More like undead.

by baldilocks

The NSA got the Coconut Treatment.

From Business Insider:

The National Security Agency, the US’s largest and most secretive intelligence agency, has been deeply infiltrated by anonymous hackers, as detailed in a New York Times exposé published Sunday.

The NSA, which compiles massive troves of data on US citizens and organizes cyberoffensives against the US’s enemies, was deeply compromised by a group known as the Shadow Brokers, which has made headlines in the past year in connection to the breach, whose source remains unclear.

The group now posts cryptic, mocking messages pointed toward the NSA as it sells the cyberweapons, created at huge cost to US taxpayers, to any and all buyers, including US adversaries like North Korea and Russia.

“It’s a disaster on multiple levels,” Jake Williams, a cybersecurity expert who formerly worked on the NSA’s hacking group, told The Times. “It’s embarrassing that the people responsible for this have not been brought to justice.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a former USAF linguist. I have many longtime friends and acquaintances from that profession who have worked for what used to be sweetly called No Such Agency – as if people didn’t see NSA analysts arriving to work every day.

Many of these friends are liberals and, of that number, a significant portion rabidly and vocally despise Donald Trump, and that’s fair. But I never see them offer an opinion on this sort of thing, all of which happened during the Obama Administration and under another rabid anti-Trump personality, former DNI James Clapper. They won’t even share these types of links. Surely they read the NYT.

I realize that some of my friends are unable to legally comment on such things, but you would think that more of them would have been anti-Obama during the past eight years. But they seem to love him. Strange.

(Thanks to Richard Fernandez)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

In my earlier post I suggested that the Magical Mystery Tour of Edward Snowden was a gift both to the MSM and to the Obama administration that they love. What that might seem counter intuitive it can only be explained in context.

1. It Keeps the Focus on Snowden rather than the NSA

Every day that Edward Snowden is the story is a victory for the White House, If Snowden, his quirks, his hot girlfriend, his videos & interviews and now his travels are the focus the press can keep their eyes on Snowden and the quest to catch him and avoid talking about or pressing the Obama administration about the NSA revelations within them.

2. It gives the press a reason to defend the Administration.

Right off the top when Snowden & the Guardian story broke there was a rush by some to judge Snowden a Hero but others hesitated.  they didn’t like what the NSA was doing, particularly in this current environment but didn’t trust Snowden. Some left leaning media and pol were not anxious to take sides quickly and libertarians were ready to give Snowden the benefit of the doubt.

By an itinerary that reads like a who’s who of countries that hate us, oppose us or violate press & human rights Snowden give the polls and the press leave to attack him, and call him a traitor with a lot fewer questions. In short they can defend the Obama administration with a lot less guilt. One might question if David Gregory’s question was proper or no, but do you think for one minute Gregory asks a reporter, even Greg Greenwald “why shouldn’t you Mr Greenwald be charged with a crime? if the president is George W Bush?


3. It divides Libertarians and Republicans further.

When I first wrote about the Snowden case I mentioned four possibilities in the Snowden case based on one of two descriptions of Snowden (Hero or Traitor) and the NSA program (Necessary security or Troubling to civil rights) Snowden’s decision to flee to some of the worst countries out there means, if you want to keep opponents of this administration divided you have all the cards you need.

When libertarians and people worried about the government using the NSA powers against them tweet they can be quickly counted by the quite accurate description of Snowden as a Traitor & his flight plan. When people talk about Snowden as a traitor giving out US secrets they can be quickly countered by the quite understandable and given this administrations record valid fears of NSA overreach by an administration with “Chicago values” when it comes to the rights of those who oppose them.

Put simply if you want to keep the people arguing on twitter and keeping that argument away from the White House it’s a cinch.

The reality is of course the phrases “Edward Snowden is a felon & traitor to the US” and “The NSA PRISM program can’t be trusted to be kept separate from the political needs of any administration” are not mutually exclusive, but it’s hard to make that case in 140 characters when passions run deep when people want to keep you fighting.


