"Hate Speech" in a New Jersey University

On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected, by Wendy McElroy, iFeminists, 28 July 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163705,00.html (from Brendan of I Hate Linux).

in the modern Academy:

The public notice (in full, with original formatting, from pdf original):

Sent: Monday, May 07, 2005 3:37 PM
Subject: women’s studies Department – Women’s History Month
Expires: Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:00 PM

Please do not hit reply, click here. MAILTO:ScalaA@wpunj.edu
Women’s History Month
Film & Discussion: Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House, a lesbian relationship story
Date: March 9, 2005
Time: 7-9 PM
Place: Library Auditorium
Sponsor: Women’s Studies Department

Contact person: Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala x3405
Dr. Arlene Holpp, Chair
William Paterson University
Department of Women’s Study’s

The private reply, to the requested email address:

From: Daniel, Jihad
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 6:59 AM
To: Scala, Arlene
Subject: Homosexuality

Do not send me any mail about “Connie and Sally” and “Adam and Steve”. These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.

The debate of ideas in the modern University

On March 10, Scala filed a complaint with the university claiming Daniel’s message sounded “threatening.”

“I don’t want to feel threatened at my place of work,” she explained.

On June 15, university President Arnold Speert issued a letter of reprimand, to be placed in Daniel’s permanent employment file.

Another Blogspirit "Improvement" (Same Browser, Different Styles)

In preparation for this weekend’s launch of a second blog, I have registered a two year contract with DreamHost, as per Younghusband‘s recommendation. I have registered a domain name to go along with that. Hopefully it wil be useful.

I have also registered tdaxp.com, and have a tdaxp wordpress blog up and running on my local machine. I like blogspirit so I hope I will not have to use it, but if things like this keep happening:

Quadruple Spacing?!?!?!
But then why not here?!?

I will just move. This is absurd. I don’t want to move — I like the “ease of use” of blogspirit when it works, but lately blogspirit has not been working.

Blogspirit used to be wonderful.


Site2 — basically a bare-bones rss-reader for local politics — is going along well.  Still, today was aggrevating.   A trip I had been looking forward to before UNL is off, because of very-last-minute change of plans by an associate.  Blogspirit just annoys me.  Wasted too much time trying to figure out WordPress’s crazy template system, until embracing defeat and finding a pre-made one I liked.




An Army of One

Let me tell you a story about a man named Gary:
Gary McKinnon, 39, is accused of accessing 97 US government computers, causing damage estimated at $700,000 (£370,000).

An extradition hearing at Bow Street magistrates’ court was told that McKinnon, of Wood Green, north London, deleted files that shut down more than 2,000 computers in the US army’s military district of Washington for 24 hours “significantly disrupting governmental function”.

It was claimed he left a note on an army computer in 2002 saying US foreign policy was “akin to government-sponsored terrorism”. The note allegedly said: “It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year. I am Solo. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.”

McKinnon is accused of 20 counts relating to the American army, navy and air force, Nasa and the Department of Defence.

One allegation is that he deleted files and logs from computers at the US Naval Weapons Station Earle at a critical time after the Twin Towers attacks, rendering the base’s network of 300 computers inoperable.

Mark Summers, for the American government, said: “The defendant was acting from his own computer in London. He effectively owned those computers by virtue of the software he had transmitted. His conduct was intentional and calculated to influence and affect the US government by intimidation and coercion.”

It is also alleged that McKinnon obtained secret passwords or information which might become “indirectly useful to an enemy”, and interfered with maritime navigation facilities in New Jersey.

