One Libertarian trying to make you think harder about the world.

Those who can, do. Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, administrate. Those who can't administrate run for public office.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Attacks On Free Flowing Information

Related Articles:

The Register

Quote from the article:

"Government's tendency to morph from blocking "child porn" to censoring discussion of all government censorship was illustrated this week when German Police raided the offices of Wikileaks Germany."

If you want to know what Wikileaks is about, visit the website here. A quote from their website:

"We are of assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and institutions."

Wikileaks has long been known to have many government documents uploaded to its site and I have used it before on here. It is the best example of how to keep powerful and crooked governments in their place. Of course, they don't like this so, logically, they will try to stop it. That is exactly what the German government did and they have no excuse.

Australia is also guilty of censorship. Australia has a system set up where they block access to sites in their nation based on "complaints" from citizens and based on a list of sites "citizens" think should be blocked. That is a load of bull. Australia doesn't want its country to know what sites it is blocking. Their list of blacklisted sites was leaked to Wikileaks and they went and blocked Wikileaks. I guess they aren't just blocking sites that the citizens want then since they should already know about it? And how do web services know what sites to block then if the list is classified? Never let the government tell you they are doing something in your best interest and just let them go. The same thing happens in America all the time.

This type of censorship is not far off in America. Once the government takes over national cyber-security, as it is trying to do right now, censorhip will be imminent.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Interesting Fact #1

Related Articles:

Science Daily

I thought it would be a cool idea to start doing some posts about interesting facts I may stumble across once in awhile, sort of like the Snapple caps but not exactly. It can't hurt to expand our knowledge of other subjects a little bit.

This article pretty much explains why I see so well. Playing action video games can increase the efficiency of the processing of visual information by your brain. A few years ago I used to play Unreal Tournament 2004 all the time; it is coincidental that it is mentioned in the article as one of the games used in testing.

Banning Things Doesn't Work

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I don't know how many times I will say it, but I'm sure you will see it a lot on this blog: banning things does not work.

Here we have another example of how slow the government is to react to something. Background information: owners of pet Burmese pythons have been releasing them into the Everglades for some time now, whether it be because they didn't realize just how huge they get or they just got bored of them. The species has taken hold in the Everglades and is breeding in the wild. Its population is thought to be over 30,000 individuals in the Everglades. First the good news: there is a python patrol in the Florida Keys trying to keep Burmese pythons from spreading there via the Everglades. The bad news, it is way too late and I have a few problems with trying to ban the importation of Burmese pythons (they are trying to do it):

1. When you ban something its value skyrockets, thus creating another criminal opportunity. Let responsible people own these snakes if they want. Instead of banning them, make a registration system so that when people buy one you know who is supposed to own them and who isn't. Create a penalty under the law for releasing them into the wild and hold people accountable. Don't take away the freedoms of all because of a few idiots.

2. If there are over 30,000 Burmese pythons currently in the Everglades and there has been evidence found that they are breeding in the wild, there is nothing we can do about it at this point. That is a foothold in the ecosystem that we cannot break. If you were going to do something about the population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades it should have been done years ago when we first knew about this. Of course, the government never reacts until it is too late.

3. The bill introduced by Florida Senator Bill Nelson only bans Burmese pythons. This shows how little research politicians do before writing a bill. Reticulated pythons grow longer than Burmese pythons and anacondas grow much heavier and they are both legal. Now, I am not saying ban them all I am just using this as an example of the stupidity of this Senator.

4. Accept the fact that you will not be able to eradicate them from the Everglades at this point. Now let us look at the big picture: they will not spread much farther than the immediate area because they need a very specific climate and even just a little north of the Everglades it would be no good.

Now for my real ideas on how to fix this. Make a registration system for all new imported, large snake species (i.e. large pythons and boas) and register them to an owner. Implant a microchip under the skin and there will be no problems. If it is tracked in the wild the person is in trouble and you can hold them accountable. This way, responsible owners who want to enjoy the animals, can have their animals.

It took me about ten minutes to think of this better alternative, why is it so hard for thick-headed and ignorant politicians to do that? Do they understand anything outside of the actual politics? (As you can tell I am a snake enthusiast.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

We Need New Role Models

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Newsnet 14

I have been thinking a lot about culture lately so I feel the need to write this article.

Did you ever ask yourself, why does the media glamorize rappers more than any other musicians? Why is it almost every time they want to portray someone as "cool" that they show some guy trying to look like a rapper-type? Rappers, athletes, and Hollywood stars are not meant to be role models for kids. Parents are supposed to be there for their kids and are supposed to be teaching them how they should act and making sure they don't get involved with people that are a bad influence.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring someone's lyrical talent or physical abilities but there is no need to think that what they do or talk about is in any way right. There are too many children in this country who don't have parents there to look up to or at least parents who try hard and they have to find role models elsewhere.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is It Time For Term Limits For Congress?

