Tag: media

Blind Patriotism Is Unacceptable

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”  –Theodore Roosevelt

Today is President’s Day, a holiday in which

Donald Trump tweeting that the "fake news" media is the enemy of the American People.
Though we don’t always talk about politics, there are times when things like this make it necessary to do so.

we celebrate and appreciate US Presidents from history’s past. Originally George Washington’s Birthday, it was turned into a general holiday to celebrate all Presidents. One of the things that we appreciate the most as American citizens is criticism in addition to praise.

After all, no one official is supposed to have all the power and for good reason.

President Trump has referred to media that he disagrees with as the enemy of the American People. This goes beyond the simple accusations of bias, which all venues have regardless of how they try to downplay it or eliminate.

In reality, objectivity doesn’t actually exist; the only way for it to do so is if somebody were to live in a vacuum.

With that said, today is as good as any to call the President out for his foolhardiness. Not all aspects of media is inherently evil. Yes, major venues have made huge mistakes, and these companies and entities have themselves to blame for losing a tremendous amount of trust.

Whether it was not truly giving the full story regarding the Gulf War until well after the fact, pushing No Child Left Behind while taking money from the Department of Education, or falsely claiming that Kevin Mitnick was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, there is plenty of blame to go around.

That is why competition actually exists in the realm of free thought and free expression.

The problem with Trump referring to certain media venues as an enemy of the American People is that it bolsters this “us vs them” mentality to the point where we become even more divided than ever.

When a major player of Fox News is balking at such a statement, it’s time to pay attention.

If it weren’t for any media that operates freely in this country, we wouldn’t know certain unpleasant truths. One of those truths is the fact that Trump is using an outdated Android Phone to tweet, thus leaving him vulnerable to those who want to obtain state secrets.

The additional problem is also two fold. For starters, it can potentially create an adversarial divide between the people and media in general. The other issue is that it could potentially cause independent venues to be blamed for this, whether they had a hand in it or not.

In other words, what Trump is doing is attacking the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. This is not a good sign, no matter who is inside the Oval Office.

Mr President, that was not an acceptable statement.

Infowars Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

Update: Over a week later, they implemented SSL. They have a security certificate from Comodo.

In light of the election results and the accusations of venues acting as fake news outlets and/or propaganda arms to the Russian government, there has been concerns regarding free speech. There is legislation that is indeed concerning as it could potentially violate the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.

With that said, the fourth and fifth amendments should also be valued as well. I am no fan of tearing down other venues, but there are times when criticism is warranted. When I saw Infowars ask for signatures for a petition, I became irritated.

Infowars Petition Signup
Note the checkbox that also signs a person up for a newsletter.

It is a similar tactic used by Newsmax and other venues. I have no problem with petitioning or asking for people to signup for a newsletter. Where I take issue is when I see that the website doesn’t use SSL Encryption.

Infowars Lacks OpSec
In other words, anything sent can be intercepted by a third party.

I had a similar issue with John McAfee himself when he announced he was running for President. He was requesting volunteers on his campaign site, but there was no SSL Encryption.

To be fair, after being called on it, a certificate was implemented, thus ensuring the privacy of those who signed up to volunteer.

Without encryption, any information submitted in an online form can be intercepted by a third party interloper. Other sites like The Intercept use SSL due to the revelations from Edward Snowden. Having a plan for OpSec, or Operational Security, is important and should not be overlooked.

This means protecting the information of visitors in any way possible on the entire site, not just a customer’s online shopping cart. This site is no exception.

The *Nixed Report uses SSL.
We value the privacy of our visitors, which is why we have an SSL certificate installed and active.

This means any comments you submit will be encrypted and not intercepted by a third party. We value your privacy, which is why we don’t complain when ad blocking is used.

The idea is to earn money with the site, but without visitors, that won’t happen.

So the next time you see a call to action, double check and make sure the connection to the site is secure. In the meantime, you may want to e-mail Kurt Nimmo or Paul Joseph Watson and ask them why Infowars does not implement site wide SSL Encryption.

Operational Security Update

SSL has now been enabled.
Privacy conscious users can now celebrate.

