Boing Boing 

Top homeland security Congressjerk only just heard about crypto, and he doesn't like it


Rep John Carter [R-TX] chairs Homeland Security Appropriations and sits on Defense subcommittees, but he only found out that encryption exists when FBI Director James Comey gave bizarre congressional testimony about the coming Bad Times if we're allowed to know about math.

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Welfare encourages entrepreneurship


Conservatives wring their hands at the "moral hazard" of letting people earn without working, but clever, long-running empirical research projects show that people who fear starvation and medical bankruptcy don't quit their jobs and start new business.

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If Indiana legalizes homophobic discrimination, Gen Con's leaving Indianapolis

The chair of the 57,000 attendee conference has written to Indiana governor Mike Pence to say that the conference will pull out of the state if a bill passes that lets businesses discriminate against LGBT people if their religion tells them to be hateful fucks.

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Suspicious people, American Airlines edition


Covertly snapped last night at the AA baggage office in Memphis, after they lost my luggage:

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Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

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Jeb Bush sold patronage and favors to his top political donors

The AP analysis of Bush's 275,000 FOIA'ed emails show that "donations" to his campaign were really more like "purchases."

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Senator on Internet privacy committee has never sent an email

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and he's never sent an email.

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SC Supreme Court: magistrates must be able to tell time and read

An order from the South Carolina Supreme Court dictates that those seeking to serve as magistrate judges must pass a rudimentary test of critical thinking skills.

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Snowbirds' guide to avoiding corrupt cops on I-75

My parents just got back from a road-trip from Toronto to Florida, and used Dave Hunter's venerable Along Interstate-75 to find food and lodgings, pass the hours, and beat the speed-traps and civil forfeiture nightmares of America's great roadways.

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Improving the estimate of US police killings


Patrick Ball and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group applied the same statistical rigor that he uses in estimating the scale of atrocities and genocides for Truth and Reconciliation panels in countries like Syria and Guatemala to the problem of estimating killing by US cops, and came up with horrific conclusions.

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Judge who invented Ferguson's debtor's prisons owes $170K in tax


Judge Ronald J Brockmeyer -- who filled Ferguson's coffers by fining its poorest residents and sent them to inhumane, overcrowded prisons when they couldn't pay a few hundred dollars -- stands accused of fixing fines for his cronies, and owes $170K in unpaid taxes.

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First-hand reports of torture from Homan Square, Chicago PD's "black site"


In the wake of last week's revelations about Homan Square, the off-the-books "black site" where Chicago PD disappear prisoners for violent, aggressive interrogation, four of the site's victims have come forward to describe the highly racialized human rights abuses at the secret site.

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Kansas Senate wants to imprison teachers who assign books it dislikes

Under Kansas Senate Bill 56, which passed 26-14 this week, school teachers who give students "harmful material" can be criminally prosecuted.

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Don't argue about vaccination with Rob Schneider if you value your sanity

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez made the mistake of returning actor Rob Schneider's deranged anti-vaxx phonecalls and lived to tell the tale: "That is 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back arguing that vaccines don't cause autism with Deuce Bigalow, male gigolo."

Yahoo's security boss faces down NSA director over crypto ban


During Monday's Cybersecurity for a New America conference in DC, Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos stood up and had an intense verbal showdown with NSA director Mike Rogers about the NSA's plan to ban working crypto, in which the nation's top spook fumfuhed and fumbled to explain how this idea isn't totally insane.

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Huge trove of surveillance leaks coming

Al Jazeera and The Guardian are set to publish "the Spy Cables," a massive trove of South African intelligence cables detailing the over-classification of information and the corruption of post-Apartheid South Africa by US political interference.

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Tone-deaf Valentines tweets from the NSA

"Roses are red, violets are blue, #NSA loves privacy rights and you." No, seriously.

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If the foreign press treated American measles the way US media covered ebola


If Over There Was Like Over Here [Safwat Saleem]

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Court has to a law's diagram tortured sentence structure in order to rule


It's been 50 years since Congress passed 18USCĀ§924, but it still remains an enigmatic, insane hairball of unparseable subordinate clauses and impossible twists and turns. -

Gov Walker caught lying about his rewrite of the U Wisc mission


Since 1904, the State of Wisconsin and its university system have been governed by the public service mandate of the "Wisconsin Idea" -- until Governor Scott Walker's office leaned on the university to change the Idea to be all about providing workers for the state's businesses, and then lied about it.

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Ron Wyden to Eric Holder: before you go, how about all those requests for information?


Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has written a letter to outgoing Attorney General Eric "Too Big to Jail" Holder about all those other letters the senator has sent to the AG asking why, exactly, the DoJ thinks that mass spying is legal.

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GOP senator: abolish hand-washing regulations in restaurants

Instead of mandating that restaurant employees wash their hands between wiping their asses and making your food, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) says the state should only require them to advise the public of any handwashing policies in place.

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Canada's spying bill is PATROIT Act fanfic

Madeline Ashby writes, "I wrote this column about Canada's Bill C-51, which would allow Canada's spy agency CSIS to detain people for simply 'promoting' terrorism, promises it can wipe terrorist content from the Internet, expands no-fly lists, and is basically a piece of Patriot Act fanfic. I thought you guys might like to know that years after Bush left office, his fans are trying to keep the tradition alive."

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Rand Paul: solve vaccination issues by making children into property

"The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

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Pizza condoms


Marina Malygina's mock-ups for a pizza-themed condom in its own little pizza box is intended to help resolve the American love of both food and sex.

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Koch brothers raise 2016 election warchest that's on par with either party's spend

The Kochs will raise $889M from conservative millionaires and billionaires to spend in the 2016 election, which, thanks to Citizens United, can be used to buy effectively unlimited political advertising to support policies that will make more money for the donors.

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NSA-themed art


This lovely piece of NSA-surveillance-themed art comes from Anthony Freda, previously featured here for his Normal Rockwell/Ferguson piece.

(Thanks, Hugh and Anthony!)

Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under martial law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to 'subversive' organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack. There was no Plan A or B."

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UPDATED Google handed Wikileaks staffers' email over to US Government, didn't tell anyone


Wikileaks has issued a furious denunciation of Google after it learned that the company turned over its staff email to the US Government in March 2012 without notifying it. Update: Google says it fought to disclose sooner.

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License Expired: an unauthorized James Bond anthology

Now that the James Bond novels and character have entered the public domain in most of the world (but not the USA), David Nickle and Madeline Ashby teamed up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine.

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