Do this: Right now, take out your smartphone (presuming you use one that runs iOS or Android.)  Go to your app store of choice (or just follow this link) and install an app called Signal.  It’s free.  It costs you nothing.  But one day, it may help you in ways you cannot yet foresee.

Signal is a privacy and security app that replaces your built-in SMS/text message software.  It seamlessly handles your text messages for you, just like you’re used to now.  But as an added bonus, it automatically encrypts texts that you send to other Signal users.  The software uses end-to-end encryption to ensure nobody can eavesdrop on your texts.  That includes the people who make the software, the NSA, the FBI, the phone company, your tricky hacker kids, the people sniffing your wi-fi at the Starbucks, and everyone else in the world.  It means you can rest assured your private communications STAY PRIVATE.

In addition to encrypted texts, you can also use Signal to make encrypted phone calls, video calls, and picture messages.  It’s open-source, so it’s been peer-reviewed by the cybersecurity community.  It’s dead simple; easy enough that anyone can use it effectively.  And did I mention that it’s free?

Look, it’s 2017.  Donald Trump is going to be inaugurated as President of the United States on Friday, at which point, the controls of the most sophisticated surveillance apparatus in the entirety of human history will be at the disposal of a thin-skinned, sociopathic demagogue.  18 months from now, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you you’re asking, “Why didn’t I think of encrypting my communications sooner?”  And even if you’re a straight shooter who never does a single thing wrong, and never wants to privately express controversial opinions, you should still use Signal to secure your communications.  What if you are, or know, a journalist, an activist, or a protester who fears being targeted for retribution or censorship?  What if you need to pass sensitive financial information to your accountant, or your lawyer, or your family?  Are you going to PGP-encrypt your emails?  If you’re like most people the answer is no; PGP-encrypted emails still frustrate even sophisticated techies.  Don’t make it hard on yourself, when Signal is so easy to use.

Edward Snowden recommends using Signal, and he’s the kind of guy who has to worry about assassination attempts by state-level adversaries.  World-renowned security researcher Bruce Schneier recommends it.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation recommends it.  I recommend it.  It costs you nothing, and it could one day protect you from fraud, scams, and theft.  It may one day save your life or the life of someone you care about.  Go install it now.  Seriously.

They Live (1988) Directed by John Carpenter… is that it’s a really easy way to get people to ignore thinking about the ramifications and consequences of the particular situation, focusing their attention instead on the general opprobrium for the principle of order. The mind gets caught thinking about whether laws, in theory, are good on the whole, and forget to think about the ACTUAL ISSUE under question. Some examples:

“We need voter ID in this country to make sure there is no election fraud. Don’t you care about the rule of law in our democracy?”

“We can put up our satanic monument in the state capitol building, because if you let the christians do it, you have to let any other religious groups do it. That’s what the rule of law means!”

“The President’s executive order on immigration is making a mockery of the rule of law by bypassing the will of Congress”

“Those violent protesters really have some good points, but they should respect the rule of law and just let the cops and the justice system do their jobs.”

It’s a handy, general-purpose argument for whenever you want to try to defend the status quo from anyone who’d like to change it.

“Rule of Law” on Wikipedia

“Since the Ebola outbreak in Nimba County, this is the first incident of dead victims resurrecting.”

I should think so.

http://ift.tt/ZKzD5n

Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the Ebola virus recently in Hope Village Community and the Catholic Community in Ganta, Ni…

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Alternative medicine.

It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer’s claims to special powers.

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So, I didn’t know James Foley personally, but he and I had some friends in common. He graduated from the same journalism program as I did, just before I started.

His public execution by Islamic fundamentalists is yet another glaring example of the harms that religion does to the world. The animals who killed this man did so because of their religion and their ignorance. Because fundamentalism closed their minds, and convinced them their hatred was a virtue. They killed this man, not because he had committed some crime or threatened their lives or property, but just to MAKE A POINT.

Don’t try to tell me religion is harmless. It is actively poisonous, and it will continue to kill us like a disease for as long as we agree to let it. Fundamentalism, of every kind, is a toxic psychological plague.

A video purporting to show the beheading of James Foley, an American freelance journalist abducted two years ago in Syria, was posted by ISIS.

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Had a lot of fun at the 123 Hill House. It had the best poker room/hurricane shelter within 100 miles. It was a landmark. Hope they catch the firebug.

Three houses caught fire in the Thornton Park area of Orlando Saturday, all of them vacant homes — all of them possibly arson.

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The game is called “Damage Control”. Who wants to play?

David Sparshott Damage control is an excruciating, highly addictive game that among my friends has destroyed relationships, rekindled others, threatened to ruin careers, sparked sexual intrigue, and caused no end of terror and laughter. It is a game for two friends, and best played drunk. The instru…

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Man, these Satanic Temple folks just get more and more excellent. First the whole monument to the devil outside of the Oklahoma courthouse, and now this.

They will use the recent decision to exempt its believers from informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.

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Something I’ve written a little bit about before.

From the article:

“There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety.”

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