THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 434 October 2 - 8, 2006
Highlights this week:
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October 2, 2006
I have a number of responses to Fred's speculations on mutiny. Some come from junior officers and non-coms either on station or formerly there. I'm editing this into something coherent, and I'm waiting for a response from a senior officer. I will have it posted by tomorrow.
There was interesting mail on Sunday. I have more, but it's time for our walk.
T R Cole you don't have a yahoo account and I have no mailing address for you
Steven Howell I need your mail address
I am still waiting for two more pieces before I put up the mail about Fred's column.
|This week:||Tuesday, October
Foley is gone, and his seat is in doubt; interestingly enough, none of this came out before the primary when the Republicans could easily have replaced Foley with a different candidate. It's not clear who set Foley up; there has been activity in the gay community to get revenge on Foley for not openly announcing himself. Since most people don't save instant messages, particularly that kind of instant message, and it takes a certain amount of trouble to save those sessions, it's fairly clear that there is more here than has been announced. Why those messages were saved doesn't seem to be in discussion.
Whatever one's views on homosexuality -- in Washington DC the age of consent is 16 so there doesn't appear to be anything illegal here -- it's certainly not part of the mainstream culture for grown men to have conversations with teen age boys about masturbation. Of course there is a segment of the population and the intellectual community who think it ought to be part of our culture, and they seem to be taking delight in exposing Foley for doing something that they don't usually oppose. Had Foley's follies been exposed prior to the primary election, he would have withdrawn and a different Republican would have been nominated for what is, absent this kind of scandal, a safe Republican district. This looks to have been rather carefully arranged.
From what I am learning about what goes on in high schools, it is all quite different from when I was in school. For good or ill there is little repression of sexual discussions. When I was a Scout leader, it would hardly have been appropriate to have such discussions with the boys, or to allow them when adults were present. As I learned early on, there are times when it is best not to know what is going on; but that is quite different from participation or giving permission.
Foley's political principles seem in accord with his constituents, but his private life makes it unlikely that his constituents would choose him had they known. Since these conversations seem to have taken place before the primary election, it's pretty clear they were preserved to be made public at this time by persons with political motives.
Iraq and the army: A new Debate in Mail
October 4, 2006
Subject: Record of instant messages
I agree with you thoughts on Foley except for it being hard to get the instant message records. In MSN instant messenger you just right click on the contact and select the message history. On one case on my instant messenger it goes back six months.
Thank you. I seldom use Instant Messages.
I doubt Foley preserved those, so the question becomes, who did, and why?
I use Trillian for my IM and it automatically saves a record of every IM exchange. It wouldn’t be difficult for someone who had access to the machine to pull up the conversation.
Which still leaves the question, who? Who had these and for how long? It appears that the Democrat leadership knew about these for a long time. These messages are years old. Years.
You said "It's hard enough to build a nation out of tribes."
True enough, but the Alemanni, Bastarnae, Bavarii, Burgundians, Chauci, Cherusci, Cimbri, Franks, Franks - Chatti, Franks - Ripuarian, Franks - Mythological, Franks - Salian, Franks - Sicambri, Gepids, Goths, Goths - Ostrogoths, Goths - Tauric, Goths - Visigoths, Hermanduri, Heruli, Ingvaeones, Irminones, Istvaeones, Lombards, Marcomanni, Quadi, Rugians, Saxons, Sciri, Sennones, Suevi, Teutons, Thuringii, Ubii, Vandals, Vandals - Asding, Vandals - Siling, and Warni, et al. managed it.
I do not know enough history to say exactly how. Does anyone know? Is it reproducible? Can the process be shortened and can we skip the analogue of the Germanic Imperial phase please?
Generations of occupation in Gaul and in the area behind the limes with intermarriage and expansion of citizenship. Claudius was born in Gaul, and promoted Gaulish freedmen to administrative posts when he built the Imperial civil service. As to whether the process can be shortened, I don't know, but it took at least a generation in America for citizens to cease being "hyphen Americans", and with "modern" education and civil rights legislation it is not happening at all. We now have ballots in 24 languages. We value "diversity" over Americanization.
