The NSO Group is one of the world's most notorious cyber-arms dealers, selling hacking tools to some of the world's most oppressive regimes that are used to identify targets for arrest, torture and even murder. Read the rest
Jorge Luis Escandón Hernández was elected mayor of Las Margaritas, Chiapas after he promised to repair city's rural roads, in a chaotic campaign that included accusations of a "brawl" with his opponent's supporters. Read the rest
I've been back in Canada since May and I am certain I am losing my mind. It's a certainty that takes hold of me, every year.
We come home because we have to. As Canadians, we can only stay in the Untied States for a maximum of six months at a time. This past year, we stayed just shy of five months in the United States and, another two, down in Mexico. We drove back across the Canadian border with a few days left to spare. This dates-in-da-States wiggle room is important as I sometimes have to head south for work. I'd rather not get into dutch with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Being back in Canada for half the year is , a must if we want to hold on to our sweet-ass socialized medical care (which we totally do.) and for my wife to return to work. While she's a certified dive instructor, she also loves the land-locked gig she works for half of the year. We also come home because we want to. I have few friends and work remotely. Disappointment and distrust have left me happy in the small company of my partner, our pooch and a few well-chosen friends that I seldom see. My missus? Not so much. Community is important to her. Her sister's family—now my family—means the world to her. Reacquainting herself with her people, each year, brings her a happiness that I try hard to understand. I love to see her light up around her friends. Read the rest
Yesterday, Guadalajara's 30'C heatwave broke suddenly when, at 1:50AM, the nighttime temperature suddenly plunged from 22C to 14C, causing small, sub-1cm hailstones to form and fall in great profusion, carpeting parts of the city in an 1.5m-thick layer of ice. Read the rest
The National Sound Library of Mexico has found an audio recording of what is most likely painter Frida Kahlo reading her essay "Portrait of Diego" in the early 1950s. It was recorded for the pilot episode of radio show El Bachiller. From The Guardian:
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The episode featured a profile of Kahlo’s artist husband Diego Rivera. In it, she reads from her essay Portrait of Diego, which was taken from the catalogue of a 1949 exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts, celebrating 50 years of Rivera’s work...
In the press release, Mexico’s secretary of culture, Alejandra Frausto, said if it is indeed Kahlo’s voice – a claim which authorities continue to investigate – it could be the only audio recording of the artist that exists...
“Frida’s voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search,” (library national director Pável) Granados told a press conference. “Until now, there had never been a recording of Frida Kahlo.”
We've seen her art. Her face is instantly recognizable. But, we've never heard Frida Kahlo's voice before. Until now, that is. The National Sound Library of Mexico has shared (what they believe to be) the only known recording of Frida's voice to the world.
In the recording, a woman’s voice describes Diego Rivera, Kahlo’s husband and fellow artist.
“He is a huge, immense child, with a friendly face and a sad gaze,” the woman says. “His high, dark, extremely intelligent and big eyes rarely hold still. They almost pop out of their sockets because of their swollen and protuberant eyelids — like a toad’s.”
Rivera’s eyes seem made for an artist, the woman adds, “built especially for a painter of spaces and crowds.”
Admiration for Rivera is clear in the recording, which is said to be originally a text from an exhibition catalog. Rivera is said to have an “ironic, sweet smile,” “meaty lips” and “small, marvelous hands.” The voice concludes by calling Rivera’s unusual body shape, with its “childish, narrow, rounded shoulders,” as being like “an inscrutable monster.”
The recording is from a pilot edition of “The Bachelor,” a 1950s radio show in Mexico, recorded for Televisa Radio, the National Sound Library said in a statement on Wednesday. In 2007, thousands of tapes from Televisa Radio’s archive were given to the library to be digitized and stored.
The recording is thought to be of Kahlo partly because the voice is introduced as the female painter “who no longer exists.”
