100 Word Fan Fiction: Listening without Question

“I’m a sergeant, we’re just scouts.” Troy insisted, ” How would we know anything about Patton’s attack plans?”

“Our information says you do” The major snarled as the commandant sat in silence “If you will not talk here we will transfer you to Gestapo custody where questions will be asked with more vigor.”

“Your information is faulty.” Moffett retorted.

Hochstetter glowered: “No prisoner would dare question Gestapo information!”

Col Hogan’s & his men sat around around the coffee pot listening intently: “Well we certainly wouldn’t question the source of that information, would we?” he asked. They shook their heads in unison.

Previously: A strange unease Next Blameless in Benghazi

Spliternet? Spare me.

No, seriously, its not

There has been plenty of discussion about Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of TikTok and the recent executive order that barred working with TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese social media apps. But amid all of this came an interesting article in the BBC accusing the United States of “splitting the internet.” Yup, really.

“It’s shocking,” says Alan Woodward, a security expert based at the University of Surrey. “This is the Balkanisation of the internet happening in front of our eyes.

“The US government has for a long time criticised other countries for controlling access to the internet… and now we see the Americans doing the same thing.”

Dr. Alan Woodward

The article does backtrack a bit and brings up legitimate security concerns posed by China. It sparked my curiosity in Pompeo’s speech, which hasn’t really made the news. So I found the transcript, and Pompeo had outlined five lines of effort for a Clean Internet:

First, Clean Carrier. We are working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies don’t provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations.

Second, we call Clean Store. We want to see untrusted Chinese apps removed from U.S. app stores.

Third, Clean Apps. We’re working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus.

Fourth, Clean Cloud. We’re protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property – including COVID vaccine research – from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.

Fifth and finally, Clean Cable. We’re working to ensure that the CCP can’t compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect our country and others to the global internet.

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, in a speech on August 5, 2020.

This list doesn’t resemble censorship. Nowhere in the list does the U.S. censor information from other countries, prevent people from being critical of the United States, or otherwise interfere with other countries operations. It narrowly targets tech Chinese companies with known issues while leaving an open door to every other nation. It highlights some significant problems like stealing of COVID vaccine research that not enough people are tracking.

There is this libertarian view that a free and open internet means government’s should have no role whatsoever in the internet. There are plenty of flaws with this idea. The largest flaw is that this view fails to act when an entity like the Chinese Communist Party seeks to dismantle the Internet and subvert it for its own good. The BBC would perhaps brush this off as “market forces,” and to be sure, the UK has stood on the sidelines while China filters Hong Kong’s internet and even the internet at UK universities.

Perhaps better said in the movie Team America: World Police: “Freedom isn’t free.”

You can, and should, limit government involvement and allow the market to drive innovation, but when an obviously dark force threatens to break the freedom of information on the internet, you must act to stop it.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Quick Bidenball (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, WNBA) quips Under the Fedora

Giving the ratings disaster that has been the new woke version of NBA & MLB I have to think Roger Goddell is quaking in his woke boots at the thought of what will happen to the league that starting the all the kneeling when it returns to the field.

Bidenball™ is not apparently the game for the masses.

For about one day the NHL was the league of choice when nobody had knelt to BLM. That somebody thought the one thing hockey needed was to join the other lemmings in jumping off a cliff was amazing to me.

I have really been amazed at how easy it’s been to tune out sports. This is the real danger for these sports. The fan base had gotten used to life without them and when they decided to eschew Mr. Griffith’s advice about getting political it was remarkably easy to maintain that distance.

If you told me six months ago that I would not turn on the car radio with the Redsox playing or that the various Redsox apparel I own would not be worn by me this season I would not have believed you.

Side note when a co-worker who doesn’t know I gave up on baseball mentioned that the Yankees lost I found I still grinned. Odd isn’t it?

The only sports I’ve seen at all have been when I’ve been out to eat. I used to make it a point to sit where I could see the sets but I now make it a point to do the opposite. Nevertheless last week I was seated somewhere with a screen in front of me that had a WNBA game on and I saw something odd.

The bench area was very socially distant with a lot of spacing between seats, but when I player came off the court during a substitution all her teammates high fived her.

Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of this stuff?