President Obama gets no Respect from Iran

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 8th, 2014

Week in Review

President Reagan made a joke once during a sound check before a radio address.  He said, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.”  News of this joke leaked out.  And reached the Soviet Union.  And the Soviets did not find it amusing.  Instead, they put the Soviet Far East Army on alert.  You see, our enemies did not think much of Reagan’s comedic abilities.  For with him they did not know when he was joking.  Unlike President Obama (see Iranian general: Obama’s threats are ‘the joke of the year’ by Marissa Newman posted 3/4/2014 on The Times of Israel).

“The low-IQ US president and his country’s Secretary of State John Kerry speak of the effectiveness of ‘the US options on the table’ on Iran while this phrase is mocked at and has become a joke among the Iranian nation, especially the children,” General Masoud Jazayeri said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

Jazayeri was responding to the US president’s interview in Bloomberg on Sunday, in which Obama maintained that the Iranian leadership should take his “all options on the table” stance — including the warning of a potential military strike — seriously…

The Iranian news agency Tuesday published a political cartoon mocking the US president, calling it: “All Options on Table.” This Time for Russia.” In a jab at US non-intervention in Ukraine, the cartoon portrays Obama peering forlornly into an empty paint can with the label “Red Line” while Russian President Vladimir Putin walks away saying, “I think you used it all on Syria…”

Under an interim deal clinched in November, Iran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The agreement came into effect on January 20.

“The (nuclear) negotiations are going well … I’m hoping by the first deadline (July 20) we will reach an agreement,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi on February 28…

“I can tell you that Iran’s nuclear program will remain intact. We will not close any program,” he said, according to Reuters.

President Obama is raking up the honors.  A Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.  The Lie of the Year in 2013.  And now the Joke of the Year in 2014.  Pity he hasn’t won some of the awards most Americans want him to win.  The Best Economy of the Year award.  And the Most Respected World Leader of the Year award.  Two awards President Reagan did win.  His outlawing Russia joke was really funny, though, and he should have won Joke of the Year, too.  But here President Obama has him beat.

The Iranians will not close any nuclear program?  If not why then did we lift those sanctions?  It makes no sense.  Unless President Obama is going after yet another award.  The Most Naïve World Leader of the Year award.  Where he’s been a perennial favorite to win every year since 2009.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Broken Family and Bullying for being Gay drove Bradley Manning to the largest National Security Breach since the Pentagon Papers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

You get in trouble in the military if you have an affair.  Why?  Because that secret could give someone power over the adulterer.  This is the stuff they made spy movies about during the Cold War.  If the Soviets found out a person’s adulterous secret they would demand top secret information from the adulterer to keep that secret from becoming public.  A lot of traitors were made this way.  Which is why the military likes their people to be happily married.  With a regular, run of the mill boring life.  So there is nothing that can fester and boil over one day.  And compromise U.S. security (see Revealed: How an alcoholic mother and being kicked out of home for being gay turned a geeky Midwestern boy the biggest leaker in U.S. history by Dan Bates posted 7/30/2013 on the Daily Mail).

He was a ‘mess of a child’ who was tormented for being gay, kicked out of home at 18 by his father and once threatened to stab his step mother with a knife.

His own mother drank too much, he could not hold down a job and once literally crawled up a wall because he felt his family were ignoring him.

Perhaps it was no surprise then, that Bradley Manning was angry at the world – angry enough to hit back at any figure of authority that was within his grasp.

He has now been convicted of leaking classified information but given the troubled life he led Manning was always a time bomb waiting to go off…

Even at a young age Manning had a festering lack of respect for authority and refused to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance to God…

In 2000 his already turbulent life took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced…

Manning spent four years there and, according to reports, was taunted by his classmates because he was gay and because he was American.

Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in school, has said: ‘It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages…’

He met Tyler Watkins, a freshman at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, west of Boston, who called himself a singer and a drag queen on his blog…

Manning made weekend visits to see Watkins and met the lesbian, gay and transgender community he was part of. He also got involved with the university’s hacker community…

He had already been noticed by those around him for his keenly developed political views, and even in Iraq he posted Facebook that he was ‘beyond frustrated with people and society at large’…

Three months after being stationed in Baghdad, Manning came home for leave for two weeks and told Watkins that he had ‘gotten his hands on’ some sensitive information and was considering passing it on to Wikileaks.

Manning was no doubt an angry young man – he is still only 25 today – and spent his life doing things his own way because he had no other choice.

So it is hard to believe that he was entirely acting out of the wider good when he gave 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, the largest national security breach since the Pentagon Papers.

How much of his motive was cold-blooded revenge for a lifetime of rejection, only Bradley Manning will know.

I never knew that Manning was gay.  I don’t recall the mainstream media reporting that small bit of information.  All they said was that Bradley was a hero.  For exposing the crimes of the Bush administration.  While condemning the treachery of Edward Snowden who exposed the crimes of the Obama administration.  That is, who compromised national security during the Obama administration.  For sneaky things are only crimes in the Bush administration.  Not in the Obama administration.  Apparently.

So he was gay.  An atheist (based on that thing about the Pledge of Allegiance).  Liked hacking computers.  And was angry at the world.  Particularly the straight world.  For the way the straight world treated him while growing up gay.  Which is, sadly, not that uncommon.  Bullying of gay kids.  Which does who knows how much damage to these kids.  Some are so distraught from this bullying that they have even committed suicide.

The Army needs to do a better job with their background checks.  If someone discovered this information now someone could have discovered it before he was put into a position where he could do great harm.  Especially someone who was involved with a university’s hacker community.  Which should have been enough to bar him from having access to any computer that is a portal to classified information.  For law abiding (and Army regulation-abiding) people shouldn’t be hanging out with people who illegally hack into computer systems.

One can’t help but think that had they kept Manning out of the Army for being gay he could not have leaked 700,000 classified documents to our enemies (who no doubt read these on the Internet like everyone else did).  Of course, banning gays from the military would only drive them underground.  Where gay servicemen would harbor a great secret that could give someone power over them.  Like an adulterer trying to hide an affair.  Then again, an adulterer would have to be found out.  A spy would have to discover the secret to apply pressure for information.  Whereas Manning just gave it up because he was angry at the world.  Making him more dangerous.  Less unpredictable.  And should have been easier to screen out of a position having access to classified information.  Something the military should consider before assigning anyone to a position with such access again.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Similarities to Dick Cheney are so Great that President Obama has to say he is no Dick Cheney

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 23rd, 2013

Week in Review

Candidate Barack Obama was brutal when attacking Bush/Cheney.  Talk of torture, warrantless wiretapping, rendition, drone attacks, Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, etc.  Bush/Cheney were war criminals.  Running a shadow government outside the rule of law.  And the Constitution.  This was all going to change under an Obama administration.  Who was going to have the most transparent presidency in recent times.  And would order the cessation of all those bad things Bush/Chaney were doing.  But when you compare the two administrations it’s getting harder to tell them apart.  And people are even noting this to the president (see I’m no Dick Cheney, Obama insists by Shaun Waterman posted 6/18/2013 on The Washington Times).

President Obama bristled Monday night at comparisons with the Bush administration in his first interview addressing the National Security Agency’s broad gathering of data about Americans’ phone calls and online communications.

“People say, ‘Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he’s, you know, Dick Cheney,’” the president told PBS’ Charlie Rose, referring to the former vice president.

Mr. Obama distinguished the programs his administration ran from those launched by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, which were carried out under the president’s wartime authority as commander in chief.

Bush/Cheney used drones.  The Obama administration has, too.  Even killed more people with them in his first 4 years in office than Bush/Cheney did in their 8 years.  Even killing an American or two on foreign soil.  Something Bush/Cheney didn’t do.

