You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Baltimore’ tag.

I intend to return to my reviews of Cannes restaurants.

However, so many strange news stories have appeared that it is worth taking note of a few.

Apple bans LifeSite News

Today, I happened across this tweet:

On July 31, LifeSite News reported:

A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform.

Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all of our content from their platform.

Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel “didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines.” Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s “[c]hannel content shows intolerance towards a specific group.”

Planned Parenthood, perhaps?

Apple would not say:

“We don’t yet know the reason for Apple’s decision to delete our channel,” said LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen. “However, at a time when there is growing evidence that tech juggernauts are engaging in concerted censorship against even mainstream conservative viewpoints, Apple’s decision – made unilaterally, and without opportunity to appeal – is frightening.”

“It goes without saying that LifeSite would never promote intolerance or hatred against any group,” Westen continued. “However, in our current divisive political climate, even mild expressions of common conservative viewpoints are often written off as de facto hatred and intolerance. We certainly hope that this is not what Apple is doing. However, we urge our readers to contact Apple, and to respectfully demand that they reinstate LifeSite’s channel.”

Anyone who would like to support LifeSite in being reinstated can sign their petition.

LifeSite first applied to be listed on Apple News in November 2018. It took six months before they were accepted. Now they have been denied.

This is pure censorship.

Think of it this way:

El Paso shooting

Speaking of guns, Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger has an excellent essay on the El Paso shooting, which took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019.

‘On El Paso’ is worth reading in full. Denninger makes salient points about the American shootings that cause the most outrage — and which are most easily cleared up.

Inner-city shooting cases rarely get solved (emphases in the original):

The clearance rate (that is, the odds of getting arrested if you shoot someone) in Chicago is 9%.  In Atlanta, 12%.  In almost every other major city (Baltimore anyone?), it’s roughly the same.  Yeah, if you go insane and start shooting people in a WallyWorld en-masse you’re either going to jail and will get the needle or will just get shot where you stand.

But if you shoot people one at a time you have a ten percent chance of getting caught; 9 out of 10 times you get away with it.  I know people who were close with someone who got shot, the dead person was not a gang member or otherwise engaged in activity that typically gets you shot (he was an ordinary businessmanand the perpetrator has not been identified or arrested a full year later.

That is not uncommon.  In fact it’s not only common it’s a 90% probability if you get plugged in a major city right here, right now.

He says that is why law-abiding Americans need guns:

If that doesn’t force your pea-sized brain awake long enough to realize that the cops are worthless in solving crimes and their best, highest and only calling is to zip your ass into a black bag and haul it away after you get killed then you are too stupid to deserve to be able to reproduce.  There is only one way to stop that sort of crap and that is for you to stop it, personally, if someone intends to whack you or someone you love.  To do that, especially if you’re not a 20 year old body-builder male, you’re going to need the only equalizing force ever invented by mankind and you better know how to use it too.

It’s called a gun.

Yet, as he points out, the small town or suburban mass shootings generate all the leftist outrage.

Of course, their cry is always for gun control. However, Denninger explains why gun control will not work:

… cut the crap on the “gun control” nonsense.  Just over the border, a few miles away, there are more guns than you can shake a stick at — everyone of them unregistered in America because they’re in Mexico.  Juarez is an insanely violent area, and it’s right there.  You want a gun and can’t pass a background check here, get it there.  93% of crimes go unreported in Juarez.  Without a real wall and enforceable border, what’s to stop you from bringing that gun here?  Hell, the Mexican you buy it from might have gotten it courtesy of Eric Holder, our former AG, who has never been held to account for running many guns into Mexico!

Every Demonscat on the planet has jumped on this demanding “more gun control” without even waiting for the bodies to reach room temperature.  Yeah, right.  You can blow me, lefties.  Your fantasy-land nonsense would prevent nothing.  Go look in Mexico; there is exactly one legal gun store in the entire country and it takes months to get paperwork processed to buy one.  Possession of even one firearm or one round of ammunition is good for a five year prison sentence there.

That does exactly zippo to prevent all those who want to murder from acquiring and using them in Juarez.

Since it is proved that just a few miles south the most-restrictive gun laws imaginable do exactly nothing to prevent hundreds of murders every year in that city alone no, I will not consent to any further infringement of the 2nd Amendment. 

Ben Carson’s visit to Baltimore

Dr Ben Carson, who heads HUD, visited Baltimore last week.

Karl Denninger wrote another great piece, ‘How Come Nobody Is Quoting Carson?’

