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Name: Kathy Hinsman
Gender: Female
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Pittsburgh
Member since: Sat Feb 18, 2017, 01:16 PM
Number of posts: 13,362

Journal Archives

Effort to address Allegheny County voting machine vulnerabilities faces hurdles

By Chris Potter
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/20/17

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2017/10/20/allegheny-county-voting-machines-replace-common-pleas-petition-lawsuit/stories/201710200193

A grassroots effort to examine — and likely replace — Allegheny County’s voting machines has itself been struggling for lack of a vote. Its latest challenge came Friday morning in the courtroom of Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph James.

At issue is a 16-page proposal to establish a “voting process review commission,” which would study the county’s electronic voting machines and recommend replacements. Under the measure, supported by the League of Women Voters and VoteAllegheny, voters would have to approve a referendum to pay for any new equipment.

Activists fear that electronic touch-screen machines like those used in Allegheny County are susceptible to hacking — and that because those machines do not produce a hard copy of votes cast, there may be no way to get a reliable tally of votes.

- snip -

Attorney Ron Hicks offered a different reading on state law and observed that, as with any legislation, council could either amend the proposal or simply vote it down. “At this point,” he said, “all we’re asking is that this be considered by council.”

It’s not clear when Judge James will rule. The judge, who joked about the length of legal briefs already filed in the case, urged both sides, “Please, no more.”

But activist David Tessitor, who helped lead the fight for the petition, said long delays could be dangerous.

October 21, 2017 - Today in history

Schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day (according to the Gregorian date) by reciting, for the first time, the original version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy for The Youth’s Companion.

After a 10-year rebuilding job directed by Edward Specter, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, backed by a successful public campaign for $300,000, presented its first concert as a major orchestra with Otto Klemperer as guest conductor.

Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters began two days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh’s proposed private enterprise liquor store system failed in its first test vote.

Today’s birthdays:
Actress Joyce Randolph, 93. Rock singer Manfred Mann, 77. Singer Elvin Bishop, 75. Actor Everett McGill, 72. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 68. Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson, 68. Actor Ken Watanabe, 58. Actress Melora Walters, 57. Actor Will Estes, 39. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, 37.

Thought for today:
“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet and philosopher (1803-1882)

October 20, 2017 - Today in history

The U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

A jury in Meridian, Miss., convicted seven men of violating
the civil rights of slain civil rights workers James Chaney,
Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. The seven received
prison terms ranging from three to 10 years.

Carnegie Mellon University concluded an agreement
with IBM to become an experimental computer center with
more than 20,000 PCs.

Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya’s dictator for 42 years,
was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown
of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance
two months after his regime fell.

Today’s birthdays:
Japan’s Empress Michiko, 83. Actor William “Rusty” Russ, 67. Actress Melanie Mayron, 65. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez, 64. Actor Viggo Mortensen, 59. Actor Kenneth Choi, 46. Rapper Snoop Dogg, 46. Singer Dannii Minogue, 46. Actor John Krasinski, 38. Actress Katie Featherston, 35. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman, 32.

Thought for today:
“Everybody’s private motto: It’s better to be popular than right.”
— Mark Twain (1835-1910)

October 19, 2017 - Today in History

British troops under Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered at
Yorktown, Va., as the American Revolution neared its end.

Speaking as a presidential candidate before 30,000 at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh PA,
Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed opposition to payment of the soldiers’
bonus “until the government has balanced the budget and has a
surplus of cash in the treasury.” It was his first declaration on the
bonus issue since his nomination.

The stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial
Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value (its biggest
daily percentage loss), to close at 1,738.74 in what came to be
known as “Black Monday.”

Today’s birthdays:
Author John le Carre, 86. Actor Michael Gambon, 77. Actor John Lithgow, 72. Singer Jennifer Holliday, 57. Boxer Evander Holyfield, 55. Actor Jon Favreau, 51. Former first daughter Amy Carter, 50. “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker, 48.

Thought for today:
“It takes a clever man to turn cynic and a wise man to be clever enough not to.”
— Fannie Hurst, American author (born on this date in 1885, died 1968)

Ever wonder why you can't walk your kitty on a leash?

Here's what happens:

New Keith Olbermann book to be released next week

Trump is F*cking Crazy: (This is Not a Joke)
By Keith Olbermann

Witty, acerbic, hard-hitting, and timely, Keith Olbermann's Donald Trump commentaries come adapted from his hit GQ series The Resistance.

