Interesting Items 06/22 -
Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. OPM Hack
7. Crime Wave
1. OPM Hack. Yet another story about the massive incompetence you get when you appoint race-baiting incompetent leftist political hacks into positions of authority comes out of the regime’s Office of Personnel Management, essentially the HR department for the feds. It appears that the ChiComs managed to penetrate the federal computer system holding personal data for all federal employees. Over a period of time measured in months to years, the ChiComs managed to download all data for over 14 million current and past federal employees. Now this is pretty bad on so many levels, but it isn’t the worst thing about the hack. The worst thing is that OPM contracts out systems administration of its Unix-based system. In this case there were two sysadmins. The lead was apparently located in Argentina. The second was, you guessed it, located in China. Yup, the regime gave root level access in their personnel system to a ChiCom. It is not clear at this time if the hack extended to DoD or veterans personnel systems. At this writing I am thinking not, as they are separate systems. But imagine the opportunity for blackmail that now exists for the ChiComs among every single federal employee past and present whose data was purloined. Blackmail is not the only problem, as sysadmins have full control of the system. Not only can they read data, but they can upload an insert data into the tables, meaning they can load verified security data for an unknown number of ChiCom spies and others they want wandering around in the US without supervision. Final observation is to consider this hack and the government incompetence that allowed it when the same regime is now requiring all your medical records to be converted from paper to electronic form and held in a central location. Nothing to worry about there, right? http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/06/the_opm_hack_much_worse_than...
2. Encyclical. Pope Francis released his once-leaked Encyclical on the environment last week. It was a mixed bag, with conflicting opinions that the theological portion was right out of mainstream Catholicism for the last few decades. The opposing view is that the Pope has embraced environmentalism and the anti-Christian mysticism that it is based upon. Sadly, the environmental portion was straight out of the Manbearpig (algore) worldview. It appears that the Vatican office responsible for science and technology has been penetrated by no small number of glowarmers over the years. One of the disconcerting things about this new Pope has been his anti-capitalism comments and apparent viewpoint. Before blasting away at the Pope, I want to remind everyone where he came from – Argentina, home of fascist governments for two generations. These range from Juan and Evita Peron to Nestor and Cristina Kirchner. When you have a fascist government, it is the government that controls everything in the economic system via taxation, rules, regulations and the court system. A fascist economic system sets up cartels by picking winners and losers in the marketplace, not unlike what the Obama regime has been trying to set up for nearly seven years. I would submit that Pope Francis does not understand capitalism because he has never experienced it, so these sorts of comments ought to be expected in the future. If the democrats are successful in transforming the US as they want to, our children and grandchildren may end up with the same lack of experience in capitalism and the marketplace as the current Pontiff. As to the little bit about the environment in the Encyclical, I blame his staff, which apparently have been infested by glowarmers, Gaiaists and one world government types who are trying furiously to sign the Church up on the side of one world government types via Papal support of their manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions worldview. This should be an interesting journey, as the Encyclical also continues to reject other leftist religious acts including abortion and transgenderism. Note that I have not actually read the original document as I do not read Latin. http://www.religionnews.com/2015/06/19/pope-francis-environmental-encycl...
3. Philae. The missing lander on comet 67P Churyumov – Gerasimenko that landed on Nov. 12 woke up last week with a couple transmissions to orbiting Rosetta probe which in turn notified ESA mission control of its waking. Philae is a washing machine sized lander with three legs, a 60-hour battery, and covered with solar cells. The plan was to land on the comet, grab hold, and transmit science from the surface. Unfortunately, the surface of the comet was very hard, so the lander bounced at least three times before coming to a final resting place on its side in what appeared to be a shadowed ravine. It transmitted data and photos for a while before running out of power and went silent for six months. As it was shadowed, the batteries never recharged, so all communication was lost a couple days after landing. As 67P makes its way around the sun, the angle of isolation on its surface changes much like it does between the seasons here on earth. Enough sunlight illuminated the lander to wake it up two months before perihelion on August 13. I would expect the lander to operate until a couple months after that time. The original mission plan had the lander operating from November through March 2015 at which time the sunlight on it would be too intense. ESA now believes they will be able to get surface observations throughout perihelion, the period of most active dust and gas jets from the surface of the comet. With the luck this lander has had, it would not surprise me if a jet were to open up underneath it or next to it and send it back into space before we learn everything we want to learn. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_s_lander...
