Off Vacation: Quick Hits For a Few Days

There are still questions about who really “hacked” Sony.

Programming is a “Black Art” (I am a former programmer, Systems Analyst and computer science professor), and in the Ether anyone can be anyone else.

Tracking back, deconstructing and analyzing a hack is a long and time consuming process. False leads cover other false leads. This is a job for a new Bletchley Park, but it is just possible that NSA alerted the FBI that it had intercepts, and the FBI was covering for NSA  rather than doing the hard work of deconstructing the code.

The question is if it was a disgruntled “inside job” — but no one really knows…yet! I suspect the FBI and NSA are right, but like the shooter on the grassy knoll…

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The Brits are scrambling to contain a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians who come for the huge benefits available — paid by Britain even to those family members who remain in Bulgaria and Romania!

Too late, regrettably — the Brits wanted to demonstrate “Diversity,” and they certainly have done so. Britain has slashed its wrists, and it is only a matter of time…there are camps in Calais, France, just waiting for transportation to Britain!

Britain committed national suicide, and they will willingly die, rather than be thought of as “racist.”

RIP, Britain.

 

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The Left, in this case Bernie Sanders, continue to single out the Koch brothers as the bogie-man of political spending, but he is very selective.

According to POLITICO, Liberal Steyer was the largest donor, and liberal Bloomberg was #2. The Koch brothers have donated more obey to charity than Bernie will ever see in his, and his family’s lifetimes!

 

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Everything you need to know about Christmas and technology is that more than half the devices activated by new users during Christmas Week was an Apple product! That is domination.

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At 1400 hours on December 31, I received my authorization to get my home underway on SOLAR power — right in the midst of snow flurries. The panels have been up, and connected for several days in bright sunlight, but I was not permitted to throw the switch and parallel the electric power of San Diego Gas and Electric.

It is now operable. My interest was not clean power, but that I could cut my enormous electric bill in half

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I support Israel, but their claim that they are an “independent” nation is belied by the fact that we have sent them money for so long they just include it in advance in their budget!

I love Israel, and I love my children, but I cut my kids off when they were 21 years old. I wish we could do that with Israel!

 

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First, almost all men marry above them — it is in the nature of things because men are rotten. Some are more rotten than others.

My wife and I have been married for 57 years, and an unkind word has never passed between us.

The secret is simple: never say “no” to your spouse!

 

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I am astounded that a Court has ordered the chemotherapy of a 17 year old girl, overriding the wishes of both the family and the girl.

Outrageous! Yes, she is technically a minor but Courts start listening to “children” as to which parent in a divorce the “child” wishes to live at 13.

At 17 a “child” is old enough to be listened to about her medical issues? I believe her decision is stupid, but stupid is a permissible offense in America!

 

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The US is planning to close some European bases.

Good! In actuality, GREAT! The Europeans have relied on our charity for decades…the EU nations have between 25% and 50% annual military budgets that we do. They rely on us, while they have about the same GDP as the U.S.!

They have been welfare recipients for long enough!

The Lord helps those who help themselves! The Europeans have NEVER helped themselves, and the U.S. has had to pull their irons out of the fire since WW1.

As a result, we have worn out our ships, tanks and men on a war footing for decades. My submarines were six months at home and six deployed for my entire career, and the six at home were getting repaired. Ships and submarines are not designed for that — and neither are the men.

I had one Skipper who had 21 deployments in 18 years. (obviously, he was divorced.)

Those who favor such activity are seldom those who must perform them.

 

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NSA and Snowden

 

The Sunday News Shows were rife with the continuing discussion of the NSA and Benghazi.
 
Benghazi has almost been put to rest. The State Department screwed up, big time, and no one has been held responsible.
 
You will note that every time an Army or Navy officer gets caught with even such low an offense as adultery gets his photo and name in the news. Right here in San Diego, several Navy officers are  accused of fraud — just accused — they have their names and photos are covered in depth. When a ship is in a collision with another ship, or land, the Commanding Officer is instantly removed from Command PUBLICLY and his name published.  Contrast that with Benghazi, or Fast and Furious, or the IRS debacle. Can you name ONE person punished?
 
On NSA, I have always contended that EVERY politician who sits in the presidential chair when the first CIA officer makes his first morning briefing says the same thing: “Holy S**t.”
 
