Blog Update

I’ve now ported the blog over from Blogger and need to update some of the widgets and the blogroll. I also plan to organize the post tags. Blogger only had tags, and those were converted into categories. I’ll need to convert those to tags and create new categories. I’m also planning to move my email over to ProtonMail as it is an encrypted email service. Additionally, I’ll have to go through articles and change over links that point to my own articles. Currently they point to the old blog.

Glue + Genitals = Bad Idea

I was browsing Vice’s Motherboard blog and saw the story, Please Don’t Glue Your Labia Shut. What’s this? I ask, gluing your labia together? Why for fuck’s sake would anyone do this? What could possibly be the benefit to pasting the old cooter together? Intrigued and mortified at the same time, and clenching my legs together protectively, I clicked on the link.

logowhite

According to Motherboard:

Wichita-based chiropractor Daniel Dopps’ created Mensez, a product named for a pun on “menses” but definitely also a good pun for “men says.” It’s a combination of amino acids and natural oils in a lipstick applicator, according to his product website. He claims that it seals one’s labia minora shut, trapping all of that icky lady business inside, and dissolves when it comes in contact with urine.

Who the hell would want all of that sloshing around inside all day? Actually I would be afraid of undoing the glue. Wouldn’t it hurt? Supposedly your urine would make the glue dissolve. But isn’t the urethral opening in front of the labia? How would the urine get inside where the labial lips are glued together?  What actually deactivates the glue? Something in the urine or does water do it? If it is moisture activated, how exactly would it seal up? So many questions and I see Kavin Senapathy over at Forbes has many of the same questions.

This has got to be a joke right? Actually Daniel Dopps patented his “invention”.

Yeah, this sounds like a joke, but it’s real enough for Dopps to have filed a patent for his miracle product in January. “Our products are still in development and will be available some time in 2017,” Mensez Technologies’ website states. “Check with your favorite retailer and ask them watch for and stock Mensez.” We’ve reached out to Dopps to confirm these plans and will update if he responds.

And the name “Mensez”, sounds rather like Men Says. And on his now defunct Facebook page, he is extremely condescending to women, but at the same time seems incredibly ignorant of how lady parts work. Sounds like a typical Republican.

He easily corroborated this charge in a response to one visitor’s comment on the Mensez Facebook page, in which he explained that “[Y]ou as a woman should have come up with a better solution than diapers and plugs, but you didn’t. Reason being women are focused on and distracted by your period 25% of the time, making them far less productive than they could be. Women tend to be far more creative than men, but their periods that [sic] stifle them and play with their heads.” Dopps added over the phone that “a lot of the LGBT community, lesbians in particular, are furious at me because I’m a white straight man.”

Dr Jen Gunter, OB/GYN, has a blog dealing with women’s issues has a great takedown:

So no, a Kansas chiropractor has likely not invented Post-it Notes glue for the labia. However, if it is as amazing as he claims I would love to see a video or him using it on his own lips. How he gets the urine up there is, of course, his business.

So I read the linked articles, and me and my vajayjay now feel reassured that this substance (likely imaginary) will never make it to market. Dopps is now claiming that his Facebook page has been hacked and that is why it has been shutdown. Way to go girls.

 

Imitating Alex Jones

A new character on Showtime’s Homeland seems to be modeled on Alex Jones, the host of rightwing conspiracy site InfoWars.

Franny is going to have the weirdest teen years. “Casus Belli” opens with Quinn’s new pal “Fake Alex Jones” yelling hoarse accusations on air at Madame President-Elect Keane regarding the now infamous Sekou van explosion and the ever looming threat of general terror. This actor really spun together a vividly inspired and unique take on “unhinged radio personality.” Our host of “Real Truth” has a voice like 30 years of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and the emo hair and dad sweater of a man trying to stay relevant in 2017. Oddly enough, and by no fault of Homeland, it still isn’t as weird as the actual Alex Jones yelling about the actual president. This is just going to be a recurring phenomenon in Homeland from here on out, I suspect.

The following is an example of the real Alex Jones, who may be far more bizarre then anything come up with by a writer or actor. He’s a man who believes in aliens taking over the government, chemtrails, foreign infiltration of the government, and any other delusional crap he can come up with. He also promoted PizzaGate and thinks Hillary Clinton is the Anti-Christ and demon possessed.

According to RawStory:

After calling it “not a very good imitation,” Jones admitted that some people actually think he’s on the show now.

Even Jones admitted that the character is not a very good imitation of him. He’s right, there’s no amount of acting that can accurately portray that amount of whacked out delusion. And those viewers of his who think he is on Homeland, wow, not even existing in the same reality as the rest of us.

Our Scaredy Cat Representative

Last night our US Congressional Representative, Mo Brooks, held a town hall meeting at a local church. I had heard the meeting had been cancelled, so I did not show up. It turns out however, the meeting wasn’t cancelled for everyone after all. A few of his constituents decided to show up anyway just in case the meeting wasn’t cancelled as advertised. They found the meeting was still going on as planned. Apparently, Brooks announced publically that the meeting was cancelled, but the Republicans and Tea Party people were told the meeting was still going on.

