Thursday, September 24, 2009


Interesting articles from the past couple of days that frankly just fall under the heading of fools.

Let's start off with another of the Czars. This one isn't nearly the Prat that VanJones was, but then, this is a bit hard to swallow from a government official without reading an underlying tinge of threat. You can determine the amount of threat for yourself.
Mr. Lloyd said in a formal statement provided to the Washington Times through the FCC that his comment was being misinterpreted.

"The point I was trying to make was that there was dramatic social change in places like Rwanda and Venezuela and that media played an important part in that. I am not a Chavez supporter. I do not support any political leader other than the president of the United States. I do believe all Americans would benefit from more opportunities to participate in media and that the answer to ugly speech is not censorship, but more speech."

At another conference, Mr. Lloyd spoke about the need to remove white people from powerful positions in the media to give minorities a fairer chance.

"There's nothing more difficult than this because we have really truly, good, white people in important positions, and the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions," he said.

"And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. But we're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."

He added: "There are few things, I think, more frightening in the American mind than dark-skinned black men. Here I am."

Emphasis is mine. Note that Lloyd is a politico of undetermined power since he isn't in a defined position and we don't know what he will be allowed to set policy on. Statements like that clearly indicate that he believes that someone can push aside executives of private companies in order to meet some diversity plan. We've seen how they've pushed out execs in the major car companies. Could this be an extension of that?

If you want diversity in the media, it should come from the free market and not from some forced conception of what is fair. I doubt you'll be seeing many MSM execs jumping off the pier to make way for diversity.

The article has a bunch of other interesting info on Lloyd. Have fun.

Then there is Joe Scarborough. This fool thinks Glen Beck is bad for conservatism. I'd like to point out to Joe, SO WHAT? Beck may posture as a clown, but deprecating humor aside, he is asking questions and demanding the viewer figure it out. These people apparently don't listen to what he says. That's quite obvious when you get to the point where they demand to know how he's going to take responsibility for what happens. Well, so far I think he's done a very good job of keeping it peaceful and has forced a lot of people to actually do a lot of due diligence on topics he's handled.

I think Joe should stop pissing himself and realize that conservatives have pissed off far too much of the population in recent years. Now the Dems are doing the exact same thing, only difference is that they took the republican's irresponsible spending to the next level. Both groups miss what the middle/majority really want. But please Joe, continue attacking Beck with the Progressives. It will just make his points appear more valid to more people.

And lastly there are the fools in the UN. I'm just going to skip the general BS that is flying about. But there is an interesting point here:
One of the lead authors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Prof. Mojib Latif of Germany's Leibniz Institute, has admitted the Earth is entering a one to two decade cooling period. You haven't seen this reported in the mainstream media because they are too interested in shilling for the global warming crowd. They don't want to report this "inconvenient truth." BBC blogger Tom Feilden brings it home in this excerpt.

The global warming narrative - that mankind's addiction to burning fossil fuels is rapidly changing the climate - may be about to go seriously off message.

Far from suggesting the planet will get warmer, one of the world's leading climate modellers says the latest data indicates we could be in for a significant period of steady temperatures and possibly even a little global cooling.

Professor Mojib Latif, from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany, has been looking at the influence of cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. When he factored these natural fluctuations into his global climate model, professor Latif found the results would bring the remorseless rise in average global temperatures to an abrupt halt.

"The strong warming effect that we experienced during the last decades will be interrupted. Temperatures will be more or less steady for some years, and thereafter will pickup again and continue to warm".

With apologies to Al Gore, professor Latif's finding is something of an "inconvenient truth" for the global warming debate.

Nothing like having your main support scientist suddenly shouting out that the UN politicos of the IPCC don't have a clue.

Monday, September 21, 2009

MSM to Become the Ministry of Truth

So Obama thinks this is worthwhile.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).
Hmm. I wonder if there are any impediments placed on such groups for political speech. Well, I suppose they could overlook such restrictions being that they are only reporting the truth and not opinion as they constantly remind us.

But of course Obama thinks this all wonderful.
Obama said that good journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy," but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting -- especially on political blogs, from which a groundswell of support for his campaign emerged during the presidential election.

"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," he said.
Hmm. Funny that he doesn't seem to be reading any of the criticism of the papers. No doubt he honestly believes that the NYTimes isn't carrying his water, or that of liberals in general. I suppose that is all "good" journalism since many media outlets failed to bother reporting his associations with radicals or corrupt political groups like say ACORN.

It may not be 1984, but there certainly are a lot of things that smell fouly with regards to this idea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vacation Pictures

These first are the nicer pictures of some of the places we went on Mount Desert Island. This first is the Witch Pond Bridge. I think it is the finest of the bridges that Rockefeller placed on the island.

