I almost expect to see Anansi (Mr. Nancy) coming down the stairs.
I love when people randomly follow me because I assume they’ve just seen something I said and went “ah yes. This nerd seems particularly strange. Let’s see what else it does”
That’s been my attitude as well. Few of my followers actually say anything to me unless they know me from elsewhere. I figured that most of them saw something bright, pretty, or strange that I reblogged, or read something I posted, and thought, OK, this is an interesting circus act to follow.
This story should specify that the NSA is “overseen” by Congress and the courts very loosely and definitely not to the degree an organization of its scope and power merits. Otherwise, an interesting peek at how dangerous it is to be a whistleblower, and clarifying why Snowden went the route he did instead of complaining to his bosses.
- Bill Binney worked at the National Security Agency nearly three decades as one of its leading crypto-mathematicians. He then became one of its leading whistleblowers. Now 70 and on crutches, both legs lost to diabetes, Binney recalls the July morning seven years ago when a dozen gun-wielding FBI agents burst through the front door of his home, at the end of a cul-de-sac a 10-minute drive from NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. “I first knew that they were in there when they were pointing a gun at me as I was coming out of the shower,” Binney says. When I ask him why the agents were there, he replies: “Well, it was to keep us quiet.” The NSA is overseen by Congress, the courts and other government departments. It’s also supposed to be watched from the inside by its own workers. But over the past dozen years, whistleblowers like Binney have had a rough track record. Those who tried unsuccessfully to work within the system say Edward Snowden — the former National Security Agency contractor who shared top-secret documents with reporters — learned from their bitter experience. For Binney, the decision to quit the NSA and become a whistleblower began a few weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when he says he discovered the spy agency had begun using software he’d created to scoop up information on Americans — all without a court order.
Imagine the baby that would result from a night of passion between Ebenezer Scrooge (before the spirits changed his ways) and Mr. Krabs from Spongebob. Now imagine that movie grew up and married the baby that would result from a night of passion between Yzma from the Emperor’s New Groove and Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. Now imagine the newlyweds had a baby of their own, and that baby was raised aboard a Ferengi Starship, where she was tutored in empathy and compassion by Lord Voldemort. Now imagine that baby grew up and someone told her that any opinions she might have or conclusions she might reach are based on objective logic and reason, and that anyone who disagrees with her is simply being irrational. Now multiply that person’s greed and heartlessness by 100 and you’ll begin to see something that comes close to resembling Ayn Rand.
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” -Julia Child
“First we eat, then we do everything else.” -M.F.K. Fisher
"The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook." -Julia Child
"I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food." -W.C. Fields
Words to live by, for me. I feel like crap when I consume low-fat or non-fat food, and it makes my blood sugar skyrocket. Give me full-fat food, and not only am I full after a regular serving, I’ll actually enjoy the taste of it and eat more slowly. That doesn’t mean I’ll eat less, but I’m not as likely to feel hungry an hour later.
And steak … mmmmm. Ribeyes with chimichurri sauce, filet mignon with butter, New York Strip au poivre. T-bones kissed with salt and pepper and thrown on a very hot grill until the bone and fat are charred and smoking. Sirlion rubbed with garlic and smoked paprika, broiled, and sliced thin with mushrooms and onions.
As Yahoo News Reports:
Zunera once dreamed of becoming a computer engineer. Instead, aged 16, she was tricked into prostitution in the UAE, beginning a four-year nightmare of cruelty, violence and rape.
Campaigners and officials say hundreds of young Pakistani women are also trafficked every year to supply the thriving sex trade in the brothels and nightclubs of Dubai. Zunera and her sister Shaista were two of them.
More than a year after she escaped, Zunera’s pain is still etched into her stumbling, hesitant voice — and also into her body, which bears the marks of countless beatings.
Vivid, angry scars run the length of her legs from ankle to hip, reminders of a botched operation after she was shot three times by the gang who trafficked her.
Zunera and Shaista managed to escape their tormentors in 2013 but still live in hiding in a two-room house in a slum, fearing revenge attacks. AFP is withholding their full names and precise whereabouts for their safety.
Their ordeal began in her hometown in Punjab province, when the family got into money trouble and a neighbour named Ayesha offered the sisters domestic work.
After a while Ayesha suggested she take the sisters to Dubai to work in her beauty parlour, getting fake papers to help the underage Zunera leave Pakistan.
Shaista is so traumatised by her experiences she can barely recount her harrowing ordeal.
Fighting back tears, Zunera revealed the horror that awaited them at Dubai.
"Ayesha took us to the lavatories at the airport and told us that we will be serving her clients for sex," Zunera told AFP.
"We started crying and then she told us that we travelled on fake documents and if we said anything we would be handed over to police right there."
Faced with no alternative, the sisters went with Ayesha, thinking they could just avoid having sex with clients.
"The first time, she herself was present in the room and made us do what the clients wanted. We were raped in front of her and with her assistance," Zunera said.
"She used to beat one of us and ask the other sister to talk on phone to our parents, threatening to kill us if we revealed anything about the brothel," Zunera recalled.
From time to time Ayesha brought the women back to Pakistan to renew their visas, frightening them into silence by telling them she would kill their whole families if they revealed the life they had been tricked into.
But eventually in March 2013 the sisters plucked up the courage to share their ordeal to their elder sister Qamar, who eventually obtained their freedom — but at a cost.
These are the events that keep me up at night and really scare me.
Think about anyone who has come out as bisexual in the media. Megan Fox, Billie Joe Armstrong, Margaret Cho, Anna Paquin, Megan Mullally, David Bowie, Angelina Jolie.
Their sexuality is usually glossed over — often times, the media decides the person is either gay or straight, depending the relationship they are currently in or the relationship they get into in the future. If a man comes out as bisexual and in the future gets into a relationship with another man, people generally define him as homosexual (such as Alan Cumming). It’s important to note both homosexual and heterosexual people are monosexual and only attracted to one gender. In saying someone is straight or gay based on who they are currently with totally negates an individual’s identity.
Several people throughout have been classified as monosexual, despite identifying as bi. Marlon Brando himself was bisexual and he’s well-known as a “manly” man, it’s no surprise that people would want to erase his sexuality to fit their perception of him. Anne Frank was also bisexual; she wrote about having a love for girls and wanting a girl to date in her diaries. Angelina Jolie is one of the most well-known bisexuals and she still gets marked under a monosexual title because of her long term relationship with Brad Pitt. Yet, in doing this, people are neglecting her identity.
Friendly reminder that Ke$ha came out as bisexual and that two songs on Animal/Cannibal (“Backstabber” and “Crazy Beautiful Life”) chronicle her relationships with women, but the media doesn’t even offer her “fake bisexual” status—they just assume that because she talks candidly about liking dick, she’s straight.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga pretended for years to be bisexual, only to reveal she was straight when pretending was no longer selling her albums.
One of these women is considered an ally to the MOGII community. It’s the wrong one.