Monthly Archives: December 2013

It’s Enough To Make Krauthammer Dissemble

What FOX News won’t say about Obamacare, but you were afraid to ask.

According to Gaba (and this is consistent with other estimates I’ve seen) just over 4 million people have gained coverage via Medicaid expansion (which is obviously skewed greatly by the geography of which states did and didn’t opt in). That brings the new people with care to just over 6 million. Gaba also notes this June 2012 piece in Money, which notes that 3.1 million young adults had gained coverage under the part of Obamacare which requires children be allowed to stay on their parents plans until their 26th birthday.

Add all these up and you get a number between 9 and 10 million people who now have health care coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.

This only matters if insuring people matters more to you than ideology.

The Otherside Of The Coin

This post zeros in on the gray area that the Chelsea Manning leaks speak to, that of the ability of national leaders to conduct business, on a level that open government advocates need to at least be aware of and acknowledge, for they themselves could not have done what they have done in plain view of the world, and to accomplish what they did required not only secrecy, but deception, to pull it off. For that reason I’m less sympathetic to Manning than to Snowden, and for that matter hostile to a Congress that wishes to interfere in foreign affairs, such as the Syrian or Iranian deals, because they too must make certain deals and compromises in private and out of the public view, while concealing certain facts and situations from their constituents in order to do so.

Back in July, Bandar bin Sultan met with Vladimir Putin. As part of an effort to buy off Putin’s support of Bashar al-Assad, Bandar allegedly promised to be able to prevent terrorist attacks tied to the Sochi Olympics.

As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.” [my emphasis]

Admittedly, this version of the threat was Putin’s version of it, and admittedly Putin has his own history of allowing attacks to happen.

No one needs to look further than the poll of Americans believing the theory of evolution, for forty percent of them are too lazy to distinguish in their own minds the difference between believing a thing, evolution, and believing in a thing, so any other thing more acute than stated is also a playground for manipulation and deceit. Not exactly whom one wishes to see in places of power at an international level in charge of nuclear weapons. If I am wary of Islamic Republics, Christian Nations and Jewish States, then my reasoning is obvious.

In that respect Jeff Jarvis is correct about the NSA story, it isn’t about privacy so much as it is about authority, and that is authority without any responsibility, one that answers to no laws and as such is a tyranny, which is quite distinct from of the WikiLeaks story. If one may lie to Congress in public and under oath without repercussions, then pray tell just what do you mean by oversight, or for that matter the rule of law?

RedState Indeed

Nice job boys,

Reading is for Snobs has the story of an editor at RedState, who had a serious illness, was uninsured (since it is a tradition for Erick and all his sons not to provide insurance for their employees), and had his medical bills paid by a charity campaign funded in part by Daily Kos readers. Let’s just say the story has irony to burn.

I’ve Been Ghazied On The Railroad

All the Mitt’s long daze,
can’t you hear whistlers blowing
just to hear what they came to say

Can’t you hear the blarney shouting
Faux Fee funble bray
can’t you hear the blarney shouting
Fee Faux fumble bray

Fee Faux fumble bray
Fee Faux fumble bray
Fee Faux fumble bray
Faux Fee funble bra-ay

(Song to the tune of “Working on the Railroad)

A British Exile Addresses 303C

Sarah Harrison, a British refugee addresses the conference, and introduces Julian Assange. The video is truncated due to network issues. Imagine that.

Anyway, humor ensues before the point is made.

In a video speech to the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) here, Assange drew parallels between the labor movements of the industrial age and the technology workers of today. As workers joined into unions to fight for better working conditions, technology workers should unite to fight government encroachments on Internet and speech freedoms, he said.

System administrators, who have access to confidential government or corporate documents, have particular ability to play a role in what he painted as a new class war, he said.

“We can see that in the case of WikiLeaks, or the Snowden revelations, it’s possible for even a single system administrator to have very significant constructive effect,” he said. “This is not merely wrecking or disabling, not going on strikes, but rather shifting information from an information apartheid system from those with extraordinary power … to the digital commons.”

Hat tip to Juan Cole.

Uranus Gwerrina Fuimus

Ad urinam pedum off iustus mathematicis, yet I digress. The NSA toolbox in readable English.

