Sunday, April 18, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
Wondering if there are people who run for school board as a stepping stone?
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Pitt Information Technology has received reports of a data breach that occurred at ParkMobile in March 2021. ParkMobile makes the popular mobile parking app of the same name and provides metering and parking app services to the City of Pittsburgh. Some University of Pittsburgh garages may accept payments through ParkMobile, if you pay through the application.
What Data Was Affected?
ParkMobile indicates that basic user information was taken, including license plate numbers and, if provided by the user, email addresses, phone numbers, and vehicle nicknames. Encrypted passwords were taken but not the encryption keys necessary to read the passwords, meaning that significant resources would be needed to break the password encryption.
ParkMobile indicates that no credit cards or parking transaction history were accessed, and they do not collect Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, or dates of birth.
What Do I Need to Do?
If you have an account with ParkMobile, out of an abundance of caution, Pitt IT recommends you change that password as soon as possible.
While the data exposed in the alleged breach did not come from University systems, sometimes individuals reuse the same passwords on multiple websites. If you use the same or a similar password at Pitt or other websites, you should also change those passwords. Also, because of the nature of other data taken, be vigilant for an increase in phishing scams or other scams related to this data.
In addition, utilize the following good password practices to minimize your susceptibility to data breaches:
- Use a password manager to simplify the management of your various passwords. Pitt Password Manager (LastPass) is available at no cost to all students, faculty, and staff. You can use it to create strong, unique passwords for all your online services.
- Do not reuse passwords across different websites. Scammers try variations of known passwords, so it is important to make sure your passwords are not similar to each other.
- Use strong, complex passwords that include symbols, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Use multifactor authentication on websites that allow it.
Saturday, April 03, 2021
A sad post from a friend.
From: jehemington <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 2:15 PM
Subject: End of the Road
To: John Hemington <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well folks, here's the deal, I will no longer be sending out these political e-mails calling out establishment policies. This morning I got hit upside the head with the news that my family believes that I am a loopy, loony-tune heading down a wormhole because my "extremist" politics are so far outside the mainstream. Now, I do not agree with this assessment at all, but I am also convinced that if this is the way my own family feels then there is no hope and no real point in continuing to put in the effort to try and alert others to what is really happening out there in the world. This tells me that the plutocrats and the corporate warmongers have won. That humanity's time on this wonderful planet is not to persist much longer – certainly not for many more generations. The way things are now trending with the current administration's foreign policy we could well see a catastrophic nuclear war in our own lifetime. Should we somehow avoid that disaster, we will almost certainly not escape the catastrophe of climate change much sooner than scientists now predict.
Sadly, mainstream politics, whether the Democratic Party variety or the more bizarre Republican variety have no answers to any of the most serious problems facing humanity. Nor are they even willing to willing to pretend to actually address them. Furthermore, there is no hope in this country for a viable third-party to develop and prosper. So, we are left with the endless nonsense of political Kabuki Theater of impossible corporate subsidy solutions that never address real issues while more and more people starve in the streets. At the same time, this most powerful nation on earth creates almost daily holocausts in nations all around the globe in the name of protecting "human rights". We are, whether we like to acknowledge it or not, an evil people. We allow our government, in the name of patriotism and corporate profit, to destroy the lives of millions of others, both here and abroad, without any serious concern or dissent.
These have been issues I have struggled with ever since I left the Army in 1970. And contrary to my family's belief that my obsession is of recent origin. It is not. However, I just don't have the energy to keep this up in the face of so much apathy at home and among those "progressive" legislators I have supported financially and otherwise. Legislators who have refused to use the power of their votes to push the establishment Democrats to really adopt progressive portions that they claimed to support in Biden's campaign in much the same way as the conservative Democrats have used their votes to quash progressive ideas for years. It is all very demoralizing and I am not willing to continue the battle from here on out. This is not what I had hoped to be saying today, but my mental health and family health must take precedence over my political desires.
Friday, April 02, 2021
The next Art All Night will be held April 24th - April 25th, 2021 in a location that couldn't be more convenient - your house!
The show will be open from 4 p.m. Saturday all night long until 2 p.m. Sunday by accessing https://www.artallnight.org. View art, hear music, watch demonstrations, create art, play games and make memories "All Night" long!
We invite you to submit one (and only one) piece of artwork during this one-of-a-kind event. Artist registration instructions are available at https://www.artallnight.org where you can use the online registration system through April 19th for videos and April 21st for photographs.
If you are submitting a 3D piece (sculpture, ceramics, papier-mâché, etc.), please consider submitting next week instead. We are currently working on a feature to make our virtual showcase more multi-dimension friendly. Stay tuned!
Volunteers are also needed to help spread the word. Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family, liking one of our social media pages and hitting "going" on our Facebook event. However you are accustomed to spreading news please use those channels to get your friends and family to enter art and attend the event. Your help is the only way the show goes on and the only way it continues. Please help us put on one of Pittsburgh's great events in a whole new way.
Art has the power to heal and now is a great time to share your art with Pittsburghers and brighten someone's day.
