Fear-mongering at its finest.

The TSA really doesn’t like that Apple and Google both have products they can’t just hack remotely. As in, they are trying desperately to make them stop it. Poor babies may actually have to get search warrants. Oh, and here’s a nice article on some of the NSA’s computing issues and an item on how this mess got started.

In Closing: our rising police state; bankers gone wild; be afraid!!!; don’t you have anything better to do?; and adorable kittens.

3 Premieres and a Re-Run

I’m not much of a TV or entertainment blogger, but thought I would share my thoughts anyway. Here goes.

Madam Secretary: I wanted to like this one right until I started hearing the radio ads describing it as a “new hit series.” Um yeah, think we can just maybe wait until the first episode airs before we start calling it a hit, hmm? I did watch it anyway. Quick synopsis: the Secretary of State is killed in a Freak Plane Accident, so the President calls someone he thinks he can trust — an ex-CIA analyst turned college professor who somehow or another can afford horse property. I think she’s meant to be a more likable Elizabeth Warren. Fast forward past Senate confirmation hearings that have a whole sentence devoted to them later in the episode to a small townhome in DC. In my opinion, the best moment was a scene in which the Secretary hijacks a news cycle, humorously showing how easily our shallow media is manipulated and pointing out the different standards to which a woman in politics is held. There’s unfortunately a plot arc about a shadowy behind the scenes potentially dangerous plot afoot. I guess they think they need a serial killer or something to keep people tuning in. Yawn. I think I may have liked it better than Comrade Misfit did. Solid B, if they turn in a bibliography they might pull it up to a B+.

Gotham: I confess, I like Batman. I’ve liked Batman since I was 5. So of course I had to watch Gotham, it wasn’t optional. Just in case you don’t pay any damn attention to those little letters they put at the beginnings of shows these days, this show is not for kids. Of course, you can’t do a Batman origin story without starting the terrible night that Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents. And who happens to be the first cop on the scene? Why, it’s none other than newly minted detective Jim Gordon. Oh right, he prefers James now. The 80s vintage Dodge Diplomat unmarked squad driven by Detectives Gordon and Dent (yeah, Harvey Dent) suggests that Gotham’s time line runs pretty close to that of New York City. It’s a gritty place: organized crime, disorganized crime, and a generally corrupt police force that Jim Gordon wants to change from the inside. By the way, implying that this takes place in the 80s would make Bruce around 40 today. I’m not an expert on the Bat-iverse, but I counted no fewer than 4 characters who would evolve into future Batman villains, three of them substantially older than Bruce — but this is James Gordon’s show. I’ll hold my judgement on Barbara and the mysterious girl with the green goggles while the show finds its footing. Solid A- here.

Quick, change channels!

Scorpion: Here we go, the other overhyped new series! It’s supposedly based on a true story. However, it must be very, very loosely based on a true story, perhaps a story told during a night of drinking. Ok, it was exciting! It was entertaining! It got me to laugh a couple times! However, there were plot holes you could drive a hot-wired Ferrari through at top speed. Please note the Boeing colors on the 767; did no airline want to be associated with this? I’m not the only one who found some of the characterizations to be insulting. I’ll give it a C for entertainment, but next time they’d better get a proofreader and a fact checker on board if they want a better grade.

And an old old story: It turns out that many Christians don’t know much about their own religion. Come on guys, all you had to do was read one book! It’s all there! Ok, it’s a long book, but it’s broken down pretty well into mini-books and nice short chapters.

In Closing: my local paper has a knack for the obvious; on our ever growing police state, complete with spying on citizens and no punishment for abusing (or killing) them; Chinese chicken salad; things are tough all over; if sports are so damn profitable, they can damn well pay taxes; dreaming is great, but doing is more important.

A year later, new stuff continues to trickle out

So here we are.

Edward Snowden has been in Russia long enough that his visa has been extended. You can actually buy t-shirts with his face on them. There are people who consider him a traitor and people who consider him a hero. He’s got a huge spread in the current issue of Wired. The list of things we know about the NSA and America’s electronic spy infrastructure thanks to Mr. Snowden just keeps getting longer! Just this week we learned that the NSA has cyberwarfare capabilities and is responsible for a country-wide internet blackout in Syria.

Yet, to paraphrase Yoda, There Is Another. Maybe more than just one other.

And since The Powers That Be can’t seem to stop the obvious violations of what most of us understand to be our rights under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments, no wonder Millennials are not enthusiastic about politics.

How deep does the NSA Rabbit Hole go?

In Closing: Challenging civil forfeiture; yoga can be manly; cartel profits are going to pot; the economy; banks; I hate that he’s right; politics and you; the real consensus turns out to be further along the curve; math is a harsh reality; damned if you work, damned if you don’t; and the cat that rides the bus.