Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Stratfor Insecurity Fence

I made this picture of an odd "fence" myself using a digital art program.  It is copyleft, although I don't know why anyone would want to use it.  ~radical sapphoq

Corporate giant and private elite spy company Stratfor faces some embarassment due to the leak of a whole lot of e-mails.  This stuff is being published on wikileaks and the first installment can be found here at for those who are interested. 

Some other stuff was allegedly taken also:  .  Credit card numbers and bank transfers appear to have been used to gift charities with donations, monies which the charities will have to return. 
Although it was initially reported that George Friedman stepped down from his post as CEO of Stratfor, he denied having done so.

Stratfor claims via this vid that at least one e-mail is not by George Friedman as it purports to be:

A tiny bit of damage control there perhaps on January 6, 2012 (the date the vid was uploaded to U-tube) by Fred Burton.  Sorry buddy, I just don't believe you.

radical sapphoq says: In the outrage by suits against Anonymous, there is something missing in the outrage.  Stratfor is a private intelligence company that apparently did not encrypt its' e-mails.  And that is FAIL.
The insecure and careless storage of personal information held on to by companies and organizations including but not limited to the private sector and the U.S. government is precisely one of the many reasons why I am for taking security measures when skating around on the internet. 
Stratfor by reports is a smallish company employing approximately forty people in a downtown Austin office.  Could they not have been more careless about this?

    To Stratfor: not encrypting your e-mails: FAIL.  Casual reference to the idea that Julian Assage needs to be waterboarded: FAIL.  Cursing in company e-mails: FAIL.  Crying about the "bad hackers": FAIL.  

We need Anonymous and Wikileaks today more than ever in the fight for justice and freedom.
I recommend following the anonops blogspot and bsnorrell.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yes, Virginia, There are Politicians Who Want You to Be Shamed into Keeping Your Baby

Virginia may be the next state to require a shamogram sonogram replete with a graphic description of the fetus before allowing an abortion.  Today, Virginia.  Tomorrow Pennsylvania.  Sometime after that, Rick Santorum who is against testing for fetal abnormalities-- specificially amniocentesis, although there are other tests that a couple at risk for birthing a child with deformities may also undergo-- being included in the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" [frequently abbreviated to "Affordable Care Act" or "ObamaCare"] touted by Obama.

Although some sort of sonogram is included in the gold standard of what happens before an abortion, the required "script-reading" by a physician that Texas has passed and that Virginia probably will pass next is not.  In some places, the script-reading laws will exclude women who are pregnant by rape as well as women carrying non-viable fetuses or deformed fetuses.  Ah, a touch of compassion there.  Meanwhile, presidential candidate Rick Santorum has added fuel to the fire by coming out against amniocentesis because he believes that finding out that a baby is not healthy leads to more abortions.

radical sapphoq says: Politicians, get the hell out of our doctors' offices.  Pregnant females should have a right to healthy and respectful prenatal care, including termination of the pregnancy if that is the decision made.  Take your scripts and shove them up the vacuum of Bad Laws. 
Abortion is a terrible tragedy.  I do not believe that an embryo or a fetus is akin to a tumor.  Yes, a life is taken when there is an abortion. 
At the same time, I am not willing to ascribe personhood rights to the embryo or fetus over the rights that a woman has to self-determination.  I still believe in a woman's right to choose, and even in a couple's right to choose if the woman wishes her partner's involvement. 
I remember the days of wire hanger abortions.  [No, I've never had one, nor have I ever been pregnant].  I also think that if we don't want women to use abortions as the default birth control option [note: I don't know what percentage of teens and young women do that], there should be easier access to services like those that Planned Parenthood has to offer.
In the heyday of the AIDS crisis, I was in a small group of activists who used to hand out condoms in a local park where men went to pick up other men.  We also used to hand them out to college kids near bars.
I am beginning to think that we should have a single-payer healthcare option or possibly a system in place instead of the mess that we have now.  The money currently being wasted  utilized by health insurance companies to ensure that we don't get care to administer their plans can be channeled to actually giving healthcare to people.  This may be the cheaper and more viable option which I don't hear anyone up on Capitol Hill talking about. 

radical sapphoq signing off with a final p.s.: Yes I took the photo and modded it myself.  So go away copyright police.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Facebook Me, Not

Digital art that I shot with my cheap digital camera and then altered my own self.  So copyright police, please go away now.  ~radical sapphoq

There are a whole lot of people around me who appear to me to have gone nutty over Facebook.  "Facebook me," has become a common expression within the crowd.  The question I am asked most frequently by acquaintances these days is, "Are you on Facebook?"

