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?