Let me start by saying the answer is yes. It has been time for a long, long time. Finally enough people are complaining that it may actually get done. There is absolutely no need to have Senators or Representatives in office for more than twenty years. Being in such a realm for so long all but ensures that you will be corrupted and/or become complacent. Being a public servant means that you are doing just that: serving. You are not supposed to be making a career for yourself by sitting in Congress.

In order to restore what serving in Congress was meant to be, term limits need to be instituted. Two terms for Senators (8 years, need to cut terms to four years each) and three terms for the house (6 years) is enough time for any one person to be allowed to serve. The way it is set up now there are politicians who intend on gaining one of these positions in order to make the money and sit on it for many years. We must stop this, if this is really meant to be a public service than people who are willing to serve will step forward regardless of the pay.

While I am at it, let me state that Senators and Representatives should also have their pay cut. Again, this is a public service, not a career. 99% of these people are wealthy to begin with and don't need $169,300 salaries. Take what the average American makes and pay them that. They don't even work as much as a normal, hard-working American in the first place.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fixing Mexico

Over the past few days there has been a lot of talk about what to do about Mexico. There is violence spreading across our unprotected border, thanks to the drug cartels, and for some reason not one of these politicians is suggesting securing our border.

There are two things we can do in this Mexico situation and neither of them involve sending our army into Mexico or giving them monetary aid. Firstly, legalize drugs and the drug cartels will go out of business, or at the very least have to file legal papers and do things legally. If people want to use drugs it is their own problem and their own stupidity. Secondly, stop people from illegally flowing over the border. Illegal immigrants have taken the jobs of low wage Americans who deserve those jobs. Don't tell me that no one wants to do those jobs. Who do you think did those jobs before? No one? No, someone was getting it done. We have a large unemployment rate right now and we are letting cheap workers flow into America. Illegals take what other immigrants had to go through and defecate on it. Put up a fence and put guards there with shoot to kill orders on anyone who comes across illegally. Make the punishment for hiring illegals much harsher to encourage businesses to do it the right way.

Of course, the only reason this probably won't happen is because all of our slimy politicians are hiring illegals to work for them behind the scenes.

Security Watch

Related Articles:

Security Fix

I have made it a major point on here to stress how aware you need to be about information security. It is not necessarily a political issue, although it does often leak into the political domain. It is an important issue for us to understand nonetheless. The one thing you always have to remember is that no information system is secure.

This article describes a kind of black market system loaded with a large number of people's information. I am actually contemplating spending the $20-$30 to find out if my information is on the site listed in the article. It may be worth it in order to change any information before it is used and fraud is committed against me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Freedom of Thought Being Cut Down

Related Articles:

Fox News

This article is a must-read. You must read the entire thing and you will be disgusted. Soon every type of thinking, that doesn't involve what people in the government want you to think, will be stopped if this keeps going on. Apparently if you support Ron Paul (the certain Republican member of Congress) or third parties, you can be considered part of a domestic paramilitary group simply because of that.

Let me state that this is a very, very dangerous road to go down. It seems like everyone who isn't on board with the main two parties is going to be considered some kind of radical. That is exactly what they want though; anyone outside is a threat to them because they aren't under their guise and they actually think.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Example of Government Stupidity

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I have made a number of posts about information security and the government; this is just another one. Apparently, not so surprisingly though, the new smart grid switches being implemented throughout our power system are vulnerable to a number of hacks. A security company already created a worm in its own labs capable of spreading through the power grid and China has already said they could shut down the US power grid at any time. Nice to know the government considers security before going through with something.

Actually, they don't consider anything. They think "it's green so let's do it" and don't even give two seconds to think about anything else like feasibility, cost, and security.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Canada Is Becoming Pathetic

Related Articles:

Digital Journal

This story is absolutely sickening. If you would like to know why children in this era have a lack of discipline and a lack of respect, look no further. A Canadian court ruled that a father's grounding of his daughter by not letting her go on a school trip was too excessive and a court allowed her to go on the trip. The judge said she had already been sufficiently disciplined. How does a court judge have the right to tell you how to discipline your children? Is the state going to start raising our children for us and brainwashing them with whatever crap they want too? I can understand if there is serious physical abuse or murder going on why a court would step in but this is way, way over the top.

The whole thing started because the 12-year-old girl was posting pictures of herself on a dating site. If that was my daughter there would be a whole lot more monitoring after that. She did not follow his orders to stay off the internet after that and got herself in trouble. How is this a court's business at all? This girl is at the age where children test the limits of their parents and this is the time when parents need to be strong. Too bad the court will just tell you that you can't.

Sickening, disgusting, pathetic. Canada, you should be ashamed of your ignorant, moronic court system.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Decriminalize Drugs

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It is really about time people started talking about this. Legalizing drug use would give people freedom over their own bodies and at the same time get rid of a lot of gangs and cartels.

