Late Night: The Leftovers Before New Years

Everyone loves leftovers, unless it’s some political yuckiness still sticking around. And everyone one probably has a moldy smelly chunk of of something they’d like to toss (Michael Steele?).

This scary pie is from Aldi’s the German discount supermarket chain which now owns Trader Joe’s, that Holy Grail icon of anti-establishment hipster grocery stores that has some brands repackaged under their label (the organic soup and the boil-in-bag Indian food come to mind). I love their cheeses,  they have some awesome coffees, staple goods, meats and wine–and the juices! Oh, the juices!  When a Trader’s arrives close by, the neighborhood gets happy–it’s a sign of gentrification, of a certain level being  hit. But as with all things, there is a sadness in certain aisles often stemming from saltiness and/or oiliness.

So, what levels are you looking for in 2011? What was too salty, too oily for you in 2010? What should be gentrified or left to rot in the coming year? And what leftovers should just be dumped instead of getting repurposed into pie?

Snooping Husband Faces Jail Time for Reading Wife’s Email

You know you can guess your beloved’s  (or formerly beloved’s) password. You are obessessed with knowing the truth. You want to hurt yourself because you have been hurt, so you go ahead and read the stuff that is going to make you sick. You’re not the first person who has done it. And maybe it’s what will confirm your suspicions, propel  you into getting a complete STD panel, or arm you with the info you need for a divorce. But now there’s a legal precedent about to be set which should compel you not to type in that password.

A Michigan man, suspicious of his wife’s behavior, used his spouse’s password to access her email. And now, reports WDIV in Detroit, he is facing five years in jail

under a state statute that prohibits unlawful access to a computer system, program or network.

Leon Walker excused his behavior saying:

What don’t you share in a marital home? She asked me to read her e-mails before. She gave me the passwords before; she didn’t hide it.

Walker was suspicious of his wife Claire (Pro tip: she should have changed her password if she thought he knew it or could guess it) and accessed her email on what he said was a shared computer in the home because he thought she might be carrying on with her second husband. Walker claims the second husband had beaten Claire in front of one of her children, and that he was concerned about their daughter and her son from her first marriage.

Walker turned the emails over to his wife’s first husband, who he says

took action with the courts to have their son protected, and I took action with the courts to have my daughter protected.

Claire called the police who followed through with Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office who charged Walker with a five-year felony. The couple has since divorced, and Walker faces trial in February.

He isn’t the first person to access a sig-other’s email in times of domestic distress.  So for those of you who may not be 100% pure of thought and deed–change your password regularly, because seriously your anniversary or kid’s birthday or

Fu(KY0u

are really weak passwords.

Nerd Wars: 4Chan Down D/DOS?

4Chan.org — the breeding ground of memes like Epic Fail Guy and rickrolling where users can post anything they feel like anonymously (whence was spawned the free speech/free thought movements Anonymous/Chanology) has been hit with a denial of service attack (DOS). Or a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS). The former is one solo handyman fapping his joystick; the latter a bunch of people who hit the button, followed by a lot of social engineering.

This was not unexpected. 4Chan founder Christopher “Moot” Poole recently made headlines for joining Lerer Ventures as an advisor; and Anonymous’ support of Wikileaks, the DDOSing of non-financial, informational sites connected to Bank of America, Paypal and VISA as part of Operation Payback (initiated because those institutions abruptly declined to process payments to Wikileaks) made Anonymous sites and 4Chan targets.

And 4Chan, which reportedly hosts over 642,000,000 posts and has a user base of just under 60,000 is laughing it off. The website status.4chan.org/ is posting updates regularly.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish Adopt Son, Sir Elton Fundraising for CA Marriage Equality

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have a adopted a baby, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the couple told Us magazine exclusively. ZJLF-J was born via surrogate December 25. The couple’s bid to adopt a Ukranian baby was rejected last year.

Sit Elton and Furnish have been together since 1993 and were joined in a civil partnership December 21, 2005  the first day civil partnerships became legal in the United Kingdom. While the media has often referred to the UK unions as gay marriage, they are technically/semantically not marriage.*

The media is currently reporting that Sir Elton and his partner are “married,” and have used that language in the past.