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

In the past few months, it’s become obvious how important the mission of the site has become. The unfortunate, inevitable truth is that major news and media networks are trying to figure out how they could have gotten the election year so wrong while not actually coming upon the correct answer.

In reality, they blame so called “fake news” outlets for their own failings.

In light of this, and revelations over the years, it’s still important to have operational security in mind no matter what any given website is about. For that reason, we have enabled SSL encryption.

In the coming days, the about page will be updated so that anybody who wants to e-mail any of us will not only have an available e-mail address but an encryption key as well. I will also remove my personal site and set up a new one to free up resources for this site.

My Libertarian Conscience will simply be set up in a new home, and the podcast will be converted to a YouTube show instead.

In light of media incompetence, civil liberties concerns, and the revelations from Edward Snowden, I knew that it was time to make things a bit more secure. What he did was not without controversy, and there were unintended consequences.

With that said, the cat is already out of the bag and everybody should be thinking about their privacy.

Even if one has nothing to fear from their own government, there are still identity thieves and others with less than honorable intentions. Protecting your identity and privacy is generally a good idea.

It’s like wearing a helmet when getting on a bike or safety goggles when you’re doing a job that requires eye protection.

That’s also why I don’t begrudge those who use ad blocking. I don’t blame any readers who have no desire to be tracked and traced.

I’ve only begun to keep things updated here. Stay tuned for more articles and more podcasts.

Wednesday Weekly Links: January 8, 2014

Wednesday Weekly LinksThe new year has started off right with more dedication to this site, including having some links ready for everybody to check out each week.

Have a link you want to see here?  Feel free to drop us a line in the comments, on any of our social networking places (linked to the left), via phone (660-474-0345), or by e-mail (thomash2@thenixedreport.com).

Unix

  • Fedora Project: Sponsored by Red Hat, version 20 of this Operating System is the first stop on this year’s Distro Journey.
  • Is Microsoft Grasping at Straws? (FOSS Force): Ken “helios” Starks asks the question of whether Microsoft is on their last legs regarding competition against Free and Open Source Software.  From mentioning the aQuantive buyout to Rockstar, Starks paints a picture of a company that has grown desperate.
  • Razer’s Project Christine (MaximumPC): Those who are seasoned veterans when it comes to upgrading PC’s may have had their fair share of nicks and cuts on their hands and fingers.  Razer is apparently wanting to change all of that by creating a modular gaming system that lends itself to easier upgrades.

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

  • The British Punk Band that Fooled Reagan, Thatcher, and the CIA (The Daily Beast): Crass, a British Punk Band conducted a prank in which a fake phone call between then President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher caused quite a stir.  American intelligence blamed the soviets, while the British blamed Argentine spies.  The lead singer is disturbed to this day that governments were so easily fooled.
  • On News Sources and Bias (Bonnie Kristian):  The argument is made that there is no way to get rid of bias in news or the media in general.  The blog post links to sources that they pursue on a regular basis.
  • Decapitated Sex Toys Prompted Police Probe (The Smoking Gun): A Florida woman’s ex-girlfriend had apparently cut off the heads of a few dildos, prompting her to contact the police.  Due to lack of evidence, the case was eventually closed.  Of course it wouldn’t be Wednesday Weekly Links without something really weird like this.

The Return

Welcome back to The *Nixed Report.  After encountering spam issues with e107, the decision was made to go back to WordPress.  The site will always be changing, but the core of it is done.

Podcast Generator is being used for the podcast feed from here on out.  All the episodes are archived and available in that feed, so anyone will be able to catch up on previously missed episodes.

The Distro Journey series will be getting better due to the acquisition of more hardware, thus allowing for more well rounded reviews of different operating systems.

Finally, the previous co-hosts of the podcast and I have parted ways due to creative differences.  Steven Tompkins is the new co-host of the podcast and Stephen Kelley has returned.  Tompkins has a background in technology and gadgets, which will immensely help the show.

I want to end by saying thank you for visiting the site.  There will be more content in the coming days.  For now, you may feel free to check out our podcast as well as our social networking links in the left margin.

Remember to entertain yourself, educate yourself, and empower yourself.

Thomas Holbrook II

Founder and Editor in Chief