Cartels and gangs thrive off of selling drugs. Since the drugs they sell are illegal, their value is already much higher than it would be if there was legal competition to sell it and it could be mass produced. The state could impose some taxes on these drugs, much like they do with cigarettes, and make a lot of money off of it to and then lower our taxes (yeah right). If we are going to protect people from themselves like we currently do, why are alcohol and cigarettes legal then? Alcohol is a gateway just like marijuana.

For those of you who think this would cause more car accidents and drug related violence, increase the penalties dramatically. Let people use them so long as they are responsible and if they aren't, hit them with every harsh penalty you can think of as a deterrent. Our current laws are a joke. If you get a DUI you lose your license for what, 90 days? Try making that law five years for first offense and lifetime driving ban on second and I guarantee you DUI's will go down. Don't give me the crap about how they have a disability by being an alcoholic; if they cannot control themselves they can go to waste for all I am concerned. Let responsible people, who know how to recreationally use and not abuse, do what they wish.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama Book Deal

Related Articles:

Washington Times
Huffington Post

I don't know how much more bad publicity Mr. Obama can get but let me add some more. As Obama was talking about how Americans are hurting and how the average American is going through such hard times, he signed a book deal worth $500,000 dollars just days before he took office. As the President, he will be making $400,000 dollars for each of the four years he is in office. Not to mention he also made $1.2 million dollars last year on royalties from previous book sales. If the President is always going to be a wealthy person why are we paying them $400,000 dollars of taxpayer money? That may not be a lot in the overall scheme of things but every little bit counts; before you know it you widdle down a lot.

More Blame To The Government For AIG

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Quotes from first article:

"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed Thursday that the department did talk to Sen. Chris Dodd about a clause he put forth in the stimulus legislation that would have strictly limited executive bonuses."

"Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, also acknowledged Wednesday his role in controversy, after previously denying having anything to do with crafting language that permitted the bonuses."

So he lied to us, flat out. Why do we elect people we can't trust and then continue to vote for the same idiots?

"'It's my responsibility; I was in a position where I didn't know about those sooner. I take full responsibility for that,' he said."

You knew about this sooner. This deal about the AIG bonuses isn't as bad as it seems. AIG signed an agreement a year ago that stated these bonuses would be paid and they did it so that some of the executives they wanted would stay so they wouldn't have crashed even sooner. Now that the government messed up, they are trying to blame everyone else and they look really, really bad right now.

"On Tuesday, Dodd denied that he had anything to do with adding the language"

That's nice. He likes to lie. Let me ask any of you, if they lie this much until they get caught, what are they actually telling the truth about? Any of them? There is NO transparency. The government now wants to subpoena all of the executives that the head man wouldn't give up and he wouldn't give them up because he and his whole family have been receiving death threats and he doesn't want them to. Why don't we, the people, subpoena all of you Congressional morons to court to tell us every little thing you do?

"But, saying his previous comments had been misconstrued, Dodd said Wednesday that he added the exemption after getting pressure from the Treasury Department."

Now it is pressure?

"'I agreed reluctantly,' Dodd said. 'I was changing the amendment because others were insistent.'"

Now you go against your principals because of pressure? What a loser you are. If you go against what you think is right because some other people said so, you truly are a hopeless lunatic.

Quotes from second CNN article:

"Dodd, a Democrat, told CNN's Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer that Obama administration officials pushed for the language to an amendment designed to limit bonuses and 'golden parachutes' at those companies."

So wait, now it is the Obama administration? Who is it really Dodd?

Quote from last article:

"President Barack Obama has called the bonuses that AIG paid its employees an 'outrage,' but Obama himself received a 'bonus' of sorts from the insurance giant — more than $100,000 in campaign contributions."

NOW we get to the bottom of it. This is why they let AIG get the bonuses and even helped them. Now that it went public they are trying to clean themselves of the situation. It is a good thing some people like me know how to put research together to stop you bunch of zoo animals.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Sounds Like McCain

Related Articles:

Fox News
US News

John McCain during his campaign: "...the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Barack Obama about what McCain said (during campaign): "'Stubborn.' 'Out of touch.' 'Incapable of understanding' the economic crisis."

President Obama now: "'Of course the fundamentals are sound...' focus on '...all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy...'"

Sound familiar? All of these Republicans and Democrats are on the same side and just don't want you to know it. Either that or President Obama is a lot less liberal than he comes across. Here is the campaign process in a nutshell: start out somewhat far to each side of the spectrum so as to gain the interest of the far outs, move closer to the center after you win your party nomination, once you get elected become the same as every other president. Nice pattern.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pelosi = Pathetic

Related Articles:

The Washington Times
News Busters

It is nice to know that during a time of economic crisis, when the government wants to cut benefits to military veterans to save money, that they will be getting a pay raise this year. They claim eliminating next year's pay raise is good enough. Oh really? This year each Senator is making $169,300 salary, and that is on top of whatever they do on the side or whatever they own. That is strictly the salary paid by our tax dollars to each Senator. The average American, who votes these idiots into office, is making over $100,000 dollars per year less than these Senators who are getting an annual pay raise. Maybe it is time we make serving the US people a service and not a career. Every Senator's salary should be cut to that of the average American salary; they already have enough. If you really care about America you will do the job regardless of the money. Pelosi is the one who can hold a vote on a bill that would stop this, and she will not commit to doing it because she is a money-grubbing, corrupt, moron like every other politician in our Congress.

