Duty/loyalty

Something to think about

In 1974, Palestinian terrorists launched an attack into Israel which culminated in them taking more than 115 hostages in the Netiv Meir elementary school, 105 of them children.  They then proceeded to issue demands for the release of 23 terrorists being held by Israel, or they would kill the hostages.  When elements of the Golani Brigade stormed the building, the terrorists did indeed try to kill all of their hostages, using grenades and automatic weapons.  The siege ended with 25 hostages dead (22 of them children), and 68 injured.

This is not greatly dissimilar to the numbers of dead and injured in Sandy Hook, CT.

What have we, in the US, done in response to school shootings?

We have declared our schools to be "gun free zones", thus guaranteeing that our schools and their students are defenceless in the face of an attack.

Has this worked?

Don't look to me to tell you. Open any newspaper, turn on any news channel, and you tell me whether it's worked.

What did the Israelis do in response to Ma'alot?

Israel instituted a program in which volunteer school personnel, parents, and grandparents received special training from the civil guard, and were seeded throughout the schools armed with concealed 9mm semiautomatic pistols.

Since then, there has not been one successful mass murder at an Israeli school.  NOT.  ONE.  Every single attempt has been very rapidly ended by the armed defenders placed in the schools, with minimal injuries among the innocent.

Think about it.  Then tell me which approach to preventing massacres in schools makes more sense.

I'll wait.

(Footnote:  The worst incident which I am aware of at any Israeli educational facility since 1974 is the shooting at the Mercaz Harav, a private yeshiva or seminary in Jerusalem, in 2008.  There were initially no armed responders in the facility when the attack began; the first armed responder, a captain in the IDF, entered the building six minutes after the first call for help, and he and a part-time student were engaging the attacker with gunfire three minutes after that.  Despite firing an estimated 500-600 rounds of ammunition from an AKM rifle, the Palestinian attacker succeeded in killing only eight students, with 11 more wounded.  The yeshiva was not a public school and was not covered by the program previously mentioned.)

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Wisdom/Zen

Comment ... restriction? Yeah, RIGHT.

You know I just said yesterday that I set the comment permissions on this journal to "Friends ONLY"?

Well, it doesn't work.  I got fresh comment spam twelve minutes ago from J Random Never Fucking Heard Of Before.

Sooooooooo close to deleting this account altogether and going just with my Dreamdwidth journal.  (Which I seldom update any more either.)

  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off
Wisdom/Zen

Comment Restriction

Pro forma notification:  I have just changed the comment permissions on this journal (which, it must be said, I very seldom update any more) from 'Registered accounts only' to 'Friends only' due to the recent flood of spam comments.  I'd sooner just have a way to send back a bio-digital hybrid virus that eats spammers' brains from the inside so that they die screaming, but I guess we don't have that technology yet.  Which is just as well, because if we did, odds are some asshole would try to broadcast it to the entire Internet just to see what would happen.

  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off
Wisdom/Zen

A short and mostly non-partisan political reminder:

We are a week from election day.

Remember, when you prepare to go to the polls, that each election cycle in which you convince yourself — or let others convince you — that you have to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils because third parties and independent candidates have no chance of being elected, is one more election cycle in which third parties and independent candidates have no chance of being elected.  Because you, and everyone else who held their nose and voted for the lesser evil, wouldn't vote for them, even though you wished you could.

You want it to EVER change?

START NOW.

If not you, then who?

If not now, then when?

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  • Current Music
    Saga :: The Security of Illusion :: Voila! (1993, 01:43)
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Wisdom/Zen

Funny thing ....

...I've suddenly started getting spam comments on five-year-old LiveJournal posts.

Do they think that if they only try to comment-spam five-year-old posts I won't notice?  Do they think that anyone but me will actually SEE spam comments on a five-year-old post?

