consultants are sandburs

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Interesting collateral news dimensions arising via the Boston Marathon bombing.

What do you make of this? Strib carrying an AP feed, here:

A spokesman for the state Office of Health and Human Services confirmed a Boston Herald report Wednesday that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and their toddler daughter had received benefits.

A lawyer for his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaeva, has said that she worked 70 to 80 hours per week as a home health aide while her husband cared for their daughter.

The state says both Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his brother and the other bombing suspect, received welfare benefits as children through their parents while the family lived in Massachusetts.

Neither was receiving benefits at the time of the bombing.

State House Republican Leader Brad Jones said he's been in contact with state officials to try to determine the type and amount of the benefits Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family received.

Jones said he's also asked that the state Department of Transitional Assistance verify that all family members met eligibility requirements when applying for public benefits.

"Obviously any past recipient of any past benefit could go on to do awful things," said Jones.

Jones said it's worthwhile, however, to see if the case highlights any shortcoming in the benefit system.

I wonder if Brad Jones' family had ever received benefits, used food stamps, accessed VA medical services, purchased a mortgage-assisted home, taken a tax credit write off, declared a suspect business expense in tax filings, taken advantage of Social Security one way or another, been TIFed, or had a farm or dairy subsidy as with the Bachmann family dairy farm in Wisconsin. That would go for Jones' parents, siblings, children and spouse included. To me that is a pertinent question related to the tune he sings while dancing on marathon victims' graves. Make hay while the sun shines?

In another press service feed, here:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev immediately stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney's office entered his hospital room and gave him his Miranda warning, according to four officials of both political parties briefed on the interrogation. They insisted on anonymity because the briefing was private.

Before being advised of his rights, the 19-year-old suspect told authorities that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently had recruited him to be part of the attack that detonated pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon finish line, two U.S. officials said.

The CIA, however, had named Tamerlan to a terrorist database 18 months ago, said officials close to the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case with reporters.

The new disclosure that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was included within a huge, classified database of known and suspected terrorists before the attacks was expected to drive congressional inquiries in coming weeks about whether the Obama administration adequately investigated tips from Russia that Tsarnaev had posed a security threat.

One hope is that perhaps at least Liberty Republicans may also want to avoid only shabby partisanship and ask about how exactly the persona-non-grata list is maintained, who has access to it, what objective criteria exist before you or I are listed over the websites we may visit, etc. The two words, separate and together, "huge" and "classified" are troublesome.

With secret persona-non-grata listings, indeed, "huge" ones, of people within the country, which Crabgrass reader can definitively say, "Not me, I cannot be on any such list"?

Remember the Nixon enemies list, with entertainers and such listed, somewhat helter-skelter, and with retaliatory motives and hopes still unclear, today.

Lyrical revisionism, here.

Another wire feed carried by Strib, here, expanding on the TIDE, which only heightens, not waxing and waning twice daily with movements of the moon:

The terrorist database is called TIDE, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment. Analysts at the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center submit names and even partial names into TIDE. About a year ago, there were some 745,000 people listed in the database. Intelligence analysts scour TIDE, trying to establish connections and update files as new intelligence is uncovered.

For entries with a full name, date of birth and intelligence indicating a reasonable suspicion that a person is a terrorist or has terror ties, the person's name is sent to a terror watch list, which feeds into lists like the one that bans known or suspected terrorists from traveling on planes.

Officials say they never found the type of derogatory information on Tsarnaev that would have elevated his profile among counterterrorism investigators and placed him on the terror watch list.

745,000 people listed, if we are to believe AP.

Ramsey has a population of under 20,000.

That is roughly 37 and a quarter Ramseys on the persona-non-grata big list [not the TSA check list, stated to be smaller, but undisclosed in size]. Thirty-seven Ramseys, including every man, woman and child - with the multiplier dropped somewhat if household pets are counted as Ramsey residents. Not that pets make the TIDE. More people than Katrina displaced. Substantially more than the dead in the Civil War, (both sides), added together with US deaths in WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq-Afghanistan. Sobering?

FURTHER UPDATE: The accompanying right-side info bars that pop up today, on searching Google for "Wyoming" and "North Dakota" disclose 2012 populations as Wyoming - 576,412 and North Dakota - 699,628. Lots of "naughties" around, it seems.

As of a year ago.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering how long it would be before you came out in support of the Boston bombers.

eric zaetsch said...

anonymous - I am amazed at how you have mastered the art of the non sequitur, via a performance raising the bar far too high for anybody else who might wish to try posting a comment outdoing your efforts. Talent abounds, astoundingly. Where were you schooled in such an art form, or is it just innate - heredity or environment - and have you tried origami? You'd like it as much as sushi.

No where near, eh?

Middling and okay, I suppose, for a spur of the moment try, but the gold star's yours.