Saturday, July 12, 2014

The World Wide Web as practiced by Adobe of today . . .

From time to time I go to a site that tells me I must update my Adobe Flash player in order to experience the site.

I might even do it.

If it could be done without being exposed to a bunch of crap applications that I don't want, and don't want to risk installing on my machine. I've got enough pop-ups, pop-unders, and time wasters trying to get my attention, money, or data. So, I say I would just as soon not view your site if you plan to snuggle up to Adobe and its fellow traveling parasites.

It is Adobe's fault?

Who cares.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Evil people don't think they are evil . . .

John Hinderaker has posted on the Democracy Alliance, consisting of about 100 very rich liberals working to coordinate the efforts of left wing organizations to promote a "radical agenda." A member who attended a conference in April left a copy of the Democracy Alliance papers for the conference behind. The papers are supposed to be closely held, not circulated. This outfit works very much behind the scenes.

Among other things, the over 100 pages of "handouts" identify the participating members of the group.

Hinderaker calls this a conspiracy, and it very likely meets that definition.

Of course, they think of themselves as planning; others would call the same behavior plotting.

It's a remarkable document and it brings to mind something somebody said to me forty years ago.

Evil people don't think that they are evil. Evil people have friends and their friends like them a lot.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Acknowledge the mob with a little gesture, oh, mighty one . . .

This is great. Hillary Clinton has complained of being "dead broke," after being accused of being insufficiently sensitive to and knowledgeable about folks like 99% of the U.S. population. She demands and gets about $250,000 a speech on the speaking circuit.

She says she pays taxes on the money, so, she's not rich; she's just an ordinary working woman.

But she's mindful of the criticism she's received for her poor little me posturing. Because -- well, how often do you or anyone you know get paid a quarter million dollars to say what's on your mind? Ever.

So, she has taken what, for her and her ilk, is the high road. She has decided to give away the money she gets from public speaking.

Who is she going to give it to? Why, the Clinton Foundation, of course.

She has a reputation. It remains unchanged.

Friday, June 13, 2014

IRS claims it cannot find Lerner's emails and so the IRS pet dog must have eaten them . . .

The Ways and Means Committee of the House reports that it has been informed that IRS cannot comply with its request for information -- information that IRS previously said would be provided -- that is, about two year's worth of Lerner emails (remember, Lerner claimed 5th Amendment privilege to avoid being compelled to testify on the grounds that it could have led to her conviction for a crime.)

The emails requested were those between Lerner and people other than IRS employees, and you may remember that it's already been revealed that some congresspersons, who are not after all employed by the IRS, had strongly suggested that the IRS closely scrutinize any 501C(4) applications from tea party groups and conservative organizations, and the IRS scrutinized and scrutinized, delaying the grant of status for over two years, thus keeping the organization requesting the status "out of business" for that time. Other such relationships between various government agents and the IRS are suspected and strongly indicated, and Lerner might not be the only person metaphorically standing in the shadow of jail bars.

The emails were lost! Poof! Just like that.

Somehow this puts me in mind of the Whitewater investigation of many, many years ago, when Hillary Clinton's attorney billing records from when she worked for the Rose Law Firm while her husband was governor -- just went missing.

Poof! Just like that.

Oddly enough, those self same billing records were, some years later and when the investigation was over, found. In the plate room of the White House.

Damn! Just like that.

How much do you want to bet that the National Security Agency, which has a copy of every email and cellphone call you and I have made, for just in case we might be an enemy of the state, cannot locate any copies of Lerner's IRS emails?

Speculate with me. The NSA copies of the IRS email records were probably erased when the NSA decided to purge its servers so as to protect the right to privacy that all us American citizens rightfully claim. Hand on its bureaucratic heart.

Or else the dog ate them.

A slick cure for ESPN . . .

I am watching the National open golf television broadcast. The TV announcers are proficiently maintaining a constant chatter, avoiding nary a moment when the audience might miss the sound of their voices. Most of their voiced observations add little to what can be seen. 'Tis a relentless stream of banalities, irrelevancies, and stupidities.

Oh, wait! I just found the mute button on the remote.

There! Fixed it.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

What do they have to hide?

A judgement in Europe requires Google to let people preserve their anonymity by asking Google to withdraw personal information. People can basically ask to be "forgotten."

That means that when you google somebody, Google will not supply you with the site of the information requested. But it is still there on the web, somewhere. If it is located, nothing prevents folks from forwarding the address to others. Right?

It just means that those who have control of information are increasingly empowered. How often do we credit gossip more highly than published reports -- because gossip feels like it comes from a close source, even when the origination is creditless.

Somebody once said that information wants to be free, but it is more true that people want to control your access to information because that increases control over you.

When pipsqueeks roar . . .

Have you seen the supposedly surreptitious video of our Obama working out in Poland? With beginner weights?

Putin, who nuzzles tigers, seduces bears, and reassembles empires, so we are told, is surely impressed.

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Google auto drone . . .

The proposed Google self-driving car, once on the road, presents problems beyond the mere problem of connecting a car's controls to an internet map, and avoiding collisions with stuff in its way, or stuff approaching it at a closing velocity.

For it to work, the maps must be in place, and the GPS connection must be available, and there must be a connection to a satellite, so that the vehicle can be operated remotely. The operation of the vehicler is, in this case, a computer making decisions, and sending the decisions remotely to the vehicle controls.

Presumably, the operator supplies the destination address to initiate the travel, and there is probably some sort of log-on process.

Is it at least possible, or conceivable that the destination signal could be input into the vehicle remotely, as well?

Sure. One of the imagined benefits of a self-driving car could be to call your car, from someplace else, to come get you. You could have the car parked a short three blocks away, and have it come to your door so as to avoid walking in the rain.

What if somebody else, not the owner/operator could run the vehicle somewhere, using owner's identification and password, or even through some backdoor conveniently left available for government law enforcement.

I think what you have, then, is an unmanned drone.

Based on the recent revelations about government surveillance . . . can we trust that it would never happen?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Set it to music and call it "VA Follies." . . .

So, now the administration has to find a new head of the Veteran Administration, now that the current leader has fallen on his own sword on publication of the incompetence -- and worse -- of health care for vets.

The main qualification of the next appointee? Why, nothing less than the willingness to be the designated scapegoat, later, should it again become politically necessary to protect the administration if and when the quality of care vets once again becomes an issue.

The incompetence of the VA is built in. Most of the employees are protected through collective bargaining and the "employer" has no real competitors to set a "market" price for provided services, and no motivation on the part of management to make a profit by controlling expense. Further, compensation bonuses for management are based on numbers.

Thus VA employees get paid if they report good numbers, whether true or not, and with little bad consequence if not.

We just have to kick the can down the road past the next election by arguing that the cure is in the works.

It's all politics based on the healthcare provided to vets.

Why would we expect anything else?