Thursday, June 26, 2014

Obama Responsible for the Pending Demise of Iraq

Obama has fostered the events leading to the pending demise of Iraq. This is a very CasualObservation based on conjecture.

Obama for many many years has been publicly calling for the ouster of Assad. On one hand Obama asserts that he is not after regime change, but on the other he has been calling for support of the so-called rebels in Syria. Clearly Obama is after regime change.  Just today, the Washington Post published: "Obama seeks $500M to train, equip Syrian rebels".  Given the chaotic situation in Syria, how does Obama intend to restrict this proposed assistance to only "good" rebels?

It will be virtually impossible. The "good" and "bad" rebels for one switch sides. Even if they don't, what is to stop the "bad" rebels from acquiring equipment through theft or other means? Even NPR noted that some of the assistance to "good" rebels fell into the hands of "bad" rebels. "A shipment of Croatian weapons sent to moderate fighters, with U.S. knowledge, a year ago, ended up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked groups." But I am digressing from my topic that Obama's actions have led to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (also called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)) "invading" Iraq.

Really this is quite simple. Obama by destabilizing Syria and supplying covert assistance to Islamic radicals in Syria enabled ISIS to expand and form "safe areas" in Syria. From those "safe areas", ISIS was able to grow to the point that it could invade Iraq.

On June 22, 2014 I stumbled upon a CNN interview between Candy Crowley and Rand Paul. I was quite amazed that Rand Paul had already reached the same conclusion.
PAUL: ... But now we have a chaotic situation.  We have a vacuum.  And I think one of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we have been arming their allies.  We have been allied with ISIS in Syria.  They have had a safe haven because we have been arming the rebels to keep Assad away from them. ... 
Then today, on MSNBC, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) acknowledge that the growth of ISIS was an unintended consequence of the support that the ISIS received from various countries. Utube video here: "Rep. Schiff Discusses Situation in Iraq on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports". 

American Prosperity ran the following article: "Militant Islamic Group ISIS Trained at U.S. Base in Jordan". (The validity of the story by American Prosperity is unknown to me.)
Jordanian officials recently revealed that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS) were trained in 2012 by U.S. military instructors at a secret base in Jordan. 

Of course, this raises the obvious question: Why did the American military train dangerous Islamic militants?

Answer: Because they were being trained with the intent of overthrowing the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad.

Jordanian officials claimed these Syrian rebels were screened to ensure they had no ties to Al-Qaeda or any other overly radical Islamic group. They also said that this training had no intention of being used in Iraq. 

However, these good foreign policy intentions have backfired on the Obama Administration in a big way. Especially since the President declared an end to combat operations in Iraq nearly four years ago.
Obama, through an ineffective foreign policy and through support of the so-called rebels in Syria has abetted the rise of ISIS and contributed to the pending demise of IRAQ.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 Broke the Apache2 Link to Index.html

I have a webpage that can be accessed across the home network. Upgrading Ubuntu to version 14.04 unfortunately broke the connection to "index.html". The fix was actually quite easy, once found. And that was the problem finding it.

It turns out that a new directory was created during the upgrade process under: "/var/www/". That new directory is labelled: "html".  Moving "index.html" into the directory: "/var/www/html" solved the issue.

The solution was found in this post: "Why is my Apache not working after upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04?" This post also refers to: "Where to place my local website starting with the 2.4.7 version of apache2?"

More information can be found here: "HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server".

In searching for a solution to the broken link, I was able to solve two other minor irritants with Apache that did not seem to cause any problems other than occasionally spitting an error message.

One error message was: "AH00558: apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using Set the 'ServerName' directive globally to suppress this message." The solution was contained in this post: "Problem with restarting Apache2 [duplicate]". The solution is to add the line: "ServerName localhost" to the "/etc/apache2/apache2.conf" file.

# Global configuration
ServerName localhost
The other error message: "AH00671: The Alias directive in /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/phpmyadmin.conf at line 3 will probably never match because it overlaps an earlier Alias."
This error originated from the file: "/etc/apache2/conf-enabled/httpd.conf".  Turns out that this file has been deprecated. For whatever reason, it was still on my computer. Commenting out the line below, by adding the "#" symbol at the beginning of the line resolved the error message.
# Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf
Should you note any errors in what I wrote or have other comments, please comment.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Net Neutrality - The Devil is in the Details

A few days ago the FCC voted to start the rule making process concerning net neutrality.  TechDirt reported: "NY Times And Washington Post Describe Yesterday's Net Neutrality Vote In Diametrically Opposite Ways". Of particular concern is the heading: "The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to move forward with a set of proposed rules aimed at guaranteeing an open Internet prohibiting high-speed Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against legal content flowing through their pipes." (emphasis added) in the New York Times. So who gets to define the words "legal content" and the subsequent consequences?

