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Quote of the Day
Jul 17th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

I died and turned into a Roman. It’s very distracting.

Doctor Who

Probably not the best comparison
Jul 16th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Women priest law ‘a slap in face’. The Vatican’s decision to make the ordination of women a “grave crime” – the same term it uses to describe sexual abuse – is condemned by women’s church groups. [BBC News]

But if the Vatican regards women priests the same way they do sexual abuse, doesn’t that mean that women are free to be priests whenever they want and the Vatican will either ignore them or cover it up (or both)?

The law is unknowable
Jul 15th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

New at Reason: John Stossel on Government Attacks on Freedom.

Something’s happened to America, writes John
Stossel, and it isn’t good. It’s become easier to get into trouble.
We’ve become a nation of a million rules. Not the kind of bottom-up
rules that people generate through voluntary associations. Those
are fine. The problem is top-down rules formed in the brains of
meddling bureaucrats who think they know better than we how to
manage our lives.

View this article.

[Hit and Run]

Here’s another quote from the end of the article:

Congress creates, on average, one new crime every week. Federal agencies create thousands more—so many, in fact that the Congressional Research Service itself said that merely counting them would be impossible.

This is a bad trend. As Lao Tsu said, “The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”

I remember when I was a kid there was a saying: “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but I haven’t heard anyone say that in years (another one from the same time that’s also now dead was “it’s a free country”). Today ignorance of the law is still no excuse from a legal standpoint, but at the same time knowledge of the law is an impossibility.

Good news for unemployment: people are giving up
Jul 2nd, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. Let’s keep this one short and sweet. According to the official government statistics, the US economy shed another 125,000 jobs in June. Wouldn’t it then be reasonable for the unemployment rate to climb? You would think so, right? You’d be wrong. See, in addition to the terrible news about job losses, there’s horrific news that […] [Mike Makes Right]

According to Shadow Government Statistics, the true unemployment rate is around 22%. This number includes those people who have given up on ever finding a job, who have been officially ignored by the government since 1994 because it made the government look bad.

TrueCrypt Endorsement
Jul 1st, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Cryptography Success Story. From Brazil: the moral, of course, is to choose a strong key and to encrypt the entire drive, not just key files. [Schneier on Security]

The files were encrypted using Truecrypt and an unnamed algorithm, reportedly based on the 256-bit AES standard. In the UK, Dantas would be compelled to reveal his passphrase under threat of imprisonment, but no such law exists in Brazil.

The Brazilian National Institute of Criminology (INC) tried for five months to obtain access to the encrypted data without success before turning over the job to code-breakers at the FBI in early 2009. US computer specialists also drew a blank even after 12 months of efforts to crack the code, Brazil’s Globo newspaper reports.

I use TrueCrypt to protect the Windows laptop I use for work. Unfortunately, the Mac version doesn’t support whole disk encryption.

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