Political Lomcevak (Tumbling the Liberal Mindset)
Sunday, November 02, 2003
Until further notice, I will be a contributor over at Blaster's blog.
Friday, September 05, 2003
This is very interesting.
Apparently the Diebold Electronic Voting systems are as secure as Windows XP, which means the opposite of robust.
The full story is here, as told by Jim March
Thursday, September 04, 2003
From the Sign on San Diego
August 30, 2003
For those without relatives in the military, war news can become a blur of daily press briefings and TV news reports. For Teri Merickel, the conflict got up close and personal during a flight from Chicago. She walked aboard her United plane to San Diego behind a Marine captain who was with a young woman. The officer was carrying what appeared to Merickel to be a beautiful trophy in his arms. The two passengers were seated directly across the aisle from her. Merickel admired the "trophy" but didn't have a chance to ask what it was because another passenger quickly came back from the first-class cabin and invited them to come up to that section. After they moved, the passenger returned and took one of the empty seats. He started sobbing.
After a few moments he composed himself, apologized to Merickel and explained: He, too, was a Marine en route home from Iraq. He informed her that the beautiful "trophy" she had seen was actually carrying the remains of a fallen Marine. The wife of the deceased and the urn were being escorted home by the officer.
The story doesn't end there. Merickel soon learned that the fellow who had done this good deed was returning home to San Diego on a brief 26-hour turnaround for the first time in nearly a year.
His 9-year-old daughter had saved all her money to help buy a first-class ticket for her dad. But when he saw the grief-stricken widow and her Marine escort sitting in coach seats, he asked a flight attendant if he could give his seat to the woman, and if the captain could take the empty seat next to it.
When the plane touched down, the pilot announced that a fallen Marine was aboard. Everyone was silent and the passengers remained in their places while the widow and her escort disembarked. As Merickel said goodbye, she asked the Marine passenger next to her if he was going to tell his daughter he gave up his first-class seat.
He thought and then softly replied, "Maybe someday."
Words escape me.
School is back in session.
You know, they told me that:
The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death.
I am in my third year of law school, and they are killing me with work.
So bloggin will be intermittent, sorry.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Haven't fisked in a while, so here goes.
And this turd is on the homepage over at MSN, or worm central. (Fixed that hole yet, Bill?)
"Israel assassinates Hamas leader
MSNBC News Services
The Mideast's fragile truce all but shattered on Thursday, after Israel assassinated a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip and the main Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared a 7-week-old cease-fire dead. The violence dealt a blow to the U.S.-backed "road map" to peace in the region, prompting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to warn that both sides were heading for "a cliff" if they abandon the plan.
The assassination by Israel dealt a blow? Israel's action dealth a blow? Israel's violence dealt a blow? No, you morons, it may have been the fact that a whole bunch of children got blown up by a Hamas animal on that bus returning from a religious camp that dealt a death blow to the "road map."
PALESTINIAN PRIME Minister Mahmoud Abbas called the assassination of Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab "an ugly crime" and warned that it would make it harder to crack down on militant groups. Under pressure from Washington and Israel, the Palestinian leadership had decided on a clampdown just hours before Abu Shanab's killing.
Abu Shanab was riding with two bodyguards in his gold-colored station wagon Thursday in Gaza City when four or five missiles fired from an Israeli helicopter hit the vehicle. The car burst into flames and three bodies were pulled from the wreckage. Fifteen bystanders were hurt.
How come the Israelis knew where this guy was, and you did nothing for 36 hours? Was that bus bombing an ugly crime? And yes, once again, just hours before the PA had decided on a "clampdown." Even after the Israelis had been threatening for 36 hours to do something. And as far as making it harder to crack down on militant groups, please provide a progress report. Don't have one? Yeah didn't think so
Dozens of Hamas supporters at the scene dunked their fists in blood, raised their hands and vowed revenge, chanting "God is great."
Anyone see such a scene at the bus bombing? See any Isrealis dipping their fists in blood and chanting religious slogan, while swearing revenge? Nope, I saw despairing and weeping fathers and mothers, while ambulance workers frantically tried to save the injured.
Israel has routinely targeted members of Hamas' military wing but rarely gone after the group's political leaders. Abu Shanab, a U.S.-educated professor of engineering, was the third member of Hamas' political wing to be killed in the past two years. Israel says the distinction between political and military leaders is insignificant, because both are involved in planning attacks.
We educated this guy? In engineering? Does this scare the crap out of anyone but myself? Hamas is a terrorist organization. To me it makes little difference is you put up posters, speak for an organization, or act on orders, you are part of an organization that deliberately targets children, and women.
