Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Military

Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the bazookas-for-all dept.
v3rgEz writes: Wondering how the St. Louis County Police ended up armed with surplus military gear, and what equipment other departments have? A FOIA request at MuckRock has turned up every item given to local law enforcement under the Pentagon's 1022 program, the mechanism by which local law enforcement can apply for surplus or used military gear.

Comment: Re:Technical People (Score 1) 194

by BlueStrat (#47681649) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

You are continuing to conflate Medicaid with the ACA

And you seem to be denying that Medicaid is part and parcel of ACA and where those who can't afford the higher costs of ACA insurers end up.

The issues you pretend to understand around Medicaid do not have any relevance to how the VA hospitals are run

They are both ran by government bureaucracies. Government bureaucracies are infamous for waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. They are no exception and neither is the ACA.

Trying to suggest that the VA hospitals are a model for how the ACA will work suggests you are not honest.

Trying to suggest I am not honest because I see and recognize universal patterns of bad behaviors and poor results from government programs suggests you are defending a political partisan ideology rather than trying to solve real problems.

Strat

Comment: Re:Technical People (Score 1) 194

by BlueStrat (#47681081) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

> since no doctors take medicaid now (Many are no longer accepting obamacare at all),

That makes no sense whatsoever. Medicare is not Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act to name it properly). Medicare predates the ACA by many years. No one goes to the doctor with an obamacare. They go to the doctor with an insurance plan. The doctor has no way to differentiate that plan obtained through an ACA exchange from any other plan obtained through an employer sponsored plan. They look the same to the doctor. You don't get a card that says Obamacare on it. Mine says Bluecross/Blueshield.

That's for people like you who can afford to purchase insurance. Guess what card poor people and the working-poor whose employer has dropped providing health insurance and opts to pay the penalty instead carry under ACA/Obamacare?

That's right, Medicare/Medicaid.

I'll give you three guesses on what type of new patients GP doctors (the ones that haven't yet joined the increasing numbers of doctors who are retiring early to avoid this train wreck) are increasingly refusing to take on.

If you want to see how well health care is going to be run in the US under the ACA, just look at the VA and the recent news stories concerning it.

Strat

Government

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.
schwit1 writes Vitaly Lopota, the president of Russia's largest space company Energia, was suspended Friday by the company's board of directors. From the article: "The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia's government to obtain majority control over Energia, of which it owns a 38-percent share. The directors elected Igor Komarov as its new chairman of the board. Komarov is chief of the Russian United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), the government-owned company tasked with consolidating Russia's sprawling space sector." The government is also conducting a criminal investigation of Lopota, which might be justified but appears to be a power play designed to both eliminate him from the game as well as make sure everyone else tows the line so that URSC can take complete control.

Comment: Re:Why do you think that (Score 0) 409

And how easy it is to make the ignorant fearful.
And therefore, how easy it is to make the ignorant violent.

And how easy it is to simply label anyone who disagrees with you as ignorant so that they and their point of view can be marginalized and summarily dismissed without further consideration.

Just ignore the history of government screw-ups regarding dangerous things like radioactive materials, nerve agents, or even nuclear warheads that were all in the hands of "experts".

Geez! Just the thought of bringing an infected and still-living Ebola victim to a large US city is enough to make blood shoot out of your eyes!...Oh, wait...

Strat

Medicine

US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia 409

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mother-nature-wants-you-to-die dept.
acidradio (659704) writes American air charter specialist Phoenix Air has been contracted by the U.S. Army to haul an American physician afflicted with Ebola from Liberia to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. This will be the first 'purposeful' transport of an Ebola victim to the U.S. The patient will be flown in a special Gulfstream III (formerly owned by the Danish Air Force) outfitted for very specialized medical transports such as this. I dunno. I know there are brilliant doctors and scientists in Atlanta who handle highly-communicable diseases, but is this such a brilliant idea? theodp (442580) writes with related news In response to the Ebola outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel. "Ebola virus is transmitted by close contact with a person who has symptoms of Ebola," the CDC explains. "Close contact is defined as having cared for or lived with a person with Ebola or having a high likelihood of direct contact with blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient. Examples of close contact include kissing or embracing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, close conversation (3 feet), physical examination, and any other direct physical contact between people. Close contact does not include walking by a person or briefly sitting across a room from a person."

