A Modesty Proposal

Writing this kind of in reaction to what I heard with some of the things with the Libertarian Party takeover this past weekend.

Yeah, I can’t hang with those sorts of folks. I am not going to share those sorts of personal details.

I wrote that last sentence kind of in the young-and-healthy mindset. I just got an email notice reminding me that it’s my twentieth anniversary as a LiveJournal user. Um. Yeah. I hadn’t written anything since 2003.

Obviously, I’ve been feeding this writing compulsion for a long time.

But back to the point, one of the former Reason editors, maybe Virginia Postrel, had a column (which I can’t find, unfortunately) complaining about the marijuana odor swirling around somewhere she was (I think SoCal).

I’ve never smoked marijuana. I worked in radio for how many years? I have multiple sclerosis. I’ve never smoked weed. I don’t like the odor. I’m skeptical about In my current situation, even though I am mildly curious about the neurological effects of cannaboids, and other psychoactive chemicals, I don’t partake.

That’s my choice.

To me, that’s the quintessence of Libertarianism. I can do what I want, and if I’m really not affecting anyone else by doing it, whatever.

But it’s also none of your business, and I don’t feel any urge to tell you about it.

I didn’t read too deeply into my old LJ, but I’m almost certain that there’s no discussion of executory activity.

I really don’t need, or want, to know about the last time you met physical needs.

It’s not me. I don’t need to know.

And, despite the fact that I wasn’t informed on the latest podcast that being immodest is Libertarian, it’s how I operate.

It’s how I’ve always operated.

But means I’m the enemy. Whatever.

The sorts of things I’ve heard are things that would absolutely have mortified me if others knew about them.

But it’s actually none of their business, either.

I don’t even like to share some of those things with my wife.

Does that make me an evil statist? Well, tune in to the guy who’s never made a payroll, or written something longer than a comedy sketch and find out.

But I’m not just going to rage quit. It’s not what I do. I just leave.

I hope you find satisfaction with whatever is your choice when you get Marrou-level vote totals thirty-plus years down the road.

Saturday, again

But it’s not the morning, at least.

I didn’t work yesterday to avoid earning a bunch more paid time off. I need to take some time, but I’m not sure when that’ll happen.

Still kind of on edge about job security.

Perhaps I should be more pensive about that, but I can’t bring myself to be really worried about it. I’m still relaxed with the situation in which I find myself with private disability insurance.

At the same time, I do find myself in demand, professionally. Just a question about whether I can do the things that appear on my resume anymore. The fleet of foreign recruiters, however, don’t really understand that. Or that I’m not interested in moving to a different state.

In the past two days, I’ve gotten north of twenty recruiters trying to get me to Austin, Texas.

First, I don’t want to go.

Second, my wife doesn’t want to go.

Third, I’m worried about my ability to get around there. Flashback to Milton waiting on the bench for the bus from Office Space.

Thirteen were from recruiters from the same company. I’m not going to link them, but the temptation is very much there.

Other stuff….

