Monday, December 23, 2013

Why even elected officials need to be worried about domestic spying.

Here's a hypothetical scenario: It's 2019, and the 45th President of the United States already has re-election on his or her mind. Somewhere inside NSA headquarters, there is an analyst who believes in his work, and sincerely believes that he has the nation's best interests at heart. This analyst thinks that some of 45POTUS's policies are leading the nation to disaster.

He can't wiretap the White House's phones, because that would just send up too many red flags. But he might be able to access cell phone records and browsing histories of the President's supporters, business associates, donors, that guy with dreadlocks whom the President knew in college, etc. And that analyst could potential find information that may not be incriminating, but it's still embarrassing.

You think a government employee won't try to blackmail the President? It not only can happen, it has happened before. Pick the worst President you can think of, and that's still not as bad as an unelected bureaucrat who doesn't have to worry about being fired or arrested.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Regarding recent handshakes

How the hell do you make an entire news story out of just one handshake? That is something that world leaders are expected to do on a regular basis. If you really are worried about human rights in Cuba, there are other measures that the US government can take. 1. End the embargo and allow US grown food and consumer goods into Cuba. People tend to be a lot less radical while holding an electronic device on a full stomach. 2. End the travel ban. Let idiot college students see first hand just what it is that they are in favor of. They might even appreciate the irony that the cars on the streets of Havana have more capitalist origins than most cars currently produced in the US. 3. Close the prison in Gitmo. Raul Castro cannot be blamed for every human rights violation in his own country. Someday soon, natural causes will succeed where the CIA failed and the Castro dynasty will come to an end. We can influence what happens next by setting a good example and leaving the Cold War in the past.