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What a crazy day. Headlines are just writing themselves…. Crossfire in Wilmington wounds two ladies just sitting on their porch…..

Is Williams qualified as mayor to take the reins and go forward?  He certainly ran as such.  But since, we have gotten only talk…

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.”

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing.

Then another one goes down….

“I’ll get it. I’ll get it… It just takes time ( ghost of Mayor Baker?)… You see, it’s the neighborhood, the bad family life..(ghost of Mayor Baker?).  We’re going to crack down.  We’re going to stop this senseless killing…

How long has this been going on?

The answer of what needs to happen is pretty obvious.  As cautioned elsewhere, Mayor Williams needs to stop saying “stop and frisk.”  Just the sound of that causes trouble…

Instead, round up everyone you see loitering or jaywalking and take them in for processing…  The ordnances are already on the books and everyone is frisked before going into a police car…  Nothing illegal at all.

Start saying “we’ll clear the streets of loiterers and jaywalkers.”… then do it.  The difference will be evident in just one day.

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I was awaiting the Mayor’s comments on what he would do about the violence in our city….

“Nothing. It’s the Parent’s fault” he said. If one remembers the campaign taking place just a year ago last week, one remembers the current mayor Dennis Williams as a candidate lambasting the former Baker administration and its proxy, Bill Montgomery, for echoing these same exact sentiments.

“You’re not doing anything about it; blaming vague root causes is not going to take care of the real problem, which is bullets flying up and down our city streets!” he repeated many times of his campaign.

This week’s announcement was a tremendous statement. It acknowledges failure. When one falls back upon the same defenses as one’s political opponent, that means one has failed.

Blaming vague routes for the problem. Here is the reaction to Dennis’s statement.

“Ok, Dennis. You are mayor. Fix it.. Fix every parent taking care of their child. How are you going to do that?”

The answer is no one can do that. No one can pass an enforceable law demanding good parenting. Therefore using this excuse is one’s acknowledgement that it can’t be fixed. The solution is then still out there, still needed. There are very viable solutions out there to counter this problem; and answers come from recognizing first what the problem is.

The real problem is heroin. Come right out and say it… I will take the liberty to write here how Dennis “should have” handled the question…

=====

Hi, I’m Dennis Williams, and I approve of this message. When I took over as mayor of the City of Wilmington, little did I know that the tightening of the control of prescription drugs would become so effective, it would make heroin the least expensive alternative. The heroin business in Wilmington is booming. When criminal businesses, which are businesses run by rules outside the canons of law, become profitable, they change ownership by means also outside the canons of law.

Heroin is dealt in this fashion these days. A supplier drives in from a safe spot outside, drops off prepackaged bags, and gives you a bill of sale. If you choose to deal, you sell the product, then pay the seller for his money. If the seller doesn’t get his cut, you don’t last long. Now you have to sell. You sell heroin compartmentalized so no one knows the whole operation. One person you pick makes contacts at Glasgow High, another at Brandywine, you pick one at Olive Garden, one at Red Lobster, etc. One sells to the local IBEW; another supplies Bank of America. These are people you know; and they sell to people they know.

Bringing it on property is too dangerous. They deal in phone numbers. A cell phone number puts you in touch with a guy on the street corner. You call, say who gave you the number, and get told where to make the transaction. You put the address in your GPS, and drive. You call, he comes over to say hi, you say hi back and hand him the money, he drops the bag in your car, says have a nice evening, and you drive off…. You and your friends share the heroin and take off to go clubbing in Philly with no more thought to it than like having a beer before hitting the road.

Obviously the sectors close to exits off 95 are prime commercial real estate. Most of our shootings happen right off 202 and 95. Easy off – easy on. If you are selling down-stream, you get fewer customers… If you are selling $200 a night, and the guys up the street whom you can plainly see are doing $2000 a night, you are going to look at all options on how to increase you sales. In this business, it is all about location.