Bush/Cheney used warrantless wiretaps on international telephone calls to a suspected terrorist.  The Obama administration is collecting and storing metadata on all U.S. domestic telephone calls.  And they’re working with Internet providers to collect information on people’s Internet activities.  Collecting it and storing it.  So they can look at it later.  With a court order, of course.  From a court especially designed for the government’s eavesdropping activities.  The FISA Court.

According to Wikipedia, in 8 years Bush/Cheney averaged 1793.75 requests to the FISA court and was rejected 0.070% of the time.  In 4 years of President Obama his administration was averaging 1627.25 requests and was rejected 0.015% of the time.  So the Obama administration was averaging about 10% a year less than the Bush/Cheney.  But Obama only had one request denied in 4 years compared to Bush/Cheney 10 denials in 8 years.  Even though President Obama won the War on terror in May of 2011 with the killing of Osama bin Laden.  So the FISA court became more of a rubberstamp under the Obama administration than it was under Bush/Cheney.

During Bush/Cheney the IRS did not harass their political enemies.  The IRS did under the Obama administration.  Bush/Cheney did not use the Justice Department to investigate journalists reporting unfavorably on them.  The Obama administration did.  Despite the mainstream media clearly favoring President Obama over Bush/Cheney.

Bush/Cheney.  President Obama.  It’s getting harder to tell these administrations apart.  Unless you look at the economy.  Yet Bush/Cheney was evil incarnate.  While we need to trust our government under President Obama.  Even though he is a little more Dick Cheney than even Dick Cheney was at times.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Big Brother is Watching You

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 16th, 2013

Week in Review

I have a friend that once worked in construction.  A small company.  They did a job at a gay bar on an industrial street.  It was the only place opened late night/early morning for a mile or so in either direction.  It was an old part of town.  The street lighting wasn’t that good.  Which made their parking lot very dark.  So being a good business owner concerned about the safety of his cliental he installed security lighting in the parking lot.  To make it bright and safe at night.  Once the job was done and the owner saw it at night he was very pleased.  And the very next day he called my friend’s company to come back that day to shut these lights off.

Funny thing about a gay bar.  About this particular gay bar.  It just wasn’t a place where people came for drinks and camaraderie.  Not this bar in the middle of nowhere with a pitch-black parking lot.  Where the gay clientele went there to meet other gay men.  And if they hit it off they went to the darkened parking.  And did things they couldn’t do in a well-lit parking lot.  Men who were testing the water outside of the closet.  Others who remained in the closet for work or personal reasons and felt safe letting their guard down in such private location.  Perhaps even people who were just questioning their sexuality.  Who didn’t want family, friends, coworkers or neighbors to know.  At least not yet.  For these reasons and possibly numerous others men went to this gay bar.  Because no one could see their car in that parking lot.  Or what they might be doing in that parking lot.  So if something as innocuous as parking lot lighting could spook the clientele  imagine what this could do (see Pubs to escape demand to install CCTV if trouble-free posted 6/14/2013 on BBC News UK Politics).

Pubs in England and Wales with no history of trouble will no longer be forced by local authorities to install CCTV systems, the government has said…

In many parts of the country, pub landlords have been told they must install CCTV, which can cost several thousand pounds, to monitor entrances and exits or face losing their licence…

Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis said: “CCTV has a role to play in stopping and deterring crime in anti-social behaviour hotspots.

Not too long ago a college student committed suicide.  Because his roommate filmed a sexual encounter he had with a friend and uploaded it to the web.  This person had not yet come out of the closet.  His world changed after that prank.  So much so that he couldn’t bear to live after it.

