Germanwings Crash

Well it took longer than expected to post again. But I am back. So what’s new?

At this point it looks like the Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz decided to take 150 other innocent people with him to his death. It’s and act that leaves one speechless. There is of course no justification for such an act. The problem is there really isn’t much we can do in society to completely protect ourselves against such people. While I do believe the rule to have at least two crew members in the cockpit at all time is the right way to go, one simply doesn’t expect this kind of act from a pilot.

At first I think we all hoped that this happened so fast the passengers didn’t have any idea what was coming but it appears they did know. The reported screaming from the Block box indicates they were well aware long before the place crashed.

It’s interesting the modern airline don’t have a mandatory flight surgeon and company run physicals. This seems like a rational concept. Company mandated physicals by their own flight surgeons may have saved 150 lives.

It’s been a tough time for aviation with multiple planes being lost and one shot down over the Ukraine.

One of my previous jobs had me flying every week and I can say it wasn’t fun. It’s not that I was overly worried about crashing but it does cross your mind and there is nothing like the completely helpless feeling you have as an airline passenger.

Unfortunately I live in middle America and everyplace of interest is a long drive or a plane ride.

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State Department didn’t archive emails?

So the strange case of Hillary and the emails get more interesting by the minute. This time the strange part isn’t from Hillary though. The State Department says that they didn’t archive emails automatically until February 2015. Now isn’t that interesting? They seem to be saying that it’s the responsibility of the individual email client to have saved their own emails.

Dept. of State*I’ve never worked in the State Department but I have worked within the DOD and this doesn’t sound correct. Are we to believe in the day and age of documentation, of requests for civilian emails from civilian providers that our own State Department which regularly deals with foreign governments and would be susceptible to information gathering by our enemies doesn’t save emails and to record historical documentation? No wonder this administration appears to have little fear over congressional investigation since they don’t keep anything.

So in fact Hillary Clinton may have been more conscientious than the government itself. I guess keeping your own server is a good idea. (Sarc)

If the State Department hasn’t been archiving emails as other agencies have been (I worked IT on archiving issues within DoD) than many people at very high levels need to be fired.

If we are to believe these assertions than what would possess anyone to want bigger government? Apparently there are no rules, just suggestions. Of course let one of the little people break policy.

Gen Mattis understands one of the problems

General Jim Mattis has some thoughts on war and ISIS.  But mostly he says what I’ve been saying for a while now.  Be sure to read the whole thing.  Also the comments are interesting.  I’m with the one that agrees but will find it hard to support and military action while this administration is in place.

480px-James_N._Mattismattis

A strong “Authorization to Use Military Force” (AUMF), supported by a majority of both parties in both houses of Congress, will send an essential message of American steadfastness to our people and to the global audience. Its passage will demonstrate our country’s fundamental unity and enable a broader commitment to deal firmly with a real and growing menace.

Following more than a decade of fighting for poorly articulated political goals, the Congress needs to restore clarity to our policy if we are to gain the American people’s confidence and enlist the assistance of potential allies, while sending a chilling note that we mean business to our enemies. With enemy influence expanding rapidly, patience or half-measures cannot replace a coherent strategy for taking measured steps, aligned with allies, to counter the mutating Islamist threat in the Middle East. The AUMF that Congress passes should be constructed as one building block in a coherent, integrated strategy for dealing with a region erupting in crises. Thus the AUMF needs to serve an enabling role for defeating this enemy, and not a restrictive function. Congress’ voice in the AUMF must not reassure our adversary in advance about what we will not do:

Benefits and downside of Hillary’s choice

Why would someone conduct official business on personal account that is maintained from home?

– Benefits

  •  Can circumvent government monitoring of emails
  •  Can pick and choose what emails you consider relevant to give to the government or select congressional committees.
  •  Can deflect FOIA requests
  •  Can be destroyed quickly and completely

– Downside

  •  Must maintain the server and backups – time consuming
  •  Must pay for skilled personnel to operate if not technically inclined or available 24X7
  •  Must pay for equipment and software personally
  •  Security – must maintain certificate issues or leave email and other information vulnerable

Reasons to use government email

– Benefits

  •  It’s no cost to the user
  •  Backups are made constantly to ensure users have access to older files and hard drive failures
  •  Full time IT departments that maintain the server software and hardware
  •  Full time IT support for assistance when something fails
  •  Records can be pulled by IT techs when investigations warrant
  •  Historical records maintained
  •  Built in security and encryption

– Downside

  •  Must submit to governmental processes (Service Request) to retrieve older data which may require justification
  •  Emails can be subpoenaed
  •  Must have access to network
  •  Emails can be monitored

It’s not inconceivable that at times a personal account might be used however, per USG guidance those emails should be forwarded to the government account or printed and sent to controlling authorities. these would be exceptions to the rule, not normal business.

So, why would someone have their own server at their home?  Hummm I wonder….(SARC)

Hillary didn’t even have a government email account?

hcMrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

Well I guess that takes care of looking for backups.  Hillary is certainly no Lois Lerner. 

Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

It really doesn’t matter, rules are for the little people.