4a. It keeps the other scandals off the front page….

Peggy Noonan wrote one of the most provocative pieces on the Tea Party IRS scandal by a mainstream journalist that has been written to this point:

More: “The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes—more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5-8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”

Think about the sheer political facts of the president’s 2012 victory. The first thing we learned, in the weeks after the voting, was that the Obama campaign was operating with a huge edge in its technological operation—its vast digital capability and sophistication. The second thing we learned, in the past month, is that while the campaign was on, the president’s fiercest foes, in the Tea Party, were being thwarted, diverted and stopped.

Technological savvy plus IRS corruption. The president’s victory now looks colder, more sordid, than it did. Which is why our editor, James Taranto, calls him “President Asterisk.”

This is about as close as anyone has come to bluntly stating what a lot of people (including me) think. That president Obama and/or his campaign used the IRS to neutralize the Tea party to secure he re-election and it’s appeared not on DaTechGuy’s Blog, or the Lonely Conservative or the Minority Report, that was written for the Wall Street Journal.

If Edward Snowden was not the headline of the week this piece would be the talk of Washington and Peggy Noonan would be a guest on at least 1 weekend talk show to discuss it. She was not and it was not.

The IRS scandal keeps progressing and there are developments on Benghazi too but as long as we are playing Where’s Waldo with Edward Snowden the media have a different  “Obama Scandal” to talk about instead but it also…

4b…and give the White House Political Room

The Obama administration desperately needs a political victory the gang of eight bill right now is their best prospect for such a thing.

If Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte are hitting the White House on Benghazi, if Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz are hitting them on the IRS targeting the Tea Party and if Rand Paul is coming after them on free speech that doesn’t happen. It unites the GOP to their base anxious to support them.

But if Edward Snowden is the only scandal on the table then Graham, McCain, Ayotte, Rubio and Cruz are all hitting Snowden, heck even Rand Paul is hesitating due to his itinerary entry and that allows the subject to be changed to the gang of 8’s immigration amnesty bill which keeps these senators fighting each other and the GOP base, which is exactly what the administration wants, and if the bill does pass the press will pivot to the “leadership of Obama” and away from the scandals which they can blame on Snowden.

“Never let a scandal go to waste.” is the slogan.  One might debate if Edwand Snowden’s revelations and flight are a scandal but this administration has no intention of wasting it.

Delayed Instalance Thanks Glenn and don’t forget to check back for a post and some coverage of the Markey/Gomez battle today.

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Olimometer 2.52

I’m updating this one Tuesday as I’m behind in my current post and while Yesterday was not bad I find myself still $228 short of making a full paycheck for the first time this month and a full $589 shy of making my mortgage payment with 5 and six days to go respectively.

Care to change that? Considering hitting DaTipJar below.

Those championing Edward Snowden as an international hero for the Cause of Free Speech have taken another hit.

The choice to flee to Hong Kong had already provoked reactions such as this one from Bob Schieffer on Face the nation:

I don’t remember Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China. The people who led the civil rights movement were willing to break the law AND suffer the consequences. That’s a little different than putting the nation’s security at risk and running away.

Well obviously in an era of Drone strikes and targeting of political foes in America some sacrifices had to be made so libertarian favorite Wikileaks sprang into action.

WikiLeaks said in a statement on its Twitter feed that it had “assisted Mr. Snowden’s political asylum in a democratic country

A Democratic country, an excellent idea for champion of free speech and press freedom! There are plenty of good choices that could certainly provide a world-wide platform in the internet age.

Perhaps Norway or Sweden the countries tied for first in Freedom House’s rankings for worldwide press freedom. I’d heard rumors of Snowden going to Iceland, a good choice as it makes the top 10 list tied with Liechtenstein who nobody has mentioned in connection with Snowden.

