Category Archives: Politics

Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling

I wonder why Trump would want to block effective election meddling by hostile foreign powers. But isn’t that what he’s accused of using to get elected? Doesn’t look good. Bob Mueller? You paying attention?

‘It’s very curious why the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election,’ one Homeland Security official tells The Daily Beast.

Source: Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling

The complicated truth about China’s social credit system | WIRED UK

First of all, I apologize for linking to a pay-walled site. Sorry. But the topic of a nationalized citizen scoring system is quite timely, I think. Quite a few people in government want the US Homeland Security division to produce exactly such a thing for everyone in America, to become the basis of things like government inspections, such as TSA searches at airports and train stations, businesses during job applications, and any law enforcement incident, including immigration control and traffic stops.

If you are in the system, and have a reasonably good score, maybe you get a warning instead of a ticket. You also won’t get strip searched or asked embarrassing questions. If you are anonymous, or have a less than stallar score, maybe you get examined a little more closely. It all sounds like yet another creepy Black Mirror episode, if you ask me.

I also wonder how many individual metrics they could come up with to judge our behaviour by. No doubt that list would change over time, but even just a starting list. Financial reliability, financial health, respect for authority, respect for family, respect for laws, respect for others, respect for safety, respect for health, etc. What else?

China’s social credit system isn’t a world first but when it’s complete it will be unique. The system isn’t just as simple as everyone being given a score though

Source: The complicated truth about China’s social credit system | WIRED UK

Grandma sentenced to prison for helping her ex-boyfriend vote

She had been caught in an aggressive push by U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon Jr. to focus on the prosecution of noncitizens for voting, rather than the ballot-tampering allegations in Bladen County, N.C. Republicans across the country, including President Trump, have sought to paint illegal voting as a widespread phenomenon that threatens the integrity of American elections.

Source: Voter fraud: Grandma sentenced to prison for helping her ex-boyfriend vote – The Washington Post

It must be the Anarchist in me

I keep reading about the hardships of the US Government employees recently furlowed by the careless last minute decision by #45 Donald Trump. But I don’t mind suffering through the government hell that will be a 3, 6, 12, or longer, month shutdown of “non-essential services”. I kind of feel like 45% of America voted in favor of this level of chaos, and now they ought to reap what they sow, and let this be a valuable lesson to all those who didn’t make the time to vote. That’s what early voting is all about.

I am worried about the hundreds of thousands with no paycheck, because the President doesn’t want to negotiate a deal. It’s his way, or the highway. Let the toddler have his way. He agreed to an earlier bill, before he heard some far-right wing media critics and changed his mind. The only reason the Senate voted on it was because they had been informed the President agreed to sign it, and kick the can down the road for 3-6 more months. So then he didn’t sign it, he shutdown the government, he refuses to listen to anything that doesn’t include his wall, because he has to win, he has to “build that wall”, because he can’t stand any criticism from his usually friendly far-right-wing media friends, whom he trusts implicitly, without evidence.

Fake News

My favorite tweet in response to the recent Donald Trump claim that California simply needs to spend money to “rake the forest floors” to prevent forest fires was:

“Rake News”

I Voted

Did You? Yeah? So did everybody else, apparently. The lines were long this morning, but everyone seemed respectful and in a good mood. I chatted with one poll worker while waiting to cast my ballot, he said it’s been this busy for weeks, with all the early voting. And SO MANY young voters turning up.

If I wasn’t a natural pessimist, I might hold out a sliver of hope for this country. We’ll see if all the lying and voter suppression has the impact the Trump supporters intended, or not. Luckily I get to go to sleep soon, and wake up around the time all the early election results are getting reported. Even better, I’m off work tonight, so I can watch until the wee hours, in case there are any close races.

Rand Paul Is Right: NSA Routinely Monitors Americans’ Communications Without Warrants

I find it hard to believe anyone still trusts that these “top security” people aren’t lying through their teeth every time their lips move. Obama lied. Gen Clapper lied. Nobody is ever held accountable for lying anymore!

Yes, the NSA is recording everything they can get the grubby little mitts onto. I don’t think they keep everything forever, but I’m betting it doesn’t take much to get added to the list of “interesting individuals”. And that list will only grow as more people speak out about the continued abuse of our 5th amendment right to privacy in our homes and our private communications. The Internet is a communication system, and should be treated as such. Hands off without a warrant.

Defenders of the surveillance state have long peddled a blatant falsehood about the NSA’s domestic spying.

Source: Rand Paul Is Right: NSA Routinely Monitors Americans’ Communications Without Warrants