The rocky coast. I think this was somewhere near Otter Cliff.

Sunrise on Mount Cadillac. Damn cold and windy. Well, it was pretty.

Somme Sound fjard. I guess it doesn't quite qualify as a fjord, but it was interesting.

And this one really pissed me off. Look at the word "America" at the bottom right of the plaque.

Town Hall Security

I couldn't get to the original article quoted, but this one will do. Seems the local Sheriff decided to pull up some rather big crowd control devices from the town hall meetings. I'm still wondering why he thought this level of device would be necessary considering that no town hall meeting in the US has come to an actual riot.

Rep. Susan Davis-D Calif. and Rep. Darrell Issa-R Calif. held town halls that exceeded capacity (10,000+ total attendees) and prompted the Sheriff’s Department to have Long-Range Acoustic Devices(LRADs) standing ready.

Both town halls took place without incident; however the use of the military device concerned San Diegians. The LRAD crowd control is primarily used in Iraq to control insurgents and can cause serious and lasting harm to humans.

According to the manufacture, American Technology Corporation, the LRAD provides “military personnel the capability to transition through the rules of engagement to determine a target’s intent and also provides greater assurance that innocent lives on both sides of the device are not lost due to miscommunication.”

That being said why would local law enforcement feel the need to have such drastic measures on standby? Did the Sheriff Department have reason to believe a catastrophe was in the making?

In an interview with East County Magazine, Sheriff Gore answered a couple of questions. When asked about the use of sonic cannons directing a deterrent sound and the fact they are used in Iraq, Sheriff Gore replied; “That’s a precaution in case you need it.”

Well, hell, where are the flame-throwers and tanks then? You know just in case. What an imbecile.

Got to love this perspective as well.

At a Sheriff’s debate Gore was asked directly (by this writer) why he felt the need to place such heavy-handed piece of military equipment at two area town halls.

“The LRAD was purchased as a crowd dispersal unit,” Sheriff Gore explained. “It was held in reserve in both Susan Davis-D CA. and Darrell Issa-R CA/Duncan Hunter-R CA. events should there be any problems. We could use the LRAD in place of pepper spray.”

Although Gore said the LRAD was held in reserve, a photo taken at the town hall proves otherwise, said a Department of Defense Security Contractor source close to the story.

Gore continued to add that the devise is a non-lethal piece of equipment.

However that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sheriff candidate Jay LaSuer said, “I dispute this answer. It’s a very, very lethal weapon and they (LRAD) have no place in law enforcement.”

“Why would you use a LRAD when members of Congress invited people to talk about health care? The majority of the attendees are probably on Medicare. Are we going after terrorists on walkers now?” LaSuer said.

Spokesperson, Joe Kasper from Congressman Hunter’s office had this to say.

“We were not aware of any type of technology being used to monitor the event at which the Congressman appeared. Law enforcement always stands to benefit from more advanced equipment but, regardless of the system, these tools should be utilized in a manner that is both safe and responsible. More importantly, there are certain systems that should only be used when absolutely necessary, so I think it’s reasonable to question the practicality of this particular technology in this situation.”

Numerous calls made to Congresswoman Davis’s office went unreturned.

Further disputing the call to place military weaponry at town hall events came from a military insider who has been to Iraq and was a part of the testing of the LRAD in San Diego.

“Let me be real clear, this weapon can cause serious injury to the inner ear or result in death if utilized improperly within 30-feet. Furthermore, the LRAD requires explicit training so not to accidentally deploy the weapon which causes hearing loss as well as death,” the DOD source said.

Lovely. I'm sure using such a device in a huge crowd filled with the elderly wouldn't have been dangerous, not even taking into account the misuse of such a device.

If the Sheriff thought this was appropriate, then someone may want to reconsider his appropriateness for filling that post.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Merge the Databases, and Privacy Be Damned

No doubt the rush to get health care reform through during an unassociated economic crisis is the legitimizing factor to place huge risks in the privacy of all the proletariat.
One of the problems with any proposed law that's over 1,000 pages long and constantly changing is that much deviltry can lie in the details. Take the Democrats' proposal to rewrite health care policy, better known as H.R. 3200 or by opponents as "Obamacare." (Here's our CBS News television coverage.)

Section 431(a) of the bill says that the IRS must divulge taxpayer identity information, including the filing status, the modified adjusted gross income, the number of dependents, and "other information as is prescribed by" regulation. That information will be provided to the new Health Choices Commissioner and state health programs and used to determine who qualifies for "affordability credits."

Section 245(b)(2)(A) says the IRS must divulge tax return details -- there's no specified limit on what's available or unavailable -- to the Health Choices Commissioner. The purpose, again, is to verify "affordability credits."