Someone at the meeting phoned the local Democrats, who were having their own meeting a couple of miles away. They showed up and this is where the recording starts. The location is only a couple of miles where I live. Too bad I missed the fun.

Confused Allegiance

trumpmilveh

On Sunday, 29 Jan 17, a military convoy with a vehicle flying a “Trump” flag was spotted driving through Louisville, Kentucky. Video was also taken of the vehicles, especially the numbers on the trucks.

Chris Rowzee, a spokeswoman for IndivisibleKY, said she was “disturbed” to see the flag on a military vehicle.

“To show a partisan political leaning on a military vehicle is very reminiscent of Nazi Germany,” she said, as quoted by the Courier-Journal.

Defense Department spokesman Maj. Jamie Davis said that it would violate regulations to fly that flag on a military vehicle.

“That is not standard procedure,” he said as quoted in the report.

Davis said it would also violate regulations to run a military convoy with no unit markings on the vehicles, and said he did not think the vehicles belonged to any service branch. Per the report, he suggested that they were military surplus.

According to the story at Talking Points Memo, the Army denied the vehicles were theirs as no unit flag was flying. Tracey Metcalf, a spokesman for Ft Knox said the vehicles were not theirs. Maj. Stephen Martin from the National Guard said that the vehicles are not theirs either.

After the video was posted by IndivisibleKY, ABC news found that the vehicles belonged to a Navy Seal unit.

The vehicles did not have any identifiable markings and the mystery deepened when local military bases in Kentucky said that the vehicles did not belong to their units.

“The convoy were service members assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit driving vehicles while transiting between two training locations,” Lieutenant Jacqui Maxwell, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, told ABC News. Naval Special Warfare Units is the official Navy term for its elite SEAL special operations teams.

The spokesperson said that a command inquiry has been initiated to determine what flag was being flown by the vehicle in the convoy.

“Defense Department and Navy regulations prescribe flags and pennants that may be displayed as well as the manner of display,” said Maxwell. “The flag shown in the video was unauthorized.”

Some Navy Seals or support personnel need to be reminded for whom they serve and the oath they took to protect and defend the Constitution of the Untied States, not some guy sitting in the White House. That guy in the White House also needs to be reminded to whom he serves. They serve at the discretion of the People of the United States.

That is why partisan symbols are not allowed on military property. Patriotism is not limited to a specific political party. Put up an American flag all Americans can get behind or put up a unit flag the seals can get behind, but don’t put up a partisan flag with a political phrase on it. Come on Seals, you can do better.

When We Practice to Deceive

On Saturday, Donald Trump went to the CIA to try to patch up the relationship between him and the CIA after a series of tweets and calling the agency Nazis. But it appears Trump made the situation worse by bragging and preening before the CIA memorial honoring the men and women that gave their lives i the performance of their duty.

Worse yet, tone deaf Trump did not even mention the sacrifices of these officers and only spent a couple of minutes praising the agency and saying he wanted to work with them. The rest of the time he spent trying to tell the agents that he had more attendance at his inauguration than Obama did. The question to ask is “How did the lie go over at the CIA?”

According to CBS news:

U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.

From Talking Points Memo:

A presidential speech that was intended to thank the intelligence community quickly went off the rails Saturday as Donald Trump talked about himself, his inauguration crowd, the dishonest media and how great his party was.

Here is the entire speech in all of its vainglorius, rambling, narcissism.

Here is the reaction of a former CIA agent to Donald Trump’s speech.

“I mean there’s a sense of outrage, but there’s also such a sense of sadness,” Mudd added. “Those aren’t stars, Wolf, those are people.”

“We have a president who has to talk about how many times he’s been on a Time Magazine cover in comparison to a football player,” Mudd later added. “He has to talk about how many people showed up at his inauguration. He’s got to talk about how many people in the CIA enjoyed his speech. That’s what we get to honor the people who lost their lives.”

And even more bizarrely, CBS news reports that Trump brought along a crew to clap and yell for him. According to CBS, these people sat in the front while the CIA agents and management sat behind them and were mostly silent.

Again from CBS:

Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team originally expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate  Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks.

Yael Eisenstat is a former CIA officer and lost a good friend, Gregg Wenzel, who’s star is one of the 117 stars on the wall at CIA. Here’s what she had to say about Trump’s visit to CIA last Saturday:

In Mr. Trump’s rambling, 15-minute speech, he made only one reference to the memorial, saying, “The wall behind me is very, very special,” before pivoting to his familiar mode of narcissistic diatribe, peppered with the occasional misplaced joke.

He used my former agency to advance his own delusional vision of grandeur. When I see our president use a wall that symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice as a backdrop for his vanity, I cannot play down its seriousness. And when he borrows a line straight from a dictator’s playbook — “Probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did” — I cannot remain silent.