Almost all our shootings are a result of drug trafficking. Whether for non-payment, for elimination, or for reprisals, almost all our shootings are related to this industry… Very similar I might add, the same way all of Chicago’s shootings were related to the illegal alcohol trafficked through the Prohibition years in that metropolitan area.

Changes are required beyond me to fix this problem completely. For this is an ongoing war that can never be won by using the same weapons we’ve been using over the past 50 years. People are resourceful; if they want something they find a way to get it, around every roadblock we can impose. They do not stop wanting this product. The alcohol violence in Chicago only went away when alcohol again became legal. It is time to consider what might happen, and how we could control it if we chose to make heroin legal. For when one can buy heroin in Wal*Mart, with no stigma, and trust that some government entity has verified its purity, and lack of harmful substances, no one in their right mind would drive into the city to make a transaction for what could turn out to be corn starch laced with arsenic. And if no one is driving into the city, there is no money to be made. If there is no money to be made, there is nothing to be gained from the illicit drug trade. If there is no money in crime, crime goes away…

There are very easy ways if we make it legal, to control usage. One, small nightly dispensations could become the rule, so overdosing would be impossible. Two, addicts show up regularly become readily apparent , and could be directed by Wal*Mart to various appropriate detoxing agencies. The possibilities are endless. But it would not destroy society because it would be regulated and taxed and otherwise like every other vice that has followed the same pursuit, liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes, cigars, gambling, could become a beneficial revenue source for the government…

Without going this far, there are some things that can help immediately, maybe save a life or two, though not take care of the problem. If you see a drug deal, call the anonymous number. Say, “I have someone dealing on the corner of Baynard and 22nd.” Dealers’ fear of the unknown is our greatest defense against these street corner transactions ever happening. When we start getting calls before murders take place, fewer murders will take place. Putting up cameras just moves the transactions to where there are no cameras. Same with putting police on corners. Our best bet is to have dealers so fearful someone will rat them out, they don’t come out, anywhere. They find another way to sell. In doing so, we’ve destroyed the property value of the prime real estate, so that it is not worth killing for. We cut crime.

With your help, we can do that. However everyone needs to recognize that the problem is one of business. These are business killings. They are about business. People need money to live and unfortunately with an illegal business, a lot of people have to die to keep that type of business alive and afloat.

Likewise picking up the random car bringing the packets in, means another car gets dispatched the same night and makes the drive down to fill the hole in supply…

The same with guns.

We can also crack down. Make it unprofitable so the sellers choose to sell in Elmere, New Castle City, Newark, Christiana, Claymont. The crime moves there and we cheer our gun deaths are down. All we did was transfer the problem to my friend Tom Gordan.

The long term option is to make it legal, and by doing so, suck all the money out of that business. If one can walk into Walgreens, present an ID, sign forms and pay $2 a small bag, and then go home and sleep it off, the $50 bags on the street corner are going to disappear. The same person, goes home and sleeps it off, in either way. One way costs them $50, costs us $150 a bag in trying to interdict it, and continues eating up our young urban men. The other way, generates taxes, keeps control, drops crime, makes money for Walgreens, creates new jobs, and allows for $48 dollars to be spent into our economy for other commodities. Again, either way, the same person sleeps it off.

I am calling for a new conversation, a bold, innovative way we can get drugs off our streets entirely. I’m am calling for a way we can remove the market of illegal substances out of our neighborhoods, off our streets, and into the business world where it really belongs. It’s a business and should have the legitimacy it deserves. It has a demand that will be met, if not legally, then it must be met illegally. We haven’t changed that in 50 years of trying. Only the opposite approach, of making it legal, controlled, available, and legitimizing it, will take the illegal activity currently devoted to filling that demand….

It is the only smart thing to do.

Every smart thing requires a person of immense courage to start the ball rolling. Although I have no more courage than the next person, I do recognize that I am in this position at this time, and must do something. I am starting the call to legalize these narcotics as being our most effective method of attacking the ills of this business while it is allowed to remain illegitimate.