Via Pejmanesque  http://www.pejmanesque.com/

Didn’t Gary have something better to do with his time? Imagine the intelligence and skill this man possesses that could have been used to do something useful and good. But he did think he was doing something useful and good. American foreign policy was “akin to government-sponsored terrorism,” so he really thought he was doing good by attacking the US. This idea isn’t original to Gary, it’s the kind of thing we have heard again and again: the US is the #1 rogue state, America is a greater threat to world peace than al Qaeda or Saddam and so on. It was only a matter of time before someone who actually bought into this idiocy decided to act on it. Is it possible to defend yourself against this kind of solo actor?  We have to assume that there are many more people who not only share Gary’s views, but are willing to take the next step and act on those ideas. They are not organized, but rather complete solo actors who are operating without any knowledge of others doing the same thing. This time it was a computer attack, who knows what it will be next time.

Posted by Phil

The Yakuza Boss’s Assassin Was… Only a Girl?!?

Mark tipped me off to an article on Phatic Communion by Curtis Gale Weeks on 5GW. It is an excellent contribution to the blogosphere’s conversation on SecretWar. It’s all the better because it continues the “frame” of a SecretWarrior assassin trying to kill a Yakuza boss on a dance floor (see Walk Without Rhythm and Plain Jain), but it is better thought out.


Happily, coincidence made Curtis’ article all the better. Yesterday I purchased Beauty from Pain by Superchick, and yesterday I blogged on the 4GW nature of the lyrics to the first track, “Anthem.” However, two sections of the song stood out



“We are lipstick and cleats”






“We are concrete and grace We are not what you think”



I noted that these hint at “Christian 5GW,” but I did not go into any more detail.


Before I went for a walk this morning I loaded my collection of Superchick tracks onto my music player. It was in this context that I heard the lyrics to One Girl Revolution. What makes it all the better is that the analogies Superchick uses are almost identical to those of Curtis.


In that context, I will respond to Curtis’ fantastic article. I will try to keep his original ordering of concepts, but I have rearranged them when it would make my task easier.



Dan gave an example of a “Plain Jane” who does not draw attention to herself as she attempts to kill the “Yakuza Boss” on a dance floor — and my first question was whether a Plain Jane would be allowed into the party or the club, although I didn’t ask it at the time. Instead, I wondered whether randomness, when expected, would serve to obfuscate whatever patterns might actually be present: the target who expects randomness is less likely to see hidden patterns, especially when occurrences do have a “seeming randomness” to them.


The expected randomness, because it is expected, would create the regularity Dan said might lull the target.


On the other hand, the Plain Jane (were she even allowed into the party) most likely wouldn’t approach the yakuza boss directly, in a straight line aimed at him. Her movements would be random: she would take an offered drink, she would walk to the man who bought it for her to chat him up, she would dance to a song, she would go to the bathroom to powder her nose (heh, not Pulp Fiction, but Kill Bill vol. I), etc. A straight line to the yakuza boss would be an easily definable rhythm, one foot after the next on the path to her prey.




So Dan’s Plain Jane has this limit. In the yakuza boss’s world, plain would likely be only too obvious. A Plain Jane probably wouldn’t be allowed into the type of club the yakuza boss frequented; if she was, she’d likely stand out from the other women. The best person to assassinate the yakuza boss undetected would be an associate or someone with whom the yakuza boss is on very close terms. The assassin might even be a Brutus, the yakuza boss’s best friend.



Superchick used the same analogy when in the opening to “One Girl Revolution” she describes a Christian SecretWarrior


“I wear a disguise
I’m just your average Jane
The super doesn’t stand for model
But that doesn’t mean I’m plain


A bit farther on, the artist clarifies her meaning


Some people see the revolution
But most only see the girl


The SecretWarrior must walk with a rhythm that is neither obnoxious nor attractive. As Curtis observed, in a Yakuza club a “plain Jane” would be obnoxious. The SecretWarrior must blind her enemy to her presence, preventing him from obtaining any information from her appearance. The SecretWarrior tries to arrange the mind of her enemy, making his observations flow naturally and automatically into harmless orientations (“only a girl”), by-passing the Decision element, and going straight into action (“ignore”) — all part of the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act decision loop.


A photograph from the official Superchick website gives exactly the appearance that would be beneficial to a female SecretWarrior in a club



She’s Pretty So She Can’t Be a Warrior

Not quite a model. Not plain. Only a girl.


