Welcome to the Police State

Where the press does the bidding of the government (at the Dems in power), and your phone company spies for the .gov as well. AT&T reportedly spies on its customers for government cash

The Daily Beast is reporting that the telco has essentially turned itself into a spy-for-hire in the pay of the government. According to the piece, the company’s Project Hemisphere is providing warrantless surveillance, thanks to some legal gray areas, that score it millions of dollars from taxpayers.

And no one seems to care.

Never Fear! The .gov is Here!

The FBI and Homeland Security Are Investigating Today’s Giant Cyber Attack. Well that will make all the difference.

The same people who gave us the Office of Personnel government employee database security* are on the job to track down the hackers from this morning’s DDoS attack.

I feel so much better.

* Thanks to Yahoo! that is no longer the world’s worst hack. But it is still runner-up.

In the Midst of Financial Meltdown, Chicago Teachers’ Strike ‘may be inevitable’

So says Alderman Howard Brookins, chairman of the City Council’s Education Committee. That will improve the education system! Ald. Brookins says teachers strike ‘may be inevitable’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has argued that another teachers strike would be “one of choice — not of necessity,” calling the 13 percent pay raise on the table a “fair offer” that would stabilize teacher pensions.

Pensions are what is driving the Chicago Public School System and the City into the ground. (The 2 pension systems are mostly separate.) But the teachers don’t think that they should have to pay for their own retirement. Basically.

That 13% is over a 4 year contract. That doesn’t sound too bad to me, given the current state of inflation.

Something needs to be cut. The city can’t afford to go on the way it has been. But the unions don’t think that should apply to them.

Police Raid Home of Innocent Family

They were so sorry. (Sorry excuse for professionals.) This is happening so much, it is becoming a “Dog bites man” story. Police apologize after raiding home for drugs, only to find innocent family | Fox News

Armed with a search warrant, sheriff’s deputies and police officers knocked on the front door but no one answered. They plowed through the door and broke multiple windows to get into the home, only to find the innocent family. Two adults and five children between the ages of 3 and 12 live there.

The search warrant was based the “tip” of an informant. No word on if the guy was trying to Make a Deal™.

Investigators were trying to determine what went wrong and whether the informant was credible, Davidson said.

Whether the informant was credible? I vote NO!.

So how about detectives actually do some work to determine if their sources are “credible” before they break down doors, shoot grandmothers or toss flash-bangs into cribs. All in the name of the War on (Some) Drugs™.

“Einstein, We Have a Problem” – The problem with so much science today is it isn’t true

How science is structured when it works, and what we have been doing for the past 50 years, and maybe why so much of it is trash. Saving Science – The New Atlantis

The referenced article is long, but worth your attention. Or I think so anyway. What we have been doing for the past 50 years isn’t working in a lot ways. We haven’t cured cancer. We are losing our ability to fight disease. And spending a lot of money – taxpayer and otherwise – and not seeing much return on investment. Not in a lot of places.

The science world has been buffeted for nearly a decade by growing revelations that major bodies of scientific knowledge, published in peer-reviewed papers, may simply be wrong. Among recent instances: a cancer cell line used as the basis for over a thousand published breast cancer research studies was revealed to be actually a skin cancer cell line; a biotechnology company was able to replicate only six out of fifty-three “landmark” published studies it sought to validate; a test of more than one hundred potential drugs for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in mice was unable to reproduce any of the positive findings that had been reported from previous studies; Continue reading

News Flash: Crooked Chicago Politician Sent to Jail

OK, so it isn’t too much in the way of news. (If you look-up “crooked politics” in the dictionary, you might just find a map of Chicago. Or Illinois.) Figure in traffic cameras scandal admits ‘immoral’ acts, gets 10 years – Chicago Tribune So he’s an ex-politician. Still applies.

Guess which city in America has the LARGEST red-light-camera system. You got it. Chicago. It has to be big, to pay all the bribes.

According to testimony, [John] Bills began scheming almost immediately after he was handed the responsibility of overseeing the red-light camera pilot project, hatching a plot to steer traffic camera contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., an Arizona-based firm.

Bills manipulated the process to ensure Redflex won the contract, orchestrated votes and met with Daley and Madigan in his efforts to promote the company’s agenda. He coached the company’s executives before their meetings with other city officials and advised them about which lobbyists to hire, what politicians to court and to whom to make political contributions.

He was convicted of accepting something like $2million in bribes and kickbacks. He admits to taking only about $42,000.

Bills, 55, who rose through City Hall as part of the political patronage army of longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, faced up to 30 years in prison for personally profiting in exchange for helping grow the city’s $600 million red-light camera program into the largest in the nation.

Scheming to fleece the public is the Chicago way.

Gun Control Should Mean Not Losing Yours

How do criminals get guns? In too many cases they get them from cops. Exclusive: Hundreds of police-issued weapons missing from Bay Area, California agencies

California police lose guns at an astonishing rate.

  • 944 Lost
  • 717 “unaccounted for” (how is that different from “lost?”)
  • 192 stolen
  • 35 “misplaced” (again… is this different from “lost?”)

At least 1 submachine gun has been stolen.

Their guns have been stolen from behind car seats and glove boxes, swiped from gym bags, dresser drawers and under beds. They have been left on tailgates, car roofs and even atop a toilet paper dispenser in a car dealership’s bathroom. One officer forgot a high-powered assault rifle in the trunk of a taxi.

Fewer than 20% are ever recovered.