February 11, 2015

Wondering, on Wednesday (v21)

Almost exactly a week ago I was in the middle of writing this post.  

I was talking about Shelly Silver stepping down as Speaker of the Assembly here in New York, but vowing to fight to keep his seat as a member of that august body in the face of federal corruption charges.  And I had touched on SU throwing in the towel in the face of their NCAA investigation, and giving up the right to have Coach Boeheim's unranked guys play in any games after the end of the ACC's regular season.  And thinking gee, what a great year to give up post-season play, since the team has struggled in so many games already, with more losses than we are accustomed to in these parts.

And I was just starting to focus in on Andrew Cuomo, our Sonofa Gov, and his threats to forgo an on-time budget deal if he doesn't get ethics reform.  And then, well, then My Sweet Baboo decided to take a knee and propose, and I never did get around to finishing the post.  (I said yes, by the way).

So now, as I'm listening to the SU/Boston College basketball game, and casting a loving and appreciative eye towards the ring on my finger, here's what has me scratching my head tonight. 

Anthem Blue Cross was hacked by someone (perhaps the Chinese) and information including names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, employment information - all the stuff you'd ever need to set up some big time fake identities - may have been compromised for as many as 80 million people. And we were told on the news that, almost immediately after the breach was announced, all kinds of people who roam the netherworld were offering to buy the Anthem data. 

I'm not caught up in this one, at least so far. I was tagged in the Target breach (I shop there maybe once a year) and on a site where I shop for a necessity that is not available locally. For both of those, my card number was compromised, but nothing like what was taken in the Anthem case. I was offered free credit monitoring, which is what Anthem is offering folks. But  I'm wondering, is a few months of credit monitoring enough for the folks caught up in this massive breach? And if you're a crook, wouldn't you already plan on waiting more than a couple years, so as to get past the common free monitoring periods? I guess I'm thinking if you're smart enough to hack and steal this info, you'd be smart enough to know when to use it.  

And speaking of breach,  Brian Williams has been suspended by NBC without pay for six months, which amounts to about a $5 million hit in income and what is likely a lifetime ban as a newsman.  There's been a lot of analysis on why this might have happened (all the while the investigation is continuing, supposedly now expanded to include his expense accounts, as if an RPG hit might materialize there).  Lots of people are talking about what makes people embellish their records, inflate their value, exaggerate what happened to them, and why they would 'violate our trust' like this.  

But lots of people aren't talking about why, for example, NBC didn't appear to think much about trustworthiness when it hired the daughters of former Presidents Bush II and Clinton, as if they were real reporters? Chelsea Clinton did 'Making a Difference' stories and was reportedly paid some $650,000 for her troubles. Jenna Bush I think has become the official Bush Family Reporter, having done interviews with her dad, grandfather grandmother, mother, dog, childhood dolls... OK, maybe not the dog but you get the drift. 

What Williams did was wrong - but the network is not as trustworthy as they'd have us believe. 

Finally, the Supreme Court refused to stay an Alabama law allowing gay marriages.  This was an odd decision, in many people's eyes, because SCOTUS is going to decide on marriage equality before the end of the term. Clarence Thomas was up in arms about this one, as was Antonin Scalia.   

So: was a line crossed here by the Court? Was this a breach of protocol, or just a breach of Thomas's sensibilities? Can we no longer trust the Supreme Court? Has anyone really trusted them lately?

And now I'm left wondering, on this Wednesday, if that's really the crux of the issue: is the breach of trust really a big issue, if there's so little trust to start with?