Archive for January, 2006

Joel Stein…Blue Pill Person

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Joel Stein’s editorial in the LA Times was something I tried to read but the ignorance and self righteous drivel smelled to bad. I got the point quickly. He’s another one of those folks who doesn’t even consider the US Military useful. He would probably be in favor of severe cuts in DoD funding like a certain Georgia peanut farmer. I pretty much ignored the drivel as just that drivel.

Today, while scanning Memeorandum, I saw the maelstrom that was created by his bit of “writing” and checked out some links. For starters, he was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt and Radioblogger has an MP3 as well as the transcript. Just reading the transcript isn’t good enough…you REALLY need to hear the interview to get a handle on the job Hewitt did on this guy. Mr. Stein, here’s your lunch, hat, and ass back.

And then, as if Hewitt didn’t disassemble Mr. Stein already, The American Thinker has a letter from LTC Steve Russell, Commander Task Force 1/22nd Infantry (the folks that dragged Hussein from his hole). Normally I would just leave the link and be done with it but the good Colonel’s letter is SO dead on I’m going to post the whole thing.

Mr. Stein’s commentary on soldier support is remarkable because it reflects more than just his opinion. It may even express a viewpoint.

While most of Mr. Stein’s commentary is indicative of a man who has enjoyed our freedoms with none of the responsibility (by his own admission), he has at least one point of merit. He does not conceal his true conviction. When one considers those that say they support the troops but not the war, it is hard to distinguish which is more harmful to the soldier.

Mr. Stein alludes to this as trying to have it both ways and implies this is a moral cop out. He may be right. It can also be viewed as similar to telling the trash man, “Thanks.” It is seldom sincere. It is just so the trash will keep being taken away by someone willing to do it so one does not have to get his hands dirty.

Mr. Stein’s tragedy is not his clear conviction but rather that he steals freedom from his sacrificing countrymen. He sees no moral dilemma with that—which is indicative of an attitude prevalent among some self-proclaimed, high-browed, educated types that believe there is somehow a moral superiority in non-involvement. To defend his position, Mr. Stein is critical of what he calls ‘American imperialism.’ To borrow what he surely intended as a denigrating analogy, we can indeed see parallels in attitude if not government and conquest.

Rome had its internal critics. So did Greece. But when the vast majority of Romans began to view the finer points of life as morally superior to the lower points of necessity, Roman youth lost their appreciation for what held Rome together in the first place. Soon, hired or conquered levies replaced Romans in the ranks. Why should Romans fight wars that they could not see any reason for fighting? After all, what impact did they have in Rome?

Eventually, the theory of a moral superiority in non-involvement met the cold steel of non-theoretically superior sword thrusts from Vandals and Huns that replaced Romans in the Roman empire.

I take exception to Mr. Stein’s comment about soldiers ignoring their morality. And as a soldier that has served in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, none of those experiences ever made me feel ‘lucky.’ The noble ‘wars’ and ‘fights’ are seldom noble for the soldier. They involve pain and human suffering on a grand scale. Mr. Stein I am quite certain has never killed a man and is proud of that. I have had to kill several men in desperate, close combat while I watched my opponents facial expressions change as life ebbed out of them. I am quite certain that I am not proud of that.

But what separates him from me is certainly not education. Nor is it conviction of purpose. It is indeed morality. But of a nobler kind. No greater love has a man, than he lay down his life for his friends—even when they act and write unfriendly.

As an American, I no longer draw a distinction of who qualifies to be one or is best suited to appreciate democracy. After serving nine years overseas and on multiple continents, I do not see white or black or Hispanic or Indian or oriental or educated or simple-minded Americans. I only see Americans. Even the unfriendly kind. And when I am old, I will be able to look in the mirror and know that I acted on my convictions to preserve what others will not. Cannot. Do not. And what I will see is a man with a clear conscience and a moral sense of purpose.

I am thankful I do not have to look into Mr. Stein’s mirror.

LTC Steve Russell

And, on Hewitt’s blog he posts a note from a member of our military.

