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User Journal

Journal Journal: Carly Fiorina interview re. her bid for US Senate 2

For those who don't know, Carly Fiorina (former CEO of HP) has thrown her hat in the ring for US Senate. Some see her as the current GOP front-runner. The very popular Northern California radio hosts Armstrong and Getty just had her on-air for a phone interview (podcast, 2nd hour). The interview went fairly well in her favor. She had all the right talking points. She spoke about ousting career politicians, getting regular citizens into office (such as herself) , cutting spending, and supporting small businesses (an endangered species in CA).

Those who have an opinion about her candidacy may write Jack and Joe at Their words (and therefore opinions) reach a lot of ears in Sacramento (some important), so what they say will have a minor (but very real) impact in this race. Since they encourage email from their listeners, they receive a large amount of mail on a wide variety of topics. It will take more than a single email from one person for them to really take notice. I bring this up because they will likely have her on again at some point, and they are willing to ask questions they perceive as hard questions. (This interview was fairly pedestrian; they will bring up controversy if they believe any exists.)

The Military

Journal Journal: Iraq and WW3

I just had a realization. This isn't terribly flushed out, so I don't mind comments to the contrary. Please be sure to justify them, though. I'm jotting it down here so I don't forget about it, and because it falls nicely under slashdot paranoia.

* * *

Back when the Iraq war started, I was dismayed at how utterly political the event was made. By political, in this context, I mean that the war itself was/is used as a playing piece in the Democrat vs. Republican power struggle game. I thought to myself "this is absurd, these are peoples lives that are being played with".

I'm particularly dismayed by the Democrats. They profit most from having a second Vietnam, so that's how this war is being portrayed. It's easy to say that Sadam had no WMDs (let's forget about all the chemical weapons we found, that were barely reported). The more casualties we have, the better. The more savage and reckless our troops, the better. The more the war is mismanaged, the better. The more innocent people die, the better. The more we push for a Vietnam style withdraw (read defeat), the better. Is it any wonder that these are the things that keep winding up in the news? We tend to hear only about the major US victories, and all the defeats (major and minor).

The Republicans AND the white house have not been above reproach either. This war has cost more and gone longer than it should have. The American people can feel this. Never mind how it might be going right now. Most Americans falsely expected a very short occupation. To those people, this war seems to have gone on forever indeed. I still don't know if the white house lied in order to enter the war. I wouldn't put it past them, but I really don't want to accuse them of it either. That would be extremely low to stoop. Yes, there were people who should have known that they were using bad intel. Yet, the Democrats keep screaming that the White House should have some psychic ability to know things like this. They have yet to show the smoking gun that the white house lied when recommending war. That does not keep them from saying so, though. It's good for them politically if they do. If the white house didn't lie, well then the congress would have to take most of the blame for declaring war (including the democrats/Hilary; that was their job, not the white house).

Further, this keeps getting termed a "conflict" because congress never "declared" war. Any so-called-journalist who says that should be fired. Congress did authorize the use of force.
Blood by any other name runs just as red.

* * *

In that light, I realized some of the future implications that this might have. Americans wont want to go to war unless there has been an attack on American soil... Wait a moment... didn't that just happen? Yep, you guessed it. It will be hard to get America to go to war now even IF there has been an attack on American soil. Whether intentionally or not, we are being conditioned to avoid war at whatever cost. If the cost of avoiding war is a worse war later, we'll gladly pay it.

Presuming world war three rolls around at some point, it seems likely that the US will respond in much the same way it did in WW2. It will shove it's head in the sand for as long as possible. The next hitler will have an easier time getting a foothold and it will be a drawn out and bloody war to remove him. It will be much worse precisely because we wont get involved when we need to.

Israel is pretty well sunk. If worse comes to worst, they're on their own. The US isn't capable of going to war on their side. At best, we'll provide them with equipment. There's not a chance that we'll provide them with an army.

If we don't "win" in Iraq, these problems will only be worse. A loss there will almost entirely neutralize our armed forces. Consciously or not, that's what we're really fighting for here.


Journal Journal: USB Solution 1

I was meta-moderating today, and came across an article that I missed several days ago. It concerned Microsoft's plan to introduce DRM (or something similar) to the USB specification.

Their concern: Employees are stealing sensitive information on thumb drives.

Their solution: We require all hardware manufactures to include DRM in the USB specs.

Wait a minute! First, if you cannot trust your employees then you have a problem. Admittedly there are some (read: very few) places where such security is called for. In order to get me to take you seriously, you first need to have these computers totally isolated from the internet. I also wouldn't take you very seriously if you told me that the machines had floppy drives. Now what would happen if you simply took out the "Removable Hard Disk" drivers (or even if Microsoft had a patch that removed automatic volume detection). Tweak the idea a little (find the bugs that I haven't thought of) and voila: you have a viable solution. Easy.

Of course, the easier thing is to simply avoid USB technology. But think ahead, instead of backwards. I cannot stand it when the corporate world wants to make us take a step back in technology to suit their "needs", but especially in freedom...


Journal Journal: non soliciting spam?

I just had an unusual occurrence. I'm posting here to solicit opinions. Please tell me what you think about my hypothesis.

I just received an email to my account for one Darby Candi (I found this in the header). This is in my yahoo box by the way. Well, my name is not Darby. All the message said was: "interesting observed". The return address is:"Samuel Luanna"

So I assumed that "Sam" had made an error and had sent his message to the wrong address for whatever reason. But when I sent him a brief reply, the message bounced (unknown account). Upon closer examination of the original header, it appears he had replied to me. While it's hypothetically possible for him to reply to a spoofed message (I've had at least one virus spoof my account), and then quit his service, I'm thinking there is a much more devious (and realistic) explanation.

I'm wondering if some services (yahoo perhaps) are creating blacklist of spam accounts, and not just email contents. Could pretending to send out emails to mistaken addresses be a way to give the account a partially clean record? Something else along these lines perhaps? Does yahoo use spamhaus or such? Any theories would be appreciated.

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: Make Corporations Listen!

I read this today here on Slashdot and want to hold onto the idea. Context: posted in the middle of a debate on the McDonalds coffee lawsuit.

The amount has to be huge because the McDonald's corporation isn't going to give a shit if you award $20,000. It needs to be a big enough judgment that the company has to declare it as an item on its SEC filings.

I like this idea generally. Corporations are (by and large) led by greedy men who actively attempt to be above everything. The only way to get their attention is to take power away from them. Money is one representation of that. Another, to my understanding, is that big investors read SEC filings. Such might draw away potential investors, and upset current investors. The threat of this should at least bring the issue to the CEO's personal attention.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Anger Management

I have decided today that I have no right to be angry when I'm tired
(unless I'm very sure I would be otherwise).

I'm not applying this to everyone, just myself. Being tired clouds one's judgment, can heighten negative emotions, an makes it harder to see someone else's point of view.

Just a thought.

(P.S. In case anyone reads this, I had this thought while trying not to explode at someone today, not because of any rash decision.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: The religious Government 1

I posted this in a response, but it follows along the lines of what I'm doing here, so I'll post it.

The fundamental theories of the US are religious ones. The idea that all men are created with equal worth and have certain inalienable rights has no bearing whatsoever in the scientific world. For all observed intents and purposes, evil dictatorship is not significantly different than democracy. It's once you define what your trying to achieve that major differences appear. From the framework we normally call "Freedom" it's a matter of making moral decisions that fit reasonably within everyone's religious values, and leaving alone those decisions that need not be made for the good of society.

Where we get into trouble is where we cannot agree on which framework to use. For instance, let's look at abortion from the most fundamental level. It has been well established in our values that children, once born, have certain inalienable rights (as citizens, though immature). The big question is whether or not unborn children have these rights yet, or not. Scientifically speaking, to the best of our knowledge, no one has these rights. Yet our culture and freedom have been enriched by them. Any decision reached would be out of religious nature, whether Judeo/Christian/Muslim, Eastern, Atheist, or other. The measure of a good moral decision is in the consideration it gives to people with different values.

Gambling has similar issues, though they're not quite as pronounced.

It is a separation of church and state, not values and state. Otherwise we would have been in trouble long ago.


Journal Journal: The Dishonest Phone.

I just read an article about a new cell phone system that would allow you to lie about where you are, based on prerecorded background noises. I think this is downright wrong. Why should we have to doubt that what we hear in the phone is real. In part, this just leads to tin- foil - hat - syndrome. Besides, how am I supposed to trust a company that helps me to lie?
User Journal

Journal Journal: troll 3

I just got in an argument with a troll. Shouldn't have done that.
The Media

Journal Journal: IRV ?

I've just read a post on slashdot regarding instant runoff voting. If my understanding is correct, I see no drawbacks. I think that this could really help our political system. If anyone wishes to set me straight, by all means. Until then, I'll do a little more research and then probably promote it.
The Courts

Journal Journal: Marrige in CA

With all the controversy going on in this regards, I would just like to express my frustration and thoughts. A few years ago, there was a proposition passed in California in order to define marriage specifically as between a man and woman. The intent of this was to prevent "same sex marriages" from other states to move to California and be recognized as married. What everyone seems to forget is that it wasn't a law. It was a California constitutional amendment.

Now the judiciary in San Francisco who's job is to interpret the law (not decide right and wrong) has decided that they think it should be perfectly legal to perform these weddings. The real argument I've heard in that direction pointed to a different part of said constitution, undoubtedly of earlier origin, and which should be understood as amended. I know the law often doesn't represent us, but it should. It's very upsetting to me when it is this blatant.

Journal Journal: Comments starting "re:"

I think I'll start this with a minor pet peeve, nothing important. Here on slashdot most comments posted seem to be beneath the normal reading thresh hold. I guess this is called overflow or something. We get to see the title of the reply, but no more. If I see a reply that starts with "re:" then I won't read it. I don't have time to read every post on slashdot. On the other hand, if there is even a simple title such as "I agree, but..." I will be much more likely to notice it, and may read it if the parent post carries enough weight.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Starting /. Journal

Hello everyone. I intend to use this as a place where I can keep track of ideas that I have throughout the week, mostly philosophical I guess. These are things that I don't mind discussing with people, and they wont always be firm beliefs. Please feel free to respond. If a response causes me to think in a way that I haven't before, it is almost certainly a good thing.

One warning, you may disagree with one of my positions, and you may say so. But please do not post hostility. I will respond to any blatant disregard for my feelings by adding you to my foes page.

As I previewed this, I realized that I might also be a little more candid here than elsewhere. I never intend to offend anyone and usually wish to not offend anyone (subtle difference). If you see something offensive here please know that it wasn't my intention to offend, and try to at least see where I'm coming from before telling me you think I was offensive.

Have a good day!

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Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984