Don't believe me? Well it turns out in the bill that would increase minimum wage, American Samoa was somehow left out. Why? Well it turns out that Del Monte Foods is a major player in Pelosi's district and they own Starkist Tuna who employs 75% of the population of American Samoa. They wouldn't want to have minimum wage raised from $3.99 an hour to $7.25 an hour in Samoa now would they? I don't think so. Not to mention the fact that H.J. Heinz Company owns 75% of Del Monte Foods' stock and that is of course owned by the Heinz family. We all know John Kerry is married into that family. Smells? Yeah.

Now after the media took hold of it Pelosi says that it will be removed. Don't think they didn't realize it was in there. Exceptions like that don't happen by accident they are written in by someone. Even if they turned a blind eye to it, they are responsible.

I'm on a roll today, sorry for the large number of posts but there are still more to come.

Let AIG Die Already (Part 3)

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Well, now that AIG handed out nice big bonuses to a bunch of people for doing a bad job, the people who gave them the bailout money in the first place are angry. If they never gave them the bailout we wouldn't be having this discussion of course. Now the government is going to overstep its boundaries even more in order to fix the mess they created between themselves and AIG.

Quote from CNN article:

"'My colleagues and I are sending a letter to [AIG CEO Edward] Liddy informing him that he can go right ahead and tell the employees that are scheduled to get bonuses that they should voluntarily return them,' Sen. Charles Schumer said on the Senate floor. 'Because if they don't, we plan to tax virtually all of [the money] ... so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers.'"

Oh really? You are going to return the money to the taxpayers? No, you are going to spend it "in our best interest", not give us the money.

I forgot to mention that Chris Dodd is the one who put the legislation into the stimulus bill that exempted the bonuses from taxation. Now he has to cover his butt because it went public. What idiots will keep voting for these corrupted fools?

Quote from Newsmax article:

"Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, thundered on Monday: 'This is another outrageous example of executives — including those whose decisions were responsible for the problems that caused AIG’s collapse — enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers.'"

We wouldn't have to worry about them enriching themselves with the taxpayers' money if the taxpayers' money wasn't being sent to them by people like you, Dodd!

So again I will say it: AIG should have gone under. Now that the government screwed everything up as usual, they want to tax over 90% of the money back from those specific people. That means that the government will now be writing a form of tax legislation that applies to people based on where they work as well as the money they made. That action opens up a bunch of other doors that involve selective taxing that we do not want to go into.

Don't think that I don't blame the AIG executives as well, but they would have gotten their punishment when the whole company went down and the government stepped in and stopped it. If there is anything the government should have done it would be to make sure the executives lose if the company goes bankrupt, not to step in and control everything. The only punishment Senators get is when people vote them out (and people vote for the same idiots); which doesn't do much since every single Senator makes well over $500,000 a year on their own anyways.

Vivek Kundra Is A Petty Thief

Related Articles:

The Register
Dark Reading

President Obama's newly appoint chief information officer (CIO) of the White House or the USA or whatever (doesn't matter) is being put on leave after the arrest of Yusuf Acar. I wrote a piece about Acar here.

The FBI say they don't think Kundra is involved but it is his former employee that was arrested. It did come out this week that Kundra once pleaded guilty to a petty theft charge in Maryland. This occurred in 1997. I just thought you would like to know who is being appointed to White House positions.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let AIG Die Already (Part 2)

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A little while back I wrote about how the government should just let AIG go under, and for a whole lot of reasons. Another reason has just been added to that list now that AIG is giving bonuses to its executives and the President is not happy about it; and rightly so. The government needs to stop helping companies like this and let them go under. Let the company lose everything it has and then charge the executives with whatever financial crimes you can. The money of whoever committed a financial crime can be distributed to the employees of the company that went down.

Americans need a lesson and they need it badly. Nothing can be taken for granted; we take too many things for granted. AIG needs to go under to teach a lesson to executives and people alike. If you are an executive, if you make dumb decisions you will pay the price. This is why you get paid a lot in the first place; your job is high risk. If you do it well you keep the money but if it goes under you need to lose too. To everyone else, hard times and suffering is a part of life and it is a part that a lot of Americans have never experienced. It has turned us into babied brats and we need to experience hard times again. There hasn't been a really hard time in this nation since the Vietnam War and even that doesn't compare to the Depression. The Depression taught people how to be fiscally responsible because there wasn't just money lying around to blow on whatever.