Art All Night... 412-235-1950
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Monday, February 08, 2021
Wednesday, February 03, 2021
Monday, February 01, 2021
From: Art All Night <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 8:54 AM
Subject: [Art-All-Night] Art All Night 2021 Planning Committee
Because of the pandemic, 2021 will be our 2nd virtual show, this time at the end of April. Art All Night needs one thing in order to be successful: a planning team of dedicated people to take on the responsibilities required for show preparation.
Planning members meet most Wednesdays on Zoom from now until the end of April to discuss everything that goes into planning our virtual show. We are especially excited for new virtual ideas to incorporate in 2021 and new ways to do some of the old favorite things.
If you are interested in helping please reply to this email and we will send you the Zoom link for the meeting this Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:15 pm.
Any questions or comments? We would like to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.artallnight.org.
If the planning team is not for you, know that you may still be needed in the future when we can have the show in person once again.
The Art All Night Planning Committee.
Art-All-Night mailing list
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Happy Summer To All
Past Project and News of Visit to Florida
Thanks for all the materials and contributions to our photo album for Aunt Audrey of Florida. The photo book turned out great with many photos covering the entire family. Aunt Audrey loved it.
We spent an afternoon with Audrey, Barbara and her children (David and Melody), Diane & Phil and their children (Joe and Jennifer), and Linda & Chuck (with Andrew and Chester). It was a wonderful visit, but too short a time.
It is exciting to learn that our extended family has grown in numbers with two new members. Stephen Taylor in July of 92 and Jennifer Marie Kirby in August 92.
Reasons to Celebrate
We’ve got good reasons for a celebration, now lets have one. A party is planned for Saturday, October 3, 1992 at noon (to whenever) at Duff Park in Penn Hills.
Directions to the Park and Party
Take the Penn Hills exit off of the Parkway East. Take the exit which blends into Rodi Road. Follow Rodi Road and turn LEFT off of Rodi Road onto Duff Road. The corner of Rodi and Duff has Alway Tires, Ryan Auto Glass and Newport Square.
Follow Duff Road up a long hill, and at the crest of the hill at a baseball field, make a sharp left turn. The road is before the school and beside the tennis courts. This road leads directly to the Park Pavilion and our party.
If Uncle Joe’s family wold bring deserts and Aunt Margaretmary's family would bring salads, Uncle Leo’s family will do the rest.
Please RSVP before September 25 and if you are unable to attend, please send news and pictures.
Love, Aunt Audrey
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Subject: My thoughts on MLK day and beyond
Martin Luther King was Angry and So Am I
As I sit here in the prelude to Martin Luther King Day I am angry, frustrated and depressed. This morning I tuned into our church service only to be advised that while we, as a predominately white church, were singing some black spirituals this was not to be seen as an appropriation of 'blackness' and that we shouldn't be ashamed to do so. But why should we ever have to be reminded of such a thing. Singing another culture's songs should always be seen as a celebration of that culture's traditions and a spreading of understanding. It made me upset insofar as it was just one more example of the current trend being imposed on us to apologize for the accident of being born 'white'. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am. I am, however, ashamed and deeply saddened by what many whites have done both historically and currently to people of color both in this nation and around the world.
Yes, "Black Lives Matter", but so do Palestinian and Afghani and Syrian and Iraqi and Yemeni and Iranian and Indonesian and Congolese and Sudanese and Libyans and Venezuelans and Hondurans and Cubans and all of the other people of the world which we Americans have been directly and indirectly complicitly involved in murdering – and not just historically, but at this very moment in the support of corporate greed and the expansion of empire. And, yes, this is an equal opportunity killing by Americans of all races and creeds, regularly celebrated in our corporate media as some perverted form of the defense of freedom. But freedom for whom?
What we call freedom in this nation is not freedom in any real sense of the word. It is an illusory meme draped over the our corporate killing ground to give us comfort while living in violent kleptocracy run by oligarchs and plutocrats whose only concern is grabbing everything possible regardless of the cost in human and environmental destruction. They succeed by controlling what we are allowed to know and how we are allowed to know it. They own the media which controls the propaganda which we are daily fed and they knowingly feed it to us in a manner to insure that we mere 'consumers' will always have reasons to hate one another – but never 'our betters'. Thus, our media minders insure that class issues are never allowed to rise to the surface of the discussion. We are always forced instead into issues of culture, race, gender or religious differences that are intended to separate rather than unite us.
One of the ways of doing this was devised by the CIA propaganda apparatus. That was to promote the idea that anyone suggesting that a conspiracy might exist from within the government was a "conspiracy theorist" and then equating such a person with being nothing more than a fringe loony. The problem is that there have been many actual historical conspiracies engaged in by high governmental officials of the United States – many by operatives of the CIA – which have been well documented – and they continue to this day. The reasoning, of course, is that by creating the 'brand' conspiracy theory as a loony tune concept would eliminate any possibility of actual high-level conspiracies from being exposed. And, for the most part, this has worked exactly as planned.
