About that Syrian M&M image…

About that Syrian M&M thing
Got tired of seeing that Syrian M&M image floating around. So I made this as a simple counter point.

To everyone saying the solution is to ban or turn away all Syrian refugees, let me ask you a few questions…

  • Have you considered using the refugees AGAINST the supposed ISIS infiltrators? You know… roll out the red carpet, make them feel at home, show them how wonderful America really is/can be?
  • All this talk from certain people about monitoring and observing refugees and certain religions… that doesn’t sound Orwellian at all? If someone said “mandatory IDs” and “cameras in churches” in any other context, what would your reaction be?
  • How many people from foreign countries do you know? Or have you known? Seriously?

Let the fireballs commence!

My thoughts on Black Friday…

We need you to wait in the elements overnight and get into physical altercations with borderline psychotics to feed the homeless.
YOU’RE CRAZY! WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO DO THAT?

We need you to wait in the elements overnight and get into physical altercations with borderline psychotics to save $20 on a TV.
HOT DAMN! CAN I DO THAT EVERY YEAR? SIGN ME UP!

A Niece, a Barbie and a Jedi

Just a personal happening I wanted to share.

Today while visiting my 6 year old niece, I asked her what toy she wanted her Tio to bring her today – a Barbie or a lightsaber.

Without hesitation, she said “Barbie!”

Without hesitating myself, I pulled both out from my bag of goodies. A Halloween Barbie and a Star Wars SFX lightsaber.

She’s been a green blade swinging Jedi for hours. Excuse me. Let me add some completely unnecessary exaggeration for effect… hoooourrrssss!

She challenged her older brother to multiple lightsaber duels, expertly bounced a deadly purple balloon high through the air, explored pitch dark rooms by humming green light, and even managed a half cartwheel with the lightsaber in full twirl.

Barbie who?

Give the little baby girls in your life the best of both worlds, ya’ll. It’s absolutely glorious.

On Tuesday October 6, an epic court decision concerning online data came to pass and nobody said peep

On Tuesday October 6, one of the biggest mind-shifts in online data and technology this decade finally came to pass via an EU court ruling. This ruling will have serious repercussions for both US consumers and all US intelligence agencies, and nobody over here has said peep about it.

The headline says it all… “EU ruling means Facebook and Google can’t send data to the US”

HA!! This is wonderful! This is titanic! This is… well, kinda hard to explain.

OK, supposing you move into a new neighborhood. Walking in the door, you meet a fellow named “Bo” who lives across the street in a funny looking house.

For the most part, Bo seems friendly. He mentions he has a cousin in another far away city named “Luke” who also sounds just as friendly.

A few months into living in the city, Bo makes a copy of your house key and takes it to Luke.

Luke uses the key to open your front door to your home and takes your TV.

Luke gives your TV to Bo.

When you confront Luke, he says since he lives in another city the local laws in your town do not apply to him and he wasn’t breaking any laws in his town. Luke also says Bo gave him the key directly and said he could do whatever he wanted with whatever he found inside. Luke insists he has no idea what he was doing was wrong. You need to take it up with Bo.

When you confront Bo, he says he didn’t steal your TV and never touched your TV. Bo says he had no idea Luke was going to do what he did, and is shocked you have the nerve to accuse your neighbor of such a terrible thing. You need to take it up with Luke.

Ridiculous, right? A cheap shell game from two obvious criminals no police officer, DA or judge would let fly.

Here’s the catch – the part of Bo and Luke are being played by the US government and certain governments in the EU. They were (NOTE: probably still are) doing the exact same thing with our data.

The US gave access to overseas intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on our conversations and bypass encryptions, and then the overseas intelligence agencies told the US agencies what information they found.

Technically the US didn’t steal the information or eavesdrop on our conversations. Technically the overseas intelligence agencies didn’t break any of their own laws in the process.

Finally, with this EU court ruling, part of this “technically” foolishness was brought to a screeching stop.

