Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for February 19th, 2015

Laws and the Constitution do not apply to NSA and GCHQ: Detailed story in The Intercept

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We already knew that NSA considered itself above the law with the illegal mass surveillance (without warrants). In fact, NSA not only considers itself above the law, but considers the US Constitution something that it can ignore—and so far as I can see, there is no overseer—not the President, not Congress, and certainly not law enforcement agencies—that can bring it into compliance with the laws and the Constitution. The NSA now is able to do whatever it wants, without any fear of accountability.

Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley have a lengthy and detailed report in The Intercept of what we know of the NSA’s lawbreaking:

AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQdocument, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards. Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.

In all, Gemalto produces some 2 billion SIM cards a year. Its motto is “Security to be Free.”

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. Bulk key theft additionally enables the intelligence agencies to unlock any previously encrypted communications they had already intercepted, but did not yet have the ability to decrypt.

As part of the covert operations against Gemalto, spies from GCHQ — with support from the NSA — mined the private communications of unwitting engineers and other company employees in multiple countries.

Gemalto was totally oblivious to the penetration of its systems — and the spying on its employees. “I’m disturbed, quite concerned that this has happened,” Paul Beverly, a Gemalto executive vice president, told The Intercept. “The most important thing for me is to understand exactly how this was done, so we can take every measure to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and also to make sure that there’s no impact on the telecom operators that we have served in a very trusted manner for many years. What I want to understand is what sort of ramifications it has, or could have, on any of our customers.” He added that “the most important thing for us now is to understand the degree” of the breach.

Leading privacy advocates and security experts say that the theft of encryption keys from major wireless network providers is tantamount to a thief obtaining the master ring of a building superintendent who holds the keys to every apartment. “Once you have the keys, decrypting traffic is trivial,” says Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union. “The news of this key theft will send a shock wave through the security community.”

Beverly said that after being contacted by The Intercept, Gemalto’s internal security team began on Wednesday to investigate how their system was penetrated and could find no trace of the hacks. When asked if the NSA or GCHQ had ever requested access to Gemalto-manufactured encryption keys, Beverly said, “I am totally unaware. To the best of my knowledge, no.”

According to one secret GCHQ slide, the British intelligence agency penetrated Gemalto’s internal networks, planting malware on several computers, giving GCHQ secret access. We “believe we have their entire network,” the slide’s author boasted about the operation against Gemalto.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 7:10 pm

What Is HTTP/2 and Why Should You Care About It?

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Kaleigh Rogers writes at Motherboard:

Earlier this week, the internet got some good news that has the potential to make the web a whole lot faster.

Mark Nottingham, the chair of the HTTP Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force announced o​n his blog that HTTP/2 has been approved and its specifications will soon be published. It’s exciting news for the team that has been developing the new application protocol for years.

But the average internet user probably has no idea what any of this is all about. I didn’t, really, so I tracked down Nottingham and asked him to help break it down for me so we can all partake in this nerdy internet celebration together.

What follows is a beginner’s guide to what HTTP/2 is, what it will do, and why you should care:

WAIT, WHAT IS HTTP AGAIN?

It stands for hypertext transfer protocol and it’s a way for your browser to communicate with websites. HTTP tells a server to fetch the information needed to show you a page on a site.

There are different protocols for fetching different types of information. For example, you may have used FTP (file transfer protocol) to download files or POP (post office protocol) to send and receive emails.

OKAY, SO WHAT IS HTTP/2?

The transfer protocol we currently encounter most often on the web is HTTP1.1, which came on the scene in 1999. HTTP/2 is the latest upgraded version. It was developed by a collective of programmers from around the world, and is based on a protocol called SPDY, which was created by Google in 2009.

COOL, BUT WHY DO WE NEED IT?

“The way that we use the web has changed a lot over the past two and a half decades. Websites are much more demanding of the network, the protocol, and browsers,” Nottingham told me in an email response. Because of this increased demand, there are some limitations to how well HTTP1.1. communicates information on a website to a browser.