This is very unlike my predecessors blaming the parents… I can do nothing about fixing parents. I can work our legislators and become a public spokesperson for making this business legal again, so we, society in general, can control it…

There will be those who through shallow thinking may not agree with this long term solution. Not everyone is smart. But, we have an great opportunity in this city, with a complete lack of Republican countervailing power which always make progress unattainable because of their higher-than-thou moralistic posturing, to actually make something happen. We have the resolve, we just need the release to allow us to make progress happen.

The arguments they will use against it, are the same once used against smoking, against drinking, and against gambling. WE legitimized all those businesses and the sky didn’t fall. It is time to accept rationality and begin the process of this one… In the meantime we will continue fighting against the symptoms of a social disease our current processes will never fix. Any help or information before a crime is to be committed or immediately afterwards, will be highly appreciated in our endeavor to make Wilmington, which is truly a wonderful city, again become a great place to live…… For despite our inability to eliminate the overall big picture, every life we save, is an actual life we save… There can be put no price too high on that. We need your calls.

=====

That is what Williams should have said.

This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

Delaware Liberal has the link. Here is Governor Markell’s offer to the Occupy Movement and why that offer was unacceptable, even to the most reasonable…

The event area shall be to the north of the Interstate 95 overpass bordered by the north bank of the Brandywine River and North Park Drive and may extend northwest from the storm water culvert to the area adjacent to the ñrst dam up river. Please see attached map.

Where's this Place We're Supposed to Protest At

In this location the only people seeing this encampment would be those living in the upscale apartments. It would be invisible to the rest of the world.

Imagine the former Mayor Baker going to the city, hat in hand, asking to protest the fact that Wilmington’s population was being treated unfairly because they were not white, and a ahort, pot bellied official, strode out of his Lincoln with Longhorn’s attached to the front, and with a horn blast the echoed the “charge” theme played at high school football games, says, ” Sure, we’ve got the perfect place for you… Go 5 miles out of town, take a left by the country store, go ten miles along that road, till you pass the last farmhouse, and there, in the forest, you’ll see a split in the road, take the left one and go six more miles and you will see a clearing left by the logging operation years ago, and you, can have your demonstration right there. I’ll write the permit right now….

The message from the Markell administration was equally insulting. Sure, have your little camping trip out where no one can see you…

“This is not Camping Delaware. It’s Occupy Delaware,
“The tents are the statement. If the tents are in a campground, that’s not much of a statement.”
— Akiva Dejack, Occupy member.

The Tea Party got the Mall in DC. Occupy Delaware gets a spot accessible only by an apartment complex driveway.

Totally unacceptable.

Moving on.

Permittee may not congregate, solicit the public, display signs, or distribute materials outside of the above mentioned designated area.

Really? For a protest, you are limiting their right to protest? Are you serious? Did you have limitations of Markell signs, those white plastic ones scattered across the entire state back during the summer and fall of 2008?

I Am Protesting The Handing Down of Office to The Standing Leutenant Governor
Right click on Picture for full image.

“Sure, you can run for governor, but you won’t be allowed to hand out any campaign literature or post signs, unless it is in your own front yard?”

C’mon… You call that a fair offer? These people are protesting everything that’s gone wrong because Republicans took over in 2000! And you’re going to hide them up a cul de sac? Seriously?

Did you forget that if Republicans had lost that election, there never would have been a derivative driven financial crises? Our National Debt would have been “paid in full” as of 2008? We’d wouldn’t be discussing cuts to the budget; we’d be debating upon which project to invest our Federal Funds for the next year?

So the permit was rather insulting. It did not meet the Constitutional muster required by the state to allow a peaceful protest. The tents are their protest.

In fact, “Occupy Boise”, a Tea Party State if there ever was one, is having no trouble putting their protesters in a conspicuous spot. And we know Idaho.

Listen to this:

She was pleased with the meeting. “As long as they can keep control of their participants as they move forward, I think everything will be fine,” said Luna.

