Roddy Piper Dies. Rewatch his SF film “They Live.” Almost a documentary

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, WWE legend, dead at 61

    – CBCNews Saskatchewan 

In honor of Roddy Piper’s life rewatch They Live. It showed greedy, ugly aliens taking over the media.Turns out it was a documentary. #Murdoch #Fox

— Spocko (@spockosbrain) July 31, 2015

One of my favorite films in the 80’s was “They Live.” Not just because of the science fiction aspect of it, but because of the biting satire.

On the surface it’s a standard “Aliens take over Earth” story, but underneath that it showed how some in the media and government really see Americans and what they want us to do.

When our heroes put on special glasses they could see the messages that were embedded in our media, all in black and white. (Video link)

Frank: What do these things want?

Gilbert: They’re free-enterprisers. The earth is just another developing planet. Their third world.

The main character, Piper, comes to town looking for work. He is directed to a camp of other men and women looking for work. His interview:

Female Interviewer: Last place of employment? Nada: Denver, Colorado. I worked there for ten years and things just seemed to dry up. They lost fourteen banks in . . . → Read More: Roddy Piper Dies. Rewatch his SF film “They Live.” Almost a documentary

Why I care when people with ‘something to hide’ are hacked

“Privacy” by Melanie Feuerer used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 United States License

It’s all about the Privacy. 

Do some people deserve it less than others?  Who decides?

Online Cheating Site AshleyMadison Hacked — Brian Krebs, @briankrebs Krebs on Security July 19, 2015

When people who are supposed to protect someone’s privacy fail, what should their responsibility be following the failure?  How do you make “someone whole,”  as they say in the insurance biz, following a privacy breach?

Hacks of OPM databases compromised 22.1 million people, federal authorities say     — Ellen Nakashima, @nakashimae, The Washington Post, July 9, 2015

 What are the valid reasons someone’s privacy is violated? National Security? Public safety? Potential violence? Donating to the wrong cause?  Who gets permission? Who oversees this?

“I don’t care if the government listens to me, I don’t have anything to hide. If you don’t have anything to hide, what are you worried about?”

— US citizen comment I read in response to Snowden revelations

Are there standards and regulations that organizations should meet? Who enforces them? What are the penalties if they don’t?

If they don’t follow the standards should there be additional sanctions? Who decides?

“JPMorgan Chase Hacking . . . → Read More: Why I care when people with ‘something to hide’ are hacked

Fighting Evil Corp. There’s an App For That!

I’m a crappy chess player. This became clear to me when my 8 year-old nephew beat me while explaining, “The horsey piece can only move in an “L” way Uncle Spocko!”

One of the things they say you learn from chess is thinking several moves ahead, anticipating your opponent’s responses and acting accordingly. I learned this skill from life experience.

Right now I’m watching Mr. Robot. They are looking at the personal reasons people fight big institutions, as well as the human cost of those fights. That’s the part people don’t see, and it can be exhausting.

When I went about the process of defunding RW talk radio, I knew I needed to anticipate how they would respond to my actions.  Then, how they would respond to my responses.

When I started alerting advertisers to the violent rhetoric, sexism and bigotry coming from the RW radio hosts I knew the radio station would use multiple excuses to keep the advertisers. First they discredited me, and then the information. Next, threats of arrest from law enforcement agencies, then hints of exposure of my identity. Finally legal threats, which they carried out. They threw around phrases like libel, tortuous interference with contract . . . → Read More: Fighting Evil Corp. There’s an App For That!

Trump’s Clownish Run For President vs. Pat Paulsen’s

I was in downtown Chicago this week by the river. A woman next to me was taking a photo, of Trump Tower. I asked her, “So are you voting for him?” She burst out laughing, “No!”

Donald Trump running for President is a massive gift to the media, almost as big as his ego. He also is a Trump Tower shaped gift to certain members to the Republican Party running for President.

Sam Seder predicted this months ago on the Majority Report and it’s coming true. Trump is great fun for the press. Look at it from their point of view. Would you rather cover Trump or Ted Cruz? (Cruz makes me feel like his Brylcreem  is oozing out of my speakers when he talks)

Watching Rubio makes them thirsty and listening to Jeb Bush makes them sad. But Trump can be treated as both ridiculous AND serious which meets both tabloids and “Very Serious People” needs in the media.

Come for the Guns Stay for the Racism

I watched the GOP candidates speak at the NRA convention. Trump was energetic, funny and pivoted from “I love the 2nd Amendment” to CURRENCY manipulation in his speech!

It actually wasn’t . . . → Read More: Trump’s Clownish Run For President vs. Pat Paulsen’s

Shark Week!

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Mr. Robot Will Scratch The Corporate Justice Problem in Your Brain

The pilot of Mr. Robot is the most interesting TV show I’ve seen all year. (Watch it free at USA’s site here)

It has the potential to become as enlightening (and predictive) about how our current computer-connected corporate power elite function as Person of Interest did when dealing with the ramification of widespread surveillance and the morality (or lack of) in our detection and execution of possible terrorists.

