Rick Blythe

The personal blog of Rick Blythe

The failure of the mainstream media


Just going to leave this right here. I can’t say anymore because I am laughing too hard right now.



Zerohedge’s list of government monitoring


Revelations about the breathtaking scope of government spying are coming so fast that it’s time for an updated roundup:

  • NSA whistleblowers say that the NSA collects all of our conversations word-for-word
  • The NSA not only shares our information with other American agencies, it also gives personal, sensitive unfiltered information on Americans to Israel and other foreign nations
  • When these judges raised concerns about NSA spying, the Justice Department completely ignored them
  • While the government initially claimed that mass surveillance on Americans prevented more than 50 terror attacks, the NSA’s deputy director John Inglis walked that position back all the way to saying that – at the mostone (1) plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collection alone. In other words, the NSA can’t prove that stopped any terror attacks. The government greatly exaggerated an alleged recent terror plot for political purposes (and promoted the fearmongering of serial liars). The argument that recent terror warnings show that NSA spying is necessary is so weak that American counter-terrorism experts have slammed it as “crazy pants”

  • A Harvard law school professor – and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – says:

“The NSA has mounted a systematic campaign against the foundations of American power: constitutional checks and balances, technological leadership, and market entrepreneurship. The NSA scandal is no longer about privacy, or a particular violation of constitutional or legislative obligations. The American body politic is suffering a severe case of auto-immune disease: our defense system is attacking other critical systems of our body“.

  • The feds are considering prosecuting the owner of a private email company – who shut down his business rather than turning over records to the NSA – for refusing to fork over the information and keep quiet. This is a little like trying to throw someone in jail because he’s died and is no longer paying taxes
  • Mass spying . Indeed, the Pentagon now sees the collection of “big data” as a “national security threat” … but the NSA is the biggest data collector on the planet, and thus provides a tempting mother lode of information for foreign hackers
  • IT and security professionals are quite concerned about government spying

“We collect this information for many important reasons: for one, it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy. It also could provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.”

  • A huge majority of Americans wants the director of intelligence – Clapper – prosecuted for perjury One of the chairs of the 9/11 Commission agrees
  • The NSA treats the American people with contempt.  For example, Spiegel notes:

“The authors of the [NSA slides] draw a comparison with “1984,” … revealing the agency’s current view of smartphones and their users. “Who knew in 1984 that this would be Big Brother …” the authors ask, in reference to a photo of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And commenting on photos of enthusiastic Apple customers and iPhone users, the NSA writes: “… and the zombies would be paying customers?

  • A Congressman noted that – even if a mass surveillance program is started for good purposes – it will inevitably turn into a witch hunt
  • There are indications that the spy agencies aren’t just passively gathering information, but are actively using it in mischievous ways
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Black’s Camera photo printing


I had an interesting thing happen at the Black’s Photo in the Burlington Mall today. I was recently in Nova Scotia and got some really nice landscape photos; good enough that I want to print large and mount in my home. So I copied these photos to my USB stick and off I went to Blacks.

So I stepped up to one of their little kiosks and began my order. The kiosk work ok I guess, except the touch screen was clearly designed for people with ground straps on their wrists. The thing would only work if I grounded myself to the case of the CPU with my other hand.  Something most people wouldn’t even think to try, but I digress.

I got my order in and waited patiently for my prints. I just wanted test shots so see the quality of the output so I ordered 5×7 prints.

I got my photos in a nice little box (over packaging). I paid the man and began opening the box to see the photos. Well, one of the shots had a huge red shmeer right in the middle of it, totally ruining the print. My eyes popped! I showed this to my wife and then the clerk in the Blacks store. Would you believe he had no reaction at all? A big pregnant pause. Then he spoke. He said: “oh, the printer broke today”. Another huge gap of silence.

He obviously thought I should be satisfied that I got a boxed set of pieces of paper with colours on them.

Finally, he spoke up and said “I can refund you 36 cents if you want”. What do you think photo person? I certainly wouldn’t want to inconvenience you, I should be happy you even served me, right?

Blacks is now a part of the Astral group.

The Point

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