Note how the English language gives away that this is the accurate description for secrecy-in-plain-sight. A beautiful girl is a model, a bland woman is a plain Jane, but a girl who is trying to be attractive just like every other woman is… only a girl. The language itself will blind the victim to his enemy.



When the yakuza boss is dead, he’s dead. Anything that happens after Plain Jane’s action will not change the fact that he’s dead. His closest associates will likely know that he’s been assassinated, unless his death is made to look natural in all respects. In fact, Plain Jane might not care if his associates know he’s been assassinated, because the world after his death will no longer be what it was before his death, and that would have been her objective after all.



SecretWar is a natural evolution of effects-based operations. Effects-based operations, or EBO, looks beyond individual targets to see the effect of removing key super-valued targets. Effects-Based Operatives see the world as a system of systems, a network of networks, and try to subvert or subdue their enemy through well-targeted attacks on those systems and networks.


Curtis’ focus on the effect of the assassination (“Anything that happens after Plain Jane’s action will not change the fact that he’s dead”) is well placed. The Yakuza Boss will be dead because he did not notice the SecretWarrior — he saw only a girl.


As “One Girl Revolution” puts it:


“If all you see is how I look
You miss the superchick within
And I christen you Titanic
Underestimate and swim



The SecretWarrior will not care if the effects of 5GW activity are apparent if the effects leave her adversaries on the other side of the rubicon.



Anyone involved in SecretWars must remember that the SecretWarrior is human, and that she will care about her fate. She may desire worldly safety, heroic suicide-by-cop, or eternal bliss, but she is not a machine who cares only about the effects of her operations. The greatest strength, and greatest weakness, of any human organization are the humans it organizes.



This would be a case of “knowing too late,” in that the sudden revelation that a SecretWar had been underway in no way mitigates whatever position in which the target now finds itself:



Indeed. In the OGR example, the victim finds himself in the North Atlantic alone (“christen you Titanic”). At this point the enemy and anyone who would have been sympathetic to the enemy is unable to have revenge.



The target would have a new set of circumstances requiring immediate attention which could not be ignored, and from which the target is unlikely to emerge unscathed. A successful 5GW will leave the target on a downward spiral into insignificance. The target’s knowing it has been a victim won’t save the target from the spiral.





 “a downward spiral into insignificance”




“a new set of circumstances requiring immediate attention”



At the same time, some effects of 5GW pre-conclusion may be apparent to the target, thus influencing the target to cross the rubicon, although the target will not know that he’s about to cross such a rubicon. Motivating the target to move down to the river, and to cross it, would require observable effects, problems to solve, the solving of which can only be effected by going to and then across the river. If the target at any time senses it is being manipulated down a path, the target will resist and the SecretWarrior risks being discovered.


A defending 5GW society — whether it is an unbelieving family, a O-Ren Ishii’s yakuza gang, or the United States — must influence the SecretWarrior to against herself. In this struggle the Society has the advantage, because it is able to shape the battlespace much better than some small collection of individuals.


The SecretWarrior sees this weakness, and tries to guard against it


I can loose my hard earned freedom
If my fear defines my world

I declare my independence
from the critics and their stones”


Society can shape the battlespace by repeating the stories of those who were captured (whether Gitmo in a shooting war or “Jane Roe”‘s public misery in an ideological one), and by mocking those who attack it. Society is built on horizontal controls (which may or may not be the same thing as horizontal rule-sets — you’ll need to ask Mark about that 😉 ), and society can shape its horizontal controls to inflict pain on those who merely consider a SecretWar. This is what the business and technology worlds call “transparent adaptive mass customization” the marginal costs for potentially or actually rebelling are customized for the individual through his social network, while leaving those who don’t fight mentally unscathed.


This purposefully asymmetrical battle goes a fair bit to answer Jeremiah‘s question (which is deep enough that I have not yet answered it properly).



