Arrogance and Encryption

I wrote a bit ago about liberty and encryption. Here’s an example of the arrogance of the government’s attitude toward an American citizen encrypting his communications against government snooping.

Regarding Google and Apple plans to market encryption capabilities for their smart phones, FBI Director James Comey had this to say:

What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law[.]

This comes in the context of Brent Kendall’s paraphrase of Comey’s concern in Kendall’s WSJ article, also summarized in the link just above

A Geopolitical Misunderstanding

…if The Wall Street Journal‘s interpretation is accurate, and a lack of political courage [emphasis added].

A solution to the Ukraine crisis is still far off, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned on Saturday, as his Russian counterpart accused the West of seeking to create chaos in the Kremlin’s geographic sphere.


Steinmeier said that a few weeks ago “we were on the brink of direct confrontation” between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces but that diplomacy had “prevented the worst.” However, he said, “I am under no illusion. A political solution is still a long way off.”

Liberty, Security, and Encryption

Moves by Apple Inc and Google Inc to put some smartphone data out of the reach of police and the courts are raising alarms inside US law-enforcement agencies, current and former officials say.

Of course the government is upset. Heaven forfend anything should interfere with its convenience in fishing for wrong-doing in our private correspondence. Privacy, though, is a necessary component of individual liberty and responsibility.

More Actual Facts

…about climate change. In a paper, Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature variability and change, 1900–2012, released last Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, roughly translated for us laymen by the AP, authors Jim Johnstone, at the time of his research with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, and Nathan Mantua, research scientist with the NOAA Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz, CA, found that northeast Pacific (that’s abeam the US) ocean warming since 1900 correlates better with naturally occurring wind pattern changes than with any pattern of human greenhouse gas injection into the atmosphere. According to Johnstone,

They Need to Make up Their Minds

The Minnesota Vikings issued a statement early Wednesday saying that running back Adrian Peterson must remain away from all team activities until his felony child abuse case is settled.

The move was an about-face for the team, which reinstated Peterson to the active roster Monday after deactivating him following the All-Pro running back’s indictment Friday.

Peterson has an initial hearing scheduled for October 8 in Montgomery County, Texas on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a wooden switch, leaving bruises and other wounds that were visible days later. Peterson told police that he was merely inflicting discipline and had not intended to hurt the boy.

Rules, and Rules

In a northern California grade school, there’s a dress code. And there can be no exceptions to the rule.

A young girl was told by her school that she couldn’t wear a T-shirt to pay tribute to the lives lost on Sept 11, 2001.

School leaders say they have a good reason for banning the sixth-grader’s Sept 11 memorial T-shirt on Thursday. When her stepfather tried to get permission, school administrators say it violated their dress code.

District Senior Director for Community Relations Trent Allen said that students were only allowed to deviate from the uniform on free dress days, and 9/11 isn’t one of those days.

In Which a Judge Gets It Right

…but is forced to rule wrongly.

The SEIU sued University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, alleging “unfair” labor practices in that, claimed the union, UPMC management interfered with employees’ right to organize. In connection with that suit, the NLRB issued three subpoenas demanding “highly confidential and proprietary information” be released from UPMC to the union.

Federal District Judge Arthur Schwab found the NLRB’s subpoenas, among other things, over broad and unfocused, and so illegitimate. He also found the subpoenas fundamentally irrelevant to the underlying case (which itself would have rendered the subpoenas inappropriate). He went further. In noting that the NLRB itself made no serious effort to argue the relevance of its subpoenas, he wrote [emphasis added]

Continued VA Cover-Up

This time with the VA’s IG participating. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having an organization’s inspection/watchdog function be an internal one, even if it works for the organization’s boss and not for anyone further down the totem pole.

Crucial language that the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General could not “conclusively” prove that delays in care caused patient deaths at a Phoenix hospital was added to its final report after a draft version was sent to agency administrators for comment….

Words Have Consequences

KT McFarland pointed out some of their consequence in a Friday interview on Fox NewsHappening Now program against the backdrop of the Russian-supported “rebellion” in Ukraine and the just being agreed “cease fire” between those “rebels” and Ukrainian forces.

It seems that President Barack Obama, while spending a day in Estonia, had assured the Estonians that NATO would, of course, rush to their defense in the event of “an attack” on Estonia. The next day, Obama repeated that assurance, sort of. This time, he said NATO would rush to Estonia’s defense in the event of “an armed attack” on Estonia.

Resign, or Resigned?

The parents of a SEAL lost in Afghanistan, on seeing the butchery of ISIS and President Barack Obama’s decision not to respond, have written an open letter to him, via World Tribune. Here is their letter.

Billy and Karen Vaughn

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.