Wall of Sheep: Inside the den of wolves

At Defcon 13, easily the largest annual hacker convention being held this weekend in Las Vegas, you will find in the chill-out room one of the walls is covered with a projected image from a nearby computer of the “Wall of Sheep,’ an ongoing listing of people at the conference who didn’t take proper security measures to prevent their username and password from being captured by hackers.

Only a small part of the password is actually posted, but enough is there that when you see it, you will know it’s yours. And God forbid, if you actually see your own picture there, perhaps you aren’t smart enough to be there.

Today’s lesson is: if you walk into a hacker convention, expect somebody to be hacking. And if you’re a sheep, don’t go into the wolves’ den.

Jesse Jackson to ESPN: Come to D.C.

Activist Jesse Jackson has found a new cause: bringing ESPN’s 50 States in 50 Days tour to Washington, D.C.

The activist and former presidential candidate says it’s insulting that the cable network left D.C. out when it came up with its plans. Jackson says he’ll go to the network’s Connecticut headquarters if they don’t change their tune. — Associated Press

Uh, Jesse, there’s nothing in D.C. that would quite fit in this tour. ESPN is covering events such as the Freestyle Frisbee Championships in Seattle, Wash., today, and the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races in Heber Springs, Ark., tomorrow.

ESPN has already toured 13 of 50 states and also has posted a blog online.

Congratulations, Rev. Jackson, you’re today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

If “Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I’ll kill myself’

Reporter Helen Thomas told The Hill newspaper, “The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I’ll kill myself. All we need is one more liar.’

According to WorldNetDaily, Thomas has been covering the White House since the Kennedy administration.

It’s one thing to kill yourself because the country is going to hell and you can’t stand it anymore. But at least wait and see if he gets elected first!

Suicide prevention signs have wrong number

The Samaritans of Greater Boston provided new road signs to Massport for use on the Tobin Bridge to deter suicide jumpers, but the signs have the wrong number.

The organization’s 24-hour suicide hotline is reachable at 617-247-0220. The phone number posted on the new blue signs is off by one digit. — Boston Herald

The signs which the Samaritans provided show 617-247-0270, which is disconnected. The Samaritans get the Stupid award today for failing to look at the new signs before they went up.

Update July 31: If you need help, anywhere in the U.S., call 1-800-SUICIDE.

Corrupt politician commits suicide at Miami Herald

Arthur Teele, Jr., former Miami City Commissioner, committed suicide Wednesday in the lobby of the Miami Herald building. Teele had been indicted for fraud and money laundering.

[Teele] and an electrical contractor were indicted July 14th on charges of lying to get more than $20 million in contracts at Miami International Airport that were supposed to go to minority-owned businesses. Teele is black. — WKMG Local 6

Teele had entered a not guilty plea to the charges last week.

This wasn’t the first time he got himself in trouble, either. Last August he ran an unmarked police car off the road and threatened to shoot a police detective, and apparently had a thing for transsexual prostitutes.

Ah, one less crooked politician. Now if only every crooked politician would kill themselves.

Potholes as traffic calming device

A councillor in Bath, U.K. wants to suspend road maintenance and allow potholes in order to calm traffic.

When people are confronted by less well-maintained road surfaces with potholes, they tend to drive slower.

They are worried about doing damage to their car and, as such, are far more careful. They also become more aware of the pedestrians and hazards around them.

And taxpayers would make significant savings, first because less would be spent on road surfaces, and second because less would be spent on road-calming measures such as speed cameras and road humps. — Cllr Andy Furse

This completely ignores the dangers of two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians having accidents as a result of such potholes, for which the city’s insurance company would have to pay.

Congratulations, Councillor, you are today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Failure is only deferred success

The Professional Association of Teachers wants to ban the use of the word “fail’ in UK schools, replacing it with the phrase “deferred success.’

We recognise that children do not necessarily achieve success first time. . . . But I recognise that we can’t just strike a word from the dictionary. — PAT spokesperson

This politically correct speech thing has really gotten out of hand. Our children do not need to be misled by terms such as “deferred success,’ which imply that she may get it right the next time. She may not. How long shall success be deferred, and do you really think the child will not catch on? Children aren’t stupid, at least not until they’ve been through the public education system. This will just make them even dumber.

Italian woman paid €50,000 to abort son of Anti-Christ

A woman in Palermo, Italy, paid €50,000 (US$60,000) to a couple who had convinced her they were vampires and would otherwise impregnate her with the son of the Anti-Christ.

The couple, who was not identified, fleeced the victim of €3,000 (US$3,600) each for pills they convinced her would abort the Anti-Christ’s son over a period of four years.

More information from Reuters newswire.

The also unidentified victim is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Before you send your child back to public school, there’s something you should know

The American public education system is dumbing down your kids and preparing them for a life of mediocrity.

That’s the startling, but perhaps not surprising, premise behind John Taylor Gatto‘s book, The Underground History of American Education, which is available to read free online. (Hint: Try the printer-friendly links in each chapter.)

Gatto is a former New York State Teacher of the Year who taught for 30 years before finally quitting in disgust at the things the education system asked him to do to children. If you want to understand how America’s educational system works and what its true goals are, this book is required reading.

He argues that the system is designed to suppress in children the abilities of critical thinking and judgment needed to accomplish great things, and to psychologically warp children so as to be docile, apathetic, uncomplaining employees and consumers when they grow up.

Thanks to Liberty for Sale for bringing this very important work on American education to light. I can tell you no child of mine will ever attend a public school. Now go read the book, and come back here in a week or two when you’re finished, and let me know what you think.

Today’s Stupid Person of the Day is anyone who leaves their children in public school after learning what’s really going on in those classrooms.