During the 2008 Prop 8 election Sir Elton famously said:

I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word “marriage,” I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.

At the time, Sir Elton seemed unclear in the difference between the U.S. and UK civil unions. His words were used by Yes on Proposition 8 as part of their anti-marriage campaign in California.

But since then Sir Elton appears more aware of lthe difference between the limited (states’) rights granted same-sex unions in the US — in which over 1,000 federal rights are denied to couples — and UK same-sex unions which accord couples equal rights across the board. Equal rights — both state and federal — are what the piece of paper should provide, here in this land where all were created equal.

And now in a show of support for marriage equality in California, Sir Elton is performing a fund raising concert January 19 to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. AFER is The sole sponsor of the landmark federal case against Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Teddy Partridge has been liveblogging the court cases including the anti-equal righters’ appeal for Firedoglake.com)

There’s a Facebook sweepstakes (entry is free) to win tickets to the Elton John AFER concert concert plus airfare and hotel, but I have poor impulse control and never win contests anyway — so full disclosure –I bought a ticket weeks ago. It’s a cause I support, and a once in a lifetime experience. OMG, Elton John! At a private home! I am soooo excited!

I hope AFER expands their efforts beyond California into other states and turns up the heat on repealing DOMA.

On Christmas Eve day, Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News that

I think the country is evolving. There is a inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage

in America. Biden also said that President Obama’s attitude towards same-sex marriage is evolving. Well, this clergy-gal can dream (and prays daily) that she’ll be able to officiate at the marriages of her same-sex friends, and that those marriages will grant federal rights.

Sir Elton, thank you for supporting the effort for equal rights. And now that you’re a dad, I hope in addition to working for civil marriage equality, you’ll turn your attention to adoption laws in order to insure that LGBT adoption is legal in every state.

*UK Civil partnerships provide the legal consequences of marriage, including the the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children. Civil partnership also incurs responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one’s partner and their children, tenancy rights, as well as granting full life insurance recognition, and next-of-kin rights in hospitals, and other rights. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.

“Refudiate” Refudiated!

I thought refudiate meant to barf up dinner, an act immortalized in the Romans’ vomitoria as indicative of their excesses and by Clare Booth Luce as

the cow’s diet

in The Women.

I have obviously been spending too much time on ICanHasCheezburger.  Silly me!

But now Sarah Paln, who seemed all proud about her coining the term even comparing herself to Shakespeare who did some fine wordsmithing in his day, has gone and refudiated her nifty neologism, saying it was a Twitter typo, even though she’d spoken the the word on Sean Hannity’s show.

Nice Day for a Green Wedding! Ireland Okays Same-Sex Unions!

On December 23, Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern signed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, legislation recognizing gay couples and allowing civil unions  in the Irish Republic. The law, which secures a range of rights over shared homes, maintenance payments and pensions, goes into effect January 1.

But under Irish law all couples, whether gay or straight, must give three months’ notice to their local registrar, so the first ceremony is expected to be in April. The waiting period, however, can be waived under extenuating circumstances such as illness. Any couple wishing to legally unite must also pay a notification fee of €150.

Justice Minister Ahern said:

Gay couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition by the State, may now formalise their relationships in the eyes of the law and society at large. Their relationships will be legally recognised and protected.

Julian Assange Semi-Satirizes Self on Internet Cult Fave “Rap News”

Julian Assange made a surprise cameo appearance on Australian’s cult fave internet news satire program Rap News in an episode  entitled ‘News World Order – the war on journalism’, which also pokes fun at Donald Rumsfeld and and TV host Bill O’Reilly. Mr Assange contacted Rap News creators Giordano Nanni and Hugo Farrantafter seeing a previous edition about the Pentagon’s reaction to WikiLeaks.

Assange does have a certain charisma. And possibly a stylist…

Exclusive! Wikileaks to Reveal Inside Info on Santa Claus!

Wikileaks has threatened to reveal the top secret methods NORAD uses to track Santa Claus across the globe and also claims to have the documentation about who Santa really is, how he fits down the chimneys, what he does if you don’t have a chimney, and most shockingly, how exactly Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.

