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Five steps to Civil War in Iraq

Over at Colorless Green Ideas, Bob transcribed Green party presidential candidate David Cobb’s plan for Iraq. It is interesting and sounds quite convincing upon first reading – although admittedly it would be hard to swallow “reparations” for a war I ultimately supprotted, however conflicted and confused I am on that. But after thinking about it for a while, I think Bob choose the wrong title (“Ending the Destruction In Iraq”). A more fitting title would probably be “Ensuring the Destruction In Iraq”.

Cobb says his plan will work, but coming from someone who thinks high minimum wages somehow don’t lead also to high unemployement; that univeral healthcare increases its quality; that corporations do only evil and government social programs do only good, you may not want to take such a statement at face value.

I try look at most things from an incentives point of view. When you implement a policy, pass a law, or otherwise change the political landscape, you change the incentives people have to make their choices. What would you do if you were power hungry and the most powerful nation on the planet offered whoever the were the “civil leaders” billions of dollars of reparations and control over an oil-rich country with “legitimate” internationally recognized authority? Well, you would do anything in your power to get it, thats what you would do. This would almost certainly lead to complete civil war.

In the event of civil war, the Kurdish element might draw in Turkey, which, thanks to Bob, I understand systematically represses its Kurdish population and is very afraid of an Kurdish nation arising out of the Iraq situation. So Turkey, a Nato “ally” moves in, and then the whole region is royally screwed.

Or his plan works. Just like socialized medicine. And “living wage.”

I guess feel free to take your chances. After all, its not your life you’re gambling with. Or is it?

Theo’s Back… With a babe?

Scott and Bob both gave me this link to a PI article about the return of members of the Stryker Brigade, stationed at Fort Lewis. The news is both wonderful and surprising – wonderful that he is back safely, and surprising that he apparently has a girlfriend that I’ve never heard about. I’m looking forward to seeing him, and Theo, if you are reading this, consider this an invitation to dinner with guest.

96% voted

I have filled in 29 bubbles out of 30 choices on my absentee ballot. The secret ballot is supposed be be a great tool of democracy, but I will share my selections with you, and my reasons behind them, in the off chance that somebody actually cares how I vote. I will also ask for your help on the bubble that remains unfilled.
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Titan Robotics pisses people off

Recieved via IM while I was away:

Ok, wtf is up with TRC? I checked the webpage and they announced the Thursday interest meeting on… wait for it… Thursday. Isn’t this basically what happened last time, when nobody showed? I am really interested in participating, but I am finding it really difficult to figure out what is happening and when…

Yeah, that is exactly what happened last time. I just hope this meeting went a little more smoothly.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Hopefully you made it outside tonight to see the Total Lunar Eclipse.

Too bad it couldn’t have waited six days. But this does kind of put everything in a bit of perspective. As the conversation went:

Ryan: kinda puts things into perspective, you know
Erik: ppl say that, I never get it :) …
Ryan: like, Bush or Kerry? Who cares? The moon could crush them both in a heartbeat AND it looks better too
Erik: lol

32 Groups

A few days ago, I got a request for another subdomain here at Its become pretty routine for me to add them, so I went thourgh the steps and presented the results to the requestor. But something wasn’t working. Apache claimed it didn’t have write access to the directory. But I had put apache into the group, just like I have done for all the other subdomains on SilverFir. The reasoning behind this is that then multiple people can admin a site without having any global privileges; Apache can access files with semi-sensitive usernames and passwords without making them world-readable, and everyone is happy-hunky-dory.

Until arbitrary limits in the Linux Kernel rear their ugly head.

A user can not be a member of more than 32 groups. I learned this fact after a suspicion of such a limit led me to google for “Is there a limit to how many groups a user can be a member of?” which eventually led me to this page where the truth was hidden. That page also happens to contain a patch for the Linux Kernel, and given that I’m not using NFS, which seemed to be the main reason for the arbitrary limit, it would probably work. I’ve never patched a linux kernel… but might as well start with oasis and gentoo, just to make sure I get it down before I try it on this computer, which is becoming mission-critical for the TRC and well, this site too, as well as some others, I suppose.

Exercises in Futility

Intentionally confusing to protect the disenfranchized.

Since I’m not really saying anything of substance, its pretty hard to not be talking about both at the same time

The Category, the Title, and The Substance; two of three have something in common.