discarded lies: tuesday, march 20, 2018 8:17 am zst
daily archive: 06/15/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
“How do you know it's really us?" continued
We've got the soccer balls (or as zorkie quaintly calls them, “footballs") next to our names here to let you know it's really us posting on Bloggie. But what about on other blogs? How can you tell it's really us? After the latest round of hapless, half-assed impersonations, we decided to make sure you could always know for sure that it was one of us posting on another blog. So we decided to use public-key cryptography. But not the encryption part—why would we want to encrypt our comments?—just the digital signature part. The upshot is that you can be confident beyond any doubt that one of us wrote something, if it's digitally signed and you verify it with GPG or PGP. I'm just gonna steal the excellent explanation from How PGP works:
Digital signatures
Amajor benefit of public key cryptography is that it provides a method for employing digital signatures. Digital signatures enable the recipient of information to verify the authenticity of the information's origin, and also verify that the information is intact. Thus, public key digital signatures provide authentication and data integrity. A digital signature also provides non-repudiation, which means that it prevents the sender from claiming that he or she did not actually send the information. These features are every bit as fundamental to cryptography as privacy, if not more.

A digital signature serves the same purpose as a handwritten signature. However, a handwritten signature is easy to counterfeit. A digital signature is superior to a handwritten signature in that it is nearly impossible to counterfeit, plus it attests to the contents of the information as well as to the identity of the signer.

Some people tend to use signatures more than they use encryption. For example, you may not care if anyone knows that you just deposited $1000 in your account, but you do want to be darn sure it was the bank teller you were dealing with.

The basic manner in which digital signatures are created is illustrated in Figure 1-6. Instead of encrypting information using someone else's public key, you encrypt it with your private key. If the information can be decrypted with your public key, then it must have originated with you.
Actually, I decided to steal the nice graphic, too. Here you go:

Make sense? Of course it does. So. You need two things now! You need our public key, and you need software that uses our public key to help you verify that it's really us. You can get our public key off a keyserver like pgpkeys.mit.edu. Just search for "evariste" and "zorkmidden". Install Gnu Privacy Guard (gnupg or gpg), or the Windows Privacy Tools (WinPT) distribution that includes a simple graphical interface, or a freeware version of PGP, or the commercial version of PGP. Add us to your keyring, and you're ready to verify anything that purports to be signed by one of us! Here are our public keys.

But we thought about it, and concluded that downloading, installing, and configuring some of the least friendly software we've ever used was a terribly boring thing to make you do. We especially didn't want to have to show you how to do the same thing in several different software packages. So instead, I wrote a tidy little php script that simply verifies the signature on a comment by zorkie or me, and does nothing else. We put our keys on Bloggie's keyring, and when you paste in something we wrote and click "verify", it tells you which one of us wrote it. Or, if it's an imposter, it'll say "Bad!" Fun, eh?

Hash: SHA1

Wanna try it out? It's right here: discardedlies.com/verify.php. I've signed this paragraph; copy this post till the end of the block and put it in to try it. No software to install, no new unbearably nerdy skills to learn beyond copy and paste. Sweet! :-)
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (MingW32) - WinPT 0.7.96rc1


And here's something signed by zorkie for you to try as well! Copy and paste it into the verifier:

Hash: SHA1

So you wanna see if this is really me, eh? What are you gonna give me
to verify this information?

Money?! Phht! Money is for rich people! I don't want money!

Come on, what are you gonna give me, seriously...

No! No, I don't want a hug, thank you!

No, I don't want a ride in your car, thank you very much.


What do you mean what do I want?!

A guest author post, what else?!
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (MingW32) - WinPT 0.7.96rc1


You want to select the whole thing, including the "begin PGP signed message" and "end PGP signature" lines. Now try changing a single character, and verify again. It'll come back bad, because you've tampered with it.

Heh heh heh.