Hugh, Only one word can describe how I feel after reading the editorial by Mr. Stein – sadness. Sadness that such ingorance is still so prevalent in such an educated (at least I want to believe we are educated) society. I am on my 3rd year of active duty deployment since 11 Sep 01. I served 9 years in the Navy during the Cold War, both in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. My son Adam, who graduated high school in 2004, is currently stationed near An Najaf, and, by the way, reenlisted for 5 years while in country. He had other alternatives and opportunities and I even tried to steer him in a different direction. Yet, he joined and serves willingly, as do I. By the way, Hugh, lest folks like Mr. Stein think we soldiers are an ignorant lot, I happen to have a bachelors degree in computer science from the esteemed Chapman University of Orange California. I worked 10 years as a software engineer for various companies such as Rockwell, The Soma Group, DCA Services Inc., COM2001, etc. I am working on my masters in homeland security/information security. One of the sergeants in the battalion I previously served with had his doctorate in education. Most soldiers are working on higher education even as they serve in the combat zone. Some of the brightest, best thinkers I have met have been in the military. Ignorant? Stupid? Duped? Foolish? Hardly. I can tell you this, Hugh, we serve because we understand the world around us, we understand reality, and we understand that the best defense is a darn good offense. Hugh, thanks for the interview with Mr. Stein – you certainly laid bare his depth of knowledge and understanding of not only the military, but the realities of the world in general. And should he care to experience some military training first hand, he can contact me at the below numbers or this email. We have a lot of infantry field training coming up this year and we can certainly find a place for him for a couple of days, and I will personally serve as his escort if he agrees. Consider it an open invitation. Best Regards, SSG A. B.

Hewitt says that if Mr. Stein is interested, he will facilitate the meeting. You might want to drop Mr. Stein a note, care of the LA Times, and encourage him to participate.

Collecting and Connecting Dots

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Gotta love Bryan Preston’s blog Junkyard Blog. His piece from last week contained this little PSA which is better than anything I’ve seen from Moveon.

Go watch it…yeah, it’s work safe.
[h/t: Michelle Malkin]

NYTimes earning plunge? SHOCKED!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Fancy that, the NYCrimes earnings have plummeted. I bet they are scratching their little empty heads about that one. “Gee, we attacked the troops at every turn!” they whine. “We even distort their final letters home when they are killed by the ‘dissidents’ in Iraq!” they cry. “We have made every effort to undermine the country!” they stammer. “Why oh WHY are we slowly going under?”. **sigh** Perhaps this is why.

But, what can you expect from this treasonous fishwrap. If their readership continues to drop along with their profits they will begin paying US advertising dollars to line our bird cages with their despicable rag.

Now we got’m, now we don’t.

Saturday, January 14th, 2006

Well shoot. What happened in Pakistan early friday morning is a perfect of example of going from Hero to Goat in the span of a few hours.

The Pakistani’s and our own barbarian supporters will be screaming their typical rants of:

  • “Targeting civilians!”
  • “Bush can’t run this war!”
  • “US Military are baby killers!”

I’m not thrilled with the prospect of killing innocents in this attack. It saddens me but I have to realize that terrible things happen in war. Any number of things could have happened here. Perhaps we were given bad intel on purpose. Maybe Zawahiri **WAS** there but had left before the attack was launched. Maybe someone mis-identified someone as Zawahiri(as a CIO of a certain education organization accused me the other day, “they all look like”. Yeah, MP, I’m alittle pissed about that). Who knows what happened to cause this but the bottom line is we killed 15 or so people, including children, in a military strike against a legitimate target but our intelligence was wrong. Terribly sad but it happens in War. It’s the nature of War.

I’m just wondering when Al-Kennedy or Al-Pelosi will crawl out from under their rock and demand an investigation into why the Administration targeted these civilians for attack.

Counterterrorism Blog has the complete round up.

A Call for Transparency

Friday, January 13th, 2006

This comes from NZBear and deserves your signature too.

An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.

We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members.

But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.

As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.

Signed,

N.Z. Bear, The Truth Laid Bear
Hugh Hewitt, HughHewitt.com
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com
Kevin Aylward, Wizbang!
La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber’s Corner
Lorie Byrd / DJ Drummond , Polipundit

Beth Cleaver, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Jeff Goldstein, Protein Wisdom
Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
John Hawkins, Right Wing News
John Hinderaker, Power Line
Jon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandO

James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
Mike Krempasky, Redstate.org
Michelle Malkin, MichelleMalkin.com
Ed Morrissey, Captain’s Quarters
Scott Ott, Scrappleface
The Anchoress, The Anchoress

John Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!
Pilgrim, Confessions of a Pilgrim

Tracphones? I’ll have 60 please

Friday, January 13th, 2006

Well well well Mr. Risen, sure this has nothing to do with your book…er…SCOOP huh? Tracphones are wonderful for parents who want to have contact with their kids without the fear of their kids running up huge cell bills. They are also great for blowing up subway trains and other things.