No, I am not on Facebook, and no, I will not "Facebook you."  I hate Facebook.  I deplore Facebook.  And in fact, I want nothing to do with Facebook.  I am not a Luddite.  I am not anti-technology.  In fact, I am into technology in a very real way.  I also like my privacy.  This movement among giant companies that we must use our "wallet names"-- i.e. legal names-- in order to sign up for the latest social network craze I think is a very bad idea.  One of the excuses given for the necessity of using our real names is that somehow this will make us all kinder people on the Internet.  Here's a news flash: No, it won't.

The thing is, even a voluntary "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights"  fantasy essay is exactly that-- fantasy.  There is no true privacy on the Internet.  Some of us know this and we use nicknames or pen names, much as I have chosen to do.  To be sure, we can still be found.  But, at least the less sophisticated  will have to think about how to do it for a few minutes first.  Furthermore, in order to identify who we are in "real life," an advertising agency [my own bias is revealed here, I believe the demand for our wallet names have more to do with the desire to foist ads on me and target me for snail mailing lists than the idea that we will transform into non-assholes] or individual up to no good need three pieces of information.  Those three pieces of information are birthdate, gender-- male or female, and zip code.  And that's it.  How many of us have signed up to blog at sites which don't demand our wallet names but do want our birthdates, gender, and zip code?

There are several approaches to this invasion of privacy.  The first one is to unplug the computer and to avoid leaving a paper trail in real life.  The second is to be very conscious of our digital footprints by using temporary wifi cards in cafes, libraries, or other public places to connect.  If we must use the social networking scene, we can develop several sock puppets to use on various sites (one per site, not all socks in all sites like some trolls might).  If we go that way or if we use a home computer, it is a great idea to use one browser per social networking site as well and invest in anonymous e-mail such as CounterMail.  The other thing of course goes without saying: invest in a good vpn, proxies, onion routers [not Tor by the way] and use several layers of the same to cover our Mac addys and our ISP numbers.  Privacy precautions are only as good as the person using them.  Having the best in non-tracking electronic ware does nothing if we blog or tweet about our birthdays, the weather in our area, or things that can cause others to accurately guess our gender.  And using social networking sites or cruising the Internet or shopping on-line during worktime-- even at those rare companies that claim they "don't mind"-- forget about it.  Bad idea.

One of the things that I have seen social networking sites used for that I think is a most excellent use is to for activist-related events and for news-sharing.  Folks who are prone to that sort of thing know what the risks are and tend not to give out their true wallet names, birthdates, or zip codes.  Any other use of social networking sites to me is just mental masturbation.

radical sapphoq says: I don't do Facebook.  I don't upload pictures of myself or family or friends to the Internet.  Any information I give out on-line to companies like Google-is-Evil-Now is on a need-to-know basis.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Copyleft Tags to Support Anonymous

I took the pictures and I created these tags.  I made these for anyone to download to their computers and alter, mod, use, distribute as they wish.  These three tags are copyleft folks.  ~radical sapphoq

Why Anonymous is Better than the N.S.A. and Other Folks who Throw Around the Word "Cyber-Terrorists":

1.  Because Anonymous stands up for freedom on the Internet and Net Neutrality.

2.  Because Anonymous does better at news reporting than many of the mainstream news organizations ever did.

3. Because Anonymous knows the difference between piracy and sharing.

4.  Because Anonymous knows that sharing is good.

5.  Because Anonymous supports open software and innovation.

6. Because Anonymous writes tight sexy code.

7.  Because Anonymous is hip to the necessity of privacy in our own lives.

8.  Because corrupt governments fear Anonymous.

9. Because Anonymous cannot be bought, unlike presidents or politicians.

10.  Because Anonymous does not sell out.

11. Because Anonymous has never tried to convert anyone to any religion.

12. Because Anonymous does not demand to own anyone's money, thoughts, or brain.

13.  Because Anonymous continues to dare to take on Scientology and all the evil associated therein.

14.  Because Anonymous is full of win.

15.  Because Anonymous does not forgive.

16.  Because Anonymous does not forget.

17.  Because we are all Anonymous.

radical sapphoq says: I support Anonymous.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The ACTA text, Richard Stallman, Anonymous, and Finally: Just Who is the IIPA

