Monday, May 5, 2008

I really do wish that the idiots in our Federal government would quit mucking around with the Social Security Administration.  They have underfunded it for years.  Now they want to give SSA the responsibility for administering the Employee Verification program at the cost of $1 billion for just the first year.  At a time when the time lag for processing disability claims is approaching three years??  When large numbers of baby boom workers will begin claiming retirement benefits??  I rather doubt that the legislatures are going to provide adequate funds even if we didn't have a president who would rather eliminate SSA entirely and loves to veto such legislation.  But then this asinine proposal makes sense from his point of view.  He couldn't destroy it by privatizing it and converting it into a poverty program.  Instead, he can do what he did to FEMA--strangle it and make it so incompetent we will be glad to get rid of it.  I can hardly wait for the self-righteous moron to leave.  I just hope we don't have McCain, as Obama said, completing 'George Bush's third term.' 

You know the food situation is getting bad when Europe's central bankers take note.  I just wish these guys wouldn't continue tooting the free market horn.  The people most in need of help are those who can least afford the price increase.  Oh, I forgot.  Their concern is with inflation, not starvation.  The situation in south Asia has Thailand proposing an OPEC-style carted to help control the supply and price of rice and the U.N. warning that desperately needed food aid will be very inadequate and very expensive.  I read a later article that said that Thailand has withdrawn the proposal for a rice cartel because of objections from the Philippines and other major players. I hope this isn't the wave of the future.  However, some economists I have heard say that we are at the beginning of what may, if historical precedents are any guide, a two- to three-year increase. 

If the American middle class is feeling like the lone ranger when it comes to the recent price hikes all they have to do is look at other countries to find that our misery has plenty of company.

According to This Week in Congress at, the Justice Department has proposed that it be allowed to collect DNA samples from anyone ARRESTED for a federal crime.  Last I heard the traditional presumption that one is innocent till proven guilty had not been stricken from our judicial theory.  I don't mind the idea of collecting DNA from those convicted of violent federal crimes.  I seriously do mind the notion of collecting DNA from anyone merely on arrest.  Besides, what would that do for solving the worst crimes.  Murder, rape, arson are all prosecuted under state laws not the federal unless they occur on federal land or involve federal officials.  Me thinks this is merely a way of pushing a national database on all citizens. When will they propose that some agency collect DNA samples of all children at birth?

Last fall I read about the cyber-attacks against Estonia which at the time Estonia blamed on Russia.  This little article indicates just how difficult such attacks are for anyone to trace.  The Times of India has accused hackers working for the Chinese government of attacking Indian on-line assets.  I wonder if this is another wave of the future.  How can you separate cyber-criminals from cyber-terrorists from cyber-spies?  And how can you deal with the problem.

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