4. Reason. I wrote about the Do(In)J (Department of (in)Justice) subpoena to Reason for names of their anonymous commenters last week. The subpoena was issued over two weeks ago and one of the strange things has been the complete silence of Reason in all public media. It turns out that the subpoena obtained by Assistant US Attorney Niketh Velamoor was accompanied by a gag order. The gag order was issued by a federal judge who simply rubber stamped what the federal prosecutor wanted. Normally what happens when a subpoena is issued to web sites for names of commenters is that subpoena is shared with the targets of it by the owner. Reason notified Velamoor’s office that they had notified targeted commenters. The gag order shortly followed that notification. Note that there was no compelling reason for either the subpoena or the gag order. Do(In)J did this because they could, in a simple blunt display of raw prosecutorial power. As justification for the gag order, Velamoor suggested that Reason was interfering with a grand jury investigation. Further, his office went directly to Reason’s publisher rather than go through legal counsel. This is little more than a blunt attack on free speech by government lawyers on those that do not agree with the government. And these sorts of attacks will not decrease until congress chooses to do something about the problem. Prosecutorial abuse is a fertile political ground for the first political party that chooses to stop it. It will make them very, very popular. I do not expect this sort of reform out of democrats as they profit handsomely from this sort of abuse. The Stupid Party, OTOH, may be opening a gold mine should they choose to take up this battle. http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/19/government-stifles-speech
5. Trans-fats. The FDA committed more junk science last week by announcing a ban of trans-fats used in foods products and sold here in the US. The corporations have three years to remove trans-fats from what they sell, during which time the trial lawyers can ready their class action lawsuits for premature death. Mark Levin reacted to the ban and the 3-year window by noting that this was little more than a payoff to one of the best contributing parts of the democrat machine, with campaign contributions expected to follow shortly after the lawsuits are settled out of court. The excuse used by the nanny-staters infesting the FDA was that foods with trans-fats were tied to heart disease and that such a ban would cut deaths from heart attacks. Trans-fats have long been a target of special interests and under assault by governments at all levels for over a century when margarine started successfully competing with butter. Dairy farmers used their political clout to all but ban its introduction at the beginning of the 20th Century for no other reason than to protect market share. Congress and the administration at the time dutifully complied. This time around the junk science nutritionists infesting the FDA are ignoring all data associated with the positive effects of low-carb diets and their successful treatment of western diseases like Diabetes Type II, various cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s (sometimes referred to as Diabetes Type III). In short, it ain’t the trans-fats. It’s the carbs. Note that this is the same FDA that has for over half a century been pushing its carb-heavy food pyramid. In the Obama regime, junk science am us. http://watchdog.org/225270/nanny-fda-trans-fats/
6. Dolezal. When you set up a racial spoils system, some people are going to want to sidle up and put their snouts in the trough. One of these was one Rachel Dolezal, past president of the Spokane chapter of the NAA(L)CP who was outed by her parents as white. Dolezal grew up as a very blond young lady. Somewhere along the line, she decided she was black, started coloring, curling and braiding her hair, and became one with the struggle. She is even an adjunct professor of victimhood at the local community college. She claims to have a black father which is news to her parents who are both very, very white. It was most enjoyable watching the drive-by media twist itself in all sorts of knots in an attempt to justify her fraud. Perhaps it is all for the best, as both she and the former Bruce Jenner have tossed a pair of large caliber hand grenades into the heart of the current racial spoils system. For if you are whatever you say you are, does that not mean by definition mean that there is no longer any distinction between either the races or the sexes? While we all know those differences exist, particularly between the sexes, the basic difference blamed on race these days is not based on race but on culture and there is no prohibition against cultural discrimination (yet). These two were not the first nor will they be the last. And every time we have another incident like Ms. Dolezal, or faux Cherokee Elizabeth Warren (D, MA), another brick is being knocked out of the racial spoils system so carefully and lovingly erected by the left, democrats, and maintained by their allies in the media. Per Michael Ledeen – “faster, please.” http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/06/rachel-dolezal-the-silver-...
7. Crime Wave. With the war on law enforcement by the Obama regime and the racialists that comprise and support it continues, many parts of the nation are experiencing significant increases in crime rates, almost exclusively in the poorest parts of town. As local law enforcement is taken over by Do(In)J step by step via consent agreements, the controls for local police action are removed from the state and local levels and handed over to the corrupt racists infesting the Do(in)J Civil Rights Division. And they aren’t doing a whole lot other than expanding their power. We just started seeing stories about a new crime wave. To the regime, this is not a surprise. It is an opportunity, as the more chaos and blood on the streets, the more demand there will be for their “help.” The same rationale applies for the Soros money flowing into the Black Lives Matters protests and community organizing groups. http://www.wsj.com/articles/explaining-away-the-new-crime-wave-1434319888
8. Seattle. Anti-drilling activists have been paddling their plastic kayaks around the Port of Seattle for a couple months since Shell move a drilling rig into it for refurbishment prior to its deployment to drill in the Chukchi this summer. They said and did all the usual things including trashing marine habitat in the bay. The protesters parked a barge over a marine habitat frequented by local divers and known for its diversity of marine life. Cleanup included removal of two-ton anchors, concrete blocks and other debris from the site. Not only did the anchors do damage, but also did the anchor chains and lines, sweeping the bottom while the tides rose and fell and winds moved the barge around. Nicely done guys, nicely done. Had Shell done this, you would be in terminal conniption fits rather than a moderately sheepish “sorry.” Perhaps you ought to talk to the Greenpeace vermin that trashed the Nazca Plain with their sign for pointers for your next protest. That way you can do more damage to the environment you claim to so lovingly want to protect. http://hotair.com/archives/2015/06/16/anti-drilling-environmentalists-ma...
More later -