  1. Abortion. I’m tracking the rich white folks marching through DC about the leakedstoen draft (Use the sort of language used about the Hunter Biden laptop…), and finding myself torn on it. I am torn on the issue. As an errant part of the Paist Conspiracy, I am opposed to both abortion and capital punishment. But I really don’t think the government has a role in what, ultimately, should effect one universal policy. I brought up to Elizabeth Nolan Brown over twitter in reaction to her Reason column on it. I don’t think anyone would argue that buying, and consuming alcohol is a protected right in the US. Here in the Beltway Swamp, there’s four separate regulatory frameworks for buying liquor. Where I live, in Virginia, I have to buy all of my distilled liquor from the Commonwealth of Virginia. I can get it delivered directly to me, but it’s a strange process. It also takes a few days. Going across the bridge named after the most racist President in US history, into Prince George’s County, Maryland, you can buy from a private store. I don’t know what the delivery there is. If you take US 50 back into the District, you can buy at all sorts of private stores, and get it delivered by Drizly. Go further east into Montgomery County, Maryland, and you have to buy pretty much all of your alcohol from Montgomery County-owned stores. I’m not planning to ever buy liquor from a MoCo store. I’m also not planning to live in MoCo, probably ever. Difference among places isn’t an issue. There doesn’t need to be a single standard for the entire country. Even the blessed European Union has countries with different standards across national borders. Abortion is pretty much illegal in Poland. Does that affect someone who lives in France? No. The law that the Supreme Court is set to rule on is a law in Mississippi that doesn’t outlaw abortion. But it does limit it to the first fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Which is less restrictive than the Stupid Flandsers in Belgium (where it’s fourteen weeks). Why does there need to be a single standard in the US? I don’t understand it. Do I really care that you can’t pump your own gasoline in New Jersey? No. No, I don’t. I just won’t buy gas in New Jersey. If you want an abortion, you can go somewhere else. You’re not stuck in one place. This goes into something that was a reading recommendation from one of my doctors. The book was interesting, but the epilogue/conclusion was something that was despairing about climate change, the Trump Administration, and Bolsonaro. No. In pretty much any situation, you can leave, if the situation is too much for you to take. Want to have someone get an abortion? Pay for her train ticket to New York. It’s not that tough.
  2. Happy that The Fifth Column has successfully away from that other funding source. I can subscribe, now, without reservation. The reason I wouldn’t use the previous support platform is what they did to someone who I find loathsome. No, it’s not okay to just take money intended for someone. I’m sorry if that negatively affects some others who I’d like to support. I’m also happily supporting other things on Locals. Choice isn’t a bad thing.
  3. Listening to TFC, however, is tempering the takes on news. Still marveling at how wrong the NeoHippies have been when it comes to everything surrounding what’s happening with the Russians. It’s bang-your-head-on-the-desk stupid. Just because someone in the “corporate press” is reporting something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. For a few from the “underground,” Russia is probably losing. But, no, I should pay more attention to the people who said that there wasn’t going to be an invasion. Got it. GFY

I think I’m going to stop there, and go watch football.

Stuck In A Moment

Yeah, it’s a reference to an odd U2 song. I dunno.

This is where the NeoHippies are, and always will be. (I understand that it doesn’t really fit perfectly, but I’m so finished with the antiwar.com-types. Again. And more.)

That really is a callback to my days in radio, where I’d rip probably three faxes per day peddling various apologetics.

I felt much the same way about the obsessive Chomsky quoters on Orkut.

But the latest part is the “takeover.” Instead of creaking fax machines, the new delivery source is Twitter.

While I gave them some credence as I’ve been bumping through various Libertarian podcasts, and seeing them treated favorably on Kennedy, the miss on the Russian invasion of Ukraine really soured me.

Now what they’re worried about, first and foremost, is keeping the US out of a nuclear war. See the clip in the first line. Things that have happened really are irrelevant. Pay attention to this one article Harry Browne wrote in 2001. Pay attention to some of the icky things the US was involved with in South America in the 1970s and 1980s. Pay attention to the Iranian coup in 1953. (Which, yes, the early CIA helped with, but was primarily a British operation….Hitchens wrote about this after the Michael Moore trope was released in 2004.)

Hear what you want to hear, and disregard the rest…..

See? I did have Boomer professors….

(And that particular Boomer professor had actually been a counterpart of my dad’s in the Army…I’ve wondered what happened to him, but my web search skills fail….he’s got a very common first name, and a surname that’s shared with another university nearby….)

The similar thoughts that came into my head watching the debate in NYC, that the clapping section, who now define what Libertarianism is, thought one person won. See here.

What do I do if they succeed? Well, I take my own advice.

Speaking of podcasts, the most notable one I heard this week was this.

I miss the Free Beacon podcast. It was one of the things that seemed to die with the COVID lockdowns.

I could probably plunk away for hours, but I understand that basically nobody will read this. Whatever.

Sunday Sunday Sunday

I love how modern browser thingie complains that I repeat words.

Maybe I typed it on purpose, okay?

I worked some yesterday. It’s kind of make-up for basically not working Friday. I almost got distracted, there, too, but I resisted. One of the things I’m a bit concerned about crossed my mind.

Things are changing whether or not people push back on that change.

I’m not particularly wedded to any way of working. No, this doesn’t make me a bad employee, person, whatever.

I understand, of course, the push towards longevity, naturally. The place where this is hosted I’m working on a replacement for.

The blog, and its associated artifacts are pretty straightforward. But I’m thinking that the method of storing email in individual mailstores is probably not terribly efficient these days.