Phil at tdaxp has recently offered thumbnail character sketches of possible SecretWarriors:



In 4GW the enemy attempts to use the target country’s media as a vehicle to sap the people’s and political leaders’ will to fight. In 5GW the enemy actually becomes the media and the political leadership. In 4GW a terrorist organization might attack a school or a courthouse in order to show that the government can’t defend itself; in 5GW the enemy would become the teachers and judges. It doesn’t get much deeper than that.



Like the first commenter in that thread, I immediately questioned the sketch work. It has the Red Scare sound, brings to mind the House Un-American Activities Committee, and such a comparison would serve to distinguish 5GW warriors from what has gone before: even the smallest hint of variation in character, philosophy, or creed will out the SecretWarrior, or at least attract too much attention.



I read the bolded passage at least six times trying to see what felt wrong about it.


Then I put it together with a previous paragraph by Curtis


“On the other hand, the Plain Jane (were she even allowed into the party) most likely wouldn’t approach the yakuza boss directly, in a straight line aimed at him. Her movements would be random: she would take an offered drink, she would walk to the man who bought it for her to chat him up, she would dance to a song, she would go to the bathroom to powder her nose (heh, not Pulp Fiction, but Kill Bill vol. I), etc. A straight line to the yakuza boss would be an easily definable rhythm, one foot after the next on the path to her prey.”


And another fragments of another song by Superchick, Barlow Girls



But I know for sure it’s never popular to be pure
And while some guys might be passing them by
I think they’ve caught someone’s eye



You can get noticed with your body
Sexual hypnosis by being hottie



Barlow Girls describes the massaging of Observations. In the song two different physical aspects are described — “pure” and “hottie” — and in both cases the appearance invites types of notice. To put it in OODA decision cycle terms, the guard Observes a loosely dressed woman, orients this with knowledge of previously so-dressed women, acts by watching more, observes information in the context of believing he is watching a loose woman, etc. Thus the SecretWarrior gets inside the head of the Yakuza boss’s guards. The 5GWarrior rearranges the mind of her enemy, changing his fingertip-feelings into something better for her.


Just as the 5GWarrior must struggle with her physical appearance to be only a girl, the SecretWarrior must also struggle with her beliefs to appear to be only a girl.


Appearing to be without “the smallest hint of variation in character, philosophy, or creed” would make the assassin appear to be an airhead. A noticeable idiot. Someone to watch in case she does something stupid. The mental equivalent of walking without rhythm.


One might chart the best set of beliefs through quality Internets, or visualize the perfect waves to surf in a sea of friction, but those are posts for another time…



So Dan’s Plain Jane has this limit. In the yakuza boss’s world, plain would likely be only too obvious. A Plain Jane probably wouldn’t be allowed into the type of club the yakuza boss frequented; if she was, she’d likely stand out from the other women. The best person to assassinate the yakuza boss undetected would be an associate or someone with whom the yakuza boss is on very close terms. The assassin might even be a Brutus, the yakuza boss’s best friend.



Agreed that the best person to assassinate the yakuza boss would be a close associate, but this doesn’t mean that the best person to “turn” to kill the boss would be his close associate.


Economy of Force, the desire to …


Employ all combat power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts. Economy of force is the judicious employment and distribution of forces. No part of the force should ever be left without purpose. The allocation of available combat power to such tasks as limited attacks, defense, delays, deception, or even retrograde operations is measured in order to achieve mass elsewhere at the decisive point and time on the battlefield. …


… will be vital to SecretWarriors, whose network must be kept small to maintain secrecy on all levels. The energy spent turning a close associate of the boss may be better spent elsewhere, and if the boss’s associate comes to the SecretWarrior, this implies the SecretArmy isn’t secret at all!


A pre-existing wide-spectrum military force might use its resources to turn a close associate of the enemy, starting a new 5GW with the associate as the leader. But from a pure-SecretWar perspective this is identical to the associate starting the SecretWar on his own.