If he didn’t want Europe, St. Lucia would do. It’s 12th in the Rankings but #1 in the Americas. If the Americas were too close to the US for comfort New Zealand or Palau can suffice, they’re tied at 13th one spot behind St. Lucia but are also tied for #1 in the Asia-Pacific Region.

All the above are great choices for a free speech and free press hero. So what is the itinerary of Edwin Snowden’s Magical Mystery Tour?

Well he left Hong Kong (ranked 71) for Russia (Ranked 176), to be followed by a stop in Cuba (191 of 196) and from there he is to finish at Equator (Ranked 134)

Venezuela (Ranked 168) apparently didn’t make the list perhaps the death of Chavez made it unsuitable.

Maybe it’s me but maybe, just maybe that’s not the itinerary of a free press champion. The only location on the list above that isn’t ranked “Not Free” is Hong Kong (Ranked Partly Free) which is in fact controlled by China (Ranked 179) and as for Ecuador, Human rights watch had this to say just a week ago:

The Communications Law that the Ecuadorian National Assembly approved on June 14, 2013, seriously undermines free speech. The law includes overly broad language that will limit the free expression of journalists and media outlets.

you don’t say

“This law is yet another effort by President Correa to go after the independent media,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director. “The provisions for censorship and criminal prosecutions of journalists are clear attempts to silence criticism.”

While the irony might be lost among the hate America crowd the Irony is not lost on the National Journal

So say you’re a citizen of Hong Kong, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela or Ecuador, and you want to protest against your government, maybe even leak some big secrets. What kind of conditions and treatment might you expect? Nothing close to Snowden’s standard for his own country, that’s for sure.

Or Doug Powers

Is there a country called “Irony-Land” Snowden could flee to? That would be the perfect fit.

Edward Snowden’s fans are certainly the big losers by his choice of destinations, but I submit and suggest there are two big winners in his choice of stops…

…Barack Obama and the MSM that loves him. Why? That’s my follow-up post…

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Olimometer 2.52

Monday has come and the last full week in June doesn’t bode well for either the weekly paycheck ($303 shy with 6 days to go) or the monthly mortgage payment goal ($664 shy with 7 days to go).

Can I make up the full Mortgage defect or at least the weekly paycheck? Do I deserve to?

You are the judge of that. If you judge “yes” than hit DaTipJar below 15 people at $20 will get the first goal done 33 will do the second but anything that can be done will be much appreciated.

Cobb: From what I’ve seen, Paden doesn’t care about money. He says he doesn’t care about anything, but he does. There’s just no tellin’ what it’s gonna be.

Silverado 1985

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Luke 12:34

Yesterday while driving with my son’s we listened to Michael Graham ask an interesting question.

Looking at the President’s sudden drop in popularity among youth, the question became why?

You have a lousy economy where college students and high school ones have no prospect work, but we had that for 4 years and they still voted for him.

You have Obamacare but the young now increasingly living on their parents insurance have not been affected, except for the cutting of some hours.

You have Benghazi but with so few young people serving that might as well be a video game.

The IRS scandal?   You have to actually have a job and paying taxes to worry about the IRS and with the young so disengaged how many ARE involved in the tea party or even know what that’s about?

But the NSA scandal:  THAT they understand.

Young people spend their entries lives on the net or smartphones. When not in the nearly quaint act of calling they are texting or surfing or downloading (legally and illegally).

So now think of it. The NSA scandal means that Barack Obama’s people have access to every call, every download and every peep on the net and even a low information voter can’t miss that the entertainment industry absolutely loves this president.

And while the youth might not care about the implications of silencing the Tea Party or dead navy seals but they know that industry and they how much they want stiff penalties for illegal downloads.

My son told me he has friends who have been downloading movies and songs for years who literally are afraid of using their computers since the NSA scandal broke.

To old fogies like me who doesn’t think .99 cents for a song is a big deal it’s the least of our worries in term of the NSA and other scandals but while we’re busy fighting on immigration the young kids have noticed stories like this:

The US Supreme Court refused Monday to take up the case of a woman ordered to pay a $220,000 fine for illegally downloading music off the internet.

