Newt Gingrich: Censure and Move On

The Retarded Moral Calculus of Richard Durban [Updated],” by Mark Safranski, ZenPundit, 17 June 2005,

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Calls on US Senate to Censure Senator Richard Durban,” Blog, 18 June 2005,

Extreme Chutzpah,” by Armando, Daily Kos, 18 June 2005,

While condemnations of Senator Durban’s disturbing remarks fly…

The other day, from the Senate floor, in the midst of an overheated attack on the Bush administration’s parameters for interrogation techniques at Guantanamo, Durbin let fly with this ahistorical gem:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners

Now, reasonable people can disagree about whether or not al Qaida detainees should be entitled to P.O.W. status under the Geneva Convention – those who think they should, like Senator Durbin, don’t have a legal leg to stand on – but the argument can be made. Likewise, the Bush administration has invited criticism of their Guantanamo policy by keeping detainees in legal limbo instead of moving forward with military tribunals. It is perfectly legitimate to argue that the value of what tough interrogation techniques yield pales in terms the damage caused to America’s image abroad, particularly in the Muslim world. But the al Qaida terrorist detainees are not the moral equivalent of terrified Jews being herded to Auschwitz and the American guards at Guantanamo are not the SS.

That kind of analogy, that Senator Durbin fervently believes, can only be described as morally grotesque as well as profoundly ignorant. A U.S. Senator should have more sense.

Mr. Durbin has degraded the suffering of those who went through hell on Earth to survive Genocide by putting their experiences on par with the interrogation discomforts of mass-murderers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It is the latter who is in the same moral ballpark with Heinrich Himmler or Pol Pot, not some Marine Guard at Gitmo or President Bush.

Newt Gingrich has a reasonable suggestion

In a letter sent to United States Senators on Saturday, June 18, 2005, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on the Senate to censure Senator Richard Durbin for his speech comparing U.S. servicemen serving in Guantanamo Bay to those of the Nazi Gestapo, Soviet KGB, and Pol Pot’s killers in Cambodia.

“Senator Richard Durbin has dishonored the United States and the entire U.S. Senate. Only by a vote to censure Senator Durbin for his conduct can the U.S. Senate restore its dignity and defend American honor,” Gingrich wrote.

He added, “It’s one thing for one Senator to endanger young Americans and defame America; it would the shame of the Senate if the other 99 Senators did not stand up to defend America and to defend the reputation of our young men and women in uniform.”

The Kos Kids react in their typical civility

A clear message of whaaaaat? Did he just say what I think he said? Called Durbin a traitor?!??

F you you draft-dodging, wife abandoning, philandering, unethical, lying SOB.

I demand that all decent Republicans repudiate the false ugly indefensible smear by Gingrich.

For all their talk of acceptable discourse, their silence on torture and on the New McCarthyism tells us what they really believe in – lies, the acceptability of torture and moral relativism.

Men Defeat Machines (Assuming No Decisive Battle)

The Insecurity of Security Software,” by Zonk, Slashdot, 19 June 2005,

Hunting for Botnet Command and Controls,” by Zonk, Slashdot, 19 June 2005,

Network-Centric Operations calls for high-tech computer-to-computer networked systems to rapidly destroy the enemy in a decisive battle. Global guerrillas and other forms of irregular struggle call for using networks to make human-to-human social networks more powerful in a long process of wearing down the enemy.

I’ve written before on blitzkrieg v. erosion and the dangers of Net-Centric thinking. Now two stories about how human networks defeat computer networks.

Human-to-human networked “Good” Hackers defeat anti-Hacker computer-to-computer network

Uky writes “Convinced that the recent upswing in virus and Trojan attacks is directly linked to the creation of botnets for nefarious purposes, a group of high-profile security researchers is fighting back, vigilante-style. The objective of the group, which operates on closed, invite-only mailing lists, is to pinpoint and ultimately disable the C&C (command-and-control) infrastructure that sends instructions to millions of zombie drone machines hijacked by malicious hackers.” From the article: “Using data from IP flows passing through routers and reverse-engineering tools to peek under the hood of new Trojans [classic erosion , no decisive battle — tdaxp], Thompson said the researchers are able to figure out how the botnet owner sends instructions to the compromised machines.”

Human-to-human networked “Bad” Hackers defeat anti-Hacker computer-to-computer network

H316 writes “BusinessWeek is reporting that, despite a number of software products meant to safeguard Windows PCs from harm, a rising number of them endanger their hosts because of poor design and flaws [“flaws” meaning networked machines were not able to achieve full spectrum technological dominance, which should be expected — tdaxp]. From the article: ‘A new Yankee Group report, to be released June 20, shows the number of vulnerabilities found in security products increasing sharply for the third straight year — and for the first time surpassing those found in all Microsoft products.'”

When there’s no decisive battle — when men have time to think and plan — men always beat machines.

If you’re going to use technology (a knife, a gun, or an anti-hacker net), make it quick, or get out of the way.

Christian End Times (Amillennialism, Premillennialism, Postmillennialism)

Eschatology Comparison,” Five Solas, downloaded 18 June 2005,

Came across an interesting page comparing different Christian views on the End of the World, and specifically the Heavenly Kingdom. Specifically, it lists six major Christian views on the Kingdom Come, that we pray for

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Some Christians believe that the Kingdom is yet to Come. Dispensational Premillennialists, like the authors of Left Behind, believe the world will remain in wickedness until the Second Coming of Christ. Dispensational Premillennialism also teaches of the Rapture, where the true Christians ascend into heaven and avoid the less pleasant aspects of the Rule of Satan.

