Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tell It To The Judge

Just saying, If the neo-cons want to convince the world they did the right thing then they should lobby the US Government to join the International Criminal Court.

So Many Paul Ryans

So few Ayn Rands.

… “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” And she didn’t drive him into politics because he couldn’t stand her philosophy, either. Ryan made those comments at a dinner in Washington, D.C. honoring Ayn Rand’s birthday — hosted by The Atlas Society, a group that takes its name from Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged and is dedicated to promoting her ideas But today, in an interview with National Review‘s Robert Costa, Ryan says something very different:

‘You know you’ve arrived in politics when you have an urban legend about you, and this one is mine,” chuckles Representative Paul Ryan, the Budget Committee chairman, as we discuss his purported obsession with author and philosopher Ayn Rand… These Rand-related slams, Ryan says, are inaccurate and part of an effort on the left to paint him as a cold-hearted Objectivist…
“If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas… Don’t give me Ayn Rand…”

 Of course I could have just posted a, “What Digby Says,”


Meet nail.

The other option is for America to sign on to the ICC agreement and everyone can tell it to the judge.

Probably Impacts Effective Corporate Tax Rates

et tu Microsoft?

I am shocked I tell you, that corporations would avoid taxes.

I am not shocked that realism doesn’t make into the conversation however.

If I Had Been Born Rich Instead Of Good Looking

I would be on the top floor of my glass, geodesic dome watching the sunrise.

Israeli Majority Say No To War

Interesting, if your name isn’t Bibi,

There is an important lesson here for the west’s hawks and doves alike. The hawks in the Commons and Congress who invoke Israel’s national security as the chief justification for a pre-emptive attack on Iran are ignoring the expert opinions of Israel’s own military and intelligence chiefs, both past and present. Meanwhile, the doves who take to the streets with anti-war placards that blame the Jewish state for exaggerating the threat from Iran should consider replacing the word “Israel” with “Netanyahu”.

Like they did with Bush and America?

I think the austerity now, recovery later, it’s an election year after all, crew doesn’t want to interrupt their dance with the devil with another unfunded war either.

In the spirit of the last post, I’m left with the option of politics or policy, because the politics of austerity, and structural deficits have a deceptive appeal, just like war with Iran, which suffers the same problem, timing. No one is saying balanced budgets and lower taxes are a bad thing, but with interest rates near zero and the economy struggling due to a lack of good jobs, the priority should be on putting people to work and collecting taxes from them as well, instead of having to figure out how to extend their unemployment benefits, or cut their entitlements to stuff they paid for when they were working.

It seems to me that conservatives are always shooting for the sweet spot on policy, from the Laffer curve to the debt to GDP, based solely on mechanical models while average people suffer the loss of their wealth waiting on the politics of perfect worlds to  produce the Utopian results the models predict will be achieved. Yet if we do nothing, YA, let the Bush tax cuts expire and the spending cuts agreed to take place we end up closer to the results they want to see. In either case the conservatives seem to approve of the mechanical over the humane model.

Burning down the forest isn’t a good model for ridding it of skunks.

Knock Me Over With A Feather Sunday

I was surprised this morning by the bobble heads, who actually put on some pretty impressive work, at least the little that I was able to see. I have got out of the habit of watching them every Sunday, but today it was a shame that they compete, but I thought the political debate on MTP was nearly as interesting as the policy debate on This Week.

I think MTP sort of highlighted the problem of trying to have a policy discussion with political operatives, but that is also the nature of the beast. My own biases tend to incline me towards the left and the policy wonks, and so the round table on This Week was just really good.

I’m not real practiced at writing positive reviews, so I won’t mar this feeble effort with my forte.

That being said 60 Minutes was worth every minute. I thought the CIA guy was doing the CYA two step, but like the lady said, without the full documentation a journalist can’t make a call between the CIA’s and FBI’s version of the enhanced interrogation aka torture of various suspects, although the CIA guy admitted that some mistakes were made, which is a nice way of saying we tortured innocent people, along with torturing guilty people, and that somehow the ends justified the means. If you go with the FBI’s version, then it was just a waste of cruelty.

The second story  was worth the time too, but then when you’ve been hooked this stuff tends to become more interesting 

In the battle against addiction, “just say no” is magical thinking, says Dr. Nora Volkow. She’s the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and after spending decades studying the brains of addicts, Dr. Volkow has determined that drug addiction is a chronic disease that physically changes the brain. Dr. Volkow has found that even images of an addictive substance, such as alcohol or drugs, can produce a dopamine response in an addict’s brain, and some foods can trigger a similar reaction. Morley Safer reports on Volkow’s revolutionary research into addiction, as well as on her revolutionary family history.

I wished I could have caught Face the Nation. No offense Bob, just life. Anyway, that’s the way I saw it today. YMMV.

More GOP Deregulation

Putting the FUD and Dud in Fuddie Duddie.

The thing is, while there are charlatans in every industry, the security market is rich with clever experts who know how to problem solve quickly and laterally. These are the people we should rally together to review, and where necessary rethink, our current defence mechanisms and strategies.