So continue along the path of figuring things out. Maybe it wouldn’t have made sense in 2005; it’s not 2005 anymore.

Looking at things that way really aren’t looked upon kindly, professionally. See: Boomer President IV on aircraft carrier equipment. (The current guy thinks it should be a return to seaplanes….)

But I try to stay up on things as best I can.

I’ve also really learned to accept that I don’t have all the answers to everything. I don’t have any delusion that my work is perfect, either.

Shmoocon Again

2022 edition after it was cancelled last year.

As I said in the last entry, I’m really leaning towards not going again. I’ll probably do the Shmooze-a-student, and sell the ticket that comes with it at cost.

Physically, I just can’t do it anymore.

Reflecting on it, though, notably absent were both the detest of the “other side” of US politics, and the self-assured consensus that the participants’ political views were going to make everything okay.

One of the things from the last one was the whole Russian collusion narrative about President Trump. This was my thinking

There are many people who still believe that stuff.

But there’s still, too, people who believe that Trump won in 2020.

I think there’s something about admitting when your initial take on something was incorrect.

It’s probably not fair to expect a speaker at a convention to come back and say, “yeah, about that,” but continued silence from others makes me wonder.

I’m not saying that you come out and shit on previous speakers’ bits, but you can, at least, revisit a bit later.

But on to the individual talks’ reax….


First Up….

Log capture and analysis. If a bear splints in a forest, does anybody care? (That’s what I typed at the time, and I’m not sure if that was the correct word. MacBook Air doesn’t stay on my belly reliably.)

Part of what I’m doing in my current role is dealing with implementing a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf product to do log monitoring.

But, for my situation, there’s enough multi-layer security that these COTS products aren’t really useful.

At least, now, I’m not getting pressured to loosen layers of the security stack to let these commercial products work as designed.


Next up

I tend to use ProtonVPN because I’m cheap, and it’s included with my ProtonMail subscription.

(I went with ProtonMail because I felt better about the Swiss protecting customers’ privacy. The Swiss government’s response to Russia gives me a bit of pause, but I still feel better about it than anything in the US, EU, or Soviet Canuckistan…)

The tagline of this site works in reverse, too. Anytime you do something online, somebody can probably snoop on it. Deal with it.

Temporal connections are tougher to crack, but everything can be cracked.. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.

The talk went into something about APIs, and I think I started to lose the handle on the talk(s). Maybe the next part was about a different presentation, altogether? I don’t know.

Use modern web API programming techniques for …?

ARM microcontrollers are ubiquitous.

You can tell from the headers of the binaries. Mix and match thereafter.

Stepped out because I didn’t think IU’d get a lot of benefit out of it, and I wasn’t feeling well.


Scheep.

Reading the description, it sounds a bit like a new form of a honeypot; something there just for people to fuck with to no avail.

I’m having flashbacks to when I put a GNU/Hurd box on a publicly-accessible IPv4 address to see how long it took someone to break in. With Telnet enabled.

It took a Navy Red Team friend several days, but he eventually cracked the password, get a command shell, then didn’t know what the fuck to do with it.

Due to technical difficulties, presentation didn’t start until nearly twenty minutes late.

This is an attempt to create a Web Service, not a regular binary on the host.

Good sandbox for both red and blue teams; tracks everything

Using a packet sniffer, the developer was able to capture HTTP packets, and assemble an HTTP session. From that assembled HTTP session, he could start figuring out some things.

Bulk command shove; no idea who ran which command.

The developer used remote shell over HTTP to sites around the world.

For the Windows stuff, he was operating on the WinSock DLL.

(When I did some programming, I found that DLL to be, ummm…ancient. Maybe it’s gotten better since I was plunking away on it in 2006.)

He is planning to “open source” the code, but Larry Ellison executing his jerk options again.

It does sound like neat tech. I’m not sure I completely understand how it’s used, but, then, I’m not a pen tester.


This one about broadcast satellites.

Yes, this is fascinating stuff for me, with my past in the broadcast industry.

I’m having flashbacks to cleaning fourteen inches of snow out of a C-Band reciever.

(I ended up buying every jug of windshield washer fluid at the 7-Eleven on the way to the transmitter site, and pouring that over the dish until I could get the dish clear enough to pull a signal again.)

