Monday, July 6, 2015

US company gives glimpse into future of government surveillance

A SMALL private firm in the US has developed a surveillance system of Orwellian proportions that could very well be the future of big brother. Thirty kilometres above a chosen city, a plane hangs out of sight of the thousands of people scurrying below — continuously circling the metropolis underneath. Every second, the plane takes a photo of the entire city and all the happenings within a 64sq km radius. The images are beamed down to a control centre where they create what is akin to a real-time Google map of everything taking place. When a crime occurs, teams of analysts simply scroll back in time to the scene of the incident and identify those involved. From that point, they can follow the target by clicking forward through the images to the present moment and pinpoint their location.

The New Totalitarians Are Here

Totalitarians want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining - even if it takes bludgeoning every last citizen who disagrees.

Print This One Out and Circulate It. Leadership Reading Suggested By My Son.

It begins with the excellent question: "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?"
Matthew sends this with these comments: "This is definitely worth the look. . . I keep getting hip to these great reads and mixed media samples of management nuggets that can be easily applied to a small group leadership seminar reading list. . . It sounds like you have a bunch of guys who have elements of leadership but need a bigger picture. Leaders never being born but made."
We’ve discovered that inspirational leaders also share four unexpected qualities:
They selectively show their weaknesses. By exposing some vulnerability, they reveal their approachability and humanity.
They rely heavily on intuition to gauge the appropriate timing and course of their actions. Their ability to collect and interpret soft data helps them know just when and how to act.
They manage employees with something we call tough empathy. Inspirational leaders empathize passionately — and realistically — with people, and they care intensely about the work employees do.
They reveal their differences. They capitalize on what’s unique about themselves. You may find yourself in a top position without these qualities, but few people will want to be led by you.

Very rough night.

More later.

Also take today to remember Task Force Smith.

“Americans in 1950 rediscovered something that since Hiroshima they had forgotten: you may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it, and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men into the mud.” ― T.R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War

I intend to protest the actions of the Birmingham Taliban and their campaign of cultural cleansing at the next meeting of the Birmingham City Council.

The next Birmingham City Council Meeting is on Tuesday, 7 July, at 9:30 AM. The website states:
To address the council during its regular meeting at 9:30 a.m. each Tuesday morning, you must sign the speakers list. The speakers list is placed in front of the council chamber door, on the 3rd floor of Birmingham City Hall (700 North 20th St.) at 9:00 a.m. and removed at 9:30 a.m.
I invite those of you who can to register to speak along with me. My comments will run more or less along these lines:
I am the great-great grandson of veterans who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. For myself, I have also been a life-long opponent of the Ku Klux Klan and the neoNazis, fighting them at street level, where it costs. My life was threatened by members of the Aryan Republican Army after I embarrassed the FBI into arresting them. I am also an amateur historian who has done original work on the Unionists of Alabama as well as the 55th and 59th United States Colored Troops who fought valiantly at the battle of Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi. In short, I am no neo-Confederate.
My question to the city council of Birmingham is this:
Mindful of the Park Board's proposal of cultural cleansing by removing the Confederate statue in Linn Park, can someone tell me the functional difference between them and the collectivist cultural assassins of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria? And if you ratify this decision, how can you look yourselves in the mirror, you volunteers in a new American Taliban? I realize that you are members of America's collectivist party, the Democrats, but this proposal seems a bit much even for them. Of course the ex-Confederates who put up the statue were life-long Democrats, so I can see why the Park Board would like to engage in some Orwellian "down the memory hole" erasure of history. But functionally joining the Taliban for a little down home cultural cleansing of a part of history you don't want to remember? When, I wonder, will you and they carry this campaign of cultural cleansing to its logical conclusion and ask all the white folks to leave town so they (and you) can "feel more comfortable?"?
History, in all its twists and turns, must be preserved, not sanitized according to the hysteria of the moment and that's what this is -- racist, collectivist hysteria. In your own way, you are as bad as the Klan -- by such actions you validate the Klan's twisted hatred -- and you make their job of recruiting the gullible far easier than it otherwise would be.
If you want to do something, why don't you commemorate the veterans of the 55th and 59th United States Colored Troops, some of whom moved to Birmingham after the war and are buried here? Put up a statue to THEM in Linn Park. For that matter, why don't you remember the black Confederates who fought for the South? Try building up the historical memory of history -- warts and all -- rather than attempting to culturally cleanse it in some collectivist, Orwellian hysteria.
If the City Council supports this decision of the Park Board, you are no better than the Taliban, the Khmer Rouge, ISIS or any other gang of collectivist criminals-against-history who would destroy what makes them unhappy.
There is no right codified in the Constitution to be protected against being offended, by history (which is beyond changing) or anything else for that matter. Deal with it, like American adults. Not as spiteful, collectivist Taliban terrorists with sledge hammers.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Excellent observation from an email correspondent.

