Opinion Archives

Spy Program Bigger than we thought

As if it were a surprize, We’re now finding out that the surveillance program is a lot bigger than we’ve been led to believe.


Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell defended Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales against charges of lying over when the U.S.’s terror surveillance program
got its name. McConnell hinted the program is much bigger than the public knows.

How many people saw this coming?  I know I did.  Things like this have a way of growing faster even than their creators anticipate.

Stuff like this is all the more reason why people should use encrypted email whenever possible.  You may think “what’s the point? My email isn’t all that important” But you see, it’s not about how important your email may or may not be.  It’s about making a statement “I have a right to privacy and I insist on it.”  By making the use of strong encryption commonplace, it becomes that much harder for governments and big business to be so actively nosey.

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Obama Intends to hunt terrorists in Pakistan

In a move that’s guaranteed to get under the collective skins of the Pakistani government, not to mention countless families of American soldiers, Barack Obama has said that he’s willing to send troups into Pakistan to hunt terrorists… without local pemission.


After his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, described his foreign policy skills as naïve,
Sen. Barack Obama proposed more aggressive tactics. He said that, if warranted, he
would send U.S. troops into Pakistan after terrorists without local permission.

I can’t help wondering just exactly what he’s thinking?  Yeah, terrorists need to be hunted down.  On the other hand I think there needs to be a whole lot of thought and consideration given to possible consequences before marching into another country without their permission.  I doubt that the Pakistani government will appreciate it much.

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Cities suing gangs

I just read an article about cities suing gangs to stop violence.  My first reaction to this is to think that somebody out there enjoys spinning their wheels.

Why would a gang even show up in court, let alone obey any kind of court order?  It seems to me that somebody has forgotten one basic thing about gangs, They don’t basically give a crap about the law.  That would be why they feel free to do so many illegal things.  And now they’re going to be expected to go along with this lawsuit thing?

Why?  What reason or incentive do they have to comply with any of this that hasn’t already been used for years to try to get the violence stopped?  Think about it.  Some of these people would just as soon kill you as look at you.  Do you honestly expect them to just show up for court and go along with a court order?  Again, I ask you: Why?

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Controversy over BP Facility in Whiting, Indiana

Here’s a tough question.  What’s more important, increasing refinery capacity or keeping pollution down?  That’s the question facing folks in Whiting, Indiana BP is planning to expand it’s refinery.  The expansion will allow them to refine the heavier Canadian crude oil.  This will mean an increase in oil production and according to BP, some 2000 contract jobs during construction and 80 full time jobs when construction is done.  Not only that, but getting oil from Canada means that much less is needed from the Middle East.

The downside of this deal is that because BP has been given an exemption from state environmental laws, they’ll be releasing 54% more Ammonia and 35% more sludge into lake Michigan.  It’s easy to see the conflict.  There’s a lot of people that are very strongly opposed to allowing BP or anyone else to increase the amount of any pollutants into lake Michigan.

BP says that they only water they’re releasing treated water into lake Michigan is in fact 99.9% water and that sludge is treated separately according to state and federal regulations.  BP also says that while this new permit does allow them to increase the average amount of Ammonia but that those levels will still be less than half of what federal environmental guidelines allow.  BP is also planning to invest some $150 million to increase the capacity of their waste water treatment facility in Whiting.

Strictly in my own opinion, I think that it’s very important to modernize and increase our refinery capacity.  It’s an absolute shame that no new refineries have been built in.. how long has it been?  30 years or more?  Frankly there’s no excuse for that and it’s well past time that American refinery capacity be increased.  On the other hand, we need to keep our heads on straight when it comes to pollution and avoid increasing it anytime we can and continue to develop ways to reduce the damage being done.  If BP want’s to be seen as environmentally friendly then they’ll take any action they can that significantly reduces the level of pollution that comes from their facilities.


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A Credit Card World

Credit cards can be such insidious things and yet it’s becoming more and
more difficult to do business without them. They’ve flooded us with
offers for 0%
credit cards and tempted us with things like 0%
balance transfers In fact I have personally had occasions when
making a purchase was made more difficult because I didn’t have any credit
cards. Funny, it doesn’t seem to matter if the payment was being
made by the credit card or other means. In the situation I’m thinking
about having a credit card was required as part of verification and it
didn’t have anything to do with using the credit card for payment…
It’s a weird world.

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