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san francisco
an irascible, half-drunken squirrel with an orbital plasma cannon
Interests: beer, annoying other squirrels, orbital mechanics, plasma cannon maintenance
Recent Activity
It's nice that you don't want the U.S. to be a party to genocide and other crimes against humanity in Israel, but it's worth noting that one of the main reasons Israel enjoys military superiority over its neighbors is that the U.S. subsidizes it with 25% of its military budget, and nobody in the U.S. who criticizes that policy of foreign military aid spending is even allowed in the room when the grown-ups are talking. Likewise, it's not very pretty at all to watch Israel "mow the lawn" in Gaza every few years, using that military aid so enthusiastically supplied by the U.S. government. It's increasingly becoming obvious this situation will be a Forever War against the people of Israel, both Arab and Jewish. The rising tide of extremist right wing factions in Israel will not be satisfied by anything less than full-on conquest and ethnic cleansing, and the anti-war left on both sides is almost done evacuating the field to escape persecution. That all of this horror goes in support of the Zionist project is the highest irony of all in this. One might quip that Zionism as an ideological position has two things in common with Marx-Leninism: 1) a seemingly good theory with intractable problems that necessarily arise in praxis; and 2) for its highest profile proponents, it cannot fail, rather it can only be failed by its incompetent leadership. Maybe I'm just a muddle-headed hippie without any common sense, but if there is workable theory for how the Zionist project could have ever had a chance of getting anywhere else but the scene we are currently seeing play out in the Middle East now, then I've yet to hear it. I get that most Zionists don't support ethnic cleansing or genocide or even the current Netanyahu government, but it's really hard for me to see how the current situation isn't absolutely entailed, through a long chain of implications and consequences, by the initial proposition that the Holy Land should be a Jewish nation-state. It seems to me that if you want the one, you must necessarily accept the other. Note well: I'm leaving aside the question for now about just what exactly are the secular arguments for Zionism, because I'm inclined to believe now that the secular ones are basically irrelevant next to the religious ones, and the religious arguments absolutely confound me.
I don't have much to add here, because I'm swamped with work and the topic brings me near to tears these days, but I'll just mention this about the prospect of hacker activists being sent to jail for writing code: some of the usual cypherpunk suspects I follow [some of whom have names that are globally infamous at this point] are quite seriously worried about the 5th amendment right to remain silent when faced with a "lawful" order to divulge cryptographic credentials. Let me explain. We have a technological solution to the problem of encrypting our hard drives in such a way that, when our computers are confiscated and the police demand we fork over the decryption passcode, we can convincingly respond, "Sorry office, those keys are now lost and the data is unrecoverable." In other words, we encrypt them with a system that requires us to periodically communicate with a distributed anonymous cloud service that reliably deletes the keys if it stops hearing from us. Alas, when we present this idea to people trained in The Law, we get a pat on the head and a lollipop. This would work exactly once. After that, lawmakers would certainly outlaw the use of ephemeral encryption keys or any other system intended to obstruct criminal investigations by automatically destroying personal data on our computers. At that point, anybody who released software that could do that would have to do so anonymously (rather like the silly person who invented Bitcoin) because prosecutors would certainly want to treat such a person as a terrorist.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2013 on Write a Code, Go to Jail! at the mojowire
How many quatloos will Provider Biz bid on the proposition that some or all of the prisoners in Guantanamo will be released or transferred?
The line about the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a pretty fair starting point. Try, "John Holbo: How seriously must we take the Flying Spaghetti Monster?"
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Now would probably be a good time for Californians to be presented with a reminder that Debra Bowen, our current Secretary of State, is a true hero on the topic of election integrity. She will be term limited out of office in the 2014 election, and it will be a pity if that brings an end to her career in politics.
c.f. Jonathan Chait's article today about R-Money's Get Out The Whitey Vote strategy, and I will say it here like I have said elsewhere, those fuckers are NOT planning only to explode the welfare state, then just to run away, crowing about a job well done. If they take the White House with even the slimmest majority in the Senate, then they will move swiftly and violently to eat the whole damned pie. The first thing to go will be the cloture rule. Then get ready to watch in horror as they finish their purge of the military and what remains of the official intelligence and law enforcement agencies— expect that within the first hundred days. Once they have that in the bag, keep your eye on anyone who looks even remotely like they might be concerned about the integrity of elections. Anybody like Debra Bowen not smeared out of office will be quite effectively neutralized otherwise. They will unleash private mercenaries on political activists. They will lift all the privacy controls on the surveillance machinery. They will have much more advanced biometrics. And they will use all these things to hound every last dissident and political opponent in the country into either retreating to the basement or having their ass rendered into an oubliette somewhere out beyond Bugfuckistan. If they win the White House and the Senate this November (which, to be honest, is still very unlikely, I think), then they will go nuclear if necessary to keep from ever losing power in an election again.