Occupy Boise agreed to provide state officials with a copy of the “code of conduct” and the operational plan. Gunderson said “legal observers” would watch the camp and record video of any conflicts or issues.

Gunderson said the cities where protesters have clashed with public officials have garnered the most news coverage. But Boise is taking its cue from places where things have been more amiable, including Philadelphia.

If anything can be done in Philadelphia, it certainly can be accomplished in Delaware.

Because that……. is what we do.

nullCourtesy of Tim Riley

Two days ago the Supreme Court heard the case of Delaware vrs New Jersey. How does a Supreme Court Justice choose between the First State, and the Garden State…..

If one bases it on seniority, then as the First State, Delaware has priority. On the other hand should one go with “one person-one vote” then with more than ten times the number of Delawareans, New Jersey wins.

As to which way it will go, mums the word. Samuel Alito, the newest judge, hails from the Trenton area of New Jersey….will that make a difference?

The real question that needs to be answered is whether laws made well over 200 years ago, should by now be accepted at face value and do they even need be discussed at all? For whatever happens in this case can have profound consequences and create a precedence for many states to change their boundaries at will….Prime example: Ohio like New Jersey, owns the river bank of the western side of the Ohio River, but not the river itself…..That boundary too, was also settled in colonial times.

The Justices appeared to be quite interested in this case. So did quite a few spectators who wanted to see the Supreme Court actually do what the Constitution set it up to do: settle a dispute between the states…..

Chief Justice Roberts framed a question that put everything in perspective.

If two people walked out to the end of a pier extending out from the shores of New Jersey, and one of them was murdered, which state prosecutes the crime.

Should it be in Delaware, where the crime actually occurred, or New Jersey from whence the criminal came. One has only to consider Elkton , Maryland to resolve this matter.

If someone walks from Stone Gate Apartments, robs the State Line Liquor Store of some New Castle Brown Ale, and returns to his Delawarean home to watch the Cowboys beat Green Bay,….the crime was in Maryland; all would agree. After all, what difference should it make to the law, as to whether water does or does not cover the ground? Maryland’s laws apply above ground. Likewise Delaware’s laws should equally apply to sub-aqueous territory as well.

But in 1905 Delaware allowed New Jersey natives to build docks that extended past the low water mark into Delaware’s territory. Precedent? Not hardly……

My nice neighbors mow a foot or two across my line as a courtesy each time they do their lawn. We return the favor, but not as often. If any controversy over a boundary were to occur, we would simply pull the deed, and follow suit. No matter what actions had transpired, the deed still stands….should ownership eventually change, the deed is permanent: it still stands…..

In this case, the Deed gives Delaware rights up to the low water mark on the New Jersey shore. This is no little dock we are talking about. The monstrosity to be built, would seriously impact Delaware’s Coastal Protection Act. Dredging alone would create an environmental hazard.

Safety is a secondary consideration. According to this anti-terrorist organization, one LNG ship has the explosive power of 55 Hiroshima type nuclear bombs. Goodbye Mayor Baker!

Common sense precludes Delaware should win….However surprises happen. We could wake up to find that Delaware has been joined to New Jersey by Executive Order and the whole issue becomes moot.

If Delaware does not win, it can only mean one thing.

I should have argued the case instead of David Frederick.

Ever since Google was complicit in working with the Chinese, I have been watching it’s characterization of my site. We all know the formula for how the links are ranked, but occasionally some bizarre things happen upon that page.

For example when I have come out hard against certain of our public officials, holding them accountable for things as I should, the links, locations and descriptions, that have been consistent for months, suddenly are different. If one wanted to presume, he could comment that those links shown were an attempt to embarrass me or more likely, dissuade someone from looking further. Now those of you who read me, know this can hardly bother me. I can embarrass myself without help….. easily…..