The country’s top court upheld without comment the verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset in the long-running, high-profile digital piracy case.

…and seen themselves.  The woman in that story could be any one of them.

Of course the president could solve that problem by pushing for laws loosing up download rules, but if you thought the entertainment industry moved the White House on Gay Marriage that’s nothing to how they’ll howl if anything is done to loosen the copyright rules that puts money in their pockets.

The youth of America are disengaged and disinterested but when the generation that’s living with their parents,  can’t pay their college loans and won’t get hired full time to avoid Obamacare see the possibility of fines they can never pay for laws they KNOW they’ve broken they notice.

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Olimometer 2.52

The great paycheck drought continues and after two consecutive weeks of missing my paycheck going into Tuesday with only $2 toward the $305 paycheck can not be spun in any positive way.

It can only be corrected and the final arbiter of if that correction is to take place, is you.

If you think I’ve earned that paycheck then I’d encourage you to hit DaTipJar below so I don’t remain over $800 shy of the mortgage bill this month.

If not, I’ll try harder. no amount of optimism will pay this month mortgage.

I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.

Robert E Lee

Conan:  A man should have brave enemies so he can remember them after he slays them

King Conan #7  Sept 1981

When it comes to Edward Snowden there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there and mixed feelings The best example I can think of was expressed by my friend Tabitha Hale:

Because in our current society we tend to look at feelings and personalize things, this is the question that has become front and center, so lets look at the four  basic choices on how people feel about Snowden.

1.   Edward Snowden is a dishonorable traitor  who exposed the NSA programs because he wishes to hurt America and aid our enemies and/or his friends or be rewarded.  (He is Julius Rosenburg)

2.   Edward Snowden is a dishonorable fanatic who exposed the NSA programs because he believes it is a danger to the freedoms of the United States and it’s people and must be stopped no matter what happens to him. ( He is Scott Roeder)

3.   Edward Snowden is a Noble character who exposed the NSA programs because he believes it is a danger to the freedoms of the United States no matter what the risk to him.   (He is Brutus)

4.   Edward Snowden is a Noble character who exposed the NSA programs because he wishes to hurt America and aid our enemies and/or his friends or be rewarded.  (He is Rommel )

Since we don’t know what he actually thinks and do not have enough evidence to support any of those opinions yet the choice you make will likely depend on where you stand.

If you priority is the war on terror or one of the authorities, you likely are going with #1.  Very clear cut  he’s a dirty traitor trying to bring us down.  He can be rejected and hated.  Pretty easy.

If you are a person who mistrusts government power, a conservative, you likely are going to go with #2.  You many not like these programs and believe they are an abuse of federal power or even immoral, but this is still treason.  The ends do not and can not justify the means!  The rule of law has to trump this and Snowden needs to be punished severely to discourage this type of thing in the future.

If you are a pure libertarian, you almost certainly go with #3.  He is a brave character who gave up his life livelihood and his whole world in order to protect us from a nefarious government.  It would have been every easy to say or do nothing but instead he stepped forward no matter the risk.  To you this guy is a hero.

I suspect  Obama political loyalists will choose #4.  You respect his as a brave guy.  If he had done this under George Bush you would call him friend or hero and cheering with the libertarians.  But this guy’s actions have real potential to damage THE ONE™.  and to his administrations political future.  He’s just another enemy that needs defeating or problem to be solved.

I almost certainly fall between 1 and 2.  My gut says the program is wrong, I need to know more about it before I’m positive but no matter how he feels about the program and believes he has done a noble thing, I’m just not going to justify or excuse this kind of illegality or treason

Before you pick a number consider the basic facts in evidence that are not in dispute:

Edward Snowden violated federal law and his oath.

Edward Snowden leaked a highly classified security program

Edward Snowden fled to a Communist Country our single biggest rival/enemy

No matter what you think of the NSA Prism programs, Mr. Snowden’s motivations or even the necessity of the exposure of this scandal, these facts are not in dispute and I suggest people be very careful before declaring him Horatius at the Bridge.

