Quote of the Day – 2012-09-18

From the reigning mistress of snark, Tam.

Actually, “Islamophobia” may not be an accurate term at all, since “-phobia” describes fear that is irrational or out of proportion, when it has been shown over and over that a fear of Muslims losing their collective $#!+ in an orgy of burning, looting, and killing in response to “insults” that might not even be sufficient do draw more than a “Yeah? So’s your mom!” in response on any civilized elementary school playground is grounded in, not just historic example, but a clear-headed grasp of current events.

Not much I can add to that.

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A hint for our chief executive

Warning shots – like those being fired by the security forces at our embassy in Yemen – only work if the people being warned believe that there’s a chance you’ll actually shoot them if they don’t stop. So far, we have not given them any reason to believe this.

These “protests” are invasions of sovereign American soil, and are acts of war. Treat them as such, and shoot the bastards.

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Hacker humor!

I LOL’d.

According to a report on security site F-Secure, Iran’s nuclear energy group — called the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, or AEOI for short — is reaching out for help to rid its system of a malicious program that not only threatens the facility’s daily operations, but also plays a 90s rock anthem on the infected computers.

[...]

The rather vague wording of the email leaves a few unanswered questions as to just what parts of the AEOI are in danger, but one piece of information was very clear: The insidious software prompted several of the group’s computers to begin playing the song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC in the middle of the night, and at full volume. [Emphasis mine - Jake]

Hilarious!

I’m using the term “hacker” here rather than “cracker” because I strongly suspect that this was either an official (but classified) .gov operation, or that there is tacit-but-unacknowledged .gov approval – especially since the US has supposedly hacked Iran’s nuclear program before. In other words, it’s probably (arguably) legitimate cyber-warfare between national governments, instead of criminal mischief. This is also why I’m not condemning the vandalism aspect. The music, since it’s pretty much harmless, could be a great joke in other circumstances – for example, I would (if I were capable of doing something like this) include instructions to remove the virus that required closing the security hole first, as sort of a “secure your system” wake up call – but system damage that threatened normal operations would just not be kosher normally.*

* That’s my honor code. Small details may vary from person to person (e.g., some may think even the music would be going too far), but “do no harm” is pretty much an absolute. If I’d gone into computing instead of EMS, I’m the kind of person that might have ended up a samurai or a sort of benign black hat.

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[Source: Y! Tech article, retrieved 7/24/12]

Ignore Fast & Furious

because Mike Vanderboegh ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, etc.

So says Mother Jones.

Good grief.

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(h/t SayUncle)

How many of us saw this coming?

Sharia Law will be the basis of legislation in Libya.

Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Sunday, during his speech to the nation in Benghazi to formally declare the country’s liberation from the ousted regime of Moammer Kadhafi, that sharia would be Libya’s principal law.

I seem to recall reading predictions of this in several places around the blogosphere even before Obumbles announced that we were going to be dropping bombs to support the rebels. Many of those people noted the allegations that the “Arab Spring” movement had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

And, of course, the first declared change is to reverse advances in women’s rights.

“Any law that violates sharia is null and void legally,” he said, citing as an example the law on marriage passed during the slain dictator’s 42-year tenure that imposed restrictions on polygamy, which is permitted in Islam.

“The law of divorce and marriage… This law is contrary to sharia and it is stopped,” Abdel Jalil said.

[...]

Adelrahman al-Shatr, one of the founders of the centre-right Party of National Solidarity, launched just last week, said it was premature for the NTC leader to speak about the policies of the new state.

“It is a subject that should be discussed with the different political groups and with the Libyan people,” he said.

“These declarations create feelings of pain and bitterness among women who sacrificed so many martyrs,” in the eight-month battle against Kadhafi loyalists, he added.

“By abolishing the marriage law, women lose the right to keep the family home if they divorce. It is a disaster for Libyan women.”

We also see some rather unsavoury characters who will likely end up in positions of power in the new government.

Nevertheless, Libya’s Islamists are a rising force in the country’s political arena, some of whom, such as Abdelhakim Belhaj, the founder of the Al-Qaeda linked but now-disbanded Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), are expected to hold prominent positions.

We have helped to replace one hostile, repressive regime with another hostile, repressive regime. But instead of being motivated by a personal lust for power, which can allow for rational negotiation, the new regime believes they are doing God’s Will. Congratulations, Barry! Great job!