People expect privacy.  Whether they’re going to a gay bar, are having sex in their dorm room or going through the airport only to have their most personal belongings tossed about in public.  They don’t want to worry that their every movement may be watched and recorded.  Proponents of public safety will say if you’re not doing anything illegal then you have nothing to hide.  But there are a lot of things that we do that aren’t illegal but could be very embarrassing.  A night out with the girls can get a little rowdy.  But most things we do can pass into anonymity.  Which is why people can relax and let their hair down.  Let off some steam after a stressful week.  But if we fear our every movement ends up on a surveillance tape somewhere we will stop relaxing.  Stop letting our hair down.  And stop letting off steam after a stressful week.  As we feel the cold stare of Big Brother ever present over our shoulder.  Living in fear that someone somewhere may see us NOT acting like everyone else.

This is where we’re heading.  To the dull gray world of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Where there is no happiness but only fear.  Fear of the state.  Fear of Big Brother watching our every movement.  Fear of getting caught doing something that the state doesn’t approve of.

Is this the world we want to live in?

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , ,

Massive NSA Data Mining misses the Boston Marathon Bombers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2013

Week in Review

The Obama administration says they need to track and store the metadata from our phone calls to mine data that will help them catch terrorists.  They’ve been doing this for a long time.  Starting long before the Boston Marathon bombing.  Yet they couldn’t catch these terrorists before they acted.  Despite all of that data mining.  Which is pretty sad considering they come from a hotbed of Islamist activity.  Dagestan.  Which is near Chechnya.  Another hotbed of Islamist activity.  Which has been a thorn in the side of Russia ever since the fall of the Soviet Union.

And as if this wasn’t enough, and don’t you think it should be, the Russians said, “Hey, this guy Tamerlan Tsarnaev?  He’s probably a freaking terrorist.  You should watch this guy.  Before he kills someone in America.”  And the FBI said, “Thanks.  We’ll look into it.”  Which they did.  And found nothing.  Despite all of that data mining (see Sensenbrenner: Data Mining Missed Red Flags in Boston Bombing by Lauren Fox posted 6/10/2013 on US News & World Report).

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the author of the Patriot Act, says he thinks NSA’s dragnet data mining may have obscured clues that Boston Bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were planning to carry out a deadly attack…

Before a 2011 trip to Chechnya and Dagestan, a region from which Tamerlan sought asylum in the U.S., the Russians sent a notice to the FBI that the eldest Tsarnaev brother might have ties to radical groups in the region.

The FBI looked into it and said nothing suspicious materialized after an initial investigation. The FBI looked for things like “derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity and associations with other persons of interest,” the FBI said on its website. After that, the FBI did not continue looking at Tamerlan Tsarnaev because the Russian government did not respond to requests for more information and because, an FBI source told the New York Times in April, the agency didn’t have legal grounds to continue keeping track of Tamerlan.

No legal grounds to track Tamerlan?  But they have all the legal grounds to track all of our phone calls?  It just makes you wonder why they’re collecting all of that data.  And what they are using it for.  For Tamerlan Tsarnaev all but had a blinking neon sign on his head saying he was an Islamist terrorist who was here to kill Americans.  But they just couldn’t see this.  So if they’re not tracking terrorists with all of that data mining who are they tracking?  U.S. citizens?  To identify their political enemies?  Like the Tea Party.  So the appropriate actions can be taken?  Like those partisans in the IRS took against the Tea party?

It makes one wonder.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Even though Solar Panels and Natural Gas Home Generators allow us to Disconnect from the Grid we Shouldn’t

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2013

Week in Review

I remember losing power for a couple of hot and humid days.  The kind where you stick to everything because you’re just covered in sweat.  Making it almost impossible to sleep.  But I was able to borrow my father’s generator.  So I would not have to suffer through that insufferable heat and humidity.  While I was able to run my refrigerator, turn the lights on and even watch television I could not start my central air conditioner.  Even when I shut everything else off.  It was large enough to run the AC.  But it was just not big enough to start it.  I tried.  But as I did that inrush of current (about 40 amps) just stalled the generator.  Which could put out only 30 amps at 240 volts.  So even though I had a 30 amp generator to start an air conditioner that was on a 20 amp circuit breaker it wasn’t big enough.  Because of that momentary inrush of current.  So I suffered through that insufferable heat and humidity until the electric utility restored power.  And I never loved my electric utility more than when they did.