The bottom line, we need to make an example of AIG and let it die.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Is How The Military Treats Personnel?

Related Articles:

The Raw Story
Memorandum PDF

During 2006, not sure about now, one of the burning pits in Iraq was found to be a health hazard because of fumes from whatever was being burned.

Now let me get this straight; according to the memorandum there was a study done January-April of 2006 and this memorandum didn't even get written until December of 2006 after it was listed as a high health concern for personnel in the area. This means it was probably still at least another few months before anything changed, could be longer or shorter, and we just keep American personnel that chose to serve in our military operating in a hazardous area? That shows you how much the government actually cares about the individuals they are sending out to these places.

Now I understand that in battle you must think of your force as a unit and not individual people and that sometimes decisions have to be made that will put people in the line of fire; fine. This is not the same; this is an obvious health hazard and could have been put on hold until it was made right.

Insecure Government... Again

Related Articles:

Unregistered News
Washington Post

Not that I needed another reason to say the government should have nothing to do with internet security, but I found one anyways. Not only does it take forever to get anything done because of the bureaucratic government, in a field where things change quickly, but then we can add corruption on top of that. Yusuf Acar, the District of Columbia's top information security official is involved in a bribery case and is currently jailed without bail for fear of the fact that he still may have access to some of the systems he once ran.

I am completely against the government even touching the internet and for a few reasons:

1) The internet is the last place where you can, literally, find anything you want. There is no limitation of free speech on the internet and you can talk to people anywhere in the world. I know there is some content that is bad and some that is untrue but learning how to weave through this and find what is good is a necessary skill to have anyways.

2) Information security is not meant to be done by one organization for all. Because of the fact that nothing is secure, you don't want everything in one place or all security measures controlled by one entity.

3) Government employees, especially if they had more information, would be a huge target for bribery and all sorts of corruption. As we know, most people are naturally corrupted when they have too much power. The point of this nation was to not give any one person too much power because our founding fathers realized this.

Border/Mexico Problems Getting Worse

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There is no real reason to still have insecure borders at this point with all that is going on in Mexico and to still be allowing illegal immigrants to slap the face of those who came here the right way and waited for their turn. The violence of the drug cartels in Mexico is going to find its way over the border eventually if something is not done soon.

Of course, the easiest way to make them disappear would be to legalize drugs. Right now we are the number one consumer of these "illegal" drugs and that is what makes them so valuable. Anything on the black market is far more valuable than it would be if it was being legally mass produced. Legalizing drugs is the perfect solution to this. Change the laws and tax them like we do to cigarettes. If you are a proponent of protecting people from themselves, then why are alcohol and cigarettes fine and other drugs not? So you can leave people their delusions of freedom? In the end, you cannot protect people from themselves so you may as well profit off of it and regulate it so it doesn't turn out like it is right now in Mexico.

On a side note, the way our drug laws are set up right now is so backwards. There are a lot of taxes on cigarettes and the government brings in a lot of money to spend from these taxes. I find it funny that they then try to help people quit smoking, it was in the "stimulus", even though they will be losing spending money if that actually happens and have to tax something else more that we probably don't want taxed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bullying With The Law

Related Articles:

CNet News
The Register
Tenable Network Security Blog

Sebastien Boucher was coming back into the United States from Canada and during a routine search of his car, customs officials "thought" they saw something that "could" have been child pornography on his laptop which he allowed them to see. In the end the customs officials did nothing at the time and he was allowed through.

Afterward, charges were filed against Boucher for possession of child pornography. The only problem now is that the computer's hard drive is encrypted and Boucher, by the 5th Amendment, should not have to give up the password to the computer because whether or not there is anything illegal contained on the computer, it is possible self-incrimination and you have a right granted by the Constitution that says you don't have to reveal information that would be self-incriminating.

So the government, being the bully that it is, decided it would step all over the Constitution again and force Boucher to give up his password. Here is a quoted segment from the 4th link given; it is said better than I can say it:

"First, and foremost, is the publication of a suspect's name in a child pornography case. In the event that the suspect is not proven guilty (remember: innocent unless proven guilty) the government has already ruined this man's career prospects and reputation. If you don't believe me - just google for his name.

Second, is the notion that a border-check is "voluntary" and not coerced. It's ridiculous to say that someone "voluntarily surrendered their rights" when they were asked - however nicely - by a man with a gun at a border crossing. I've had this happen to me, returning to the US from abroad: you're forced to wait in line (I waited 2 hours!) and told you can't use your cell phone or leave, then you're asked "is this your bag? may I examine it?" It sounds as if in this case the suspect was crossing the border in an automobile but it's the same scenario: wait in line, wait in line, and the man with the gun starts asking you questions. You have to answer them, and agree to any search, or you can turn around and go back.

Third, is the stupidity of trying to coerce someone legally into giving up a hard drive password. If the hard drive contains evidence that could convict him on a 20 year sentence, there's not much they can do to him that's worse than that, if he refuses to give up his password. They can't imprison him for 20 years for refusing the judge's request. What are they going to do, waterboard him?