“The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more, no less.”
(Schlock Mercenary, Maxim #34)

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[Source: AFP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 10/25/11]

This irritates me

After 9/11 I had to provide proof of Virginia residence and U.S. citizenship in order to renew my Virginia driver’s license – despite being born in the U.S., despite the fact that I’ve never even been out of the country (not even to Canada, when I lived practically within hiking distance of the border), and the fact that I had possessed a Virginia driver’s license continuously for fifteen years (since I was old enough to drive), with nothing more serious than a single speeding ticket. Why? Because the DMV didn’t keep an actual copy of those records when I originally got my license as a teenager, just a notation that they had been verified, and we suddenly (supposedly) got serious about not giving licenses to people who weren’t supposed to be in this country because the hijackers had gotten driver’s licenses when they weren’t supposed to. It was all for “national security”.

But yesterday a judge has barred New Mexico from simply verifying whether known illegal immigrants are even actually living in the state before issuing licenses.

Apparently, NM is one of the few states that will knowingly issue a driver’s license to illegal immigrants, if they reside in the state. After bill to stop this practice failed in the legislature, the governor issued a requirement that the state verify the residence of known foreign nationals in order for them to “get or keep” their license (it’s not clear from the article if this applies when they renew, or if it’s a blanket re-verification). The judge has temporarily stopped this order, saying that “irreparable injury” would occur from “constitutional deprivations to the applicants.”

The only positive to this is that it is a temporary restraining order. From the sounds of things, I don’t hold much hope for it, though. This is galling, because as a law abiding citizen, I had to jump through more hoops in the name of “national security” to be allowed to continue driving than someone whose first act in coming to this country was to break the law.

When will we as a nation actually get serious about security?

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The media and Libya – 2011-08-23 Quote of the Day

Tam has a post up about the ridiculousness of Teh Won claiming credit for the rebel victory in Libya. Jay G hits one out of the park on a related subject in the comments.

I would, however, like to know how much American money has been spent in Libya. The vanguard US press, who kept a rolling tally of both deaths and costs when the guy in the Oval office had an (R) next to his name, is strangely silent now…

That is a very good question. I’m sure there’s a perfectly valid reason that they’re not counting every penny being spent in Libya like they did for Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq – or, for that matter, a valid reason why the running totals for Afghanistan and Iraq suddenly and quietly got relegated to the back pages (if they get printed at all) shortly after the election.

I mean, it couldn’t be because the media is in the tank for Obama. That would be ridiculous!

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Registration leads to confiscation

In Australia:

Raids yesterday morning by detectives working in Taskforce Acer 17 netted firearms police feared could be passed to criminals.

The weapons were held legally by registered gun owners, but police intelligence revealed 20 had “connections to family or associates who were persons of interest to the Acer Taskforce team”.

Officers simultaneously hit 21 properties at 8am to ensure the licence holders were complying with all conditions.

A total of 21 guns – including 15 shotguns and ammunition for an AK47 rife – were seized.

Raids on lawful gun owners and seizures of their lawfully owned property just because they knew the wrong people.

This is why we resist any form of registration or licensing. Registration eventually leads to confiscation, always.

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[Source: Herald Sun (Australia) article, retrieved 8/21/11]

(h/t Miguel at Gun Free Zone)

Interesting idea

I wonder how well it would work.

Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine. Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties.

I would certainly be interested in finding out.

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[Source: Yahoo! News blog "The Lookout", retrieved 8/16/11]

Portraits and names of Seals released – Is this normal?

The Pentagon has publicly released the names of those killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan last weekend.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the names of SEALs killed in action – especially those in DEVGRU, a.k.a. SEAL Team 6 – normally not associated with the SEAL team, in order to protect the families from retaliation, and to protect operational security? Again, I could be completely wrong – I’m not really familiar with how this kind of thing is normally doen – but it just seems to be unusual.

With allegations that Vice-President Biden’s comments may have already compromised security in a way that resulted in their deaths simply by confirming that it was DEVGRU that conducted the Bin-Laden raid, I have to wonder at this, which would seem to be a much more massive security breach. After all, with a name and a picture, someone can start digging to see who they associated with and when, and start to build a picture of who else – people who are still living – may be part of the same team.

Does this administration have no respect for operational security, and the safety of our soldiers and their families? It seems not.

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