Tag Archives: Obama

Lighten up on global warming

I was amazed when Barack Obama declared that climate change is the nation’s biggest enemy. Forget ISIS, Iran, al-Qaeda, murders of citizens by illegal aliens, uncontrolled immigration, jobs outsourcing, factories moving offshore . . . etc.  No, Mr. Obama’s delusions convince him that global warming is more important.

Maybe George Carlin can bring some sanity to this:

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“He’s a child.”

Vladimir Putin, overheard in conversation with colleagues at the recent G20 meeting, referred to an image of Barack Obama on a video screen and laughed, “He’s a child . . . he’s a child!”

Barack ObamaIndeed.  West Africans use a simplified version of English that includes nouns that succinctly describe personalities.  I’ve already identified Mr. Obama as a confusionist.  Another apt west African tag is small boy.  (In contrast, a true leader is a big man.)

I was puzzled at first by Obama’s refusal to utter the phrase “radical Islam”, his seeming lack of empathy for the victims of Friday’s massacre in Paris by ISIS, and his insistence that the US accept tens or hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria.   It does though make sense when we listen to his own words:

The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.

The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer.

We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.

. . . etcetera

Putin has it right.  Obama’s reign of error is that of a child — a narcissistic small boy avenging his father.  Such a neurotic character served Shakespeare well, but is unfit to be president.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Putney Swope and Barack Obama

Today’s laughably corrupt Obama regime is life imitating art. Which art? Cinema. Whacked-out cinema. Farce. Namely, 1969’s Putney Swope:

Both Swope and Obama were elected to office by fools who suffer from chronic white guilt.

In 1969, Putney Swope announced:

The changes I’m gonna make will be minimal. I’m not gonna rock the boat. Rockin’ the boat’s a drag. What you do is sink the boat.

In 2008, Barack Obama bragged:

. . . we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

Mr. Obama is trying to transform America, alright. Transform it from a prosperous capitalist economy governed by a constitutional republic to a bankrupt socialist economy governed by a corrupt tyrannical dictatorship. Barack is following Putney’s credo, “What you do is sink the boat.”

YouTube subtitle humor

Here’s a funny video that’s supposedly an Iranian negotiator recounting the stupidity of Messrs Obama and Kerry:

The sardonic subtitles were added by Madison McQueen. (She apparently is the granddaughter of actor Steve McQueen.)

The best line:

I’ve had tougher negotiations over a falafel sandwich!

I first saw this sort of humor in a video clip taken from a biography of Hitler: United broke Hitler’s guitar, too!.

I like this sort of humorous subtitling. And I like its message: Obama and Kerry are fools.

Police states need data

This week the New York Post published an excellent article titled Obama has been collecting personal data for a secret race database. Soon after becoming chancellor in 1933, Adolph Hitler initiated a German census, with the assistance of IBM’s German subsidiary. The census used IBM’s Hollerith punch card technology: one card per each person. On this card were fields that defined address, race, religion, and ancestors.

This database probably seemed benign in 1933. A few years later, it powered Krystalnacht and, soon after, the entire holocaust.

After invading Poland, the Nazis immediately began a census. Ditto Holland and France. Again, IBM technology powered these efforts. Tyrannical centralized regimes require detailed demographic data collection and tabulation so that they can select groups and individuals for “special treatment”.

Big Brother from 1984 by George OrwellI object to any central government collecting reams of data about its citizens. In particular, I don’t trust this administration. Aside from its dubious motives, it’s proven its inability to safeguard personal data, including fingerprints, of millions of security clearance applicants. It appears that China now has these data.

I wrote about government data collection two years ago in Government data collection then and now. Edwin Black’s book, IBM and the Holocaust, is an eye opener.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

President Obama endorses net neutrality

Yesterday, Reuters reported a piece of good news: Obama pressures FCC for strong net neutrality rules. They quote from Mr. Obama’s speech:

Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gate keeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.

I’m puzzled. If Mr. Obama favors net neutrality, why did he appoint cable TV and cellular phone industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman last year? In May, predictably, FCC Chairman Wheeler Proposes Net Partiality, which he couched in terms of “net neutrality”. Curiouser and curiouser.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Nation’s new cyber security chief just another windbag

President Obama recently appointed Michael Daniel to the position of “cybersecurity czar”. Michael Daniel official photoWho’s he? Techdirt reported that White House’s Cybersecurity Guy Proud Of His Lack Of Cybersecurity Knowledge Or Skills. Cybersecurity analyst Robert Lee, writing in Forbes, points out that It Does Matter That The White House Cybersecurity Czar Lacks Technical Chops. I agree. This supposedly high-tech administration is over-run with MBAs and lawyers who are dilettantes in technical matters. They don’t understand even the fundamentals of technology, so they can’t see through shuck.

Exhibit A is FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who was a lobbyist for both the cable TV and cell phone industries(!). He was also a major Obama political campaign consolidator.

Click for Obama windbag video
image by Politizoid

Then there’s the IRS, whose managers and IT staff seem to have no clue about disaster recovery planning or routine data recovery procedures. Or are they merely trying to hide evidence of criminal behavior?

For an administration that boasts of its techno-hipness, the appointment of one more windbag to a position that requires technical expertise is pathetic.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Lois Lerner’s White House emails missing?

IRS Says ‘Lost’ Lois Lerner Emails… Rep asks NSA for metadata… (originally published 13 June, 2014)

lois lerner image

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Steve Stockman Friday asked the National Security Agency to turn over all its metadata on the email accounts of former Internal Revenue Service Exempt Organizations division director Lois Lerner for the period between January 2009 and April 2011.

If the NSA doesn’t comply, the mail servers that Lois Lerner used will have her emails — especially if she used IMAP or webmail. The tape backup systems for those servers should have archives of all of her emails. (A decent backup system will archive everything every month in off-site storage. It’s urgent that these archives be retrieved before they’re purged.)

In addition, chances are excellent that the emails on her crashed hard drive on her PC can be recovered. They just need to call OnTrak data recovery service or any of its competitors.

This stinks.


Updates

5 September 2014 Yesterday, The Washington Post asked, Why did the IRS clean out Lois Lerner’s Blackberry as probes began? The short answer seems to be that this was part of an effort by one or more people at the IRS to destroy evidence. My question: What happened to the Blackberry’s SD memory card?

This attempt to destroy evidence is kind of stupid. As I’ve mentioned before, copies of those messages will reside on the mail servers and their tape backup systems. I gather that the IRS uses Microsoft Exchange mail servers; by default, Microsoft Exchange turns on mail archiving.

25 August 2014 Today Judicial Watch announced that they have been told by DOJ attorneys that backup copies of all federal government documents, including Lois Lerner’s missing emails, exist in federal archives. Judicial Watch intends to file a request for production of these as part of their ongoing lawsuit against the IRS. The judge won’t be happy to learn that the IRS has been hiding evidence.

Judicial Watch’s release includes a link to the latest sworn statement by an IRS IT manager regarding procedures that were followed when Lois Lerner’s hard drive failed. They’re unremarkable except that no detail is provided about the failure itself (was it electronic or logical, was the disk spinning?) or what measures were used to recover data from the failed drive. What’s not addressed are questions such as, “Before scrapping the failed drive, did anyone evaluate the value and uniqueness of its data?” and “What archiving system is used on the Exchange servers used by Ms. Lerner? Can we pull the lost emails from that archive?”.

Again, this reveals incompetence or coverup. Or maybe even an incompetent coverup.

29 July 2014 Yesterday I watched over an hour of recent grilling of the IRS director by the House Government Oversight committee. Apparently one of his staffers recently testified that the data on Ms. Lerner’s hard drive was recoverable, but management had declined to bring in an outside contractor to recover the data.

Incompetence
or
coverup?

I’ve encountered many failed hard drives over the decades — on servers, desktops, and laptops. I’ve always been able to recover the data on them, using a variety of techniques. The worst case required the services of a specialist to pull data from a failed SCO Openserver Unix system disk. I handled all other cases myself. In systems that I’ve managed, we had both automated central backup tape libraries and external backup hard drives for remote laptop users such as Ms. Lerner. We had entire laptops stolen, yet their users lost only data created since they last connected to the enterprise network or their external backup hard drive (whichever was most recent). Even when no backup system is in place, data on failed hard drives is almost always recoverable. The worst case is that it will require expensive surgery in a clean room.

My conclusion:

  • The I.T. staff at the IRS is incompetent, or
  • One or more persons at the IRS are trying to hide something that involves Lois Lerner.

 

 

11 July 2014 Today a federal Judge orders feds to find Lerner’s hard drive.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton wants the IRS to tell him whatever they know about the hard drive that Lerner says malfunctioned and lost two years of emails sought by congressional investigators, and he wants those answers in just one week.

Walton issued an order Friday afternoon demanding to know the serial number of Lerner’s hard drive and, essentially, where it is now.

The same article announces that

On Thursday, Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to make a sworn declaration in writing describing how Lerner could have lost all the emails she sent to other departments from mid-2009 to mid-2011.

The declaration is due by August 10.

10 July 2014 The Washington Times reports that Lois Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress. The IRS produced this incriminating email today, one year after it had been subpoenaed.

27 June 2014 Holy Moley! This news indicates a cover-up: IRS CANCELLED Contract with Email-Storage Firm Weeks After Lerner’s Computer Crash. One comment:

Federal Records Act requires mandatory 5 year prison sentence for every federal record that can not be produced.
If we only had an Attorney General that followed the law.

24 June 2014 Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) questions IRS commissioner last night about missing emails from Ms. Lerner. He slices. He dices. (5 minute 54 second video)

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Tom Wheeler’s FCC frightens even Obama fanboyz

Venerable liberal journalist Bill Moyers recently raised an alarm about the FCC’s consideration of tiered Internet access.

Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers
He titled his article Don’t let net neutrality become another broken promise, an allusion to President Obama’s plethora of broken promises. He details not only Obama appointee FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s conflicts of interests, but those of Wheeler’s lieutenants, who are also directly connected to the companies they are supposed to regulate. You can sense Bill’s deep disappointment that Mr. Obama has betrayed him. Et tu, Barry!

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Lavabit CEO discusses his surveillance nightmare

ListenLeo Laporte yesterday aired a live audio interview with Ladar Levison, CEO and founder of Lavabit.

Ladar-Levison-FacebookLast month, Mr. Levison made the headlines when he shut down his Dallas-based secure email service immediately after providing his company’s SSL keys (effectively, the company’s master keys) to the FBI in compliance with a federal court order. He posted this message on Lavabit’s home page:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.

Levison expects his case to eventually reach the Supreme Court. Some snippets from yeesterday’s interview:

Law enforcement is necessary. It’s a difficult job. Surveillance is supposed to be difficult. When it’s easy, we have a police state.

I’m not anti-government. I’m pro-freedom.

Lavabit defense fund

The horses have fled

ListenI listened to an October 10 Cato Institute Event during which Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who authored the original Patriot Act, declared that ‘There has been a failure of oversight’. He’s authoring the “USA Freedom Act”, which (finally!) reins in the NSA, FBI, and other agencies who’ve violated the Fourth Amendment.

Patriot Act poster by ACLUOn his website’s October 10 news page, Congressman Sensenbrenner states,

I can say that if Congress knew what the NSA had in mind in the future immediately after 9/11, the Patriot Act never would have passed, and I never would have supported it. We have to have a balance of security and civil liberties. What the NSA has done, with the concurrence of both the Bush and Obama administrations, is completely forgotten about the guarantees of civil liberties that those of us who helped write the Patriot Act in 2001 and the reauthorization in 2005 and 2006 had written the law to prevent from happening.

Here’s a good Guardian article on Sensenbrenner, the Patriot Act, and the “USA Freedom Act”.

Sensenbrenner’s awakening is fine, but he’s closing the barn door after the horses have fled. Non-American governments and companies are moving their data and services off of servers that are surveilled by US agencies and/or controlled by US courts. I don’t blame them. The NSA’s over-reach is killing the whole “cloud” idea — who in his right mind would move his data off of his own computers to servers that you know are being read by the US federal government?

Congress slept rather than oversee the NSA and FBI and now it’s waking up to its responsibilities. It’s too late, boys. The world is moving in a different direction and the US with its arrogant and naïve agencies isn’t aboard that train. You had your chance and you blew it.

Meanwhile, back in the trenches

Three movements are underway by computer security techies:

  • Internet tech organizations are moving the Internet out from under US oversight
  • Improvement of Internet security, eliminating any third parties in authentication protocols
  • Creation of a secure Internet ver 2.0. It may or may not be built upon the existing TCP/IP foundation.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Thanks for nothing, NSA.

ICANN, The World Wide Web Consortium, IETF, and other organizations are unhappy with NSA’s spying on users of the Internet. They plan to move the functions of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) out from under US oversight.

Wired magazine reported in NSA Leaks Prompt Rethinking of U.S. Control Over the Internet’s Infrastructure that,

The leaders who run the internet’s technical global infrastructure say the time has come to end U.S. dominance over it.

Among other things, they were concerned “over the undermining of the trust and confidence of internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.”

Last week, Venturebeat.com published an article titled ICANN, W3C, and other orgs say U.S. is ‘undermining the trust of Internet users’.

One unintended consequence of the NSA and FBI’s lying, spying, and violation of citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights is that whatever governance the U.S. had over the Internet will be lost. It’s likely that China, Russia, Iran, et al will rush into the breach. This is not good news for an open Internet.

Thanks, creeps.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Big Government = Big Brother

Last month, Lavabit suddenly shut down its secure email service, with this brief explanation from its founder to its 400,000 customers:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.

lavabit-logoLast week, a federal judge unsealed documents which allow Ladar Levison, Lavabit’s founder and CEO, to finally speak candidly. The press provided a podium for Mr. Levison.

This is another story whose conclusion is that our federal government — in this case the FBI — has done its best to prevent American citizens from having any privacy. Rather than defend the Constitution and its Bill Of Rights that these guys swore they’d protect, they try to find ways to nullify it.

Do you find this depressing? Read on.
When presented with a demand to (1) turn over Lavabit’s security certificate to the feds and (2) allow them to tap Lavabit’s pipe to and from the Internet, Mr. Levison was free to say “No”. He had to shut down his service, but he could tell the feds to take a hike.

Larger corporations with publicly traded shares (this includes banks) don’t have that freedom. We can assume that AT&T, Verizon, Google, Facebook, Apple, et al, when presented with similar government demands, have caved. Their shareholders would demand it. (We KNOW that AT&T caved.) Therefore, that cozy closed hasp padlock symbol in your browser’s address bar means nothing when visiting a US-based company’s website. The federal government can see everything.

Sorry. It just gets more depressing.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Your tax dollars at work

fcc-down

It’s not hard to just maintain a web server(s). Here is just one more reason to clean house in Washington. Raus!

Let’s start at the FCC . . . right after we sweep out the dolts who tried to prevent our WW2 vets from visiting their memorial.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695