Comment: Re:If true. If. (Score 5, Insightful) 200

So the REAL question is what WILL stop it. Saying that "This one is a bad person and did nothing to change it" doesn't work. Saying "The previous one did nothing to change it" doesn't work.
Voting for "The other party" doesn't work.

No, I do not have the answer, because if I did I would be giving it.

What must be done to change the status-quo with minimal violence or bloodshed is to unite people under common values, such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

Likewise, the militarization of domestic police forces and their gradual shift from a community law enforcement role to more resemble a national occupation force complete with armored vehicles and heavy crew-served weapons.

Start focusing on what we have in common, not what divides us. Despite what those with power would like you to believe, we have much more in common than we have differences. Those commonalities are also those of a much more fundamental and essential nature than our differences.

Extremely few on any side of the political spectrum in the US (barring government & MIC) wants an Orwellian surveillance//security/police state.

I'd have no problem at all standing side by side in public protests and demonstrations with almost anyone from TEA Party member to PETA and/or LGBT activist and beyond who also was willing to postpone our arguments for our common interests in a free and open society without mass domestic surveillance & data analysis and a militarized police force performing military-occupation and wealth-confiscation roles more than any sort of community-based & controlled "officer of the peace" roles.

Look, people, yes we have beefs over stuff *BUT*, unless we unite and curb government power and size, it won't matter because very soon none of us will have any choices about anything nor any meaningful rights at all.

Strat

Government

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret 200

Posted by timothy
from the public-officials-should-be-on-public-record dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg, prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.

Comment: Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (Score 1) 55

by BlueStrat (#47563967) Attached to: Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

The fiction that our second amendment rights are "under assault" is a kind of strange delusion bordering on mass hysteria that has no relationship to reality. Across the country gun rights are soundly trumping any attempt at sensible gun safety regulation.

Michael Bloomberg, is that you?

Strat

Comment: O RLY? (Score 3, Interesting) 55

by BlueStrat (#47563843) Attached to: Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

Today, city officials in San Francisco and Portland announced a partnership with peer-to-peer lodging service Airbnb to work out some disaster-preparedness plans ahead of time.

As opposed to trying to shut them down, along with the various ride-sharing services, as we've seen them try in recent times? Ride-sharing could work the same way in transporting disaster victims/refugees.

I wonder what other services the government might want to shut down that could be helpful in a disaster ::cough::quadcopter drones::cough::?

Good to see at least some in government aren't totally blinded by monied interests intent on stifling the advance of technology to preserve obsolete businesses and business models.

Strat

Comment: Re:What's it going to take? (Score 1) 120

by BlueStrat (#47542109) Attached to: When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

The Constitution starts to become a little like the Bible: Once a pretty good idea, born out of its time and back then a great set of rules to live by to ensure that everyone can survive and thrive.

It's just that times change, stuff gets invented and certain things ain't as simple as they used to be, while others got way simpler. Plus in both cases people who kept reading the stuff over and over trying hard to find loopholes and, of course, finding them to subvert the original idea.

In other words, rules and regulations have to keep up with time. Else they become a relic and a tool for mocking them.

Except that the US Constitution is based on a set of basic and nearly-timeless principles of human nature and how they interact with and within governments that have proved themselves over history spanning from biblical times until the 1700s when it was written.

Human nature and the nature of government corruption and politicians' lust for ever-more power & control have not changed since the 1700s.