“HTTP/1.1 has served admirably, but people have been starting to hack around the performance limitations it has by changing how their website works. HTTP/2 fixes the underlying problems that drove sites to do that.”

HOW DOES IT FIX THE PROBLEMS OF THE OLD HTTP? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Technology

It’s Time for Intelligence Agencies to Shut the Hell Up About Encryption

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Jason Koebler has had enough, obviously. He writes on Motherboard:

The NSA and Britain’s GCHQ have compromised the bulk of the world’s smartphones, hacking the world’s most successful SIM card manufacturer and stealing untold millions of encryption keys, giving the agencies total access to, potentially, any given phone call and text message sent between two human beings on Earth, according tonewly released top secret documents obtained by Edward Snowden and reported on by The Intercept.

The NSA has also apparently found a way of ​creating undetectable backdoors in consumer hard drives around the world, backdoors that can ​decrypt data and funnel it back to the agency. So, maybe it’s time to take American intelligence agencies’ complaints about the difficulty of breaking encryption a little less seriously.

In recent months, the NSA, Justice Department and FBI have said that the prevalence of encryption have created a “zone of lawlessness” and have said that law enforcement has “gone dark” in the attempt to track down potential terrorists and criminals. For the FBI, maybe that’s still true, but the NSA has found a solution: Grab the encryption keys from the manufacturer, as they’re being made.

The complaining from these agencies is a bit disingenuous.

“I would guess that they saw at least the potential for widespread consumer technologies they couldn’t break,” Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins University applied cryptography researcher who was briefed by The Intercept before the scoop dropped, told me.

Instead of breaking encryption, US and British intelligence agencies created a “Mobile Handset Exploitation Team” to circumvent it, instead. According to Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley of The Intercept, newly leaked top secret documents show that the NSA and GCHQ hacked Gemalto, a company that makes the vast majority of the planet’s smartphone SIM cards.

The hack was used to steal SIM card encryption keys, which can then be used to decrypt cell phone calls and text messages, and perhaps much of the world’s mobile data traffic. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and 450 other wireless companies use Gemalto sim cards.

The news is perhaps the most shocking leak to come from Edward Snowden’s documents in quite some time. Encryption keys can’t be changed on the fly, meaning that closing this backdoor could take years and cost untold billions of dollars.

“It’s pretty obvious that NSA has few scruples about breaking any technology and GCHQ has fewer, especially when it comes to human beings,” Green told me. “GCHQ targets European tech workers and businesses, feeds the results back to NSA, which then puts them to use.”

Green wrote about the possibility of such a backdoor in May of 2013, soon after the initial Snowden leaks. At the time, he wrote that the NSA sucking up millions of encryption keys would be a logical thing for the agency to go after. With the keys, he wrote, “it seems unlikely that the NSA would have to ‘break’ any crypto at all.”

“If I can record an encrypted call, and later obtain the [encryption key] for that phone, then I can still reliably decrypt the whole communication—even months or years later,” he wrote. “To the truly paranoid: stop talking on cellphones.”

Green told me that, as a result of this specific hack, the NSA likely wouldn’t be able to decrypt some newer, third-party, software-based encryption. If you use WhatsApp or iMessage, your communications are still, in theory, safe. . .

Continue reading.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that NSA is simply not to be trusted. It seems as though every statement they make to the public later turns out to have been a lie.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 5:15 pm

Rabbi pleads guilty to videotaping 52 women who took ritual baths

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Greg Gordon reports for McClatchy:

An orthodox rabbi in the nation’s capital pleaded guilty Thursday to secretly videotaping 52 women, mainly congregants at the temple he led, as they removed their clothing to step into a Jewish ritual bath.

Rabbi Bernard Freundel admitted to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism charges for invading the women’s privacy between March 4, 2012 and last Sept. 19. Prosecutors said in papers filed in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, however, that the evidence shows his behavior dates to 2009 and that he also surreptitiously recorded another 100 women who were undressed or partially clothed.

Voyeurism carries a three-year statute of limitations, so it was too late to prosecute him for most of the secret videotaping. Even though the charges are misdemeanors, Freundel faces a maximum sentence of 52 years in prison.

