Monday, May 30, 2011

You Are Being Watched

It is becoming ever more clear that the only time our government cares at all about privacy is when it is ensuring you won't be prosecuted for sexual deviancy, contraception, or abortion. I recently read a description of the internet that certainly seems to apply: a borderless security and surveillance state.

So what has me going on now? I just ran across ZDNet's series on the ever-so-loathesome USA PATRIOT Act. The summary is here, and includes links to the entire four-part series. Another article there quotes Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) as saying "We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says," in an article titled "The 'REAL' Patriot Act is Classified." Here's ZDNet's source link. Apparently, the interpretation which the Department of Justice relies upon is classified, and cannot be debated openly in Congress without violating classification rules. And this thing has been passed more or less unchanged.

So who thinks the US government is nothing like a tyranny? Who thinks we are protected from it? Who thinks the Fourth Amendment is a dead letter?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Instead of Googling...

Duck it!

I was reading DWW today, and a screenshot in the OpenIndiana review showed what looked like a search engine I wasn't familiar with: . It has just taken the place of Google Advanced in my bookmarks. It may replace Wikipedia in my bookmarks; I can search wikipedia with DDG just by using !w [searchterms] in the search command line. They've got similar shortcuts for hundreds of sites. They also have a privacy policy that is vastly superior to Google's, and their normal search methodology is to find some specialized search engine suited to your query and use that, which I think is creative, clever, and elegant.

I'm going to investigate the command syntax to see how flexible it is. I think I'm even going to make it my firefox home page. If possible, I may make it the default search in Chromium. Much to do, much to learn.

Check thou it out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogrollin again

Matthew Archbold relates the scariest conversation he's ever heard. He describes a moment when he looked in a metaphorical mirror and saw not the face of Christ, but of the culture of death.

Powerful stuff.

First to Exit the Blegroll

I am taking down the blegroll entry for Free the Notre Dame 88, a defense fund for the 88 protesters arrested when President Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame . . . because all charges have been dropped!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Culture of Death, World of Lies

So, Planned Parenthood is complaining about hysterically denouncing any attempts to deny them their place at the federal trough, claiming that millions of women won't be able to get mammograms from them any more. But is that so?

Planned Parenthood provides breast examinations, in which the doctor, nurse practitioner, or unlicensed employee feels you up to see if there are any palpable lumps. But that's not the same thing as a mammogram, which is an X-ray of your breast tissue.