Thursday, May 15, 2014

Workaround Suggestion for Google in Europe

Google will now have to filter their search results in much of Europe to exclude personal information that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant."

This seems patently ridiculous.

In order to request the removal, the individual would have to file some paperwork somewhere with someone.  By definition they are then publicizing the information themselves.

I hope Google comes up with a creative solution... like entering all such requests into a publicly accessible database that is included in Google's own search index.

It is difficult to say the information is "irrelevant or no longer relevant" (are these two different states?) if someone believes the information is important enough to file a request to have it removed from the records.  That makes the information newsworthy in itself.

Government Provisioning for the Citizen Militia...?

Are cows now so aggressive and numerous that our government requires submachine guns to slaughter them?

The reasons why the USDA might desire to purchase submachine guns with 30-round capacity boggles the mind just a bit:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.

The USDA oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially known as Food Stamps.  According to recent figures, there are a lot of people on Food Stamps.  Since these people are struggling to fund their own needs for basic sustenance, it is quite unlikely that they would be unable to locate the funds necessary to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms by purchasing weapons for their households... perhaps the USDA intends to distribute the guns for free along with the Food Stamps?  It wouldn't be the first time the feds stepped into the weapons distribution business.

Thankfully, these recipients of the government's largesse are very spirited and independently-minded folk as a general rule, so most certainly they would only use those weapons to protect their home and family and/or defend themselves from the tyranny of an overreaching state...

A ready-made militia who would be naturally inclined to support the government.

Look, I'm not saying this is what is happening, and I'm not a conspiracy-minded fellow.  It is perfectly reasonable to try and discern the possible motives driving such a request.  And since it is such a nonsensical proposition that the federal department overseeing farming should be inquiring about submachine guns, it is reasonable to consider nonsensical answers to the question.

And the mere fact that nonsense is in play is reason enough to recognize how this request by the USDA is separated from reality and should be opposed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fake Photos of Nigerian Women in WSJ?

On Friday, May 9th, the WSJ published a photo on the front-page of their print edition (above the fold) and on the homepage of their iPad edition (image below) that appears to be a fake.  The photo is ostensibly of Nigerian women protesting the kidnapping of girls by the Boko Haram terror group and promoting the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

The protest signs appear very... wrong.  The fonts... The colors... the wood-like framing around so many of them... the odd margins of the "RESCUE OUR YOBE GIRLS" sign...

The WSJ removed this photo from the same article on their website during the 10 hour (EDT) on Friday morning.  The photo has not turned up in any of the slide shows or other visual media related to the Nigerian kidnapping story since.

Are these signs faked?  Is this image a fake?

If this photo is a fake?  If so... Why?  What is the story that is not being investigated here?  Did the WSJ get duped?  Is the outrage over the kidnapping of the girls being ginned up under false pretenses?  Why are these women gathered?  Who organized them?  Who took the photo?  Who distributed this photo?

I think these are questions worth asking, and worth finding the answers to.  I hope some of the Wall Street Journal's competitors decide to look into it.

Racism Revisited

A few more words about Cliven Bundy and Racism:

Those that determine what is racist insist that we must forever and always be aware of race...
     ...but simultaneously insist that we never say or do anything based on that knowledge.

This highlights the simple and logical flaw at the heart of the idea of racism.  If we have to do and not-do the same thing at the same time we are all trapped in a room where the only way out is to prostrate ourselves to the whims of the fella standing at the only door.

Racism is an evil when it is used to formulate policies that restrain the liberty of another person based solely on their external, physical characteristics.

Cliven Bundy did nothing of the sort.  He merely commented on the world that he saw around, from within the racial awareness that is mandated by the very same thought police that promptly shut him out of the public sphere.