(Yeah, I hate the new interface.) 

It’s Called A Personal Computer For A Reason

All your data are belong to us.

Finally, even if compliance doesn’t concern you, think about what stands between your data in the consumer cloud and anyone who might want to steal it, ransom it, or otherwise mess with it: a password. That’s right, we are in the second decade of the twenty-first century and the security of your cloud data depends on nothing more than your ability to create and protect an unguessable password. Until that changes, the bottom line is sad but simple: When you drive into the cloud you do so at your own risk.

It’s not an alarmist article, just a heads up article. But given the number of 123456789 password passwords it may be a heads up your ass article.

Another Republican Myth Charted

Maybe someone should do a model.

So, it’s clear to see what spendthrifts the Democrats have been and how fiscally responsible the Republicans are what a canard it is to claim that Obama has been spending like a drunken sailor. In fact, Clinton and Obama have been the most fiscally responsible of the last five administrations – by a long shot (and do we really need to talk about St. Ronnie?). Of course, none of this matters because people just know what they know, notwithstanding the facts.

No Supply Side To Demand

How to stimulate demand??!!! Hmmm. Maybe we need a model on the last three years. And more austerity. And a pony.

The Messianic Duos

Former head of Shin Bet lays it on the line, 

“My major problem is that I have no faith in the current leadership, which must lead us in an event on the scale of war with Iran or a regional war,” Diskin told the “Majdi Forum,” a group of local residents that meets to discuss political issues.
“I don’t believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,” he added.

Diskin deemed Barak and Netanyahu “two messianics – the one from Akirov or the Assuta project and the other from Gaza Street or Caesarea,” he said, referring to the two politicians’ places of residence.

Everyone is aware, I suppose, of the head of the IDF’s assesment as well, which was reported by the CS Monitor and Ha’aretz.

While the messianic references seem to mesh with American Evangelical apocalyptic visions of “Israel”, which from a theological stand point makes one sympathetic to the ancient Catholic opposition to the Bible being translated into common languages, and to some extent gives an undeserved patina of righteousness to the real politics noted by Mr. Walt in his piece, a couple of weeks ago,

In one of my earliest posts on this blog, I argued that America’s penchant for counterproductive global interventionism was driven by not one but two imbalances of power. The first was the imbalance of power between the United States and the rest of the world, which made it possible for Washington to throw its weight around without worrying very much about the short-term consequences. If you’re a lot stronger than anyone else, it’s hard to imagine you could lose to anyone and you’re more likely to do something stupid like invading Iraq.

The second imbalance was the disproportionate influence of pro-intervention forces within the U.S. foreign policy establishment. As I put it back in 2009:

“America’s rise to global primacy was accompanied by the creation of a well-developed set of institutions whose stated purpose was to overcome isolationist sentiments and to promote greater international activism on the part of the United States. American liberal internationalism didn’t just arise spontaneously as America’s relative power grew, it was actively encouraged by groups like the Council on Foreign Relations (founded in 1921), and a whole array of other groups and organizations. These institutions don’t always agree on what specific actions the United States ought to take, and they aren’t the sort of clandestine capitalist conspiracy depicted by Lyndon Larouche and other fringe groups. But together they stack the deck in favor doing more rather than less.”

Another former head of the Shin Bet also has expressed grave reservations about what an attack on Iran would mean for the world and the region, and more intimately Israel itself.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said that an Israeli strike on Iran would lead to a missile attack on Israel that would have a “devastating impact” on the country, in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s 60 minutes.

According to Dagan, an attack will start a regional war.  “And wars, you know how they start. You never know how you are ending it,” he said.

I find it doubtful that the modern conservative movement even is aware of Robert Taft, 

Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953), of the Taft political family of Cincinnati, was a Republican United States Senator and a prominent conservative statesman. As the leading opponent of the New Deal in the Senate from 1939 to 1953, he led the successful effort by the conservative coalition to curb the power of labor unions, and was a major proponent of the foreign policy of non-interventionism. However, he failed in his quest to win the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 1940, 1948 and 1952. From 1940 to 1952 he battled New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the leader of the GOP’s moderate “Eastern Establishment” for control of the Republican Party. In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy named Taft as one of the five greatest senators in American history, along with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Robert La Follette.[1]

It is only by ignoring not only the history, but the ideology and political philosophy of conservatism in general that what passes for conservative in the American right today can remotely be construed as conservatism. The movement is all sail no rudder, driven by delusions of religious windbags and opportunistic politicians.

Get Your Guru On

Good IPv6 heads upv at ARS

In a draft proposal filed Tuesday with the Internet Engineering Task Force, a security consultant warned that IPv6 traffic is often able to bypass firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security protections. With the majority of end-user devices now speaking the new language by default, their use may have serious unintended consequences.

As the author explains,

Gont’s paper, which is titled Security Implications of IPv6 on IPv4 Networks, provides links to a wealth of resources for ensuring that sensitive network resources remain isolated from IPv6 traffic.

Deep Thought

Only conservatives pay taxes — and fight wars with other peoples money.