Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Emergent Chaos: For McCain Palin

images.jpegAs we come to the close of the longest campaign in American history, it is time to make a call on who to vote for. In these turbulent and chaotic times, America needs a candidate who will cause more chaos to emerge. Now is not the time for calm and reasoned leadership. Now is not the time for thoughtfulness. Now is the time for chaos that makes us gasp. Chaos that makes us cry. Chaos that makes us question the ability of government to solve problems.

There is only one ticket which has the experience and proven ability to generate chaos on that sort of scale, and that is McCain/Palin.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about an Obama administration. But Obama is young, and has never had cancer. We have little reason to believe that in the course of a major crisis, Obama would need to be hospitalized. If he is, we can expect Joe Biden to move in relatively smoothly, with perhaps a few minor verbal gaffes. Similarly,
there’s no hope of Obama being distracted by a “bimbo eruption” or
made-for-tabloids divorce capable of taking his administration (and the
country) in an thrilling, unpredictable direction.

Obama has a proven ability to step through the sorts of crises which would sink other candidates, like associations with Ayers and Wright. His steadfast refusal to sling mud at ‘first dude’ and secessionist Mr. Palin shows a worrisome focus on issues and agendas, as does his decision not to highlight Governor Palin’s gleeful commingling of personal and political agendas – as evidenced in the “Troopergate” and rape kit controversies.

On issues of liberty which matter deeply to us, neither candidate has a strong record. McCain was once proud of a bill which bears his name and restricts his spending, and we applaud his willingness to now find every loophole he can.

If America wants chaos to emerge on an unprecedented scale, there is a clear and obvious choice.

5 comments on "Emergent Chaos: For McCain Palin"

  • Vox Libertas aka Jim Burrows says:

    Since you mentioned that “On issues of liberty which matter deeply to us, neither candidate has a strong record”, I thought I might take the time to raise a question that has been bothering me for some time.
    Presumably one of the the things that troubles us about Obama’s record on liberties is his vote on FISA this summer. Certainly I fault him for voting for a bill that still included telco immunity. But at the time he, and a few others, explained that there were things in the bill that were important enough that he felt compromise and a flawed bill were warranted. I wondered what these things were and as Mordaxus posted here the result was a blog article [link to no longer works] that I posted over at Daily Kos and several other venues.
    In short, I concluded that the problem that was being addressed with the amendments of July were how exactly you regulate the situation where information that is Constitutionally protected–e.g. the contents of citizen’s email–is to be found in the clear in the same channels with information that is not protected and which the intelligence agencies are completely within their rights to spy on–e.g. foreign-to-foreign email that is incidentally passing through the same servers.
    Distinguishing one from the other isn’t too hard technically, but that is as we know here not the important part.
    The code that identifies the unprotected content, the protected content for which there are active warrants and the content which is fully protected can readily be written. It can even be set up to leave no record of all the data that it scans that is protected and not subject of a warrant and only deliver to humans the material they are legally allow to see. But, a bug in that code could result in the violation of the Constitution and the commission of a felony. Further, malicious code inserted into that program could do substantial harm.
    How is the government supposed to regulate the writing, debugging, deploying, maintenance and oversight of such a system? To be fully responsible for such a system requires substantial legal and technical knowledge and skill and the wisdom to put it together. How do we as citizens want Senators as politicians to write the law so that civil servants, and the contractors they hire do the right thing? What system of technical, legal and political checks and balances do we want?
    Personally, I think that the authors of the FISA amendments that passed this summer were struggling with that and that they came up with a flawed but better answer to the question than previous FISA acts. But the flaws are real and I, despite being an arrogant hacker, engineer and architect who has been on the net since 1974, and once TA’d philosophy of Law and read SCOTUS decisions for fun, don’t feel that I know what is better.
    Anyone care to take a shot?

  • Amrit says:

    Yes, dude, yes – this is exactly the reason I am voting for McCain/Palin, working in the security industry I really fear a US that stabilizes international relations, that stops trying to spread/force democracy down the throats of others and creates an atmosphere of trust, prosperity and global cooperation – that’s the kind of change we do not need.

  • Peter says:


  • A friend says:

    Very nice.

  • PHB says:

    You folk are way off. Emergent chaos is bottom up chaos. The type of chaos McCain would create is top down. The strategy you are proposing is essentially a Trotskyite ‘let the contradictions mount up’ scheme.
    Historically the principle beneficiaries have been authoritarians. Fascism in Germany led to communist control of half of Europe.
    McCain’s recent tactics have been McCarthyite. The attack on Khalidi is pure McCarthyism.
    McCain is attempting to impose order by attacking anyone with a different opinion as anti-American. In the short term that works. In 2004 a bare majority of the country voted for Bush after he used the same tactic.
    From a chaos point of view, fascism only leads to increased chaos after it is broken.
    Fusionism in the conservative movement is completely spent. A McCain defeat will certainly lead to pleasing confusion and chaos in the Republican party.
    My bet is on Lieberman, McCain and Graham splitting from the Republican party and forming their own Senate faction. They can call it the maverick moose party.

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