Smile, your on Candid Camera?


There have been, in the last couple of years, moves to place cameras at stop lights The idea, of course, is to catch people who rum red lights. The theory is very simple, it is the implementation that gets complicated. In Florida the legislature had to pass a law making this legal. With out the law the cameras could not be placed in the actual intersections as they are state right of way.

There was also talk about how the tickets would be issued. Would they be criminal, such as your speeding ticked, or civil. Lets look at a speeding ticket. When the officer, deputy, trooper, issues you a ticket he has just arrested you for a criminal offense, and you are granted a kind of bail when you sign the ticket, which only means that you will show up in court and is NOT a confession. The problem with trying to issue criminal complaints based on photos of the incident is that for an arrest to be made, and these are misdemeanor charges, the officer has to have observed the incident. If you want to test this just try getting a cop to issue a ticket to someone for running a red light, which the officer, deputy, trooper, did not personally see. He won’t do it.

From what I have seen, in the press, most of the people who will be running the cameras will be employed by private companies and not by local government. So what would be the chance that they would pay a state certified law enforcement officer to sit at a camera, snapping pictures, so he can say, “Yes, I personally saw the violation”?
The proving of guilt in a civil court is different than that of a criminal court. In a criminal court they have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” but, in a civil case they only need a “preponderance of evidence”. Plus, in the civil court there is NO actual arrest. The fine would have to go to the owner of the vehicle, and not necessarily the driver. This would have to do with the fact that no one was there to get ID information from the offender, such as would be accomplished with a real traffic stop, and, probably, the only ID factor would be a picture of the vehicles license plate, which would not prove that Junior was not driving the car that day.

Big Brother is coming, or, depending on who you talk to, is already here. We are getting used to cameras at the bank, watching traffic on the highways, in shopping malls, and many residential areas. The watchword is Safety.

So, when you go out, and about, smile at the camera where Big Brother maybe watching.

Better yet! Think about how long it will take for someone to figure out how to make you safer in the home by installing a camera, just in case you fall down and can’t get up, or maybe the insurance companies might want to be sure you took all safety precautions in your home.

I don’t want to sound paranoid but, ever since 911 I have been hearing about how was are supposed to give up certain amount of privacy to ensure our safety. The question is, how much of your privacy do you wish to part with.

Would we like the feeling that our TV is watching us as we watch it? Would you like to think that, while watching TV one night, you might mention roaches in the kitchen and the next day a health inspector knocks son your door to check the sanitary conditions of you kitchen?

Of course there is also the idea that if you are murdered in your home that the culprits might be caught on film. That part might be nice. They might not get there in time to stop it but the bad guys will be caught, and then they can show your death in court. Justice served.

Think about it…

Advertisements

Climate Change?


The weather people here, in Sarasota, Fl, have been talking about how cold it is in relation to the last number of years. It pretty much seems that the temp. is down from normal. Is that a sign of global warming?

I don’t know about any of that. I can’t tell if we have a climate change, or not. What I do see is that large companies seem to want to drag their feet about making upgrades to their equipment. Just look around you at some of the large manufacturing companies and see the crap that is expelled from their smoke stacks. When I was in Germany, from 82 to 84, we were told that environmentally they were at the level we were in the 60s. People who bought cars there, and tired to ship them to the U.S. at the end of their tour often found that the vehicle had to be modified to meet the emission control standards we required in the U.S. I might be the same way now but, I am not so sure.

I used to see these commercials about some company that showed a nice green area so the company, usually one of the gas companies, could brag about what they were doing to protect the environment. What they would not tell is in that ad was how they only did it when forced by new laws. Do we really want out cites to look like the Olympics in China, where they had to wear mask to go outside?

I don’t care if you think it does not make a difference to the warming, or chilling, of the earth. I just want to see clean air and be sure that people are not getting sick. That can not be done by relaxing the regulation that are enforced by people who are not doing their jobs in the first place.

