Archive for the 'Politics' Category

15
Aug

police or soldier?

I have been disturbed by the continuing militarization of our police forces for some time now.  It’s now gaining some national attention asking if things have gone too far.  One only needs look at what happened in MA, and what is currently happening in MO to see the slippery slope in action.  And the Ferguson, MO police have made things far worse by targeting journalists and displaying their mocking and hostile attitudes towards those that can relay it straight to the public.

Now I’m not commenting on the Michael Brown situation directly, I don’t have enough evidence yet to make a determination.  But it would be hard to imagine handling a situation worse than what the police have done in the aftermath.  I mean the governor had to strip the local police of their authority for dealing with the protests and send the state police for Pete’s sake.

Personally I think things will only get worse until the police return to working with the community where the officer is a neighbor and not a soldier with military gear.  What say you?

Has the militarization of the police gone too far?

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Journalists arrested at McDonalds

State police take control in Ferguson

Police gas reporters and take down their equipment

24
Jan

when seconds count, the police are only minutes away…

If you are looking for an NRA certified class to get your OH CCW license (or for IN people looking for a FL license) then Conceal Cincinnati is highly recommended.  They can also do other classes such as tactics or even personal coaching.  Whether you actually plan to carry a firearm all the time or not, getting your license is a very visible way of standing up for your 2nd Amendment rights.

18
Jan

Stop the blacklist…

Stop SOPA/PIPA, contact your Congressional representatives.  For more info see, the EFF site.

29
Oct

Big Brother has another eye in the sky

You know how all the sci-fi shows about a dystopian future show the citizens being surveilled by small flying units?  Guess what, it’s now coming true in Texas.  The same battle field technology used (illegally) in conflicts abroad is now being purchased by domestic police departments using federal dollars.  My favorite line from the article is

“We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said.

Wow, if you believe that then I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you.  Just look at how they have been using counter-terrorism laws that were rushed onto the books as charges against completely unrelated offenses just a couple of years after 9/11.  What say you?

New Police Drone Near Houston Could Carry Weapons

Update 12/12/11:  Perfect example  [LA Times]

10
Oct

DHS testing “pre-crime” detection technology

The good folks at EPIC have used FOIA requests to get some sparse details on a Department of Homeland Security project to detect “mal-intent” via “non-invasive” biometric scanning.  This is very reminiscent of Minority Report minus the pre-cogs.  The DHS can’t even agree on whether PII (Personally Identifiable Information) will be stored in the system as they say it won’t but their own privacy assessment indicates it will.  I think based on what has leaked out about the backscatter x-ray machines we all know how trustworthy their assurance that it won’t is.

I thought the mention of ethnicity as a component in the algorithm was quite interesting as well, is it still racial profiling if it’s a machine instead of a live agent making that decision?  I think so, an obvious facet to challenge it on.  It’s no wonder they are so tight-lipped about it.

“That which grows in the shadows and withers in the light of day, does not belong on the vine.” – Unknown

Homeland Security moves forward with ‘pre-crime’ detection [CNET]

01
Jul

Abolish the TSA

I was reading an interesting blog post over at Forbes today.  My response?  “AMEN!”

17
Oct

Something closer to the truth leaks out…

Well, well, well…  It seems that Mr. Julian Assange’s (of WikiLeaks fame) hands may not be so bloody after all.  Despite a predictable and immediate rush to vilify the organization and its editor after leaking US military documents, the US Department of Defense is backpedaling a bit according to a letter leaked to CNN.

Now whether you agree with WikiLeaks’ actions or not, keep in mind that the press (loosely defined) performs an important duty shining light on things the establishment would rather not have seen.  In an age of corporate monopolization of the “news” sometimes it takes outsiders including bloggers and others to perform that service.

I’ll leave you with a thought:

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Gates: Leaked documents don’t reveal key intel, but risks remain [CNN]

13
Oct

Biometrics: Dubious security

A very interesting article clearly laying out a viewpoint I have long held.  As we continue to rush blindly into security measures based on things we don’t really understand, often trashing personal rights and privacy in the process, we are actually setting ourselves up for failure.

Biometrics: The Difference Engine… [economist.com]

05
Aug

Not just whistling Orwell…

Yes, I’m still alive–just been really busy…

So, I ran across a disturbing article a few days ago.  Many people worried about encroachment on our basic liberties, including myself, tend to throw around the term Orwellian a lot.  A new proposal in the UK though takes it to a new level.  They actually want to put 24/7 video surveillance inside the homes of the “worst” families.  All that’s missing is the monitor showing the face of Big Brother.  The UK has become the surveillance society but seriously, what the hell?

Sin Bins for Worst Families [Daily Express]

22
Jun

What goes around…

Iran Observations