Lastly, is the charges against him. Interstate commerce of child pornography? That's not how the guys who do child porn for a living transport their data, and the judge knows it. What's going on is that they're trying to coerce him further by layering on as many charges as they can think of, to see if they can make him crack or plea-bargain to a lesser charge. That's not how to do "justice" - criminal charges should not be used coercively!

Obviously, if the guy's guilty, he should suffer the consequences. But I'm very uncomfortable with my government's handling of this matter. If the border cop screwed up his evidence collecting, he screwed it up, and the case was lost at that moment. Precedent-setting rulings that further erode everyone's rights is not a good response to mishandling evidence. This case has been dragging on for 3 years and has probably cost the taxpayers a huge amount of money, and consumed the suspect's life. The publicity it has garnered for hard drive encryption has probably done more damage to law enforcement efforts against child pornography than busting any individual perpetrator would, already."

Lastly, I would like to state that it has been a well established precedent that a person does not have to give up the code to a safe if it may contain something self-incriminating. You cannot force someone to reveal the contents of their own mind in a case against them. If they can get a search warrant for a safe and find another way in, that is a completely different story so if the government can somehow crack the encryption, although it is HIGHLY unlikely, then they can see what is in it. Stop bullying people because you want to be able to see anything at anytime and have total control over everyone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Even Democrats Getting Impatient

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It appears even some people in the President's own party are becoming concerned over the so-called stimulus package. Yes, that would be the one they voted for; I guess they didn't think that far ahead. The odd thing is, in the first paragraph of that article, it says that some Democrats are demanding greater transparency with the spending of the package. I find this interesting considering the whole thing was supposed to be entirely transparent in the first place and this is the main reason I even posted this.


During President Obama's big speech he said that every bit of money spent would be shown to the public on the website I just provided. There is nothing in detail on that site. Nothing. I want to see "transparency" Mr. President. I want to see where every dime of that money is going and I don't want it to be vague. For instance, "this amount of money is going toward road construction" is very, very vague. That tells us nothing important. For all anyone knows you could be paying off CEO's of construction companies and that is it. I wouldn't put it past anyone to do things like this and that is why we need "transparency". We need to show the public exactly how much money is being given to whom and for what. If someone is working for the government, contractor or not, that information should be public.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nothing Is Secure

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Before I go into this, remember that the government wants to keep centralizing your information in general.

A few NATO documents were cracked by someone and leaked to Wikileaks for anyone to see. They all relate to what is going on in Afghanistan and some actually relate to what members of NATO can or cannot say to journalists and other media. There is a little evidence that what we hear is filtered if you couldn't find any before.

Now I know this is not necessarily our government but it is a form of government and a collaboration of governments that was supposed to keep these documents secure. I could post news of something else that was hacked every single day on here. There is no such thing as a completely secure system. Logically, to adjust to that fact you would not centralize important information. People in the government should learn better.

Terrorists' Admissions

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In this article, five terrorists that are currently being charged in our court system admit to the committed acts but obviously see it in a totally different light. They claim that the United States is the real terrorist and they are striking back. While this country may literally be an international terrorist I question whether those people themselves were actually struck first. The only way to find out anyone's true motivation is to STOP being the world police, pull EVERYONE back inside our borders, and use war when necessary. Use war the right way, if someone attacks you, you annihilate them with just cause; otherwise keep to yourself. Being the world police only gets people angry with you.

The terrorists have a little bit of a point in actually blaming the citizens as well. This is a participative democracy and we all share responsibility because we elect the officials that do as they do. Now some of you might say they control what news we get so we don't have proper information. Who elected the corrupted idiots who could possibly be controlling what we hear in the first place? We did. It is an endless cycle that will never be stopped and it happens to every major world power. When people become successful they eventually become ignorant and spoiled; that is a fact of human nature and an extension of our survival instinct.

Countries are most effective with limited government and ethical people. All it takes is one scrooge to send people on the defensive and so it starts. The only system that we know works is Darwinism.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stem Cell Research, No Unity

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ABC News
CBS News

The President is not the man bringing everyone together that he claims to be. For years there has been a debate over whether or not it is ethical for research to be done on embryonic stem cells. This would mean that you have to have a supply of human embryos. Many people think that is the same as killing children and it is wrong while most scientists think that it is just a few cells and there is nothing human about it. There must be some way to compromise.

Well, it turns out there is and that Mr. Obama decided not to take the route of compromise and lifted the ban on embryonic stem cell research.

Science Daily
Washington Post

If it is possible to make stem cells from skin cells, as it apparently is, why would you not compromise and perfect this method? Scientists and people that are ill get the stem cell research they want and people that think embryonic research is unethical no longer have to worry. I guess you aren't the President trying to bring everyone together; just the same as the rest. Mr. Obama, you are doing this just to try and force religious people, that is what most opponents to this are, to start using science. Science found another way to do the same research and yet you still find the need to stick it in their face. That is not freedom.

