Archive for the Category » Big Brother «

May 14th, 2010 | Author:

What is it with SWAT teams?  Are they all dyslexic?  Illiterate?  Brain-dead?

Once again, a SWAT team in Georgia has raided the wrong house – this after a supposed two-year investigation.  Maybe I’m missing something here, but it would seem that after two years they would know where they’re supposed to be going.

Once again, an elderly woman (this time 76-year-old  Helen Pruett)  has suffered the consequences (this time a heart attack.)

Once again, there will be an “internal investigation” and absolutely nothing will happen to these cowboys. (To their credit, this time they did actually apologize.)

In my rural area we have annual hunting accidents, where a horse or a dog or a mule is shot because some yahoo thought it was a deer.  I’ve long proposed that prospective hunters be required to pick a deer out of a photo line-up to get their license.

Perhaps SWAT teams should have to prove they can read a map and follow directions before they’re given weapons.

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May 14th, 2010 | Author:

Even CNN is writing about privacy issues associated with Facebook.  Some prominent folks are deleting their Facebook pages in protest.  I never used it much and deleted my account months ago for the same reasons, but for those of you asking, “But how would I stay in touch?” there are some new options:

Clique – privacy enhanced Social Network Site

Decentralize the web with Diaspora

This is not so much an endorsement of these particular projects – although I think they’re on the right track and I’d encourage you to check them out – as it is an endorsement of the free market.

People complain about Facebook and – Boom! – up step some folks offering alternatives.

Ya’ gotta love it.

Update: Even Homeland Security is warning about the risks of social networking sites:

RISK RATING:  High

The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults.

The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.

How to protect yourself now link

Social networking sites rely on connections and communication, so they encourage you to provide a certain amount of personal information. When deciding how much information to reveal, people may not exercise the same amount of caution as they would when meeting someone in person because

  • the internet provides a sense of anonymity
  • the lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security
  • they tailor the information for their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it
  • they want to offer insights to impress potential friends or associates

While the majority of people using these sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information that’s available. The more information malicious people have about you, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. Predators may form relationships online and then convince unsuspecting individuals to meet them in person. That could lead to a dangerous situation. The personal information can also be used to conduct a social engineering attack . Using information that you provide about your location, hobbies, interests, and friends, a malicious person could impersonate a trusted friend or convince you that they have the authority to access other personal or financial data.

Additionally, because of the popularity of these sites, attackers may use them to distribute malicious code. Sites that offer applications developed by third parties are particularly susceptible. Attackers may be able to create customized applications that appear to be innocent while infecting your computer without your knowledge.

Hmm … haven’t I heard some Washington Chicken Littles warning about cyber security?  Is this a valid warning, or just another justification for taking over another industry?

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Category: abuse of power, Big Brother, economics, privacy  | Comments off
May 10th, 2010 | Author:

Only in New York could an ignorant assemblyman (Richard Brodsky) introduce a bill that could make killing people – without their consent – into law.   Citing the need for organ donors, Brodsky proposes that everyone is designated an organ donor unless they opt-out.

Disregarding the paperwork nightmare this would create; ignoring the fact that those who harvest organs would have a vested interest in not being able to find that “opt-out” paperwork; and not even considering how a child is supposed to “opt-out” of this nightmare; just the fact that the whole premise of “brain death” or “cardiac death” has been medically refuted by none other than the New England Journal of Medicine makes this bill ridiculous.

What does this mean to you and me?

It means that we someday might wind up like a “dead” man in France who, on the operating table as doctors prepared to remove his organs, suddenly came back to life.

It means that, if Brodsky’s bill becomes law, transplant teams will remove organs from live patients, committing legalized murder in the process.

If you trust those doctor’s a lot more than I do, by all means, sign up as an organ donor.

If you think Obama’s death squads won’t jump on this to decide who is more deserving of a healthy organ – the person to whom it belongs, or the person whose own is failing – by all means, sign up as an organ donor. A member of Obama’s staff, Cass Sunstein, has already written a book proposing this very thing on a national basis, stating that the real problem is getting a family’s consent.

And if you’re like me and you’re having a hard time wrapping your brain around this, take a look at Monty Python’s view of the situation.  I think they’ve got it about right.

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April 14th, 2010 | Author:

Who says bloggers have no influence?  Follow this progression:

  1. Democrats ram Obamacare down our throats
  2. CEO’s of major corporations announce the costs of said Obamacare, as required by law
  3. Lead democrat Waxman has a hissy fit and calls said CEO’s, including Stephenson of AT&T, to appear at a committee hearing
  4. This blogger, akaGaGa, writes a letter of regret on behalf of Stephenson, explaining why he won’t can’t comply attend
  5. Waxman cancels the hearing.

If that’s not cause and effect, I don’t know what is.

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March 27th, 2010 | Author:

In this country known for the free speech of its citizens, it appears that freedom doesn’t apply to critics of the current regime.  According to Power Line, companies such as Caterpillar, AT&T, Medtronic, and Verizon have each made announcements about the negative effects that Obamacare will have on their businesses,  from health care benefit cuts to massive layoffs.

This apparently has not set well with our masters in Washington, so they’re flexing their muscles and looking for retribution.  Power Line has posted a copy of a letter sent to Randall Stephenson, the President and CEO of AT&T [page 1 and page 2] requesting his “personal testimony” at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in April.  And, oh, by the way.  Bring all your top brass, and send us all your internal documents and accounting methods to prove your statements about the cost of Obamacare.  [Apparently, each of these companies received similar letters.]

In case Mr. Stephenson is too busy running his business to respond, I’ll do it for him.

Dear Mr. Waxman and Mr. Stupak,

I have received your letter of March 26, 2010 requesting my testimony at a hearing on April 21, 2010.  Unfortunately, I must decline your kind invitation as I have a prior commitment that day.  I promised my wife I’d wash the car.

Nor will I be able to send the proprietary documents you requested.  My lawyer has advised me they can’t leave the building without a subpoena.

Further, as President and CEO of AT&T, I will continue to make public the effect that government intervention, including Obamacare, has on our business operations.

Take that, you pompous, supercilious thugs.

Sincerely,

Randall Stephenson

President & CEO of AT&T

3.29.10 update:  Letters to Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon, and AT&T have been posted on The Energy & Commerce Subcommittee website.

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