This epic win for privacy and the upholding of constitutional law is all thanks to Austrian lawyer Max Schrems, who brought the lawsuit “against Facebook in 2013 for participation in US mass surveillance.”

I’m going to have to add Max Schrems to my Christmas card list. Like, forever.

Now, companies’ (and probably certain governments’) “ability to pool data from both sides of the Atlantic for analysis will be affected”.

Will this ruling actually change anything?

Maybe.

The last two paragraphs in the article are the best…

“The ruling basically says US surveillance cannot be allowed to override our fundamental rights, but US law says surveillance must override fundamental rights… The EU court is largely saying that indiscriminate gathering of data is enough to interfere with fundamental rights, and therefore you shouldn’t be able to do it.”

“US companies that obviously aided US mass surveillance may face serious legal consequences from this ruling when data protection authorities of 28 member states review their cooperation with US spy agencies”.

A brief comment on evil…

Quote

I’ve learned one thing well. Evil people may have an abundance of allies, money and power, but the one thing they never have is the truth.

Truth is everything. It is the best and only weapon to have. It cannot be destroyed. Only hidden.

To find it, to go through the fire and darkness, you must have the focus of a monk. The strength of a prizefighter. The faith of the innocent.

Fight. Endure. Believe.

You. Will. Prevail.

A serious question on police body cameras and evidence admissibility

I have a serious question about police body cameras.

Supposing a police officer with a body camera apprehends a suspect.

In the process, the suspect says something very incriminating about the issue at hand.

The suspect had not been mirandized yet. (The whole “you have the right to remain silent” bit.)

Does the admission on the police officer’s body camera count?

On a traffic stop, the courts have found the stop to be a variation of an arrest and detention, so anything said or caught on the police officer’s vehicle camera during a traffic stop is admissible as evidence. However, in the “normal” performance of their duties, a police officer only arrests and detains an individual upon the announcement of such, which is always followed by a miranda warning to that suspect.

Speaking to a police officer with a body camera, about anything, is a whole new paradigm.

Assuming the admission of anything in the proximity of a police officer with a body camera WILL count as admissible evidence, is the very notion of a police officer present with a body camera mandate a “standing/universal” miranda warning? Or will the concept of a miranda warning need to be re-examined and re-evaluated?

Thoughts for the near future, folks.

Social media-meets-reality television job board

Have you had enough of your job? Ready to quit, but really need another job lined up to get those bills paid?

How would you like to be a wildlife volunteer in Thailand? Or maybe a backup singer for Michael Bolton? Perhaps a culinary explorer in Hawaii? Or a writer for Lance Bass?

Good news, bad news then! The good news is that there IS such a job board for crazy gimme-gimme jobs like this and absolutely anyone can log in and apply.

The bad news? It’s a social media-TV-reality snaggle-tooth bow-legged Frankenstein representation of modern society.

Dreamjobbing.com has the exact jobs open that I listed above, but to get these jobs (according to Travel and Leisure), you will have to upload “an application video and promote it on your social media networks to apply. A winner is selected from the most highly ranked videos.”

Well there goes everyone who is…

  • Over 30
  • Fug
  • Not insanely popular

The “winners” will be “given” the jobs temporarily and if they’re camera ready lucky, they might “be featured as an episode on the upcoming DreamJobbing TV series”.

Welcome to the job board of the future. Even though this is blatantly set up for a TV show, if it is successful, you can bet all the TVs in your house there’s going to be a flood of these share-and-vote job sites popping up shortly after.

The link to apply to dreamjobbing is right here.

“Crispy Sweet Bread” is a LIE

For those of you that don’t know already, here’s a very important safety tip: “Crispy Sweet Bread” is neither sweet nor is it a bread.

I was at a restaurant and ordered this innocent sounding side, expecting some professional variation of a Krispy Kreme donut.