But tonight Google was acting strangely on several sites within our blogsphere. The search would go nowhere. Of course the sites were available; one could easily click them from another location. And on Google, other non pertinent sites came up immediately, but for some reason some (the ones I wanted) were disconnected.

I am most concerned because Delaware Liberal, one whose site I visit a lot, has disappeared from Google. Well not completely , but their standard location…. spot 3 down from the top of page one…… is gone. Instead, you may find an archived version that says “Howard Dean Kicks Ass” posted on 11/15/2006 in the location of what used to be Delaware Liberal.Net’s prime spot……

Other search engines are not affected. On those Delaware Liberal Net ranks at the top.

Back to the inconsistencies on my list, My featured cached post comparing the treatment bestowed on Paris Hilton, versus the pardon received by Scooter Libby, has temporarily replaced my post of Biden, which has remained in that spot for a long time. Yet my statistics do not show a single hit on that topic. So based on Google’s formula, why would it change? This happened once before, and 2 days later, again no hits were involved, reality reemerged.

Don’t know how many of you check your Google page , but seriously, I think now would be a good time to start. Those of you who do not poke around in areas where officials become uneasy, probably have little to worry about.

But if your Google page is being changed, for whatever reasons, at least you will be aware of it…….

Cheap, Renewable Energy In The Making

Tommywonk, WGMD, and the News Journal all have stories regarding the Blue Waster Wind deal. There are positive notes.

Based on the term sheet
we can expect the following.

300 MW each hour, enough to power all the homes in Delaware.

No increase , for the next 25 years, over what we are now paying for electricity. By the way oil hit $ 80 a barrel today, pushing up coal and gas! But will it affect Delaware’s electricity rates? Not with wind power, it won’t!

Wind power guaranteed to be on line in either 6 3/4 or 7 years.

Construction costs of 1.5 billion directly infused into the local economy.

Increased aesthetics and fishing habitats to the Rehoboth/Dewey Beach area.

Transmission upgrades included in cost. No additional charges for Delaware consumers.

Finally. A business dedicated to full compliance with Federal, State, and Local environmental requirements.

But there are storm clouds of doubt and uncertainty surrounding both Delmarva’s and Connectiv’s commitment to this grand project, completion of which would elevate Delaware to be the “First State” in renewable energy.

They are focused on the lack of transparency of Delmarva’s calculations. Delmarva wishes to make up stuff, and not have to show how it came about with the figures it did. Can you imagine if Bush last night had said: ” No American has died in Iraq, and not one dollar of taxpayer money has been spent in Iraq. Therefore we will continue on plan.” That is exactly what Delmarva wants to be allowed to do……….
make stuff up……….

Furthermore, Delmarva wants to charge penalties to Blue Water Wind based solely on the stuff it makes up. Both Blue Water Wind and NRG have consulted among themselves and independently determined that penalties will not be necessary. They can perform well within the criteria. But Delmarva wants to charge them anyway should it ever arbitrarily decide it needs some extra cash………Likewise,

while Bluewater attempted to have similar dialog with Connectiv on this and other issues related to the proper coordination between the wind park and the back up facility, Connectiv declined to enter into a confidentiality agreement related to any such discussions and no dialog was possible.

As has often been my experience in business, when someone gets antsy about poking through their records, it usually means they are stealing. In government, when public officials get antsy about the opening of committees and hearings to public scrutiny, it usually means they are stealing. So why, might we ask, should Connectiv pattern the same behavior and not enter a confidentiality agreement Blue Water Wind, unless they have some dark secret they cannot afford to see the light or day? This should send up a red flag of outrage for all citizens. Is another Enron brewing at Connectiv?

Outstanding issues that may or may not block the forward momentum.

1) The first issue is the consequence of the delay caused by the impending lawsuits sponsored by Delmarva and Connectiv.

Delmarva has taken the position that it must retain its appeal rights ( and therefore it would not discontinue its appeal of the State Agencies prior order authorizing these negotiations), and that it does not control its affiliated company Connectiv and should therefore retain the right to terminate and/or collect delay damages.

