Category Archives: Intelligence

NSA: ‘Collect IT All, Sniff It All; Know It All, Exploit It All’

Government, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Military, Terrorism, The State

“Collect it all, sniff it all; know it all, exploit it all.” That’s the motto of the National Security Agency, as quoted by the genius Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald doesn’t resort to legalism, as does Prof Alan Dershowitz, who advocates that the NSA strike a balance between freedom and its violation. The charismatic, brilliant Greenwald, speaking without notes, defines exactly what it is that The Surveillance State consists of, and how terrorism has served as a pretext for the violation of rights stateside and abroad. In comparison, Dershowitz and NSA chief Michael Hayden sound like petty bureaucrats.

The real debate over the NSA starts, for some reason, 42 minutes in. “Live from Toronto, Canada, watch The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald team up with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to debate state surveillance with former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Greenwald and Ohanian will argue against the motion ‘be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defense of our freedoms.’”


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UPDATED: Taking Aptitude Out Of The SAT

Education, English, Intelligence, Political Correctness

Excelling on the new, revised SAT promises to be easier than on the old. The College Board plans on replacing challenging words—a facility with which a student was expected to have—with “high utility” words, whatever those are. The essay (in which students are asked “to analyze a text and how the author builds an argument”) will be optional.

“Both vocabulary and reading comprehension are both highly g-loaded,” writes Steve Sailer.

Yes, why weaken questions that measure the G Factor (general intelligence), unless, as the Washington Post surmised, the intention is to “end the lingering public perception that the test is about IQ or aptitude”?

“[T]he whole topic of intelligence testing is so politically radioactive,” confirms IQ ace Sailer:

As Herrnstein and Murray liked to point out, modern America is a rich place in part because we have standardized national tests in which small town boys like Murray and Jewish lads like Herrnstein could outshine the boarding school scions. America was particularly obsessed with finding talent for about a decade after Sputnik in 1957. But then along came civil rights and other obsessions, and the national clarity that was briefly achieved due to the fear of nuclear destruction has been eroded by wishful thinking and self-serving conniving.

Easily the most unsettling aspect of the exercise is the bureaucrat behind the revisions. He is David Coleman, who was also “a key architect of the Common Core state curriculum standards for schools, a set of guidelines being introduced — and often stirring controversy — in classrooms throughout the nation.”

Common Core is “a lesson plan for raising compliant, non-thinking citizens,” explains John Whitehead, author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. Mr. Whitehead’s Common-Core essay, on EPJ, is a MUST-read for liberty loving parents.

UPDATE: Erik Rush taxes the mind today with a Latin phrase that is sure not to feature in the new SAT: quod erat demonstrandum. I had to look it up, which I like. Funny thing that; I like to learn new things. The version I do know, because we used it in math proofs at school, is Q.E.D. (“that which was to be proven”).

Read Erik on Harry Reid that “putrescent little tin god.”


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Surveillance For Thee But Not For Me

Constitution, Founding Fathers, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Politics, The State

Remember when the The Transportation Security Administrator dared to manhandle Sen. Rand Paul in the same way these goons grab our privates daily? Rand responded by telling CNN’s Erin Burnett, essentially, that the TSA folks were good people bogged down by inflexible rules. He followed up with special pleading, suggesting a system of sectional privileges and rights, based on professional need and proximity to power.

But that’s the way the system was destined to work. I know: This nerd’s lasting infatuation is with the unsung heroes of the American founding: the Anti-Federalists. And one of the Anti-Federalist essayists said that the Constitution creates a city or district in which power is concentrated. Once the elected representative (too few to represent anyone meaningfully) reached Rome on The Potomac—they would act as a cloistered, privileged ruling class, impervious to the people’s pleas.

And this has come to pass.

That phony, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), is furious that the CIA “has secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program.” Lo and behold this bitch has “discovered” the Fourth Amendment and is bemoaning its violation. “The Fourth … bars unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as various federal laws and a presidential executive order that prevents the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance,” Feinstein preached.

Man of the people whistleblower Edward Snowden said all there is to say. He “accused the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee of double standards on Tuesday, pointing out that her outrage at evidence her staff were spied on by the CIA was not matched by concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens.”

Snowden said almost all there is to say about the premise of surveillance for thee but not for me under which Americans labor.

It is eminently reasonable to surveil politicians. Because of the special privileges and powers they are able to arrogate to themselves, they ought to be exempt from many of the so-called protections afforded to ordinary citizens.

And of course, they should be denied the vote.


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UPDATED: Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly

Celebrity, China, Film, Hollywood, Human Accomplishment, Intelligence, Sex, Technology

“Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“Glenn Close’s remarks, In Memoriam, at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, captured the delusions of grandeur held by the “tarts and tards of Hollywood,” and helped by their fans.

The actress (or is it “actor”?) did not thank the dearly departed for merely entertaining the masses, which is all actors and directors are capable of doing. Oh no. Her deities were, instead, acknowledged for “mentoring us, challenging us, elevating us”; “they made us want to be better, and gave us a greater understanding of the human condition and the human heart,” language that should be reserved for the likes of Ayn Rand and Aristotle.