Historic Premillennialists also believe that Christ will Reign after crushing Satan. However, Historic Premillennialism teaches that the kingdom was actually established during the Pentecost of the first century. Fuller Theological Seminary is a leading proponent of this view, which denies a rapture.

Most Catholics, Lutherans, and Presbytarians are Amillennialists, and might be better called Present Millennialist or Realized Millennialist. They believe the Kingdom was establahsed by Christ in the first century, and that since that time Satan is bound. Amillennialism teaches that the discipline’s who prayed for the kingdom come saw their dream come true in their lifetime. As Saint Augustine believed, we live in the Thousand Years of Glory, and it is our duty to make the most of it.

Postmillennialists share with amillennialists the thought that they must do something, but they do not believe the Kingdom has come yet. Postmillennialism teaches that man can make Christ return earlier by establishing the Heavenly Kingdom themselves. There are three main strads of postmillennialism:

  • Christian Dominionists believe in an ideological struggle to convert the world. Christian Dominionism believes that the beliefs of every individual are important, and seek a worldwide revival. Pat Robertson appears to be a Dominionist.
  • Theonomists or Christian Reconstructionists likewise believe in a worldwide effort. Unlike Domionism, though, Theonomy (Reconstructionism) teaches that Christians must seize the State and promulgate Godly Laws. These are the people who spook Juan Cole and others into writing about Christian theocracy.
  • Older Postmillennialists believe that providence or the forces of history are creating the Heavenly Kingdom by themselves. Older Postmillennialism teaches that progress is naturally rising man up into the Kingdom of Heaven.



In Detail (Kingdom of Heaven already established)


In Detail (Kingdom of Heaven not yet established)


Download the full chart.

America Rules and Tehran Rules: Controls v. Content Flow

A Future Worth Creating: Defense Transformation and the New Security Environment,” by Thomas Barnett, Council on Foreign Relations, 11 February 2003,

Investigation Shows Big Business Funding Sex Chat Rooms,” WFTV, 1 June 2005, (from Slashdot).

Dr. Barnett notes that Islamic Republics like Iran or violent Gap states like Nigeria have problems with horizontal content flow — the peer-to-peer flow of thoughts and ideas from one person to another.

Now I’ll draw you a different map, based on what we think we saw crystallize with 9/11, but in reality we think has been emerging since 1980s. And remember, those 22 emerging markets begin to be integrated into a global economy. I’m talking about regions or countries in the world that are functioning within globalizing. By functioning, I mean they basically exhibit several of these characteristics. First, they welcome both connectivity and a content flow associated with globalization. And everybody likes connectivity. Bin Laden likes connectivity. Not everybody can handle the content flow. My favorite example, Barbie the doll was tossed out of Iran about a few months ago. Barbie the doll has infiltrated retail stores in Iran, through all that connectivity. She began appearing on toy store shelves, little Iranian girls started buying her. The mullahs didn’t like it. They created an anti-Barbie doll, basically a Barbie covered head to toe in black cloth. She did not sell like hot cakes, Barbie got the boot. A good example of content flow that you can’t handle. Another good example. When they tried to hold the Miss World competition in Nigeria, that was a classic.

Content Flow

These are states where the leaders do not trust their own people — and the people do not trust themselves. Disturbed by rapid changes, they chose to clamp down on freedoms and reinforce traditions with laws. Of course it never works — laws weaken traditions, destroying the dreams the politicians wanted to defend — but if History was on the side of oppressors, we would be living in a different world.

So these puritan states use vertical controls — laws, like electric shocks — to disrupt and peaceful and consensual flow of commerce, desires, and entertainment.

In the United States, we use America Rules: the peaceful settlement of dispute through agreement on what is “normal”

Several well-known companies have pulled ads from a popular online chat room service after an investigation by Houston television station KPRC revealed to them what their money was funding.

Among the thousands of chat room titles, where people can look for common interests like music or movies, there are other rooms with some disturbing titles, such as:

  • 9-17-Year-Olds Wantin’ Sex
  • Younger Girls 4 Older Guys
  • Girls 13 And Under For Older Guys
  • Girls 13 And Up For Much Older Man
  • Girls 8 to 13 Watch Boys (In A Particular Sex Act)

Before entering the chat room titled “5 To 13-Year-Old Kiddies Who Love Sex” or “Girls 5 To 13 For Older Men,” guests were required to click on a Star Wars-themed ad from Diet Pepsi.

Not that the American ways stops “virtue” thugs from trying Tehran Rules

Yahoo! is facing a $10 million lawsuit that accuses it of cashing in on some disturbing chat rooms.

“Yes, more legislation is required. The law has not kept up with this type of criminal activity [if it is legal how is it criminal? — tdaxp],” U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told the station.

Inside the chat rooms, not only were men trying to meet children or even take them away from home to run away, the station found countless adult men using Web cameras to send children in the room lewd pictures or display live nude images of themselves.

However, the nation’s top law enforcement officers said it is all legal [garbled journalism — what is “legal” here? vague agitprop — tdaxp ].

Update: Typically the technophile solution has bad side-effects. Doesn’t deter flit or instapundit from something similar, though…