That is why Senator Obama opposed surveillance, and President Obama now embraces surveillance. He changed his mind, I am certain his change of mind immediately after that first CIA briefing.
 
I am a Libertarian, and libertarians generally oppose government intrusion or the potential of government intrusion in almost anything as something to be condemned. When I underwent my first Libertarian two-week college study — having gone to Colorado after being told that my natural and innate political leanings were something called “libertarianism” — I was accused by my Mentor of having. “Man the pass syndrome.” My Classmates agreed, so I asked if ANY of them had ever been in combat — “have any of you ever seen the Huns at the door?” The answer was, “No.”
 
I AM a Libertarian, but one who has seen the Huns, and who fears them more than I do the NSA.
 
I was interested that on the news program Travis Smiley said Edward Snowden will some day be on a stamp, while James Carville replied that Snowden’s picture would indeed be in the Post Office, but not on a stamp!
 
I believe Snowden should be given the Medal of Freedom for his revealing the extent of NSA’s domestic capability — then executed by firing squad as a traitor for giving our secrets to China and Russia.                                
 
 

Unwarranted Isolation

As I read the stories about the NSA and its various problems with both disclosures and lawsuits, then read the blogs of paranoid bloggers, who understand that governments are inherently evil but that the governments (and non-governments) that the NSA is targeting are magnitudes worse than ours.

Somehow, these people — have you noticed what happens when you see “man on the street ” interviews of most Americans — live in some bubble where they think OUR government is evil.

O.K. — all governments are inherently evil because they use force, but life is a bit more nuanced that that. Not all governments are created equal — it’s sort of like atomic weapons. The world is a dangerous place, made much more dangerous because North Korea has, and would be if Iran  got such a weapon, but would ANYONE get overly excited if Switzerland announced they had an atomic weapon?

Who would care?

I fear that, much like the 1930s  the nation will retreat to its roots. This nation has always been basically isolationist, a valid philosophy when we had a couple of enormous oceans and a powerful fleet — neither of which can have a salutary impact on a nuclear-tipped missile or even a cargo container with a nuclear weapon.

Secrecy is the coin of the realm of governments — “good” and bad governments alike. I spent a decade “spying” on other governments — what do you think Submarines do? (Many of the missions have NSA personnel aboard, and while they were almost uniformly horses-asses, they knew their job.)

I have read extensively — and written extensively — about spying, particularly in World War II. Make no mistake, the Allies could not have defeated the Axis without spies on our side, and defeating the Axis spy network.

Did the NSA exceed peacetime standards?

Probably — but ONLY if you believe we live in a peaceful world!

A Man Without A Country

The Snowden affair has brought the demise of the power of the United States under Obama to the fore. China and Russia have lost so much respect — and fear — that they stick their thumb in our eye over nothing, or at least nothing if you listen to Snowden supporters.

Snowden supporters say that his positive action in alerting the populace to the totality of NSA searching and storing of data. Of course there is absolutely zero proof that the collection and storage goes beyond the limits set by the FISA court.

But, for the sake of argument, lets say that whether the claims are true or not, those claims are in the public. Now the question is, what else does Snowden know and how damaging could that be to individuals serving in undercover points, worldwide, and exactly to whom does he intend to deliver that information. So far the potential recipients include China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador — not exactly nations in the Pantheon of Freedom from Government Snooping.

Ecuador appears to have discovered the fact that the US treaty giving Ecuador a favored nation status on flowers and a number of agricultural products comes up for ratification MONDAY. These are products that a major shipping executive says cannot be sold easily to any other nation. Cuba has a treaty to return some felons, and wants removal of the existing embargo an embargo Obama wants to ease or end and neither will happen with Snowden in Havana.  We sent back eight Russian spies to Russia just last year, and that will not happen again any time soon, even now, with the intransigence of Putin on this matter.

But the Obama administration is not respected or feared like the Reagan administration, so it makes everyones calculations chancy, regardless of treaties or commercial arrangements. Political administrations change in the US, and in other nations as well.

China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador may give sanctuary today, but the chance of a 30 year old continuing to live in one of those nations without a regime change that makes those nations less receptive to keeping a burr under the saddle of the world’s dominant economic and military power is a fool’s bet.

But making good decisions is not a Snowden strongpoint. If he actually causes harm to just one of our operatives, he would make himself eligible to a drone strike in my book.You do not have to have a Middle Eastern name to be a terrorist.