Illogical ranting is wrong

Some people get all the luck and manage to cultivate their own crop of fundamentally hatstand commenters. I was reading the generally excellent Effect Measure blog over on scienceblogs today and I came across a post titled “Osama visits Bush in Oz, says it’s all a misunderstanding.” It is well worth a read but I know how you all like to stay here so I will summarise it.

Basically, the President of the US was on a visit to Australia. As you can imagine this resulted in all manner of high security perimeters being established and all manner of security guards employed to keep bad people away. A bunch of Australian comedians mocked up a Canadian diplomatic convoy, with one of their number dressed as Usma Bin Laden and made it through the outer perimeter – getting to the door of the hotel the President was staying in. It is only when the comedians pretty much out themselves that the police jump them and arrest everyone who moves.

All in all, this is mildly amusing – on a par with any other one of the stunt-comedy shows on TV at the moment. Still comical, but with a more serious twist, this shows that the vast sums of money (apparently $A165 million) spent on “security” are actually pointless. Yes these were comedians, but they did nothing a terrorist group couldn’t do and being able to drive a limo to the ground floor of a hotel is a good way of delivering several hundred pounds of explosive. (Brighton and the Hotel Europa provide UK based examples of hotels being hit). On this blog we have often ranted about the costs that the illusion of security are incurring and this is highlighted by these events. Every day we are being asked to sacrifice liberty, time and money for “security” measures which, in reality, are empty gestures.

Anyway, this is a side issue now. As always, the comments have gems. It seems that Effect Measure has a dedicated commenter who is so convinced about the inherent “rightness” of his beliefs that he will keep posting, no matter how incoherent or illogical the posts have become. This is some one who KNOWS they are right. Scary stuff. Why do we never get nutters like this commenting here?

The commenter in question here goes by the name “M Randolph Kruger” (which is strangely apt) and the first comment made opens with this line:

I likely would have just shot them and then said, “Its just a misunderstanding.”

And just think, people wonder why Americans kill so many people who are non-combatants or allied troops. It seems there is a significant proportion of the population there with a “shoot first so there is no need for questions” mentality. Wonderful, isn’t it? M Randolph Kruger continues:

I wonder of the Canucks think it was funny too?

Probably. Most Canadians I have met actually know what a sense of humour is.

In 1979 Revere while I was in San Antonio the base was locked down because of a credible threat against the airmen at the base. Along about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I think it was the first week of August a car carrying some long haired anti establishment types charged the gate. A stop sign went up, they accelerated. Warning shots were fired, they accelerated more, then they opened fire on the SP’s. Bad move. 30 seconds later the assailants were all dead. Over 1000 rounds were fired and the engine was shattered. So in todays world, especially at our embassies and restricted areas to shoot or not to shoot is the question. Screw it. Shoot them all and let God sort them out.

Now, I can only assume this is largely bravado rather than a real boast. Any modern, first world military which needs to expend over 1000 rounds of ammunition to stop one vehicle has many, many problems. As an example, Lee Clegg managed to do it with four rounds and also managed to kill the occupants. Are American service personnel really that badly trained? More importantly this smacks of a military which has lost its purpose in life. The armed forces are not there to protect themselves from the people, but to protect the people from external threats. Was the base so badly defended with physical security measures (ever heard of barriers and gates?) that the vehicle could not be stopped without such firepower and loss of life? Still, I suppose the sign of a healthy democracy is that people need to be scared of the men in uniform, carrying guns…

These guys think this is funny. Okay, hows this? Say Osama bin a Bomba or one of his cronies made it thru and to the proximity of the PM and the Prez and got them both. That makes Dick Cheney President of the United States. Feel better now?

Wow. Prime example of how the angry rightwingers nearly always miss the point by such a degree they end up arguing with themselves. This is brilliant. The whole funny part of the stunt was the apparent ease with which the security was circumvented. Still, it just shows that deep down the ranting-right want to agree with the people they despise…

My point? This is classic treat a war like its a police action stuff. This leaves the point of good sense and fun at the first checkpoint. They could have been killed. Might have to do that once or twice to make the point that it wont be tolerated.

I think MRK’s point is that MRK has no understanding what he is talking about, but needs to sound off on some right wing talking points. I struggled to follow the line of reasoning here, so I might be wrong. I have read this that MRK is saying people who take part in these stunts should be shot to show that the stunts wont be tolerated. The fact that the overall security is a farce is something which should be disguised so that the general public can sit happy. Is that right? What makes this even more ironic is that the security cordon were not able to identify the imposters in time to have shot them anyway. Shooting them after they get to the bomb detonation point is somewhat pointless. What really should have happened is the security actually earned its money and prevented the incursion.

Ranting Freddie Randolph Kruger concludes:

There is a LOT of chatter on the internet right now about an attack along or about next week. Specific target?

Fear, uncertainty and doubt. Say it over and over again. There is a LOT of chatter on the internet about alien abductions. There is a lot of chatter on the internet about Elvis being alive. Neither of them are real so why is this “chatter” more believable? It is interesting that MRK uses a term which TV (24, Alias, Spooks etc) and Film (Bourne, Bond et al) have implanted in the collective conciousness as being synonymous with “intelligence” and spy agencies. Chatter is people talking. It means nothing. Don’t be fooled by buzzwords.

