THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 333 October 25 - 31, 2004
Highlights this week:
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here.
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October 25, 2004
I have a serious problem with Norton Anti-Virus: it will no longer autoscan. Attempts to turn it on simply don't work. I have tried it complete with reset and turning the machine off. If will not start itself on startup, nor will it autoscan mail. It says it isn't doing it. The Norton control panel where you turn such things on doesn't work. The OPTIONS thing has a box that you check to turn on autoscan. The check mark appears, but when you do OK, nothing happens, autoscan doesn't turn on. So far as I can tell all is well, I have sent mail to myself and it comes through as sent, and I sent another message to myself with an attachment and that came through precisely as sent. So I am not sending infected mail.
But why Norton does not turn on is a mystery.
It may have to do with a startup manager program that does not remove itself properly; I will have to look into that. I thought I had entirely killed that program but it may be that I did not manage it. If so it is well hidden. It was one you get free from a major web site, which is column material if that is what is at fault.
I have done a complete system scan with Norton, and also with SPYBOT and ADAWARE. I don't think I have any problems other than that Norton won't turn on, but what is turning it off is not clear.
Please do not send me wild guesses; someone out there will KNOW what to do here. For obvious reasons I am not opening any attachments so please sent me suggestions in plain text until I get this problem seolved.
I have a call in through Norton PR so that may work. Meanwhile, if anyone has real knowledge (as opposed to speculations) about this, I'd appreciate mail. Also, other scan programs that may be helpful in finding the problem: pointers to those appreciated.
UPDATE> The problem remains. I was talking with Symantec Security techs, but I have the horrible feeling they have gone home for the day. They had me go to security.norton.com and run an on-line virus scan. That took an hour, and found nothing. If I have any problems, NORTON can't find them.
But: when Norton is finished scanning, and I open the Norton AntiVirus program, it shows green and says autoprotect is "refreshing"; then it goes red, and I can't turn autoprotect on. Nothing I do will turn on autoprotect, which makes me wonder just what is happening here.
Fascinating. No one seems to know. Thus I may need a better mail-scanning virus detector that reliably works. I started fooling around with Norton settings because it suddenly and without warning began popping up a message every time it encountered a virus attachment in mail, which is to say, about every 20 seconds. I just wanted it to delete them without telling me. That didn't work, and now I can't make it work at all.
Clearly the right thing for me to do is switch over to Linux, but too many readers are in Windows and will be there a while. Roberta is borrowing my Mac for work on her reading program. That's another solution. I'm not a Windows hater; when it works, as it usually does, it does it well and invisibly. But I am sure getting tired of odd things like this, where no on knows what is going on.
I have it working again, but I have to start it manually. That is: I discovered that on another machine similar to this one there run on startup C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccAPP.exe and another in the same directory called ccRegVfy.exe; and if I manually run both those programs, then Norton appears down in the tray, and scan mail and autoprotect are on, and all is well. Now if I can figure out how to start those automatically I will be in good shape. I know there must be a way to add them to the run on startup system, but unlike early windows which had ini files you could understand, there's some special way to do this.
While I am at it, Windows Messenger keeps trying to run itself. I don't want it. I keep killing it. What can I do to slaughter that beast? I don't want it at all...
I just sent myself an email with a big attachment and Lo! The Norton popup came up to tell me it was scanning the outgoing message, as it was supposed to do; so that's set. All I have to do is run those applications on startup. Now -- how can I get them to run automatically? I am sure there is a way, and I have it in books here, and I am just lazy enough to ask. Hmm. One book says drag icons into the startup window. Now to find that...
Well, it looks simple. My startup run folder is empty so whatever I used to do either wasn't there or got erased. Let's see now...
Subject: Norton failure
I had this problem and had to go to www.trendmicro.com and do their online scan to remove the problem(s) that were making it so the Norton could not get to the mothership. I learned this solution from another techie...pass it on. This also solidified my decision to go with the Trend Micro anti virus protection for my server. You may want to do the same.
Yours, with respect,
Which may be true here but I don't think so. I think I have solved the problem. In any event I was unable to find any online scan at the trendmicro web site. That may be stupidity on my part. I've spent more time today on this problem than I wanted to.
|This week:||Tuesday, October
The Norton problem is solved; the details are instructive enough that they'll go into the BYTE column and probably Dr. Dobbs as well.