"There's no question that there is a direct link between the heads of Hamas and the terrorists on the ground," said Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir, though he would not say explicitly that Israel killed Abu Shanab in response to Tuesday's deadly bus bombing in Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned that if the Palestinian Authority "does not take all the necessary steps in the war against terror, real and substantial steps, it will not be possible to advance on the diplomatic track."
Good luck Ariel, I think you are back to square one.
MILITANTS SAY TRUCE IS OVER
Hamas formally called off a three-month truce it declared June 29. "We consider ourselves no longer bound by this cease-fire," said a Hamas leader, Ismail Hanieh, after identifying Abu Shanab's decapitated body at a Gaza City morgue.
In a separate statement, Khaled al-Batesh, an Islamic Jihad official, said Sharon "ended the truce and announced its death."
Hamas had carried out two suicide bombings despite the cease-fire, including the Jerusalem bus attack Tuesday that killed 20 people. The group had insisted these were limited retaliations for deadly Israeli raids and not violations of the truce.
And here is the goddamned point, the one that should have been at the top of the article. Hamas and fellow bastards never felt that they were "formally" bound by the ceasefire. To them, a ceasefire is a time of respite for rebuilding. A time to slow, not stop the killing of Jews, whilst avoiding large hits themselves.
Abbas warned the missile strike would hamper the planned crackdown, saying, "This for sure will affect the whole process and the decision taken by the Palestinian Authority." Earlier Thursday, he met with a U.S. envoy, John Wolf, to discuss the authority's next moves.
The planned crackdown? Tell you what folks. Why don't you go and google the phrase "planned crackdown" and Palestinian Authority, and see how far that goes back?
There's the planned crackdown by Arafat in December of 2001
And another in 1999
And another in 1998
So I can understand why the Israelis were slightly hesitant to believe that this time was the time. But that doesn't stop the breathless reporters.
At the United Nations, meanwhile, Powell warned that the so-called "road map" to peace was in jeopardy and called on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to assist in the clampdown on the militant groups.
I really don't get Powell. Why even mention Arafat? That bastard has caused so much of the current problem. We have managed to do a decent job of marginalizing him, so why the hell mention his name?
"(I) call on Chairman Arafat to work with Prime Minister Abbas and to make available to [him] those security elements that are under his control so that they can allow progress to be made on the 'road map' --end terror, end this violence," Powell told reporters. "The end of the road map is a cliff that both sides will fall off of."
Sorry Powell, but the Road Map already had an inbuilt cliff.
Israel had suspended what it calls targeted killings and what the Palestinians call assassinations during the cease-fire. But the Israeli security Cabinet decided late Wednesday to renew the practice, in response to the Jerusalem bombing, the deadliest since the launch of a U.S.-backed peace plan three months ago. More than 100 people were wounded in the blast, including about 40 children.
Again, buried in the story. From the lead you would have thought that the Israelis decided to nail a Hamas leader for thier jollies.
After taking office in April, Abbas had shied away from confrontation with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and armed renegades in his own Fatah movement, saying he feared civil war.
Abbas. You have one job, and one job only. To reign in your extreme elements. If you cannot, we have to find someone who can. Why should the Israelis talk to you if you can offer nothing.
Oh, and you already have a civil war on your hands. Trouble is, you are not even fighting it. Forget losing, you simply are not fighting.
Pressure mounted after the Jerusalem bombing, however, with the United States demanding an immediate crackdown. "There's funding, there's support, there's munitions, there's organization, and all that needs to be taken apart," said U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
In a first step, Abbas ordered the arrest of all those directly involved in the bombing, and then asked his Cabinet for proposals on a wider clampdown. The ideas raised in the Cabinet meeting, including arrests, a gag order on Hamas and Islamic Jihad spokesmen, and the freezing of assets of militant groups, were taken to Arafat and top PLO officials for approval late Wednesday.
Don't buy it. Show me. Stop dithering.
The meeting, which lasted until early Thursday, was at times stormy. Abbas had told his ministers earlier that he would resign if he did not get Arafat's full support for taking action against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but it was not clear whether he made the threat in Arafat's presence.
In the end, Abbas and Arafat agreed on a joint statement which said the Palestinian Authority would enforce the rule of law, take control of illegal weapons and end "military displays" by the militants, a reference to marches led by gunmen.
Ummmm, I don't think it's the displays that bother the Israelis. Its those fucking bombings that are bothersome.
The Palestinian leadership statement did not refer to arrests, which would appear to be a cornerstone of any crackdown, but Palestinian officials had promised there would be detentions.
"It's a campaign that even in the worst nightmares Hamas and Islamic Jihad never imagined," said Elias Zananiri, a spokesman for Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan, speaking before the missile strike. "There's a list of people to be arrested.".
See my previous point. I will believe this crap when I see action. The PA has been promising this stuff before Google even existed.
After Thursday's attack, a Hamas leader in Beirut told Reuters that the group was hopeful that the Palestianian authorities would rethink the crackdown.
"We hope that the Palestinian Authority...learns the lesson that the Zionist enemy wants to use it to realise its aims in oppressing the Palestinian people," Osama Hamdan told Reuters. "We consider that it is up to the Authority government to stop its threats to the resistance and return to the Palestinian people in the framework of a national dialogue based on protecting them."
Jesus, we have found the Palestinian Sidney Blumenthal. Spin, baby, spin.
WEST BANK RAIDS
The Israelis moved back into Palestinian areas after the bus bombing. Since the spring of 2002, when Israel reoccupied most of the West Bank, troops have been moving in and out of Palestinian towns repeatedly to arrested wanted men.
The biggest operation was in the old city of Nablus, a militant stronghold where troops were looking for Hamas militants and Fatah renegades responsible for two bombings that killed two Israelis earlier this month.
Troops sealed off the old city with armored vehicles and barbed wire and ordered residents out of homes to search buildings. They arrested 14 Palestinians, including a Hamas member caught with a large quantity of explosives, the army and witnesses said.
In the town of Tulkarem, Israeli undercover troops chasing two Fatah gunmen raided a pool hall, but the fugitives escaped. The soldiers opened fire during the chase, killing a 16-year-old bystander and wounding four, all under the age of 20, Palestinian security officials said. The Israeli military said there was a gunbattle.
And the last final job by the journalists, how nice.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
The first words out of Kofi Annan's mouth after the attack on the UN building in Baghdad was the fault of the United States and the Coalition. We hadn't provided security. It was the "occupying forces" responsibility to provide security, and so on.
And then all of a sudden, whoooops, we find out that the UN rebuffed offers of security. Oh dear. So instead of apologizing, Kofi now feels that it is all of our faults. The UN, and the Coalition.
Anyone notice the intitial knee-jerk reaction? I did, and it matched my prediction exactly.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
They are sure keeping us busy at work.
Anyhow, so was today a good or bad day for the War on Terrorism? Both the UN and Israel got hit today by homicide attacks.
Looked at purely objectively, both of these events may have played into Bush's hand, and once again demonstrate that lack of strategic and tactical judgment on the part of the terrorist organizations.
For instance, it conclusively demonstrates that the terrorists are alive and well in Iraq. This has all the earmarks of a Hizbollah/Hamas/Al Queda attack to it. However, it also demonstrates that American forces are not that vunerable, since the terrorists would much rather have hit an American site. By hitting the UN, a clearly neutral party, they have made a big mistake. The UN was here on a solely humanitarian mission, and this strike has ensured that there will be no sympathy from them from the blue helmeters. However, it is possible that typical UN psychosis may still allow them to blame us. However, I think it will force the Un to have to rely on us, bringing us closer.
In Israel it is becoming harder and harder for detractors of Israel worldwide to substantiate the myth that the Israelis are the aggressors. It is clear that Israel is attempting to negotiate in good faith, and it is becoming clear that the Palestinians are not capable of reciprocating.
The world remains an interesting and scary place.
And we all seem to have forgotten N. Korea.
Friday, August 15, 2003
Although I am by no means a technical person, I seem to have no trouble making friends with those that are. As a result I have quite a few friends in the tech industries, including ones who run power grids.
They tell me that this situation in the Northeast could not be caused by what Bloomberg and others say caused it. In fact, they think it is an attack on the SCADA system.
A check seemed to confirm that there are vunerabilities in the system, as this Washington Post story seems to confirm.
One of the salient quotes.
"What they do know is that "Red Teams" of mock intruders from the Energy Department's four national laboratories have devised what one government document listed as "eight scenarios for SCADA attack on an electrical power grid" -- and all of them work. Eighteen such exercises have been conducted to date against large regional utilities, and Richard A. Clarke, Bush's cyber-security adviser, said the intruders "have always, always succeeded."
Ummmmmm, that's not good.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Remember a previous post about the surface to air missile problem? It can be found here. Here is the story of the people trying to pull this off.
Amazingly enough, it is even the same missile I spoke of in my post, the SA-18.
Yes, those peaceful loving Gray Davis Supporters (Workers Against the Recall). Apparently not.
I initially heard about this via a source in the Davis Campus Republican (DCR), a number of who were in the group attacked. Then instapundit linked to it.
The worst part is that the event was tax payer funded, directly from Gray.
It is becoming apparent that the public sector workers unions, many of who I have personal dealing with, are becoming a serious problem. It is apparent that they consider the public money theirs and they have not figured out that they are killing their particular golden goose.