Section 1801(a) says that the Social Security Administration can obtain tax return data on anyone who may be eligible for a "low-income prescription drug subsidy" but has not applied for it.

Over at the Institute for Policy Innovation (a free-market think tank and presumably no fan of Obamacare), Tom Giovanetti argues that: "How many thousands of federal employees will have access to your records? The privacy of your health records will be only as good as the most nosy, most dishonest and most malcontented federal employee.... So say good-bye to privacy from the federal government. It was fun while it lasted for 233 years."
Interesting, but the journalist in this case seems to not be convinced of the threat. Note to self, never take security or privacy advice from a journalist.
I'm not as certain as Giovanetti that this represents privacy's Armageddon. (Though I do wonder where the usual suspects like the Electronic Privacy Information Center are. Presumably inserting limits on information that can be disclosed -- and adding strict penalties on misuse of the information kept on file about hundreds of millions of Americans -- is at least as important as fretting about Facebook's privacy policy in Canada.)

A better candidate for a future privacy crisis is the so-called stimulus bill enacted with limited debate early this year. It mandated the "utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014," but included only limited privacy protections.

It's true that if the legislative branch chooses to create "affordability credits," it probably makes sense to ensure they're not abused. The goal of curbing fraud runs up against the goal of preserving individual privacy.
He adds an update that EPIC condemns the bill. I just find it fascinating that he is willing to weight fraud prevention equally against opening everyone's records to bureaucrats at the state and federal level. No doubt there won't be any abuse anything like what happened to "Joe the Plumber." The more people have open and free access to information, the more probable abuse will become. Legislating this with no limitations on access is asking for abuse.

Wonder why he won't mention that little things like databases can be accessed by programs to determine whether the person can receive benefits. If the program is in the IRS and will provide a simple yes or no answer to the query then there would be no reason for anyone to have full and open access. But hey, let's just open it all up instead of thinking about implementations.

UPDATE: In timely fashion here is a Schneier post that aids my point.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Those Poor Unfortunate Federal Workers

This makes me feel so bad for them:

Citing the current economic recession -- and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks eight years ago -- President Obama says he will use emergency powers to cut the programmed across-the-board January increase in federal employees' pay from 2.4 percent to 2.0 percent, according to a letter he sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday.

The move was not a surprise, as Obama telegraphed a 2 percent increase in the budget he proposed earlier this year. But it's certainly not welcome news for federal employees, whose unions protested when Obama's budget was released.

Let's see, I took a 10% pay cut this summer and haven't had a raise in 3 years, yeah I'm sympathetic with them getting a RAISE!

Jackass. Missing the economic situation and his out of control spending, he's still handing out raises. Nice responsible government.

Just Not Getting It

Jim Jones is Obama's National Security adviser, and frankly is a clueless git.
In an interview with ABC News, Jones said Obama's efforts to reach out to world leaders and improve relations with law enforcement agencies had made it easier to track and kill terrorists than during the Bush administration.

"We have better human intelligence. We know where the terrorists are moving," Jones told ABC.

"Because of the dialogue and the tone of the dialogue between us and our friends and allies ... the trend line against terrorism is positive," he added.
While noting that he was not keeping tallies of enemy combatants killed and captured under Obama and Bush, Jones said the numbers were going up as a result of good intelligence.

"We are seeing results that indicate more captures, more deaths of radical leaders and a kind of a global coming-together by the fact that this is a threat to not only the United States but to the world at-large," he said.
Jones did not, however, counter Cheney's argument that Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate suspected CIA prisoner abuses could have a chilling effect on the work of the intelligence agency.

"I think it is something we have to address," Jones said. "I think anybody who works in a law enforcement agency ... have to know clearly what the rules are."
So let's get this straight, the increased intelligence and success in taking down terrorist leaders is due to Obama being nice to foriegn leaders, not the fact that the intelligence systems had been put in place (by the Bush administration) and are now being focused on in the Pakistan/Afghanistan region. Fascinating that he can take credit for doing nothing. No evidence is provided that would actually show how the Obama administration's change in tactics demonstrably has caused this.

And you have to love the last quote about the CIA. They are most certainly NOT an LEO. It is primarily an INTELLIGENCE gathering department that also does covert activities. They aren't enforcing laws. He may actually want to read the National Security Act of 1947. This bit being relevant:

(d) HEAD OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. - In the Director's capacity as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director shall -

(1) collect intelligence through human sources and by other appropriate means, except that the Agency shall have no police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or internal security functions;

Pretty plain wording. Too bad Jones doesn't know what his own intelligence services are required to do.