If you notice I did not state my own opinion on this in here and I don't have to choose sides now that there is a different way to make them. I don't know whether or not it is ethical but there is no reason to lift the ban when there is another way to make everyone happy.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Barkley's Sentence, Why Is This News?

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Charles Barkley has received a whopping three day prison sentence for a DUI. This article is in with the rest of the news on CNN and is currently at the top due to the time it was posted.

This is NOT news. Thousands of people get DUI's every day and no one cares to make the punishments harsher to prevent it and yet Charles Barkley's three day prison sentence makes it on the main news on CNN and probably other networks although I didn't look hard.

This is what is wrong with our culture. People actually care what athletes do in their free time or what happens in their private life. This is completely different than watching the sports. People watch sports because they like competition and shows of skill and that is completely natural since we got here through competition between species. It is an extension of our survival instinct. In America in current times, during an economic crisis, we still find enough time to worry about what Charles Barkley is doing with his life or to find out how much money John Daly has thrown away when we could be doing something productive instead of sitting and waiting for the government to tax the money from the people who ARE doing something with their time and giving it to us.

How pathetically sad is this.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Mistaken Right: To Work Where You Want

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I wonder at what point in our country's history did people start believing that they had a right to work in whatever industry they wanted or wherever they wanted? You don't. You have the right to pursue happiness, and to have freedom of speech, press, and religion.

This article's writer acts like it is surprising that people may have to change industries to find a job. If your job is out of demand, OF COURSE you have to go learn something new or try something else. If your skills are not valuable, you had better go develop some new skills and stop thinking it is your right to have a job. It isn't. People that sit around sulking about how they can't find a job and haven't started learning something new or trying something else are a sad bunch and I have no sympathy for them.

Your right, relating to jobs, is to pursue happiness. You can go about that however you wish but if you don't succeed it is YOUR fault. Societies and economies are always evolving and part of being a successful person in society is being able to adapt to changes and not sitting around waiting and collecting money from someone else or the government; and by successful I do not imply wealth. Maybe if the government didn't help people they would be quicker about doing something for themselves.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Proposition 8

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There are some things I just do not understand. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is there a statement about marriage in the United States. The founding fathers did this on purpose, as well as not including race, sex, or religion in any statements except to state your freedom thereof, so that the majority could not take away the rights of the minority. Of course, since people in power are inherently corrupt and there is no perfect system, it was abused at some point and gay marriage somehow became an issue. There will be a link at the bottom of this page to the Bill of Rights and you will see that nowhere in there is a gay marriage ban.

The point of this nation was that the rule of the majority could NOT take away the rights of ANY minority for ANY reason. Specific people can lose their rights by committing crime but the Bill of Rights is granted to everyone else regardless, it is the cornerstone of our nation. Now, to my point, homosexuals are one of these minorities who are currently not allowed to do as they wish.

I may not like homosexuality and I might even think it is disgusting BUT I still realize homosexuals are people and should be allowed to do as they wish. There should be no legal definition of marriage. Marriage is strictly a religious or traditional ritual which has NO place in politics since people can have very different opinions on how they choose a life partner or whoever. If you want to find out whether any type of person is a failure, then let everyone have their rights and let competition do its thing. If a gay person is a productive member of society their personal choices or genetics are of no problem, the gay part does not matter. If someone decides not to be productive they can suffer and wallow in their own ignorance and stupidity, again regardless of personal choice or genetics.


Buying Citi Is A Failure

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Fox Business

The most knowledgeable people about business, investors, and most smart economists are big investors, are staying away from Citigroup. Their stock has now fallen below $1 per share. I guess that shows that the people who really matter for the economy, businesses and investors, think of President Obama's failure of a plan to buy the banks. It doesn't matter what you want to call it, that is exactly what happened and by definition we now live in a facsist state because the government owns part of the banking system.

At this point the politicians in general are just playing people off of each other. The Republicans, like Rush Limbaugh, are sitting here hoping that the President fails so that they can get their power back and the Democrats are acting like they have a clue about something when they don't. As long as it looks like he is doing something, most of America won't investigate because our culture is a sad story with backwards values. You can walk around the streets of this nation and find a great number of people who know nothing about how their government works or how businesses work and they just want theirs. As long as they keep being told they will get health care from the government and that building up all of the roads will help them, they will be happy. Ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Insecure Social Networking

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A little bit off the topic of political news but necessary nonetheless. This is the type of malware that roams around social networking sites and it is the reason why you shouldn't just put whatever you feel like on your page or add applications like they were a collection.

This is just one of the many different types of malware you can get through social networking sites. If anything on Facebook tells you to get a new version of flash, do NOT click it. If you don't know if you have the newest version go to:

Monday, March 2, 2009

What President Does What He/She Says?