If we cannot induce those growing up here to adopt our values, why do we believe we can cause some kind of transformation in Iraq where Sunni hates Shiite, both hate Kurds, and all three despise Turkomen; where the Turks want to suppress an independent Kurdish state which is the only orderly part of Iraq; etc? Clearly nations can be built; equally clearly the Western intelligentsia despises "nationalism". If Iraq is not to inspire "national" patriotism, to just what are Babylonians, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Persians, Turkomen, etc. to be loyal? To Islam? Which one? Shia, Sunni, Wahabi, Sufi? What, other than dislike of Israel and US intervention, unites all these people? I ask seriously.
We have heard that there is a bank robbery in progress in the north part of the Valley. Reporters say there is no evidence that disgraced Republican Congressman Foley is involved, but investigation continues.
Let's see: Democrats control the DC city council. In DC the age of consent is 16, and this applies between elder men and boys of 16; it's perfectly legal. Perhaps that is as it should be. Roman boys became soldiers at 14 and were completely of age, and most Roman girls were married before 16. There are good arguments for making age of consent lower or higher, and I don't intend to engage in them. The point is that it would be no crime to have consummated relations between older men and boys of 16 in DC so long as both parties consented. There is certainly no evidence that any of the boys Foley corresponded with objected to the correspondence; and Foley's power over them was certainly no greater than that of the President over interns in the White House.
Foley had correspondence with 16 and 17 year olds, but there is no evidence that he actually consummated any relationships; had he done so with boys 16 and above it would not be a crime; but when certain Democrats learned of Foley's emails and IM's, they went to the authorities to ask for criminal investigation although there was no crime and to Democrats being gay and cavorting with 17 year old boys can't be a crime? Now they claim that the Republican leadership ought to have gone public, but the Democrats who had most of the data didn't have any obligation to do so, and their concern is protection of the boys --
Protection from what? Under the laws in DC there couldn't have been a crime even if the boys had undressed in Foley's office. There might be some Capitol regulation preventing that, but nothing would have been illegal about a liaison in the local Holiday Inn, the one down by FEMA, or the Capitol Hill Sheraton. What were the boys to be protected from?
Now it's true enough that had Foley's proclivities been known to his constituents they would have chosen another candidate; but that's because Republicans in general do not accept that it's all right for men and boys of 16 to have sexual relations.
If all this had come out about an openly gay Democrat it's not even likely he would have resigned, much less that anyone would call for Pelosi's resignation.
And I for one have had enough of the discussion. Foley doesn't seem to have committed a crime, and the Democrat demands that Hastert resign because he didn't protect the children from something the Democrats have never denounced to begin with is tiresome at best.
October 5, 2006
It's all Foley all the time everywhere. Now Drudge is reporting that it was all a prank by pages egging Foley on.
I thought I said all I need to yesterday, but I will make one prediction: it will turn out, before this is over, that some Congressman actually did have a sexual encounter with a page. It will have been legal because the page was 16 or over. It will be interesting to see which party the Congressman belongs to, and what reactions that will generate; but mark my words, it will come out.
This is all part of the cultural war. There is a difference among criminalizing, legal intolerance, legal tolerance, social intolerance, social tolerance, acceptance, and approval of different behaviors. In DC we have at least legal tolerance of older men having sex with 16 year old boys.
In Foley's Florida district there is criminalization of the same behavior, and social intolerance of that act no matter where committed. It was the duty of the Republican officials to force Foley's resignation -- he could claim Twonk's Disease -- in time for someone else to claim the Republican nomination. They did not do that; but absent evidence of a crime, and there is none, they certainly had no other duties.
We have nationally opted for legal tolerance for sexual actions between consenting adults. In much of the country we have social tolerance, and we seem to be moving toward a national consensus on that. The gay community naturally wants much more, and it is on these fronts -- social tolerance and social acceptance -- that the cultural war is fought. We have some disagreement as to what is the age of consent, and that is one of the tactical battlefields of the cultural wars.