I made it and it's copyleft.  So stay out of my blog you copyrighting police.  ~sap

Here at  you will find the text of ACTA--
at least until it is taken down or someone hacks it down.

Richard Stallman, one of my heros, has done an excellent interview here at   For sure, the interview was done in 2009.  Chilling how that interview could have easily been done today rather than back then.

Remember folks, as Richard Stallman says, "Piracy is attacking ships... but sharing with your neighbour is good."  Rock on Richard Stallman. 

And rock on Anonymous for calling this issue to our collective attention.

Some Anonymous folks hacked into the CIA website last Friday
and found six servers full of porn.  Here is the video from R.T.
purported made by one member identifying as an Anonymous
[at least until if/when I am forced to take it down]:

Sounds like the kiddie porn was an incidental finding.

Here is the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) 2012 report named special 301: . The countries named for their varying watchlists are bad m'kay because they are not respectful of copyrighted stuff on the internet.  Even some of the land-locked countries have been called havens for pirates.  From that link, one gets to a page where one can click on older reports or on the cover of this year's report. 
If one clicks on an offending country in this year's report, one may find such gems of wisdom as:
(paraphrased) Since the government in 2011 did not revise the laws to reflect what we want them to do regarding the problem of unlicensed sharing, we will create with them an unlicensed sharing task force...
  We will also get some State IP cells going, create some IP attorneys, get the militia to do more seizures, and help the government to see the wisdom in giving tax breaks to those companies going along with our program...
  And furthermore, we want the militia to want to do more seizures and arrests and stuff like that.  Because unauthorized sharing is bad.

Or: (paraphrased) The bad stores with the knock-offs of stuff for sale can still be found near the airport.  This country is a U.S.A. trade beneficiary and must be stopped.  Because unauthorized sharing is bad.

Clicking on a link toward the bottom right of the International Intellectual Property Alliance homepage for their comment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement on November 10, 2010 will bring you to this:
[because the IIPA just had to get their copyright policing teeth into that also, i.m.o.].  On the first page of that document, Michael Schlesinger explains that the following organizations are members of the IIPA:

Association of American Publishers (AAP),
Business Software Alliance (BSA),
Entertainment Software Association (ESA),
Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA),
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA),
National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA),
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

One thing that caught my eye was the first "I" in the IIPA name.  The first "I" allegedly stands for "International."  In this context, the word "International" denotes the organization's interest in copyright matters all over the globe and not that they are an international organization with members who are world-wide.
Under the "About IIPA" tab on their homepage, again we are confronted with the seven member organizations of the IIPA and then we are fed a juicy tidbit.  The IIPA claims those seven member organizations represent over 1,900 United Statesian companies involved in all the things that the IIPA does not want unauthorized sharing to happen in. 
From what I read, only the Independent Film &aTelevision Alliance has member companies not based in the United States.  Approximately forty of their one hundred sixty member companies are based in countries other than the United States.
Further investigation under the About IIPA home tab reveals a current list of IIPA attorneys include only these four: Michael Schlesinger,
Eric J. Schwartz,
Steve Metalitz,
Amanda Wilson Denton
Their contact info is listed under About IIPA, subtab Contact IIPA.
Their e-mails are also listed on their pdf bios which can be reached under About IIPA subtab IIPA Personnel.

