I really hope none of you thought that total surveillance of everyday Americans was going to stop, or bein any way curtailed.
Earlier this week, we noted that Senator Mitch McConnell, hot off of his huge flop in trying to preserve the NSA’s surveillance powers, had promised to insert the dangerous “cybersecurity” bill CISA directly into the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). As we discussed, while many have long suspected that CISA (and CISPA before it) were surveillance bills draped in “cybersecurity” clothing, the recent Snowden revelations that the NSA is using Section 702 “upstream” collection for “cybersecurity” issues revealed how CISA would massively expandthe NSA’s ability to warrantlessly wiretap Americans’ communications.
Thankfully, like his PATRIOT Act games from a few weeks ago, this latest McConnell movehas fallen flat. The Senate rejected the attempt by a 40 to 56 vote. So, for now, it looks like the Senate isn’t going to be able to ram CISA through either which is good news.
Still, expect Congress to keep trying. But, each time, it’s important to ask some basic questions: what attacks would this bill actually stop (answer: none). And what laws are currently preventing the supposedly necessary “information sharing” from happening today?
(and here, my friends, is the line…)
Also none. At least as a practical matter, anyway. As with the rest of the permanent bureaucracy that really runs things, they’re going to do whatever they like, and there’s not one damned thing you, I, or anyone else can do about it.
(and how sad is THAT!?)
(Having said that, however, I’m gonna keep trying, however Sisyphean doing do may be!)
Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely
steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…
I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time. The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics. The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s. It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance. That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq. When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat. It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel. How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel? There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.
So, how do we deal with them? It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical. Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements. Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’. Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements. We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race. Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process! There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.
The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings. Rationality is relative. ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief. To change their behavior, we have to change that system. To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it. Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground. However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.
The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanatics. Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades. When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution? Is there, in fact, a better solution? In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all. History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.
Your guess is as good as mine . . .
The United States Embassy enjoyed its annual 4th of July celebration on Thursday, June 4, one month early, in order to respect the upcoming Ramadhan month, which will begin on June 17 and last for one month.
US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake and US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian presided over the festivities, which involved brass band renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya.
In a mind-boggling gesture of official Obama Government dhimmitude, the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia celebrated our sacred Independence Day holiday on June 4, so as to avoid any conflict with the month-long Ramadan celebration. Read the whole thing in the Jakarta Post HERE.
(from Old NFO)
Other reporting on the Internet indicates this was NOT done due to pressure from the Indonesian government, but simply logistics with accommodating Ramadhan.
I don’t know about YOU, but this makes me physically ill! An embassy is defacto national territory of the nation represented. To change our national traditions on our territory, so as not to offend, is just political correctness over the top! – Guffaw
Courtesy of Brock Townsend and the NRA/ILA…
With the new proposal published on June 3, the State Department claims to be “clarifying” the rules concerning “technical data” posted online or otherwise “released” into the “public domain.” To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the “authorization” of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.
C’mon gun blogger, magazine writers, book authors, let’s bury The State Department with enough complaints and bad press that they stop considering this! – Guffaw
I’m not a big fan of fame. As a concept.
People seem to become famous based on the most ephemeral of things. Birth, social status, excessively large gluteus maximi…
Or heinous acts. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Che’, Sadam.
Or acts of a more personal nature.
I hesitate to even mention. The Duggars.
A family famous for having a bazillion children, now infamous for incest.
And much of the media seems to be focused on how the parents are defending the abuser.
And paying little attention to the abused.
You see, I know a number of folks who are incest survivors. Men and women.
And a more vile action I cannot imagine.
Of course, allegations of abuse are not always valid. That preschool in California, for example.
And rarely is there physical evidence years after the fact.
Personally, I think the media needs to stay the hell out of the mix. And let the authorities, counselors and family sort things out.
But, that will never happen.
Hopefully, there is a special place in Hell for the guilty.
Well, it must be that time of year, again.
Or of the month.
I’ve having difficulty with my browser.
I did find I was having ‘issues’ with Comodo Dragon, and Comodo Ice Dragon, and FireFox.
(FireFox is my favorite.)
SO, I’m back to using Opera, which is iffy, at best….
But, it is working better than the others, currently.
It’s always something.
I cannot afford a new machine, have a good router, like Windows 7, and have good malware and security software. But simply cannot stay ahead of the grade school kids who like messing with ‘the system’!
(The GOOD NEWS is I can leave comments on Laginappe’s Lair again!)
A close friend has fallen on some hard times, mostly because of health-related issues. As a result, they have missed work, and as a result, have missed income. (This is not my story.)
They obtained Obamacare last year, believing all the promises made public. And they were obtaining top-notch medical care. Seriously.
And all was right with the world.
Until the end of the year, when they were advised, yes, they could keep their insurance. If they could pay ANOTHER $300 a month (on top of the $200+ they were already paying directly – the gov’t was paying $400 on top OF THIS!) Our tax dollars at work!
SO, they went searching, and determined, based on their drop in income, they could qualify for Medicaid. (A State-run, federally funded insurance for low-income folks).
They jumped through all the hoops, provided all the documentation, and became insured once again.
And all was, once again, right with the world.
They were told they would have to requalify every six months, and could then make choices regarding which insurance they could have, of the few available.
They obtained some medical care and tests. And prescriptions. And made a carefully-studied choice regarding which company would be their next insurance.
And heard nothing.
And the six-month boundary passed. Again, nothing. No company literature, no insurance ID, no specifics.
And care, tests and prescriptions continued to be covered by the initially-assigned company.
And attempts to obtain an insurance ID card and literature on line required their insurance ID number. Which was on the card. Which was not in their possession.
And more tests were scheduled and appointments made.
Then, yesterday, after business hours, their pharmacy called to advise they had received notification the insurance had changed, and they would need a copy of her new carrier’s ID card.
The one not yet received.
And they have many tests scheduled, for serious maladies. Heart and breathing related.
What were those promises, again?
I suspect they will be many hours on the telephone and on-line today.
The adventure continues.
Keep a good thought.
If stress wasn’t part of the list of maladies, it certainly is now…
(This just in. They were able to make telephone contact this morning. They must CALL BACK Thursday or Friday to get the matter resolved, as the company had no idea who they were!!!)
I LOVE bureaucracy!