An unnamed government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, though denying s/he is part of Anonymous, says that these revelations could spark a huge global unrest and provoke children worldwide into an uprising against their parents, while potentially driving major retailers and multinational neo-feudal states like WalMart, Target and IKEA into bankruptcy as well as undermining the economies and manufacturing bases of countries like China.

If the truth about Santa comes out, we’re fucked!

said the official while stuffing lumps of coal in Administration staffers stockings.

Greasy Mess: Stephen Baldwin Sues Kevin Costner over Oil Clean Up Deal

Actor/reality TV guy Stephen Baldwin who filed for bankruptcy a year and half ago–fans launched a website for donations to help him out– has filed a lawsuit against  Academy Award winning actor/director Kevin Costner.  Per TMZ, the suit accuses Costner and his business partner Patrick Smith of securities fraud and misrepresentation.

Baldwin says he and a friend Spyridon Contogouris, were

clandestinely, secretly and wrongfully

tricked into selling their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, which manufactures a centrifugal device to separate oil from water that Costner spent years developing after the Exxon Valdez spill.  The suit alleges that in April Costner and Smth lead Baldwin and Contogouris into believing ther was no interest in the company, so the duo sold their 10% stake.

But BP licensed the devices from Ocean Therapy Solutions for $52 million, and Baldwin claims the company misrepresented that there was no deal to sell the contraption to BP at the time he sold his shares.

Costner hasn’t commented. Baldwin made no mention of his documentary Will to Drill about the BP spill and its effects on the Gulf region.

Wikileaks Leaked: Norwegian Newspaper Claims Access to Cache

Ooops, there’s been some leakage, as in the Wikileaks rubber may have broken. The Norwegian press has gotten into the Wikileaks melodrama, with the Oslo-based newspaper Aftenposten revealing that they have access to the Wikileaks cache of over 250,000 cables, like the ones reportedly full of juicy details about a major U.S. bank and much much more.

The Australian Herald Sun reports that in an interview, Aftenposten news editor Ole Erik Almlid told Dagens Naerings, Norway’s largest business newspaper:

We’re free to do what we want with these documents … We’re free to publish the documents or not publish the documents, we can publish on the internet or on paper. We are handling these documents just like all other journalistic material to which we have gained access.

Aftenposten has 20 journalists shifting through the cache and the newspaper can publish at will, rather than depending on Wikileaks to release small amounts of material to Wikileaks’-favored big name press outlets The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and El Pais. The reservoir of cables has been referred to as an insurance policy, a prophylactic.

No doubt lots of media are scrambling for Norwegian translators, though who knows, Aftenposten might do the translations themselves and license the material for a fee. Or for free. Because the world should know, right?

This leak of Wikileaks Top Sekrit stuff raises some interesting questions like

  • Who released the cables to Aftenposten?
  • Who has the rights to publish illegally obtained material–the organization they were given to or anyone who can access them?
  • What kind of pressure might be brought to bear on Aftenposten from various forces involved?
  • What amount of freedom of the press will stand?
  • Who cracked the cache’s code?

The 250,000 cables are allegedly encrypted with a mega-key, parts of which are allegedly distributed amongst Assange’s closest associates.

Anti-jihadist turned anti-Anonymous/anti-Wikileaks crusader th3j35t3r (The Jester) who claimed the takedown of Wikileaks.org and Anon internet chatrooms using his Denial of Service (DOS) program XerXeS wrote this in September:

Anyone can download the actual ‘insurance.aes256′ file direct from WikiLeaks’ own servers here: http://leakmirror.wikileaks.org/file/straw-glass-and-bottle/insurance.aes256 and various other P2P and file-sharing hosts all over the internet. [La Figa says: I have not checked this link, nor downloaded the file. My sources say the 250,000 cables are on a super fast torrent DL. I have no clue how ot use torrent and wouldn't think of DLing them with or without the key to open them. Scary!]…

So if the insurance file was downloadable, I suppose that at some point it might be able to be cracked though it allegedly has 256-bit encryption.

Or maybe someone/s got annoyed for any number of reasons and just dropped the dox.

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