Sam Adams did NOT organize the "Sons of Democracy" in Boston in revolutionary times. Patrick Henry did NOT say "Give me Democracy or give me death". There is NO Democracy Bell in Independence Park in Philadelphia. The word Democracy does not appear on United States coinage. The Pledge of Allegiance does NOT say "with Democracy and justice for all". And it is absolutely certain that there is NOT a Statue of Democracy in New York Harbor.

Lipstick on a pig.

Army aims for positive improvements with M4A1+

"Early trading on Asian markets indicated investors were alarmed, as stock indexes fell."

Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote
China Moves to Stabilize Stock Markets; Initial Offerings Halted
Sugar, flour, rice: panicked Greeks stock up on essentials
Greeks were hoarding cash and food Saturday amid mounting fears the economy could collapse, cracking open their wallets only to stock up on essentials and stripping supermarket shelves in the process. Mothers, elderly men and university students were spotted pushing heavily overloaded trolleys or coming out of shops weighed down by bags of food, with essentials such as sugar, flour and pasta top of the list.
Quartet of crises threatens Europe's core
Four great crises around Europe's fringes threaten to engulf the European Union, potentially setting the ambitious post-war unification project back by decades. The EU's unity, solidarity and international standing are at risk from Greece's debt, Russia's role in Ukraine, Britain's attempt to change its relationship with the bloc, and Mediterranean migration. Failure to cope adequately with any one of these would worsen the others, amplifying the perils confronting "Project Europe".

Let's just say they're being careful.

Is Texas’ Plan to Bring Home Its Stockpile of Gold Bars a Step Toward Secession?

Why the need for an armed citizenry is not obsolete.

Constitutional Ignorance and Dereliction

Greece has become a battleground for the worst ideas of the 20th century

There will be no winners in this showdown between Left-wing fantasists and the European project’s true believers

Back from Doc-in-the-Box.

It seems I have bronchitis left over from the WA trip.

"Americans Are Blessed with Liberty, but Not Because We Deserve It."

The American proposition is a theological proposition: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Just how radical that idea is is difficult for the 21st-century Western mind to comprehend. For the entirety of the human experience, most men had been subjects — the ruled living their lives at the sufferance of rulers. The American proposition inverts that: We are citizens, not subjects, and government exists at our sufferance, not the other way around. Americans first applied to politics the Christian belief that we are made in the likeness of Almighty God Himself, not in the likeness of livestock to be herded, milked, and slaughtered.

Forwarded to me with the comment: " Leave it to CNN to publish a lengthy attack America's Christian Founding .... on July 4th !"

"Was America founded as a Christian nation?"

Black Man Arrested for Posting KKK Hate Signs Outside Black Church.

The suspected KKK impersonator is charged with perpetrating a biased-motivated crime, disorderly conduct, harassment, and littering, according to the police. He was served with a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) to appear in court and released, police said.

"Time for Civil Disobedience, Christians."

The push back has begun. Christian business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups have been given an ultimatum by five unelected, unaccountable liberals in Washington, D.C.: “You must now obey us and disobey God. You must pretend, with us, that sin-based same-sex ‘marriage’ is an actual thing.” To which we say, “Not on your life.”

China's Unsettling Stock Market Collapse

This summer has not been calm for the global economy. In Europe, a Greek referendum this Sunday may determine whether the country will remain in the eurozone. In North America, meanwhile, the governor of Puerto Rico claimed last week that the island would be unable to pay off its debts, raising unsettling questions about the health of American municipal bonds. But the season’s biggest economic crisis may be occurring in Asia, where shares in China’s two major stock exchanges have nosedived in the past three weeks. Since June 12, the Shanghai stock exchange has lost 24 percent of its value, while the damage in the southern city of Shenzhen has been even greater at 30 percent. The tumble has already wiped out more than $2.4 trillion in wealth—a figure roughly 10 times the size of Greece’s economy.