Category Archives: Surveillance

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Not A Single Problem Resolved

Perhaps one of the best political quotes I’ve seen lately, “not a single problem resolved”, uttered by Dr. Ben Carson.

This is one of the most disappointing presidential election cycles since 1920, when Warren G. Harding ran against James M. Cox. The leads in both political parties at this point are, Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, and Donald Trump for the Republicans. Both have changed their positions more often than players on a scrimmage line. Neither of them appear to be trustworthy.

Yes, both Trump and Clinton have strong support but for entirely different reasons. Donald Trump has tapped into the general angst of the populace and their dissatisfaction with the way things have been handled by both parties. Hillary Clinton is attracting both progressives and women voters.

The Trump campaign is unique in that whatever he says, redounds to his benefit. Almost anyone who you could think of, saying things that emanate from Mr. Trump, would have been tossed aside by the electorate by now. Not so for Donald Trump. He’s the political equivalent of the Eveready Rabbit.

If you are a voter who says, I want an honest person to be the next President, well those choices exist. Bernie Sanders for the Democrats and Ben Carson for the Republicans. Both of them tell you what they think, are consistent with their speech and represent almost 180 degree different viewpoints.

Dr. Carson has been largely ignored by the news media compared to the top 3, especially Donald Trump, who like the class clown gets all the attention. He differs radically in temperament compared to Trump. Quiet, well spoken, self-assured, not aggrandizing, but he doesn’t look like he has the votes, so far in the primaries.

Bernie Sanders has to be commended for his honesty. Whether you like him or not as a candidate for the Presidency, he explains where he stands, and he hasn’t altered his viewpoint to suit the times. For example, Hillary Clinton supported the war in Iraq in 2002. Only six congressmen and one U.S. senator of the Republicans voted against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq in 2002.

Here’s what Bernie Sanders announced then.

In October 2001, as a member of the U.S. Senate, Hillary Clinton voted for the Patriot Act. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bernie Sanders voted against the USA Patriot Act in 2001. The Patriot act greatly expanded the surveillance powers of the federal government. This Act should have been set aside in court as a violation of the Constitution.

On the subject of Gays in the military and the Marriage Defense act of 1996, this is the position of Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton for years disapproved of Gay marriage, supported her husband on DOMA. In 2013 her views changed, not unsurprisingly when the views of many  of the electorate also changed. Some may say that she’s evolving with the times, while her critics suggest this is another about face to gain popularity.

Bernie Sanders is unabashedly a socialist. No one can argue that most of the Democrats are, but here’s someone that comes right out and tells you his position. Again, you may not agree with him, but you’ve got to give him props for honesty.

We go into Super Tuesday and may see more people drop out, but in the mean time, the Trump bandwagon will likely continue to roll, in spite of what may seem unusual or unexplainable position statements.

How Patriotic is the Act?

I’ve written about this topic before and as seen in this video, most people won’t pay attention to a story about national surveillance unless the conversation is dumbed down. Just in case you aren’t too busy watching TV, standing in line reading the latest tabloid about the Kardashians, buying lottery tickets, or checking out the sports scores, I’m going to post this in hope that it matters to some people. I won’t be using only simple words or sarcasm to explain the problem. Only those who have a reasonable vocabulary and attention span will want to understand this topic.

Edward Snowden decided while working as a contractor for the NSA, the United States was over stepping the bounds of human decency and reasonable limits when it came to spying on American citizens as well as International organizations which shouldn’t be the target of focus. In the video, he cited UNICEF as an example, or the negotiation of lawyers over the pricing of shrimp.

John Oliver, using his comic style and making absurd references, presented some of the reasons the Patriot Act is a law which may be used as a tool for extreme covert activity by people given unprecedented power to invade our privacy, and to release potentially harmful information as a weapon of influence or control.

One of several Drone types.

One of several Drone types.

Domestic surveillance has become common place for local police, through the use of cellular data capture utilizing devices within a limited area, or drone technology.

Key to the growth of surveillance technology is the public desire to keep people safe, combined with apathy of most people as to how technology is used. This is how a draconian law like the Patriot Act got passed.

News for the Tech Trade


Guns are Safer than People

Fear of Objects – Liam Neeson was  quoted as saying that he doesn’t believe people should have the right to bear arms.
Liam Neeson has acted in 3 films involving himself in a role as someone who uses guns against those who have kidnapped a member of his family. Clearly these are movies, only entertainment, but what it suggests, it’s OK to perform vigilante acts using any means possible, including the use of small-caliber firearms. His response to the charge of hypocrisy; “You can slap me in the face with that and say I’m a liar. My defense is that it’s very much cartoon violence. That’s what I see it as: Tom and Jerry played out with human beings.

Mr. Neeson, you totally don’t seem to understand.  Endorsement of cigarette products on television were curtailed as well as routinely seeing actors smoke in movies . The reason this occurred, is the response to a product when used frequently will cause addiction & many cancers.

Hollywood has been obsessed with guns for about 100 years. Can anyone believe the sincerity of an individual decrying a product which they use extensively to help them make millions of dollars?

Meanwhile, despite overwhelming evidence that the possession of firearms frequently diminishes crime when laws permit the ownership and carry, as well as many people who have protected themselves or others in stopping someone from using theirs to harm others, we see him denounce the basic human right of protecting yourself or a loved one.

Gunfight rulesfiring at targets on the range

These are shooting tips from various Concealed Carry Instructors. If you own a gun, you will appreciate these rules… If not, you should get one, learn how to use it and learn the rules.

A • Guns have only two enemies: rust and politicians.
B • Its always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
C • Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.
D • Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside arm’s length.
E • Never say “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they should hear is the safety clicking off or the hammer cocking.
F • The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.
G • The most important rule in a gunfight is:  Always Win • there is no such thing as a fair fight.  Always Win – cheat if necessary.  Always Win – 2nd place doesn’t count.
H • Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets ….  You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it because it will be empty .
I •  If you’re in a gun fight:  (a) If you’re not shooting, you should be loading.  (b) If you’re not loading, you should be moving.  (c) If you’re not moving, you’re dead.
J • In a life and death situation, do something …. it may be wrong, but do something!
K • If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?
L • You can say “stop” or any other word, but a large-bore muzzle  pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language; and, you won’t have to press (1) for Spanish/Mexican or (2) for Chinese or (3) for Arabic.
M • Never leave an enemy behind. If you have to shoot, shoot to kill.  In court, yours will be the only testimony.
N • You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family.

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.”

In a gunfight, the most important rule is ….. HAVE A GUN!!!