Got spiders?

Max, 2007/08/31 

There's something oddly humorous about this story. Maybe it's the sure-to-be-a-victim-if this-was-a-b-movie Freddie Gowin, hapless maintenance worker:

When Mr. Gowin drives the power mower through the area, webbing wraps across his bare face, causing him to slap at spiders, real or imagined, crawling on his skin.

An Open Letter To Ted Nugent.


11 Bravo

Dear Ted,
I was suitably impressed by your recent brandishment of a "machine gun" to embellish a few back-handed threats against several Democratic politicians. Damn, we could have used a stud like you in the A Shau back in '70 and '71. God knows, there were times when I looked over my shoulder hoping to see a little outgoing 50 cal, but it's funny, every time I looked, you were never there. Hey, you were probably still busy stateside trying to launder those shit-encrusted jeans you wore down to the draft board.
Trust me, Dude, if crapping your drawers was the intent, based on what I know about you, we could have accomodated you in the first 30 seconds of any of the repeated firefights we engaged in during Operation Lam Son 719 and Operation Texas Star.
I hear you're a big hunter, Teddy. Surely you've heard that man is the ultimate game. Of course, you're probably wired a little differently than I am. You see, Teddy, 35+ years after the fact, I still wake up every now and then haunted by the faces of the two men whom I am certain that I killed. I try not to think about the fact that over my months in the bush there were almost certainly more than two, but these particular NVA grunts were only 50 meters outside our perimeter, and after I lit them up, their comrades were unable to retrieve them. We dragged the bodies in the next morning. I've got no problem with rationalizing that it was me or them, Teddy. But, unlike you and every other chickenhawk drum-pounder I've ever heard of, I refuse to celebrate their deaths.
Now, why don't you piss off and blow up a few more animals on a canned hunt? Maybe that's what you need to get it up with the under-age girls that your own daughters claim you relish. But please remember, you once had a chance to lock and load against someone able to shoot back. You chose to shit yourself instead.

Them vets just say it right out there.  And the Cat Scratch Freeper needs to listen. 

The Democratic Underground contains at least a thousand actively posting vets from every war going back to WWII.

B. Traven – An Anti-Biography

Senrab, 2007/08/30 

I don't know why this is interesting (yet) …

“The biography of a creative man is completely unimportant.” – B. Traven

If one has an interest in B. Traven, it should be – as he wished – as a result of what he wrote. Traven took great effort throughout his life to avoid any cult of personality or role of fame. Traven was only a name, one of many used in his life. The man behind the names was a complex character, famous for his novels as B. Traven – and, ironically, eventually famous for being someone trying to avoid fame. We will try to trace his history, sifting the facts from the speculation wherever possible. As Traven intended, what is fact and what remains speculation is still disputed by biographers.


Ned Ludds Lesson


The current public debate that pits security and privacy as dichotomous rivals to be traded one for another in a zero-sum game is based on a general misunderstanding and apprehension of technology on the one hand and a mythology of privacy that conflates secrecy with autonomy on the other. Further, political strategies premised on outlawing particular technologies or techniques or seeking to constrain technology through laws alone are as doomed to failure as Ned Ludd’s swing of the sledgehammer – and will result in little security and brittle privacy protection.

Security and privacy are not a balancing act but rather dual obligations of a liberal democracy6 that present a wicked problem for policy makers. Wicked problems are well known in public policy and are generally problems with no correct solution. Wicked problems reveal additional complexity with each attempt at resolution and have infinite potential outcomes and no stopping rule – that is, the process ends when you run out of resources, not when you reach the correct solution. There is no fulcrum point – as is implicit in the balance metaphor – at which point the correct amount of security and privacy can be achieved. Wicked problems occur in a social context and the wickedness of the problem reflects the diversity of interests among the stakeholders. Resolving wicked problems requires an informed debate in which the nature of the problem is understood in the context of those interests, the technologies at hand for resolution, and the existing resource constraints.

This article proposes that technical development strategies premised on separating knowledge of behavior from knowledge of identity based on the anonymization of data (for data sharing, matching and analysis technologies) and the pseudonymization of identity or authorization (for identification and collection technologies) can help protect individual autonomy while still meeting security needs.

