Archives for posts with tag: Hong Kong

These pictures show us what an engaged citizenry looks like: IMG_1951-0.JPG

IMG_1949.JPGCommunist China is violating the law by taking away part of the power of the Hong Kong electorate. As this article explains:

The unrest began Sept. 22 with a call from the Hong Kong Federation of Students to boycott classes in protest of the government’s plan to limit candidates in Hong Kong’s first leadership election, slated for 2017, to those approved by a panel of presumed Beijing loyalists. The decision was widely viewed as a sharp reversal of a long-held promise to allow Hong Kong voters to select a new leader in open, democratic elections.

In other words, the locals have not lost the right to vote, but they have lost the right to any meaningfulvote. So they got angry, took to the streets, and remain there at the time of this writing.

Your humble correspondent tried to find pictures of Ohio voters rioting after the Supremes took away parts of their voting rights. But there are no such pictures, because there have been no protests. Americans as a whole have become conditioned to just roll over and take it whenever the government takes away their rights. Bloody pathetic.

When the history of our time is written, will we be remembered as active citizens of a democracy? Or will we be remembered as a load of lazy, disengaged, deluded fools who let our Constitutional rights be stolen from us without so much as a whimper?

The answer to that question, Gentle Reader, is (for the moment) up to us. Get out and vote. Make some noise. Do it while you still can.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

One thing that has gotten lost in the outrage, uproar, and general brouhaha over the NSA’s Domestic Surveillance programs is how utterly inept the NSA has been shown to be. Yes, we hear about their Total Information Awareness yadayadaramaramadingdong, but it’s hard to believe they are capable of doing f***-all in a  secure and competent manner. Why?

Because a marginally-qualified contractor with nefarious intent was able to waltz into a supposedly secure NSA facility  and walk out with Hopper-knows-how-many secret files without anyone noticing. Indeed, the only reason those putzes at Fort Meade knew he had committed those crimes was because he told them he had done so.

Think about that for a minute. No security to speak of, open USB ports,  no checks of personnel on entering or leaving the building, any schmuck who can con his way into a gig with a consulting firm can take whatever information he or she likes and do whatever they want with it.

And where is that information now? Short answer: at least two places we know of (Snowden and Greenwald  both have the files), and probably more by now. Why more, you ask? Very simple: Snowden has had his laptops and other devices in three countries (USA, China, and Russia) who have very large and well-funded IT departments. Any schmuck with a screwdriver could have slipped out and ghosted his hard drives while he was in the shower, and he’d never know.

After that, no matter what sort of encryption he threw at the files, it’s only a matter of time before they are cracked open, and then everybody will know the NSA’s secrets. And that could harm a lot of people. Hell, it could bring down governments. And whose fault is it?

It’s the NSA’s fault, that’s whose fault it is. Time was, NSA security actually meant something. Many of us knew NSA workers, but almost none of us knew they were NSA workers. That agency kept security, by God it did.

Nowadays, any flat-headed flannelmouth with a good BS story can be a contractor for the NSA, get paid more than they deserve, and make off with sensitive national security information. Can you imagine how many foreign agents have already done the same thing? This writer suspects that the answer is “a s***load-and-a-half”.  But since the NSA is not at all secure, we’ll never know.

Not secure. Not serving our nation. So, what value are we getting for the billions upon billions of dollars we taxpayers have given the NSA over the decades? Apparently, not much value at all.


This blogger suggests we pull the plug on the NSA, fire the lot of them, and start over with a competent staff who can actually spell “security”.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

First off: this writer considers both men (if tried and convicted, of course) to be stinking scum buckets who violated the terms of their employment and many other laws as well. Having said that, Manning seems a more genuine, if misguided, character than Snowden. Here’s why:

Number A: Bradley Manning stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and handed them off to others to publish. After committing said theft, he stayed on the job until the cops came to arrest him. He has since followed the legal process and from all reports considers himself to be a whistleblower who acted with patriotic intent. And if he has to go to prison, he’ll go to prison, because he believes in what he did and why he did it.

Letter 2: Edward Snowden stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and ran away after working with a publicist to make this as big a deal as possible. He went to a territory controlled by a nation with a much more intrusive domestic security apparat than America’s to tell us all how bad America is. He then fled to another nation with a hideously intrusive domestic security apparat on his way to another such country. While doing so, he has carefully leaked selected material at such times as to cause damage to his birth country. He has been inconsistent in his story and is going to great lengths to avoid stating under oath what he did and why. Much about the man is shady, to say the least.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger doesn’t find either of them to be particurlarly admirable, but Manning at least acts like a man who believes in his cause.

Snowden just acts like a crook.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky