Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

Music What Kicketh Political Arse | Tim Minchin (NSFW) (MUST SEE)

This installment of M.W.K.P.A., if it is lucky, gets to introduce you to one of the brightest bulbs in the twenty-first century's collective chandelier, Mr. Tim Minchin.  He is the only luminary to date for whom it appears more appropriate for the transcribed lyrics to follow, rather than precede, the audio-visual presentation.

Almost everything I have heard by him to date qualifies for this honor, but today, in belated observance of the October 4th anniversary of the day Sinead O'Connor tried to tell us what was up, I offer my Gentle Readers this fine and fitting bit of song:

Sit down, pay attention, and enjoy.

Be seeing you.


from Wikipedia, emphasis mine:

...criminal charges that had been made two years earlier by an ousted Templar and were being discussed by King Philip IV of France and his ministers. It was generally agreed that the charges were false, but Clement sent the king a written request for assistance in the investigation. According to some historians, King Philip, who was already deeply in debt to the Templars from his war with the English, decided to seize upon the rumours for his own purposes. He began pressuring the church to take action against the order, as a way of freeing himself from his debts.  
At dawn on Friday, 13 October 1307 (a date sometimes linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition) King Philip IV ordered de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The arrest warrant started with the phrase: "Dieu n'est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume" ["God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom"]. Claims were made that during Templar admissions ceremonies, recruits were forced to spit on the Cross, deny Christ, and engage in indecent kissing; brethren were also accused of worshipping idols, and the order was said to have encouraged homosexual practices. The Templars were charged with numerous other offences such as financial corruption, fraud, and secrecy. Many of the accused confessed to these charges under torture, and their confessions, even though obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. The prisoners were coerced to confess that they had spat on the Cross: "Moi, Raymond de La Fère, 21 ans, reconnais que [j'ai] craché trois fois sur la Croix, mais de bouche et pas de cœur" (free translation: "I, Raymond de La Fère, 21 years old, admit that I have spat three times on the Cross, but only from my mouth and not from my heart"). The Templars were accused of idolatry and were suspected of worshipping either a figure known as Baphomet or a mummified severed head they recovered, amongst other artefacts, at their original headquarters on the Temple Mount that many scholars theorise might have been that of John the Baptist, among other things. 
Relenting to Phillip's demands, Pope Clement then issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on 22 November 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Pope Clement called for papal hearings to determine the Templars' guilt or innocence, and once freed of the Inquisitors' torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310, having appointed the archbishop of Sens, Philippe de Marigny, to lead the investigation, Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris.
With Philip threatening military action unless the pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, including Vox in excelso, which officially dissolved the order, and Ad providam, which turned over most Templar assets to the Hospitallers.
Do read more.  Fascinating, how easy it is to exploit and profit by evil, when you have power in the first place.  Funny too, all that about inappropriate or indecent kissing.  Not really that funny.

Just ask Sinead O'Connor (like some journo with balls should've at the time -- Oh that's right -- never mind) 

There is only always and already one thing on the collective mind of the Catholic Church:

Of course it couldn't be anything healthy, could it.  This would be because they only see themselves, and they hate themselves.  Funny, that.  Actually funny: because I hate them too.  And, they're not the only religion with the problem.  These last to sentiments best summed up, respectively, by one Tim Minchin.

"Because," I roundly say,  all references intentional, "...Love is here, get used to it."

Be seeing you.

WARNING: Ads Falsely Reporting Celebrity Deaths May Be Dangerous Malware, DO NOT CLICK

Both celebrities are quite alive.  I checked.  I also ran the target URLs through Jsunpack, and both were declared "suspicious."  I would heartily agree.  At least to my only-slightly-better-than-untrained eyes, the files to which they are linked are highly suspicious, so much so that I didn't run them even quarantined, since the sandbox is of my own devising.

You can look at the code yourself at the links below.  Leave a comment if you come to any conclusions, or even educated guesses.

The "Bill O'Reilly is Dead" ad (adurl=https:/ appears to at the very least be adding some item to some cart; the "Rush Limbaugh is Dead" ad (url appears to at the very least be attempting to add comments somewhere.

Thought you'd like to know.  We may or may not be on the same "side" of the arbitrary fence, but we are all netizens, and some of us need to stop devising this garbage and get meaningful lives.

Be seeing you.


Fully automatic gunfire. Reportedly at least 20 dead, 24 injured, including one officer.

If as they say there was, despite original reports, only one shooter, and one suspect has been confirmed found, "down," (as well as multiple weapons), on the 32nd floor of the hotel, then how come they are requesting the exact locations of officers and first responders not be disclosed?

There are still reports of a manhunt and rumors of simultaneous situation at other hotels (NYNY, Luxor) on the strip as I type. 

 Links to content from police scanners are now down.

Some of the sources below have already been deleted, but were still on my feed.  Screenshots below, 

Viewing deleted media unsupported

what happens when you view a
deleted tweet

This tweet no longer available

The Twitter feed, as it originally was, in its entirety, follows select video, screenshot, and image highlights, below.

And in a no doubt totally unrelated story:

Trump Administration Lobbying Hard for Sweeping Surveillance Law

     To persuade senators to reauthorize the law in full, the Trump administration is holding classified, members-only briefings for the entire House and Senate next Wednesday, with heavy hitters in attendance: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, NSA Director Mike Rogers, and FBI Director Christopher Wray will give the briefings, according to an internal announcement of the meetings provided to The Intercept and confirmed by multiple sources on Capitol Hill.
     Section 702 serves as the legal basis for two of the NSA’s largest mass surveillance programs, both revealed by Edward Snowden...