Update:  Jackie Wellfounder gives good advice

I think at this point, we need to remain objective and wait for the facts to present themselves. I have a feeling this story has a lot more evolving to do yet.

And Legal Insurrection and another name to the story

The interview with Bill Binney is interesting because it does, in fact, parallel much of what is revealed in the interview with Edward Snowden.  Both interviews were directed and produced by Laura Poitras.

Pay attention to the last sentence in his piece

Interestingly, one of the last frames in Laura Poitras’ video interview with Bill Binney thanks, among others, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

Hmmmm.

Update 2:  Removed the word “you” from the last sentence, sounded AWFUL.

Update 3:  I have to disagree with Captain Ed here:

Snowden’s $500 ended up doing nothing in the long run.  He would have done us all a favor — including himself — if he’d used the money for subscriptions to the Guardian and Washington Post and sent the leak to Paul, Udall, and/or Wyden.

By supporting the candidate most likely to stop these abuses he was doing things the right way, trying to support candidates who would stop this program without acting dishonorably.  The question becomes, if he had leaked this to Paul or Udall or Wyden, would they have exposed it or no?

Meanwhile, while Stacy McCain’s headline is Hero or Traitor, his story on Snowden at Viral Read is Just the facts:

 

 

 

J.D. Cahill: Mister I ain’t got a bigoted bone in my body You don’t drop that axe I’ll blast you to hell as quick as I would a white man

Cahill US Marshal 1973

One of the things that we’ve learned about the war on terror is the worst thing we can do as a Nation is PROFILE.

For the last 10 years we have been reminded by every right thinking member of academia and media that just because the overwhelming number of terror attacks in the US and worldwide are carried out by Islamic men there is absolutely no reason why we should pay any more attention to Mosques or radical clerics or Muslim men.

If anyone speaks contrary to this aloud like a Pam Geller they become beyond the pale. If a person in media even suggested they might get nervous on a plane with a Muslim they’re toast (ask Juan Williams).

Problem is the people actually in charge of fighting the war on Terror are not stupid or deluded.  They know who and what the threat is and want to act accordingly but the political (and diplomatic) realities on the ground doesn’t allow them the privilege of targeting the actual threat.

Under no circumstances could anything resembling profiling be done. Thus to justify the scrutiny of those who actually are a danger, Grandma in a wheelchair has to be searched, 10 year old kids need to be screened and we have to make sure Senator Rand Paul is checked, after all he might have turned.

And God help the TSA agent who dares act otherwise.

Given that fact what do you think would be the reaction if the NSA decided to monitor just the phone calls of Islamic clerics? What would the Newspapers if Mosques suspected of being radical had their e-mails searched? Who would NPR demand fired if the web sites of Muslim businessmen who travel abroad and move money and products in and out of the country were monitored and stored?

There would be an uproar,  we can’t DO such a thing?

But what if we don’t just monitor the internet of the mosques, of Islamic radicals, of Imans? What if we grab the phone and internet information of EVERYBODY?

Well that’ means we have the phone calls of every drunk kid at spring break, we have every  Quaker Oats company email and when Charlie Sheen visits a web site, the NSA will know it.

And if we happen to have every phone call made by an Islamic Cleric along with all the calls of Miley Cyrus , every e-mail of every Mosque in the country along with all the emails of the Boston Red Sox,  and if we  know every web site surfed by every Muslim owned business in the nation side by side with the websites DaTechGuy is visiting…

…well that’s just a coincidence isn’t it?

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Don’t forget to see DaTechGuy LIVE tomorrow from 10 till 2 at the Natural Discount Shop, Rte 12  Leominster Mass.  Come down and say hello!

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Olimometer 2.52

Like the NSA I cast a wide net in the hope of getting that $305 paycheck.