The disclosure of his activities last fall shocked the congregation at Kesher Israel, a temple in the city’s tony Georgetown neighborhood.

“Bernard Freundel exploited his position of power to victimize dozens of women who entered a sacred, intimate space of religious ritual,” said Ronald Machen Jr., U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. “He betrayed the trust of every woman whose private moments he caught on camera along with an entire community that counted on him for moral leadership.”

Kesher Israel sits next to the National Capital Mikvah, a ritual bath used mainly by Orthodox Jewish women for monthly spiritual purification and by other individuals to complete their conversion to Judaism. However, an individual associated with the Mikvah discovered last Oct. 12th that Freundel had placed a clock radio on the countertop of the sink in the larger of the mikvah’s two rooms for changing and showering, examined it and turned it over to District of Columbia police.

Freundel was arrested two days later. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Religion

One helluva dog doing one helluva job

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Border collies are incredibly smart and energetic to begin with, and they like their work. I recall reading about someone who had a border collie. When they threw a lawn party, the collie would be around, and (without realizing) all the guests would end up sort of clustered in one corner of the lawn, thanks to the dog doing its job. 🙂

Take a look at this agility performance:

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Daily life

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FBI ignores Obama’s directive to limit gag orders on national security letters

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You can tell that the national security state (including law enforcement, from local police departments to agencies like the FBI, DEA, BATF, and so on) is diverging from the elected government when national-security agencies can ignore with impunity laws and directives of the elected government. The CIA, for example, committed war crimes and was secure in the knowledge that they were free of legal restraints—indeed, the CIA felt free to destroy evidence of their crimes.

And the FBI has broken many laws over the years, again with impunity. And now they simply ignore the chain of command. Dan Froomkin reports in The Intercept:

Despite the post-Snowden spotlight on mass surveillance, the intelligence community’s easiest end-run around the Fourth Amendment since 2001 has been something called a National Security Letter.

FBI agents can demand that an Internet service provider, telephone company, or financial institution turn over its records on any number of people — without any judicial review whatsoever — simply by writing a letter that says the information is needed for national security purposes. The FBI at one point was cranking out over 50,000 such letters a year; by the latest count, it still issues about 60 a day.

The letters look like this:

national security letter

Recipients are legally required to comply — but it doesn’t stop there. They also aren’t allowed to mention the order to anyone, least of all the person whose data is being searched. Ever. That’s because National Security Letters almost always come with eternal gag orders. Here’s that part:

Gag order

That means the NSL process utterly disregards the First Amendment as well.

More than a year ago, President Obama announced that he was ordering the Justice Department to terminate gag orders “within a fixed time unless the government demonstrates a real need for further secrecy”.

And on Feb. 3, when the Office of the Director of National Intelligenceannounced a handful of baby steps resulting from its “comprehensive effort to examine and enhance [its] privacy and civil liberty protections” one of the most concrete was — finally — to cap the gag orders:

In response to the President’s new direction, the FBI will now presumptively terminate National Security Letter nondisclosure orders at the earlier of three years after the opening of a fully predicated investigation or the investigation’s close.

Continued nondisclosures orders beyond this period are permitted only if a Special Agent in Charge or a Deputy Assistant Director determines that the statutory standards for nondisclosure continue to be satisfied and that the case agent has justified, in writing, why continued nondisclosure is appropriate.

Despite the use of the word “now” in that first sentence, however, the FBI has yet to do any such thing. It has not announced any such change, nor explained how it will implement it, or when.

Media inquiries were greeted with stalling and, finally, a no comment — ostensibly on advice of legal counsel.

“There is pending litigation that deals with a lot of the same questions you’re asking, out of the Ninth Circuit,” FBI spokesman Chris Allen told me. “So for now, we’ll just have to decline to comment.”

FBI lawyers are working on a court filing for that case, and “it will address” the new policy, he said. He would not say when to expect it.

There is indeed a significant case currently before the federal appeals court in San Francisco. Oral arguments were in October. A decision could come any time.