Now suppose I wanted to go to solar power.  How large of a solar array would I need that would start my air conditioner?  If one square inch of solar panel provided 70 milliwatts and you do a little math that comes to approximately a 950 square-foot solar array.  Or an array approximately 20 FT X 50 FT.  Which is a lot of solar panel.  Costly to install.  And if you want to use any electricity at night you’re going to need some kind of battery system.  But you won’t be able to run your air conditioner.  For one start would probably drain down that battery system.  So it’s not feasible to disconnect from the electric grid.  For you’re going to need something else when the sun doesn’t shine.  And because there can be windless nights a windmill won’t be the answer.  Because you’re going to need at least one source of electric power you can rely on to be there for you.  Like your electric utility.  Or, perhaps, your gas utility (see Relentless And Disruptive Innovation Will Shortly Affect US Electric Utilities by Peter Kelly-Detwiler posted 4/18/2013 on Forbes).

NRG’s CEO David Crane is one of the few utility CEO’s in the US who appears to fully appreciate – and publicly articulate – the potential for this coming dynamic.  At recent Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference, he indicated that solar power and natural gas are coming on strong, and that some customers may soon decide they do not need the electric utility. “If you have gas into your house and say you want to be as green as possible, maybe you’re anti-fracking or something and you have solar panels on your roof, you don’t need to be connected to the grid at all.”  He predicted that within a short timeframe, we may see technologies that allow for conversion of gas into electricity at the residential level.

If you want carefree and reliable electric power you connect to the electric grid.  Have a natural gas backup generator sized to power the entire house (large enough to even start your central air conditioner).  And a whole-house uninterruptible power supply (UPS).  To provide all your power needs momentarily while you switch from your electric utility to your gas utility.  Well, all but your central air conditioner (and other heavy electrical loads).  Which would have to wait for the natural gas generator to start running.  Because if you connected these to your UPS it might drain the battery down before that generator was up and running.  No problem.  For we can all go a minute or two without air conditioning.

So this combination would work.  With solar panels and a natural gas generator you could disconnect from the electric grid.  But is this something we should really do?  Not everyone will be able to afford solar panels and natural gas generators.  They will have to rely on the electric utility.  Some may only be able to afford the solar panels.  Staying connected to the grid for their nighttime power needs.  But if our electric utilities cut their generation and take it offline permanently it could cause some serious problems.  For what happens when a day of thunderstorms blocks the sun from our solar panels and everyone is still running their air conditioners?  The solar panels can no longer provide the peak power demand that they took from the electric utility (causing the utilities to reduce their generation capacity).  But if they reduced their generation capacity how are they going to be able to take back this peak power demand?  They won’t be able to.  And if they can’t that means rolling brownouts and blackouts.  Not a problem for those with the resources to install a backup generator.  But a big problem for everyone else.

We should study any plans to mothball any baseload electric generation.  For renewable sources of energy may be green but they are not reliable.  And electric power is not just about comfort in our homes.  It’s also about national security.  Imagine the Boston Marathon bombing happening during a time of rolling blackouts.  Imagine all of the things we take for granted not being there.  Like power in our homes to charge our smartphones.  And to power the televisions we saw the two bombers identified on.  We would have been both literally and figuratively in the dark.  Making it a lot easier for the bombers to have made their escape.  There’s a reason why we’re trying to harden our electric grid from cyber attacks.  Because we are simply too dependent on electric power for both the comforts and necessities of life.  Which is why we should be building more coal-fired power plants.  Not fewer.  Because coal is reliable and we have domestic sources of coal.  Ditto for natural gas and nuclear.  The mainstay of baseload power.  Because there is nothing more reliable.  Which comes in handy for national security.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,