Mr. Risen, you broke the story of the NSA program where our government was monitoring telephone calls from and to suspected barbarians. Cell and land line phones are easy to sniff…except for these tracphones. I just wonder what these particular barbarians were going to do with 150 tracphones. It would be all but impossible to track them. Say each barbarian has four or five phones and the rotate them every five days. Impossible to find let alone monitor.

This particular bunch of barbarians were captured by sharp eyed and quick witted Walmart and Target employees. What about the others who are doing the same thing, possibly right there in Gotham, and are NOT getting caught? What about those who are getting them online?

Mr. Risen, you do realize of course that your actions may well have contributed to this, right? Your blue pill mentality has put us all at risk just so you could sell a few pathetic books. Thanks Mr. Risen, the blood is on your hands.

SMASH, the verb?

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Yeah, I’m thinking so. SMASH has now “smashed” two Congressmen with the question of Victory or Defeat in Iraq with very different results. First it was
California Congressmen Filner in a live setting. Filner’s response was…well…somewhat difficult to understand:

FILNER: Well, I mean, first of all, let me say I don’t, I don’t want to be seen as a defender of the previous regime, but that was, I think, the previous regime.

(nervous laughter)

FILNER: Why did we go in? You know, that’s what Saddam claimed to have, right? You’ve got to add some human rights to that, so…

SMASH: Sure, yeah, representative —

FILNER: No, see, you, what you have done, is what I just talked about. That, how the President has gotten away with framing the issue. You framed the issue as “success or failure.” And obviously, if you’re “failure,” you’re a — you’re a jerk, right?

So, can anyone explain to me what he said here? Perhaps it’s different in the audio. Nope. Like a deer caught in headlights, he is rhetorically stunned and unable to form a coherent thought.

This unresponsive response shows either a) he wasn’t expecting this kind of question or b) he hadn’t thought through his Pro-Terrorist message poorly wrapped in an Anti-Bush rant.

Now then, for the second example of our new verb, Smash “smashed” Georgia Congressman Kingston. This time it was via teleconference. Okay, so it wasn’t planned but like any good Squid Smash was quick on his sea legs and hit Congressmen Kingston with the same question he asked Filner.

KINGSTON: Oh, well listen — I am absolutely behind the military in Iraq. I was there a month ago. Early, early yesterday morning — 3 a.m. — I greeted about 250 troops, who were returning to Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, including the general of the Third Infantry, General Webster.

And, you know, when you talk to these soldiers in person, and when you go to Iraq in person — and I don’t know if Filner has, or not — it’s just a totally different story than what you see on CNN. There’s great military progress, that we’ve made. Sixty percent of Iraq, right now, is under Iraqi Security Forces control. There’s 216 thousand soldiers in their troops, and every day there’s more.

Ya gotta read the rest. Here’s a man who didn’t “hmmm” and “haw” all over himself. He stated his answer clearly and logically.

I’ll be looking to put the same question to my Congressional representatives and Senators at the first opportunity and I suggest you do the same. Go here to find your Congressional folks’ contact information. Track them down and ask them this question. Let’s “smash” them all so we have a clear tally, unobstructed by cameras and peer pressure politics(like the Murtha vote in the house soon after he made his first remarks).

Republican Scandal

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Rich Lowry is alittle kinder than I am on this one. I have kicked this around for a few days. Reading alittle bit here and there and trying to avoid the hyper partisan rantings on both sides.

One of the things that kills me about this is the Republican folks out there that are screaming, “Yeah? Well Democrats are in this mess as well!!!”. That just drives me nuts. Do we CARE if the Democrats are involved? NO! By and large this is a Republican scandal and that’s just the fact…get over the partisan ranting and look into the party for the guilty and prepare the political gallows. Let’s show the other parties that we are SEVERE in our punishment for such activity. Lowry is on the right track with this :

Republicans must take the scandal seriously and work to clean up in its wake. The first step was the permanent ouster of Tom DeLay as House Republican majority leader, a recognition that he is unfit to lead as long as he is underneath the Abramoff cloud. The behavior of the right in this matter contrasts sharply with the left’s lickspittle loyalty to Bill Clinton, whose maintenance in power many liberals put above any of their principles. Next, Republicans will have to show they can again embrace the spirit of reform that swept them to power in 1994.

I was STUNNED that Clinton’s cabinet came out in lockstep with him after he admitted he lied to us, and thus to the Grand Jury. When people at that level of government do NOTHING to condemn that behavior there is something very VERY wrong. The House impeached Clinton and his entire Cabinet by extension because not a single one of them came out forcifully against his behavior. I was expecting resignations but I got a Pep rally. And to think I voted for him twice.

