Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Today's arithmetic lesson.


As Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed that can track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time. Although these cameras can’t read license plates or see faces, they provide such a wealth of data that police, businesses and even private individuals can use them to help identify people and track their movements.  Already, the cameras have been flown above major public events such as the Ohio political rally where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) named Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, McNutt said. They’ve been flown above Baltimore; Philadelphia; Compton, Calif.; and Dayton in demonstrations for police. They’ve also been used for traffic impact studies, for security at NASCAR races and at the request of a Mexican politician, who commissioned the flights over Ciudad Ju├írez.

Plus this:

A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY. The "real-time facial recognition" software "can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles." The information listed could include your name, occupation, any social media profiles you have set up and whether or not you have a criminal record ("CRIMINAL HISTORY FOUND" pops up in bright red letters according to the demo).

Plus this:

The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.


According to multiple law enforcement sources, the leased, luxurious Gulfstream IV on which [Justin Bieber] the 19-year-old Canadian pop star, his father and an entourage of 10 friends traveled was so full of marijuana smoke that the pilots were forced to wear oxygen masks.

Yes, Justin Bieber  is the most important thing in America right now. Any questions?

I was chatting with a kid at the computer store today, who said he used to shake his head at the paranoia of people who's laptops would come in for service with little pieces of tape over the camera. Says he couldn't believe those tinfoil hat wearing fruitbats were right all along.

But they are. And he puts tape on his laptop camera now too.

This little list here, had I posted it just five short years ago would be greeted with hoots of derision and suggestions that I get back on my meds. But now its What Is, and the media are scrambling to find new shiny things to take your mind off it. Some punk kid smoked up on an airplane? Front page! Some idiot actor kills himself with a heroin overdose? Week-long front page pity party! California doesn't have any freakin' water? LADY GAGA!!!!

Oh and by the way, the US Post Office has joined the US Dept. of Education in purchasing several million rounds of ammunition, possibly enough to arm every postie in the country. Because posties need to be issued guns, right? US Postal Service needs a SWAT team, right? Going postal set to acquire a whole new meaning in the Obama Nation.

Just thought you oughta know.

The Phantom


peterj said...

Post office is bad enough but dept of education ?? The biggest anti gun weenies in the country ?? The only logical reason I can come up with is to create a shortage of ammo by hoarding it. Just doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Hi Phantom, A while back you posted a comment on SDA about how becoming a Christian is now a rebellious act. I was struck at the time by the insight and I am wondering if you have a longer article, or post on this subject? Janet in Newmarket.

The Phantom said...

Peterj, welcome to the Soapbox dude. Yes, the Department of Education has their very own SWAT team, and it has had a test drive or two as well.

This news in from 2010.

Also the Dept. of Agriculture has one, and the EPA have several. This has been known for quite a while now.

The explanation is a combination of mission creep and sheer waste. Every federal agency has acquired a sexy new SWAT team and cop stuff in the last few years in a general militarization campaign that seems to have no particular source. Its just the Washington Zeitgeist right now that your agency has to have soldiers or you're not important and can't hold your head up with the other kids.

That's what makes it so incredibly dangerous. These guys are all itching for an opportunity to take their sexy SWAT teams out for a test drive. Remember the Boston bombing? The story there wasn't the bombers, it was the stupendous resources the authorities suddenly had available to lock down an entire city and find two guys.

Nobody is telling that story, are they? That's not an accident. Look, Justin Bieber!

The Phantom said...

Hi, Janet in Newmarket. :)

I don't think I have a specific post on Christianity as a rebellious act. It is a meme that's growing on the Intertubes though, and Mark Steyn or one of those guys has probably hit it before.

I was just riffing on the whole "squares are the new rebels" in the art world, and that I do have a post on.

Of course the basis of Christianity IS rebellion against worldly concerns and concentrating on being true to God, making it about the most subversive thing you could be doing in a Big Government world. Witness every socialist government in the world is trying to eradicate Christianity as hard and fast as they can. America included, please see anything from Hollywood made after 1968.

I should add that I'm not a church attending person, as I find churches generally much more clubby and concerned with worldly affairs than they ought to be, IMHO. Your mileage may vary, that's why its important to retain the "free" part in Canada being a Free country.