Dan’s consideration of rhythm and randomness is important in the way it brings “framing” into the discussion of 5GW. (See Anger Management’s recent considerations on “framing” here and here.) The radio station that randomly selects songs from different decades nonetheless selects songs within a certain framework — pop and rock, or country western, English language songs, etc. — and the randomness enjoyed by that station’s listener seems particularly “random” because so many other radio stations do not select their music the same way. The common thread running through those songs goes unquestioned because that thread already conforms to the listener’s most basic expectations (inner framework); whereas, the expectation of a limited selection (per other radio stations) is subverted in the selection of songs from many different decades (outer framework).



Another reference to Quality.


It relates to discussion of friction too…



In order to remain secret, the SecretWarrior would need to avoid drawing the attention of the targeted society, NGO, or nation. Anything, anything which might suggest an unusual motivation will draw attention. When considering Phil’s thumb sketches, I realized that a 5GW warrior-organization isn’t likely to be able to insert so many operatives into the schools, government agencies, churches, etc., because 1) the more people who are “in on the plan,” the more chances for leaks and switched loyalties, and 2) chances increase that the internal framing — opposition to the target — of those operatives will lead to external displays of that framing, and suspicion of the operatives will occur. A single 5GW intelligence — the mastermind — will not even consider planting so many operatives into a targeted society.



An apt description of “economy of force.”



One feature of HUAC was its targeting of media, particularly of Hollywood, in the search for Commie Sympathizers. In modern America, the media is consistently the target of speculation and paranoia, more so now perhaps than before. Any 5GW warrior who sought to use the media to influence or turn a society runs into the barrier of skepticism, particularly when whatever message is chosen is likely to have so many opponents within the society. The easiest use of media would be to inspire internal strife and conflict, especially given the tendency toward skepticism. Using the media to create unsuspecting pawns may actually be effective, and this may lead to terrorist activity or other covert activity against a target within its own society; but, again, many within the society will be suspicious of media’s role and at least somewhat aware that some members of its society have been so affected by the media: such opposition to the society is not 5GW activity, anyway, although it may serve to distract the target.



Skepticism of the media is an American strength. So the wise 5GWarrior, or any wise warrior for that matter, will not attack the strength. A wise warrior will use that strength.


How hard would it be for a well-placed conspiracy to do real harm by causing a phony news scandal? If the SecretArmy wanted to take-down enemy politicians who were close associates of what Americans would call a “pedophile” (say, pro-Iraq-War administration officials who strongly support a certain ayatollah, noted for his Koranic encouragement for men to marry a young girl), might the conspirators encourage attacks on the media for not properly covering sexual predators, which might spread to criticism for not exposing predators, or those that shield them…



I was very aware of Phil’s suggestion that our neighbors will be SecretWarriors, and this plays into what Dan suggested about the Plain Jane. It also plays into the consideration of one of the commenters at tdaxp, who suggested that jujitsu tactics will be used, or a target’s “weight” will be used against the target. The only type of SecretWarrior who will be able to move freely about without ever raising suspicions will be the one whose activity most matches the expectations of the targeted society, the internal and external framework most shared by the members of that society: most likely, that society itself.





And the important word is “society,” not “culture.” The SecretWarrior isn’t worried about full-spectrum engagement with an enemy’s culture. Only the society’s where he has to operate. In the same way, the assassin in the club doesn’t give a hoot about the mores of modern Japanese society. Only what the societies in that club — the bounces, the clubbers, the crazy-88s bodyguard, the employees, think and expect.



No society is 100% homogeneous, but the most influential members of the society (whether the society is a small group or a nation) are those who can promise the most benefit to the other members of society, whether the benefit is material in nature or psychological or social. To give an example: should a string of natural and not-so-natural disasters occur, those leaders, thinkers, and other members of a society who are able to mitigate or nullify the effects of those disasters are most likely to have the freest reins. They are certainly more likely to avoid suspicion — if, and only if, their efforts actually seem to lead, and ultimately do lead, to benefits.


