Thursday, July 14, 2011

Firearm Safety tip o' the day: Always remove clip before giving a chimp an AK-47

Via BlackFive

Money quote from the "West African soldier": No no no no no!

Now, hold on a minute Clyde. Didn't something like this happen in the dim prehistory of our species?

Fast forward about 13 minutes if you don't have the patience for Kubrick.

I don't know about you all, but I feel gyped. The chimps are getting AKs. All we got was some freaking sunbleached bone clubs.

A great question concerning U.S. Cyber defense.

According to THIS story linked at NDU's FB page, James Cartwright thinks our defense of DOD cyber networks is far too...well...defensive, and reactive. We're always patching up damage after the fact. The NDU FB page asks a very simple question: "What should DOD be doing instead?"

Cartwright according to the Stripes story:

One of the continuing questions of the slowly developing U.S. cybersecurity plan is whether federal agencies like the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security or other intelligence agencies would – or could, legally – conduct their own offensive cyberattacks to keep threats at bay inside and outside of U.S. borders.

In strong remarks, Cartwright decried what he called “the Maginot Line approach.”

“If it’s OK to attack me, and I’m not going to do anything other than improve my defense every time you attack me, it’s going to very difficult to come up with a coherent strategy,” he said. “But up until now, that has really been the focus -- probably 90 percent thinking about how to build the next best firewall, and 10 percent thinking about what we might do to keep them from attacking us.”

Cartwright said he was not referring to “kinetic” responses -- lethal combat force -- to cyberattackers.

OK, if not kinetics, then what? Obviously, some sort of 'cyberkinetics'

The Patton response, cyber offense, implied by Cartwright's critique begs the question of how best to take the offensive, and how to assure we take the attack to those that need attacking.

This raises attribution problems:

When we know from what part of the globe a cyber attack originated, we do not necessarily know that the attackers were agents of states, or in the employ of states. So, who do we attack, and how?

Secondly, when the attacks originate from within the U.S. or from allied nations, what should we do?

Answers crucially hinge on reactive and forensic capabilities as well.

What we do know, trivially, is that any such attack is ultimately originated by someone that has the motive of damaging the U.S. in some way. We know, whoever they may be, that they mean harm. (No duh.) So, if we were able to tailor a system tied into the DOD computer structure itself, which was capable of sensing an attack and automatically funneling a fully discriminated massive and overwhelming return volley, a sort of MADish cyber response targeted only at the aggressor, something that would utterly debilitate the attackers' machines, something that could then initiate follow on attacks, targeting fellow enemy machines in the 'cyber-neighborhood' of the first bunch of machines, boy, that would be groovy, to say the least. In the long run, that seems to be the way to go.

But, we must assume that any enemy would be aware that such a system would be the goal of research. So, what have they probably done in anticipation, or what would they likely set about developing in anticipation?

They would distribute their attacks, probably hijacking unsuspecting machines in what has come to be labeled "bot nets." This kind of thing is already going on.

So, the DOD 'response machine' if crudely constructed, would end up taking out a lot of innocent folks' machines as it reads and reacts, unless it had some way of telling innocent zombie computers from malefactors.

How to avoid that? Can it be avoided? Heck if I know.

Another option: Start global distribution of Stuxnet type code by whatever means available hoping to infect computers world wide. If possible, these programs would have the capability to monitor the actions of their host machines. If those host machines are found to be tapping into DOD or other vital cyberinfrastructural elements within the U.S. without authorization, the programs would disconnect the host machines and/or search out other programs within their host machines that are giving directions to so penetrate, and would disable those programs in some way, while also sending on forensic information to those that need to know.

This would necessarily involve surreptitious planting and distribution of such Stuxnet cousins without consent of individual computer owners.

Cue the lawyers.

And it would probably make downloads and YouTube MADingly slow to boot.

Oh well.

This has to be some kind tongue-in-cheek blogger bait, right?

...or a clever hack of Esquire by the Onion or Iowahawk. Seriously. It has to be. Don't believe me? READ THE THING. This Marche fellah reads like Bill Walton fawning all over Dwayne Wade:

Choice Waltonesque cuts:

Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. Whatever happens this fall or next, the summer of 2011 is the summer of Obama.

OK. Walton's a tad more low key.

But even if you disagree with him, even if you hate him, even if you are his enemy, at this point you must admire him. The turning point came that glorious week in the spring when, in the space of a few days, he released his long-form birth certificate, humiliated Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and assassinated Osama bin Laden. The effortlessness of that political triptych — three linked masterpieces demonstrating his total command over intellectual argument, low comedy, and the spectacle of political violence — was so overwhelmingly impressive that it made political geniuses of the recent past like Reagan and Clinton seem ham-fisted. Formed in the fire of other people's wars, other people's financial crises, Obama stepped out of Bush's shadow that week, almost three years after taking over the presidency.

Oh good God. It' only gets better. Next, to better explain the love, Marche appeals to Joseph Campbell, or someone very like him:

But even that string of successes cannot fully explain the immensity of his appeal right now. Reagan was able to call upon the classic American mythology of frontiersmen and astronauts and movie stars; Obama has accessed a much wider narrative matrix: He's mixed and matched Jay-Z with geek with Hawaiian with Kansan with product of Middle America with product of a broken home with local Chicago churchgoer with internationally renowned memoirist with assassin. "I am large, I contain multitudes," Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy. Christopher Booker's 2004 book The Seven Basic Plots, a wide-ranging study from the Epic of Gilgamesh on and a surprisingly convincing explanation for why we crave narrative, reduced all stories to a few plots, each with its own kind of hero. Amazingly, Barack Obama fulfills the role of hero in each of these ancient story forms.

Watch out! Get outta' the way! Marche is about to go full-on 'Hero with a Thousand Faces' on us folks. Trust me.

According to literary scholar Christopher Booker, every narrative in the world, from Gilgamesh to War and Peace to Water for Elephants, can be reduced to one of only seven master plots. Amazingly, the story of Obama contains every narrative.


Plot 1: Quest

Take the one issue that impacts every American, and that famously eluded Clinton, and bet your first term on it. Passing health care was a "big fking deal," to quote our vice-president.

Plot 2: Comedy

Message to Trump: If the president makes fun of you, laugh.

Plot 3: Rags to Riches

Born into nothing, the guy made $1.7 million on his book sales last year. He's money.

Plot 4: Tragedy

The man's grandmother who raised him dies days before he is elected president. You couldn't make up a more moving story twist.

Plot 5: Killing the Monster

Bush couldn't kill Osama. It took the black, liberal peacenik from Chicago who favors death panels to do it. Or something like that.

Plot 6: Voyage and Return

Here he is in Ireland, reconnecting with his lost lineage. The man claims he wants to put the apostrophe back in O'bama.

Plot 7: Rebirth

Remember that night in New Hampshire when the campaign hit a brick wall? It's also the night he told us, "Yes We Can." And he did.

This is tongue in cheek isn't it?

Isn't it?