Armed and Dangerous has moved to

This blog has moved. Please update your links to point to

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Friday, November 22, 2002

Countermeasure against the mystery attack

I think I may have invented a countermeasure against the mystery attack alluded to in the redacted postings below. I'll have to discuss it with the persion who thought it up tomorrow.

Now, who do we pass a report on the vulnerability and the countermeasure?

Hey! Over the radio as I write comes the news that Abd Al-Nasiri, the guy who built the explosive device that blew up U.S.S. Cole and planned the attack on the French tanker, is in U.S. custody and singing like a bird. I hope they squeeze him dry and then stake him out for the fire ants.

posted by Eric at 3:20 AM          

Thursday, November 21, 2002

It's called "Armed and Dangerous" for a reason..."

[Portions of this item have been redacted to protect another blogger]

A correspondent is concerned that by revealing that I know a diabolically effective attack plan, I have made myself a potential target of kidnap and torture by terrorists who would very much like to know what [CENSORED] cooked up, so they can do it.

My civilization is at war. I am not a coward. I'm not going to hand our enemies vital information gratis merely to secure my personal safety.

I'm not going to discuss my security precautions in detail, for obvious reasons. But my readers may be reassured that I am not a soft target. Nor is my wife.

Osama, dude? If you're listening? I would just love a shot at a few of the vicious goatfuckers on your string. Send them over; I'll give them a very painful and very short education in what the wrath of Allah is really like. Then I'll bury them in pigskin.

posted by Eric at 10:34 PM          


Security by obscurity:

[This post has been redacted to protect two other bloggers. I regret the necessity, but lives could be at stake.]

My name and work have been [CENSORED] are some possible modes of terror attack that should not be discussed in public.

With all respect to [CENSORED], I think it is wrongheaded of him to imply that my arguments against software security by obscurity necessarily apply to all other kinds of defense against vandalism and terror. Software is a special case; the low cost of distributing software patches is what makes shaming software vendors with public disclosure an effective tactic. When defense is very difficult or impossible, [CENSORED] is probably right that security through obscurity is a correct response. At least, he's not obviously wrong.

[CENSORED] has described to me in detail the attack he is concerned about. He is right that it would be trivially easy to execute. He is right that it would be enormously, horribly disruptive. I am not certain that it is as impossible to defend against as he supposes; we are discussing potential countermeasures now.

One of the most important possible countermeasures involves lots and civilians keeping an eye out for the attack — and both a firearm and a cellphone handy to stop it. If [CENSORED] and I decide that's an appropriate counterstrategy, it may be necessary to go public in order to stimulate action. But I'm not going to say anything until we've thought the scenarios through further.

[CENSORED] has thought up a way that fifty people in two-to-five-man cells operating independently and could — using ordinary tools available everywhere, with very little effort and almost no risk to themselves — cause hundreds of casualties, cripple large sections of the economy and maybe [CENSORED].

Yes, folks, it's that serious.

posted by Eric at 8:21 PM          


What a responsible American Left would look like:

The congressional Democrats have made Nancy Pelosi their leader. Whether or not this is conscious strategy, it means they're going to run to the left. And very likely get slaughtered in 2004.

It's truly odd how self-destructive the American Left has become. They're like that famous line about the Palestinians, never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And there are so many opportunities! So many good things Republican conservatives can never do because they're captive to their voter base.

Herewith, then, my humble offering of a program for the American Left. This is not sarcasm and I'm not trying to score points here, these are issues where the Left could take a stand and gain back some of the moral capital it has squandered so recklessly since the days of the civil rights movement.

  • Support war on Iraq, but insist on nation-building afterwards. Saddam Hussein is a genocidal fascist tyrant, exactly the sort of monster the Left ought to be against. Support deposing him — then be the conscience of the U.S., insisting on our duty to help rebuild Iraq as a free country afterwards. Push us to win the peace, not just the war.
  • Derail the Homeland Security Act and other intrusions on civil liberties. The left hates John Ashcroft. So why don't we see more Left opposition to the law-enforcement power grab that's going on right now, or to the gutting of the Freedom of Information Act? Many American would respond well to this.
  • Stop the War on (Some) Drugs. This is a civil-rights issue. Blacks and other minorities are disproportionately victims both of drug prosecution and of the criminal violence created by drug laws. It's a civil-liberties issue for many reasons too obvious to need listing — how can any self-respecting liberal countenance no-knock warrants and asset forfeiture? For too long the Left has gone along with conservative anti-drug hysteria out of a craven fear of being dismissed as a bunch of dope-loving ex-hippies. Time to stand up and be counted.
  • Support school vouchers. Another civil-rights issue — it's precisely minorities and the poor who most need to escape the trap that the public-school system has become, and black parents know this. Yes, it will be hard to take on the teachers' unions — but you're in serious danger of losing the black vote over this issue, so switching would be not just the right thing but a way to shore up your base as well.
  • Speak up for science. Religious conservatives are up to a lot of anti-scientific mischief — banning stem-cell research, excising evolutionary theory from textbooks. Make a principled stand for science, secularism, and the anti-Establishment clause. Remind the world that the U.S. is not a Christian nation, and seek to have the tax exemption for religious organizations ended because it puts the U.S. government in the position of deciding what's a religion and what is not.
  • Stop the RIAA/MPAA from trashing consumers' far-use rights. The Left claims to be on the side of consumers and against corporate power elites. So where was the Left when the DMCA passed? If the RIAA and MPAA have their way, personal computers will be crippled and consumers will go to jail for the `crime' of copying DVDs they have bought for their personal use. Young people, who are trending conservative these days, care deeply about the RIAA attack on file sharing. Wouldn't you like to have them back?

posted by Eric at 2:48 PM