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Comment Re:Sad (Score 4, Insightful) 361

"Did the terrorists actually win this war on terror?"

Yes, but there were multiple winners.

AQ inflicted trivial numbers of casualties compared to conventional wars, did that with minimal assets and personnel, and triggered/excused the US elites doing what they'd been working at anyway. The team damaged the US + world.

The terrorists won by getting their adversary to make toxic structural changes, and the elites won by obtaining the excuse to make those changes! The American public and other Star Trek Red Shirts of the world lost. AQ and the Elites can both claim victory BUT also claim the battle is not over. Obvious to see where this will go...

Comment Re:Learned helplessness (Score 1) 78

"There's no public outrage because there's really nothing anyone can do."

Nothing convenient and safe. The inconvenience of being surveilled isn't sufficient for any of the public to give up their freedom in return for (hypothetical example) kneecapping politicians. Since politicians only respect what they fear, and the public won't sacrifice to put them in fear, the elites win.

After OK City, there were no more "Randy Weaver" or "Branch Davidian incidents". I'm not advocating such acts, but pointing out that they have some effectiveness. OTOH there is no hope for peaceful change. In order to make people do your will you must be willing to hurt or kill them. (The US exists because the Founders and their followers were willing to send shot and shell through Redcoat, Hessian, and Tory.) If you won't do this, those who will are your masters and so it has always been through history.

The social contract in the US is that the elites allow us food and shiny objects while being able to kill us if the bribes don't work. I'll take the bribes as we all do, but I'm aware I'm being paid off.

Comment Re:Network fabric != shell scripts (Score 1) 192

All those configs get compiled down to sequential operations eventually. Some vendors have added configuration layers above linux. I've got an all-linux network core at home (Netgear, OpenWRT, Mikrotik) with each flavor having its own layer on top of the kernel.

I must admit that my edge router/firewall is BSD, but with NFTables that might be up for a change.

Granted, these aren't yet available on big iron, but the universal truth in tech is that the low end always eats the high end, so that's a matter of time.

Comment Re:This misses the point (Score 1) 307

Answer this... if we knew everything about Obamacare at the time of voting that we know now... would it have passed?

Absolutely - it was passed on a purely partisan vote in a budget reconciliation bill, with its lead sponsor being 100% up front with the fact that the bill's contents were secret from the Congress. The votes were from people who wanted a "more European" system in America and the details didn't matter - this was their big chance.

That's why there's going to be continual showdowns on this issue, whatever form they might take. The big social programs and reforms that have survived have all been bipartisan efforts (yeah, yeah, the Republicans aren't socialists, the Democrats aren't conservatives - whatever). Every purely partisan program eventually gets killed.

Comment Re:Better model needed (Score 1) 355

Then bin the horrible excuse of an income tax and replace it with a national sales tax so everyone pays tax.

Even the FairTax people (who advocate a National Income Tax) recognize that everybody pays the income tax, at a rate of 22-23% on top of their base rate, as being embedded in the cost of goods. It's horribly regressive, for that reason.

The best way to deal with the Income Tax is to repeal the 16th Amendment and not replace it with anything. Let the States do what they will.

Comment Re:Better model needed (Score 1) 355

And the alternative - corporate funded research - is immune from financial instability and PBHs deciding what is and isn't studied?

*The* alternative? Nobody could think up something better? We have lots of smart people on this planet - I'm hopeful that somebody can think up a way to fund science that involves neither one nor 435 PHB's making such decisions.

Comment Better model needed (Score 5, Interesting) 355

Science is too important to be dependent on a funding source that is 17 trillion dollars in debt. It's *all* going to dry up at some point, and probably rather suddenly when it does. Talk to the history department if this is unclear.

With all the great thinkers in science, perhaps research into better funding models would be worth the effort.

Comment Re:More data mining by the goberment? (Score 1) 71

Don't worry, the parents of the dangerous ones are seeing other kids spending untold hours descended into Minecraft and ignoring the real world, and are keeping their own kids from using it.

The Minecraft operators of today will make good lab techs for the kids who are out talking about quantum nature with their dads while building treehouses.

Comment Re:again? (Score 1) 235

Only changed to PF (with very similar syntax) after IPF's license was changed, and all the BSD still use it ... there's still less churn than with Linux.

The BSD's are definitely more stable. Linux makes more progress, sometimes by adopting other projects' work when it's better. There's no way to have both rapid progress and stability, so it's good that the community has a choice (I avoided saying 'communities' on purpose).

I've been using BSD for routing and firewalling for about a decade, first by m0n0wall, then naked to do more, now by way of pfSense which does most everything I need in most cases.

pf is pretty essential to doing some of that stuff, but, man, do I get sores with some of the BSD drivers. I'm looking forward to trying out an experimental build of pfSense on NFTables on linux (perhaps as a spin of another distro) as soon as it comes out.

Comment Re:Will not happen (Score 1) 242

That was Old School terror designed to target proles who are the equivalent of Star Trek redshirts. It works, but the elites don't fear it and in the case of 9/11 even exploit it!

New School, like the brilliant whacking of Alfred Herrhausen by a precision explosive charge or US drone attacks, reaches out to specific high-value targets. For those specific targets the threat is real and coerces them to defend against it. Such attacks don't require an attacker be on the scene making them a logical way to go. Someone wanting to manipulate a pacemaker could put a remotely activated device in, for example, an ordinary looking large plastic electrical enclosure, attach it to a streetlamp or hide it any number of ways, then wait for the target to come in range. It could stay dormant for a long time, even years if power was tapped from a steady source.

Comment Re:Yikes (Score 1) 419

The TPublicans are also heavily astroturfed, and largely religious fanatics. Real Libertarians are as rare as hens teeth.

No fair ignoring that along with the decent bits!

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

Didn't hear any of THAT from the people who later formed the Tea Party until there was a "nigger" in the White House operating the same police state the GOP built to go after a different variety of brown people. Amusingly, Obama (who the Teapublicans consider a "Muslim") is further Right than the Bushies in terms of killing AQ terrs.

Wake me when the TPs go after corporate welfare with the same gusto they go after programs that benefit the American workforce in general. Wake me when they favor slashing the War Department which provides economic/military subsidies to our Pacific competitors. Wake me when they aren't bootlicking Tel Aviv whose administrations they confuse with the Chosen People.
Wake me when most of them aren't Dixiecrats by another name.

I wanted to like the TP, but all they are is the inevitable result of the GOP Southern Strategy.

Comment Re:Terrorist? (Score 4, Insightful) 242

Precisely. There is only "war" of different kinds and at varying levels.

"Terror" is pretty effective though. Nations which lose hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed to socially acceptable causes (smoking, obesity, auto crashes) can easily be terrified into implementing structurally toxic changes by the trivial loss of a few thousand killed in one small location. I wouldn't want to be under a massive bombardment either, but once upon a time nations knew they could take massive casualties yet not only survive but triumph.

Give the Mamayev Kurgan monument some thought. Stalingrad cost more Soviet dead than the US lost in all its wars, but they refused to lose. Commies or not, they had balls.

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