Monday, July 1, 2013

President Obama, listening in on good Americans

Hope everyone will let me slide on not having any new blogs in recent weeks. I moved to a new apartment in Key West and don't have WiFi so I now go to the Wendy's on North Roosevelt and get a Frostie and write. Not what one thinks of when one imagines life in Key West.
But since I've been gone for a little bit, I am just going to run a few thoughts past you.
First, my novel, "Maddie's Gone" is getting good reviews and the little dog has begun to work her way into people's hearts: people who are considering killing their boyfriends, people who listen to shrimp captains spin lies, and people who try to steal dogs for ransom, that is.
One of the great things about writing a book is that you get to talk about yourself, which is my favorite subject.
See my TV interview where I discuss Maddie's plight here

Privacy on the half-shell

Since last I wrote this blog, we've learned that the National Security Agency, which was once barred from aiming its eaves-dropping electronics at American soil, has been using software that can capture and save vast buckets of voice, data, and video traffic from America's largest telecommunications networks.
We have heard this all before: That Americans who are doing the right thing have nothing to fear; that a warrant must be granted before contractors can open our email packets; and that there are wise people overseeing the sniffing programs.
Humans, as we know, are fallible, have bad days, have bad intentions, and screw up all the time. I do not trust any well-intentioned spying or data mining operation that seeks to find out what we're talking about to who.
I say the White House must notify any Americans, in writing, whose electronic traffic it has stopped and not found useful. In other words, if my email is being read and discarded as not criminal or dangerous, then the government must tell me. Just an idea; that way, innocent Americans know their information is being captured.
I found it odd that a week after Americans went crazy nuts over learning that privacy is not real, the CIA told Congress that it had foiled dozens and dozens of terrorist plots since starting the communications-mining program. The timing was meant to convince Americans that the program was necessary to stop attacks.
What about all the conversations between Boston and Chechnya? Didn't stop the Brothers Karama-bomb from killing and maiming. In fact, the FSB (once the KGB) and the FBI were in full conversation about the two brothers and they couldn't stop those two. So any arguments that reading and listening en masse to our digital traffic is necessary to halt terrorist attacks make no sense to me.

Key West predicts hurricane this year

Locals in Key West are nodding their heads as summer heats up.  There will be a storm this year. Why? Higher tempeatures than usual and a two-week rain field that stalled over Key West. The wind and the soggy skies continue to flow in from the southeast, the direction from which most storms come.
Also, there is a dust that coats car windshields and the surfaces of swimming pools in backyards. That's sand from the Sahara following the high-level wind currents that flow steadily from the coast of Africa westward.
It's time to get the gallon jugs of water; batteries, candles, hand-cranked radios and gas generators. Also, booze, cigarettes, and well, it's up to one's own needs.
There still is no shelter for Keys residents on the mainland. We used to drive to Florida International University in Miami and hang out in a large building there, but that is no longer available to Key Westers. The governor, who is a staunch, right-wing Republican, hasn't yet named a new mainland shelter for us liberals down here in the bottom of the Keys.
I hope someone is listening to his electronic traffic.

Talk to you all soon!
John Guerra

No comments:

Post a Comment