Thursday, September 20, 2007

why isnt congress doing this already....

Bill Clinton was on the daily show tonight, and among other things, he lamented that congresspeople often have a very taxing schedule. they have to fly between where ever they live/represent and DC often. time they spend in DC is time spent away from their constituents and inside the beltway.

i believe this is a legit issue. and its incredibly stupid.

back in the day, it was necessary for congress to actually meet together in one place. the only alternative was correspondence my mail, and that would obviously never work.

but this is the age of the fucking information superhighway (thanks in no small part to al gore). i can go into any damn conference room in my office building and have people from london, tokyo, or both on the phone in moments. with a little bit of setup, i can have them on video. congress is so obviously begging for this.... its literally the ideal use case for videoconferencing.

for gods sake, install some webcams and lets get 98 video feeds into the capitol (someone should be there in person, just for kicks). theres no reason a senator should miss a session just because he has to be home campaigning.

this is incredibly stupid, there should have been a push for this 5 years ago. even if "all" it does is save our lawmakers some sleep, well, our lawmakers a group of people i want, by and large, to be in the best frame of mind they possibly can be. so they should be getting rest whenever possible. plus, *gasp*,they'll be closer and more in touch with the people they actually represent! in fact the only people this hurts are the big interest lobbying groups, since now they'll have to be the ones flying people around! good god its almost too good to be true!

there is no downside. congresspeople can still fly into DC whenever an occasion arises that merits the trip. er, well, there shouldn't be any downside, though if this administration has its way, it could tap the wires for some democratic anti-war committee without a fucking warrant because they're giving "comfort" to the enemy (by even considering a withdrawal)... but once we get this crazy neocons out in '08, there wont be any downside.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

surprise surprise...

all that surveillance, all that data mining, its all bullshit. "good old fashioned police work" is still the best way to go. so why is our executive breaking the fucking law to spy on us?

i wont even go into McConnell's credibility, or apparent lack thereof. i have no reason to trust anyone in this administration at this juncture.

i agree with this completely:

only just found it, but i agree with it completely.

update: i dont think we can win the war in iraq, for any reasonable value of "win". but jon stewart said this on the first running of the daily show after 9/11:

Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They got together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill. . ." It's all a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding. . . that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won. . . they can't. . . it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.

i also agree with that completely. as long was we have our democracy, our freedoms, we can never lose this so called "war on terror". we have already won.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a question...

which i'll hopefully elaborate on myself when i get home tonight:

which is more valuable, an "objective" media that actually caters to one side or the other, or more independent, franchise style reporters (bloggers) who very much proclaim their stance and fight for it tooth and nail? should we empower biased bloggers with more resources to do more investigations, hoping the the competition will turn up the truth? or should we continue to rely on supposedly objective media outlets to bring us the full and complete story?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the coming cyberwar...

haftofthespear has a brief post that mentions that general Petraeus mentioned the war of ideals agaisnt the "terrorists" in cyberspace. i'll just borrow the quote:

"Finally, in recognition of the fact that this war is not only being fought on the ground in Iraq but also in cyberspace, it also notes the need to contest the enemy’s growing use of that important medium to spread extremism."

so what should we do to stem the tide of anti-american propaganda on the intertubez? absolutely nothing.

i mean, this is some really basic social engineering. idiots in the states click on phising websites all the time, enough that bank of america makes me go through an extra layer of clicking for a completely fictitious sense of security. why shouldn't the terrorists be susceptible to the same things? they obviously aren't all brilliant evil geniuses, and they're coming from parts of the world that are relatively new to the internet.

and a forum in which anonymity is integral to success (an online terrorist network, if such a thing exists) would be excedingly easy to infiltrate; just have a couple agents or whatever read some of the numerous studies on establishing identity on anonymous online forums (those are fun studies by the way, though i don't have a link to one).

if anything, the US should be working to foster and expand online terrorists networks with the goal of infiltrating them, not suppressing them.

oh and for god sakes, log everything! hell have France log everything, so if we do find something, no one can accuse us of fabricating stuff. our international credit isnt exactly high right now...

i mean, this is basic stuff. its outrageous if we aren't doing this already. my advice to the policy/war makers; stay out of the tech you'll just muck it up. stick with basic policework, it will be much more effective anyway.

hell we should even tell the terrorists we're doing this, so they can all turn on each other.

and at no risk! if an agent is found out, who cares? he's sitting in his home outside NYC or DC or whereever!

i'd much rather my tax money go to something like this than Petraeus trying to figure out how to censor international content without pissing off everyone in the whole world

as for them attacking us, we need to secure our virtual assests anyway.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ann Coulter is a complete idiot

not that this is news to anyone, but i'm gonna have some fun with it.


