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The Blanche Report: The Infiltrator, The Claquer & The Tourist

Blanche, something’s amiss in America. Yesterday the New York Times website went down for a few hours. They claim it was due to technical difficulties. Who knows. Today visitors to some articles on The Washington Post’s Web site were being redirected to the site of the Syrian Electronic Army, a hacker collective that supports the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. This same group tried to infiltrate CNN and Time magazine but were not successful.

Remember what we keep saying: Nothing is safe on the internet. Nothing.

And while we’re at it…a couple of years ago many people were switching their email providers from hotmail to gmail. Everyone claimed it was a much better and more efficient provider. Alas, it seems that some google (hence gmail) people were scanning their users’ emails for keywords that were then used to target advertising at those users. Which means Blanche, when you were writing that nice little email to  uncle Orville, there were people at google who were reading it before he did! Quel surprise!

On Tuesday we reported about Senator Pamela Wallin and her sad tale of woe with the auditors who want her to pay back over $100,000 for false travel and other claims. Well, today it was announced that every single senator will be audited. And a good thing too. There are just too many people with their hands in our pockets. My money is my money and your money is also my money. The party’s over dudes.

Guess what a claquer is? Claqueurs, as these professional fans are known, were once common in the world’s great theaters, but the practice mostly died out midway through the 20th century. They enter a theatre, fan out evenly to cover all sections and then…clap insanely at times designated by choreographers. Now guess where this is making a huge comeback? None other than the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow.

But claquers can also mess things up. If they clap in the opposite of the beat of the music – zut alors everyone gets thrown off. Ballerinas fall, the musicians get farklempt and the audience is left in the dark so to speak. So the next time you go somewhere where there’s clapping involved, take a good look at who’s clapping away and when. Ya never know. As everyone knows, Egypt has erupted into a full blown volcano. And as everyone knew before the violence erupted, this was going to happen. And then we read that no less than 40,000 Brits are vacationing in Egypt. Granted they are not all in Cairo, many are at beach resorts. Are they nuts? Or do they think it’s a game to live dangerously? Blanche make sure da next time ya plan dat vacation dat we take, it betta be in a safe place. We don’t wanna have to leave da place witout our suitcase.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

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