The bit about the higher orbit for spent satellites is fascinating to me. I kind of had just figured they let them fall out of orbit. But that they send them higher, so they’re out-of-the-way explains the ring of space junk.


Discussion of odd WordPress plugins that might have security issues.

I understand it, but this, and the work call that had me watching this over the stream link from my hotel room, really reinforce my commitment to not using anything that’s not supported directly by a vendor.

Trying to do this stuff in-house is just too fraught with peril for my tasted.

Interesting aside that the totes-didn’t-used-to-do-evil search company downlinks sites that have WP vulgarities. I, generally, think that SEO is snake oil, but if that’s what that formerly not-evil company is doing, well…

Static front page that gets picked up, then escort users in after they land on the static site with tons of keywords in the HEAD element.

There’s been a big push the past couple of years to force everything behind SSL. Maybe it makes sense, now, to put most content back in a place where the search engines can’t capture it?

The tagline for this blog is, “everything gets deleted, eventually.” I’m sure there’s things on the Internet I wrote years ago that don’t reflect my views today. Whatever.

As more things get pushed behind paywalls, the less background you can find on someone. I’m okay with that.


EFF presentation on some recent SCOTUS decisions.

One of the things I’d wanted to write about is looking back at Shmoocons past regarding politics.

Obama was good for privacy.

Trump was elected due to Russian meddling in 2016.

(I touched about that a bit earlier in this entry; I really shouldn’t still be annoyed by the one thing from 2020, but I am. You have to admit you’ve been wrong when that happens. This kind of speaks to another thing that’s been bothering me, lately. I’d subscribed to the position that Russia wasn’t going to invade Ukraine. I was wrong. So were the people who helped me form that conclusion.)


Watching this about crypto.

Mubix, when he sees something new, he starts trying to figure out how to misuse something. (Props!)

If you don’t include “crypto is horrible,” or “crypto sucks” when you’re coding in encryption, it will fail.

Solarwinds was relatively easy to crack because they used old protections, that was probably what caused the problems.

You can’t spell cryptography without crime.


I didn’t write much about the final concluding presentations. I did watch those, because I’d already checked out of my hotel room.

Did I have a good time? Um…I guess?

I needed to do something like that. It felt good to get out of my apartment for the first time in basically two years.

Something to discuss with my “care team” soon. Back to work tomorrow. The Thursday to Saturday thing kind of works when there’s not a Monday holiday just after.

Next year’s is the week after MLK Day, which might make things a bit strange for people.

But that I’ve not really been going to an office regularly in years makes it kind of a yawner. I probably could have worked today, if needed. Whatever.

I’m just glad it’s not going to be like 2014, where I got laid off my first day back to work after the conference and the Monday holiday.

I’ll omit the curses for that company. They did sponsor Shmoocon this year. Needless to say, I didn’t care to stop by their booth.

Own The Con 16

Discussion of how long Bruce and Heidi have been married. Sixteen years this summer. My wife and I have been together fifteen in a few years (but only married for evelven).

I remember back in the day bringing my then-girlfriend with me just so they could come close to selling out. 2008-ish?

For potential speakers, you need to follow directions exactly. (I wrote the beginnings of a talk in probably about 2010. I had about 40 minutes of speaking, and half a slide deck. I started going through potential questions from an audience, and got to one I couldn’t answer….and it was a question that really related to the heart of the presentation….so I gave up, and just bought a ticket.)

The ticket sales glut has kind of ended after they put the kibosh on second-hand ticket sales.

That actually makes me feel a bit better about my tentative intention at this point to do the Shmooze-A-Student again. If I’m financially able, I’ll buy a ticket for a kid, and sell my ticket to someone else.

Physically, I can’t do this anymore. Much of what I did yesterday was sitting in my hotel room watching the stream.

Naturally when I was younger, I really appreciated the new experiences that came along with being in DC. The novelty has more than worn off.

They saved a lot of money this year by not having the drink-a-palooza on Saturday night.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been to one of those. But they’re really not earning money on any of this, and are paying taxes on it.

