Boing Boing 

Hereditary Republican Congressjerk who leads Transport Committee admits sleeping with airline lobbyist

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster [R-PA] admits that he's having an affair with Shelley Rubino, vice president for global government affairs for Airlines for America, but swears that's not why he gave her industry so many awesome legislative gifts.

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NSA declares war on general purpose computers


NSA director Michael S Rogers says his agency wants "front doors" to all cryptography used in the USA, so that no one can have secrets it can't spy on -- but what he really means is that he wants to be in charge of which software can run on any general purpose computer.

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Exploding the Phone: the untold, epic story of the phone phreaks

Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone does for the phone phreaks what Steven Levy's Hackers did for computer pioneers, capturing the anarchic move-fast-break-stuff pioneers who went to war against Ma Bell. Read the rest

Stephen King versus Maine's lying governor


Maine's Tea Party Governor Paul LePage (R) has doubled down on his lie that Stephen King left Maine to avoid paying income tax; King is a proud taxpayer who views "taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much."

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What it's like to teach evolution at the University of Kentucky


James Krupa has taught University of Kentucky non-science majors their required biology course for 20 years, and he views the job as a mission, to undo the cowardice or squeamishness or lack of rigor that leads Kentucky's children to arrive at university never having learned the foundations of evolution, on which the whole edifice of biology rests.

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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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