Someone completely ripped off the latest episode of South Park

Even right down to the logo used… (It actually looks like they took a photo of the logo displayed on a monitor)

If you don’t believe me, check out the South Park episode S18E01 on youtube or other services.

Looks like a photo of a screen to me….

I will honestly do nothing, I came up with a catchy title, and that’s all I need

Sorry, mate, but you didn’t. You copied Comedy Central.

Link (Kickstarter)

Anatomy of a Non-Denial Denial

This is what I would cal weasel-talk….

The non-denial denial is an art that takes many forms in official Washington.

The basic idea is that when you or your organization are accused of doing something that you did in fact do, you respond with what sounds like a denial, but really isn’t.

You issue a very narrowly-crafted denial involving a lot of hairsplitting, while avoiding the central claim. Or you dismiss the accusation as unworthy of response. Or you deny something else: You raise a straw man accusation and deny that; or – possibly best yet — you take advantage of a poorly worded question.

The press typically interprets it as a denial, and since you are a credible figure, it moves on.

And if the accusation against you is ever irrefutably proven, then you point out that you never really denied it. Since you didn’t technically lie, the press, again, moves on.

Link (The Intercept)

Prison Commissioner Buried Investigators’ Findings Of Rikers Island Wardens’ ‘Complete Abdication’ Of Responsibilities

Last month, we [Techdirt] covered a scathing DOJ report on the treatment of the teenage population at Rikers Island. Beatings handed out by staff were only surpassed (barely) by uncontrolled inmate-on-inmate violence. Medical staff were pressured into covering up the source of inmates’ injuries, some of which were created with anything guards had on hand — including broomsticks, batons, radios and flashlights. Many incidents occurred out of sight of the institution’s cameras. Numerous others went unreported.

It gets worse.

Link (Techdirt)

‘Trust ASIO’: Australia passes spook’s charter Part A

Comment: why worry?
The year is 1983, the city is Melbourne, and a spy agency has settled on one of the stupidest training exercises ever to become public knowledge.

Acting (unbelievably) on their own initiative, ASIS trainees staged a faux hostage rescue in what was then the Melbourne Sheraton hotel, and made such an utter shambles of it that their formerly-secret agency got put under intense scrutiny at the Hope Royal Commission.

After threatening the hotel’s manager with weapons, the agents then hopped into cars, one of which got stopped by Victoria Police but the occupants declined to produce ID, and the whole thing became public.

Along the way, Melbourne newspaper The Age published details of the operation – including the agents’ names.

That whole incident would be protectable under the kind of laws that passed the Senate last night. In spite of a bunch of jejune idiots waving both pistols and machine-guns around in a public place, the “special intelligence operation” coverage of the incident would have kept it out of newspapers, backed up by the threat of ten years in the slammer.

Link (The Register)

Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car

The first thing that strikes me is how on earth is people going to be able to pay their loans if they can’t use their car to get to work?

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

Link (NY Times)

Petition to Obama Administration: End the Harassment and Targeting of Reporters

Imagine the United States without independent reporters. Where would the news come from? Press releases and corporate statements? Government-run media? And more importantly, what would we have missed over the last century? Watergate, COINTELPRO, the CIA’s manipulation of politics in Vietnam—none of these things would be common knowledge without courageous reporters, who were willing to publish stories on scandals that rocked the entire country.

A free press has always been an essential part of any democracy. That’s why repressive governments insist on state control over media. That’s why the very first addition to the Constitution, the First Amendment, protects freedom of speech.

And that’s why EFF is joining over 60 organizations supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) #RightToReport petition.

Link (EFF)

NJ Town Proposes Law That Would Grant Law Enforcement The Right To Warrantlessly Search Houses To Find Underage Drinkers

A New Jersey town is looking to give its police officers yet another way to bypass warrant requirements for searches of homes: underage drinking. Members of the public aren’t happy with it, and the city council doesn’t want to talk about it, even though the latter have stated they’re “on board” with it.

Link (Techdirt)

The Threats Against Emma Watson Were All An Anti-4Chan Campaign

It turns out that this story wasn’t complicated enough. New reports have come out to suggest the viral media company behind the hoax threats is itself a hoax attributed to a couple of people known for their spamming tactics. Per Business Insider: “Rantic Marketing is a fake company run by a gang of prolific internet spammers used to quickly capitalize on internet trends for page views. The group go by a variety of different names. Collectively, they’re known as SocialVEVO, but as the Daily Dot reports, their names are alleged to include Jacob Povolotski, Yasha Swag, Swenzy and Joey B. The only known video footage of the group is a rap song about pickles that they used dubious spam techniques to make incredibly popular. The song used to have over 8 million views on YouTube.” Delightful.

Link (Techdirt)


CIA Director John Brennan today petulantly denied that he lied in March when he publicly insisted that the CIA had not improperly accessed the computers of Senate staffers investigating the agency’s role in torturing detainees.

Since then, an internal investigation found the CIA had done just that, and Brennan was forced to apologize to Senate intelligence committee members.

In March, Brennan told Andrea Mitchell at a Council on Foreign Relations event: “As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth… We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.”

But on Thursday, facing questions at an industry trade conference, Brennan carefully parsed his earlier statement, insisting that he had only been denying the parts of Mitchell’s question that involved accusations of hacking with the intent to thwart the investigation.

Link (The Intercept)