No. Oh no. “Crispy Sweet Bread” is, in fact, some seriously twisted cousin of chitlins.

Lies. Damn lies!

WHY call something “Crispy Sweet Bread” if NONE of the words involved in the description are in the dish?!? If I wanted chitlins, I would have ordered chitlins!

That’s OK. That’s alright. Two can play that game.

From now on…

  • “Louisiana Swiss Cake” will refer to unshaven pig snouts
  • “Fluffy BooBoo Pancakes” will refer to unsalted burnt grits
  • “California Thai Tofu” will refer to rooster feet in BBQ sauce
  • “Basted German Apples” will refer to shoe leather

“Crispy Sweet Bread”… the nerve.

WHOOF

Why McAllen might have been overlooked for emergency immigration funds

There’s some surprising news that the city of McAllen was completely overlooked in President Obama’s recent Federal emergency immigration fund.

As it stands now, not one single penny from the $3.7 billion requested by President Obama in emergency funds to help stem the sudden immigration crisis will go to the city right at ground zero.

Of course, the mayor of McAllen had a few words about this for NBC.

What’s especially odd is that while President Obama is in Texas, he isn’t going to visit McAllen or any city in the Texas valley.

This really is an ongoing crisis. McAllen is literally pitching tents to help the flood of incoming immigrants coming across the border.

McAllen Tents

McAllen Tents

I took that photo yesterday. Me. That’s the church my wife and I got married at in the background. I can testify, firsthand, what is being reported in the news about the immigration flood really is happening.

So, back to the $3.7 billion dollar question. Why was McAllen given the red-headed-stepchild treatment?

This is thin. Real thin. Probably don’t mean anything. But it might have something to do with the fact that the Rio Grande Valley is a massive Clinton fundraising center.

Bear with me for a second.

An article in the Washington Post perfectly summarizes the valley fundraising juggernaut. Way back in 2007, Hillary raised $640,000 in the Texas valley region alone. Compare that with President Obama’s $2,086 total for the Texas valley region during that same time. That’s a difference of $637,914.

Jump ahead to 2013. $587,566 was raised for the Clintons, and again, in this region alone.

The not-so-big secret about all this money coming in for the Clintons is really the result of one very secretive man. Alonzo Cantu.

The local Brownsville Herald newspaper has a great article on Alonzo Cantu and confirms the 2013 fundraising number I mentioned above.

USA today has an additional article on him, saying back in 2008 he pulled in around $1 million cash for the Clintons, again, in the Texas valley region alone.

Consistently pulling in around $1 million a year? That’s a super powerful friend to have on your side.

The Clinton valley fundraising juggernaut is still going full steam. Hilary Clinton was “just” down here in March at a fundraiser not even 10 minutes North of downtown McAllen.

Let me change channels real quick to a second observation. The Texas valley is solid blue Democrat [NPR link].

Take a look at the last presidential election result. Everything below (and including) San Antonio is solid blue.

So, how do the Clintons getting major bank and the area being hardcore Democrat both tie to an emergency aid “oversight”?

Like I said, this is thin. Real thin. Probably don’t mean anything.

But maybe it has something to do with President Obama promising Senator Elizabeth Warren he would back her for president.

Not Hilary Clinton.

I seriously hope I’m just being a paranoid old fart. That none of these things tie in together and I just need to up my dosage.

I mean absolutely no disrespect to President Obama. I’m sure there’s a solid reason not to give McAllen any help despite the fact that every major news outlet reports on the crisis from McAllen and despite the fact the mainstream media is practically camping out down here and keeps writing story after story after story about it.

I’m also very sure things are going to get a lot worse if something isn’t done soon.

UPDATE 7/11/14 : From today’s New York Times G.O.P. Pushes Back on Approving Border Funds article : “Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told the committee that “we can and we will stem this recent tide of illegal migration into the Rio Grande Valley sector.””   Again – it’s all focusing in McAllen.