October 27, 2004
I have a relapse of the crud, my head isn't working, and this won't be much of a day.
On that weapons dump: the NBC Correspondent embedded with the 101st says the cache wasn't there when they got to it, the day after Baghdad fell. Why is this astonishing, and is Kerry so stupid as to be unable to understand that Saddam would move his explosives from where the UN had them located, or is he just a demagogue? And is the answer to that important?
October 28, 2004
There is a letter from a Kerry supporter on the ammunition dump issue over in mail. I have written a substantial comment, more on the issue than his letter, but I'll leave that in mail.
I continue to recover in quiet misery.
Thank heaven for
which has allowed me to breathe at night.
More on the ammunition dump: Bush should call the theater commander to the White House, and in the Oval Office, with the general standing at attention in front of his desk, say "I am very disappointed about this. Good morning, General. Dismissed."
The real problem is that no one thought the Iraqi would behave as they have for about a thousand years. It's politically incorrect to assume that once the restraints of order are removed, people will behave like savages. Apparently no one is required to read The Lord of the Flies any more, or pay attention to it if they did. Not to mention much better books on the subject.
When the mob hungers, it burns the bakeries in search of bread.
But I see no evidence whatever that the Democrats understand the situation any better.
The following is a dialogue between me and Fred Reed (Fred on everything) in another conference; published with permission.
That is certainly the view that prevails in the Pentagon. They're coming for us, and we should fight them overseas.
I have yet to have an answer to the question "If they are coming for us, how will they get here if the Navy does any part of its job?"
Fred Reed wrote:
In the twenty years plus when I covered the military, the Pentagon always believed that someone was coming for us and that we were in grave danger. For example, the Soviets were always pulling ahead in crucial technologies and just barely behind in others. They were stealing our technology and would use it to defeat us. They had more weapons and their latest models were better than ours. They seemed to be preparing a first strike.
Having been to Russia, I knew it to be Mexico without the technology or consumer goods, that the computers I very rarely saw in hotels were visibly crummy knockoffs of the Apple II (I think it was). The abacus was the rule. When my junket went to Pravda, I asked to see their computers. French and British stuff. Why, I asked, meaning why not Russian? The answer, so help me, was that Reagan wouln't let them have a VAX. I had talked to the enlisted guys at Aberdeen who drove captured Russian tanks. Junk, they said, hard to drive and broke down constantly. I knew something about manufacturing microcircuity, and knew they couldn't reproduce technology they could have bought at Radio Shack. So far as I know, they still can't make a decent PC. Taiwan spit them out, even then, like golf balls.
Without a threat to counter, the Pentagon has no reason for being. It will always believe in a threat.
Jerry Pournelle wrote:
There is a great deal to what you say; of course that was our job (I was one of the civilian threat and counter analysts for most of my aerospace career). And the Soviets were able to make some fairly decent armor, and they had tactical nuclear weapons.
A tactical nuclear weapon is one that goes off in Germany. If it goes off in a WTO nation the danger of escalation is too high. Ditto CONUS or FRANCE or NATO. Weapons that go off in those places are not tactical but strategic; But nukes that blow off in Germany are tactical.
We can discuss just how much defense was needed during the Cold War another time; certainly the Berlin Blockade was a pretty near thing as far as WWIII is concerned and most of us thought Patton had been right ("We have to fight them sometime, why don't we do it while we've got a goddam army over here to do it with?")
And you must understand that getting information out of the USSR was pretty hard since most people who told the truth about the place were not allowed back in. The Army sent officers to Cornell and such places, where they were taught that East Germans were happy, by the professorate who could get access to East Germany for their scholarly papers (publish or perish!) only by teaching that the East Germans really liked being a People's Republic. And US Army intelligence officers were taught that as Gospel... It was the same for most other academics.
The United States no longer values EDUCATION and KNOWLEDGE. It now values only CREDENTIALS, and credentials are available only from academic institutions, and the professorate is mostly divorced from reality. So it goes.
Fred Reed wrote:
BTW, I don't suggest that the Soviets were innocuous, or that we shouldn't have opposed them. Having greatly superior weapons has a wholeome deterrent effect and discourages adventurism. Big stick, speak softly. It worked.