Although the highly-experienced brain surgeon did not implore the city’s underprivileged youths to stop shooting each other, he did offer — unreported — advice on how to get ahead in life:

What did he say as the solution to poverty (which NPR did not report, as you can see)?

1. Finish High School.

2. Get married.

3. Don’t have children until you have accomplished #2.

Now does this somehow deal with the Federal Government impoverishing people by running fiscal deficits?  No.  But at a micro level — that is, individual people, not macro policy — he’s right.

Absolutely, but because this is a middle class way of living, this will get ignored.

That said, who would know best about those points? Ben Carson himself. The good doctor was raised by a single mother. He almost went to the dark side as a youth, then found religion and did his best to not only graduate from high school but also to go on to university and medical school — to become a brain surgeon, no less.

Denninger expands on the good doctor’s points:

… for the ordinary, average person they mean a lot.  And by the way, remember this rule that I drilled into my daughter:

“1 + 1 can be more than 2.  That’s the only real magic you will ever find in the world, but it is real, provided you choose wisely.  However, 1 – 1 is always 0 and can, if you choose poorly, be worse than that; it can be negative.”

One of the problems with this advice in today’s world is that there are an awful lot of zeros or worse walking around — of both sexes.  And by the way, almost without exception every one of those Hollywood “stars” or pro sports players in any league, ever, are all less than zeros in every respect except for being rich and if you emulate them without being rich first you will be destroyed.

He and Dr Carson are 110% correct.

Please share this advice with your children, if you haven’t already.

Cloud computing and Capital One

This year, a former Amazon.com employee hacked into Capital One Financial Corp. customer data that Amazon.com was storing on its cloud services.

On July 29, Bloomberg reported:

While the complaint doesn’t identify the cloud provider that stored the allegedly stolen data, the charging papers mention information stored in S3, a reference to Simple Storage Service, Amazon Web Services’ popular data storage software.

An AWS spokesman confirmed that the company’s cloud had stored the Capital One data that was stolen, and said it wasn’t accessed through a breach or vulnerability in AWS systems. Prosecutors alleged that the access to the bank data came through a misconfigured firewall protecting one of its applications.

Paige A. Thompson was arrested Monday and appeared in federal court in Seattle. The data theft occurred some time between March 12 and July 17, U.S. prosecutors in Seattle said.

Karl Denninger posted a hard-hitting article about this. Don’t miss ‘I TOLD YOU SO: “CLOUD” IS INSECURE’.

You bet it is. Yet, we have friends who store their personal — including financial — data on the cloud! No!

Denninger explains:

There you have it.  The bank had data that was highly confidential and let another company with thousands of people who could access it, none of whom the bank knew by name or could vet, have said data by intentionally putting it on that other firm’s computer systems in the name of “cloud computing.”

One of those people did allegedly access and steal it.  It doesn’t matter how they did so; the fact that the data was there provided the “honeypot” and a large base of people who knew it was there instead of said data being on your own corporate infrastructure behind access controls that you, and only you, are responsible for.

Gee, how dumb are you?

How many times have I pointed this out?  Dozens

Once you use a “cloud provider” it’s not your data anymore despite your claims otherwise.  The data is, in fact, accessible by anyone who has administrative access at the cloud company and they don’t work for you nor can you vet them.  Further, those people working there now know the data is there which gives them a big fat “target list” to take a crack at.  Those people with that knowledge and at least some expertise in getting in, including perhaps even direct credentialed access through ordinary administrative procedures number in the thousands at large firms like Amazon or Microsoft if not tens of thousands and you not only can you as the “customer” not vet them you have no idea who the hell they are.  Some of them probably aren’t even American citizens! H1b (not this time, but you can bet in general) for the win!

[[Update 7/30 6:50 AM: It appears that the person who did the “hacking” not only was employed by Spamazon the individual claims to be here in the US illegally.  So how’d they get the job?  Spamazon, for its part, disclaims responsibility and says “it wasn’t hacked.”  Disclaim whatever you want Amazon; the fact is the data was on your box and was stolen by what appears to be an ex Amazon employee.  Such a wonderful job of vetting you do eh, never mind all the SJW/insanity connections allegedly present with this individual too.]]

Congratulations Capital Zero, 100 million records stolen because you were ****ing stupid and put saving a buck in front of data security.  This should be treated by banking regulators as criminal negligence; ditto for any other firm that has its data stolen after employing such a “cloud” environment where there was any expectation of privacy or protection of said data.

This is why you don’t use cloud computing for anything you give a crap about and has to be kept secure …

Yes, yes and yes!

You can read more about the hacker and see photos at the Daily Mail. Definitely worth viewing.