Will the content producers be the ones defining what is legal and illegal? If so, it makes a mockery of the judicial process. Technically, if someone believes an action is illegal, they take it to court and present facts to obtain a judgment. I seriously doubt that the content industry wants to be contained by the relatively slow and cumbersome judicial process. Instead, they would probably wish to take immediate action with absurdly minimal proof against anyone they whimsically designate as an offender.

What about the rights of the supposed offender? If the content producers can unilaterally designate someone as an offender, what are their rights to refute those charges?  Will there be penalties imposed on those making false claims of illegal activity? If not; that would allow the content producers to accuse and take punitive action against anyone without the fear of consequences. This would be a violation of due process. Basically, justice by intimidation.

Will the content producers be able to read your content? To assess whether content is "legal" or not, would appear to imply that the content producers would have an opportunity to conduct warrantless wiretapping on content. Reading a persons' content stream to assess whether they are being legal or illegal would be a violation of due process. Technically, to have a wiretap put into place one needs substantial verifiable suspicion that a crime is being committed.

Making the ISP providers the "police" to protect the content producers. This is actually quite repulsive. The basic responsibility of the ISPs is to deliver content. Not to interfere with the delivery of that content. The content producers should not be able to demand that the ISPs read content to protect them (the content producers) and/or to take any adverse action against the supposed offender. For example, if you believe that an illegal action is being taken in a nearby house, you can't simply walk up to a random third person and demand that they be the ones to break into that house to find and arrest any suspected burglar. That is supposed to the responsibility of the police and the judicial system.

Who would pay for the ISP "police".  The answer unfortunately is quite obvious, the consumer through increased subscription fees.  Forcing the ISPs to act as "police" places a resource burden on them.  Consequently, it should be the content producers that should pay the ISPs "police" since the ISPs would be working for the direct and sole benefit of the content producers.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ukraine/Syria - US Foreign Policy Madness

Russia invades Crimea (located in the Ukraine) and attempts to destabilize the Ukraine as an independent sovereign country, in clear violation of international law. The Obama administration with great indignity and fanfare accuses Russia of interfering with Ukrainian sovereignty. But wait!

The Obama administration is violating the sovereignty of Syria in clear violation of international law by arming supposed rebels in Syria. Washington Post article: "Syrian rebels who received first U.S. missiles of war see shipment as ‘an important first step". Essentially both Putin and Obama are reading from the same foreign relations script. Both falsely justify the need to interfere in other countries based on fabricated trumped-up moral obligations. Putin to "protect" Russians, Obama to "protect" Syrian civilians from an evil tyrant.

Obama in denouncing Russia once again utterly demonstrates that his rhetoric is nothing more than meaningless hot-air. Obama, like Putin, does not feel constrained by any laws. Laws are simply something to be whimsically applied and/or ignored as needed for political purposes. For Putin, the persecution of the band Pussy Riot. For Obama to use the IRS to persecute the "Tea Party".

Russia needs to be denounced for violating the sovereignty of the Ukraine. With that in mind, the US has no business arming so-called rebels in Syria since it is a violation of Syrian sovereignty. Arming the so-called rebels is Syria keeps the war going and only prolongs the humanitarian tragedy in Syria. That is blatantly contrary to Obama's publicly disclosed assertions that he is not pursing regime change in Syria. Obama has once again demonstrated to the world that his flowery rhetoric is devoid of both value and substance, and that the rule-of-law does not apply to him.  Obama cannot be trusted.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Neel Kashkari - Blame Bush Resurrected?

Neel Kashkari, a Republican candidate for the Governorship of California, recently made an outstandingly idiotic comment on CNBC.  The recent Republican fiscal stance has been been promoting spending control and reduction of the National debt. Joe Kernen asked Kashkari, given that California now has a budget surplus, if some of that money would be used to pay-down California's debt.  The response by Kashkari was the unbelievable prostration that economic measures were needed to stimulate the California economy. A non-answer to Kernen's question. The "between the lines" take-away, another excuse not to address the debt issue.

Mr. Kashkari, is only one Republican and does not define the Republican party's fiscal policies. Nevertheless, his comments, may be a chilling harbinger of what might happen should the Republicans take control of the US government. Will the Republicans, like the Democrats, abandon fiscal responsibility in favor of continued deficit spending to "gift" their base "freebies"?  Will the Republican, once elected, repeat the irresponsible tax policies of Blame Bush?

PS: I could not locate the actual video clip were this exchange took place. Here is one clip from that day.  I would agree that high frequency trading should be regulated.