Note that legal and social tolerance of homosexual behavior is one of the irreconcilable differences in the cultural wars with Islam.
Subject: Instant Messaging and a bit of Paranoia
Some questions from my information security paranoia persona. I'll admit to not using Instant Messaging, since it's not very secure (and I find a phone call much easier):
Where do Instant Messages get stored during a chat? Is there a "history" file like the one used by a web browser? Or can a user save IM chats to a file for later perusal? If a computer is compromised by a root kit (trojan/virus), can a command be run to grab an IM chat file? Could a specific user's computer be targeted for possible blackmail-type activities? Who could benefit from such an activity against a political target? How secure is a computer owned by a politician?
I have no answers to these questions. Information security guys like me often think about possible malware attack vectors. And these types of questions would seem to be plausible activities.
Regards, Rick Hellewell
I am afraid I can't help. I only do IM once a month, as it is the means for meetings of the Heinlein Society Board. I then uninstall IM for another month, precisely because I worry about malware. I left it on once, and got messages I didn't want from people I don't know even though I thought I had set it so that was impossible. I HATE being interrupted by instant messages.
October 6, 2006
Column time. Working on Inferno.
Tired of Hastert. It is legal for older men to seduce 16 year old boys in DC. I may think that needs changing, but I weary of those who approve of that situation suddenly saying that they need to protect the children.
Pages in SC are smart kids who grew up in politics. Why is it assumed they are all naive? They are smart teen age kids with political experience. They knew Foley as the Florida Fag. You can write your own script from that.
October 7, 2006
Subject: TSA stupidity and the US Marine Corps
My US Marine Corps son returned from Iraq last week with all ten fingers and ten toes (I counted 'em). When his batallion stopped over in Maine for fuel and customs, they ran them through TSA security for some stupid reason before they got back on their rented 747.
Now imagine this, a USMC Lance Corporal with a M16A4, a M249 and a bayonet in a sheath at his belt, going through TSA security. They ignored the machine guns and the foot long bayonet. However, they took away his tube of toothpaste as it violated their rules ! What is the TSA thinking ? My thought is that we have a bunch of idiots in the TSA.
BTW, I got to help him lug his body armour up to his 2nd story room in the barracks at 29 Palms. His and his roommate's armour was in one duffle bag. It was over 100 lbs ! He is well equipped, maybe too well. And, he wore that armour 10 to 12 hours per day, 7 days per week for seven months in Iraq. Add the 20 lb M249 , 60 lbs of ammo and you are talking about 130 lbs of gear in 130+ F heat. US marines are tough ! He also informed me that his body armour cost $2,200 and that he was financially responsible for it.
Note the ingenuity. The purpose of the TSA is to demonstrate that Americans are no longer citizens; we are now subjects of an incompetent empire. You will obey, even though you know we are being ridiculous and, and we know you know, and you know that we know that you know, etc. In other words, obey! And yes, soldiers, it applies to you also. Salve, Sclave.
As to the TSA's effectiveness....
Subject: No Fly List
Apparently CBS 60 minutes got a copy and will be doing a report Sunday. Bruce Schneier has some details on his blog. <http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/10/nofly_list.html>
-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland.
For news on Mamelukes, see mail.
You might also find the Chaos Reports interesting; some are out of date, but some are not. This is not, alas, the same as the Reports section, and that's my fault for not planning this site better. Reports includes a number of features by many people.
Now I have to get to work.
RIP Wilson "Bob" Tucker, 1914-2006
I am going to miss him.
The Long Loud Silence will be longer and louder. Sigh
Remembering Lepanto. (October 7, 1571)
- Roland Dobbins
For Don John of Austria has set his people free!
October 8, 2006
The news is reporting unrest in Iran, and there are blogs from there saying more; and there is lockdown in Kabul. We have gone abroad seeking dragons to slay. The dragons fight back. We live in interesting times.
New column tomorrow.
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. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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