For extra comedy points, MRK posted his “next week” dire warning on 6 Sep 07. Come 13 Sep we may know more…

Manhattan…. Keep it in mind about the above post. If they take New York, they take the country with it. It would knock the markets to the ground, it would flatten our economy with it.

Really? Well the last attack didn’t manage to take the country with it. What is special this time?

Should have shot the bastards…… Then they would have my opinion on being funny around the leaders of any country and that includes Clinton.

Aha, again we see a democracy where the people need to fear and bow to their leader. The leader is no longer “of the people, for the people” but in a special class above the people. In the presence of the glorious leader, the general public must learn to modify their behaviour.

M Randolph Kruger is a nutcase of the highest order. I could spend weeks taking his froth filled rants apart, bit by bit, but I will spare you for now. However, as it has been some time since I got to rant at length online, please excuse one more bit of snippets. This time from MRK’s later comment: (Replying to someone called Troff who has ripped him apart)

And it would seem that everyone there in Oz is in la-la land about this and that its no big deal. You dismiss the fact that if it hadnt been a “giggle group” attack that it could have indeed been a valid one Hell bent on taking out the PM and Bush. I think its absolute bullshit that these guys got this close and Troff I really dont care whether you think I am right or not. But I do expect that you would be somewhat open minded to the facts and that is that they could have been anarchists just as well. Full blown wars have broken out over this exact same thing Troff. Archduke Ferdinand ring a bell? Bush wasnt around then old son and thats a fact. I guess that WWI never happened.

What? No, I mean, really, what?

Following this line of “logic” (sneer quotes intended) gives me a headache. MRK is still 180 degrees away from getting the point and arguing with himself. It is bullshit that the comedians got that close, but the shame is not on them for doing it – it is on the “security” for charging millions for nothing. MRK really is missing this by such a wide margin, I have to wonder if he can tie his own shoelaces.

The bit about WWI really is insane.

Anyway, do you see what I mean? Why does this blog only ever seem to get sane comments? This MRK makes Raphael seem “normal.”

[tags]Nutter, Scienceblogs, Society, Australia, Terrorism, Culture, Security, Safety, America, Osma Bin Laden, Philosophy, Effect Measure, Democracy, Rights, Liberties, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Civil Disobedience, Rightwing Idiot, Rightwing, Military, Scaremongering, FUD, Fear, Terror[/tags]

Danger WiFi!

Computer magazines, being monthly, are often behind the curve of the news. This is a shame as the internet must be hammering them but still, for some reason, they seem unwilling to adapt and offer much in the way of unique selling points (other than you can read them sitting on the toilet, which is hard to do with a website…). But I digress.

For reasons which will become apparent soon (in a different post), I am was still subscribed to PCW today and, with the wonders of the Royal SnailMail, I got the August 2007 issue in the post. Now for the last few months I have been more and more dissatisfied with PCW, but out of some weird mindset I always hope the next issue will be better. So far it hasn’t failed to disappoint me… Anyway, on to this issue.

Turning to the news pages and wow – there on page 11 is the news “WiFi in ‘fried brains’ scare.” Well, cutting edge news, isn’t it, I mean it isn’t as if even this blog has mentioned it once or twice in the past … The news item briefly mentions the Panorama woo-ish nonsense and, as you can imagine with a PC magazine, PCW falls in the “Use WiFi” camp.

What is odd though, is how they defend WiFi. The main claim of Panononsense seems to be that radiation 1m from a WiFi point was greated than 100m from a mobile (cell) phone mast. PCW does not go to any lengths to dismiss this as such, nor does it comment on the massive “so what” that this carries. All PCW does to defend WiFi is say:

It did not spell out that the maximum WiFi power radiated is of the order of a thousand times less than that from the mast and a tenth that of a phone handset held right next to the head.

All well and good you may think, it is even probably factually correct (I don’t know off hand and can not be bothered to google it). This response has been echoed elsewhere on TV tech programs and in the computer press. Basically they are saying the WiFi danger is less than holding a phone to your head over and over to justify all manner of WiFi networks being put in everything from your PC to your underwear.

Amazingly, this is a sign the electro-woo cults have managed at least the divide bit of a divide and conquer. If the phone companies respond with saying their phones are less dangerous than WiFi, it will all be over…

Seriously, saying WiFi is “Ok because it is less dangerous than XYZ” is nonsense, especially as the danger from XYZ is almost comical. The downside, though, is it reinforces the idea in the listeners mind that XYZ is bad, and is almost certain to lead to “research” (or at least calls for a stupid “public enquiry”) which hypes up the dangers even more. It happens in almost every industry (GM is a good example) and often gets to the point at which people are confused over what is Woo and what is research. At this point, the “alternative practitioners” with their beads, EM-proof curtains and the like have truly won.

More than anything else, for me, this highlights that “Computer Science” is not a science…

[tags]computer science, computer magazines, computers, culture, electrosensitivity, em, idiocy, mobile phones, nonsense, pcw, personal computer world, philosophy, scaremongering, science, society, wifi, woo[/tags]