Saturday, January 29, 2011

The case against the internet kill switch

Egypt has activated its own internet kill switch. This was a desperate act, but the consequences of using such a contingency plan would be even more dire. I don't have to tell anyone reading this that much of the US economy depends on the Internet. If the Internet went offline tommorrow, many Americans would be unable to make phone calls, and thus would not have access to emergency services such as police, ambulances, and firefighters. Whatever the reasons for activating the kill switch, there will be panic and conspiracy theories galore. It could very well cause more civil unrest than it prevents.

Proponents of a US kill switch claim that it could be to prevent a cyberattack. Talk about destroying the village in order to save it. Thousands of IT departments ewploying various security measures can do a better job of protecting themselves than a single giant bureaucracy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bombing at a Moscow airport

My immediate thought about this is the federal government can spend billions of dollar turning every domestic flight into a flying Alcatraz, and terrorists will decide that they don't even need to board a plane to cause mayhem. If your highest priority is to avoid being killed by a terrorist, then perhaps you should stay home, hide in the cellar, and avoid saying anything inflammatory. But please let everyone else live their lives. The world cannot be as safe as we would like it to be. We should not let maniacs dictate national policy. Nail clippers don't hijack planes, people do.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This is what irony is.

I just saw this commercial yesterday. I find it ironic that my tax dollars bailed out the company that made the product in this commercial. Here's hoping Americans in Detroit start getting cars right, and Americans in Washington DC start getting freedom right.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just a reminder...

If Maniac A advocates Idea B, that should never be taken as refutation of Idea B. Bad people can still have good ideas (example: the Volkswagen Beetle). Crazy people will attempt to imitate other people in order to appear sane, and therefore will espouse some of the same ideas. And some maniacs might attempt to apply reverse psychology by outwardly advocating for a cause that they secretly want to discredit.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Congresswoman shot, others killed

The first reports that I heard was that Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ 8th) was killed, but as of this writing she was merely wounded and was even responsive. I hope that she recovers enough to serve out the rest of her term.

After visiting the suspected shooter's Youtube page, (hat tip to DailyKos) I think that he was either mentally ill or trying to convince everyone else that he was mentally ill. Whatever the case, I hope he stays locked up for a long time.

Lastly, I hope that this does not have any undue impact on public policy. I hope that this does not affect any upcoming votes in Congress. I don't want any controversial bill to lose by a margin of one and have people say that it would have passed if Mrs. Giffords had not been shot. Finally, I hope that this is not used to rationalize more infringement on our civil liberties. The world can never be as safe as we would like it to be, but we can still live our lives as we choose.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Who should you take seriously in 2011?

If the Republicans in Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling, it's time to stop taking them seriously as fiscal conservatives.

If Democrats continue to push for more government spending as a cure for economic woes, it's time to stop taking them seriously on economic matters. If the recession isn't over by now, it's time for a different strategy. On the other hand, if you want to think that the recession is over, then there is no need for further stimulus.

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