As the media ponder the privacy-versus-security issues in the court order to Apple to help the FBI break into the locked iPhone of a deceased terrorist, the issue looks and feels as if it was lifted right out of a 007 movie (2-18, A5, “Gunman’s iPhone is at heart of huge debate”).
The court wants Apple to disable the built-in pass-code protection that would destroy the data in the phone after multiple unsuccessful attempts to gain access — a security provision James Bond might be told of when handed his phone.
But the relevant issue is not its similarity to 007 plots. It’s that our once envious intelligence resources that were essential to our victories in World War II and the Cold War, including the National Security Agency, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI and the military intelligence services, are now not even able to break into an iPhone.
What a sorry state of affairs. This is what you get when ill-conceived national policy relegates intelligence gathering to a back burner.
Gunshot deaths have now surpassed vehicular deaths in the United States. Some of my friends have said we should not decrease access to guns because we have not decreased access to vehicles just because vehicular mortality is high.
They ignore that we have driver’s tests for licensing, required auto insurance, many safety devices and precautions in cars, and none of those for guns. They think that is irrelevant.
Better questions might be how much convenience do guns provide compared with cars and how often are they used compared with cars?
The convenience from auto transportation is great. In contrast, despite not making our lives easier or being used nearly as often, guns kill more people than cars do.
Astonishingly, we allow access to firearms and ammunition with no competency testing and no insurance even though they are designed to kill people. Furthermore, we put no limits on their speed or capacity, which we do for cars.
One might ask, Who is representing us in making our regulatory laws, and what are they thinking?
Given that guns are a major cause of homicide, regulate with insurance, competency testing, speed limits and capacity, like cars.
Does it bother anyone else that professional baseball teams pay 20-something kids a month’s salary that would take us a lifetime to save for our retirement and perhaps a bit of a legacy to leave our children?
Of course, this applies to other professional sports, the entertainment industry and many corporate CEOs in this country as well.
I am a firm believer in the free-market system, up to the point that incomes become obscene and anti-social, which is now the case. This level of compensation is neither earned nor deserved.
Most of the spike in these payouts has resulted from television and other media advertising revenues, but some emanate from fan support of outrageous ticket, parking and food and beverage costs.
This is why I don’t spend my family’s hard-earned money on these ludicrous endeavors — except Major League Soccer, which is still the best value in professional sports and a sport in which most of the players are underpaid.
I have also significantly reduced my TV watching for the same reason, although I must admit to falling off the wagon occasionally when it comes to the Royals and Chiefs.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
I wonder what the boys down in Jefferson City are up to these days? Are they addressing the several hundred thousand residents without health insurance, a Department of Transportation that is broken, bridges crumbling, Interstate 70 almost not drivable and a public school system in disarray?
Nope. Some want to form a committee to go after retired University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel. Because the skirt-chasing days are over for our lawmakers, they now have enough time to address a really important issue — Mizzou football.
Several white football players stood with their black teammates during the protest last November. Are they also going to be investigated by the committee?
I have one burning question for our small-government Jefferson City lawmakers: Who is taking over the play-calling responsibilities for Mizzou’s 2016 season?