Where a motion picture has indeed transported anyone—it is because it cleaved to a decent script, usually a good book. “Gone With the Wind,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “Midnight Express,” and “Papillon,” are examples.

Still, Hollywood is quite capable of reducing great literature to schmaltzy jingles, belted out by shrill starlets. This was the fate of “Les Misérables,” last year. Lost in the din were a lot of lessons about “the human condition.” The Victor-Hugo masterpiece I read as a kid was about France’s unfathomably cruel and unjust penal system, and the prototypical obedient functionary who worked a lifetime to enforce the system’s depredations—a lot like the powers that hounded Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of Reddit.com, to death, in 2013, and are intent on doing the same to the heroic Edward Snowden.

The dead were deified, but what of the walking dead?

To the Chinese, who appreciate the value of experience, the greater the ratio in a team of “grey hairs and no-hairs” to “black hairs”—the faster and better a task will be completed. The opposite assumption obtains in the youth-obsessed U.S.

On the old, Hollywood performs professional geronticide.

Aging actors are put out to pasture, retired into buffoonish, badly scripted roles (“Nebraska”). The annual Oscar Awards will see at least one old actor trotted out (in 2011, the “distinction” went to Kirk Douglas) from retirement. From the sympathetic thunder clap received by Harrison Ford, 71, this year, I’d say he’s ready to be retired.

Yes, a silly society is a youth-obsessed society. Duly, a precocious kid actor will typically cameo. This year, viewers were spared the spectacle. Tykes did, however, twerk and twirl with the adults in a Pharrell Williams routine, conjuring the current crop of Walt Disney cartoon characters (“Rio 1″). Once-upon-a-time, our beloved cartoons were cute, innocent and mischievous. Think Disney’s Donald Duck, Warner Brothers’ Bugs-Bunny and Amblimation’s Fievel of “An American Tail” fame.

Alas, like The Kids, the animated characters that festoon film nowadays sound and act as if created by another Victor (Frankenstein), combining pixelated bits of the putrefying Bethenny Frankel, and some “Mob Wives,” “Real Housewives,” and “Dance Moms,” for good measure. …

Read on. The complete column is “Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad & The Beastly”now on WND.

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* For his help, I thank my young friend, movie maven Kerry Crowel.

UPDATED (3/7): Anyone who praises the Titanic idiocy as a “classic” is lacking critical faculties (see Facebook thread). The scenes of the ship going down are fun and well done. But as to the “story”: It includes the use of “Freudian slip,” before the term was known, among other Americanized inaccuracies, and the upstairs-downstairs dynamic and proletarian insurrection: Whence does that rot come? But then, if you read the comments @ WND Comments (http://www.wnd.com/…/hollywood-the-no-good-the-bad-and…/), you get that our readers are more comfortable with Bill O’Reilly’s “output” or that of Maureen Dowd at the NYT.


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Mocha Man (Don Lemon) Makes History, Or So He ‘Thinks’

Affirmative Action, Barack Obama, Intelligence, Race, Racism

An ecstatic Don Lemon, the stupidest creature to have been plonked in an anchor’s chair on cable television, attended the launch, by black America’s president, of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The CNN cretin announced that He—as though being a mocha man made Lemon part of the story—believed the president when he claimed “this initiative” as his “lifelong goal,” “even after he leaves office.”

If to go by “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” by Charles Murray, “rising inequality and declining mobility,” as well as “widespread decay in moral fiber”—are as serious and widespread among “white, lower-status, less well-educated Americans” as they are among the black and Hispanic communities.

It is against this backdrop that Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative-cum-shakedown will see “leading foundations and businesses [donating] at least $200 million over five years towards programs aimed at minority youth of color.”

Lemon, who is himself an important exhibit in my case that we live in The Age of The idiot, salivated live from the White House for CNN. If you locate the clip on that nitwork, send it along.


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UPDATE II: Cutting And Clever Comments About John Kerry

Critique, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Israel

What I love about Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s remarks about John Kerry is their intelligence. The guy is sharp. Witty too.

Ya’alon lambasted Kerry “as ‘inexplicably obsessive’ and ‘messianic’ in his efforts to coax” Israel and the Palestinians into a peace agreement.

“All that can ‘save us’ is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace,’ Ya’alon was quoted saying to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

I’m not sure if this last hilarity qualifies as a syllogism, but the allusion to the trajectory of Obama’s peace-making efforts works magnificently.

Defense Minister Ya’alon is also passionately vested in his analysis of the Kerry character.

I can’t imagine one of our feeble-minded morons in public office coming up with a cutting or clever comment on any topic.

Ditto our columnists. Other than yours truly, Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn—I can’t think of a columnist who is in possession of a funny bone. And I don’t mean potty humor; I mean stringing concepts together to come up with some absurdly funny reductio.

UPDATE I: Greg Gutfeld is really really funny, although he is not someone I read. He’s a riot. Clever too.

UPDATE II (2/16): Fred Reed rocks.


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