The problem with large corporations is their objective is to make the stockholders happy. To do that they keep expenses as low as they can. Expenses such as filters for the stack that belch foul smoke, limiting safety checks on pipelines that burst and spew oil all over the place, or even ignore obvious warning signs that result in the death of 11 people and sludge in the gulf.

We are going to see more of this, if the Republicans are able to cut back the regulations that guard our safety.

Look at my article Deregulation? Regulation?
If you want to deregulate something.. it implies that there is some kind of Regulation and/or Regulators.
The question is: where are our regulators?

Here is your sign Florida…


I have been pondering the recent Mid-Term elections and thinking about what I see as the real meaning of the results. I put this in the Florida Politics area for the simple reason that I am just going to give my opinion, at this point, of the results as they pertain to Florida.

I would start out with a question. Where were %60 of the voters who did not vote? I have not found the percentages, by party, of who did not vote. Were they mostly Republicans, or Democrats?

As a Republican I vote a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, all depending on the idea of which one was best for Florida. It has gotten hard to tell who, in any election, will be best as they all, for the most part, throw mud at their opponent, which, of course, middies up the waster. It would be nice if they at least told the truth but, they seem to be telling the “best lie there is”, in that while there is a lot of truth in the add there is also enough falsehood to confuse things. Sound bites that attack an opponent are not, in themselves, bad but they purposely don’t tell the whole story.

Going back a few years to the primary where, Vern Buchanan would be put in office there was an attack ad that cast Vern, do you mind if I call you Vern, in office there was the allegation that he was a tax deadbeat, and refused to pay his federal taxes. The reply to this was that he had sent in a check for what he believed his taxes were, an attempt to pay, and it had been rejected by the I.R.S. If memory serves me correctly most of his tax burden was found to be unowed so, why should have be faulted for not wanting to pay what he did not owe? Why should the IRS believe they can charge fines and penalties for unowed taxes?

Back to my line.. Most voters, not being able to look up individual details, will vote by perception rather then fact and, many of these attack ads add to their perceptions. Many people get the perception that politicians are all crooks. It goes back to that old joke “how do you know when a politician is lying?” with the answer being “his mouth is moving.” When there results were in on the Jennings vs Buchanan election there were roughly 18,000 missing votes. The question was asked, “where these votes not counted by a Republican Supervisor of Elections, or where there really 18,000 people who voted “none of the above”? As a Republican I voted for Jennings because I was not happy with the tone of the ads during the Republican Primary which seemed to be mostly untruths.

I heard Michael Moore say that George Bush II was a lier because he told untruths and that it did not matter that the may have thought they were true. So if you tell me something that thought you knew, and it turns out to be untrue, then you are a liar.. That seems to be a rather simple concept.

Here in Florida, with %60 of the people not voting, we have elected Rick Scott for our new Governor inspite of his rather fishy past.

I realize that %40 of the people voted but, I wonder if the people they voted for, at least in the Republcian camp did not take this the wrong way. Perhaps it was not an endorsement of the Republican way but rather frustration with the idea that politicians just can’t seem to tell the truth.

Wikileaks Embasy Cables


My information is old, I was in the Air Force from 1974 to 1978 and again from 1980 to 1984 so, much could have changed since then.

The Wikileaks situation brings to mind at least two problems with what happened.

The part that seems the most obvious, to me, is the use of USB drives to transfer the information. These handy little gadgets can store information in the Gigabyte range, which is to say in the 1,000,000,000,000 of characters. Information can be download to the USB drive and then transfered to another computer, which is what the leaker seems to have done.
Even TV has dealt with this problem, and it was featured on several of the NCIS shows so, maybe the DoD should watch more TV.

