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…)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Justice Department will fast track the sending of $29 million to South Carolina to help families of victims of the mass murder of nine churchgoers at a historic black church in Charleston, a Justice Department spokesman said on Friday.
An unspecified portion of the money, allocated under the government’s national Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant program, can be used to provide services to the families of victims of the shootings at Emmanuel AME Church, spokesman Kevin Lewis said.
That’s $3.2 MILLION per family!
Can any of us who have lost family members to violence apply? Because my ex-wife (who the government classified at the one victim in our case) received nothing!
h/t Weasel Zippers
It’s been noted that the individual involved in suing various online retailers over the Colorado movie theatre shooting and who now owes $220K is a Brady employee (6 months after the event). Something interesting was noted on his Linkedin Profile
January 2013 – Present (2 years 4 months)San Antonio, Texas Area
* worked in the organizing department doing outreach to victim/survivors of gun violence* Led the department in adding names of gun owners to data base
* Worked closely with communications department to connect with national media to do television
interviews related to gun violence.
* Lobbied national and state congressional legislators to pass reasonable restrictions on gun
*Designed and implemented training programs on gun basics and how to engage gun owners for
*Did inspirational talks to grass roots volunteers in Washington state in their efforts to pass
legislation for background checks on all gun sales.
*Spoke at fund raising events.
Led the department in adding names of gun owners to data base? What? So what exactly is this Brady ‘Data Base’ that they’re adding names to? Why are they creating it? What is its purpose?
Inquiring minds want to know.
They aren’t the only ones. Could The Brady Bunch (and their fellow travelers) be conspiring to circumvent federal law by obtaining data which they then share with the federal government?
NAW. Not possible.
h/t Days of our Trailers
You’d think that helping college students get an education sponsored by government would be a non-profit endeavor, wouldn’t you?
Government – finding ways to empty your wallet since the Whiskey Rebellion!
h/t Theo Spark
It’s been said The Libertarian Party (big L) was started by a number of folks in Colorado in 1971, who were having a political discussion regarding the downfall of The Republic.
Because President Nixon had instituted wage and price controls! (And took us off the gold standard, furthered the Vietnam War, the draft, and started the EPA?- Guffaw)
Fast-forward to today, wherein Rand Paul is waging a largely one man battle against The Fed™, and now this…
(courtesy of Irish)
This story has been floating around for a few days, now, but I don’t see much coverage of it. According to The Sovereign Man blog by Simon Black, the DOJ has instituted cash controls that require banks to notify them if anyone withdraws as little as $5000 cash in one transaction.
Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.
As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”
Imagine going to your local bank to get some cash; for a specific purchase or just because you want to have some cash on hand. You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.
You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.
The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.
When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.
Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.
But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…
How do you know you live in a police state? That’s a pretty good working definition right there.
MORE AT SILICONGRAYBEARD
for more information here are some additional links provided by blog buddy Leigh
In the interest of fairness, one of my jobs during my 21+ year tenure at TMCCC was to research and complete SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) as part of financial institution law.
These are the reports regarding ‘suspicious’ financial transactions taking place at federally-licensed/insured financial institutions. At the time, based on a floor of $10K.
This meant if you did a number of financial transactions involving moving funds around, or large credit card purchases totaling 10K, you would probably appear on the institution’s radar. And some functionary (like me) would review your accounts, and prepare a report, if warranted.
Of course, 10K (or more) meant a report would be prepared, regardless. (We did catch some bad guys this way!)
And you and your transactions were duly reported to The United States Treasury Department for further investigation.
Wouldn’t want any money-laundering or tax evasion amongst our citizens, would we?
And now the floor is 5K. In this economy.
Can’t have the citizenry moving their money around all willy-nilly, now can we? Because, whose money IS it, anyway?
My friend Borepatch alerted us to the following:
What could possibly go wrong?
A new “smart” Barbie doll’s eavesdropping and data-gathering functions have privacy advocates crying foul.
Toymaker Mattel bills Hello Barbie as the world’s first “interactive doll” due to its ability to record children’s playtime conversations and even respond once the encrypted audio is transmitted to a cloud server, much in the way that Apple’s Siri voice assistant works.
No word on whether Mattel plans to share suspected Double Plus Ungood Thoughtcrime with Big Brother.
No doubt the software has had extensive security review to make sure it’s not hackable. (snark font!)
We already have ‘them’ prying into our computer use, email, what we purchase, our jobs, what we watch, how we look when we watch(!), our spending, our gun purchases, and now a toy (that could be a tool) to spy on our children?
I wonder if the little brothers of girls receiving such a gift will nip this in the bud by deftly removing Barbie’s head, as he did with all the others?
Or is the microphone in her torso?
And is GI JOE next?
“Nothing up my sleeve – PRESTO!” – Bullwinkle
“Wrong hat!” – Rocky
“I wear a seven and a half.” – Bullwinkle
FBI Director James B. Comey made some kind of pronouncement a couple of weeks ago, regarding your rights and mine. Something of a positive, pro-rights nature. I took notice, and thought to myself “Gee, I should post this on the blog, it’s unusual for this, or any federal administration!”
Then, last week he flushed it all away when he announced:
Nice upholding your oath there, Mr. Director!
Thank the heavens above that the position of FBI Director is now federally-limited to ten years. Of course, with whom will he be replaced? Another nazi or soviet…?
h/t Motherboard, Joel
and other oxymorons, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.
(From The Silicon Graybeard, in part…)
Is it just me, or is it really the case that there are no adults left in charge in the country? These guys are worse than the faculty lounge crowd, they’re more like the student council! There are so many examples, I don’t know where to start, but WTF happened to the secret service? Didn’t they used to be competent? We have agents being sent home for being drunk from the Netherlands, from Miami and there was that rather big incident with the Colombian hooker. We have the president in close proximity with a guy with convictions for assault and battery, who was carrying an illegal firearm. And, of course, we have this story, which is sucking up most of the air. (Holbert at Townhall.com)
The NIH is finding cultures of deadly diseases lying around in old boxes, and the CDC exposed employees to anthrax, so no worry about them letting ebola into the country.
No, no, no. Everything is fine. They’re smarter and better than us. We just don’t understand how lucky we are to have them.
For those who continually fall back on government as the savior they sometimes aren’t, that last part is sarcasm.
Ms. Clinton likes proclaim she was a Goldwater Republican in college – then she grew up. I think those who clamor for government handouts when they are perfectly capable of working themselves are the true children. And, like children, they worship their parents who can do no wrong in their eyes.
“… government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.” – Ronald Reagan
Skynet was originally activated by the military to control the national arsenal on August 12, 1997, and it began to learn at an geometric rate. On August 29, it gained self-awareness, and the panicking operators, realizing the extent of its abilities, tried to deactivate it. Skynet perceived this as an attack and came to the conclusion that all of humanity would attempt to destroy it. To defend itself against humanity, Skynet launched nuclear missiles under its command at Russia, which responded with a nuclear counter-attack against the U.S. and its allies. Consequent to the nuclear exchange, over three billion people were killed in an event that came to be known as Judgment Day. (Wikipedia – self aware)
MADISON, Wis. — At the risk of sounding a bit curmudgeonly, I have to confess one thing. While there’s certainly something positive to be said about the Internet of Things (IoT), I can’t help feeling suspicious, weary, and a bit turned off by the whole idea.
Aside from big-number projections (e.g., Cisco predicts 50 billion IoT devices by 2020), which would tempt anyone into becoming an IoT cheerleader, I haven’t seen a single credible-use scenario that might lure the average consumer onto the IoT bandwagon.
Honestly, it creeps me out to think about my devices at home talking to one another, doing stuff without my involvement, and talking about my habits — good and bad — to total strangers (advertisers, service providers, or just more machines), behind my back. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about this. At all. [Bold added – SiG]
That emphasized text raises an important point. Those of us in the technical fields have a tendency to think of something that would be cool and then do it simply because it can be done. (remember Jurassic Park, anyone? – Guffaw) On the other hand, the vast majority of people are not technophiles like us who do things because we can. They want to know just what they’re getting for what they spend on the interconnectedness and thanks (in my opinion) to Edward Snowden, they increasingly want to know what privacy they’re giving up to get that interconnection. Yoshida continues:
With this in mind, I’ve started asking industry sources for credible scenarios under which IoT devices improve my life by talking to each other. Readers are welcome to chime in below. Give me your best shot. Convince me why my washing machine needs to strike up a conversation with my gas grill. (The Silicon Graybeard)
IF WHEN they do, don’t you think The G will be listening?
Remember the phrase above, with regard to what appeared to be terrorist activity?
A number of folks have been caught – or at least their damage minimized – by taking such an action.
I, personally, found a credit card account (obviously being used to launder money) in the name of a now-infamous convicted terror suspect – when I worked @ TMCCC. (Providing more identifiers may be a violation of government secrecy laws!)
And, of course, the whole ‘guy rats out the intelligence community for numerous privacy violations against legitimate citizens’ thing!
We should all be proud of ourselves.
But, sometimes, finking goes too far!
Welcome to the New World Order.
So…what is the difference between being vigilant with regard to ‘suspicious’ behavior, and being nosy with regard to those folks who simply want to prepare for a downfall in civilization? A zombie apocalypse? An earthquake or hurricane – which the same government has been advising us to prep for such events for years?
Inquiring minds want to know. NO, I really don’t care. I’m tired of the government sticking it’s collective nose into MY business.
Emphasis on the word collective.
h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars