Steerpike

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  1. Edward Snowden

    Well the information he released IS NOT NEW NEWS. It's been in the academic and public domain for a while under different disguises...the only thing he did was VALIDATE & CONFIRM THE DEGREE to which the programs were operating. Have all y'all noticed that the MSM has focused the attention on Snowden and the right/wrong of his actions (just like this thread) rather than the malfeasance he has attempted to reveal? Also, have you noticed the LACK of coverage on all the scandals on the Administration that occupied the news since the Snowden issue? That said...it could have been whistle blowing if he had just left it at a point of Americans are being collected on without specific warrants (the accusation is that this program is specifically aimed at communications between Americans with neither being overseas) but he went beyond that, how he did it, and his history and back story stinks. The difference between this program and what Bush did (as far as we know) is that this program is collecting everything between specifically Americans while the Bush program had to have one side of the communication overseas usually from or to terrorist hot spots. The examples the director gave in open session each had one side overseas, which is not the issue at hand. we of course do not know what was discussed in closed session.
  2. I'm certain it's nothing MORE nanny state encroachment can't fix.
  3. Even more simplistic than grand government intrusion is this, "Give me your DOB, address and SSN for the sale of portable property between private individuals. I promise I will not abuse your personal information in any way."
  4. I would say your approach to problem solving is correct...but nothing really to do with your question which as I understood it "why doesn't she want to be involved with me anymore." I will however say that most interpersonal problem solving in an office environment is more akin to Fight Club and therefore it is wise to avoid the potential problems. This would be particularly important for someone new to the company. I will go on to point out that her decision isn't about how YOU approach problems in the office but her understandable and conservative approach to office relationships...all be it belatedly. That said, my position is pure conjecture but since you posted this in a public forum seeking input you can't really expect more than that.
  5. I appreciate your approach to life, however in the long run I think you'll find that those sayings have become cliches for good reason.
  6. Perhaps she came to her senses? Relationships among co-workers is, in almost every case, toxic to the work environment. My recommendation to you is to stop dating co-workers. If you are a supervisor it opens you up to accusations of patiality from other workers when the relationship is going well and accusations of harassment from the employee when the relationship isn't going well.
  7. Arrogance and Stupidity

    Unfortunately in the current climate it is all becoming theater in an effort to avoid offending the cult of radical Islam. When we have radical islamists helping to write training/doctrine for the very folks that would be charged with investigating them we have a serious problem...political correctness gone mad. Homeland Security: The bleaching of Islam from the terror picture is almost complete. Eric Holder has ordered a purge of FBI training manuals. Soon the 9/11 hijackers' religion will be censored, too. Last week, top Justice Department officials huddled with several Islamic groups including a Muslim Brotherhood front implicated in a terror-finance scheme to discuss "post-9/11 discrimination." They promised the aggrieved they'd pull back references to Islam from terror-training materials. "I recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts," Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced during the Washington conference. U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton explained that FBI training materials that even remotely link Islam to violence will be banned."I want to be perfectly clear about this: Training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive and they are contrary to everything this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for," he told Muslim activists gathered at the George Washington University law school. "They will not be tolerated." (Emphasis added.) So apparently, reality will no longer be tolerated in counterterror programs. In Islam, there's clear doctrinal basis for jihad, which is why almost every Muslim terrorist cites it as a motivating factor. Will Justice go through thousands of case files and expunge "jihad" and "kaffir" (infidel) from its court affidavits and indictments? They are replete with such Islamic references, gleaned from jihadi training materials and wiretaps and interrogations of terror suspects. This latest unilateral disarmament was precipitated by complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Islamist groups, who have threatened to end "cooperation" with the FBI unless it nixes jihad and other Islamic terms from training materials. Such a threat from terror-tied CAIR is laughable. The FBI has banned the group from outreach functions, and it was excluded from the Justice meeting. However, its sister organization � the Islamic Society of North America � was invited, though Justice prosecutors just three years ago named ISNA an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history. In fact, Holder just last year honored the prosecutors who tried the case with the attorney general's achievement award. Allowing ISNA to now have a say in how the department investigates terrorism is outrageous. Yet there ISNA's president was, seated at the same table with top Justice officials, mau-mauing them about the "law." Mohamed Magid argued that teaching agents that Muslims could be radicalized by jihad is bigoted and "against the law and the Constitution." He called for a complete re-education of FBI agents. And it looks like he's going to get his way. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. First the White House scrubs all Islamic terms from the National Counterterrorism Strategy. Then it bleaches them from the Pentagon's report on the Fort Hood shooting. Now it's letting suspect Islamic groups write FBI terror training guides. This latest delinkage could be fatal. Jihad is the core aspect of terrorism that rookie FBI agents will need to understand to crack cases. Only now, agents are on notice that making the connection will not be tolerated. So when five Moroccans are caught breaking into a San Antonio courthouse after taking photos of courthouses and other public buildings in cities nationwide, we should just believe them when they say they were merely tourists "trying to get a better view of the city." Nothing to investigate here. The men's religion is irrelevant. And when passengers ram cockpit doors while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" as a Yemeni recently did on an American Airlines flight we should just write it off to in-flight stress. Nothing to see here, move along. http://news.investors.com/Arti...Islam-And-Terror.htm
  8. Assassination of Americans