What little information I had seen on the subject suggest that the easiest way to prevent this is to not install the USB ports but, since most computer have a mouse and keyboard that work off of the USB port that would render the computer useless. Something could be done to prevent the use of the USB drives on the computer but, you either have to control if in the computers system, which can be circumvented by the user, or through having the computer boot entirely through the network. I have to admit that I do not really know how much trouble it would be to have each computer, desktop or laptop, boot from a central network. I took a CCNA class at the Sarasota County Tech. Inst. some years ago and the class room computer seemed to do just that, though they did allow use of the USB ports.

That solution seems to be prohibitive, so maybe what they should have looked at was the old fashioned method of information sharing based on Clarence.

I don’t know of many jobs in the service where a person would have less that Secret, I was in the Air Force Security Police, and had Secret the whole time, with the exception of one unit I was assigned to in Korea where I was required to have a TS/SCI clearance. Even the guy who came into the building to fix the A/C had to have a TS/SCI, as there was classified equipment everywhere you looked.
In tech shool we were told that access to classified material was governed by three things, Clearance level suited to the information, need to have the information, such as a job requirement, and authorization.

I need to read some more on this and maybe it will find an explaination of why he was able to get into sensitive State Department files from a DoD network?

I know they guys on TV can get into the computers from other agencies but, I had hopped that the real government would have a little more on the ball than that.

Recent events in Korea.


Google Earth Photo of Korea I put some background information on another page that went into a little detail, which I got from Wikipedia, about Yeonpyeong Island.

North Korea tends, due to the unstable nature of it leaders, to belligerence. Their attitude toward the South is that the North should take control. North Korean forces kidnap citizens from the South in a continued effort to get them to spy for the North. While I was stationed at Osan, AB from 1977-1978 there were several incident where North Korean “skunk boat” were intercepted after having dropped off South Koreans who were supposed to spy for them, only to discover that these, supposed spy’s, had notified South Korean military authorities.

Durring my time in Korea, the NK continued to do such things as: burrowing under the DMZ, in case of a invasion they could come up behind the ROK troops, fireing across the DMZ, and the already mentioned kidnapping of ROK citizens. One thing they did do that was interesting was the NK government started a program to allow NK citizens to meet, in Japan, with relatives from the ROK. This was an effort go have their citizens covince family member to spy for the North. This often resulted in the NK citizens actually being subverted by their families from the ROK. I do now know it the program is still in effect.

I mentioned the “skunk boats”, or NK spy boats, that would penetrate far into ROK waters. Once in a while these boats would be intercepted, and sunk, at which point the NK government would accuse the ROK of attacking “unarmed fishing boats that had wandered into ROK territory”. This was often done despite the skunk boat having been involved in gunbattles with ROK forces that would result in the sinking of the skunk boat. At least once, while I was in Korea, I knew of U.S. Air Force Pararesuce troops being dispatched to pull NK spy personel out of the water. The Air Rescue people went armed for the simple reason that, inspite of the risking their live to pull these people out of the water, they would sometimes be greeted, as they dangled on the end of a rope, by weapons fire from the people in the water, and so would have to be able to defend themselves.

NK make threat agains the world at large on a regular basis and these are mostly ignored as just bluster. It seems that much of what they do is with the thought that China will protect them such as when China invaded, durring the Korean War 1950-1953, when U. N. Command forces went past the 38th Parralel. For China, much like the old Soviet Union, there was a desire to have countries on the border that were not hostile, as both China and Russia share some border space with NK.

At the time I am writting this it seems that China is making some efforts to help contain the threat to regonal peace. It is uncertain what steps China will take… If push came to shove will they go to war for NK? Would they seize control of NK? or would they just abandon them to stew in their own pot?

I have been told that China, being a large holder of American debt, would dump it’s holdig of Dollars. The would cause a devaluation of the Dollar but, it would also mean that Americans would have to pay more for item coming out of China, and it is possible that this would stiffle the flow of Dollars into China’s coffers. This is a simpleistic thought but, could it effect the people who make their policy?
Does loseing money matter that much to them.
It has been said that most, if not all, wars are a matter of econemy.
This is My View, by Joe.