Are Government Bureaucrats Capable Of Looking After Data They Collect About Us?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Office of Personnel Management

If you’ve read any of the political posts on this blog you’ll already know the answer to the question posed in the title.

Staffed by stupid bureaucrats, the government isn’t capable of doing anything right, apart from trying to make all our lives miserable with needless and intrusive rules and regulations.

Proving the point, recently in the press there have been numerous stories about the personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees being the victim of what they call a ‘cyber breach’ at the Office of Personnel Management.

I say 18 million because that is what has currently been estimated by none other than FBI Director James Comey in a closed-door briefing to Senators recently. A far cry from the government’s lies that ‘only’ 4.2 million files were hacked. And that 18 million number is expected to grow, not get smaller – which I suppose makes the government’s lie even bigger.

The same hackers who accessed the Office of Personnel Management’s data are believed to have last year breached an OPM contractor, KeyPoint Government Solutions. When that OPM breach was discovered in April, investigators found that KeyPoint security credentials were used to breach the OPM system.

KeyPoint_Logo

Some investigators believe that after that intrusion last year, OPM bureaucrats should have blocked all access from KeyPoint, and that doing so could have prevented more serious damage.

But the bureaucrats refused to do anything – probably waiting for a sub-committee to write a 2,000 page report first!

It is believed that the Chinese government is behind this latest ‘cyber breach’, which is considered the worst ever against the U.S. government – so far, that is. The Chinese hackers are believed to have built their own backdoor access to the OPM system, armed with high-level system administrator access codes.

Naturally since it happened under his watch and the buck stops with him, President Obama has ordered his administration to answer all accusations of incompetence by minimizing the severity of breach.

But the OPM’s internal auditors told a House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee last week that key databases housing sensitive national security data, including applications for background checks, had not met federal security standards.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., responded thus, “I wish that you [the OPM] were as strenuous and hardworking at keeping information out of the hands of hackers as are at keeping information out of the hands of Congress.”

If only!

So are the government bureaucrats capable of looking after the data they collect on us?

Of course they aren’t.

Looks as if all Snowden, the subject of Wednesday’s post (if you want to read it click here), is really guilty of, is doing the bureaucrat’s job more efficiently.

whistleblower techie

.

===============================

.

Barrack Obama – You’re Fired!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

trump announcement

So he’s finally gone and done it.

He nearly did it before.

Then he thought about it, and then he didn’t do it.

But this time he has done it – for now anyway.

Love him or hate him there is one thing for sure – a Presidential campaign with Donald Trump fully committed is going to be a lot more entertaining than one with Sarah (what day of the week is it?) Palin, Jeb (not another one) Bush, or even Hillary (no, really I’m not lying) Clinton.

jeb bush

Donald Trump’s show of wealth for some may sometimes border on the vulgar, but he is the personification of the American success story. He’s made a fortune, and more than once.

But is Trump equipped to be President?

Or perhaps a more appropriate question, is Trump better equipped to be President that the other hopefuls?

Whatever way you phrase the question I think the answer has to be ‘Yes’ he is better equipped. Not that that says a lot when you look at the other contenders.

Trump has made his own way in life, done deals, hired and fired, negotiated hard, got value for his money, and done a lot of it in New York City which is not the easiest place to succeed in real estate.

trump tower

Contrast that with some of the other would-be’s who have spent much of their lives as the political mouth pieces for whoever could pay them the most.

Trump is also an entertainer and a man full of charisma – you know when he has walked into a room.

He and his name are also well known, which is a very big plus in an election. It means that he can and will appeal to conservatives like himself (tough on foreign policy, pro-NRA, pro-business and jobs, etc), but also to undecided and independent voters in much the same way as Ronald Reagan was able to do.

celebrity apprentice boardroom

He also has the money to fund his own campaign if he chooses to do so. It is a big plus both for him and for people thinking of voting for him. Trump will not have to end up in anyone’s pocket post-election and he can start his campaign right away rather than waste time accumulating vast war chests of cash.

He’ll also find that he will have to spend less than the others to get his message out there. He won’t have to pay millions to get on to TV because when the people want to hear what he has to say the media simply cannot ignore him.