In other word if Delmarva/Connectiv purposefully slows down the process, it is entitled to receive the delay penalties owed to it on behalf of the BlueWater Wind investors. As was dryly noted: “such a provision presents a serious concern to Blue Water investors..”

2) Delmarva seeks termination rights in the event of a consolidation triggered by accounting rules FASB Interpretation #46. Under these rules, if Delmarva is the primary beneficiary of Blue Water Wind, Delmarva may be required to consolidate Blue Water Wind. To prevent this, Blue Water has offered to modify the agreement so as to eliminate the consolidation, in lieu of termination rights. So far Delmarva has refused. Again, as is dryly noted, Delmarva’s termination could again cost Blue Water’s investors millions of dollars.

3) Finally Delmarva has adamantly insisted upon the right to veto any change of control (not to be unreasonably withheld) at Bluewater , for any time over the next 25 years, regardless of the level of ownership at which the change of control takes place. This of course gives Delmarva the option to block deals resulting in tens of Billions of dollars which may not have any relationship to the wind farm. (Delmarva has adamantly refused to accept the same restrictions upon itself). Obviously the Blue Water Investors are uneasy about this clause as well. Bluewater has proposed several compromise solutions, all of which have been rejected by Delmarva.

Obviously Delmarva is unhappy to find itself in the position of supplying Delaware with cheap energy. They would much rather see households paying $8oo a month for electricity, than say $80.

But with proper public pressure these deals could still go forward. It is reassuring that great strides have already been taken…………….

color enhanced copy of b/w picture in released documents

“This surveillance system lets FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government’s behalf.”

Documents recently released to the EFF’s FOIA, suggest that the FBI’s wiretapping engineers have succeeded in tapping into our standard digital communication’s systems. As Randy Single writes in Wired, the FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act. The redacted documentation leaves many questions, however. In particular, it’s unclear what role the carriers have in opening up a tap, and how that process is secured.

“The real question is the switch architecture on cell networks,” said Matt Blaze, a security researcher at the University of Pennsylvania . “What’s the carrier side look like?

Randy Cadenhead, the privacy counsel for Cox Communications, which offers VOIP phone service and internet access, says the FBI has no independent access to his company’s switches.

“Nothing ever gets connected or disconnected until I say so, based upon a court order in our hands,” Cadenhead says. “We run the interception process off of my desk, and we track them coming in. We give instructions to relevant field people who allow for interconnection and to make verbal connections with technical representatives at the FBI.”

The nation’s largest cell-phone providers — whose customers are targeted in the majority of wiretaps — were less forthcoming. AT&T politely declined to comment, while Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon simply ignored requests for comment.

FBI Agent DiClemente, however, seconded Cadenhead’s description.

“The carriers have complete control. That’s consistent with CALEA,” DiClemente said. “The carriers have legal teams to read the order, and they have procedures in place to review the court orders, and they also verify the information and that the target is one of their subscribers.”

Despite its ease of use, the new technology is proving more expensive than a traditional wiretap. Telecoms charge the government an average of $2,200 for a 30-day CALEA wiretap, while a traditional intercept costs only $250, according to the Justice Department inspector general. A federal wiretap order in 2006 cost taxpayers $67,000 on average, according to the most recent U.S. Court wiretap report.

To security experts, though, the biggest concern over DCSNet isn’t the cost: It’s the possibility that push-button wiretapping opens new security holes in the telecommunications network.

Documents show that an internal 2003 audit uncovered numerous security vulnerabilities in DCSNet. In this internal audit, (pg 61/112pdf), commenced after discovering that no security audit had been concluded for four years, pointed out some very basic security breeches. Some were the direct results of budget cuts, such as limiting technical staff. Others were the result of putting high tech toys in front of those too green to understand the full implications…..The security assessment titled Operation Mayday, uncovered this nugget. Problem:

“Zipdrive attached to FBINet machine.


Recommended Action: Complete Trilogy User training. Remind users not to attach unauthorized devices to network. Remind users not to install unauthorized software. Treat future instances as security violations and report through appropriate channels with increasingly severe penalties for
repeat violations.

Remember, this accesses all your bank documents as well as your deepest, intimate conversations…..which due to lack of oversight over the past four years, if cached, is now open forever to the world……Other samples of Katrina-like misconduct or ineptitude: Problem:

Outdated or no disk encryption on laptop
computers.


Recommended Action: Install PointSec on all machines unless excepted. Provide written justification to SecD for consideration of any exceptions.


Problem-: Baton Rouge RA, CART laptop has no disk encryption.

Also in the report:

1. There is no anti-viral software loaded on the DCS-3000 machines. If malicious
code, viruses, and/or executables are introduced, there will be potential for risk to the system or compromise of data, thereby compromising evidence contained therein.


Current Status:
• Verified Closed: McAfee 4.5.1 installed with Virus updated 05/05/2006

Current Status:
• Verified Closed: Passwords require eight characters, complex etc.

3. Successive failed logon attempt lockout is not enabled. Without a lockout policy,
an unauthorized user would have infinite attempts to gain access to the system.


Current Status:
• Verified Closed: Accounts lock out after three attempts and must be reset by
admin.

5. Workstations associated with the system do not enforce adequate user permissions. Improperly configured machines do not adhere to the least privilege principle. This practice could potentially give a user access and rights not warranted for by their position.

In particular, the DCS-3000 machines lacked adequate logging, had insufficient password management, were missing antivirus software, allowed unlimited numbers of incorrect passwords without locking the machine, and used shared logins rather than individual accounts.

The system also required that DCS-3000’s user accounts have administrative privileges in Windows, which would allow a hacker who got into the machine to gain complete control.

WTF?

The flaws are appalling and show that the FBI fails to appreciate the risk from insiders. The system is insecure, essentially because the people who designed it and run it have an insecure attitude about the nature of threats to the system. Outsiders may be stopped by VPNs, firewalls, etc., but insiders may wander around the system nearly at will. Not so different from the situation that set up the Vodaphone/Greece fiasco.

As Steve Bellovin from Columbia points out:

“Instead of personal userids, the FBI relies on log sheets. This may provide sufficient accountability if everyone follows the rules. It provides no protection against rule-breakers. It is worth noting that Robert Hanssen obtained much of the information he sold to the Soviets by exploiting weak permission mechanisms in the FBI’s Automated Case System. The DCS-3000 system doesn’t have proper password security mechanisms, either, which brings up another point: why does a high-security system use passwords at all? We’ve know for years how weak they are. Why not use smart cards for authentication?”

Any wiretap system faces a slew of risks, such as surveillance targets discovering a tap, or an outsider or corrupt insider setting up unauthorized taps. Moreover, the architectural changes to accommodate easy surveillance on phone switches and the internet can in itself, introduce new and frightfully dangerous security and privacy holes.

So where does our safety lie? In a bill of goods sold to us and to Congress in order to protect us from “phantom” terrorists, we have allowed anyone and everyone to compromise our personal privacy. Most particularly, those very ones we trusted to defend us from our enemies………

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. (Helen Keller)

How true this is from a military perspective. We read of generals astride their horses, whose only contribution was to say, “let’s attack here” . Their work is done. They then receive history’s blame or credit depending on the outcome of those brave souls fighting for their lives.

The battle results are determined on the field by soldiers. Whether they choose to break and flee, or to stand their ground against impossible odds, alone determines the future reputation of their commander. History judges clearly.

Besides war, the same holds true for peace. Often it is more difficult to be non-violent, than to go into a rage. Yet those who propose peace, become castigated as being too cowardly to handle war, when in fact, the opposite is true. It takes deep spiritual devotion, and a strong belief in a higher power, to sail against the prevailing wind. To trust that peace will provide a dividend that is far greater than taking what you want to take with force……..requires great insight and courage, to make yourself believe in it……..