A society that believes it’s moving toward a better future is a society less suspicious. The distrust of leaders (whether governmental or academic or social or business), combined with uncertain forecasts, elevates suspicion, doubt, and resistance; but a society in which vast numbers of its members believe they are co-authors of the success, co-conspirators in progress, will happily walk to the river and the Promised Land on the other side of that river.



It’s often said that commanders plan for the last war. The French and Polish Armies of World War II could have easily trounced the Kaiser’s Men. For that matter, the very modern French Army and the very rugged Polish cavalry would have defeated the Germans if all sides were using the same tactics. But they weren’t. The Germans jumped a generation and won.


In the same way, as the American military and bureaucracy super-empowers individuals, transforming soldiers into strategic corporals and bureaucrats into sheiks, it weakens itself against conspirator enemies. To a certain extent, arming for NetWar means disarming for SecretWar. The reason Max Weber gave for bureaucracy in the first place — that it disempowers individuals and increases resistance to arbitrary whim — is exactly why it is a good defense of SecretWar.


Or perhaps not.


Gotta love brainstorming.



In order for a target of 5GW to never have a suspicion that a war had ever occurred, that target would need to be left with the impression that it had succeeded in its endeavors. So while a successful 5GW might leave a target in a hopeless downward spiral — all too obvious to the helpless victim — it might also leave the victim with the feeling of success, albeit a success much smaller than would have been achieved if 5GW had not occurred.



This is the ultimate form of jujitsu, and shows how in SecretWar one can subdue (take-down) the enemy through subverting (taking-over) him.


In his original post on 5GW, Mark Safranski feared a “a total war on a society or subsection of a society” and “campaigns that would be indiscriminate, democidally-oriented death squad campaigns that shred 4GW networks.”


How might one use this jujitsu to conspiratorally subvert a society so that it destroys itself totally, and the society feels good about it afterwards?


The conspiracy’s goal could be to engineer the rise of a disasterously misguided leader, who would kill millions (including possibly loved ones of the SecretWarriors, destroy the country’s infrastructure, etc), all to permanently weaken that state and engineer the rise of another…


I wonder how many anti-Semites believe this has already happened?

Possible Democrat Candidates for President in 2008

2008 Roundup – The Democrats,” by Scott Shields, MyDD, 26 July 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/7/26/215835/108.


The MyDD post, with my commentary:


Hillary Clinton. Say what you will about Hillary, she’s put herself at the top of everyone’s list merely by keeping her name out there. She’s lately engaged in all sorts of high profile activities that seem pretty calculated to get the voting public to reconsider their preconceived notions of her. Rather than running it all down, I’ll trust that you’ve been following the news..


Comment: Hillary Clinton will be very strong. She is running to the right on values and to the center on health care. A natural and strong politician.


Guest-blogger Aaron has told me she can’t win because she is a woman.


John Kerry. Kerry writes a ton of e-mail. But I probably don’t need to tell you that since we’re all on the same lists. As the 2004 nominee, Kerry automatically earns some respect in the race, and some instant support. While he does hold the claim to winning the second highest popular vote total in history, he was a less-than-ideal candidate running what was pretty widely recognized as a bad campaign. I don’t see him winning the nomination again in 2008..


Comment: Kerry’s latest email criticized Sandra Day O’Connor, putting him out of step with “go-along” Democrats like Clinton. Being the first Democrat since Dukakis to lose to an majority-elected candidate can’t help. Nor can losing to Bush, to all those Democrats who think Bush is an idiot.


Josh and Mark might remind of his fine and politically “interesting” wife, Terehhhhhza


John Edwards. Like Kerry, Edwards earns an automatic spot on the list. That said, I don’t think his chances are very good. He’s now a former one-term Senator who had the second spot on a losing ticket. But he’s staying active and staying public. Edwards was never supposed to get as far as he did in 2004, so he can’t be immediately discounted. Then again,.


