August 17, 2007
Power and Security
There are several alarming stories out recently that illustrate how the quest for that elusive comfort called "security" is dangerously eroding liberty.
1. Spy satellites are to be directed at American citizens. But, according to a poll cited by the same blogger, we don't seem to care about being watched all the time. More here.
2. Unfortunately for all of us, Clark, Hugh Hewitt is right: "[P]oliticians demand that the troops be withdrawn from Iraq because that withdrawal will inflict a political defeat on the Administration." Such is life in a two-party system, eh? But meanwhile, the Iraqi people, and our national and even world security, suffer. I'm one of the zillions pissed at Democrats for trying to turn a critical situation for all into political gain for themselves (which I doubt will work). UPDATE: Make no mistake, I want the war, which never (in my view) should have been taken to Iraq, to end as soon as possible. I just happen to agree that Democrats in Congress are using opposition to the war as convenient political leverage, instead of trying to really work with their ideological opponents to formulate a solution, and I find that reprehensible.
3. A group that calls itself "Family Security Matters" (hey, same initials as Flying Spaghetti Monster) that has ties to the Bush Administration published, then pulled, an essay calling for George W. Bush to seize military power ŕ la Julius Caesar and declare himself "President for Life." And you thought Chávez adding a year to his term was bad! (Link: Radley Balko)
4. The USA PATRIOT Act is being used to crack down on country cockfighting rings instead of, you know, terrorists. I am no fan of cockfighting, but this is bizarre.
In other news, local power company EPB is going to start offering cable television in addition to its internet and telephone services. I think the hi-speed internet is only for business clients right now. If they are willing to change that, I'd be up for considering what they have to offer — and, if I like it, to get my cable/internet through them instead of through my current provider. EPB is all fiber, right? Does anyone know more details on this?
(more on "power" after the jump)
I detest automobiles, but never more so than when they need repairs. It turns out that a guy can't even replace a battery anymore, because the loss of power would, "They" say, damage or even destroy the car's onboard computer. I'm no DIYer when it comes to cars. Years ago, I would work on small stuff, such as brakes, tune-ups, oil changes; but ABS, cramped engine quarters, and other factors have rendered those bygone activities. Still, I thought I could change the freakin' battery.
The good news is that I'm at a nice, friendly repair shop that amazingly features a wireless router. (I don't know if they mean for it to be public, but my AirPort picked up two, one with WEP and the other without, so I jumped on the unsecured one.)
And, even better, this particular shop (more later) comped the battery installation for me. Nice folks!
Miscellaneous | By joe lance | 1:13 PM