From now on, you won't find a comment by either of us on another blog unless we sign it. So if it's not signed, it's not us. If it's signed but the verifier says it's bad, it wasn't us.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Michael's Adventures in Israeliland
Our official Kosher Eucharist correspondent is having a terrible time in Israel, just terrible, it's an outrage what happens on these Birthright trips. Poor Michael is being forced to drink tea on strange rooftops, he's meeting Arabs wearing kippot, he's made to hang around with Israeli girls (I wish he'd tell us how he feels about them) and now drugs?!
Of course, it could just be the gat. Laya and Dave took us to an old Temani, um, herbal medicinist, I guess you could say, who runs a stand in the shuk in Jerusalem at Machanei Yehudah. He took a liking to me and gave me about a twenty minute “treatment," which involved spraying mysterious stuff into my face and eyes, snorting an odd brown liquid, drinking all manner of nefarious concoctions and getting a mouthful of liquid gat (which is a leaf chewed by Yemenites that provides a mild stimulant high). Then he blessed me and made me drink a cup of etrog juice, then asked me to draw a picture. So I drew him, which amused him. He told me to draw a picture again with my eyes closed, which I did, whereupon he studied it and wrote me a long note saying that I needed a girlfriend.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Being forced to marry your rapist
An Indian woman, mother of five children, was forced by her village elders to marry her rapist who also happens to be her father-in-law. The police are now "investigating" and plan to arrest the father-in-law but will not comment on the council's outrageous decision because it's a "sensitive religious issue".
New Delhi - An Indian rape victim is being forced by village elders to "marry" her rapist - her father-in-law, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Community leaders in Charthawal village, backed by local Muslim clerics, believe that by being raped, 28-year-old Imrana's 10-year marriage has been nullified under Islamic law.

Holding a special council on Sunday, village leaders ordered the mother of five to leave her husband, Noor Mohammed, and live with her parental family for seven months and 10 days and make herself "pure" again, reports said. It did not say how she becomes pure.

After that, she must "marry" her father-in-law and live with him, along with his legal wife.

"She... will then be like a mother to Noor Mohammed," the local cleric Shamim Ahmad was quoted as saying.

Her four brothers have agreed to the edict. She has not, but in India, victims of crime often have nowhere to turn and with even her own family supporting the edict she may have little choice.

Police are now investigating and say they plan to arrest the father-in-law. They refuse to comment on the village elders' ruling, saying it is a sensitive religious issue.

The village is in Uttar Pradesh, one of India's poorest states and its most populous, with more than 165-million people.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Albertans work hard…
almost as hard as Americans! I found this article fascinating, in the Edmonton Journal. I always thought all Canadians worked a lot like Americans. Turns out they don't, and what they have to show for it is higher unemployment rates and lower incomes. Albertans work as hard as Americans do, and make almost as much money. Good for them.
Even in the late 1980s, at the very depths of the province's decade-long depression, while staggering under the ill effects of the National Energy Program and the halving of the world oil price, unemployment rarely rose above 10 per cent. In fact, it seldom stayed long above eight per cent.

In May of this year, it was a staggeringly low 3.5 per cent.

I had public policy professors at university in the 1970s who assured my classmates and me such a rate was theoretically impossible. It was below the effective "zero unemployment" rate.


Albertans have accomplished all of this despite the largest proportional influx of new workers of any province, and occasionally even the largest influx in raw numbers, too.

The largest factor in our success is our work ethic. We work the most hours per capita. We have the highest productivity levels.

And while the national labour-force participation rate -- the percentage of working-age adults who chose to work -- is currently 67.3 per cent, Alberta's is 72.7 per cent. It typically hovers around 73 per cent. No other province's level even comes close, historically or currently. Alberta, in fact, is the only province or territory with a rate above 70 per cent. Manitoba is next at 68.7 per cent, with Ontario in third at 68.5 per cent. What can I say, we like to work and it is reflected in our economic success.

Hard work pays.

In 1990, Alberta and Ontario had per capita provincial GDP of 117 per cent of the national average and 112 per cent, respectively. Now, ours is 140 per cent and theirs is just 105.


Indeed, we are now the only province with income levels approaching those in the U.S.

I wonder, though, if all this isn't also beginning to show up in national politics? Reluctance to change increases among voters as their fear levels rise.

Perhaps Ontarians are wedded to the Liberals because they are no longer far more prosperous than the rest of Canada.

While they are angered by the Liberals' numerous scandals and blatant waste in public spending, at least the Grits are the devils they know. They know the Grits will fleece them, yet they believe Paul Martin and his crew won't try anything bold that might make things worse for Ontario.

It's worth thinking about.
Yes, it is.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Promoting Hate
This cartoon is vile and I hate seeing it on bloggie's front page, it disgusts me. Yet millions of Arabs are exposed to this vicious propaganda, fodder for the rumours, libels and conspiracy theories that thrive and aid in producing the next crop of killers. How can peace be achieved when images like this are a regular occurrence?

Al Hayat Al Jadida, May 9, 2005
"Visual hate symbols and pictures have always played an important role in reinforcing the ideological messages the Palestinian Authority wants to send to its people," writes PMW’s Itamar Marcus and Barbara Cook. "Images de-humanizing Jews - and promoting their murder, denying Israel's existence and anticipating its demise, regularly appear in the PA controlled print and television media."
PA Media Continues to Use Symbols Illustrating Israel's Demise. And of course, what else would accompany Jew-hatred these days if not hatred for America? PA Press Rife with Rabid Anti-American Cartoons.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
A traitor comes home
The Guardian: US sergeant who fled to North Korea returns home for first visit in 40 years
Less than a year ago Charles Jenkins would not have dared to contemplate a trip to his homeland. To do so could have meant arrest, court martial and several years in prison for the former staff sergeant, who abandoned his army unit and fled to North Korea in 1965.