Comment: Like Kerry, Edwards sends out email. Pretty boring ones, mostly, except for those that pine for strong unions.


Kos thinks Kerry is a spineless ass.


Wesley Clark. Coming out on top of recent straw polls here and at dKos, Clark has emerged as the netroots candidate. Somewhat oddly, he recently joined Fox News as a military/foreign affairs analyst. This shouldn’t have any impact on him in the primaries, but if he manages to endear himself to a few Fox viewers, that’ll pay dividends in the general election..


Comment: General Clark made the mistake of letting Michael Moore endorse him. I have little idea what he really believes, as he entered the Democratic ’04 primary as a pro-Iraq-War Republican (literally!).


Mark Warner. As Chris wrote earlier, voters in Virginia would rather see Warner, their current chief executive in the White House than George Allen, their former Governor and current Senator, by a 55-to-47% margin. However, Warner may want to challenge Allen for his Senate seat next year. The same poll finds Warner with 47-to-42% support to take over Allen’s position.


Warner was another one of the Democrats to speak at the recent blogosphere-boiling DLC conference in Ohio, so he’s definitely running for something. My guess is that he’s still trying to figure it out himself..


Comment: Who knows? Who cares?


Bill Richardson. Here’s a name that came up time and time again in the lead up to 2004. Lately? Not so much. But still, many consider Richardson a deadly serious contender. He’s a heavyweight in the areas of international relations and energy policy. He’s a Western Democrat. He’s Hispanic. And he’s a Governor. It’s an extremely attractive profile for a Presidential candidate..


Comment: Is Wen Ho Lee enough to stop him?


Tom Vilsack. Last year, it seemed to me that Vilsack was secretly running for Vice President. Now it seems that he’s learned that sitting back and waiting for a phone call isn’t enough. He’s now the Chairman of the (in some circles dreaded) Democratic Leadership Council. And according to Political Wire, he’s set to launch a website for his Heartland PAC, which seeks to “close the ideas gap” and generally promote activism among Democratic moderates.


Now, I take exception to the idea that there is an “ideas gap” between the parties. And I know I’m not alone. We’re told day in and day out that Democrats don’t have any new ideas, that we don’t stand for anything but “no.” Vilsack is essentially making his pitch by saying that this premise is accurate and that he’s out to fix it. That’s hardly a winning strategy for winning over primary voters, grassroots Democrats who, day in and day out, live and breathe the very ideas that Vilsack says are lacking in our party. Then again, if my theory is correct, he doesn’t have to win over primary voters. He just has to win over the person who does win over the primary voters..


Comment: When I taught in an Iowa community college, Vilsack gave us a day off of work (or something like that). You have to like a man who knows how to manipulate state employees.


Evan Bayh. A few short weeks ago, Bayh was the DLC candidate. Now, in the aftermath of the meeting in Ohio, Bayh has clearly been pushed back in that pack by Hillary. I never took Bayh all that seriously as one needs far more than good looks and the backing of From and Reed to win the nomination..


Comment: Bayh-bye?


Joe Biden. Biden’s been running since about November 3, 2004. If he could have started running any earlier without looking unseemly, he would have. His new PAC website, Unite Our States, is quite impressive and shows the general tone and feel a Biden Presidential campaign would take on..


Comment: Biden’s site is very impressive. As is his blog. A nice, unoffensive cult-of-personality. But no Senator has become President since JFK.


There are two big obstacles in Biden’s way. During the primaries, he’ll have to somehow explain his support for the bankruptcy bill — something many Democrats have pledged not to forget. And then in the general election, he’ll repeatedly run into the plagiarism scandal from his 1988 Presidential run. Neither will be an easy task.


Russ Feingold. Though Feingold telegraphed early his interest in running, many saw the announcement of his divorce as a de facto end to his chances at winning the nomination. I’d tend to agree if he indicated that he was no longer in the running. The combined stress of a divorce and a brutal campaign seem too daunting for anyone to overcome. But he’s still out there, still campaigning. Don’t count Russ out yet..