    Picking nits when the point is the constitution of one Country does not apply in another country...our Constitution does not apply to enemy combatants, period. The Constitution is not a suicide pact whereby we must extend all its protections to enemy combatants all over the world. Many are trying to make this seem like some sinister first step towards gunning down someone in Main Street, USA. There are clearly defined rules of land warfare and this chap met the criteria. Al-Awaki was fighting a war, he believed it and so did we. As I said good riddance.
  9. Assassination of Americans

    He would be classed as an enemy combatant in these circumstances, therefore eligible for smiting. Al-Awaki was in a foreign country of his own volition and voluntarily joined a militant group. He was not on US soil and was not under the jurisdiction of the US government. As argument, the Russian constitution does not apply, here, so why should the United States Constitution apply to people, there? Being a Russian citizen in the US does not mean you carry the "protections" of the Russian constitution around with you, wherever you go, just as living in Russia does not leave an American covered by our own Constitution. The law you are (or are not) protected by is the law of whatever land you are in. In Al-Awaki's case the law of warfare was applied to him. Good riddance.
  10. ...not to mention an extremely high desertion rate in the FFL because they were not being treated like professional soldiers but rather laborers that fight. You've asserted that the "military could not function without that even though it does now" this is an incorrect statement, the US military has been using PMFs heavily for the last two decades. This is an off shoot of an all volunteer force. The excess personnel available due to the Draft no longer exist. The 7-9 support personnel per 1 combat arms personnel that used to consist entirely of folks that would then rely on the Government for the rest of their lives has been reduced to approximately 2 to 2.5 support troops for each front line soldier with the difference being made up in paid contractors. You ask what these folks do when not under contract to the government and for whom. *scary*! Asking the question in such a way as to make it sound sinister is slightly off-putting. What does a person who builds barracks do after their term of employment is up...they return to the civilian market and build houses. What does the former soldier do after he leaves the Army, works for one of these PMFs on a security detail do...returns to the civilian market and becomes a police officer or security guard or in some cases returns to the military. PMFs are not fighting pitched battles as infantry units, nor are the analogous to the FFL in scope or duties. More importantly they are not guns for hire in the sense that most folks associate with B movies and late night TV selling their services to the villain of the hour.
  11. I'm reminded of a badly remembered quote, "Civilization's whole purpose and advancement is to get Man as far away from the cruelty of nature as possible." It seems like we've managed it so well that some folks forget how easy it is to die in nature.
  12. Expert: TSA scans would let al-Qaida duplicate 9/11

