Summer hit 15 years ago

Dear Reader,

Despite my best efforts to motivate Glynsky, he has yet to come up with his Summer hit of 2014. Instead the guy worries about taxes. A mutual friend says: “Paying taxes is a privilege”.

I am with Glynsky, it is often questionable, what the tax money is spent on. And that would bring us to politics, which – according to a man much smarter than me – mostly is about the distribution of money.

But this post isn’t about politics. I hear Smiles being very relieved.

It is summer. At least where I am, sorry Australia, South Africa, South America. And after we had a few posts about music from the distant past, here is a nice song linking way back then and the 90s. Fifteen years ago, in the Summer of 1999, one song had people dancing all over the world. Why is it a link? Because Lou Bega took a tune from 1948, added lyrics, shot a very good video, and had a world hit 51 years after the initial release.

Ladies and  Gentlemen, Mambo No. 5

I hope this will motivate Glynsky to wake up from his slumber and get going.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

one in a billion…

Dear diablog,



recently became extremely philosophical and sent the following thought provoking set of comments:


The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about how they are spending our tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion Pounds ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate the government spends it….

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax
Council Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing License Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax
(a tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
Marriage License Tax
Property Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.

What happened?


Nice one – any more??

Yours, diablog, with shallow pockets


PS. Still eating too much pasta – but luvin’ it, and there’s not a Mac in sight!

NSA/GHCQ need dissolving

Dear Reader,

At diablog we have a sizable fraction from the “nothing to hide”, “our spies are protecting us”, “we are the good guys” department. It is unfortunate, but I am somewhat confident we will eventually get them to open their eyes to reality.

Thanks to what is by now called the Snowden Files we will make another small step towards that goal today. As Glenn Greenwald reveals at The Intercept, the GCHQ through JTRIG has developed software that goes beyond spying and surveillance. Quote:

Here’s a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

All or almost all of those activities are illegal. People go to jail for DDoS. And none of those make us any safer. Just the opposite.

For example, if the GCHQ thinks it is OK to manipulate online polls, how do you think they feel about offline polls?

But the biggest eye opener are the last two points.

Continue reading “NSA/GHCQ need dissolving”

Nobody expected … this tour

Dear Reader,

Since our beloved commentator Phillipa


mentioned it here, Monty Python is doing their last shows.

Yeah, right. “Last” means probably, until they run out of money again. Somewhere I read, John Cleese enjoys expensive divorces. It seems to be a generational thing as well. Just check, how many farewell tours the Stones did already. Sorry, I lost track ages ago.

Anyway, you can follow the show from:

Monty Python live (mostly)

And allows you to search for show times in your local cinema, in the US at least.

According to Phillipa it is worth watching.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

Must see movie

Dear Reader,

Correct me, if I am wrong, but so far 2014 did not provide a lot of good movies. Much less a “must see” movie.

Thus, let’s go back to 2013, or 2012 depending upon where you live, and revisit a movie you have to see. I am talking about:

The Gatekeepers

In this documentary all living leaders of the Israeli secret service, Shin Beth, talk about what they did and why. You will learn a lot about why secret services need terrorists, to justify their existence. How they use the same methods as terrorists. How they justify their actions the same way terrorists do. And how their existence and actions lead to ever more spying, surveillance, killing, and terrorism. It is a self-feeding hydra.

After this movie you will see, that we need to put an end to this. Not just in Israel, but in our own countries.

In the unlikely case, that you have trouble locating the movie yourself, this website might be helpful:

Stay tuned,

Engine Room