Monday, 10 January 2011

The Nut?

The image of Jared Lee Loughner, taken today in Tucson.

It's an odd picture and gives you a pretty quick determination that he's an absolute nut.  But as you start staring at this, and look back at a couple of photos from 2007, 2008, and 2009....he's bulked up....alot.

In fact, it's a curious thing.  Most folks who have known him....readily say that over the past four to six months....he's changed.  He was weird before, but he'd become even more weird in the past couple of months.

He's bulked up.  He's not a skinny kid anymore from these pictures.  I'm ready to bet that he's got onto a steroid regiment, and gone to a quick gain deal.  I'd also bet that he acquired these from a buddy who picked them up from Mexico.  And I'd even go out on the limb and make a guess that he's taken twice or three times the normal amount of steroid prescribed.

Just a hunch, but I suspect if they take a blood and urine sample....there's a story here.  I admit, I'd rather not change the sentence of this punk....but if he's taking some high dosage of steroid.....then you've got another dozen Tucson punks who've done the same thing.  And you might have a thousand of these dimwits walking the US presently who are a threat to the safety of all of us.

Just a hunch....mind you.  But this picture isn't of some skinny punk, and that wicked smile doesn't fit some sane guy at all.

Mighty Iceland Roar

Luis Arreaga has an unusual job but quiet job....at least until last week.  He's the US ambassador to Iceland.  He's the guy that meets and greets at big-wig parties held in Iceland.  You can imagine the typical week's schedule....Monday lunch with the British ambassador at some fish & chips joint. Wednesday afternoon tea with some Icelandic 'Friends of America' Society.  Thursday lunch with the Russian and Japanese ambassador.  Maybe a weekend poker game with the Marines who protect the embassy and the ambassador.

This past week....Luis got a call to report to the Icelandic state department.  A grave and very serious matter.  They wanted the absolute explanation why US attorney general's office was trying to access the Twitter account of an Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks player....Birgitta Jonsdottir.

I'm guessing that Luis had to call back and there was probably a 8-minute conversation where the state department explained to him what little they knew....that the attorney general's staff was working on how the Army private got into conveying all his secret data to WikiLeaks.....and how Twitter was very likely the vehicle of communication.

So you can imagine this meeting between the US ambassador and the Icelandic state department.  Luis is trying to explain how Twitter might be a part of this communications process.  The angry Icelandic state department is likely very vocal over how such private data could possibly be given over.  Luis then likely explains that Twitter is US-based and not Icelandic-based.....because Iceland doesn't ever attract any big technology companies.

The news articles don't go over the length of this conversation.  I'm guessing Luis probably spent a a good long hour....maybe even two hours.  The Icelandic folks are sitting there now...realizing that everything they Twittered or Facebooked over the past five years....is sitting on a US archive and any US president....especially that evil George W. Bush....could grab that data.

As for the Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks player....Birgitta Jonsdottir?  I'm guessing she's a little bit worried because she probably did some things that she'd prefer not to share with other folks.  Only a hunch, but to get that much attention out of the Icelandic state department....it had to be something.

As for our ambassador?  He's probably sitting and hoping that this is the end of issues with his Icelandic counter-parts.  He'd like to go back to a regular schedule.  Face it.....being dragged around to official meetings to explain to foreign governments how Twitter works or to explain court cases in the US....just isn't much fun.

In the Aftermath of Tucson

It's an interesting list of nuts, underachievers, and folks with some kind of agenda who have taken up the idea of assassinating their political target in hopes of achieving some goal.

John Wilkes Booth (Abraham Lincoln)
Leon Czolgosz (William McKinley)
Charles Guiteau (James Garfield)
John Schrank (Theodore Roosevelt)
Giuseppe Zangara (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Carl Weiss (US Senator Huey Long)
Lee Harvey Oswald: (John F. Kennedy)
Samuel Byck (Richard Nixon)
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (Gerald Ford)
Sara Jane Moore (Gerald Ford)
John Hinckley (Ronald Reagan)
Sirhan Sirhan (Robert Kennedy)
James Earl Ray (Martin L. King)
Arthur Bremmer (George Wallace)
Jim Jones (ordered the shooting of Congressman Leo Ryan)
Dan White (San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk)

There's probably another hundred-odd episodes with minor political folks just didn't make the mainstream news outlets of the time.

In the cases of Jim Jones, Sirhan, and female duo who made an attempt on President Ford.....we can classify these group as pure nuts.  The rest?  Mostly people who had some agenda.  Dan White can probably be classified as a guy who had a mental breakdown.

After each one....folks got upset and thought that changes could be made to stop future attempts.  As you can see....nothing much has changed in one hundred years.  My humble guess is that we will talk a bit over the news media over this episode, and within a week....drop the subject and just move on.  We've been conditioned over the past couple of decades, and we just aren't going to anchor ourselves to one serious topic.

Another ID

It was reported over the weekend that the President had signed a document directing the US Commerce Department to start a project involving privacy laws.  The idea is to create an internet ID card, which Americans would use in places that required secure log-in.  This is supposed to defeat ID theft and bring things under control.

There wasn't alot of commentary this weekend over this story and I would imagine it'd be months before something becomes public and the news media finally comes around to ask questions.

It sounds positive...at least from the prospective that folks want action to stop ID theft and we haven't much of anything from Washington on this topic.  But then you start to ask how this would work and what sites would you have to use it.  Eventually, every site in America could be directed to use internet ID.....even if you were just commenting about road construction in your state, the status of social security in America, or posting a recipe on beef stew.

The other problem that comes up is the copy or theft of these internet IDs.  While the government currently operates a relatively safe ID for logging into government computers (you don't get past the log-in without the card inserted and a pin number used)....it's already been proven that the cards can be copied.  And I would imagine that pin numbers could be gained through some software application on your computer.

You can imagine this scenario where Uncle Joe, who lives quietly in the midst of Bama.  Uncle Joe has no computer or cellphone, and barely can operate a satellite TV dish.  Uncle Joe gets a note from the government to come down to some office at the county seat....to get a internet ID.  He goes down and argues with the lady.  Why would he need it?  She sounds convincing.....telling him that he 'might' log on and need it.  Eventually, he accepts it and takes it home.  For years, Uncle Joe walks around with this card and tells folks about his internet ID....to be honest, he wouldn't ever use it.

My guess is that over thirty percent of America today....lives quietly and happily without the internet.  I would even make the guess that twenty percent might use the internet but it's strictly to exchange emails with relatives or post pictures....and that's it.  We are therefore working on something that might only benefit half of the nation at best.  I doubt that you can stop this because it's like a snowball falling down a mountain.  It will occur.

Eventually, we will vote on election day via this internet ID.  We will buy items from the Wal-Mart site via this internet ID.  We will order a new car via the internet with this ID.  And we will likely make positive or negative commentary about our political figures with this internet ID.  We will come to have mixed feelings over the internet ID.....liking it and hating it.  So four years from now.....when you get that note to come down to the county office.....just accept the fact that it has to happen.