    In every other instance these hand-searches would be considered sexual assault; passengers traveling are being treated like suspects. Further, shooting nude pictures in a scanner would be pornography. The pictures they show of the scanner results on TV are a "negative" of the scan...the actual display on the screen looks like a photograph of the subject naked. It’s highly invasive, and TSA workers do not inspire much trust. TSA has gone way beyond the pale in a clumsy attempt at security without really knowing what security is. I travel a lot and watching most of their processes its security theater, nothing more. Petty thuggery, threats and intimidation to do not a secure area make. Of course there is no abuse of authority like pretty abuse of authority and these guys manage that in spades in many cases. Bu-bu-but the scanners will make lines move faster and make passengers safer... Oh really, is that why passengers now have to remove not only their belts and shoes but all the paper in their pockets including currency?! So this whizz-bang detector can't tell a dollar bill from a hand grenade!? Oh I feel much safer. The excuse for violating your 4th amendment rights is that this is private property therefore you have no rights only privileges. If that's the case the government (the repository of force) has no business being involved. If it is a privilege to fly on private property then that is an agreement between customer and salesman...this fake security would not last in that environment. Or is this a critical transportation asset that demands government oversight and is therefore subject to respecting constitutional rights? The conflict here is that the TSA doesn't want to be subject to that and are hiding behind the whole private property protection fallacy. If the airport isn't a government facility then why do I have to waive my rights to a government entity to enter? I don’t think the private property argument holds an ounce of water until the private property owners pay back the public the money that they graciously accepted. This is not a private property issue - it's an issue of government action. TSA are not private employees of the airlines or even the airport - they are agents of the federal government ("agents" used in the definition of employees). Furthermore, even if they were private security employees (as most airport screeners were pre-9/11), they are implementing federally mandated policies and procedures - meaning they still would be considered de facto government agents. As such, they should be bound by the limits of the authority granted in the US Constitution. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are at play in every enforcement decision according to t law. The new standard appears to be that I'm now a suspect just because I elected to fly!? The "enhanced" procedures are virtually identical to what one does when arresting someone. When we had someone in cuffs and were putting them in the back of the car and wanted to make sure there weren't any weapons. Guys we'd arrested. Not American citizens who are just enjoying their freedom to travel. The "pat-down" in lieu of the scan is completely ridiculous as well...A cop--like, real deal put you in jail police, can’t just walk up to anybody and "pat" them down without reason to believe that a crime is being committed, has been committed, or is about to be committed... so why do these clowns get to? Scanners have been likened to a strip search...interesting thing about strip searches, again, real police, cannot subject just any prisoner to a strip search...and these are people actually ACCUSED OF A CRIME, and in jail. In this day and age saying that I have to travel by horse-back or not at all unless I waive my rights is disingenuous. Slowly boiling a frog indeed... Right to fly? Well, basically what the government has said is that people are now confined to the contiguous western hemisphere. If you can't get there on your own, by driving or riding a horse (cruise ships and trains are coming), you can't go there. "We can do anything to you that we like..... and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it." People do HAVE to fly. For work or because no other mode of transportation is economically viable. Let alone because it's the safest mode of travel, not because some idiot in a blue shirt is all in a lather over a Gerber Multi-tool, but because of the pilots and people that actually operate the airplanes. Where do we draw the line between reasonable precautions and a violation of our Constitutional right to be secure in our person and papers? All of the photos I've seen of the scans (which weren't supposed to be saved!) show belt buckles and guns, sure, but that would have been detected by a working metal detector. So, why the imager? Some explosives don't require a timer or electrical device to detonate them, hence there will be no metal to detect and we need these imagers to see them under the clothes. Okay. But what about the common frisk (and no not a full up the cracks contraband frisk) that cops do every day? Not good enough? I'll run with that. But then we tell the bad guys that these imagers can't see into the body so they load up a suppository and sneak the stuff on board with ease. Go into the restroom mid-flight to retrieve the components and you have another successful attack. You told the bad guys how to do it, after all! Or, if we follow the logic of you have no rights here...all passengers are subjected to random cavity searches. You can't say no because it's an $11000 fine if you don't complete the screening. You can't say no because it's for the good of the nation. You can't say no because you've accepted everything else up to this point. As long as you expect others to provide your complete safety, you will never have it. Don't misunderstand; I'm all for security that works...this isn't it, that’s the big sticking point. If pat-downs of this nature worked for the threat they were after then that would be a different kettle of fish. If the back-scatter machines detected what they were supposed to (outside the perfect conditions in the lab) then that wouldn't be a problem. The whole point is these enhanced measures are useless. They don't detect anything in body cavities. I am not opposed to security screening. Reasonable and responsible screening methods are both prudent and acceptable. What I am opposed to is law-abiding US citizens being subjected to virtual strip searches and pat downs that border on sexual assault. This is taking "reasonable searches" well beyond traditional Constitutional limits, and is very seriously eroding the rights and freedoms that many (at one time or another) have sworn to defend. As it is we are spending trillions trying to detect the item rather than the person we want. That’s why this is idiotic to the point of insanity...item focused security is a joke. Security that is focused on trying to stay ahead of inventive ways to hide things rather than looking at the long-range and short-range behavioral patterns of the people being screened is destined to fail. TSA needs stop looking for weapons and start looking for the enemy. The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security. Behavioral assessment has nothing to do with physical profiling; it has to do with psychological profiling. TSA have behavioral assessment folks, the problem is they are using them badly...and by the way every person on the staff should be BA qualified...especially those that are actually talking to the passengers. Why would a bad guy even need to get on a plane? Take ATL for instance...there were hundreds of people standing in line last time I went through there. A bad guy just needs to walk in and pop and he'd get far more folks than on any but the biggest of airplanes. Let's face facts WE'RE DOING IT WRONG! I travel a lot and I loathe the TSA, and firmly believe that they should be issued big red shoes and honking noses. TSA is a joke, and isn’t committed to REAL security; rather they are committed to the appearance of security. If the goal is to make air travel safer there are a couple proposed approaches that one can take to reduce the risk of a passenger bringing something potentially dangerous on board an aircraft. We can implement a common sense profiling program and screen people's belongings or you can virtually undress and/or grope every passenger and screen their belongings. Since a certain portion of the population is going to waive the scan and then get the "limited" pat down on religious grounds...guess which interdiction method would work better? I will ponder that one while trying to think of ONE thing that the federal government does efficiently, quickly, or well.
  13. Iron Man 2 (2010)

    If you have not seen this movie I highly recommend it if for only one scene...the Congressional hearings portion. In brief, a Congressional hearing for the confiscation the Iron Man suit and therefore the technology behind it, is held. The Congress-Critter demands Tony Stark turn over the suit "for the good of everyone." . As previously pointed out the introduction of tertiary characters in blatant efforts to prep us all for series of spin off movies was a bit distracting, but looking past that isn't too difficult.