People need to do the work to get it right. Computers cannot make those kind of judgements. - Joe Mannix
If you’re 50 years old or more, you probably do. It was a popular TV show, starting in 1967, about Joe Mannix, private investigator. As I became a PI, myself, in 1974, it was one of my many media influences.
The first year of the show focused on Joe’s old-school, shoe leather approach versus his employer’s data-mining use of new technology – computers to do the work. It seemed almost every week Joe had a shouting match with his boss over this very issue. The subsequent years of the series he went out on his own , more Rockford-esque. And was knocked unconscious something like 55 times during the show’s run.
Many of us are concerned about the data mining having been done and currently being done by the NSA, FBI and other alphabet-soup agencies of government. The anti-Fourth Amendment rights abuses are legion in these matters. And wrong.
Not just wrong because of the blatant abuse of privacy, but wrong in the potential for inaccuracies. Joe Mannix was right!
The NSA may be monitoring my email right now. If I use the word GUN. or TERRORIST, or BOMB, or AIRPLANE it may generate additional attention, even from a live person instead of a computer. The same may be said of my telephone conversation content.
There is no more PRIVACY. When did the FBI/NSA et al become the Stasi?
And herein lies the problem. Not just the intrusion, but the misuse or misinterpretation of the intel gathered by the machines.
Joe Mannix was right. And the government doesn’t have enough shoe leather to verify the intent of all the data it is gathering. Before the jack-booted thugs come a knockin’.
Hopefully, I will just be knocked unconscious.
Regardless, someone will be watching, listening and reading.
We all remember THIS guy. He gave friendly advice, not just for children, but for all of us.
How well do you know your neighbors? Or do you even know them?
I currently rent a room in a townhouse. The neighbors to the immediate South (sharing the common wall) have a practice of going into their backyard (just over a fence) and SCREAMING with each other about family matters. I think it’s a mother and daughter, and some male hangers-on of some sort. This sometimes happens well into the night. Then, someone ‘over there’ is up early, like 0545, and makes a practice of throwing a bowling ball down the stairs, bouncing it off the wall in the process (again, common wall) REPEATEDLY.
(At least, that’s what it sounds like!)
This is in direct opposition to the North neighbors, again a mother/daughter team. We rarely hear anything from them through the common wall, and they never seem to be in their adjacent back yard. The word on the street is, however, mind your Ps and Qs, if mom spots someone parking crooked, or spilling trash, or some other small infraction, she will SCREAM. To the Homeowners Association, at least. And THEY will contact you.
I know these all folks on sight, and wave, all friendly-like, and sometimes even say “Hello”. The neighbors North of the North women seem to be a nice couple. He even helped J. corral one of her dogs when she ran loose (a favorite game – ESCAPE! Wheee, I’m FREEE!), when J was unable to catch her.
I think I know the first name of the North neighbor mom. That’s it.
In my former neighborhood, I made it a point of knowing my next-door neighbors, the one across the street and across the alley behind me. Just in case.
The Art of Manliness again addresses this issue. In short, it says knowing your neighbor is lubrication for civilization. Much as being polite can defuse friction.
I remember my childhood neighborhoods. All the kids on the block knew each other, and so did all the parents. If you did something wrong, not only did the neighbor yell at you, but, by the time your returned home, your parents had received a telephone call from said neighbor. So you got it, again. And, you could run to any neighbor’s home for help or safety.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have neighborhoods, again?
Kevin Baker (of The Smallest Minority) brings to us an essay of enormous import. In part:
The Information Age is here. Government v.2.0 is massive, sclerotic, invasive, inept, corrupt, incompetent, malicious, vindictive – it is, in short, what the second type of bureaucrats make it in the furtherance of the bureaucracy and their own power and privilege. And the Iron Law of Oligarchy says:
Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy.
People keep acting as though things can keep going on as they have, but as Glenn Reynolds keeps repeating, “Something that can’t go on forever, won’t.” ~
~ One thing’s for sure – the powerful and privileged will do whatever it takes to keep as much power and privilege as they can. And Government v.2.0 will be the tool by which it’s accomplished.
You need to go and read the entire work. Kevin draws on the wisdom of historical giants, and his own, to weave for us this important message quoted above.
I’m hoping mercy will be included in the process, but if history is any indication, I doubt it.
One of the many things I’ve programmed into her is a function to my credit union. To see when a deposit appears. And when it does, my cell phone instantly alerts me. It’s nice to know when I’ve a little more money. Or any money.
So, the other morning, I’m working on the blog, and she makes noise. I investigate. A deposit for a small amount has appeared in my account! Cool.
Wait a minute?
I wasn’t expecting any money. And, it’s not my usual payday, and it’s a small amount…hmmm. Maybe some kind person hit my PayPal link on the blog sidebar? (hint-hint) (It has been known to happen!) So, I check my PayPal account, no dice. No money either. Hmmm.