If you think you cannot provide enough resilience on your home computer, think again. This is what one of Denninger’s readers says (emphases mine):

I can buy multi-terabyte drives for a couple of hundred bucks (obviously price varies as a function of quality, intended use, etc.) just about anywhere. For a thousand bucks I can set up a pretty-near foolproof, multi-terabyte, automated RAID system with access times for any computer on my own network that have gotta be less than up- and downloading from the cloud.

Where exactly is the alleged cost savings for anyone to store any data “in the cloud”?

Spot on. If you cannot build it yourself, hire an expert.

———————-

And thus concludes my news in brief.

You couldn’t make it up.

We all know that Democrats are the voice of the people, right?

I’m being sarcastic, but that is the image they project:

Meanwhile, the once beautiful city of Baltimore, Maryland has been in the news over the past few days. The district’s congressman, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), has been roundly criticised by residents, Republicans and President Trump for allowing it to deteriorate. He cannot take full blame, but he would do well to focus on his constituents rather than trying to impeach Trump.

This lady is a member of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee:

While the controversy over Baltimore rages …

… Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and selected Democrat congresscritters stayed in Venice — yes, Italy — over the weekend in five-star accommodation at the Hotel Danieli (be sure to click on that link)!

Yes, Pelosi and the Democrats truly are of the people (not):

Over the weekend, various people, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), thought that Rep. Elijah Cummings was among Pelosi’s delegation, but he was not:

The Washington Examiner reported (emphasis mine):

Pelosi was joined on the trip to by several other black Democrats, including Majority Whip James Clyburn, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. John Lewis.

The Democratic delegation is visiting the U.S. Army Africa headquarters in Italy. They will also visit Ghana, a trip that coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America. Pelosi will be the first speaker of House to address the Ghanaian Parliament.

One wonders how much this junket cost and how many family members accompanied them. The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, Baltimore and other Democrat-controlled US cities are in chaos.

H L Mencken was a well known and much celebrated journalist, critic and social commentator of the early 20th century.

The house where he lived for most of his life is open to the public in Baltimore, if one can arrange a tour.

The blogger at Tobaccoland explores historical sites from colonial days to the present. He had this to say about Mencken:

It is fair to call Mencken a libertarian

Many today are unaware of who Mencken was and how he and his ideas influenced his world and the world we live in today. The Mission of the Friends of the H.L. Mencken House is to educate “the public about the life and legacy of H. L. Mencken.” To this end they are interested in purchasing, or at least permanently leasing, Mencken’s house to establish a museum to teach others about Mencken, his life, ideas, and times.

The Mencken House, where H.L. lived all but 8 years of his life, and where he died, is only opened today for private tours and special events. I had the opportunity to visit the house during one of those events.

Located at 1524 Hollins Street in the Union Square area of Baltimore, the neighborhood could use some work. I spotted at least one drug deal while driving away. I would advise against leaving out any valuables. But it is safe enough, especially during the daytime and especially if you park near the house. Parking is generally not a problem …

On the second floor, if you visit on the right day, the ghost of H.L. Mencken himself, still thinking it is the past, will greet you and talk about his life, views, work, and times. Also, if you would like H.L. to come to your event or party that can be arranged as well.

Mencken would have had much to say about our society today. It is for this reason that he is well worth mentioning on the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day.  What better day to discuss the individual as well as his freedom and liberty?

My American readers might wish to run portions of the following Mencken quotes past their family and friends over a beer and a burger. Emphases mine below with thanks to Tobaccoland:

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

——–

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

——–

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

——–

Every time the papers print another account of a Prohibionist agent murdering a man who resists him or searching some woman’s underwear or raiding a Vanderbilt yacht or blackmailing a Legislature or committing some other such inordinate and anti social act they simply make a thousand more votes for Prohibition. It is precisely that sort of entertainment that makes Prohibition popular with the boobery. It is precisely because it is unjust, imbecile, arbitrary and tyrannical that they are so hot for it. The incidental violation of even the inferior man’s liberty is not sufficient to empty him of delight in the chase. The victims reported in the newspapers are commonly his superiors he thus gets the immemorial democratic satisfaction out of their discomfiture. Besides he has no great rage for liberty himself. He is always willing to surrender it at demand. The most popular man under a democracy is not the most democratic man but the most despotic man. The common folk delight in the exactions of such a man. They like him to boss them. Their natural gait is the goose step.

Agree or disagree with this agnostic who had a deep admiration for the orthodox Presbyterian John Gresham Machen, Henry Louis Mencken is guaranteed to provide worthwhile talking points.

Best wishes to all my American readers — wherever you may be today — for a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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