But in that case, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 4:15 pm

The Catholic church is at it again

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Truly, the Catholic church (the organization) seems to be a bastion of bad faith. Now an archbishop is trying to designate teachers as “ministers” to strip of their civil rights and protection under the law. Lee Romney reports in the LA Times:

Eight state lawmakers on Tuesday urged San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone to withdraw the “morality clauses” he unveiled this month in a handbook for high school teachers, and to reverse his intention to redefine teachers as “ministers” in their employment contracts.

The letter to Cordileone from five members of the Assembly and three state senators said the new conditions for employment at four high schools run by the archdiocese “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve.”

Cordileone has spurred protests with his addition to the handbook —  which guides the nearly 500 school employees — because it focuses almost exclusively on sexual morality in language many consider harsh.

It asks employees to “affirm and believe” that “adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations” are “gravely evil.” Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are described similarly.

The “fundamental demands of justice,” it continues, “require that the civil law preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Cordileone also is seeking to define teachers as ministers in the collective bargaining agreement now under negotiation with the teachers’ union — a move that would probably strip them of recourse under anti-discrimination law in the event of dismissal.

The lawmakers’ letter takes particular exception to that designation, saying it would effectively “remove civil rights protections guaranteed to all Californians. Among these rights are the freedom to choose who to love and marry, how to plan a family, and what causes or beliefs to support through freedom of speech and association.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 9:07 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Religion

Jehovah’s Witnesses use 1st Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims

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Another example of a religious closed community protecting sexual predators. What is up with these people? Trey Bundy writes at RevealNews.org:

The leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – one of the world’s most insular religions – for 25 years has instructed its elders to keep cases of child sexual abuse secret from law enforcement and members of their own congregations, according to an examination of thousands of pages of documents in recent cases.

The religion’s parent organization, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, issued the directives in at least 10 memos dating back to 1989. Although the memos were anonymously written, Watchtower officials have testified that the organization’s Governing Body approved them all.

The most recent letter, dated Nov. 6, 2014, instructed elders – the spiritual leaders of local congregations – to form confidential committees to handle potential criminal matters internally.

“In some cases, the elders will form a judicial committee to handle the alleged wrongdoing that may also constitute a violation of criminal law (e.g., murder, rape, child abuse, fraud, theft, assault),” the directive stipulates. “Generally, the elders should not delay the judicial committee process, but strict confidentiality must be maintained to avoid unnecessary entanglement with secular authorities who may be conducting a criminal investigation of the matter.”

Within the organization, the Watchtower has final say over who is considered a serial child abuser. According to a 2012 Watchtower memo: “Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ The (Watchtower), not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ ”

The directives are part of a pattern for the organization, which has more than 8 million members worldwide and preaches that Armageddon will soon release the world from Satan’s grip. In the U.S., the Jehovah’s Witnesses operate more than 14,000 congregations with about 1 million members.

Internal documents obtained by Reveal show that the Witnesses have systematically instructed elders and other leaders to keep child sexual abuse confidential, while collecting detailed information on congregants who prey on children. . .

Continue reading.

At the link is an audio program on this.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 9:06 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Religion

The drawbacks of close-knit religious communities: Protection of miscreants

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Rachel Aviv has a somewhat depressing article on how the Hasidic community turned on a man whose son was molested by a member of the community, a man who turned out to have molested numerous boys, some of them repeatedly. The community worked hard to protect the molester (for reasons that are completely unclear to me). The entire story is worth reading. It shows the drawback of such close-knit communities which seem always to protect criminals to avoid feeling uncomfortable—the sacrifice of the children’s well-being does not seem to matter to them.

