I’m not actually an optimist, but I play one on the Internet

Posted by on May 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm

The problem with the unexpected is that, well, it’s unexpected. A decade ago, some guy was running for Senate in Illinois as a Democrat. I’m not sure anybody thought he had a chance — after all, he’d already lost in a bid for a seat in the House — until the unexpected happened. In this case, […]

Talking out both sides of their mouths.

Posted by on March 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

The White House says they have a plan to end NSA collection of data, by which they mean they are going to make phone companies keep the data and see to it that the courts issue subpoenas when anybody with a badge asks have overview. Snowden says well hey, that’s better than nothing! And of course, […]

A Simple Request

Posted by on February 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I was looking at my calendar, and happened to notice that it’s 2014. Can we please, for the love of all that is good, stop speculating about the 2016 Presidential Elections? Seriously. It’s over two years until that particular election day, and two other First-Tuesday-After-The-First-Monday-Of-November election days between now and then. A lot can happen […]

NSA: Going Away or Here to Stay?

Posted by on January 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Ok, so the President made his big presentation on NSA reforms today. For your convenience, here’s the actual transcript of what he said. If that’s too wordy for you, here’s a summary with commentary, and the EFF kindly provides a short version. Today I have just a little round-up of what people are saying. And what better […]

50 Years

Posted by on November 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I was not alive 50 years ago. I wasn’t even conceived yet. Therefore I bring you a repost of an item on JFK from 2009. Oddly enough, I was reading today about Nevada in the 1960s. Some of the people mentioned included John Kennedy, his brother Robert (Attorney General and keen on stamping out the […]

Triple Play

Posted by on November 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm

It used to be that the saying “the elephant in the room” meant “the big thing that’s really important but nobody wants to talk about.” And that’s the sense that Time Magazine meant this week: the Republican Party might be controlled by its far right wing, yet voters would rather elect more centrist pragmatists like […]

A Very Successful Failure

Posted by on October 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

While the Government was having it’s temper tantrum and existential crisis, the very bill the Republicans claimed to have been fighting quietly started working. Of course, we’ve all heard about how the official Federal website hasn’t been running as well as we expect well-established online services like Google to run. Because it’s totally reasonable to […]

Shutdown, Debt Ceiling, and Hostage Taking

Posted by on October 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm

So here we are over a week into the Government Shutdown. From where I sit, it sure looks like the Republicans are being more like RepubliCANTs, completely unwilling to negotiate in a world where negotiation doesn’t mean “give us everything we want.” Not that the DemocRATS are angels here, please understand. Right now nobody likes Congress […]

More NSA

Posted by on September 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I’m going to start with the revelation that an NSA employee stalked 9 women before being detected by logging and sometimes listening to their phone calls. They called it “spied on,” but let’s get down to brass tacks. That’s just one of a dozen “substantiated” cases of the NSA abusing their abilities. The Guardian says […]

I thought this was called “Extortion”

Posted by on August 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offense of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion…. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense…. Neither extortion […]