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  • Current Music
    Genesis :: Wind & Wuthering :: One For The Vine (1976, 10:01)
Wisdom/Zen

Scary CFLs

I just took these CFL lamps out of service in our kitchen counter tracklights.  Technically they were still operable when removed, but ... well, I don't know about you, but to me these look like an electrical fire waiting to happen.

I think I will be endeavoring to accelerate our as-budget-permits replacement of CFLs with LEDs.

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  • Current Mood
    displeased
Wisdom/Zen

No longer a paid account

I've just allowed my LiveJournal paid account to expire.  There are basically two reasons for this:

  1. For some time now I've found myself reading, and posting on, LiveJournal less and less;
  2. It seems that for some time now every change LiveJournal has made has been in efforts to make LiveJournal more like Facebook, which is not only a trend I detest, but is an ultimately suicidal plan.  The past is littered with the corpses of companies that set themselves the goal of being Just Like [fill in the blank], and discovered too late that their grand plan to remain "relevant" merely condemned them to being an also-ran in the niche of the outfit they were trying to play catch-up to, instead of being significant in their own.  (Come on, people, this isn't rocket science.)
  3. Oh, and it's been getting harder and harder lately to stay logged in....

I'm not killing the account.  Not yet, anyway.  I may in the future.  But I'm likely to be around even less than I have been of late.

Wisdom/Zen

Hmmm...

...LogJam says I last logged in four months ago.  Haven't been posting much.

Anyway, the "thing that makes you go Hmmmm" that I logged in to post about was this observation:

"Ya know, the craziest thing about Holder and 'Fast and Furious' isn't the part where the Justice Dept kept approving and pushing something insane and stupid.  It is the part where it was over the vehement objections of the BATF.  When BATF thinks you're too insane and stupid, you really have to take a step back and think about what you're doing."

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    Supertramp :: Breakfast In America :: Oh Darling (1979, 03:47)
Ultrasparc III

LOMS Incident

One of the more drastic things that can happen in a nuclear power plant is what's known as a LOCA, a loss-of-coolant accident.  I like to refer analogously to some of the more drastic things that can happen to electronic equipment as a LOMS incident — Loss Of Magic Smoke.

This is particularly relevant today because that's what just happened to my main uninterruptible power supply, an APC SU3000RM3U which powers both of my workstations as well as my server/network rack.

As close as I can figure out, the capacitor just to the left of that power blade failed first.  (You can see another matching one about an inch behind its mortal remains.)  This was the first muffled bang I heard, and everything lost power at that exact moment, which is probably why nothing powered by the UPS was damaged when that row of power transistors went into runaway and blew up in a ripple about eight seconds later, creating a second, much louder and sharper bang.  Not only did they vaporize their power leads, they blew several holes in the top layer of the main board.  This was the point at which the magic smoke began to drift out from the front of the UPS.

The UPS, of course, is toast.  And it was only last year I managed to locate a matching expansion battery chassis for it...

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  • Current Music
    VNV Nation :: FuturePerfect :: Airships (2002, 08:18)
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ICON

Observing the polls

I've been noticing a trend in polls over the last few months. President Obama's approval rating hasn't been climbing, and in any poll of Obama vs. "generic Republican" for the uncoming Presidential election, Obama loses solidly.  But plug in the names of any of the current Republican candidates in place of "generic Republican", and the result flips; now Obama leads by a solid 8-10%.

I predict that Obama will get a second term in this election, and that he will take it as a mandate to continue and ramp up his agenda.  But I posit that this does not in fact represent a real success of Obama, of his policies, of his administration, or of the Democrat party.

What it represents is a complete failure of the Republican party to show the slightest sign of any awareness of the mood of the electorate or the state of the nation, and in particular how tired the voters are of a Congress owned lock, stock and barrel by megacorporations and megabanks.  Obama may not be doing anything tangible to change this, but he at least made a few of the right noises in his State of the Union campaign speech; and that's good enough for a large number of voters — even when he then turns around and brokers a mortgage settlement with the banks that amounts to slapping them lightly on the wrists and handing them a Get Out Of Jail Free card.

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