Left or right, Catholic or Protestant or atheist, Ron Paul fan, Sarah Palin Fan or Barack Obama groupie when you hit DaTipJar the result is the same, when you hit DaTipjar I move a little closer to my weekly paycheck.

And no matter what your motive, I remain properly grateful

And don’t forget if enough people subscribe at $10 $20 or more a month DaTipJar can be reserved for special occasions.




 

Henry Hill:   Paulie hated phones. He wouldn’t have one in his house. He got all his calls second hand. Then you’d have to call the people back. There were guys, that’s all they did all day, was take care of Paulie’s calls.

For a guy who moved all day long Paulie didn’t talk to people. With union problems or a beef in the numbers only the top guys spoke with Paulie about the problem. Everything was one-on-one. Paulie hated conferences. He didn’t want anyone hearing what he said or anyone listening to what he was being told.

Good Fellas 1990

Col. Jessep:  Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

A Few Good Men 1992

There are a lot of stories from my youth, one of the most dramatic of them involves my mother and a man in a silk suit.

When my parents opened their 1st business in the 50’s some of the locals informed them they didn’t like Sicilians but for a fee would tolerate them opening in the town.  My parents being who they were, refused and during the long running conflict my father was laid up after being run over.

With four kids, my mother, a crack shot who lived in an era before Massachusetts disarmed its citizens, kept herself armed as she worked the business while dad was laid up and trusted no one.

One day a VERY Italian looking man approached her.  He said he represented a group who disapproved of people bothering a Sicilian women with kids and offered  assistance.  She knowing the long-term price of such assistance declined saying she could take care of herself.

He smiled and wrote down an out-of-state address and gave it to her saying if there was ever a situation where her children were in danger and she had no other option send the name of the person threatening the to that address, thanked her and left.

My mother never had to use that address but kept it as a last resort.  My dad eventually recovered and the danger passed but my mother memorized that address and took it unused to her grave 50 years later.

and that brings us to the Obama administration and phone and computer records

We’re at war with people who want to kill us and have wanted to for years.  You can’t fight a war in the information age without mining data.

I don’t doubt for one minute that like the man giving the address to my mother, the congress that authorized these programs (assuming they were properly authorized) did so for the protection of the public.  Nor do I doubt that a lot of the people going through this data are zealous about protecting this country.

The problem is trust.

If you have an administration who understand constitutional limits and respect them, then even such programs as these can, in time of war, be tolerated with suspicion and oversight.

But we have an administration that has already used the IRS as a weapon against political enemies great and strong.  We’ve seen Susan Rice & Jay Carney sent out to mislead and deceive (knowing or unknowingly) the general public.  We’ve seen the administration named reporters as co-conspirators to terror.  We’ve seen IRS commissioners take the fifth,  and the attorney general dissemble and dodge.

And we’ve seen all of this happen at a time when said administration is taking over control of the healthcare system while trying to disarm Americans INSISTING they will not keep a registry.

Some people can be trusted with these kinds of powers,  some can’t.  This administration has clearly demonstrated they can’t.

and perhaps it cements a basic rule, Don’t give a power to one administration that can’t be trusted to all of them.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Friday and unlike the Obama Administration I’ve demonstrated that your e-mail address and information will not be misused as hitters of DaTipJar and subscribers can attest.

So if you’d like to get me closer to that $305 paycheck, still $247 away with just two days to go, without fear of your e-mail info being sold consider hitting DaTipJar below

Consider subscribing, with enough subscribers at $10 $20 or more a month DaTipJar can be reserved for special occasions.




Update: Forgot to mention catch me tomorrow at the Natural Discount Shop 614 N-Main Streetin Leominster Ma from 10 till 2. The Radio show Fireside/out with Joe will be broadcasting starting at 10 then at Noon join me and the Right Wing Granny for 2 hours of DaTechGuy on DaRadio.

Come have a cup of coffee & a bagel courtesy of the Daily Bagel and maybe win a prize or two.

Hope to see you there.