Under the News & Resources tab, I found a nifty little chart with very small print noting some percentage of the files and comments that the IIPA has submitted to various official bodies, along with the note that April 23, 2011 was "World IP Day."  Om January 9, 2012, [the top of the chart as the list is in reverse chronological order] the IIPA provides an interesting document which quotes Eric Schwartz as an IIPA attorney speaking against Ukraine continuing to have GSP eligibility (Generalized System of Preference in reference to free trade-- ).  The aforementioned Michael Schlesinger says the same about Indonesia.  (Michael Schlesinger is also identified as an IIPA attorney).  In other words, unless the Ukraine and Indonesia do what the IIPA wants them to do, they may lose their GSP status and benefits inherent in that status.  Also under the News & Resources tab, under the subtab of Resources, one finds a list of a whole bunch of websites which have more information and which the dedicated researcher will investigate.  I will leave that undone here in this blog for now, although I may come back to that at a future time if necessary.

The Copyright & Trade Issues tab: reveals that Special 301 was created by Congress in 1988.  Special 301 allows countries to be placed on either a Watch List or a Priority Watch List.  Presence on the list does not denote immediate trade sanctions against those countries for not protecting Intellectual Property Copyright (i.e. for allowing Unauthorized Sharing).  Special 301 also allows for placement on the list of "Priority Foreign Countries." Those countries can face trade sanctions immediately after an investigation is completed.  There are seven subtabs listed under the Copyright & Trade Issues tab.

Bypassing those to the interested investigator, we continue on to the next tab titled Country Reports at .  Here is another nifty chart with very small print which lists a whole bunch of countries and what the IIPA has done back through 1997.

Back at the homepage, clicking on the second box in the second column labeled "An overview of IIPA's 27 years (1984-2011)
gives a sampling of what the IIPA has done.

Searching further into the IIPA using a search engine revealed that Eric A. Smith co-founded the IIPA.  Here is a press release noting the addition of a senior attorney and two other attorneys to the Washington D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig, a truly international law firm that specializes in international copyright things:

Dr Mihály Ficsor lives in Budapest, Hungary according to an older IIPA pdf file on him at
is a world-renown expert on copyright stuff and serves as a consultant to the IIPA (or did at the time that the pdf was written). A buddy of his is against excessive copyrighting and the blog post which mentions the Doctor is at:

radical sapphoq says: The spokespeople for the IIPA come in the form of four very powerful expert attorneys.  The IIPA is not some pansy fly-by-night whiners about copyright law.  The IIPA has clout as given to them by Congress in 1984.  Folks actively engaged in fighting the IIPA and the seven organizations under the IIPA umbrella (which include the MPAA and RIAA) have some very tough, tough work ahead of them.  This is precisely why I support Anonymous and I love Anonymous for fighting SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and the forthcoming PICPA. 
     A battle must be fought on all levels.  Now that I know a bit more about the IIPA, I understand the enormity of what's happening with the Internet a bit better.
     I don't know know what will happen in the future.  I do know that doing nothing does not help the fear.  Now is the time to be brave and to act for a free Internet.
     It will be a sad day if that battle is lost.  But if it does, I plan to help out with building an alternate internet.  Even if I have to move out of the country to do it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops vs. President Obama

If Catholic hospitals and universities are given the option to not offer contraceptives to their employees, then why can't a Muslim organization do the same?  Or a Jehovah's Witness publishing house refuse to offer coverage for blood transfusions?  Or Christian Scientist employers not offer health insurance at all?  That is the flavor of some questions being asked by only a few people in blogs and news articles on the internet, in my opinion far too few.

A religious entity such as a Roman Catholic hospital or Baptist nursing home as a matter of course hires workers who may or may not be practicing the same faith as their employer does.  It is not legal for such places to discriminate against prospective employees in the matter of their personal religious practices or non-practices.  This is as it should be, especially considering that hospitals and other health care facilities as well as universities and colleges accept public funding in the form of health care payments through insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid or in the form of government-sponsored grants and loans.  Additionally, such places are tax-exempt.  It is abhorrent to me that any organization claiming to be Christian (or any other religious identity) would then seek to legally impose such beliefs and practices on their employees via not offering insurance with reproductive health care.
Your scruples as an entity doing business in the United States should not be able to dictate the medical behavior of any of your employees, period.  If you don't want to know about someone in your employ having an abortion, then don't ask them.  If you would feel violated because your insurance company made contraception affordable to a woman employee because she was seeking to space out her pregnancies, not have a pregnancy, or as treatment for endometriosis, then again, don't ask.  Your conscience as a tax-exempt organization ought not to trump an employee's medical choices.  Period.  If you think that you should be exempt from the laws of this country, then get out and take your hospitals and universities to some other country.  Period.  Harsh?  Too bad.  I am personally tired of being expected to kowtow to religious folks and lobbies who want to impose their ways of being upon any minority.  So stop it.  The conscience of the individual is sovereign over any religious mandates.  Stay out of my healthcare decisions.

