The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

Thursday Roundup, 2/11

I dutifully apologize for my lack of insight and commentary on these important state and national stories.  Too many pressing demands on my time.  :0(


Support for Gays in the Military Depends on the Question

Poll: Obama, Economy Doubts Boost GOP

Global Perceptions of U.S. Leadership Improve in 2009 

MN Politics:

Gov. Pawlenty delivers his final State of the State address


Larry Summers: Almost All Economists Believe More Taxes Fuels Job Growth


After Getting Nearly 40% Budget Increase, North Dakota Higher Education Still Raising Tuition Prices

Zero Tolerance for Charter Schools report

Minnesota’s deficit is forcing school cuts


The Government Can Monitor Your Location All Day Every Day Without Implicating Your Fourth Amendment Rights


Noemie Emery: Democrats inflicting themselves with wedge issues

Slobs and the American Civilization

Doug Wilder: Obama needs a staff shakeup

The Bubble and Rahm

Have it good,



February 11, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, Economics, Education, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans, Surveillance | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you can’t watch 24 years of tape

So, Predator drones are gathering so much data from just one year’s worth of flights that it would take 24 years watch it all.  That’s absolutely staggering, how can the intelligence community be expected to keep it all straight?  I have trouble reading the dozens of subscritions on my Google Reader every day, but at least it only takes me an hour or so. 

Air Force drones collected nearly three times as much video over Afghanistan and Iraq last year as in 2007 — about 24 years’ worth if watched continuously. That volume is expected to multiply in the coming years as drones are added to the fleet and as some start using multiple cameras to shoot in many directions.

Drone Flights Leave Military Awash in Data 

This story illustrates one of the primary problems I have with the emergence of a “surveillance-state” mentality when it comes to counter-terorism; there aren’t enough people to go through all the data that is mined.  It’s not worth it (or legal, for that matter) to gather every possible bit of information about everybody and expect that it will lead you to a terrorist.  No one has the time, patience or stamina to go through a mountain of raw data like that.  Suspecting everyone is a healthy idea, sure, but carrying out activities that stem from suspicion (i.e., surveillance) is a big legal step, and very significant for U.S. citizens. 

What will end up keeping us the most safe is a concetrated, investigative effort on the part of our foreign intelligence services.  The CIA isn’t a private military force, they’re meant to collect information, so stop using them as a covert army.  What will keep us safe is citizens taking responsibility for their lives.  What will keep us safe isn’t the paranoia of an overreaching Federal government.  If terrorism is a tactic for the creation of fear, I think the Feds and the mainstream media are just as complicit as al-Qaeda when it comes to fearmongering for a political end. 

Also, lest we forget the problems that arise out of technology taking the place of human intelligence, here’s a story from a few weeks ago:

Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones


*UPDATE*-Found a new article this morning at that covers another issue of information overload in the war on terror, the infamous “no-fly list.”  Adding More Names to Watch List Isn’t Change, It’s a Step Back

Have it good,


January 11, 2010 Posted by | Surveillance, Terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment