Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Government Has Gone Rogue On Us

Today, we just found out that the NSA uses hop analysis to track phone calls or email messages. This just proves the point that the NSA is breaking the laws and overstepping their authority.

NSA uses a piece of software called XKeyscore and NSA analysts can look-up anybody at any time with no warrant or any other judicial oversights.

If a person has 40 contacts and one of the contacts in their address book is under 'surveillance' the NSA can hop from contact list to contact list indefinitely. The reach of the government spying capabilities are exponential. In just 3 hops: 40*40*40=64,000 people that become under surveillance overnight. All this info is linked on the fly and is based on the databases and entries already collected about each one of us. NSA must have millions of records stored for each one of us, starting with contacts, phone numbers, and emails.

Amazing and frightening at the same time.

Why should the government stop at 3 hops? They can do 6 hops and they reach or every single American if, on average, we each have 40 contacts in our address book setups.

Are we insane to allow the NSA to do this? Have we lost our minds?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bottled Samuel Adams Boston Lager Beer Tastes Old and Uninspired

Today I bought a six pack of Boston lager beer brewed by Samuel Adams and had a few bottles.

I was disappointed by the fact that the beer tasted old and stale mostly since I had Samuel Adams Boston lager at a bar -I cannot recall exactly where-, as a draft beer, and I remember it being crispy and with a smooth finish.

The 6-pack I purchased today let me down and I will not purchase it from liquor stores anymore.

USG Should Drop All Criminal Charges Against Snowden

I am reading today that Mr. Holder (the AG of the US) would like to see Edward Snowden returned -by Russia- to the US. I rarely, if ever, support Russia's positions but in this case I cannot not support a true American hero.

According to Mr. Holder 'the US will not torture or pursue the death penalty' against Snowden. Mr. Holder, even children know that the US practices torture routinely. We also know that nobody in the world is going to believe that the US will not pursue the death penalty against a true patriot when thousands of Americans have been killed -by the legal system- during the past decades.

The US is in a very weak position when it comes to credibility and the fact that Mr. Holder speaks in a tone that sounds alarmist is not very reassuring.

At this stage of the affair, it is clear to me that the US has no interest in pursuing criminal charges against Snowden and Mr. Holder should communicate that instead of spewing veiled threats and innuendos.

The USG should make us proud and forget about criminal charges against Snowden.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Watch Man IPA

I have never had a Watch Man IPA until today and I was blown away by its deep flavors. It is multidimensional, thorough, and leaves no sorrows behind. It is beer that represents all IPAs with honor, bravery and honesty. Drink it up!

The beer is brewed by Empyrean Brewing Co. of Lincoln, NE and I would recommend it to all beer drinkers worldwide.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Baby Turns the Media Upside Down

Today a baby has been born in Britain and the media went ballistic to report that it is a boy. For this particular reason I am not watching any news.

I find it shameful and infuriating that US media outlets spend so much time focusing on the British monarchy and yet we are a proud republic. I literally abhor monarchies and would like to see them all replaced with thoughtful republics. It is insufferable and unacceptable to see that civilized people continue to look at monarchies as suitable forms of government. We are in the 21st century, people!

Monarchies are a literal power grab that should be penalized by the United Nations.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit Has Filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Protection

In the 60s, 70s, and even the start of the 80s Detroit used to be an awesome city.

Today Detroit is spent and aimless and it has just filed for bankruptcy protection. It was an expected act given the value of the promises made during the past several decades. It promised good pensions to its former employees and those promises were built on assumptions that were known to be unsupported by economic reality.

There are many individuals who will be directly and negatively affected by Detroit's bankruptcy but the good thing is that it will forever change the psyche of how cities across our nation function. Cities all over this great country cannot continue to make promises that depend on totally uncertain future economic growth rates, tax base, and population increases. Rating agencies need to be stingier with their highest bond ratings and need to be able to take into account economic uncertainties that can arise over decades.

If cities and municipalities cost of borrowing were to truly reflect the economic uncertainties I think that the existing and current budgets would be much more constraining and we will eliminate potential catastrophic bankruptcies.

Detroit is guilty of overspending but this would (could) not have happened had the municipal bonds issued decades and years ago had been priced correctly. Bond rating agencies are almost equally guilty in Detroit's ultimate fate. There are no perfect markets but for short periods of time. Promises made decades ago are toast and pure rubbish. Markets need to realize this fact and tell all cities that make free promises that there is no free lunch.

Poor and destructive planning by public officials and greedy private credit rating agencies have colluded to create a monster called 'free market' credit instruments. Bond buyers were fooled to think that municipal bankruptcies are impossible while the cities' credit ratings were overstated.

We really need to have the government take a hard look at credit rating agencies practices.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Snowden Should Release Even More Details on the US Illegal Spying on Americans

The US government (USG) cannot contain Edward Snowden. As it turn out, he has even more details and information on methods used by the USG to intentionally spy on all Americans, without any probable cause.

I was reading today that the USG should fear if something bad happened to Snowden.To a certain extent, I think the USG could care less about any additional information that Snowden -or his acolites- could release if Snowden were to be covertly (how else?) assassinated by USG agents.

CIA and NSA have already drafted and operationalized strategies to contain whatever damage Snowden could cause the USG. For this reason, I think Snowden should certainly allow his agents to divulge as many secrets as possible and as quickly as possible.

The additional, Snowden guided, releases of secrets in a quick fashion would render some of the CIA's (or NSA's) defensive strategies useless as they would need to step in quickly and this will create opportunities for errors that might help Snowden's interests (to be able to freely get to his asylum destination).

Besides, releasing additional NSA secrets would embolden wealthy Snowden supporters to provide additional help to Snowden. Ultimately, they could pay for a private charter to extract Snowden from Russia and land him safely somewhere in South America. The bad part for Snowden is that even if gets to South America safely he will continue to have a life on the run.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Send A Few Dozens Snowden Lookalikes to the Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

I am reading that a diplomatic Bolivian plane -with the president of Bolivia on board, no less- has been diverted from its route and forced to land in Vienna, Austria, because there had been reports that Edward Snowden was hiding on board.

Like many other Americans, I find it absolutely humiliating and insulting for this action to happen in this day and age.

However, this story shows with clarity that Snowden could have a ton of additional and very damaging information about the US surveillance programs. The US government is practically neurotic about letting Snowden walk free.

Also, the fact that Austrians played along with the CIA demands shows that the information Snowden could have in his possession -or at a secured location- is far reaching and more revealing than we could have ever thought.

One certain way to make this situation develop into a true saga is for WikiLeaks to send about 20 to 30 lookalikes to the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport where Snowden is in a legal and singular blockade. Then trickle each Snowden lookalike out of the airport, one at a time, until everybody gets tired of the charade and eventually the real Snowden will get away, free and clear, right from under the noses of the American secret services.