Listen for yourself (she speaks in Spanish, of course): Read the rest
Anar writes, "Writer and scholar Rubén Gallo sheds light on a fascinating, obscure bit of history: After the press reported Freud’s troubles in Nazi Austria — his daughter was briefly detained by the Gestapo and he was under pressure by friends to flee — several activists and Mexican labor unions (including the Union of Workers in the Graphic Arts, the Union of Education Workers, the Union of Metal Miners, and the Union of Mexican Electricians) urged then-Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas to bring Freud to Mexico." Read the rest
NSO Group is a notorious Israeli cyber-arms dealer whose long trail of sleaze has been thoroughly documented by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (which may or may not be related to an attempt to infiltrate Citizen Lab undertaken by a retired Israeli spy); NSO has been implicated in the murder and dismemberment of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (just one of the brutal dictatorships who've availed themselves of NSO tools), and there seems to be no cause too petty for their clients, which is why their malware has been used to target anti-soda activists in Mexico. Read the rest
Here's something to remember come the next Sysadmin Appreciation Day: Mexican drug lord El Chapo was only caught because his systems administrator flipped and started working for the feds, backdooring El Chapo's comms infrastructure and providing the cops with the decryption keys needed to eavesdrop on El Chapo's operations. Read the rest
As Donald Trump prepares for his 8-minute “The Wall” remarks, which will be televised live by all major U.S. networks, read Nicholas Rasmussen's take in Just Security on the so-called terrorism crisis at the southern border. Spoiler. There is none.
“Bottom line,” says Rasmussen, a career defense professional who was the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center from 2014 to 2017:
“There is no crisis, and anyone who says there is probably trying to mislead or scare the American people.” Read the rest
Patrick Ball and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) (previously) use careful, rigorous statistical models to fill in the large blank spots left behind by acts of genocide, bringing their analysis to war crimes tribunals, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and other reckonings with gross human rights abuses. Read the rest
Brian Kolfage is an Air Force veteran who lost both legs and an arm in Iraq in 2004. He is the most severely wounded Airman to survive any war and has spent the past several years as a motivational speaker and supporter of Cadet Bone Spurs aka Donald Trump. Yesterday, Kolfage launched a GoFundMe to pay for Trump's border wall. "We The People Will Fund The Wall" aims to raise one billion dollars.
No, this is not The Onion.
Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still.
As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society.
I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it's time we uphold our laws and get this wall BUILT! It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling.
Is there anything more 2018 than a veteran raising millions of dollars to fulfill the wet dream of a racist draft dodger? Read the rest
Chacalall Orozco is a graphic designer from Mexico. Read the rest
The U.S. will deploy an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, said White House officials today. The deployment will more than triple the military presence there, and is presumably a Trump administration response to the so-called “Migrant Caravan,” about which white supremacists in the United States are currently fixated. Read the rest
Mexico's governance crisis continues: beyond the clandestine mass graves, the kidnapping of elected officials (and assassination of political candidates) and coordinated attacks on anti-corruption candidates, there's the well-known problem of corrupt police officers and whole departments, including, it seems, the Acapulco police department, who have been raided and disarmed by federal forces, with two officers charged with murder and the rest under investigation. (Image: Tomascastelazo, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest
According to the ACLU, the nightmare perpetuated against immigrants and refugees attempting to find safe harbor in the United States has taken a new, unexpected turn for the worse: the parents, separated from their children as part of the Trump administration's drive to make migration into the United States as miserable as possible, are refusing to be reunited with their children. The reason is absolutely heartbreaking:
Immigrant parents separated from their children by the Trump administration and returned to their homes are refusing to be reunited with their children because their countries are so dangerous, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union told a court on Friday.
Gelernt said parents who refused to be reunited tended to have older children who could be recruited by violent gangs if they returned home. In addition, some children have relatives in the United States and are unlikely to end up in foster care.
The ACLU contacted parents in Central America of 162 children and said 109 refused reunification, according to a court filing.
According to Reuters, Gelernt recently spent time in Guatamala attempting to help parents separated from their kids by U.S. Immigration officials to reunite their families. Of the 300 parents that Gelernt spoke to, roughly two-thirds preferred to let their kids take their chances in the United States where they'd have a greater expectation of safety and prosperity.
I'm not a parent, so I can't even begin to imagine the sort of painful parental devotion it would take to leave a child behind, in the name of keeping them safe, in a country that despises me enough to have torn my family apart rather than providing them with refuge from harm. Read the rest