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Fox News

Apparently President Obama is just like any other politician; not surprising.

Quote from Fox News:
"The House last week passed the measure that would keep the government running through Sept. 30, when the federal budget year ends. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, identified almost 8,600 specially sponsored projects totaling $7.7 billion; Democrats say the number is $3.8 billion."

The Democrats admitted to having $3.8 billion dollars in earmarks in this bill. If the President signs this, he is a perjurer to the public because he rails against earmarks constantly. How can anyone think it is necessary to WASTE $3.8 billion dollars in this economic state just to pass a bill?

Quote from Fox News:
"'We want to make sure that earmarks are reduced and they're also transparent. We're going to work with the Congress on a set of reforms to achieve those,' said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget."

The President didn't say reduced, he said NONE. I want to see NO earmarks in bills that are passed from now and moving forward. The people of this country should be holding these politicians accountable for their idiocies. If someone goes against what they say, they should be voted out unanimously and whatever people vote for them after they do something completely opposite of what they say should leave this country now.

Let AIG Die Already

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The US government gave AIG a nice big bailout and they went and spent some of the money on whatever vacation the executives felt like taking even though the company is a miserable failure at this point. After losing over $60 billion, they are getting another bailout.

In the world of capitalism if you do not have the freedom to fail you have nothing to work for. It is human nature and an extension of survival instinct to be lazy. The only way to force good work ethic is to have a penalty when something is done incorrectly. That penalty should AT LEAST be firing every executive that works for AIG before giving them bailout money. Their freedom to fail has been taken away by the government continually offering bailouts. Just let AIG do under already. Let everything go under if necessary. Sometimes a social or economic revolution is necessary to fix things.

No Death Penalty Saves Money?

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Let us take a step aside from the "lovey-dovey" world where we don't hurt anyone and everybody is nice. Lethal injection costs a lot of money, all to put a criminal out of this world without causing them pain like they did to someone else. According to this article it will cost less to house these people for the rest of their lives than to give them lethal injection. I personally cannot see how that is possible but if it is, a bullet is much cheaper.

What is the problem with using the firing squad as a method of execution? Or the electric chair? It is cheap, quick, and there is no need to wait years on death row to use them. Stop being a bunch of cowards and use what is obviously fine. If you want to leave the crimes of passion out of this, fine, but how can a premeditated murderer not deserve this end? They don't deserve wasting tax dollars for their comfort; they carelessly took someone's life for whatever sick reason they may have.

Down Goes The Market

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CNN Money

Well so far I am not impressed with the package that was supposed to stimulate the economy because since it has been passed the stock market has dropped over 1000 points. So much for restoring consumer confidence. Apparently the people that matter right now, the ones that have money to invest and spend, do not trust this package.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

World of Warcraft = Crack Cocaine?

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The Register

I know this is not really political news, but you have to take a break from the negativity once in awhile. Of course, we will just jump into some different negativity. Although I do not have the time to play games that much anymore, I refuse to start playing this game because it really is like being addicted to a drug.

This game could really have an economic impact on a country or the world if enough people started playing it. According to this article there are actually people who play so much that they get health problems from sleep deprivation.

Thanks for bearing with me on the off-topic post.

Make Stem Cells Without Stem Cells

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I wonder if this will make the mainstream television news. I have known about this for some time now and I finally found it on NBC. Quite a few months ago I read an article, that I cannot seem to find anymore, about some researchers at a university in the USA that had discovered a way to turn skin cells into stem cells. This article speaks of a safer way to do this process.

This should entirely end the debate about the ethicality of stem cell research because we know longer need to use practices which are questionable at all. From all sides of the political spectrum this is good news. From the right, there is no longer anything ethically wrong with this because no embryos are being used. From the left, you no longer have to push for something that someone else may even think is unethical because you have another way to get the necessary cells for research. From the third party view, now we get stop hearing the bickering, finally!

Marine One Security Breach

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Fox News
CBS News

Since I work in the field of information security, or computer security, this story in particular really bothers me. We, as a people, need to start watching where the government is spending our money. It seems they cannot hire any competent contractor to do a job.

Fox News quote:
"Tiversa CEO Bob Boback said a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., had a file sharing program on one of their systems that contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One and financial information about the cost of the helicopter."

Basically, someone hired by the government as a defense contractor, someone who should be secure, had a file sharing program installed on a computer that contained sensitive information. Where did this person, or people, learn their trade? They are possibly involved in the national security of America and the personal security of the President and yet they had a file sharing program installed on a machine containing information we do not want in the wrong hands. It would even seem that the wrong hands are exactly who got it.

Fox News quote:
"Sensitive information about Marine One was reportedly found by Tiversa employees at an IP address in Tehran."

Tehran is the capital of Iran for those of you who do not know. This does not imply that it was someone involved in Iran's government; I must make that clear.

Some great security our government has, and these are the people we want having all of our medical information in a central storage of some kind?