But today Mr Jenkins, 65, will leave Tokyo for the US as a free man to visit his ailing mother, whom he has not seen for more than 40 years.

He will be accompanied by his wife, Hitomi Soga, one of at least a dozen Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang agents during the 1970s and 80s, and their two daughters.

The trip represents a remarkable change of fortune for Mr Jenkins. Until last year he had been living in North Korea, unsure of whether he would ever be reunited with his wife, who had been allowed to return to Japan with four other abductees in 2002.

After a flurry of high-level negotiations between Tokyo and Washington, a physically weak Mr Jenkins brought his daughters to Japan last July, after being persuaded that he would not have to serve a lengthy jail term in the US.

After spending several weeks recuperating in hospital, he gave himself up late last year, donning a uniform and reporting for duty at Camp Zama, the US army's headquarters in Japan.

An army court martial gave him a token sentence of 30 days' confinement at Yokosuka naval base for deserting his post and aiding the enemy.

The couple and their daughters, Mika, 22, and Brinda, 19, have been living in Ms Soga's hometown on Sado, a quiet, windswept island on the Japan Sea coast.

The four left Sado yesterday and were due to spend the night in Tokyo before flying to Washington DC on a week-long trip. Mr Jenkins asked the media to respect their privacy. "We would like to travel and visit my family in peace as this time is a very personal matter."

As well as visiting his mother in a North Carolina nursing home, Mr Jenkins will introduce Ms Soga, 46, and his daughters to a family they have never met, including his sister and a nephew who flew to Japan last year to plead for clemency for his uncle.

Ms Soga was a 19-year-old trainee nurse when she and her mother were abducted on Sado on their way home from a shopping trip in 1978.

The couple met in North Korea when Mr Jenkins taught Ms Soga English and they married in 1980. Though he appeared in propaganda films for the Stalinist state, Mr Jenkins insists that he despised the regime.
He's a frail old man and all that, but honestly, he got off light. Though I suppose that having to live in North Korea all this time was a pretty good punishment for the douchebag.
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guest author: papijoe in Discarded Lies:
Euaggelion: Part III
One of the main aspects of missions that has piqued my interest so much is how linguistically and anthropologically sophisticated some missionaries have become. This however seems to be more field proven "trade expertise" than academic knowledge. The shining example of this is the work of Don Richardson.
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guest author: Dave Ray in Discarded Lies:
When is a boycott not a boycott?
After all the fuss about the AUT's failed boycott of Israeli academic institutions on certain blogs comes some startling news (well, not startling to me). The US has imposed sanctions on Israel because of its dealings with China.

"The United States has imposed sanctions on Israel after a dispute over Israel's sale of drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - to China, according to news reports. The US has suspended co-operation on several development projects and frozen delivery of night-vision equipment.

An official at the US embassy in Tel Aviv said he was aware of the reports but would not comment on them. He said the information about the sanctions had come from the Israeli government and not the US.

The sanctions have been in place for at least three months and were approved by Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, seven months ago, according to the reports.

Although the US is primarily angered by the behaviour of civil servants whose tenure stretches back to the Labour government of Ehud Barak in 2000, the crisis threatens Israel's relations with the US.

A report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz concluded: "Following the crisis, one can sense the repulsion toward Israel among lower- and middle-ranking officials in Washington.

"More and more of them are saying that it is not worth doing business with Israel."


Not one mention of this has been made on the sites that banged the drum about the AUT's aborted attempt. Now some people could (and will) say the AUT boycott was aimed at Israel because of 'alleged' anti-semitism, this however holds no water. The AUT tabled the motion as a criticism of Israel's political and military actions in the disputed territories. They lost and sanity prevailed.

Why punish Israeli universities, students and workers for the actions of the government? The same can be said for this latest US sanction. Will it stop Israeli co-operation with China? Probably not. Will it hurt Israels economy, research and development and academia? Certainly. So to answer the original question aimed at certain blogs, when is a boycott not a boycott? When the American government is doing it.

PS Further on in the piece is this little nugget.

"According to Ha'aretz, the US has indicated that normal relations will not be resumed until Israel agrees to a series of humiliating conditions.

Israel must provide information on 60 recent arms deals with China and agree to American supervision of arms dealings which might be seen as "sensitive" by the US, the report said."

Is the US deliberately setting out to humiliate and bully Israel?
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