Trump is also used to getting his own way and used to winning. His ego is huge and won’t allow him to approach the battle half-heartedly.

He’s also got an attractive wife, more reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy than some of the frumps we have had to put up with before and since. But I suppose that is a sexist remark these days and should be disregarded – although believe me it won’t be by the voters.

Trump’s detractors will be both vociferous and numerous. The GOP hopefuls , mostly a collection of Senators and Governors, will not like him stealing whatever little thunder they may think they have. The Democrats, especially Hillary will be cursing the fact that the GOP has someone who can cast a very big media shadow over them. And a lot of the pseudo-intellectuals who commentate on things political will poke fun at Trump, although it will be a tough job for them to find a better equipped candidate in either party.

hillary clinton

All in all then a presidential election with Trump involved is a much better prospect than one without him.

That doesn’t mean he’ll be the next President.

It doesn’t even mean he will win the nomination.

But it does mean that we have more fun finding out who will do both those things.

Trump has about another two weeks to file his papers with the Federal Elections Commission to make his candidacy official. Let’s hope he really does run this time, he’s going to look pretty silly now if he doesn’t.

As I said earlier, more than anything else Trump is an entertainer.

I’m looking forward to being entertained.

Roll on 2016.

2016 presidential election race

.

=================================

.

The Only Way Is Up, Unless It’s Sideways.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Federal-Reserve-Seal-logo

It has been nine years since the ‘Fed’ put up interest rates in the US. Not a day goes by when some pundit or other is explaining why an interest rate rise is imminent whilst yet another is warning that the US dollar is about to collapse in a heap.

There’s even a fed funds futures market for people to bet which way they think it is going to go.

For what it’s worth, I think the US dollar will weaken from its current position because a lot of the support it is getting lies solely in the belief that interest rates are about to start going up.

Much of that dollar support is created by continual talk from Yellen and the Fed about raising rates. But the fact is that every time they reach the point at which they said interest rates would rise, they chicken out.

us dollar

So why does the Fed keep making big promises that it hasn’t the nerve to keep?

Good question, I’m glad you asked.

Although it might make them look a bit foolish, what their continual rate rise threats also do is to help to discourage speculation in US stocks and bonds – not a healthy thing for any economy.

If they do, do it, I don’t think they will until very late in 2015 – maybe not until 2016.

2016?

But wait.

2016 is an election year.

2016 US Election year

Will Obama deliberately burst Hilary’s Democrat Party bubble by allowing interest rates to rise? He might do it out of spite I suppose. There’s no love lost between them since Obama beat her for the candidacy and then won the Presidential election eight years ago.

But I think the election year may mean we are looking at 2017 for those rate hikes.

So who is right, me and people who think like me or the great unwashed of the media who are still predicting an imminent rate hike.

I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, but I think I might risk a few zero interest dollars that they are wrong and I’m not.

Stay tuned for some gloating or a big spoonful of humble pie come June this year.

humble pie

.

=============================

.

Whatever Happened To Right And Wrong?

 “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

A bit of politics today.

The Iran deal – if there in fact is one, nobody seems certain – is causing a lot of angst within the Republican Party. Maybe they know the reason for their concern, but somehow I doubt it.

Don’t worry I’m not going to go into a big analysis of the deal, not yet anyway. As I said, no one is sure that anything has really been agreed.

iran nuke deal cartoon

But the details of the deal aside, what this and many other happenings over the past few years has clearly highlighted is that political parties – and not only in America – have become obsessed with the “if he’s fer it, I’m agin it” mentality.

The facts don’t count.

The reasons don’t matter.

The benefits are never logically weighed up.

Nor are the faults.

It is always just a knee-jerk reaction with no analysis whatsoever. You could write the headlines even before the event it is all so depressingly predictable.

And these pompous parties and politicians have the gall to call it ‘democracy’ and to try to foist it on other parts of the world that don’t want it and haven’t asked for it.

reaction to iran nuke deal cartoon

Somehow we have deteriorated to the point where a country full of politicians who don’t know what’s best for their own people, now think they know what is best for everyone else. Self-delusion, arrogance, call it what you like, there are many words that could be applied to describe it, none of them very complimentary.

