Archive for Politics

So the NSA knows exactly where I am right now, and you too if you’re on Verizon.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/06/nsa-collecting-phone-records-for-millions-verizon-customers-report-says/

Ok, so according to this article, the NSA has obtained a warrantless wiretap on all Verizon customers, with no known time limit.  In other words, that call that I got from my wife this morning, the NSA now knows when she called, how long the call lasted; and even more frightening, due to the metadata all carriers append to their call records, WHERE both me and my wife were at the time.  I don’t know about you, but that scares the bajeebies out of me!

Think about it for a moment.  If you’re on Verizon, the NSA knows where you are, every time you make a phone call.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve done anything wrong, they’re watching you anyway.  Law enforcement agencies nowadays like to say “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”  That’s bullcrap!  My family hasn’t done anything wrong, but I STILL don’t want someone coming into my house to watch me take a shower!  At what point does it stop helping us catch bad guys, and start becoming creepy?  I’d say…about frickin’ now!

Look, I know law enforcement has a hard job.  They look for ways to make it easier to catch bad guys.  But look, it’s not SUPPOSED to be easy.  It’s SUPPOSED to be difficult.  Because anything easier means it’s easier to put away someone you just don’t like, or don’t agree with.  Sure, YOU wouldn’t do that, but how about the guy down the line?  Can you say for certain he won’t?  Politicians notoriously take the short-term path.  Do you actually trust a politician not to throw you in jail because you did something he didn’t like, like maybe let a dog chew up his gardenia?  How many people can truly say they trust the federal government?  And yet, we let them do something like this?

Sometimes I wonder about us.

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Sequestration…huh.

Sooo, Sequestration came…and went. Nothing. The world did not end. Thousands of people did not lose their jobs, and the Government just sent $250,000,000 to Egypt. Enough money to pay for 5,000 jobs at $50,000/year. Huh. Business as usual, I guess.

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Climategate?

http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/12/climategate_iii_the_mystery_of_the_missing_data.php

Ran across another “Climategate” (silly name) article on the net.  This one written by someone who believes in the consensus that global warming is man-made.  However, there are some really good points that the author (Megan McArdle) makes in her post.

Basically, these emails point out flaws not necessarily in the conclusion, but that the road to that conclusion was flawed in a way that makes the conclusion untrustworthy.

To convince someone that you are right, you don’t go around beating up anyone who says you’re wrong.  You convince them you are right by showing your conclusion, the base facts, and how you used those facts to create your conclusion.  Even an idiot like me can see that.  Deleting your source data (or losing it), and obscuring how you reached your conclusions would have gotten at most a “C” grade in my high school geometry class.  My geometry teacher was all about “show me how you got your answer, not just the answer”.  If a high school math teacher doesn’t accept the method, why should we?

As a U.S. taxpayer watching our national debt skyrocket (and my pocketbook shrink), I’m appalled that we’re using these seemingly unsupported answers to force possibly economically devastating laws such as cap-and-trade through congress.  Even worse, it seems that we’ve spent millions or billions (I never seem to see the same answer twice) of dollars funding those very same conclusions, and maybe spending billions more in the future.

I don’t know.  All I know is that these scientists don’t seem to have a clue, and I’m not sure we can trust any of them anymore.

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