Saturday, December 25, 2010

...And Scrooged: All Day Long on AMC

Another great movie -- all day on AMC.

Merry Christmas,

- ferg

A Christmas Story: All Day Long on TBS

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

A Christmas Story. All day long today, on TBS.

An enduring classic.


- ferg

Merry Christmas To All Of Our Men And Women In Uniform

We Salute All of Our American Fighting Men and Women in the U.S. Military, especially those who are separated from friends, family, and loved ones & away from home this holiday season.

You are not forgotten.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quote of The Day (Again): Will Chen

"I love It's a Wonderful Life because it teaches us that family, friendship, and virtue are the true definitions of wealth."

- Will Chen, writing on his blog Wise Bread (props, Boing Boing). He continues that " 1947, however, the FBI considered this anti-consumerist message as subversive Communist propaganda."
This has become a Christmas tradition with me now -- Merry Christmas.

- ferg

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Thing I love About The Holidays: Fruitcake

That's right, you read that correctly.

I love the stuff.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas.

- ferg

38 Years Ago Today: The Immaculate Reception

One of the most amazing things I've ever seen.


- ferg

An Annual Labor of Love: Children's Xmas Letters to Christopher Walken

Something I blogged about for the last few years -- the gift that keeps on giving.

Enjoy! And Seasons Greetings.

- ferg

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another Christmas Favorite: Bad Santa

Nothing lifts your spirits on Christmas like a down-on-your-luck, thieving, hard-drinking, Billy Bob Thornton as Santa.

Great movie.

- ferg

Mark Fiore: The Night Before Dogboy

More Mark Fiore brilliance.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Via The San Francisco Chronicle.

- ferg

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CIA Launches Wikileaks Task Force (WTF)

Greg Miller writes in The Washington Post:

The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.

Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: W.T.F.

The irreverence is perhaps understandable for an agency that has been relatively unscathed by WikiLeaks. Only a handful of CIA files have surfaced on the WikiLeaks Web site, and records from other agencies posted online reveal remarkably little about CIA employees or operations.

Even so, CIA officials said the agency is conducting an extensive inventory of the classified information, which is routinely distributed on a dozen or more networks that connect agency employees around the world.

And the task force is focused on the immediate impact of the most recently released files. One issue is whether the agency's ability to recruit informants could be damaged by declining confidence in the U.S. government's ability to keep secrets.

More here.

In Passing: Steve Landesberg

Steve Landesberg
November 23, 1936 – December 20, 2010

DHS Not Very Reassuring On Its Plans to Gather Banking Data

Jacob Goodwin writes on

DHS has issued final rules which enable it to exempt certain information contained in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from some provisions of the Privacy Act because the information it might obtain from such SARs could be very beneficial to the government in its pursuit of criminal, civil and administrative enforcement matters.

However, the U.S. financial industry, which attempts to support such initiatives by DHS to gather terrorism-related information, raised specific concerns during the comment period about the possible release of sensitive proprietary information under the Freedom of Information Act. DHS was not very reassuring to the financial services industry in the final rule it published in the Federal Register on Dec. 21.

For example, BITS, a membership organization of financial services vendors who own or operate critical infrastructure information systems, asked DHS whether it planned to gather SARs related exclusively to information about “physical security threats,” or whether it also plans to gather SARs generated under the Bank Secrecy Act about suspect financial transactions and money-laundering activities. After explaining that DHS participates in a nationwide effort to collect and assess SARs -- in an initiative which is overseen by the Department of Justice -- DHS noted on Dec. 21 that the SARs it intends to collect “are not limited to physical security threats.”

 More here.

Havea Cool Yule - Winter Solstice is Today

The precise moment of the 2008 solstice will be December 21, 2008 at 11:38UTC.

Today is the beginning of Yule, the winter solstice celebration of the Germanic pagans still celebrated by some new (old?) age movements around the world. It is also one of the eight solar holidays, or sabbats, of Paganism.

In modern Paganism, Yule is celebrated on the winter solstice, which is this afternoon, December 21, at precisely 3:38 pm Pacific Daylight Time (-08:00 UTC).

All pagans celebrate!

- ferg