The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

tuesday stories for 2/2/10

I’ve got a lot of projects in the works as of late, so my blogging might get a bit sparse the next few days.  But here are some good reads for Tuesday:

1. Older and younger workers compete for part-time hourly jobs 

Well good gods, no wonder it’s been such a bitch to find work.  With an unemployment rate of 18% among those 18-24, what is this going to do to this generation?  This is a very unsettling statistic because angry, intelligent and bored young people can do some dangerous things.  See: Russian Revolution of 1917 and the entire decade of the 1960s.


2. Terror trials opinions:

Two good columns today about where to hold trials of 9/11 conspirators and other terrorists.  Watch them face off!

If not NYC, where else could Obama’s administration possibly try the Guantanamo Bay prisoners?  vs. Keep terror trials on American soil


3. Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

Now this is just cool.  Check it out. 

“Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products.” 

And since it is caucus day today, here’s a concise set of principles for all you conservatives to keep in mind while you discuss and propose and poll tonight:

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

William John Henry Boetcker (1873–1962)

(thanks to On caucus day, ten truths for conservative candidates)

Have it good,



February 2, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Politics, Terrorism, Unemployment | , , , , , , | 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