Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hey, Here's an Idea: Hack the Bomb Making Websites

     This past weekend there were bombings and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey.  It was fortunate that no one died in the two bombs that detonated in New Jersey and Manhattan.  29 people were injured in the Manhattan bombing.  It was even more fortunate that two other bombs, one in Manhattan and another in New Jersey, did not detonate.  Through great police work and help from some astute citizens, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was arrested on Monday after a gun battle in which he was wounded.
     As this story was unfolding on Sunday, I was driving home to Chicago from Detroit.  We had the news on in the car listening in on the story.  We learned how two bombs did not detonate.  We learned that of the 29 people injured all were released from the hospital and thus none of their injuries was too severe.  We also heard a lot of speculation on who might have done this and where they might have learned how to make such bombs.
     Apparently, there are numerous websites that provide instructions on bomb making.  My first thought was "Really?  Who would have thought?"  My second thought was, "Well, actually, that makes sense.  There seems to be information on the internet for just about everything and anything from hobbies, to auto repair, to... well bomb making."  My third thought was "Why the hell aren't we doing anything about these websites."  I thought about an earlier post on the same subject to counter the jihadi websites by simply out marketing them:  Who's Better at Social Media?
     OK then.  There are websites that instruct would-be Rahimis how to build a bomb.  Presumably, our crack intelligence agencies know where these sites are.  That is half the battle.  If we know where such sites are, why haven't we taken them down?  Why haven't we infected them with viruses that render the posting server and any visitor's system useless.  We could create a virus that dials a potential jihadi registry from a visitor's cell phone.  Maybe we already do these things but are clandestine operatives are actually keeping such practices clandestine.  Maybe we aren't doing anything because of our commitment to free speech.? Maybe it is better to leave the sites up and monitor who visits them?  
     Just maybe, we just aren't thinking deviously enough.  I say leave the sites up, but infiltrate them.  Let's change the flipping bomb recipes to make them all duds.  Heck, let's change the bomb instructions to actually make them blow up while the bad guys are building them.  This would be both fun and preemptive.  Perhaps, we add a few lines that say something like, "Congratulations on building your bomb.  Now it is time to test it." Then we could provide instructions that would detonate the bomb and kill the builder.  It would save lots of innocent lives not to mention the costs of hunting down the bomber after the fact.   Furthermore, when a bomb goes off, the blast, smoke plume, and rubble would alert everyone to the location of a potential cell and the authorities can then investigate the family and friends of the ill fated bomb maker. 
     Clearly, per the reports I have heard, the jihadists are using the internet.  All I am saying is let's use this information and develop methods to beat them at their own game.


     Note:  While I have heard about such recruitment websites and bomb building websites, I have never visited any of them.  I have no interest in even searching for them.  The last thing I would ever want to get on a government list or even worse a jihadi list of any kind... I mean I bought a pair of shoes online a year ago and that company sends me an email every day.  How many shoes do they think I need or buy?  I can only imagine what visiting one of these websites would result in.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

To Deplore or Not to Deplore...

     This seems to be the question... on all the news channels this morning.
     Hillary Clinton calls half of Donald Trump's supporter deplorable.  Trump and his supporters, I am not sure which half, take great exception to this.  Clinton backs off on using the word half instead of some.  Then, Mike Pence, who is Trump's running mate lest anyone forgot, on some other news talk show is baited to call David Dukes deplorable.  He declines saying he is not a name caller.  Whatever I just wrote is approximately what happened and now everyone is analyzing, over-analyzing, hashing, and rehashing the use of this word.
     To me, the whole frenzy over this is deplorable, well maybe just sad, definitely a waster of time, and clearly not making the deplorable (agonizing?  paralyzing?  terrible?  insipid? lame, dumb, moronic? oh... what word should I use) choice we have of Clinton or Trump any better.  I have no comments on Gary "Aleppo" Johnson.
     What does the word deplorable actually mean?  What are some other words Hillary could have used instead?  Thankfully, as I am typing this on the internet, I can do a search on the word.  Thanks to Google, we have the following:

     I think Hillary could have made it much more interesting if she had chosen a few of the synonyms listed.  Perhaps, she might have chosen to call them wretched instead.  This gives some glimmer of hope that with assistance, perhaps a government program, they could be made un-wretched.  She might have called them execrable which would have sent everyone to their dictionaries to look up the meaning.  It would have been fun hearing the talking heads trying to pronounce execrable.  She could have gone all 1940s or 50s on us and called them lousy.  If she had called them lousy, there would have been a tie in to an article in the Wall Street Journal today informing us that lice have become resistant to over the counter treatments. 
     Dang, she could have used the word diabolical.  She missed the boat on this one.  Diabolical would have allowed her campaign to allude to some Old White Male Conservative conspiracy to take over this country and force Moslems and refugees and such to have to register with the government, build a ginormous Berlin Wall, and such... Nah, this is just silly talk. 
    No, she used the word deplorable and that is lamentable and regrettable just because there is nothing much else happening in the world and that is what the media is focusing on to fill the airwaves.
    Heck, Google even tracked the usage of the word since 1800.  How they do that has to be the subject of another blog.  But, as the graph shows that there has been a deplorable decline of the usage of deplorable at least until today.

     OK.  Now, I am lamenting that I took time for this bloggy bit instead of tackling the many tasks I should be doing.  I think I will go make a lousy cup of coffee and get to it then.