Then it hit’s me – what if someone compromised my account number and was testing it, waiting for my next disability check to post, then WHOOSH – siphons it all away? Crap.
Next, I contemplate calling my Credit Onion to determine the source of the deposit. But first I need to get worked up and worried. (Remember When in Danger or in Doubt?) There are protocols for such things.
Suddenly it occurs to me. The State of Arizona owed me $25.00 from my income tax filing last month! That’s it!
Nope, not paranoid. Just neurotic.
The Manchin-Toomey background check amendment, one of nine proposed changes to a gun control bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, on Wednesday failed to get the 60 votes required for passage.
Fifty-four U.S. Senators voted “aye” and 46 voted “nay.”
The proposal, named for Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), would have expanded existing background checks on gun buyers to cover firearms sold at gun shows and via the Internet.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid voted against the proposal. He was joined by Democrat Sens. Baucus, Begich, Heitkamp, Pryor.
“Reid voted no for procedural reasons,” CBS News’ Major Garrett explains. “As Majority Leader, a ‘no’ vote allows him to bring the amendment up again.”
Arizona Republican John McCain voted in favor of the bill. He was joined by Republican Sens. Collins, Kirk, and Toomey. (The Blaze)
There were nine amendments proposed. None passed, including some pro-rights amendments. BUT, debate continues on so-called ‘gun control’ in the Senate.
In short, we’re not done yet. Perhaps we’ve won a battle, but certainly not the war.
THIS has yet to occur…
We must stay on-point and remain vigilant!
h/t Glenn Beck
1. Russia has a bunch of excellent computer scientists, and Yandex seems to have picked up a bunch of them. The Russians always excelled at algorithms (I’d go so far as to say that their mathematics training beats ours handily), and search is a game of algorithms. I’m told that the Russian language is more difficult for computers to deal with than English (it is an inflected language, unlike ours), and so the Yandex algorithms originally developed for Russian really shine when aimed at English sites.
2. It gives me very good results – for most things I’ve been looking for, better than Google. Google’s blogsearch has become a joke, which is perhaps a testament to Google’s internal lack of focus. I find that bloggy related searches are much more productive on Yandex.~
~And now we come to what brought me to Yandex in the first place: Google is evil. We all know it. Furthermore, Google seems to be playing footsie with the US Government Intelligence Agencies:
One privacy advantage Yandex has which Google never will: Yandex does not do business with American intelligence agencies. I do not like the fact that Google has become an arm of US intelligence agencies. It is to their credit that Google discloses their relationship with the US government (most of Silicon Valley is in bed with the spooks, but they don’t talk about it). It is the surveillance state that I abhor. Yandex may very well be doing the same thing with the Russian government, but the FSB is a much smaller threat to American civil rights than our own spooks. While I see no imminent dangers from the all-seeing eye, and I am far from paranoid, the US is going through a weird time right now, and history is a dark and bloody subject. Do I really want the future government to know what websearches I was doing in 2010? No, thanks, tovarich.
Paranoia? I don’t think so. And, just for S & Gs, I ran Guffaw in AZ on Yandex.
20 returns on the first page – only one in Russian. Only one about guffawing, and not the blog. Seems focused, as Borepatch intones.
I’m thinking of using this occasionally (instead of BING), just to annoy the three-letter folks in bed with Google. Otherwise, what good is a “uncensored” Internet?
Hell, I’m already on ‘the list.’
Part of my morning routine, after doing my blog post thing, is to peruse other blogs on my blogroll, The Gun Blog Black List, and elsewhere. And I read the ‘news’ (such as it is.) To search for blogfodder, jokes, and to see the state of the World.
Manasquan, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- Remember all those who denied that firearms confiscation as a result of New York’s new gun laws was too “insane” to even consider?
That it was strictly in the realm of paranoid conspiracy theorists and the “it cant happen here crowd”?
Those were and remain some of the standard replies to anyone who even thought about the possibility, let alone gave voice to it, despite the fact that Gov Cuomo and numerous other officials made public comments about such a plan, as I discussed in my article “Feinstein & Cuomo Admit Planning Australian Style Government Gun Buy Back” .
Elected Officials, the media, various Gun Control Groups and their zealous forced disarmament supporters, even some firearms owners themselves all insisted it was to crazy to even consider.
There’s just one huge problem it is happening now in New York State!
It seems those that tried desperately to warn of such an insidious plot had hit the bullseye with their warnings after all. News came from multiple NY State based firearms enthusiast websites late Friday that confiscations of Pistol Owner ID Cards, as well as firearms and accessories has commenced in NY under the provisions of the horribly flawed, draconian and blatantly unconstitutional NY SAFE Act.