For me to look upon this scandal any differently would be intellectually dishonest. Clinton was impeached for perjury and later acquitted by the Senate…but he still lied to the American people and that is something he will never out live. The members who are embroilled in this mess should carry the same stigma in all it’s muck and mire. ANY Conservative who looks past Republicans in Congress involved with Abramoff’s illegal activities are flat out lieing to themselves and ignoring their Conservative principles…end of discussion.

Notice, I said ILLEGAL activities. At the moment it is legal for Lobbyists to donate to campaigns. It is illegal for Lobbyists to bribe members directly. I don’t know the law concerning this and suspect said law to be pretty byzantine. I’ll have to trust the courts to get this right and the details will come out. When they do I fully expect every serious Conservative to hold republican and democrat alike accountable for their activities. For those found to be involved in illegal activity or even border line sleazy behavior(consult the Law According to Pilgrim for that definition) we shall try them, convict them, and put them in a very small cell with a special “friend” named “Billy Bob” for a Very. Long. Time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is WE who have to be at the front of this. The boneheads in Washington will protect themselves but they can’t ignore US. Do we want this kind of behavior? Will we stand for this abuse? Will we continue to allow it because “it’s the way things are and we can’t change it”? I say no…not just no but HELL NO.

Mr. Miniter of the OpinionJournal puts it best I think:

…Or as President Reagan noted in his farewell address in 1989, the American people won all of his victories in Congress with every call they made and every letter they wrote “demanding action.” The people have the power to move Capitol Hill, if they are willing to exercise it.

Friends, it’s time to move Capitol Hill.

Tracking to Hullabaloo, Transterrestrial Musings, Gateway Pundit, Cold Fury

This is sorta scary…

Monday, January 9th, 2006

This is sorta scary.

authored by none other than Mr. Metasploit his own self.

Q) Are there any other ways to obtain code execution besides via WMF files
viewed by PFV or Explorer?

A) Yes. Any application that accepts WMF files and calls PlayMetaFile with
the supplied data can be exploited. Some of these only recognize WMF
files with the placeable header, which may prevent the application from
reaching the SetAbortProc function. There are *many* other places where
standard (ie. included with the OS) applications call the PlayMetaFile
function, its just a matter of figuring out which ones can be used to
deliver the malicious WMF content. A potential vector includes the
display of icons stored inside of a standard executable. Viewing these
files in an Explorer directory listing could result in the execution of
code in an embedded WMF file. This has yet to be tested.

Office apps LIVE off WMF files. Think in “micro$oft” terms, I would bet that every application has different “playmetafile” functions. They are so married to the old school of coding, that is to say complete applications ready to stand on their own, that I would almost bet my check that at least SOME of the apps in Office have their own WMF players. You know, tools that aren’t that popular among malware writers…like Powerpoint, publisher, frontpage, and other apps where graphics are used extensively.

Perhaps another week of hell? Give’m time…give’m time…

Speaking truth to power

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

Veterans are stepping up because their Congressional Delegations wont. It’s a sad fact of 2006 America that those we elect to REPRESENT US in DC and at the state level stay strangely silent when our military is attacked.

Over the past couple days I’ve read about Sgt Mark Seavey and General Wagner wanting some answers from Representatives Murtha and Moran and dressing them down in the process. Now I read about Smash taking on Representative Bob Filner. Can’t wait to see the video or the rest of the transcript(HINT SMASH!!)

Meanwhile REAL military supporters in the House and Senate stay strangely silent. Is it because there ARE NO REAL MILITARY SUPPORTERS in Congress? I seriously doubt that. Why is it then that our military folks are having to take up this fight? One thing is certain. Our military folks will win this fight like they have won every other fight they have taken on. Congress be damned.

Joint Chiefs Chairman on Murtha

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Marine General Peter Pace commented on Murtha’s comments today at a presser and he isn’t pleased.

On Murtha’s comments about joining the military today if he could General Pace said:

“That’s damaging to recruiting,” Pace said. “It’s damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it’s damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they are doing to serve this country.”

and went on to say:

“When a respected leader like Mr. Murtha, who has spent 37 extremely honorable years as a Marine, fought in two wars, has served the country extremely well in the Congress of the United States _ when a respected individual like that says what he said, and 18- and 19-year- olds look to their leadership to determine how they are expected to act, they can get the wrong message,”

It’s a shame that this Marine had to speak up like this. Murtha’s peers in the House should have already been all over this but instead we hear crickets.

