out again - as deaf as the tin-foil-hatties will be to the disclaimer - that I'm against government invasions of privacy and especially against wasteful, bungling, expensive bureaucracies that have minuscule gain traded off for maximum hassle. I'm also going to again point out that scandals about US Intel overstepping their authority are as old as US Intel. I'm glad US Intel agencies have been cut almost 10% under the Obama administration, and I'm clamoring for them to be cut a bunch more. As soon as everybody gets over their 9/11 paranoia, I'm hoping that finally it will be time to have a conversation about cutting defense? If anything, the lesson of Snowden is that our Intel infrastructure has gotten so sprawling, careless, and sloppy that trailer trash can run in and grab stuff and run out and wave it around - even if they have no clue what they're doing, as in Snowden's case.

US Intel is a runaway freight train that needs to be stopped. But clown shows like Snowden (and Greenwald, we're looking at you too), hurt, not help, but hurt the cause they purport to advocate for.

EDIT I just researched Glenn Greenwald and... holy crap! It's all him! Wrong Paul, Julian Assange, Occupy Wall Street, Bradley Manning, CISPA / SOPA paranoia, Anonymous, Aaron Swartz... every circlejerk that's happened on the web has been Glenn Greenwald, this human shit volcano, the whole TIME! Just about every time I've had to speak out because my tech world is getting so disrupted that it's impossible to get anything else productive said on the web, it's been him.

Update 6/24/13: Our hero, David Gregory, asks Glenn Greenwald - to his face - why Greenwald shouldn't be charged with a crime along with Snowden. Greenwald doesn't have an answer. Yeah, I'd like to know, too!

As far as I can tell, Greenwald just wants to pick as many fights as he can between the US and everybody else. So his little Libertarian regime can take its place. Nice try, Pol Pot, but a lawyer-to-reporter doth not a general make, particularly when the only army you can mobilize is gullible online LULZsec kids.

UPDATE 8/29/13: This Slashdot comment is gold. Somebody else gets the right picture... finally! This was yet another story on Slashdot caroling the hackerly heroism of Snowden... and that comment smacks the story back in its place.

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