Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Call For Ending The Debate

Peggy Noonan is glad to see the families of the victims of last week's massacre so forgiving...but she will not extend that courtesy to those who wish to bringing up what needs to be done to prevent another one from happening.

Charleston deserves something, a bow. So too do the beautiful people who go to Wednesday night Bible study in America in 2015. They are the people who are saving America every day, completely unheralded, and we can hardly afford to lose them.

There’s only one thing Charleston doesn’t deserve. People apart from the trauma, far away, have already begun to bring their political agenda items to the tragedy and make sure they are debated. Because this is the right time for a political debate, right?

Here’s an idea: Why don’t you leave the grieving alone right now? Why don’t you not impose your agenda items on them? Why don’t you not force them to debate while they have tears in their throats?

Don’t politicize their pain. Don’t turn this into a debate on a flag or guns. Don’t use it to make your points and wave your finger from your high horse.

These people are doing it right without you.

They are loving each other and helping each other. Let them grieve in peace. And respect them as what they are, heroic.

So when is it the right time for this debate that America never seems to have?  Next week?  Next month?  Next year?  When do those of us who said time and time again that America's domestic terrorism problems and documented hate groups would become an issue get to have a word?  Every time another massacre happens, those of us who want to have the debate are told "It's too soon!" and to shut up and go away, and the speed at which this silencing happens to the black community in America often breaks the sound barrier.

Why does Peggy Noonan get to decide when America has this debate? She does not speak for me, and she will never have earned that right from me. I sure as hell won't be silenced by her arrogant ignorance, and neither should anyone else.

Stuff it, Nooners.  The President is ahead of you again.

Secret Serivce Sidearm Silliness

Tucker Carlson makes an argument fit to lose on FOX and Friends: if President Obama hates guns so much, why does the Secret Service have them?

“The president has said a number of times guns are the problem, guns cause violence,” Carlson complained. “There’s nobody in the world surrounded by more armed people than President Obama himself. I notice he’s not suggesting the people around him disarm. He wants to remain protected, but the rest of us have to go without means to self-protection.”

Left-leaning Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene found Carlson’s remarks offense.

“To say that the president of the United States is hypocritical because he has people with guns around him, Tucker, that is beneath this discussion,” Green explained. “You are trying to compared Secret Service armed people to someone who walks into a church and kills nine people.”

“And to say the president doesn’t have a right to talk about gun control because people with him have guns?” she continued. “Is that literally where we are as a country, to compare that he shouldn’t have protection?”

“The president’s position is that guns cause violence, guns are inherently bad and dangerous,” Carlson opined. “The rest of us need to disarm and not protect ourselves. And he’s exempt from that?”

“The president did not say guns are inherently bad,” Greene replied. “The president is saying we’ve had this conversation too many times and there is something we can do about it. There was something we could do about it after Newtown, there was something we could have done about it after Columbine.”

Jehmu Greene is absolutely right.  If every American who owned a firearm had the kind of firearms training that the US Secret Service does and was under the same restrictions and rules governing their use, why, we'd have something like the "well-regulated militia" mentioned in the Second Amendment.

The problem (as Greene points out) is the nation full of gun fetishist who don't want to use guns responsibly, but as a means to intimidate others, as replacements for virility, and for bullying those who otherwise may disagree.  These are not responsible gun owners.  Secret Service, police officers and military soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have firearms are trained to use them and held responsible for misusing them (and yes, I'm well aware of there's a huge debate as to the degree of responsibility police in particular are held to).

But the issue remains, if Americans had to fill out paperwork every time they had to fire their pistols or rifles, maybe we wouldn't have the gun culture that we have today.

Sunday Long Read: God Of Lightning

This week's Sunday Long Read is the story of ZeuS, the most infamous bank-robbing malware suite in the industry, that has led a nine-year campaign to plunder millions of accounts across the world.

In any global outbreak, it’s important to identify Patient Zero. In the movies, you get a leggy Gwyneth Paltrow. In the nine-year online epidemic that helped create cybercrime as we know it, you get “fliime.”

That was the name used by somebody who went on the online forum on October 11, 2006, at 2:24 a.m., saying he’d found some bad code on his sister’s computer. “Could someone please take a look at this,” he wrote.

Fliime probably didn’t realize this was history in the making. But the malicious program that had burrowed into the PC was a new breed, capable of vacuuming up more user logins and website passwords in one day than competing malware did in weeks. With repeated enhancements, the malware and its offspring became juggernauts of cyber bank robbery—turning millions of computers into global networks of zombie machines enslaved by criminals. Conservative estimates of their haul reach well into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Investigators studying the code knew its creator only by aliases that changed almost as frequently as the malware itself: A-Z, Monstr, Slavik, Pollingsoon, Umbro, Lucky1235. But the mystery coder gave his product a name with staying power; he called it ZeuS. Like the procreation-minded god of Greek mythology, this ZeuS fathered powerful descendants—and became a case study of the modern cybercrime industry.

This is the story of a nasty piece of code, and the hunt for its creator.

Who is behind ZeuS and why?  The FBI believes it's a Russian hacker who has been on the run for years, and they are no closer to catching him now then they were in 2006. And ZeuS's source code is now all over the internet and in the hands of crooks and thieves across the globe. The big banks are scared and the small banks are terrified.

And they should be.
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