There is already a process included in the Constitution for any necessary modifications. That's what the Amendment process is. It's slow and difficult, and requires an overwhelming majority of people to approve for good reason. If it can be changed by whatever short-term political winds that blow, then it become useless as a standard and/or as protection against government oppression of citizens.

Strat

Earth

Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation' 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-schools dept.
mspohr writes: A special issue of Science magazine devoted to 'Vanishing Fauna' publishes a series of articles about the man-caused extinction of species and the implications for ecosystems and the climate. Quoting: "During the Pleistocene epoch, only tens of thousands of years ago, our planet supported large, spectacular animals. Mammoths, terror birds, giant tortoises, and saber-toothed cats, as well as many less familiar species such as giant ground sloths (some of which reached 7 meters in height) and glyptodonts (which resembled car-sized armadillos), roamed freely. Since then, however, the number and diversity of animal species on Earth have consistently and steadily declined. Today we are left with a relatively depauperate fauna, and we continue to lose animal species to extinction rapidly. Although some debate persists, most of the evidence suggests that humans were responsible for extinction of this Pleistocene fauna, and we continue to drive animal extinctions today through the destruction of wild lands, consumption of animals as a resource or a luxury, and persecution of species we see as threats or competitors." Unfortunately, most of the detail is behind a paywall, but the summary should be enough to get the point across.
United States

Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department 342

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-science-flow dept.
Lasrick writes Physicist Lawrence Krauss blasts Congress for their passage of the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cut funding for renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, and even worse, had amendments that targeted scientists at the Department of Energy: He writes that this action from the US Congress is worse even than the Australian government's move to cancel their carbon tax, because the action of Congress is far more insidious: "Each (amendment) would, in its own way, specifically prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change." Although the bill isn't likely to become law, Krauss is fed up with Congress burying its head in the sand: The fact that those amendments "...could pass a house of Congress, should concern everyone interested in the appropriate support of scientific research as a basis for sound public policy."
Privacy

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-say-that-on-television dept.
alphadogg writes A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool Tor will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference's website. Tor project leader Roger Dingledine said, "I think I have a handle on what they did, and how to fix it. ... Based on our current plans, we'll be putting out a fix that relays can apply that should close the particular bug they found. The bug is a nice bug, but it isn't the end of the world." Tor's developers were "informally" shown materials about the bug, but never saw any details about what would be presented in the talk.

Comment: Re:Why oppose this? (Score 1) 83

The government has every right to determine whom and what is coming into the United States.

The notion of governments having rights is doubly complex.

The Federal government in the case of the US has no rights, it has duties & obligations, and powers granted by the governed specifically to carry out those duties & obligations, and only those duties & obligations included specifically in the US Constitution.

It also includes a list of specific restrictions upon what powers the government may or may not exercise and how in areas that were felt to be particularly critical to creating and maintaining a society designed for maximum individual freedom, general order & prosperity, personal responsibility, and the protection of private property rights.

In my nearly 6 decades of experiencing firsthand the changes and the impact they had at the time that many younger people here only read about in wikipedia, I've seen and continue to see more than a correlative relationship between the trend away from the restrictions on government power from the early 1900s up to current times and it's resultant explosion of government spending/debt, abuse/abridgment of civil rights, the surveillance state, and the overall general trend of decline of the US domestically, socially, and internationally in nearly every way.

Government is in some ways similar to a nuclear fission reactor-based national power grid. You only place enough fissionable material in each reaction vessel of a number of reactors to achieve critical-but-stable output to power a limited area, you don't try to place all the fissionable material in one reactor at once to avoid the costs of building multiple reactors. Well, you'd only do it once, and very, very briefly at any rate, heh!

Once government power exceeds "critical mass" and the chain reaction of growth of power cascades, an authoritarian government is the inevitable outcome. I believe there's still time to at least avert the worst scenarios, but not much time. And the longer we delay, the worse things will become and the more people that will suffer.

Strat

try again

Working...