Those folks having their weapons and FID cards confiscated have been discovered to have been prescribed multiple different types of psychotropic drugs, such as those for Depression or Anxiety.
These are known as SSRI ( Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) class drugs and have the potential to cause serious and adverse side effects, something I wrote about extensively last week in an article that went viral in days and caused multiple Anti Gun and Progressive News Groups to initiate a concentrated denial of service hacker attack against Ammoland Shooting Sports News (see Daily KOS ” Keeping Track Of The RKBA Crowd” http://tiny.cc/ug67uw), in an effort to keep the information from the public.
From NY http://tiny.cc/nyfirearms
“John Doe, an upstanding professional with no outstanding criminal convictions and no history of violent action received a letter from the Pistol Permit Department informing him that his license was immediately revoked upon information that he was seeing a therapist for anxiety and had been prescribed an anxiety drug. He was never suicidal, never violent, and has no criminal history. The New York State Department of Health is apparently conducting a search of medical records to determine who is being treated for anxiety drugs and using this as a basis for handgun license revocation.
Those are the facts. Nothing more, nothing less.”
We’re in for a truly bumpy ride, folks!
h/t Brock Townsend
Rachel Maddow says something fundamentally stupid about ‘open carry’ demonstrations.
But let the record show, at the same time, that in the United States, whether the issue is guns or anything else, you will not win arguments that you try to win by threatening to shoot your opponents. You will not win if the way you are trying to win is by threatening to use weapons to get your political way. People do it in this country, it is a tactic. People try it from time to time and they lose because Americans do not settle disputes that way. In fact, we’re pretty invested in having a political system that has us not settling disputes that way. Once you threaten that you are going to settle your political disputes by use of arms, you will lose all of your political disputes. Tempting as it may be, particularly when the issue is guns itself, threats and physical intimidation are not how we successfully achieve change in this country.
Tell it to the Deacons for Defense and Justice. Tell it to the veterans of the Battle of Athens. Besides, it is these collectivist bastards that are using the force and power of government to threaten and physically intimidate US with their inconstitutional laws and criminality under color of law. “Threats and physical intimidation are not how we successfully achieve change in this country.” Yes it is. Ask the ghost of Captain John Parker.
For those with a progressive, liberal education, please Bing or Google, the Deacons for Defense and Justice, the Battle of Athens, and Captain John Parker, as I reasonably certain you’ve no idea what these subjects mean. Of course, progressives largely run these search engines, so you might have to look elsewhere.
h/t Special Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh
…about our continuing
loss erosion outright THEFT of our civil liberties!
DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones
Homeland Security’s specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: “signals interception” and “direction finding” for electronic surveillance.
And just for fun, I also noticed a disturbance in the Force on the Internet, today. It seems a significant number of high-ranking military officers are taking their retirement, because they’ve been asked by the current administration if they’d follow orders to disarm American citizens! And they’d rather break ranks than to violate their Constitutionally-supportive oath.
No wonder the gun stores are lacking stock in ammunition and popular firearms. They’re flying off the shelves.
Scary stuff. 1984 was 29 years ago, and things were bad THEN. I fear for the future, and I don’t make that statement easily.
h/t Declan McCullagh
In another lifetime, I was working as a security guard, and sometime private investigator. My company would draft me for undercover assignments, which got me out of the guard thing for a while. I didn’t mind being drafted.
On one of these occasions, I was sent to a small town in the mountains North of Phoenix. Worked undercover in a variety store as a management ‘trainee’ whose real function was to spy on all the employees and management. Great stuff!
In such a position, I was quite concerned about my safety. If something untoward was going on, I didn’t want to get ‘made’ and ratted out, or worse. So, I carried a gun. Sadly, I’d sold my handguns for rent money (AGAIN – I was young, this was the 70s – sigh) and the only firearm I owned was my Ithaca DSPS Model 37 police pump. Not exactly concealable on-the-person.
So I toted her from under the motel bed into my car and back using my Dad’s weather-beaten trench coat as a gun rug! Sadly, she had to stay in the car while I was working.
And the motel was on the main drag through town; single-story, L-shaped, rough hewn, not unlike a(n) (in)famous motel of Hitchcock movie fame. I remember Triple A rating it, but not excellent. And I was so stoked not being a guard and doing undercover work, I’d wind down after my 12 hour shift with pizza and beer, while writing my daily report (dropped in the mailbox the next morning en route to work – this was WAY before the Internet!). Then I’d watch some late night movie on the 13″ B&W TV supplied in the room.
The first night the movie was In Cold Blood.
Not exactly restful slumber. But, I did this for a couple weeks, didn’t find any opium dens in the back room of the store, or mob-related activity, and returned home. Back to the guard stuff. Sigh.
But, I never looked behind the motel to see if there was a swamp containing cars. Guess I’ll never know…