(I’ll avoid going in go off on my bit about income taxes. More than half of the people who file don’t pay any income taxes. Payroll taxes are not taxes; they are contributions to the bankrupt Ponzi schemes that are Social Security and Medicare)

Close up was a potential giveaway of a (Dude-your-gettin-a) Dell server.

I have no place for toys like that anymore, unfortunately. And if I was going to get a nondescript Dell server, I think I’d like something with an Italic processor.

But they’re loud as hell.

I swear I’ll get many of the notes on other talks up over the next few days. As I said, I really don’t have the energy to do this con stuff anymore.

More is coming

In between talks, I’ve been dealing with thoughts about the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which has been an ongoing issue of concern on several of the shows I consume.

My initial thought was that regardless of the type of currency you’re issued, it doesn’t matter. You can exchange it for whatever good, currency, or service you want.

But there’s also the issue where they can dictate what you can spend the digital currency on, and take it back retroactively.

If there’s a stipulation that you can only spend the currency at certain places, might that contradict the idea that Federal Reserve Notes are good for all debts public or private. (If you have one nearby, look; it says that right on the bill)

Further, if previously-issued funds can be taken back, were you paid? Would that violate various employment laws? So, you’re making $42/hr., but you went to the capitol on January 6, 2021. Can money be taken from you because you were there? What if the retroactive taking bumps your compensation down to less than the agreed-upon $42/hr.?

Are labor unions okay with this: What if there was a stipulation that you could only spend those coins on things your employer or the state approves of: I mean, you might want to hit every single New York Jets road game in the upcoming season. I don’t know why you’d want to do that, but you should be able to. How about tithing a certain percentage to your church?

Still working through it all…..

I will finish up my Shmoocon write-ups after I get home.

Sure Happy It’s Thursday

S.H.I.Thursdays, everybuddy. *quack*quack*

I’m really happy I didn’t end up a zookeeper.

Especially, now, where instead of going to a crappy little station somewhere to be a minor local celeb, but I really prefer where I am.

Obviously I don’t like having MS. It was more than a little dismaying learning that an old journaling friend was diagnosed the past fall.

Things change, but you can always leave.

I unsubscribed from a few podcasts after what happened with Russia and Ukraine. I emailed Kennedy to tell her I wouldn’t be watching episodes where she’s got those people as guests.

One of them lost the debate I went to see in NYC, and I’ve written about here before.

But you also can sorta go back again. So I’ll go to the TWUUG meeting tonight before I do extra work. Party.

Suddenly Saturday

I really didn’t feel like working yesterday, but I did. I also ended up working last night to address an operational issue that arose over the work day.

Since then, minus about four hours of sleep, I’ve been watching what’s going on in Ukraine.

Many of the information sources I’ve been consuming the past couple of years were completely wrong.

There’s just no other way to put it. I was convinced that the Russians would try to invade.

And they did.

And there’s been near silence about it.

Checking his Twitter feed, pretty much nothing over the past two days, save a link to fucking Antiwar.com.

Calling back to the late, great P.J. O’Rourke, Give War A Chance.

I’m too frazzled to write terribly coherently right now.

But there’s lots of things where I’d signed-up for something that’s proving to be untrue.

Back On Track

Maybe.

Very, very, very long week. That, and about five ounces of Gin and Tonic, caused me to sleep through part of it. Oops. I hope I wasn’t snoring, and if I was, I hope that the mic was muted. Good discussion at the end of where we got into a little about what I think is the um, trying to figure out the politest way to say this, maladjusted view of foreign policy of some in the libertarian movement.

(I know, I know, I can’t say that because I’m not the one defining what is 2022 Libertarianism, but, well, I’ve been here for a while, and read and argued many sides of an issue…..but, hey, that’s not libertarianism, because and I fucking wrote what libertarianism is based on my narrow reading list from the RON PAUL 2008 campaign….)

In other news, things are a lot calmer, otherwise, this week, thankfully.

I should make a to-do list for the next few months.

Next month is Shmoocon. I need to figure out what I want to see.

April, I hope I’ll be able to travel down to see my mom’s new house. This week was spent trying to get her set up with a new iPhone, as her provider cut off the cellular network her old phone used.

May is another medical procedure.

June may be figuring out what to do if I end up being unemployed at the end of that month.

No idea with the rest of the year, except that I do want to go to the Super-spreader event in Mexico in the Winter.