Regular readers may recall I love the TV show Person of Interest. In it, a supercomputer is built, gleaning data about people from all exterior sources, including traffic and surveillance cameras, and calculates if the person so surveilled is either in danger or a danger.
Of course, there is a battle royal between various elements in the government (and, by extension private contractors), as to who is going to have access (in the government) to this data, and what they will do with it.
There is a second computer in the mix, and, of course the computer’s creator and his allies.
I am anxiously awaiting the next season.
Now comes real life (courtesy of Wirecutter)…
From Boston to Beijing, municipalities and governments across the world are pledging billions to create “smart cities”—urban areas covered with Internet-connected devices that control citywide systems, such as transit, and collect data. Although the details can vary, the basic goal is to create super-efficient infrastructure, aid urban planning and improve the well-being of the populace. (yeah, right! – Guffaw)
A byproduct of a tech utopia will be a prodigious amount of data collected on the inhabitants. For instance, at the company I head, we recently undertook an experiment in which some staff volunteered to wear devices around the clock for 10 days. We monitored more than 170 metrics reflecting their daily habits and preferences—including how they slept, where they traveled and how they felt (a fast heart rate and no movement can indicate excitement or stress).
DATA MINING EXTREME!
And you thought the NSA reading your email wherein you mentioned you purchased a pressure-cooker, or watching you do whatever you do while surfing porn was a problem!
Old-Timers will completely get this.
(Youngsters, not as much!) :-)
I remember a time (voice fades out, looking wistfully skyward…)
When a random thought regarding some subject entered my mind, And I wanted to know more about it. So, I checked my bookshelf for dictionaries, encyclopedias and reference books.
If THAT failed…
It was a trip to the public or college library, next chance I got, searching for similar materials and more specific ones about the subject. Later-in-life, as a private investigator, city directories and telephone directories sometimes offered help.
And failing all that, the reference desk librarians.
But, all this took time, legwork and shoe leather. It was what we had.
Since the early 90’s, most of us have had access to The Internet. And now many of the same reference materials are available on line.
More quickly and with less walking.
I wonder what we old-timers will be wistfully thinking about The Internet in 10 or 20 years?
Ain’t technology grand?
Or have we been sucked in to a vortex of uber-surveillance, wherein ‘they’ can watch and record our every movement and action. And what were look for on the ‘net, and where we shop, what we buy, how and where we travel and work? With whom we communicate and associate? What ideas we share?
Of course, the same data was available 25 years ago. But took much more in-person research and surveillance. And time.
And much as we cannot go back to dial-up, we can’t stop this ever-encroaching technology. But we can petition the government to stop abusive information gathering, and limit our exposure – somewhat.
(Puts tin-foil chapeau back on and skulks back into the shadows…)
Brock Townsend (of Free North Carolina) reports and comments…
The Army’s new camouflage uniforms are set to hit store shelves July 1 for beta-testing before being launched in solidarity Jan 2016.
Interestingly enough the new uniform appears to be printed in a woodland-type pattern and almost looks as if it would work perfectly domestically.
Additionally a few new features have been added for functionality.
Soldiers will be able to use the older Operation Enduring Freedom pattern until 2019, according to the Army although the new pattern is preferred.
It’s interesting to note that this new ‘domestic looking pattern’ will be available just before JADE HELM 15 kicks off mid-July.
‘Almost looks’. That may be true, but I’m curious as to whose original opinion this is.
The Texas governor has reportedly mobilized the National Guard to keep the JADE HELM folks under surveillance.
Are some folks over-reacting and fanning the flames, or…?
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!)
CUBA. That bastion of Freedom in the Western Hemisphere, has been removed from the ‘official’ list of those nations known to sponsor terrorism.
And travel restrictions have been lessened.
I wonder what has changed?
And I wonder about all those folks who suffered torture and death under the Fidel/Raul Castro regime? Who are still imprisoned.
And their families, both in Cuba and in The United States.
Of course, we still do mega-business with The People’s Republic of China, and Vietnam.
Perhaps we are just playing catch-up?
This story came across my radar yesterday. Having had and raised a child (until age 12, when she passed) any report of possible child abuse, or unwanted children just makes me sick.