I Wasn’t Paranoid

I am observant.

Just the other day the electricity went out in two houses, or more accurately meters. I know this from going to the provider and transmission companies sites. Using an alternative network to do so also leaves a unique ID in that ISP/telco database, which helps them identify that laptop on any subsequent network. This refers in particular to the Chromebook I discussed earlier, and as such, negates that advice for this particular Chromebook.

The lesson, I suppose, is obvious if you’re up to no good, or a three-letter boy hoping that no one notices the methodology and blogs it up.

I hear the FBI has issued an advisory for nefarious individuals carrying annotated Farmer’s Almanacs. Not sure which particular one they are referring to, nor am I sure that they are either. This theater is supposed to make me safer. It might also cost me 12 buck to buy one too, just so I can stick it to the man.

No matter, eventually another terrorist will slip through the vast national security surveillance state’s armor and there isn’t a damned thing that this stuff can do to prevent it, but it does make the piss pant patriots feel like the government is on the job. After that, Joe Six Pack will watch TV and read in the newspapers all of the reason we need to invade some country or another, and away we go, never noticing that all the spy craft and craftiness has been humongous waste of time and resources, all in the name of keeping America free, while deprive it of that same thing. You would think the NSA could have informed the Russians, also a very civilized government, about the current attacks, but given the volume of that, it will be six weeks until hindsight reveals the dots, as hindsight so often does. Obviously removing the center of sight from the hindside would be a good start, but what do I know, I’m just a blogger. You have credentials!

I really can’t imagine why I think that sometimes I’m living in the stupidest country on Earth, but then with declining understanding of the theory of evolution, I join the rest of the world in doing so. I hesitate to say belief in the theory of evolution, although the similarity to belief in God are striking. One could argue they are the same thing, if they understood either one fairly well, which of course is not possible in America at this time because of, what? Benghazi! or something.

Happy NSA New Year

All your boxes are belong to us! Interesting video talk from 303C which should scare the hell out of you unless you’re a corporate gangster using the same tools and wished you were the NSA.

Der Speigel, has another interesting series of graphics describing the tool box for boxen.

via Slashdot which coincidentally had a post up previously about ATM hackers exploiting the machines with USB sticks, which if you watch the video and can put 2+2 together …

I think I disagree with the speaker about Congress critters not understanding the NSA technology, thinking perhaps they understand it all too well. For $40,000 I can turn you onto two allusions for the price of one.

And Still The Bombs Shatter The Day

Interesting read at Slashdot.

The governments can collect all the crap they want, until they can start thinking like the people that are blowing stuff up, they are wasting their time and our money.

Gonna Give You Lots Of Money

Working for NSA

This TAO unit is born of the Internet — created in 1997, a time when not even 2 percent of the world’s population had Internet access and no one had yet thought of Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. From the time the first TAO employees moved into offices at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, the unit was housed in a separate wing, set apart from the rest of the agency. Their task was clear from the beginning — to work around the clock to find ways to hack into global communications traffic.

LMAO. That’s the rumor these days?

If anyone really thinks government hacking started in 1997 please raise your hand so it may be determine just how many Brooklyn Bridges there are to be sold. That of course is different from Taylored Access Operations, which is merely a consolidation of earlier efforts. Unless you’re one of the piss pants patriots, inwhich case please refer to the previous sentence that proceeds the sentence prior to the current sentence.

The linked article aside, doesn’t anyone in the US media, dutifully catapulting the keep us safe propaganda read books? They’re these colorful, rectangular objects, with compressed paper covers containing pages of paper with writing on them. Check ’em out. Asking if Snowden’s leaks makes us less safe? Of Representative King of New York. Have you ever heard of P.T. Barnum?

“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase often credited to P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman. Though this phrase is often credited to Barnum, it was more likely spoken by a man by the name of David Hannum, who was criticizing both Barnum and his customers. It means it is simple to con people out of their money.

I read it in the newspapers, it must be true!

You want to be completely safe? Die. Someone will stick you in a hole in the ground where we can keep you safe. Less safe? More safe? Sit on your ass and keep your mouth shut. Works for all sorts of situations.