Maybe this Abramoff mess will clean out Congress and we can start over with people who are willing to call other members to the carpet when they get out of line. Congressman Murtha has every right to hold whatever opinions he wishes. He can believe our military isn’t worth his time. For him to SPEAK IT in time of war is irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous.

Windows metafile vulnerability

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Some “kind” soul apparently thought that us Network Geeks didn’t have anything planned for New Year’s Eve so they released a very VERY nasty little bug to keep us all entertained.

How nasty? How about you could already be infected and not know it.
Normally the protection against these threats is to simply not open email attachments you didn’t expect regardless of who they are from. I’ve received email attachments from MYSELF! The bad guys are crafty little buggers. Unfortunately, this latest threat is even craftier(is that a word?
It is now) than that. All you need to do is visit a website that is seeking to infect you and whammo…yer done.

Think of this thing as a mugger except that you never know you were mugged.
It lurks out there and when it attacks you will never know exactly what it has done because that part is incredibly easy to change. It could just make your applications open or close and it could install software that captures every keystroke you make and sends it “home”. So, you get infected and you visit your online banking site…you have just sent your banking site’s username and password to the bad guy and didn’t even know it.

The vulnerability is…guess…A Microsoft problem. **SHOCK**. The problem effects every version of Windows since 1990. Microsoft has said they will release a patch in 7 days. During that time we fully expect this thing to wrap around the world several times resulting in a very VERY bad situation.
Thanks M$. Tom Liston posted this at ISC which sums up my thoughts well.

Thankfully, the geek community has pulled together and came up with a patch that will take care of the problem. Microsoft be damned.

If you are unsure if you are safe from this bug, trust me that you ARE NOT safe from this bug. If you are running a fully patched Windows computer, you are vulnerable and swinging in the breeze. Patch yourself NOW by doing the following:

* Right Click here

* select “save link as” (if you don’t see ‘save link as’ then you aren’t using Firefox. Get it here .)

* select a location to save the file and make note of that location. I recommend “Desktop”.

* Once the file is downloaded, go to your desktop, find the file, and double click it.

* Answer in the affirmative to whatever questions are asked.

This patch has been tested by the best network security engineers in the world. It is the ONLY thing that will protect you from this thing. Since we can’t trust Micro$oft, we have to trust ourselves. Read Tom Liston’s piece on Trustworthy Computing here, it explains why we have to trust this patch.

For the technical folks out there, you can read the following links for a detailed analysis of this monster.

http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?date=2005-12-31

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/archive-122005.html#00000752 start here and read up to see how my New Year’s Eve was spent for the most part.
😉

Welcome to 2006 folks.

Abramoff and his buddies

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

You are right Michelle, Abramoff is a sleaze bag. Anyone who is knowingly in bed with him is also a sleaze bag.

Call me an idealist but I think public servants should be completely transparent. It should come with the job. There is no more privacy for you. Your tax records, from the moment you are sworn in, becomes public record. I’m not advocating anything here, it’s a fact. Maybe not a legal fact but it is certainly a Red Pill fact. The only way to completely avoid having your privacy stripped from you is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. That is something the current Governor of Kentucky has failed to grasp. We’ll see how many of our public servants in DC have also failed to grasp it.

We, the people, elect you because we believe in you and your ideas. When you garner the appearance of impropriety your integrity is called into question and we will have no further use for you. At least that is how it should be.

Here’s hoping that few, if any, get caught up in this mess. But for those that do, regardless of party, may you rot in prison for a very long time with a violent cellmate who mistakenly believes you are a child molester. I don’t care if you are Speaker Hastert or Congressman Chandler…Leader Frist or Senator Bunning.

Keep your nose clean folks.

Murtha wouldn’t join Military now…

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

On the ABC program “Nightline” Murtha was asked if he would join the military today.

“Would you join (the military) today?,” he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.

“No,” replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party’s leading spokesmen on military issues.

“And I think you’re saying the average guy out there who’s considering recruitment is justified in saying ‘I don’t want to serve’,” the interviewer continued.

“Exactly right,” said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.

Ya know, I used to give this guy alittle room rhetorically speaking. He served in a time when Al-Kerry accused him of war crimes. But now… no. He’s free to have the opinion but I happen to think he’s dead wrong…again.

Actually he isn’t saying anything over the edge here. What irritates me is the implication that serving your country today is somehow the “wrong” thing to do.

Bite me Congressman. There are far better men than you who are willing to die for your right to hold uninformed opinions.

tracking with:
Gateway Pundit Tammy Bruce