Big Brother is watching – and it’s not doing a damned bit of good

As part of its overall anti-terrorism strategy, the British government introduced a program called Prevent.  It appears to have become more an instrument for Big Brother-style thought control, rather than an effective tool against terrorists.  Reason reports: Part of a larger anti-terrorism strategy, Prevent was designed to prevent radicalization and seeks to monitor supposedly vulnerable people for evidence of extremism in the materials they peruse and the ideology they express. The idea is that, once identified, these individuals can be steered by authorities away from negative outcomes. “Interventions can include mentoring, counselling, theological support, encouraging civic engagement, developing support networks (family and

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The “nanny state” and small business

Having recently formed a company to act as an umbrella for my books and book-related dealings, I was struck by an article in Ricochet about the issue of small businesses and over-zealous government regulation. Kaitlyn (not her real name) just moved here from Georgia. Her husband is an auto mechanic. “He can fix anything with four wheels! Well, except my car – it runs like crap!” She went on at some length about how good he was at fixing things. His plan was to start his own shop once they moved here. They moved into a double-wide trailer that had a nice

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Are bureaucrats and their red tape the best anti-war measure ever?

I wasn’t surprised to read this report – I’ve had more than enough experience with military and civilian bureaucracies to last me a lifetime! – but it highlights one of the more serious issues related to military preparedness during peacetime. When NATO expanded eastwards a unique set of logistical problems were encountered. These new problems were not fully appreciated until 2015 when the United States decided to send military units by road (and railroad) to the easternmost new NATO members. . . . While the armed forces available to NATO far outnumber those of Russia, there is a major impediment to assembling

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Negligence, or deliberately misleading the taxpayers?

I note with displeasure that a measure designed to show us how much our government is spending is almost completely useless, because that same government isn’t updating it properly. A new bipartisan Senate report revealed more than half of the government’s public data on federal spending is wrong, as the websiteUSAspending.gov is riddled with errors. . . . The subcommittee reviewed over two dozen inspector general reports and determined 55 percent of the spending data submitted to USAspending.gov was inaccurate. The errors accounted for $240 billion in spending during the second quarter of 2017, according to the report. The Digital Accountability and

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Heh

I love this Dilbert cartoon – particularly because I can recall having similar conversations with my bosses in the past (without the snappy comeback, unfortunately). Click the image for a larger version at the comic’s Web page. Peter

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Heh

I love this Dilbert cartoon – particularly because I can recall having similar conversations with my bosses in the past (without the snappy comeback, unfortunately). Click the image for a larger version at the comic’s Web page. Peter

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Big Brother and your car. Do you feel any safer now?

I was annoyed to read this report. In closed-door meetings last March, U.S. transportation regulators and others grappled with questions about whether police should have the power to disable self-driving cars and whether an automatic alert that a robo-taxi had been in a wreck could violate an occupant’s privacy, a report released on Tuesday showed. . . . Many participants in the meetings “agreed that it is a question of when, not if, there is a massive cyber security attack targeting” autonomous vehicles and said “planning exercises are needed to prepare for and mitigate a large-scale, potentially multimodal cyber security attack,”

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CDR Salamander slams the military procurement process

CDR Salamander excoriates the USAF’s recent light attack experiment, and in the process has some harsh words for the entire military procurement process. When we actually have a no-kidding shooting war on our hands, our Soldiers and Marines die because they don’t have the support they need and have to execute missions with more risk. We expend untold millions of additional monies and airframe time shoe-horning other assets to do a job they are not designed to do, and they do it in a suboptimal manner when they do. . . . Taxpayer money wasted and their sons and daughters die

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Forest fires and bureaucratic mismanagement

An experienced forester and an environmental scientist have some harsh words for politically correct “experts” and the authorities over the current spate of wildfires in US forests. “Global warming may contribute slightly, but the key factors are mismanaged forests, years of fire suppression, increased population, people living where they should not, invasive flammable species, and the fact that California has always had fire,” University of Washington climate scientist Cliff Mass told TheDCNF. Mass also noted there hasn’t been much warming in the Pacific Northwest, adding that natural weather patterns in California prime the state for wildfires every year no matter what. .

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“The Billion Dollar Homeless Scam”

That’s what Daniel Greenfield calls the billions of dollars spent on the homeless in major US cities. New York City will be spending $2.06 billion on its Department of Homeless Services. There are 61,421 homeless people in the city which is spending $33,539 per homeless person. That’s only a little short of the starting salary of an FDNY firefighter at $39,000. More money will be spent on the homeless than on the firefighters who save New Yorkers from burning buildings. The FDNY will have to make do with $2.04 billion, and the health department with $1.6 billion. That’s impressive for DHS, a

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