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Midweek links

  • Niall Ferguson on simplifiers vs complicators and how they can both be big problems in politics and government.
  • What the hell is a “security directive,” anyway? Sounds like something Ayn Rand would make up for her villains to impose. And why would any supposedly private company jump to comply with one? And furtherwhy, after the righteous drubbing the big ‘Net companies took for kissing the NSA’s butt (post Snowden) would Yahoo (and probably others) be so eager to continue osculating stinky feddie posterior?
  • Speaking of security, Bruce Schneier says, “Stop trying to fix the user” and fix the underlying systems. (I think he’s a lot right and a bit wrong, as spotted by his commentors.)
  • Just speculation. But could the SpaceX explosion have been sabotage?
  • Speaking of cozy relationships with feds, on at least one occasion (and no doubt more), Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered local cops to use licence-plate readers to scoop up info on everybody attending a big gun show. Supposedly to see who might be letting firearms slip into Mexico. Hey, guys. Why didn’t you just check with your friends at the ATF? Weren’t they they ones making sure that the guns got to gangsters? (H/T MSJ)
  • No wonder Assange stays in hiding. No wonder he canceled doing a personal presentation of this week’s expected October surprise. Hillary once (and maybe more than once) proposed droning him to death when she was Secretary of State.
  • Yep, Bill. You said it. Obamacare is crazy.
  • NPR (and apparently at least a few residents of Gonzalez, TX) has no sense of history. No desire to do research, either.
  • Speaking of history, here’s one to leave you crosseyed: the strange case of the Nazi who became an Israeli hitman.
  • Another great lesson from another corner of the political spectrum: 20 principles for successful community organizing.
  • To close on a “lite” note: have some birds with human arms. Plus, how ’bout a dog that sings along with Whitney Houston? (H/T Cat) And perhaps a therapeutic robo-pet? (H/T ML)


  1. Pat
    Pat October 5, 2016 7:10 am

    There’s a simple reason for complexity in government: the more you talk, the less you say. Hiding or confusing the issues are the basis for Politics 101.

    What is “sandboxing” in Schneier’s article?

    From No. 5 in “20 Principles”: “You can ask a few people to do a lot of things, particularly if they’re committed activists. If you want hundreds or thousands of people to participate in a campaign, you need to ask the great majority of them to do one thing, and only one.”

    So true. I know this from delegation of assignments in nursing. Very few people can “multi-task,” but they can function at their best on one, possibly two, jobs at a time. (BTW, I’ve found the older I get, the less I can multi-task. Or else I don’t attempt to multi-task; I prefer to keep it simple from the beginning.)

  2. Joel
    Joel October 5, 2016 10:19 am

    I haven’t studied the battle of Gonzales, but I’d want to see some documentation that the Proto-Texans were deliberately quoting Leonidas. Under the circumstances it seems like the natural thing to say even if you’d never heard of Thermopylae.

    Which of course doesn’t mean NPR gasbags aren’t ignorant, er, gasbags.

  3. LarryA
    LarryA October 5, 2016 12:37 pm

    Fun afternoon exercise: Go through the “20 principles for successful community organizing” and compare contrast with how SJWs campaign.

  4. Pat
    Pat October 5, 2016 9:56 pm

    Sam — Thanks for the links on sandboxing. I was busy prepping for a storm yesterday (which may not arrive here at all now), and then forgot to look it up myself later in the day.

  5. John
    John October 5, 2016 11:01 pm

    Hell, I wandered off chasing the link pyrrhus put up and then Giants beat the Mets. Glad I refreshed before I back tabbed to interjected here:

    Thanks pyrrhus!
    I love wondering off on comments about little green men on Mars. No wait, Moon?
    Ah, Eric Peters is a site I like but the fun comment stuff can go off into places like, well, maybe Twinkies on some Clare site…

    Can anyone even prove Leonidas was at Thermopylae? Why would king of Sparta put it all on the line for some crappy road to Athens? I bet MSM would like me to think it was something to do with a divorce and someone named Kardashian…

    I’m going to try to re-focus.
    On something.

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