Friday, July 24, 2015

"America: State of Affairs": forum from "Your Voice Your Future" series by WJLA News Channel *

WJLA News Channel 8 broadcast (7 PM EDT July 23) another “Your Voice Your Future” called “America: State of Affairs”. The best link so far is here.  Generally WJLA posts the entire hour-long broadcast soon. Scott Thuman moderated.  I didn't see a studio audience. 
The main focus of the episode was America’s “deal” with Iran, which must be ratified by Congress.  The question is whether Obama’s deal really will slow Iran from making nuclear (or EMP) weapons it could use against Israel or even western countries, and whether there may be a more moderate government in 15 years.
James Woolsey, former CIA director, questioned the because “Iran lies to ‘infidels’”.
Kamal Nawash said, “you need trust”, and that Iran won’t be able to cheat the IAEA.
Clifford May noted that undeclared facilities can’t be inspected.
Amanda Berman noted that it was easier to “deal” with the Soviets after the Berlin Wall fell.

Col MacGregor (remote) noted that while it would be possible for Iran to cheat and make a crude bomb undetected, Iran is not making ballistic missiles (or scuds) and they are not easy to mount undetected. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CNN Situation Room: Wolf Blitzer does harrowing interview with FBI director James Comey on the asymmetric threat from ISIS over the Internet

Wolf Blitzer gave FBI director James Comey and interview today (Thursday, July 23, 2015) at 5 PM EDT on his “Situation Room” in which Comey described how ISIS “crowd sources” terrorism.  The best video link seems to be here

Comey described the process as an inversion of the way Al Qaeda used to work.  At a certain point in making a contact, the recruiters overseas (probably in Syria) use strongly encrypted communications.

The FBI says it will have trouble breaking this encryption even with a warrant and court order.  So the interview would not seem to bear on the overall problem of warrantless snooping, as pointed out by Snowden, EFF, Glenn Greenwald, and others.  Still, once a warrant is secured properly, law enforcement would need to be able to break the encryption, possibly with the help of tech companies. 
CNN ran trailers across the bottom of the screen about this interview Thursday evening while covering the incident at a theater in Lafayette, LA July 23, a developing story.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"The Whispers": a somewhat sinister idea of an alien attack

I had reviewed the Pilot of “The Whispers” on ABC on June 14 on the TV blog.
This time, there is indeed an intriguing premise for how an alien invasion could happen.  The being is stores as an electromagnetic entity, who communicates telepathically with children (calling itself “Drill” as like an imaginary playmate) to get them to do what it wants.  It has apparently arrived from a star system 200 light years away.

And there is an Air Force Pilot, who supposedly crashes in the Arctic but he winds up in the Sahara, near a fossilized “pickled” unusual rock, reformed into an underground pillar of salt that acts as a communications beacon.
In this episode, the government tries to destroy the beacon with an EMP device. 
The officer, related to a female FBI agent who happens to specialize in crimes against children, has also seen visions induced by the entity (as described in Episode 7, “Whatever It Takes”), in which all the children of the world are simply taken and disappear at once, leaving mankind with no lineage.
Now, the idea that man could stop reproducing and having children has been explored in film before, as in “Children of Men” (2006) by Alfonso Cuaron.

Stephen Hawking has warned that an encounter between man and aliens might not work out well for us, just as a parallel narrative did not work out well for native Americans in the 17th Century.