Since Donald Trump's presidential nomination, Keith Olbermann has emerged as one of the web's most popular anti-Trump screedists—each installment of his GQ web series The Resistance receives nearly four million views, and his fiercely progressive monologues have garnered a new generation of fans and followers. In TRUMP IS F*CKING CRAZY, Olbermann takes our Commander in Chief and his politics apart with journalistic acuity and his classic in-your-face humor. With more than 50 individual essays adapted from his GQ commentaries, including new up-to-the-minute material, TRUMP IS F*CKING CRAZY is essential reading for concerned citizens who—like Olbermann—refuse to normalize or accept our new political reality.

To be released on 10/17/17 however Amazon is already taking pre-orders now.

Every member of Congress who took $ from the NRA and tweeted "thoughts & prayers" to Las Vegas

Link: http://splinternews.com/every-member-of-congress-who-took-money-from-the-nra-an-1819059582

From SplinterNews
Author Rafi Schwartz 10/2/17

Americans woke up on Monday morning to learn of yet another horrific act of gun violence in the United States—this time a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured. But it seems unlikely that the politicians in a position to actually change our gun laws will actually do something about it, because they never do.

So, in lieu of any substantive gun control, what do America’s senators and congresspeople have to offer? That tried and true chestnut of noncommittal national mourning: “Thoughts and prayers.” And just as in the past, those thoughts and prayers seem to have been paid for in part by the National Rifle Association, whose campaign donations and scare-mongering have effectively blocked any life-saving legislation which might prevent a person from getting their hands on a fully automatic machine gun they can then use to pump bullets into dozens of innocent people.

So who is sending their NRA-sponsored well wishes to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre today? Let’s take a look, with a little help from the campaign contribution database at opensecrets.org.

(See the full list on the original artical)

I count at least 81 names on the list, and it's still growing. As far as I can see they all look to be Republicans but there may be one or 2 Dems on the list. It's time to outlaw the NRA and get their evil PAC money out of politics.

A message from Art Rooney II, CEO of the Pittsburgh Steelers

(Emailed to Steelers fans on 9-26-17)

To Steelers Nation:

I want to reach out to you, the members of Steelers Nation, based on what I believe is a misperception about our players' intentions in not taking the field for the National Anthem in Chicago. The intentions of Steelers players were to stay out of the business of making political statements by not taking the field. Unfortunately, that was interpreted as a boycott of the anthem – which was never our players' intention.

Our players come from many different backgrounds and are united by what it means to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are active in their communities and participate regularly in events designed to give back to those communities. And they appreciate the support they get from Steelers fans around the country and here at home.

I also know that our players have tremendous respect for the members of our military services, including their teammate Alejandro Villanueva. There was never any desire on the part of our players to show disrespect for our service members.

Yesterday, I received an email from a Steelers fan who said tell the players to just play football. That is exactly what they wanted to do. They wanted their sole focus to be on playing the game, while also coming together as a unified team.

The main thing we can do is learn from this and strive to come together remaining unified as a football team. I believe we are capable of accomplishing this with the support of our fans.

Steelers Nation is made up of the best fans in the National Football League. We appreciate your continued support of our players, coaches and staff.

Art Rooney
Art Rooney, II
Pittsburgh Steelers


To my fellow DUers I believe there should be no politics in football. Any players who wants to make a political statement should do it on their own time, not while they're being paid to play football. Thanks

Lately I've been watching a lot of old legal thrillers (movies)

Free HBO for 3 months, plus a new DVR from Fios, and I'm watching lots of movies!
For some reason I've been going for the legal thrillers lately, and I'm not sure why that is.

Watched these in the last couple of days, all of which I've seen before and really loved:

Erin Brockovich (2000) with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney

A Few Good Men 1992 with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore

A Time to Kill 1996 with Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Sam Jackson

Woman in Gold 2015 with Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren

These are on my DVR and I plan to watch them in the next few days:

Presumed Innnocent 1900 with Harrison Ford, Raul Julia and Bonnie Bedelia

The Client 1994 with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones

The Lincoln Lawyer 2011 with Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei and Bill Macy

Does anybody have any suggestions for awesome legal thrillers?
Let's hear them!

It's Oktoberfest time!

My favorite time of the year.

We have small but very nice Oktoberfests in Pittsburgh (as well as other midwestern cities) however I'm talking about the REAL original Oktoberfest in Munich. I wish I were there right now, but instead I can watch the live streaming webcams they've thoughtfully placed all over the Wiesen (Oktoberfest park). The webcams broadcast 24 hours per day on the website, however after 11 p.m. Munich time there's not so much to see.

Link: http://www.wiesn.tv/livecams/bavaria

Remember that Munich is one-hour ahead of London time, and 5 hours ahead of New York time. If you catch them while nothing is on the live webcam you can also look at previously filmed clips that they rotate frequently on the same website. Oktoberfest continues until October 1st in Munich. It's like a World's Fair, and they have it every year with over a million visitors.


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