The article begins:

Sam Kellner’s reputation in the Hasidic community of Borough Park, Brooklyn, began to suffer in 2008, when his teen-age son told him that he had been molested by a man who had prayed at their synagogue. Kellner’s first instinct was to run the man over with his van, but he didn’t know if his anger was justified. Molestation was rarely discussed in the community, and it didn’t seem to Kellner that any of the prohibitions in the Ten Commandments explicitly related to it. The most relevant sins—adultery and coveting a neighbor’s belongings—didn’t capture the depth of the violation. Kellner couldn’t pinpoint what was lost when a child was sexually abused, since the person looked the same afterward. But he sensed that molestation was damaging, because he knew a few victims, and they had gone off the derech, or religious way. “They became dead-enders, lost souls, outcasts,” he told me.

Kellner, a heavyset man with hazel eyes and a long, graying beard, never spoke about sexual matters with his six children. They would take classes about the human body (with a focus on how to get pregnant) only after their marriages were arranged. Kellner took his son to a modesty committee, called vaad hatznius, which enforces standards of sexual propriety among Borough Park’s hundred thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews, the majority of them Hasidic. Vaad hatznius disciplines residents who freely express their sexuality or behave lewdly. In a community where non-procreative sex is considered shameful, molestation tends to be regarded in roughly the same light as having an affair. When children complain about being molested, the council almost never notifies the police. Instead, it devises its own punishments for offenders: sometimes they are compelled to apologize, pay restitution, or move to Israel.

Kellner had once been a top administrator at the Munkacz synagogue and yeshiva, in Borough Park, but he had fought with other leaders about financial and educational policies. He had left the job and started a toner business, collecting discarded cartridges and reselling them. His son’s alleged abuser, Baruch Lebovits, was the descendant of a rabbinic dynasty, a prominent cantor with twenty-four grandchildren. Kellner told vaad hatznius that he wanted to report his son’s abuse to the police, because he didn’t trust that the issue could be dealt with internally.

The committee granted him permission, as long he had the approval of a rabbi. The rabbi would have to make an exception to the Talmudic prohibition againstmesirah, the act of turning over another Jew to civil authorities. According to some interpretations of Talmudic law, a Jew who informs on another Jew has committed a capital crime. He is a “wicked man,” who has “blasphemed and rebelled against the law of Moses,” the twelfth-century Torah scholar Maimonides wrote. The law was meant to protect the community from anti-Semitic governments. Kellner said, “The way history tells it is that if a Jew was arrested he was thrown in jail and never heard of again.”

Hasidim, whose movement emerged in the eighteenth century as a mystical, populist alternative to traditional Judaism, are defined in part by their concern for self-preservation. Kellner is the son of Hungarian Holocaust survivors who re-created in Brooklyn a community that had been destroyed by the war. Men dress in black frock coats; married women wear long skirts and hide their hair, which is considered alluring, under shawls or wigs. They speak Yiddish, and resist television, the Internet, and other secular forms of entertainment. Hasidic parents take literally the Lord’s order to “be fruitful and multiply”—they intend to replenish a culture devastated by the Holocaust—and Hasidim are now the fastest-growing segment of the Jewish population in New York City. Sixty per cent of the city’s Jewish children, many of them Hasidic, live in Orthodox homes.

Kellner, who was a member of a synagogue that is closely affiliated with the Satmar sect, the largest Hasidic community in New York, wasn’t sure that the prohibition against mesirah made sense in a country where, he said, “the justice system is credible enough.” Although the Satmar community distrusts secular government, it participates fully in the democratic process. Hasidim typically vote as a bloc, delivering tens of thousands of votes to the politicians their leaders endorse. In exchange for the community’s loyalty, politicians have given Brooklyn’s Hasidim wide latitude to police themselves. They have their own emergency medical corps, a security patrol, and a rabbinic court system, which often handles criminal allegations.

Kellner sought counsel from Rabbi Chaim Flohr, the leader of an institute where rabbinic scholars study how the teachings of the Torah translate to contemporary dilemmas. After listening to Kellner’s story, Flohr called the modesty councils in Borough Park and Williamsburg (where there are sixty thousand Hasidim) to see if other children had reported being molested by Lebovits. Flohr wrote in an affidavit that “numerous complaints and allegations of a similar nature had been made against Baruch Lebovits dating back over a long period of time.” Flohr told Kellner that he was justified in going to the police, because Lebovits could be considered a rodef, or pursuer, someone who is endangering the lives of other Jews. In a letter, Flohr wrote, “Behold I make known in the public arena: to praise an honest man, namely Mr. Shloma Aron Kellner, may his light shine, that how he acted in regards to the government was based on a query before a rabbinic court and was done according to our Holy Torah. . . . It is forbidden to trouble him or humiliate him.”