This is not to suggest that every conspiracy proposed is real or that some persons proposing them are not crazy as loons. This is what gives the whole scheme credibility. We know, for instance, that Bush's Iraq War started as the result of an actual conspiracy on the part of the Bush administration, planned well before 9/11, to 'cook the books' so to speak by creating fictitious evidence and by funneling false information to Judith Miller of the New York Times to gin up popular support for a devious and terrible undertaking. But even before that, 9/11 was also used as an excuse for attacking Afghanistan in another attack planned long before 9/11 in an effort to drive out the Taliban because they had refused to agree to a proposed pipeline through their nation which would have benefitted Halliburton then chaired by Richard Cheney. This too was a conspiracy, though never touted as such by the media. Thus, 9/11 was an extraordinarily useful tool for the start and continuation to two never-ending illegal wars of choice which have resulted in the deaths and injuries to literally millions of people in multiple nations since 2001.
The CIA has been involved in literally hundreds of conspiracies of various natures since its founding at the end of World War II including the smuggling of heroin and cocaine from Southeast Asia and South and Central America into the U.S. But these are never discussed in polite company nor, heaven forbid, on mainstream media. There is the current conspiracy, operating in the open, to overthrow the legitimately elected government of Venezuela and the one just defeated where Honduras took back its legitimate government following an overthrow by the CIA assisted by Hillary Clinton's State Department. There was the conspiracy following World War II to save many high-level Nazi officers and scientists by moving them to South American, the U.S. and parts of Europe where they would be secure and available for our use. But we don't like to discuss this too much.
I could go on and on, the list is almost endless. There is the fabricated case against Julius Assange and Wikileaks for which Assange is still being tortured in Britain for the crime of publishing material he was handed – something the New York Times regularly gets away with as they and he should. But because Assange released information which was embarrassing to the United States he must be severely punished if not murdered. And on, and on, and on . . .
And now, as a result of the assault on the Capitol, Joe Biden is proposing a new Domestic Terrorism law to supplement the already terrible Patriot Act which gave widely broad surveillance powers to the national security state. This is an awful idea which was, as with the Patriot Act, already in the official pipeline prior to the Capitol assault. The official excuse is the need to go after right wing vigilante militarism. But what the powers that be really fear is not the right, they are entirely comfortable with fascism in its various forms. What they fear is the progressive left because it is the progressive left that is willing to call out the Democratic Party establishment for the neoliberal corporate posers that they are.
The Democratic Party establishment as well as the 'liberal' mainstream media have firmly and thoroughly aligned themselves with the national security state. At this juncture there is essentially no separation between the two. It now appears that at least half of the commentators on CNN and MSNBC are former or current members of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, Defense Department or other military or security agencies. The primary bastion of liberal news, the New York Times has long been a semi-official conduit of propaganda from the CIA as is NPR. Sadly the right wing media and the Republican Party are no better. They just spew a different brand of similar prowar pro-surveillance propaganda aimed to keep their particular audience angry and inflamed against the left.
So where does this all leave us? It does, I believe, leave us in a form of Orwellian hellscape where nothing is true and everything subject to distorted propaganda. If one dares question the prevailing dogma he or she is charged with being a "conspiracy theorist" and thus a "nut case" unworthy of consideration. And now that private monopolies such a Google, Facebook and Amazon are being permitted to disappear any and everyone they chose from the Internet dissenting voices of whatever stripe are at great risk. The probability of a new Domestic Terrorism Law threatens to clamp down and dampen dissident views even more. These certainly make it appear that the United States is on the cusp of becoming a purely fascist society in the most horrendous Orwellian way imaginable – not by soldiers stationed on the street corners, but by very effective thought control managed by corporate overlords and their political heiring's with a hard-right Christian fundamentalist military standing guard in the background.
I don't know about you but the prospect of this makes me very, very sad and very glad to be old. Perhaps you noticed that I made no mention of the imminent global climate catastrophe in this piece. That was no accident. I did so because in this scenario there is simply no possibility that the powers that be will take any meaningful action – even if such action is possible – to ameliorate the coming destruction of life on planet Earth, at least life so far as we know it.
So as I write this, now in my late seventies, I realize that I have now lived through the highlight period post-capitalist wonder in the world. Coming out of the Great Depression in the 1930s and 1940s and following the horror of World War II there was an optimism that humankind had embarked on a new and more enlightened course in the world – that prosperity for all could be at hand. And yet here we are now, a scant 70 or so years later looking at an Orwellian present and desolate future if there will be a future for humanity at all. How could it be that we have allowed our so-called civilization to collapse in on itself so catastrophically so quickly? How can it be that we imposed on ourselves a system of greed and self-interest to the detriment of all life to take control of our very existence? In the end it is nothing less than a form of self-immolation. It is the Icarus myth writ to a civilizational level. Who now will be left to write the obituary for humanity?
"You're not to be so blind with patriotism
that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong,
no matter who does it or says it."
- Malcolm X
Mark Rauterkus Mark@Rauterkus.com