As for the quality of Soviet weapons, I understand the difficulty in getting info out of the USSR. Howsomever, the success rate of SAMs over Hanoi was known--poor in comparison to number of sorties over the city. Unless one believed the monkey-model theory that the USSR always had far superior arms hidden and only gave bum stuff to clients, the gear captured indicated poor quality. I spent time in Cuando Cubango with Savimbi's boys. They had captured Soviet trucks but said they overheated and weren't real useful. Belenko presumably had not hesitation in talking about aviation and we had the Foxbat.
Having seen late-model (for then) Soviet tanks and spent days at a time in an M1 (non-tech story for Harper's is on my site) I can promise where the advantage lay. As a small but important example, M1s and of course back-fitted A3s had thermals, while the sovs, said Jane's, had only microchannel photomultipliers which ain't that great. I never got aboard a Soviet sub, but assuming that Jane's was even close, no comparison. I did go to sea once with an 726-class boomer (the Florida, also on site). Holy god. I knew our advantage in computers and therefore in signal processing. Just looking at lots of Soviet subs indicated flownoise. The Florida had the BQQ-6 sonar suite and full torpedo room and was for various reasons astoundingly quiet. Bad ship to hunt, worse one to find.
Etc. And if the Sovs had secretly had advanced electronics etc they would have used it in the general economy to get the money to buy weaponry. Well, they didn't.
Also over in that conference, in a discussion of Iraq I had this to say about "real-politik":
"We could have allied with Saddam. It wouldn't have stopped his kids from feeding people to the wood chippers feet first, but it would have kept Iran and Saudi Arabia under control.
"And it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper. Taliban gone. Afghanistan gets our major attention so it really shines. Saddam tones down some of the excesses "Come on, Saddam, you can't let your kids DO that sort of thing. At least not where journalists can see it happen."
"And we still have people to shoot at in Afghanistan, and we can deploy some of the regiments on the border of the US. "
My point being that there are political limits to real-politik; can you imagine the political consequences of such a policy?
I'm putting up things I said another time because my head isn't working very well today.
October 29, 2004
There is a letter ostensibly about the ammunition dump but in fact about "doing it right" in Iraq; with a lengthy comment that is more than a reply. My head is clearing up but not a lot, and one short essay is all I can manage today, so please see that as today's comment.
October 30, 2004
One hopes the Republican National Campaign Committee will come to its senses and fire the imbecile staff members who decided to bring criminal charges against radio show hosts John and Ken for endorsing Dreier's opponent in their "political human sacrifice" campaign. The Republicans have ever been The Stupid Party; but this is stupidity that heads down a very dangerous road.
John and Ken, a pair of abrasive talk show hosts mostly of the populist persuasion were influential in the Gray Davis recall movement. They have lately taken on immigration laws and the failure to enforce them; and part of that was "political human sacrifice" in which they chose a Congresscritter who had a bad record on immigration. They chose Dreier (R) after considering a bunch of others for reasons that seemed good to them. Now the NRCC is charging them with criminal violation of the election act by giving "an in kind donation of more than $25,000" to Dreier's opponent: to wit, they endorsed his opponent.
I need not say more. This is outrageous.
I am certain nothing will come of this; no one is going to jail; but this attempt to suppress political opposition through the Elections "Reform" Act is precisely what those of us who opposed Campaign "Reform" predicted and feared, and it is a sword that can lead to the worst kind of excesses. It is the act of some foolish people in a panic; it needs to be stopped and apologized for and the people who started this action should be fired and sent to exciting new careers in concrete breaking or some other work appropriate to their intellectual capacities, lest someone else decide this is a good idea. This action needs not merely to be stopped -- that will happen -- but the people responsible for it need to be fired.
I have sent a letter to the NRCC on this, and I would hope that every one of my readers will do the same. Now, while you are thinking about it. Google NRCC, go to Contact Us, and tell them they have been worse than foolish. This is a dangerous game, and the people who thought of trying it ought to be invited to leave political employment forever.