My recap has spoilers, some you could tell from watching the extended trailer. Here’s the marketing blurb.

In MR. ROBOT, Elliot, a cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, is recruited by a mysterious underground group to destroy the firm he’s paid to protect. Elliot must decide how far he’ll go to expose the forces he believes are running (and ruining) the world.

The opening scene takes place in a urban coffee shop. Elliot, the lead character, is describing to the shop’s owner why he ending up finding the 100 terabytes of child pornography the owner had that was serving 400,000 users. We don’t see a single computer screen or keyboard during this, just Elliot and the owner.

It all started because he liked the fast wi-fi in . . . → Read More: Mr. Robot Will Scratch The Corporate Justice Problem in Your Brain

Obama on Maron podcast. The Presidency is sort of middle management.


One of the things I love about radio and audio podcasts is that a good conversation or interview can be very enlightening.

President Obama on Marc Maron’s podcast. Photos by Pete Sousa

I recommend people listen to this Barack Obama interview by Marc Maron. Here is the link to listen or download.

I got a couple of things from the interview. First, was how Obama sees himself and his Presidency.  The second was his thinking and decision making process. Third was how he goes about trying to implement change.

The hot topic on Twitter about the interview is the use of the n-word by the President.  It was in context and about racism. I’m sure someone has already lost their mind over it, “Why is it okay for him to say it and not me!?” Yadda Yadda, bark bark, woof woof.   Please. Spare me your disingenuous hysterics.

The end of the interview gave me some hope for the last part of his Presidency, but based on the first part, I’m not expecting something wild, just “a bit better.”

The most interesting insight for me was Maron’s observation at 27:34 that Obama agreed with.  “There is an element of . . . → Read More: Obama on Maron podcast. The Presidency is sort of middle management.

Post-TPP action: Transparency Now!

All I know about lobbying I learned from the movie “The American President.” (During which I determined that Mrs. Spocko was more attractive than Annette Bening.)

The movie shows everything people think they know about lobbying: getting the vote count right, educating congress people, making deals, trade offs and pay offs with different groups in exchange for current or future votes, the unusual bed fellows (literally) and finally dealing with the expectations of, and exposure in, the media.

I saw that movie three times, so clearly I’m an expert on what the lobbyists will do next following this current vote on TPP.

Luckily I have some friends who actually were lobbyists and I talk and listen to them to see what really goes on. I wanted to know what they did after a failure and what they think the pro-TPP people will do next.

But first, what do WE do after success? One of my least favorite phrases after a victory or semi-victory is, “Now the hard work begins.” Screw you Negative Nelly! Bite me Pragmatic Patrick! Piss off Realist Rick!

I say, “Give the fighters a pat on the back!  Give ’em a raise.  Take a bow people . . . → Read More: Post-TPP action: Transparency Now!

TPP: The giant puking sound in your house

I’m sure you have all called or contacted your congress person about TPP. But if this passes and the hidden top secret crap that is included happens, it’s going to mean tens of thousands of Americans getting sick from imported seafood and beef. 100’s will die because of agreements to “harmonize” food safety rules.

But by then it will be too late.

We owe a great deal to the people who leaked some TPP text, but they never released the text about food safety changes. How insane is it that even our elected officials have to rely on Wikileaks to know what was in this twisted scheme? That’s messed up.

After I created the video above I made another one focusing on food safety, but didn’t use it because I couldn’t confirm what was in the text regarding food safety. And that is exactly what the the trade negotiators wanted.

Secrecy keeps the Mainstream Media from hammering on deal specifics. They say,”We can only quote from official sources.” meanwhile everything moves forward under cover of corporate darkness.

Early on I contacted someone at Politico covering the TPP to discuss the food safety part of this “trade” scheme. The ag . . . → Read More: TPP: The giant puking sound in your house

Only One Voter at Santorum Event. Not a Failure for the Billionaire Message


Today Politico ran a story “One voter shows up at Santorum event in Iowa”

It’s a sad story, if you look at it with the premise that a candidate is trying to get enough votes to be president.  But that’s so 2000 and late thinking.

If your goal is to talk about the GOP horse race, and who will eventually win, it can show how badly the campaign is run or how unpopular the candidate is.

But this GOP Presidential race is different. Last Friday Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce explained why. They talked about how every GOP candidate now has a “Pet Politician,” and because of that they will stay in the race for a lot longer than before.  (Link to Majority Report Audio)

Being the first in your yacht club to have a presidential candidate shows human votes are not as important as in the past. It’s about pushing the Billionaire Message. Some billionaires even have more than one PP! (“Collect all 12! Show ’em to your friends!)

Today it’s really about the candidate satisfying their lead billionaire.

So the question is, does this current story satisfy Foster Friess? He’s the billionaire paying for Sanatorum

(Aside, Friess . . . → Read More: Only One Voter at Santorum Event. Not a Failure for the Billionaire Message