The Sony cyberattack - apparently state-sponsored - obviously raises solemn concerns, including national…
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Google Seeks to Exploit Sony Cyberattack for Its Own Self-Interest

The Sony cyberattack - apparently state-sponsored - obviously raises solemn concerns, including national security and the very safety of American citizens.

Accordingly, immediate public discussion should focus primarily upon the gravity of the attack and how the Internet, one of the most transformative and beneficial innovations in human history, can sometimes become a tool for those with destructive and even deadly intent.  While Sony Pictures, its employees, and its customers were the immediate victims this time, the reality is that this could happen to anyone and any enterprise.  In fact, such attacks on other companies and individuals occur at an alarmingly accelerating pace.

Leave it to Google, however, to attempt to profit from the attack and leverage it on behalf of its own…[more]

December 19, 2014 • 03:09 pm

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As Economy Flounders, Obama Focuses on What Americans Eat, Smoke and Drive Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, July 07 2011
And what fiddle has the emperor chosen during the conflagration? Obama, ever the blunderbuss, has invested his energies in a troika of nanny state initiatives aimed at intervening in the minutia of everyday American life.

Delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress in February 2009, Barack Obama told the assembled legislators that his plans for a federal spending binge of nearly a trillion dollars was “not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t.” Rather, he said, the stimulus plan was intended to “put people back to work and put money in their pockets.” 

More than two years after that speech, two things are clear: Obama’s empirical projections were inaccurate and his ideological protestations were disingenuous. Indeed, the stimulus plan was not, as Obama tried to frame it, a triumph of supposed pragmatism over ideology (ala George W. Bush’s “I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system”). Rather, it was a leading indicator of the fact that Obama not only believes in big government, but in fact believes in virtually nothing else.

Consider America 29 months after Obama’s bold initiative to “put people back to work and put money in their pockets." Unemployment is over nine percent. Fuel and food prices are skyrocketing.  The housing market is still in the doldrums, with most economists expecting a further decline as the year moves on.

Yet despite the continued misery, Obama shows no sign of relenting. In fact, he shows little sign of doing anything at all. His big-spending budget was voted down by the Senate 97-0 earlier in the year – and that after more than two years in which congressional Democrats refused to pass a budget of their own, lest they be held politically accountable. Meanwhile, the nation rapidly approaches its debt limit, inflation nears Jimmy Carter levels (when using the same methodology used in Carter’s day) and long-term unemployment is worse than it was during the Great Depression.

And what fiddle has the emperor chosen during the conflagration? Obama, ever the blunderbuss, has invested his energies in a troika of nanny state initiatives aimed at intervening in the minutia of everyday American life.

First, there’s the endless quest to nose around in Americans’ eating habits, a crusade led by First Lady Michelle Obama. Were this the kind of feckless Rose Garden rubbish we’re used to hearing from first ladies, it might be benign through force of inertia. But – as always with the Obamas – there’s a price tag attached. The First Lady’s concern over so-called “food deserts” – urban areas where grocery stores are supposedly too far afield for the indigent to have access to fresh produce – has inspired her push for $400 million in federal spending to remedy the ill. The only problem? A report from Obama’s own Department of Agriculture shows that poor Americans actually live closer to grocery stores than wealthy ones.

Then there’s the endless progressive jihad against smokers. Leave aside for a moment the unseemly irony that liberals castigate the tobacco industry while relying on its customers for an endless supply of tax revenue. Now they’re adding shame to confiscation by having Obama’s Food and Drug Administration unveil grisly new warning labels featuring images of corpses and a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole. As with the obesity issue, however, the vast majority of Americans are already well aware of the health risks associated with smoking. And, yet again, a study prepared for the Obama FDA indicated that the labels have little real effect on smoking habits.

Finally, there’s that most sacrosanct of American possessions: the automobile. When the Obama Administration isn’t busy carpet-bombing subsidies into hybrid vehicles, it’s trying to get the rest of the nation’s auto fleet to more closely resemble their green brethren. That’s why the White House is currently pushing for a 56 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard by 2025 (by point of reference, the Toyota Prius doesn’t even go that high).  But the moral purity of Obama’s goals can’t obviate the unintended consequences. Higher fuel efficiency standards generally mean lighter, less safe vehicles. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences estimates that increases in fuel economy in the 1970s and 1980s led to 1,300 to 2,600 more auto accident fatalities per year.

Two years ago, the president told us that he doesn’t believe in big government. At this point, however, it’d be something just short of reassuring if he admitted that statement was a lie. At least then we’d understand why he proceeds apace while all the facts point in the opposite direction.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Americans was the first to successfully fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Obama is hardly the first president to seek rapprochement with our adversaries and reconciliation with our enemies, of course. But his determination to make nice -- even in the face of clear and repeated rejection from the other side -- is unparalleled. For Obama and his team, diplomacy with rogue regimes is an end in itself, and any deal, however one-sided, is a win, especially one that the White…[more]
 
 
—Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard
— Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard
 
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Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. opening diplomatic relations with Cuba?