I also suggest that the NRCC begin sensitivity classes for its staff: sensitivity to the Bill of Rights, and particularly to the provision about Congress making no law abridging the freedom of speech. (and see mail)
The Jacksonian Tradition
Walter Russell Mead And American Foreign Policy
IN THE LAST five months of World War II, American bombing raids claimed the lives of more than 900,000 Japanese civilians--not counting the casualties from the atomic strikes against Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  This is more than twice the total number of combat deaths that the United States has suffered in all its foreign wars combined. 
On one night, that of March 9-10, 1945, 234 Superfortresses dropped 1,167 tons of incendiary bombs over downtown Tokyo; 83,793 Japanese bodies were found in the charred remains--a number greater than the 80,942 combat fatalities that the United States sustained in the Korean and Vietnam Wars combined.
Since the Second World War, the United States has continued to employ devastating force against both civilian and military targets. Out of a pre-war population of 9.49 million, an estimated 1 million North Korean civilians are believed to have died as a result of U.S. actions during the 1950-53 conflict.  During the same war, 33,870 American soldiers died in combat, meaning that U.S. forces killed approximately thirty North Korean civilians for every American soldier who died in action. The United States dropped almost three times as much explosive tonnage in the Vietnam War as was used in the Second World War, and something on the order of 365,000 Vietnamese civilians are believed to have been killed during the period of American involvement. 
Regardless of Clausewitz's admonition that "casualty reports . . . are never accurate, seldom truthful, and in most cases deliberately falsified", these numbers are too striking to ignore. They do not, of course, suggest a moral parallel between the behavior of, say, German and Japanese aggressors and American forces seeking to defeat those aggressors in the shortest possible time. German and Japanese forces used the indiscriminate murder of civilians as a routine police tool in occupied territory, and wholesale massacres of civilians often accompanied German and Japanese advances into new territory. The behavior of the German Einsatzgruppen and of the Japanese army during the Rape of Nanking has no significant parallel on the American side.
In the Cold War, too, the evils the Americans fought were far worse than those they inflicted. Tens of millions more innocent civilians in communist nations were murdered by their own governments in peacetime than ever died as the result of American attempts to halt communism's spread. War, even brutal war, was more merciful than communist rule.
Nevertheless, the American war record should make us think. An observer who thinks of American foreign policy only in terms of the commercial realism of the Hamiltonians, the crusading moralism of Wilsonian transcendentalists, and the supple pacifism of the principled but slippery Jeffersonians would be at a loss to account for American ruthlessness at war.
Suspicious of untrammeled federal power (Waco), skeptical about the prospects for domestic and foreign do-gooding (welfare at home, foreign aid abroad), opposed to federal taxes but obstinately fond of federal programs seen as primarily helping the middle class (Social Security and Medicare, mortgage interest subsidies), Jacksonians constitute a large political interest.
In some ways Jacksonians resemble the Jeffersonians, with whom their political fortunes were linked for so many decades. Like Jeffersonians, Jacksonians are profoundly suspicious of elites. They generally prefer a loose federal structure with as much power as possible retained by states and local governments. But the differences between the two movements run very deep--so deep that during the Cold War they were on dead opposite sides of most important foreign policy questions. To use the language of the Vietnam era, a time when Jeffersonians and Jacksonians were fighting in the streets over foreign policy, the former were the most dovish current in mainstream political thought during the Cold War, while the latter were the most consistently hawkish.
One way to grasp the difference between the two schools is to see that both Jeffersonians and Jacksonians are civil libertarians, passionately attached to the Constitution and especially to the Bill of Rights, and deeply concerned to preserve the liberties of ordinary Americans. But while the Jeffersonians are most profoundly devoted to the First Amendment, protecting the freedom of speech and prohibiting a federal establishment of religion, Jacksonians see the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, as the citadel of liberty. Jeffersonians join the American Civil Liberties Union; Jacksonians join the National Rifle Association. In so doing, both are convinced that they are standing at the barricades of freedom.
Lee said it best, of course; and Patton echoing him understood. The Anglo-Saxon-Scots-Irish people are the most warlike people in history, and their enemies forget it at their peril. God help Bin Laden if he manages to arouse the actual fury of the United States and Britain.
I thought the people of Fallujah were about to learn, when for some unaccountable reason the troops were called off. But they may yet find out.
For an English view on the above, see mail.
October 31, 2004
All Hallow's Eve
From ghosties and goulies and long legged beasties,
and things that go bump in the night
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