Comment: For the Presidential nomination, maybe not. But it is safe to count Russ out from winning.


South Dakota is the birthplace of McGovern and Humphrey (think Walter Mondale without the charisma). We’re used to losers. Russ looks familiar.


Barack Obama. People keep talking about him, but he’s not running. “I am not running for president in 2008.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that..


Comment: He would wrap up the American expats in Indonesia community


Brian Schweitzer. Again, lots of talk from the grassroots, but he’s not running either. When Schweitzer was asked about all of the people trying to make it happen, he called them “kooky.” I’m sure he meant that in the nicest way possible.


Comment: The Montana Governor won his seat by having a Republican as Lieutenant Governor.


Only one question remains: What about Daschle?


Update: In its “2008 Election Preview,” Right Wing News demonstrates how not to campaign against Hillary.

One Girl SecretWar

One Girl Revolution,” by Superchick, Karaoke Superstars, 8 January 2002, http://www.getlyrics.com/lyrics.php/Superchic%28k%29/SHOW+LYRICS/One+Girl+Revolution (remix available on Regeneration).


Lyrics for a 5th Generation War..



I wear a disguise
I’m just your average Jane
The super doesn’t stand for model
But that doesn’t mean I’m plain
If all you see is how I look
You miss the superchick within
And I christen you Titanic
Underestimate and swim
I’ve got the rifle
Gonna be myself


I’ll be everything that I want to be
I am confidence in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I’ll shoot the shot, bang
That you hear ’round the world
I’m a one girl revolution


Some people see the revolution
But most only see the girl
I can loose my hard earned freedom
If my fear defines my world
I declare my independence from the critics and their stones
I can find my revolution
I can learn to stand alone


I’ll be everything that I want to be
I am confidence in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I’ll shoot the shot, bang
That you hear ’round the world
I’m a one girl revolution


The Morality and Ethics of Blogging

I am in two conversations, one by private email and another on a blog I rarely link to, that made me think about morality and ethics in blogging. In one case a friendly acquaintance asked for my help in determining the real identity of an anonymous blogger. In another, a fellow blogger claims to have achievements which he refuses to identity in a way that would make them verifiable. His responses are always very vague or very defensive.

In neither case is safety an issue

Complicating this, I have twice on tdaxp referenced people I will not name — one because he asked me not to, another because I would not even ask the gentlemen it might affect. If I would criticize the gentleman with unverifiable accomplishments, would that make me a hypocrite? Now, the criticisms of my OODA loop are right or wrong regardless of the first gentleman’s position, and my enjoyment of the second gentleman’s company is a personal opinion that has no relevance to the accuracy of my analytical beliefs.

I’ve been called an atheist, a Nazi, a supporter of executing homosexualists, a supporter of raping heterosexual men, and other things online, so I don’t care if I’m criticized. I don’t care if I’m called a liar, and my “trustworthiness” isn’t even an issue for my analysis posts — I could be a murderous bank robber, and that wouldn’t make my 5GW thoughts more right or wrong.

Further complicating this is that the anonymous blogger is part of a network that has itself unmasked other anonymous bloggers. A blogospheric netwarrior, if you will. Must individual participation in such acts be found first, or is guilt-by-association (“participation in a corrupt organization”) enough?

Feeling a little–irregular?

I wish my college had offered a concentration in “Irregular Warfare”:

Students who specialize in the Irregular Warfare Track add a multidisciplinary set of electives to their curriculum in order to advance their understanding of unique combat environments and methodologies that are more uncertain, surprisingly paradoxical, typically non-linear, and often asymmetrical.

The irregular warfare specialty track has rapidly become the most popular choice among cadets who choose to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Military Art and Science. Furthermore, other academic departments have authorized their students to take irregular warfare courses as approved electives. Consequently, both MS360, Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, and MS460, Counterinsurgency Operations, have become extremely popular choices among cadets.


Posted by Phil