Well, folks, they’ve finally done it. They’ve destroyed the Internet.

Everything us techies have been saying for years has been proven. We haven’t been paranoid at all, and our worst fears are true. The US government (with the collusion of the UK too) has been planting backdoors in software for years, and they can now decrypt virtually everything. You know those https links that you rely on for “security”? Bullshit.

Oh sure, it’s still running and everything. But this means that every email you ever read, every SMS message you ever wrote, every picture you sent privately, every purchase you made with your credit card — as well as your credit card information, your personal information, your Social Security number and all your private medical information — has been compromised. The NSA now has something on everyone, and if it’s true that the average American commits three felonies a day just by accident then they can blackmail or jail almost anyone they want with the information at their disposal.

All those people who claimed all these years with their big flapping mouths “Well, I have nothing to hide, so I don’t mind” are morally to blame for this too. I hope all their most private lives get blasted all over Facebook for their friends to giggle over and perfect strangers to scam and threaten them over. I’m sick of them.

Here’s the worst part, somewhat buried in this great article on the Guardian, and BTW I would like to nominate Glenn Greenwald for the Pulitzer Prize (and Edward Snowden for some sort of world prize as well):

The NSA describes strong decryption programs as the “price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace”.

What that means is that the US Government doesn’t actually believe in a free Internet at all. They only allow you to think you’re free because they have been secretly controlling it all along.

So, they’re no better than the Chinese government, which censors its citizens openly. In a way they’re worse, because they let you say whatever you want, and then they can come back later and make you pay for it.

No wonder Homeland Security wanted all those bullets.

Update: Bruce Schneier has said this more eloquently in many more words.

Last night Susan and I went to an awesome concert at Three Stages in Folsom featuring BeauSoleil Quartet avec Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney & Flambeau.

I just can’t tell you how awesome this was. I haven’t heard much Cajun or Zydeco music since my last trip to New Orleans (about 15 years ago…how time flies…) and even so, I never would have expected anything this good. These two world-class bands were just amazing.

Michael Doucet not only played up a storm, but also told interesting stories about many of the tunes (while looking a bit like a tall Cajun Santa Claus). Tom Rigney gave a good impression of a mad Cajun leprechaun onstage. Any member of his band Flambeau would be comfortably accepted in any blues band I’ve ever seen.

The best part is that you don’t have to be into Zydeco, Cajun or even blues to dig these guys with their perfect mix of high energy and mellowed-out musicianship, perfected to the last note. Just don’t miss either one if they’re anywhere near you!

As someone who has been observing the medical marijuana movement, I experienced a sort of “bong hit of irony” when I saw the headline “Obama Creates Jobs Program For Illegals” on the Drudge Report yesterday. It wasn’t just due to the fact that Obama’s administration has been running around closing and prosecuting well-run, state-legal medical marijuana facilities (after their explicit announcement to the contrary), but because of Obama’s often-repeated hand-wringing to the effect that he couldn’t personally change the status of marijuana, because that’s a job for Congress.

Well, Obama just did just that, by exercising “prosecutorial discretion” in an announcement that certain illegal immigrants would no longer be deported, but allowed to stay here and even work legally. Reason magazine reasonably asked Why can Obama bend the law for young immigrants, but not for drug users? To me, it’s not “drug users” that need protection, but legitimate medical patients who just happen to need cannabis for their particular illness. Do we demonize people who are unlucky enough to need opiates to kill their horrific pain?

So, President Obama, if you really want to help law-abiding Americans with jobs, why not do something to protect the hard-working, law-abiding Americans who happen to need legal medical cannabis to treat their conditions from losing their jobs, simply for testing positive for the harmless substance they already acknowledge to be taking? It’s not like anyone is deliberately contracting cancer, AIDS, depression, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, Crohn’s, etc. just so they can smoke a joint.

I said it almost 15 years ago, and now it’s gotten worse.

Back then it was Bill Clinton being hailed by idiots far and wide as “the first black president”, even though he was patently not black and barely acting presidential.

Now, Newsweek — a once-respected publication that was recently sold for the princely sum of $1 — has published a cover on which Barack Obama is touted as “the first gay president”, apparently based solely on his new, “sort-of-favoring-gay-marriage” political position.

I rest my case.

Unless, of course, BHO is planning to admit to all those gay rumors that have been swirling about for years…

Update: The Atlantic has gone this story one better, pointing out how Obama has even been called “The First Jewish President”, “The First Female President”, and a host of other stupidisms. And they reminded me that it was Tina Brown who was the editor of The New Yorker when a writer in that publication called Clinton “the first black president” (and is the current editor of Newsweek). Sorry, I don’t generally follow the careers of people like that (rich, entitled liberals).

My sister Cheryl started acting seriously a few years ago (as opposed to acting silly, which she’s been perfecting her entire life), and her latest achievement is starring as Abby Brewster in a very cool production of Arsenic and Old Lace in Vallejo (which closes this weekend). The play (and she) got pretty good reviews in the Benicia Herald (and also in the Vallejo Times-Herald, but they’re too stupidly greedy to keep articles online from less than a month ago on the off chance they can get some sucker to pay $3 each to read them).

Actor Bios

Actor Bios

But don’t just go to see Cheryl. The production is damn good in general, especially Scott Slagle’s cheerfully loony Teddy Brewster and Erik Donovan Cox as his brother Jonathan, who managed to pull off some world-class creepy. Just what the doctor ordered for the part, and in this case I could also be talking about Dr. Einstein (not that Einstein!), well played by Remington Stone. Also they have senior and student discounts. Bonus: the theater is surrounded by great little Asian restaurants (I managed to score some Vietnamese noodle take-out during intermission).

Cheryl Fiedler with Steven Fiedler

Two Actors, No Hamming