 What's in your wallet? 

The shadow of a crooked rod cannot be straightened


Begin Transmission /


Domain Convergence and the “Fog of Law”
Fourth Generation Warfare (4GWF)
Center of Gravity is Legitimacy
Information as instrument of power
Symmetry/Asymmetry in IW
al Qa’ida and the Internet
Targeting information, channels, and actors
Conclusion – need for doctrinal framework and legitimacy

Review and collaborate at your own risk. Details will be found here.

/End Transmission

Rollout Scheduled for 9/11.


From the incredible Kpete:  (who is this person?)

Cheney & Iran: Barnett Rubin relays a message from a well-connected friend in Washington on the Cheney Administration’s plans to roll out a military confrontation with Iran in September.

Post Labor Day Product Rollout: War with Iran

…." Today I received a message from a friend who has excellent connections in Washington and whose information has often been prescient. According to this report, as in 2002, the rollout will start after Labor Day, with a big kickoff on September 11. My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way:

They (the source's institution) have "instructions" (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for this–they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty."

Of course I cannot verify this report. But besides all the other pieces of information about this circulating, I heard last week from a former U.S. government contractor. According to this friend, someone in the Department of Defense called, asking for cost estimates for a model for reconstruction in Asia. The former contractor finally concluded that the model was intended for Iran. This anecdote is also inconclusive, but it is consistent with the depth of planning that went into the reconstruction effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I hesitated before posting this. I don't want to spread alarmist rumors. I don't want to lessen the pressure on the Ahmadinejad government in Tehran. But there are too many signs of another irresponsible military adventure from the Cheney-Bush administration for me just to dismiss these reports. I am putting them into the public sphere in the hope of helping to mobilize opposition to a policy that would further doom the efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and burden our country and the people of the Middle East with yet another unstoppable fountain of bloodshed.


On sex


What a strange topic. It's almost impossible to write, let alone to even think, rationally about the subject. When viewed in strictly biological terms it's a normal function of the reproductive system but with sensory feedback way out of proportion to what it aims to achieve, in humans at least. In most animals it makes more sense as a temporary "pon far" like episode; a ritual madness clearly oriented toward the act of reproduction. When the season is passed the animal can get down to normal activities without preoccupation. Not so with the "reasoning" species.

We get horribly bent out of shape about whether we're doing it with the right partner(s), in the right positions, with appropriate gender(s), and most of all whether it's often enough. To evaluate all these criteria we watch others closely to see if they are "doing it right" and when we see evidence of failure- identified by divergence from the norm which is always sketchy ("everybody lies about sex" -Lazarus Long) we are momentarily jubilant that we must be on the right track after all. If we can identify clearly those who are doing it wrong we can begin to relieve the preoccupation momentarily, but it never really vanishes entirely.

A healthy sex life may just be the ultimate holy grail we humans can find, and possibly it is an unconscious source of our evaluation of self-worth. The possessor of the grail would presumably never need to discuss it, so my introduction of this topic might be seen to be revelatory of the status of my quest. Those who can't stop talking might be either pathetically lost in the struggle or else they are so indulgent in their joy of possession as to want to describe every facet of its shiny goodness for all. I would posit that this is another indication the grail has slipped from their hands and their search must go on.

With some trepidation I voice this simple request…. discuss?


byronius, 2007/08/29 

The Lost American City.  Oh, BTW — turns out EVERYONE anticipated the breach of the levees.  On videotape, no less.  And those sandbag helicopters, ordered to stand down by Brownie — WTF?     Ohhhhhhh —  now we get it!

Boy, Do Rich White Condo Developers Love GW Bush!  Field Day!  And — way to wipe out a Democratic stronghold!  Score!

Kinda like the ol' August PDB.  PNAC Heaven! 

Gosh, We Suck. 


Happy Anniversary

Scary stuff



The president's escalating war rhetoric on Iran

George Bush, speaking before yet another military audience, yesterday delivered what might actually be the most disturbing speech of his presidency



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