"Normally, using the word "deviant" in reference to any form of sodomy
would be a linguistic crime worse than calling someone a "nappy headed
ho." Luckily, Craig is a Republican."

sex in public bathrooms with strangers is deviant behavior. what kind of sex it was is irrelevant.

"As a backup precaution, Matthews has worked to ensure that there is
virtually no audience for "Hardball." I shudder to think of the damage
such a remark might have done if uttered about a non-Republican on a TV
show with actual viewers."

an extremely juvenile comment, but Ann knows none of her readers watch the show, so she can get away with it.

"The New York Times ran 15 articles on Craig's guilty plea to
"disorderly conduct" in a bathroom. The Washington Post ran 20 articles
on Craig."

wow, a combined 35 articles. yeah, totally 9/11 or moon-landing coverage. i will admit, it does seem to have been a slow news week.

"In other news last week, two Egyptian engineering students, Ahmed
Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, were indicted in
Tampa on charges of carrying pipe bombs across states lines. They were
caught with the bombs in their car near a Navy base."

wake me when they're convicted; indicted != guilty. maybe mathews is guilty of that as well, but then, craig plead guilty to something.

"If liberals were any happier, they'd be gay."

i'm not even sure what she's implying here. she probably isnt either, its a poor attempt to appear clever which probably succeeds on her audience. in any case, its another extremely juvenile comment.

"Indignant that Craig had short-circuited their gleeful gay-baiting,
liberals quickly switched to a new set of talking points. In the blink
of an eye, they went from calling Craig a "deviant" to attacking
Republicans for not insisting that Craig stay."

most of the ones i read attacked reps for treating Craig differently from that other senator when the only difference was the type of sex they're having (heterosexual or homosexual). remember Ann? the type of sex doesn't matter? thats the point

UPDATE: David Vitter - thanks adrian.. back to the point....

"Liberals said the only reason Republicans were not blanketing the
airwaves defending Craig -- maybe running him for president -- was
because of Republican "homophobia." After howling with rage all week
about gay Republicans, to turn around and call Republicans homophobes
on Friday was nothing if not audacious.

same point

"Liberals don't even know what they mean by "hypocrite" anymore. It's
just a word they throw out in a moment of womanly pique, like
"extremist" -- or, come to think of it, "gay." How is Craig a
"hypocrite," much less a "blatant hypocrite"?"

because he ran on a platform of family values, and then pleaded guilty to having sex in a public bathroom? public bathroom sex isnt very high on the list of family values is it? so he's saying one thing, yet doing another, which is pretty much the exact definition of hypocrite. can Ann really not understand this? or is she just being completely disingenuous? also, a great quote for GG's new book on gender bias, Ann certainly isnt afraid to pull out her giant ovaries and accuse "liberals" of being "womanly".

"Assuming the worst about Craig, the Senate has not held a vote on
outlawing homosexual impulses. It voted on gay marriage. Craig not only
opposes gay marriage, he's in a heterosexual marriage with kids. Talk
about walking the walk!"

what?? this is amazing, she's bringing up the exact same points someone attacking Craig would (hey, he's having public sex with strangers in a bathroom, while married and with kids!), and using them to defend him and attack the would be attackers. you have to give her credit, i mean this is skillfully laid out bullshit.

"Did Craig propose marriage to the undercover cop? If not, I'm not seeing the "hypocrisy."


the same points keep coming up over and over

but this brings up a great point. lets giving Ann's readership the benefit of the doubt and assume they're intelligent, well meaning people. i'm sure they dont have the time, energy, inclination, or skills to go out and get all the relevant news in todays world, i sure as hell don't. so they, like everyone else, have to attach themselves to some source of knowledge. its unfortunate, but true. if they attach themselves to people like Ann, they'll receive nothing but the dishonest, false, and duplicitous information like that present in the post she made above. and they won't know it for what it is, since they won't have anything to compare it to.

i'm susceptible to the same thing. right now, i get my news pretty much from adrian and Glenn Greenwald. but honestly, i trust my sources a hell of a lot more than i trust Ann Coulter.

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