And concluding with:

In my years of service, and since, I never imagined that it would be the president himself who would denigrate our very institutions and those who serve faithfully. Mr. Trump’s speech on Saturday was, for me, a terrifying display of the dangerous way in which he will govern. It also showed his complete disregard for the very people we rely on to keep us safe, including my friend Gregg Wenzel.

Hertz So Good

Hertz Rentals has placed car cameras in approximately 13% of its rental fleet. They claim that the cameras are not being used, and that they have no plans currently for using them.

Hertz added the camera as a feature of the NeverLost 6 in the event it was decided, in the future, to activate live agent connectivity to customers by video. In that plan the customer would have needed to turn on the camera by pushing a button (while stationary),” Hertz spokesperson Evelin Imperatrice explained. “The camera feature has not been launched, cannot be operated and we have no current plans to do so.”

hertzcam

This makes absolutely no sense. Why spend money adding cameras to your rental, when you don’t plan to use them. That would be a complete waste of money. Hertz probably already has a reason for installing the cameras, and reasons that are not helpful to the customer. I doubt that Hertz is really planning to use the cameras as a way to talk to renters about their car. No, the camera is probably there to monitor customers for mistreating the car and letting others drive.

According to the Fusion article:
In a 2013 blog post titled “Peace of Mind,” a developer involved in a Hertz hackathon wrote about using the in-car camera along with other sensors in the car to detect an accident and immediately get a customer a new vehicle. In the post, he included two screen shots of a live call, but Hertz spokesperson Imperatrice said everything done for the hackathon event was “essentially a mock-up.” “Even the video that appears to be from inside the car was not from a NeverLost,” she said.

But this raises a couple of issues. Wouldn’t Hertz be liable for wrecks occurring during videoconferencing while driving? Isn’t videotaping someone without their consent illegal in some states? What about minors, especially children and infants changing clothes or going to the bathroom in the car or van? When my daughter was a toddler and preschooler, it was easier to have a potty in the back of the van for her to use. Wouldn’t this leave Hertz liable for child porn charges if children are being videotaped without their clothes?

None of this makes any sense. The only reason that Hertz would be putting the camera in is to try to recover monetary damages from renters. It seems that few customers want a camera watching them drive. On the contrary, this may drive away some customers. But I have a solution, simply place a sticky note over the camera, or perhaps place a photo in front of the camera and have some fun. Also, I wonder how hard it would be to get images from the camera, or for that matter, any camera in any Hertz rental?

Garbage in the Dumpster

If you find documents while searching through a corporate dumpster, can you be really sure they are what they seem?

A common tactic to gather information on a business is to go through their dumpster, looking for valuable paperwork and documents that are discarded in the trash. Many businesses are careless, assuming that any paperwork in the dumpster will remain undisturbed. Despite many public instances of social security numbers, banking information and other sensitive customer information being discovered in the trash, some companies seem reluctant to change their procedures.

Criminals, competitors and security penetration testers now routinely go through business trash and dumpsters looking for whatever information they can find. If the business has a policy of no-business paperwork in the trash, many employees still discard their personal papers in business trash can. Can we use this behavior to our advantage? What if the information in the trash has been deliberately changed with the expectation that a competitor would try to use it?

In the mid-1990s, I worked for a large corporation which had a small satellite office near St. Louis, Missouri. One of our competitors was a very small defense subcontractor, Company X, who had a couple of employees working in our office. These employees were not allowed to see any proprietary information. We also shredded any corporate sensitive or proprietary information.

Working one Saturday, during a break, I noticed someone dumpster diving in our company dumpster. He was climbing around in the dumpster and looking through the bags for something. The person was an employee of Company X, but not one of the ones who worked in our office. He seemed unaware that anyone was working in the office on Saturday, and the dumpster was in plain site of our office.

I mentioned this in our staff meeting the following Monday. We had a good laugh about it, but wondered if our competitor had obtained any information left in the dumpster. Company X had crossed the line. We decided that something had to be done. Secretly, we set up a shred box for sensitive but non-proprietary papers and didn’t tell our subcontracted workers from Company X. We previously had been shredding any proprietary documents and papers.

We created fake documents (both fake sensitive and fake proprietary) about future contract efforts with coffee stains and highlighted typos on them. These were then placed in the normal trash periodically on Friday afternoons. We only put in several documents and papers at a time, mixed in with normal trash. We didn’t want to overdo it and raise suspicions.

We kept this up for nearly a year, about as long as we noticed known employees from Company X going through the dumpster. Our manager said at a later time that it was entertaining seeing our competitors spending time and effort going in the wrong direction in the hopes of beating us out on future work and contracts. I don’t know if this helped us any, but it sure was fun messing with our competitors.

Lesson: I don’t always leave sensitive documents in the trash, but when I do, I always leave fake ones.