So does government abuse of power.
On May 6th, 2015, Breckinridge Co. Sheriff’s officers came to their home, acting on an anonymous tip, and entered their property and home without a warrant and without probable cause. Nicole was at home with the two oldest children, while Joe was away with the others. When the officers left the home, they attempted to block the access road to the family property. Nicole and the two boys got in their car to leave the family property. The got only a short way down the road before the officers pulled Nicole over.
During this stop, sheriffs deputies took their two oldest boys from Nicole’s custody, providing her no justification or documentation to support their action. Nicole was able to contact Joe briefly by telephone, but only for a short period of time, because she needed to use her phone to record the events.
At that point, Nicole had been taken into custody for disorderly conduct (for not passively allowing the Sheriff to take her boys) and resisting arrest. Even though she is 5 months pregnant, she was slammed belly first into the cop car and bruised and scraped on both arms.
Obviously these people loved their children. But THE STATE decided it knew better how to raise them.
Hitlerjungen comes to mind…
h/t Zerohedge, Freedom Writer’s Publishing
Most of you regular readers know I HATE giving the government money. Doing so burns my libertarian soul.
I’m still driving Ol'(insert old-timey lady name here), my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. Basically, because I’ve no other choice. And, it’s
registration involuntary ownership tax time again.
With the precursor of emissions testing.
(I always stop here to remember how the State legislator who forced through the emissions testing requirement soon left the legislature to work for the contractor who obtained the initial contract. No dirty politics here, no sir! :-))
I arrive just after the testing station opens and find I’m second in line. I’m a little worried, as my car sometimes stalls at idle, and sometimes the pollution control gimmick sticks in the engine and dashboard warning lights illuminate. Getting tested with dash lights on is a no-no! They’ve not come on in a few weeks, so I feel they are due.
I pull up when ordered, exit the vehicle, the guy does his testing, and she PASSES!
I re-enter the vehicle and crank her to start and leave, as instructed…
AND THERE IS A BACKFIRE! THE TESTING STATION (AND MY CAR INTERIOR) FILLS WITH SMOKE! But, as the car is running (and there is no obvious fire or dash warning lights), I drive away victorious!
And return home (after depositing appropriate gift funds to cover costs) and pay on-line to obtain my State license tags for yet another two years!
(To those of you who help me pay to keep my car registered and insured – I salute you!)
And to the State, who forces me to go through this nonsense every couple years to extort revenue from me – you already received my salute!
…or Send In The Clowns!
I cannot decide which meme is better.
There have been many blog postings of late, some of which even on this humble blog, writing of the growth in worldwide anti-Semitism, government-sponsored violence, religion-sponsored violence, massive surveillance, and wholesale Statism.
And there appears to be a modicum of support against such things.
There is a tendency to view such things as off-shore. Somewhere else. Another countries’ problem. And to turn a blind eye to our own versions of such things.
Until it’s too late.
Some folks write as if it IS too late. That civil upheaval is inevitable. Others clamor for constitutional conventions. As though people who control such things can keep the outcome constitutional.
And this new world order of constitution will certainly
include or delete a second amendment.
Depending on the flavor of the new constitution’s founding fathers.
What to do, what to do.
Sit on our hands and whine? Join the convention(s)? Join the revolt?
Or have the decisions already been made for us? On the dark web.
DON’T BOTHER – THEY’RE HERE!
Military watchers – from both the Left and Right – have been watching, warning, and expressing (how do I state this with delicacy?):
It has been reported that regular military folks will be conducting a ‘training operation’ in Texas, beginning July 15. The Texas governor has even ordered the National Guard to observe the ops, just in case things get hinky.
Following the ease with which martial law was imposed on Boston (post the terrorist bombing), some folks are suggesting this might be the next step.
Practicing to handle civilian populus in a hostile environment (Texas versus Massachusetts) should martial law be imposed THERE!
And obvious comparisons have been made comparing The President to some Austrian-born Reichschancellor who engaged in similar behavior!
Operation Jade Helm 15
Much ado about nothing? Or should we be concerned?
What do YOU think?
h/t Theo Spark, The Political Commentator, Now The End Begins