So who is brave?……. I learned that Marines (US) are brave. When shots were fired across Michigan Avenue in Fallujah, the uninitiated take cover. When they dare to look up, they see the Marines already running towards the sound of the shots. As you get to know Marines while off duty, you slowly arrive at the opinion, they are not that much different. But the moment live ammunition smacks around you, and you see them run at the source like fireman racing to a fire, you realize that courage has different levels.

We are taught from birth, (it may be instinct) that self preservation is a worthy cause. Survival is our primary concern. So when one takes the opposite tack, and puts survival below other considerations, those of us who witness it, call it courage.

It takes great courage to stand up to ones enemies. It takes even greater courage to stand up to ones friends. (Professor Dumbledore, Book 1) Think about it for a second………………..How easily do we lob insults at those representing the other side of the blogosphere? Too easy…………….Now how hard is it to do the same and to criticize those who have stood solidly with you and “watched your back” on other issues? Quite hard……..isn’t it.

But sometimes one must go against ones gut, and do what is right. What kind of insanity must possess a person willing to trust his life to some nylon and some string, and then throw himself out the door of a shot-up B17 over enemy territory? The answer is that the insanity of staying inside a falling chunk of metal, is greater than the insanity of bailing out……..

So what kind of insanity must possess a person who today, is willing to abandon the wreckage of what has been the primary focus of our nation’s foreign policy? Again, the answer is that the insanity of staying in a falling chunk of metal, is greater than the insanity of bailing out.

Wait a second: many of you by now are thinking. “Your analogy is not a good one. Many B 17’s were shot to hell and still made it back to English airfields. Those who persist in the war effort are like those few B17 crewmen who did not abandon their posts and persevered to safe harbor. Your analogy seems to support the opposite of your views?”

But there were also many who did not bail out over continental Europe, and then were force to bail out over the English Channel and certainly perish. By bailing early, their chances of survival would have been higher.

So rational people must look at each of these circumstances and make a decision based on their assessment of all the evidence. We are humans, we do this all the time.

For those who haven’t yet “got it,” the conversations we have about the war here within the blogosphere, mirror the conversations that took place within those shot up B17’s. The upcoming Petraeus report, is no more than a damage assessment sheet.

So with this upcoming report, how do we determine whether we throw our support against those who want to stay, or against those who vote to leave?……..We do it by performing a gut check.

Gut Check 1: If I lose my son or daughter in this war, will I always feel that they died to preserve my nation’s freedom.

Gut Check 2: Would I be better served to have all my money spent on this war and not on something else?

Gut Check 3: Would I be worse off if we left the war, or would it be better off to stay the course and continue doing exactly what we are doing now?

If you can answer no to any of these questions, you need to be in Rodney Square Today, from 5 to 7 pm. The rest of the arguments offered by both sides don’t matter one iota. The only thing that matters is your answer to these three gut checks.

Once you have decided that this war is not for you, then get moving to Wilmington’s Rodney Square. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Even though the time will come when our policies dealing with foreign affairs will change for the better. But that will be because we can no longer afford the extravagance of war. This will occur when the American people realize that war causes too much suffering here at home, and the benefits of peace again become attractive to us all.

It is my humble opinion that America needs to change its policy. This change in policy can come easily once the people of this country decide that there is a better way to conduct ourselves throughout the world. Whenever the people turn against war as a tool to promote certain beliefs, the war ceases. That’s what we need today. (Ron Paul)

As Helen Keller stated in the opening of my piece: “the world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. ”

Today we are in desperate need of more honest solders for peace. Ask yourself this question: “if your showing up to this event, would make the actual difference and stop this war, could you then make a greater effort do it?” If you answered yes, then show up. Just showing up may be only the “tiny push: that Helen Keller spoke about, but if you passed the gut check, it is a push in the right direction………one requiring a great amount of courage……………………

Time to run like Marines towards those enablers who keep this war running; not duck and cover.