To the Bishops and to the organizations who do not want to provide contraceptive care under your health insurance plans, I have one thing to say to you: Suck it up. 

To the President who was seeking a compromise so as not to alienate any potential voters in an election year, I have one thing to say to you: Your "compromise" smacks of cowardishness. 

radical sapphoq says: President Obama and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: FAIL.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dear Mister President

Dear Mister President,

     This week I watched more teeth get kicked out of the A.D.A. -- no love to the folks who decided that someone could be fired from a religious institution for having NARCOLEPSY-- and the continuing drama of you and some other folks messing with the Internet.  No love.

     As if that wasn't bad enough, I saw a newsbite of you saying that religious organizations do not have to provide birth control to their women employees but the insurance companies will have to offer it.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, is "free."  So now there is one more government mandate.  Who will wind up paying for this one?  Not the government of course.

     Actually, I think religious institutions who accept public monies such as Medicaid and ahem, the faith-based office thingy should be required to play by the public rules ahem, the same employment laws that everyone else has to play by.  I also think that the government should get out of the healthcare business as well as the marriage industry.  But putting those things aside for the moment, I will continue onward through the insurance companies issues.

     Alright, so given that nothing is "free,"  just where do you think the money will come from for the latest mandate.  You think the insurance companies will reach out to women who work at religious places out of the "goodness" of their "hearts."  Oh really.  Now that right there is funny.  This latest idea of yours will come out of the pockets of all of the people who are working.  Insurance premiums for everyone will go up.

     So Mister President, once again, thanks for nothing.

                      No Love,

                      radical sapphoq

Friday, February 10, 2012

Copyleft tags: I Support Anonymous: Use as you will

I made them myself from photographs I took.  You get to use them at will as you wish.  copyleft. play nice, no hotlinking.
aka radical sapphoq

Black March Still On

Dear People,
     In spite of (or perhaps partially because of) outcries by MIPAA and RIAA that all the hullabaloo is not about censorship but rather about ripped content on the Internet, the Black March is still on.  In the past week or so, I've read through a lot of stuff on the net both for and against the Black March Boycott.  Since corporate Hollywood is now trying to rewrite the issue more to its' profit lines, I figure that the boycott will have an effect on the bottom line.  I believe the figures of loss that they often use (and quoted by the FBI as well as by Lamar Smith and other politicians) are inflated to say the least.

     Two ISPs in the Netherlands were ordered to block access to Pirate Bay, some folks in Hawaii endeavored to shut down public television stations there and fought against a law that would have required their ISPs to keep notes on where folks went on the web (for "crime" of course), and there is a movement to get Google to either de-list or lower rank of P2P websites and those sites which link to them.
     When I was a kid (oh yeah I was one of them once) I used to tape songs off the radio.  Nowadays a video on UTube of a preschooler singing along with a song playing on the radio in the background as she plays with her dolls is removed for copyright infringement.  Cripes.  Give me a break.
     So people can say all of this is about "crime," "pirates," "save-the-children," "Internet Terrorism," all they want to.  I support Black March and furthermore, I support Anonymous.  Anonymous has been instrumental in getting the word out about the unrest in Europe over ACTA and are fighting the foes of Net Neutrality.  
     To be clear, I am no hacker.  I lack the skills to do so even if I wanted to.  Furthermore, I am for peaceable assembly of the people without violence.  What skills I do have are in the area of writing, research, reporting, and making graphic art from my photographs. A war must be fought on all fronts.  We need Anonymous just as we need the suits that go in to speak with the politicians just as we need the Black March boycotters just as we need the Occupy protesters and the tweeterers and the bloggers.

sapphoq review says: These are scary times that we are living in.  Now is not the moment to hide in our fear.  I will not live in fear.  Now is the moment to act.  Now is the moment to be brave, be very brave.’t-tell-you/

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