With the rabbi’s approval, Kellner took his son, whom I’ll call Yossel, to the offices of the Brooklyn Special Victims Unit, in Crown Heights, to speak with Steven Litwin, the senior detective. A studious and introspective boy, Yossel explained that Lebovits had offered him a ride home from a school outing late at night, then reached over to the passenger seat and molested him. He said that Lebovits was soon moaning and grunting. He told his teacher what had happened, but the teacher said that Lebovits was a “respected person” and instructed him not to think about the incident again.

Litwin found the boy’s “claims to be extremely credible,” he wrote in an affidavit. But he told Kellner that the crime was a misdemeanor, and that it was unlikely that Lebovits, a first-time offender, would receive jail time. Disappointed, Kellner said that Lebovits had molested other boys, too. “O.K., so help me find them,” Litwin told him.

Kellner went back to the modesty council and was given the name of another boy, Joshua, who had complained about Lebovits. (All victims’ names have been changed.) Joshua said that, starting in 2000, when he was twelve, Lebovits sometimes drove alongside him while he was walking to school, honking his horn and encouraging him to get into the car, where Lebovits performed oral sex on him. Joshua said that, on other occasions, Lebovits molested him in the mikvah, a ritual bath that was in the basement of his synagogue.

Joshua had gone to a yeshiva for students with developmental disabilities. His family was poor, and he begged for charity outside synagogues and weddings, a common practice in Borough Park, where the poorest members of the Hasidic community live and pray next to the wealthiest. They patronize the same businesses on Thirteenth Avenue, a commercial strip of kosher restaurants and shops. Although Kellner had never met Joshua, he drove to his house and offered him work helping to plan the wedding of a mutual acquaintance. Kellner gradually steered the conversation toward Baruch Lebovits, and urged Joshua to report his abuse. Joshua became jittery and hyper. “Listen, unless you go to the authorities, you’ll never feel relaxed,” Kellner told him. “You’ll never feel unviolated.”

On March 6, 2008, Joshua told Detective Litwin that he had been molested by Lebovits on more than thirty occasions over four years. Once, he said, Lebovits had picked him up on his way to school and anally raped him in a building near his yeshiva. After each encounter, Lebovits apologized and promised he would never do it again.

Five days later, Baruch Lebovits was arrested in front of his house. Although Joshua’s name wasn’t publicly released, everyone in his neighborhood seemed to know that he had gone to the police. Natalie Hadad, his best friend, said, “People would call him and say, ‘If you testify, bad things are going to happen to your parents. If you testify, you’re going to get thrown out of Borough Park.’ ” . . .

Continue reading.

The behavior of the community is clearly unethical, immoral, and contemptible, but I would like to understand why people can go to such lengths to protect a sexual predator. I don’t get it. Is it the religion? I don’t think so. Indeed, the actions of those who are willing to sacrifice the children seem rather obviously against the teachings of religion regarding moral behavior.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 8:55 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Religion

Supersmooth with Sheraton and Kai

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SOTD 19 Feb 2015

Extremely good result. The soap shown is a sample since I agreed to do a test. The brush is my Plisson HMW 12 with a horn handle.

The soap was unscented, but the odor was a bit off-putting, possibly a smell picked up from the paper wrapper. I easily got a good lather, but it proved unstable: by the third pass I had to reload the brush. And the glide was not all that good, though that may have been the razor?

The razor is a Gillette Sheraton, and it carried a Kai blade: sharp like a Feather, only smoother. (That’s my take, but blades are notoriously YMMV.) With three passes, a very pleasant BBS result.

A good splash of Stetson Sierra and then a trip to San Jose.

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2015 at 8:34 am

Posted in Shaving

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