Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3799 Blowing my nose

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Heard on BBC radio, in reference to attacks on women in India: "Each attack is more brutal than the next."  Um, doesn't that mean the attacks are decreasing in brutality?


"The government didn't violate a convicted terrorist's constitutional right to a speedy trial when it detained him for five years at Guantanamo Bay before trying him in court, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday" [not this past Thursday].  Details here.  Basically, a federal court ruled that his right to a speedy trial was not abridged by his having been held at Guantanamo for more than five years without charges, during which time he was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques".  From the WSJ Law Blog, "The circuit court agreed with a lower-court judge that the government’s decision to delay prosecution so it could extract valuable intelligence on al Qaeda was reasonable."

Let me get this straight.  The court said that a speedy trial does not trump national security, so it's ok to keep this guy for five years of intense interrogation because he's a terrorist, BEFORE a trial to determine if he's a terrorist.  In other words, if the authorities think you're guilty then you're guilty.  He was convicted right off the bat, with no hearing and no lawyer, without a trial, by his captors. And this is ok?

I don't know about you, but that's scary, and even scarier that a federal court said it was ok.  What if that kind of thinking spreads to other federal or state agencies?

Actually, it has been going on for a long time.  If you are arrested on on drug dealing charges, or even if you are only suspected of illegality, the state/feds can confiscate practically everything you own and sell it, and keep the money, BEFORE your criminal  trial.  If it turns out you are not guilty, you don't just get your stuff back.  It's a long expensive legal battle you can't afford and are unlikely to win.  Too bad, so sad.  Your property is long gone, you had been "convicted" and fined on mere suspicion.  Look up "asset forfeiture" on Wikipedia.


Ever wonder whence the expression "short shrift", meaning you were shrugged off quickly and not taken seriously?  Not being Catholic, I didn't know that shrift is confession to a priest and the penance and absolution that follow.  So if you were given short shrift, either your sins were minor, or you got a brushoff.  Simple.  Wow.


Google wants to scan and digitize millions of books, the entire book, from research libraries as grist for their search mill.  They'd already processed gazillions of books when publishers and authors' guild(s) protested that it was copyright infringement.  It's significant that research libraries buy the books, and don't make money on them.  Google has not purchased the books, and will make money on them through advertising on search results pages.  Fair use?  Not?  I say no, get permission, but I'm not the judge.

If you're interested, the story's at


I'm thinking Google is getting too big.  They provide an lot of very expensive services for free (think of Google maps - how much must THAT cost?) and supposedly they get income from advertising, but, uh, when's the last time you were very aware of Google advertising?  They are gradually taking over the internet, and then tying it all together (Blogger, Gmail, Chrome, you can't have a YouTube account anymore unless you also have a Google+ account, etc.) and they are asking for a LOT of information through those accounts and gathering more information from your activities on those accounts.

Advertising isn't paying for everything Google is doing, I guarantee that.  Not even selling top ranking in search results.  I am very suspicious.  

Pretty soon for every house on those Google maps, they will have the names, ages, details, photos, interests, purchasing habits and preferences of all the occupants.

Who is funding all this, and what is the ultimate purpose?


little red said...

Pretty funny, what you said about Google. When the new iPhone 5S came out, and the year old iPhone 5 was available for $100 for like 48 hours, Husband didn't want one, because Apple is in cahoots with the government and gives them all of our information.

We have phones running Google's Android operating system. I said to him "You think Google isn't giving all of your information to the government? What's the difference between Apple doing it and Google doing it?" His answer was something vague along the lines of, well we know Apple is doing it. REALLY? Like Google is collecting every piece of information in the WHOLE WORLD and it's Apple he objects to! /facepalm.

Lisa :-] said...

I really think that the way the internet is structured has a lot to do with the constant battle cry that the internet has to be free for everyone. What do you want, "free" or "private"? The choice has been made, and I'm pretty sure it's irrevocable at this point. So it's actually pretty lame for everyone to be whining about "internet privacy."

little red said...

I totally agree with you Lisa! I am basically of the opinion that if you do not want something public, don't put it on the internet. Don't blog, don't post photos, don't shop on the internet, etc. Otherwise, if it is posted online, even a private blog, it seems to be fair game.

I also saw a documentary recently that said the Library of Alexandria takes a daily snapshot of everything on the internet and stores it forever. I don't know how this is accomplished, but they do it somehow! The documentary showed the room full of servers. There are more servers than books.