Yes, prepaid cell phones are anonymous and inexpensive. No, I don't think the answer to the problem is yet more government regulation and surveillance.
How do they expect these things to be registered? If Mahmoud Terrorist is planning to blow something up, do we really think he's going to hesitate to give a fake name and address in order to get the tools he needs? (How hard is it to get a fake ID which can fool a cashier?)
The tyrant's answer to any problem is always "more government, more control, more surveillance".
* * *
I wouldn't be surprised by this. The US border is so porous, Osama bin Laden would probably not even have had to shave his beard to get into the US illegally. Fly to Mexico, rent a car, walk across the border--and disappear.
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"Obamaweek". Yeah, that's what it is. It's not Newsweek any longer.
* * *
Ann Coulter: "...[I]t would be a little easier for the rest of us not to live in fear if the president's entire national security strategy didn't depend on average citizens happening to notice a smoldering SUV in Times Square or smoke coming from a fellow airline passenger's crotch."
Then she follows that home run by hitting another out of the park:
But after the car bomber and the diaper bomber, it has become increasingly clear that Obama's only national defense strategy is: Let's hope their bombs don't work!* * *
If only Dr. Hasan's gun had jammed at Fort Hood, that could have been another huge foreign-policy success for Obama.
Apparently the exploding BP oil rig was the only one exempted from environmental impact statements, and coincidentally BP has given more money to Obama than it's given to any other candidate.
Is it coincidence? If there had been any such "coincidence" found hanging around George W. Bush in his second year in office, the press would still be screaming for impeaching and hanging and drawing and quartering him.
* * *
As I said above: "The tyrant's answer to any problem is always 'more government, more control, more surveillance'."
Among other things, the bill vasty increases (and removes, in some cases) penalty caps for automakers. Remember how some were complaining that Toyota got off easy with a $16 million fine, that the fine should have been much larger? Well, the fine's going up by a factor of five at least, and is unlimited in certain cases.
Government Motors isn't going to let anyone get off the hook so easily next time.
* * *
This is another one of those headlines an SF writer might use to show how different and crazy the future is.
Sent home for wearing patriotic clothing on May 5th? How dare you wear clothing depicting the American flag at an American school on a Mexican holiday, you racist bigoted homophobic NAZIS!!!
* * *
"Many of the children sold into the sex trade come from broken families or the foster care system."
"From the foster care system"? The system that DHS runs? The system into which kids are put when they're taken from their parents?
It's not terribly surprising, I'm sad to say, that this kind of thing is happening. There are evil people out there, all over the place, and the dis-incentives to evil behavior are becoming ever less effective. We let people out of jail early for not killing anyone while inside. We give people light sentences and blame society for their crimes. We give evil people a pass because of their socioeconomic backgrounds or psychological evaluations without stopping to consider that maybe this guy is just evil and needs to be in jail for the rest of his life.
Oh, yeah, prostitution is a victimless crime.
* * *
US debt is rising precipitously and it could become highly problematic as soon as 2013.
Personally, I expect the earlier figure is more likely, rather than the later one, because we're not doing a damn thing to cut spending (not even to reduce the rate of growth) and the rest of the world is already teetering on the brink. It won't take much for the whole thing to come tumbling down.
What was it I said in the last post? Ah, yes: "Certainly the unsustainability of the socialist fantasy has begun to become apparent.:
* * *
A good post over at Eternity Road and it included the following line, which made me smirk: "The average IQ of the Islamic world is about 85. Therefore, about 66% of Muslims' IQs fall between 70 (educable only in simple, repetitive tasks) and 100 (Democrats)."
I'm going to tighten the latter sentence up a bit:
"Therefore, about 66% of Muslims' IQs fall between 70 (Congress) and 100 (Democrats)."
* * *
Hey, at least the Dems are smarter than something.
* * *
I never worry too much about my maximum bandwidth. I'm used to there being things which reduce my top download speed; and anyway as long as the thing isn't egregiously slow I don't really care. (What's the difference between 1.5 Mbps and 1.428 Mbps? Really? Not enough for me to care about.)
Look: the first time I ever made a modem connection, in 1983, my maximum speed was 300 baud. Okay? DSL may not be as fast as cable, but it seems lightning fast to me; in fact the DSL connection I have now is as fast as the cable connection I had when I lived in Cedar Rapids.
I've never had a faster connection than this and it does everything I want, so who cares?
...but I'll still probably sign up to see if I get any money from AT&T. If they're giving it away, why shouldn't I? Think of it as a one-time discount for a loyal customer. We've certainly given them enough money over the past four years for our DSL connection.
* * *
This is why too much damned electrical frippery is both stupid and useless. Actually, it's worse than useless; and failing to have an easily-accessible manual override just compounds the FAIL.
I have to remember this kind of nonsense whenever I get to thinking about how nice it would be to have this or that new car. Damn it, the cars I have now have physical connections between controls and the things they control; the shift lever on my Jeep is bolted to the transmission and actuates it with a cable. The Escort has a rod connecting shift lever and transmission.
And I like it that way. That way I know that if I have to put the thing in neutral I don't have to rip the console apart to access a hidden lever. That way I know that if the throttle jams wide open I can put the thing in neutral and shut the engine off.
* * *
The other day Ormus hit 63rd level. After some running around and doing stuff I noticed that the XP bar was full; so I put the mouse pointer on it to see what the total was.
348,999 out of 349,000.
...the damn software couldn't fudge one lousy XP? But it wasn't too hard to find a monster to kill, and that got me into 63rd level.
It was kind of funny, really.