This short collection of news headlines from the past week bring together some of the dumb things I’ve seen and didn’t have time to explore more fully.
A few are updates to stories previously covered here at Homeland Stupidity.
Enjoy the stupidity, and remember, this post is for unofficial use only.
- A burglar in Brighton, Mass., fell to his death while trying to break into a house on an outside stair, and the homeowner is in trouble over it. The spiral staircase toppled over as the burglar was climbing it, killing him. Dumb as that is, it’s not the reason I note it here. The reason is that the homeowner, who was not named by the city, will be cited for having an “unsafe and dangerous structure” at his home.
- Last February the Department of Homeland Security conducted a tabletop exercise called Cyber Storm with various government agencies, private organizations and other countries to assess its readiness for attacks launched via the Internet. The “enemy” was cast as left-leaning groups whose names, such as “Freedom Not Bombs,” were clear ripoffs of various leftist and hacker groups which actually exist, according to a leaked debriefing document (PowerPoint). While most of these leftist groups are indeed enemies of liberty, little evidence exists to suggest they would launch such attacks via the Internet.
- More than a week and a half after learning of a foiled terrorist plot being planned in the United Kingdom where terrorists would blow up airplanes by mixing up liquid explosives aboard the aircraft, the Department of Homeland Security is finally looking into the problem of liquid explosives, after ignoring it for years. DHS issued a Request for Information on Tuesday asking for technology which can detect liquid explosives.
- The federal government is reclassifying Cold War-era data on nuclear missile readiness after it not only had been public for decades, but given freely to the Soviet Union, perplexing researchers and renewing concerns that the Bush administration is engaging in excessive secrecy which is actually threatening national security.