An example is Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who has clearly learned nothing from what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, because he now boasts that a U.S. military campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only take “several days” of bombing.

Apparently in his head there would be no consequences. The Iranians will just sit back and take their medicine then wise up and never do it again.

On the other hand, of course, if Obama was against a deal with Iran I bet you Sen Cotton would be all for it.

That’s the real depth of his analysis, and there are (too) many others like him.

Whatever happened to right and wrong?

.

==========================================

Political Jokes!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

No, this isn’t a list of the names of the members of the HoR or the Senate, or even the Obama administration, although I see why you would have jumped to that conclusion.

I thought I would try to lighten the mood for the weekend by posting some of the political jokes that made me smile.

Hope they have the same effect on you.

Enjoy.

.

 

.

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common:

they should both be changed regularly…

and for the same reason.

.

.

Q: Have you heard about McDonald’s new ‘Obama Value Meal’?

A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

.

 

.

Q: How many politicians does

it take to change a light bulb?

A: Two: one to change it and

another one to change it back again.

.

.stupid face 01

.

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 100?

A: Your Honor.

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?

A: Senator.

.

.

We used to have Reagan, Jonny Cash, and Bob Hope.

Now we have Obama, no cash, and no hope.

.

.

The recession is getting so bad,

the bank sent me a new type of credit card.

It was pre-declined.

.stupid face 02

 

.

It was so cold in Washington today,

I saw a Democrat who had his hands in his own pockets!

.

.

I is very proud dat I went 2 school in da UK.

I fink out of all 17 countries in da world UK is da best.

.

.

When they call the roll in the Senate,

the Senators do not know whether to answer

‘Present’ or ‘Not guilty.’ 

.

.stupid face 07Today’s public figures can no longer

Today’s public figures can no longer

write their own speeches or books,

and there is some evidence

that they can’t read them either. 

(Gore Vidal.)

.

 

.

‘Politics is the art of looking for trouble,

finding it whether it exists or not,

diagnosing it incorrectly,

and applying the wrong remedy’.

(Ernest Benn.)

 .

.

‘Politicians are the same all over.

They promise to build bridges,

even where there are no rivers’.

(Nikita Kruschchev.)

.

 

stupid face 05

.

I just hope our next world war isn’t with China.

Who would make uniforms for the troops?

.

.

The Iranian leader has left

on a tour of friendly countries.

He’s expected home tomorrow.

.

.

Foreign Aid :

Poor people in a rich country

sending money to

rich people in a poor country.

.

stupid face 06

.

I rarely speak to Obama supporters,

but when I do….

I ask for large fries.

.

.

Obama: “Here we are, two black presidents.”

Mandela: “You’re not very black.”

Obama: “I’ve not been to jail.”

.

.

President Obama met Bill Clinton for lunch.

“I was sorry to hear about Hillary’s concussion,”

Obama said. “How’s her head?”

“It’s fine,” Bill replied.

“But she’s no Monica.”

.

stupid_391615

.

My computer crashed earlier and I lost all my files,

Luckily the NSA has a back up…

.

.

Stop repeat offenders.

Don’t re-elect them!

.

.

Democracy:

A political system where

any two idiots outvote a genius.

.

stupid face 03

.

How many Feminists does

it take to change a lightbulb?

Two.

One to get a man to change it,

and the other to criticize men for inventing it.

.

.

Spin doctors:

People who never call a spade a spade.

They proclaim it as a ground-breaking innovation.

.

.

Politicians should serve two terms.

One in office, one in prison.

.

stupid face 08

.

No matter who you vote for

the government always seems to get in.

.

.

Definition of an elephant:

A mouse built to government specifications.

.

.

The word ‘politics’ is derived from

the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’,

and the word ‘ticks’,

meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.

(Larry Hardiman.)

.

====================================

 

 

They Call It Democracy.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I thought about commenting on the recent US elections.

And then I decided I wouldn’t.

And then I thought I might.

But decided against it.

In the end I didn’t have to.

Because someone else said it all.

Maybe you’ve heard of him?

His name is Barrack Obama.

And he said,

well I’ll let him tell you himself…

.

Obama -  I hear you text

 

.

Obama - but I ain't listening text

.

======================================

.