And today, we discover that Mr. Cain has no idea what the term "pro-life" means in the context of American presidential politics. He's both pro-choice and pro-life, you see. "Hey now, don't be mean. You don't have to be mean." —Buckaroo Banzai Mr. Cain is quite adamant that he will never, ever in a million years be having an abortion. Not even if he gets pregnant as a result of rape or incest. On the other hand, if you or I get pregnant, and we feel the need to terminate gestation prior to live birth, why then, that's okay. Government shouldn't be sticking its nose into our reproductive systems and our doctor-patient relationships. I can totally respect that. I do wonder, however, how long we will be waiting before Mr. Cain chooses to walk back this boldly libertarian policy statement he's making...
Hermain Cain is running for the office of Fox News commentator.
I have a hard time taking the conservative establishment seriously today, as they whinge about Perry flubbing his line of attack on Romney for being... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2011 at the mojowire
You need to give her a shorter quote.
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"What he did, I believe, was not [...] act of clear political inspiration [...]" The word "clear" there is a bit of a cop-out. Some asshole shoots a member of Congress, point-blank, at a public constituent event, then opens fire on the assembled crowd, I think I can be forgiven for assuming that the intent of the attack was political in nature— however, deranged. And the people who do that are always deranged. Always. Doesn't mean they weren't intending to make a political statement. Deranged people have political opinions too. As for whether Loughner was a far-right wackjob, let's ask Chip Berlet, who drops a compelling case for that here and here. I don't regret pointing a finger at the Tea Party nutjobs for their violent rhetoric one bit. And I'll keep doing it as long as they continue to knowingly and deliberately inspire loners with untreated mentally illnesses to act out violently against the objects of their vitriol.
Brad, an "error" is when an action has unforeseen and usually unwanted consequences. Please explain why we should believe either that the consequences of establishing the catfood commission were not entirely foreseeable (and foreseen) or that the administration finds the consequences unwelcome.
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And this is why America has a servant problem.
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I'd very much be interested to see a fair-minded argument for why I shouldn't regard "structurally unemployed" and "discouraged workers" as an awful euphemism for "unemployable rabble."
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The San Francisco Bay Guardian endorsements.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2010 on Mojowire Voters' Guide at the mojowire
If you vote NO on Proposition 25, I'm going to feel compelled to cockpunch you.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2010 on Mojowire Voters' Guide at the mojowire
"If the mobs hit the streets the elites will try to be in vanguard..." I doubt it. My suspicion is they're relying on new technology as a force multiplier to keep the mobs from organizing. So far, they're proving right.
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Me? I'd like to be in the timeline where I best economists aren't so easily flummoxed by right-wing populist politicians doing what right-wing populist politicians always do.
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The President of the United States tells Rolling Stone magazine: [...] I have been able to make sure that our intelligence agencies and our military... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2010 at the mojowire
This is precisely why I don't feel particularly motivated to send any money this year to the DCCC or any of the usual Democratic Party mutual fund companies. If the D's lose the House and the Senate too, then the GOP majorities will find these opportunities to impeach the President irresistible. If it was enough to impeach Bush/Cheney over it, then there's more than enough here to impeach Obama/Biden.
I'm hoping for Sharron Angle. Not that I want to see anybody killed or any violence to be done to anyone whatsoever... that would be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2010 at the mojowire
"To this the only appropriate response is: 'What the fracking frack?'" Ironically, that's actually just your inappropriate sanitization of the appropriate response.
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"He lost his temper because the retarded left is always in glass-half-empty mode." Oh. He lost his temper. That's always a good excuse for a man in a position of authority who abuses the weak and powerless for the purpose of making an example. Even he'd been perfectly calm and level-headed when he did it, then it would make all the difference in the world.
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On a related note, care to guess how many Democrats are willing to promise not to cut Social Security benefits when the Catfood Commission reports?
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2010 on Links of the Day at the mojowire
Exciting the base isn't going to help the Democrats or the Obama administration at this point. The base is just too small to make the difference they need now, and while the base is not particularly excited about voting, they're still likely voters and they can be reliably expected to fall in the D column. So, I disagree. Something to fire up the D base wouldn't hurt much, but it wouldn't help at all. I would make a different argument: the D's have pretty much squandered their majority in Congress and they are about to lose it quite deservedly in the House and hopefully in the Senate too. The Obama administration and the D's in Congress should now forget about short-term politics and start investing their "political capital" in long-term policy and party rebuilding. Let the GOP start owning some responsibility for the ongoing policy failure the Democrats now bear entirely.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2010 on Links of the Day at the mojowire