Tag: Security

Increased Security Around The Capitol – What It Means

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducted a surreal news conference today. While defending the continued presence of nearly 10,000 Army National Guard troops in the nation’s capitol, she called for more funding to help protect Members of Congress “from the enemy within.”

What?

That brought back McCarthyite statements and tactics from the 1950’s (and a certain 1994 movie). Then again, McCarthyism (Joseph, not the “Kevin” variety) has been on full display by Democrats for several weeks now. But since American history is no longer taught in schools, it seems, few of any know the sordid tale of the late US Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI), and his “Army-McCarthy” hearings. It was a dark episode in modern American history, but a turning point.

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Following the attacks of September 11th, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), creating the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). The TSA replaced private security screening companies with one government agency. Since then, air travelers have bowed to pat downs, bans on water bottles and other inconvenient, intrusive procedures as the “new normal” at […]

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Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the US Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety

 

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety“In America we say if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned.” — Professor Jonathan Haidt

It’s a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world. Americans in particular are obsessed with “safety.” The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: “A kid might get hurt.”

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is “reasonable.” Banning lawn darts, for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Dr. Anthony Fauci blow up a litany of media conspiracy theories about how he and President Trump are at odds and Jim slams the press for covering the coronavirus like a political debate. They also strongly correct Trump’s contention that he has absolute authority but also get dizzy watching the media call him authoritarian one day and demand he shut down the country the next. And they shake their heads at more evidence China was sloppy at their labs long before the outbreak.

It always feels good to make it to Friday, but this week it’s especially welcome. Join Jim and Greg as they discuss reports that we may be days away from a national lockdown that closes airlines, the markets, and forbids millions from commuting to work. They also groan as a number of U.S. senators face lots of questions after selling off stocks before the market plummeted over coronavirus fears. And as three New Hampshire residents sue Gov. Chris Sununu over his allegedly unconstitutional order banning gatherings of more than 50 people,they discuss the tensions between freedom and safety.

How to Crack Excel Files

 

This all starts with Mike Mahoney. Mahoney was the Excel guy, two Excel guys ago. To his credit, he wrote pretty good stuff. His macros don’t break often. Everything would have been cool except he was writing these things when Excel 2003 was the hot new thing. Mahoney was also excellent about locking things down from accidental damage. Trouble is, nobody remembers his passwords. Breaking through his protections makes an excellent case study on how to secure and how to bypass the security on an excel workbook.

Not even swordfish works.

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Note: @garyrobbins issued a challenge to match his upgrade of level on Ricochet. While I could not upgrade to meet his challenge, I proposed to meet his challenge in another way. I would provide uplifting spiritual fodder in our mutual Unity tradition to give him a reason to see Ricochet as a place of spiritual, […]

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Security: A Movie Review

 

I’m not a film aficionado. The fact that John Wick didn’t win an Oscar was scandalous. But last night, tired, sore, and frustrated (reasons for which will be in my next Group Writing submission, I think on November 5), I needed an excuse to drink as much as I required to be able to get some sleep. I fired up Netflix and hit whatever came up first in the “we recommend for you” category.

The movie was Security, it was outstanding. Classic scrappy, outgunned underdogs fight to keep the MacGuffin away from totally well-trained, well-equipped, thoroughly evil antagonists. A great set up for any storyline. As I’ve read and believed repeatedly, all good stories are basically conservative. So I got ready to watch a rote, pro forma guns ‘n’ explosive fireballs movie. Security was that, and much, much more.

“C’mon, it’s a shoot ’em up, how great could it be?” asks the philistine who thinks it fitting that John Wick didn’t win an Academy Award. They did three things making this movie that put it over the top.

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In 1992 I was working campus security to make a couple extra dollars. This being an election year, Clinton picked the University of Oregon as a campaign spot and was schedule to speak at Autzen stadium, the university’s basketball court which I previously only experienced as an arena to select classes (I just don’t care […]

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Make America Safe Again, Free-Market-Style

 
Hundreds of passengers wait in the TSA security line at Nashville International Airport. (James R. Martin / Shutterstock, Inc.)

“Why do you always say that we have failed miserably when it comes to handling terror threats?” The question was offered in a less-than-sober setting by an adjunct professor in political science, and even though all in attendance were at varying stages of drunkenness, my reply was sober. “United and American Airlines are still in business.”

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…for Democratic Party Presidential candidate and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Sunday’s town hall debate. In no particular order: You’ve said repeatedly that you “take responsibility” for your use of a private, unsecured email server to conduct official State Department business. What concrete actions have you actually done that constitutes an actual taking of […]

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After seeing excerpts of the president’s LAST speech to the U.N. assembly, I have to wonder. Considering how the rest of the world views him (a joke, clown, weak but arrogant—and those are mild!), could he actually become Secretary? His comments brought to mind Benjamin Franklin’s admonishment,”Those who would sacrifice some liberty for temporary security, […]

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Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence”—and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a US government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News. This is about the 22 Top […]

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[This is a piece I wrote this morning for our local group here in Baltimore. It will be publicly issued, probably later today.] Last night the Baltimore City Police and community organizations held a meeting in the JCC Auditorium to discuss crime. It was very well attended, and we heard many testimonials by victims of […]

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I’ve been talking with someone who manages cybersecurity operations. He tells me one of the most effective security measures for consumer and employee PCs is also the simplest. If you’re just browsing the internet or using common programs, log into a user account without Administrator privileges, such as a Guest account. Whatever authorities your active […]

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Security So Tight at the G20 Even a Gnat Couldn’t Get In … Oh, Wait

 

So yesterday, the heads of the Group of 20 leading world economies arrived in the resort city of Antalya, in Turkey, for a two-day summit. The hotels housing the attendees were separated from the rest of the neighborhood by thousands of barricades. Only accredited visitors were given access to the area. The governor of Antalya, Muammer Türker, proudly announced they’d installed more than 350 new security cameras, and had also inaugurated license plate and facial recognition systems to prevent unauthorized access. The Coast Guard was deployed off the coast of Antalya to interdict threats from sea. Officials were considering establishing a no-fly zone over the area. Some 12,000 police and soldiers were deployed, and the Turkish military promised ’round-the-clock air defences. Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, who is coordinating the summit, affirmed that security was at its highest level:

“As some 35 or 36 delegations, including the world’s 20 most prominent countries, as well as heads of state, will be at the summit, we don’t see any security weakness.”

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Toronto police warned hackers of the Ashley Madison infidelity website that their actions “won’t be tolerated,” and said there are two unconfirmed suicides linked to the breach. “This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world,” said Staff Supt. Bryce Evans at a Monday morning news conference. Preview Open

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