Be seeing you.

Default Back To Good Old 'Legacy' Google Voice In One Click (UPDATED & FULLY FUNCTIONAL)

a Faustian visualization

Drag and drop one of these  
newly updated bookmarklets :

in this window/tab

in a new window/tab

If you are not signed in (like you might not want to be unless you either want to use Voice or Gmail, or you are feeling philanthropic toward poor, starved Big Data Aggregation) you will have to do so, but will be automatically redirected whether you like it or not (how does that work I wonder).

You will not, however, have to open extra tabs/windows.  

You will not have to fumble with the vertical 'More' menu.

You will not have to hunt (or wait for) disabled subheadings to appear.

You may actually, as I did, feel a little less insulted.

Just a little, unfortunately: the lack of basic respect and appreciation for the End User is reintroduced by the æsthetically-challenged 'Try The New Dumb Layout' un-ex-out-of-able banner monstrosity. I haven't figured out how to close that yet. 

But I'm trying.

And (hopefully) that will be that....  I know, I'm dreaming.  Of a not-evil Google, just like the one I used to know...  Ok, I'm giddy; it was a lucky hack.

My hack was not so lucky after all: but Bluescat to the rescue! The workaround he recommended on Google's Product Forum still works as of the date of this update.

 Be seeing you.

Mostly About Trump And Putin's Official G20 Meeting (incl.Fulltext Official Russian Summary)

About President Donald Trump's meetings with President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg: there were two of them. I haven't the moxy for a full write up, despite knowing it would have had to include certain choice details. 

There were the hand gestures (perhaps meaning call me, perhaps meaning to be as offensive as those pixelated in Stephen Colbert's late night re-enactment, below). Trump made them from his assigned seat between the Prime Minister of Japan's wife Akie Abe, and the President of Argentina's wife Juliana Awada -- openly and enthusiastically, as I understand it, in Vladimir Putin's general direction.

There is the ongoing suspicion that Mrs. Abe pretended not to speak English (she speaks it fluently, but he reported that she didn't even know how to say "hello") which, if true, could believably have been in an effort to avoid an unwanted conversation. 

Now, why would any civilized woman want that? Maybe what he said to certain other women of the G20 has something to do with it -- or how he said it. Trevor Noah reports.

There is the infamous second meeting.  Trump soon gave up on subtlety altogether, broke script, and got up and sat next to Putin. This meeting was observed to go on for an hour, despite the fact that Trump subsequently told The New York Times it lasted only fifteen minutes. Time flies when you are having fun.

But this post is not about any of that, hyperlinked, of course, above, for the curious.  This post is about the official meeting, the one that went two hours -- twice as long as scheduled -- about which Rachel Maddow had much to say
 MADDOW: So, tonight, “The New York Times” has just published an interview with the president of the United States, in which he has threatened the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and he has threatened the – he`s threatened special counsel Robert Mueller, saying he might fire him. He`s also expressed grave criticism about his attorney general and deputy attorney general.

 But he`s also made another kind of news that is of serious intelligence concern. When President Trump met with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office, remember that? You`ll remember that shortly thereafter, we learned that in that meeting, he had, A, bragged to those Russian officials that he just fired the FBI director to take the pressure off himself when it came to the Russia investigation, and B, we learned that he gave those Russian officials code word protected super-secret information about the fight against ISIS. And how one of our allies had managed to infiltrate and/or surveil ISIS in a way that nobody knew about, and he told the Russians.

 It was information that was super sensitive, that would – was perceived as potentially jeopardizing that very important surveillance and/or infiltration if anybody knew about it. Nobody in the U.S. government was supposed to tell anybody about it, particularly the Russians. The president spilled the beans in that meeting.

 The reason we found out that he did that is because there was a note taker in that meeting. And when the president made those remarks to the Russians, somebody wrote it down and then when those notes were circulated inside the White House, or among senior administration officials, somebody was sufficiently alarmed that it became – somebody was sufficiently alarmed that it became news.

 I mean, A, leaked to the press, but B, presumably the fact that the president had told the Russians that, once it was known, like at the CIA, and at the NSA, and national security counsel, that could become a point of action, if a source need to be removed from the battlefield, if somebody needed to be protected, if the people whose intelligence the president had just given away needed to be warned about that, that could be set in motion, a sort of cleanup operation – all because there was a note-taker here. Otherwise, how would we have known he gave that away.

 Well, when the president met one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the G20, we were told there was no note-taker at the first official formal conversation that he had with Vladimir Putin. But we know for sure there was no note taker there. And there was no U.S. official there at all, not even a translator, for the president`s second long conversation with Vladimir Putin, that the White House never acknowledged until it was reported in the press yesterday...

Now, I recall her going on to say that the first, official meeting was reported immediately to the Russian media, and that no such report to the American media was made.  I have scoured the transcripts of the show, to no avail, for this passage, since it was this detail that launched the internet search whose fruits I present below.  

I wanted to know just what was presented to the Russian media about that meeting.  I thought the difference in perspective would be very ...interesting... -- as indeed it turned out to be.

The third issue is cyber security which was understandably given considerable attention. The presidents agreed that this area is becoming ever more dangerous. There are numerous threats emerging in cyber space, including a terrorist threat, threats in other areas of organised crime, such threats to the normal functioning of societies as child pornography, pedophilia, the so-called suicide networks. Of course, President Trump also mentioned that certain circles in the United States keep on spinning the issue of Russia’s interference in the US elections even though they are unable to prove that. 

Hot from the Kremlin to you. Judge for yourself.  


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to Russian media questions following President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Hamburg, July 7, 2017

Comments welcome, as always.

Be seeing you.