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That New Citizen Smell
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/22/2017 12:24:38

Good Morning.

As a part of my "onboarding" process with Historic Tours of America, this past Thursday I got to play tourist, with pay. Since I'll eventually be doing it myself, I did a ride-along of the entire tour route, and tried to pay attention to all the sites we're supposed to point out, the script, interacting with passengers, and the daily operations of what is a rather vast enterprise in this city.
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1 comments (Latest Comment: 04/22/2017 13:59:17 by Will in Chicago)

Film Friday
Author: wickedpam    Date: 04/21/2017 13:26:42

This week while flipping around looking for something to watch I stumbled upon 1776. I love this movie. I remember getting to watch it in school, for the Bicentennial I believe. It was a movie that I think had a big impact on me and the political view of the world I would grow to have. Sure its a sappy, over simplified, sugary view of the founding of this country but still it hit on everything that is amazing about this country.
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27 comments (Latest Comment: 04/21/2017 20:02:35 by BobR)

Hacking 101
Author: BobR    Date: 04/20/2017 13:17:57

Most people have no idea how hacking anything actually works. We've all seen the movies where several "nerds" wearing headsets are sitting in room with wires and cables going everywhere, and about 15 displays with all kinds of scrolling numbers and "code". They are all staring intently, typing feverishly, until one of them somberly announces "I'm in".

That's good for visual drama, but reality is a lot more mundane. The biggest resource for hacking isn't some special "code-breaker" program, but the human element. The tricks are many (by now, most people are already aware of "phishing" emails). Even the old "Nigerian Prince" letters that we used to get in snail mail are a form of hacking. It's all about using psychology to get people to react in a way you want them to. All it takes is an official looking email warning a person about an intrusion with a link to "change your password", and - boom - someone has your login credentials and has "hacked" the system.

That's why when the discussion is about the Russians "hacking the election", the definition of what is meant by that is crucial. In some minds, if the Russians didn't actually access the voting machines and vote-tallying systems, then the vote wasn't really "hacked". This is applying a very narrow definition of hacking to obfuscate the reality of how much the entire election was influenced by Russian psychological manipulation.

The reality is that a Russian think-tank took a two-pronged approach to achieve their goal of getting Donald tRump elected. The first prong "recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama". The second one was to "intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency".
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50 comments (Latest Comment: 04/20/2017 19:07:44 by Mondobubba)

Just this week...
Author: Raine    Date: 04/19/2017 13:07:43

We've have learned that 45 probably doesn't know that Kim Jong Un is not Kim Jung Il .
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41 comments (Latest Comment: 04/19/2017 20:22:57 by Raine)

Ask a Vet - 1775
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/18/2017 10:42:47

Good Morning.

Two hundred and forty-two years ago on this evening, two gentlemen climbed the stairs at the Old North Church in the North End of Boston, and hung two lanterns high in the steeple. While they have faded into relative obscurity, history has recorded their names as Sexton Robert Newman and Vestryman Captain John Pulling, Jr.

Hanging lanterns at night is not really a big deal - except we all know that a certain horseman by the name of Revere was watching to see the pre-arranged signal. As the lanterns flared in the night, Mr. Revere rowed across Boston Harbor, past the warship HMS Somerset, and landed at Charlestown to mount a fast horse.
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25 comments (Latest Comment: 04/18/2017 20:32:03 by Raine)

Here's the thing.
Author: Raine    Date: 04/17/2017 13:09:30

We have an emotionally sick person as our commander in chief.

I can't start treating this as normal.

I will have more to say on this, but for now, I have to find video of Sean Spicer reading this at the Easter Egg Roll today:
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52 comments (Latest Comment: 04/18/2017 01:35:25 by Will in Chicago)

Why Worry?
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 04/16/2017 15:01:40

Are you worried about World War 3 aka Trump International Biggest War Ever? I'm here to let you calm your fears.

We will bomb the heck out of North Korea and they won't know what hit them.
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2 comments (Latest Comment: 04/16/2017 20:52:53 by BobR)

Not Healthy
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/15/2017 12:05:56

Good Morning.

I was just skimming the news, and a couple of consecutive stories leaped out at me.

But before I get to them, I want you to go backwards into your own memory banks. We've all had them, but do you remember any of your vaccinations? Most of us won't, as the bulk of them happened when we were babies. But I distinctly remember getting polio and smallpox via the school. I also have a tetanus booster every now and again (and so should you, if you haven't recently), and of course we get the flu vaccine every year.
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2 comments (Latest Comment: 04/16/2017 04:29:15 by BobR)

Fluffy Friday
Author: wickedpam    Date: 04/14/2017 12:51:34

This is the year City Paper and the National Harbor picked up the much enjoyed Peeps Diorama Contest that used to be done by the Washington Post. It certainly has brought some unexpected themes together.

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33 comments (Latest Comment: 04/14/2017 22:55:42 by BobR)

Yet another stub
Author: BobR    Date: 04/13/2017 13:04:13

This week is a little cattywompus. I am endeavoring to get a blog together
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36 comments (Latest Comment: 04/13/2017 20:10:38 by Scoopster)

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