Friday, July 26, 2013

No, Mr. Culberson, We Want ALL of the Spying to Stop

From The Blaze:

While the most talked-about news out of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday was the defeat of the so-called Amash amendment that would have defunded the NSA’s massive data collection program, another amendment related to NSA spying was quietly passed overwhelmingly by lawmakers.

The amendment that passed is reportedly intended to “ensure none of the funds may be used by the NSA to target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails.” 

Culberson told TheBlaze in a phone interview why he supported the Pompeo amendment over the more sweeping amendment authored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).
He argued the amendment properly requires that no funds can be used by the NSA to collect or store the content of American citizens’ communications data. This includes phone calls and emails. The amendment; however, does not seem to restrict the NSA’s ability to continue collecting and storing massive amounts metadata. 
The Amash amendment would have prevented the NSA from using any funds to collect any data on persons that are not under investigation.

Then, this:
The Pompeo amendment may not fully address privacy advocates’ concerns about NSA spying, but those like Culberson feel it’s a step in the right direction.

Damn it, man.  I don't want a step in the right direction! I want to get to the destination! If you have a roach problem in your house, squashing one of the bugs is a step in the right direction.  But it doesn't solve the problem!
Solve the problem already!!! Quit playing games with our rights, our privacy and our civil liberties!!!!

The Government Wants Your Passwords Now, Too

From CNet:

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed. 
Some of the government orders demand not only a user's password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

This, the day after the House (including my own Representative, Michael McCaul) killed an amendment that would defund the NSA's unconstitutional spying programs.

What Orwellian hell has this country become?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Don't Let Down Your Guard

Yes, the gun control debate has subsided over the past couple of months (with the exception of the Pot-stirrer-in-Chief calling for gun control in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict). But this is a reminder that giving up our rights - even a little bit - will have disastrous consequences.

How I Met Your Mother's Kids Strike Back

Hilarious. Bring on the final season!

Now You Can Lick Rush

From CBC News:

The Tragically Hip, Rush, the Guess Who and Beau Dommage are featured on stamps issued Friday by Canada Post. 
The stamps are part of a series featuring Canadian artists, but for the first time spotlight bands rather than individual artists. 
"These names have enormous history and, along with their all-time classics, are still very influential in the rock scene," said designer Louis Gagnon. "It was very rewarding to design their stamps."

Congratulations to Rush, which finally seems to be getting some of the respect they so richly deserve.

The Superman/Batman Movie: An Exercise in "Me Too"

From The Independent:

It is the news for which superhero fans have always longed: Superman and Batman are to appear together in the same film for the first time. 
At San Diego’s annual Comic-Con this weekend, the Man of Steel director Zack Snyder revealed that DC Comics’ best-known heroes will meet on the big screen – and will be fighting each other. 
“Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world,” said Snyder, who will direct the as-yet unnamed film, scheduled for release in summer 2015.

A  lot of geeks just shat themselves over the weekend.  Me? I think it's a little early for this kind of movie. Superman/Clark Kent needs more character development first. We've only seen a few seconds of Clark Kent the reporter and none of his life in Metropolis yet. This movie should be after the next Superman movie - that is, after we care a little more.

Nevermind the fact that the Batman character was left completely up in the air at the end of the last Dark Knight film. That means we need more character development there, too.

Too much, too soon.

DC is so busy trying to catch up to Marvel and the Avengers that it's lost sight of real story development and its characters. It's squandering a decade - perhaps two - of superhero movies for a quick buck.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Lynching

Yet again, Bill Whittle is amazing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Old Data

From Slashdot:

A team of researchers at the University of Southampton have demonstrated a way to record and retrieve as much as 360 terabytes of digital data onto a single disk of quartz glass in a way that can withstand temperatures of up to 1000 C and should keep the data stable and readable for up to a million years.

Sounds awesome! Now word on the read/write speeds, though.

And why, exactly, would we want to save data longer than the human race? So our alien overlords could find out what our Facebook status was on July 14, 2112?

Obama: Honor Trayvon With Gun Control

From MSNBC: 

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking "ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence." 
His comments came as family members of Zimmerman and Martin, as well as pundits, celebrities, and court observers had strong reactions to Saturday’s not guilty verdict, with those reactions taking various forms — from joy and outrage to Shakespearean references and calls for peace. 
"I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities," Obama said in a statement on Sunday. 
"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin."
President Obama, you're an opportunistic race-baiting pot-stirring controversy-ginning piece of crap.
The Zimmerman case had nothing to do with gun violence or race.

Monday, July 8, 2013

This Is Where Erosion of Rights Has Led Us


It's stuff like this that makes me wonder if, ever given the order to use force against civilians, that the military and the police might just do it. Oathkeepers might not be enough.

The rights afforded to us in the Constitution are not a joke or something that can just be cast aside by any government agency that feels like they have a greater need, such as keeping us all safe.

We must demand that our rights be respected all the time - every time - or we may as not have any rights at all.