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Tech Open Thread

It’s Friday, and I’m writer’s blocking trying to write up something persuasive defending the concept of Immutable Infrastructure in DevOps. Really, the client in question has at best Semi-Immutable Infrastructure: updates can be applied via the deployer for the systems that are now working under that paradigm. They don’t tear down the and rebuild their VMs for patches and security updates. And they still have a lot of stuff that works under the traditional “mutable” model.

But we are pushing the idea of eventually having all IT infrastructure adopt DevOps principles. For major OS or software releases, or in the event of a security breach or other problems with the system, tearing the system down and rebuilding it should be done. I approach DevOps from a traditional IT background. Most of my colleagues approach it from developer backgrounds. I’ve found that traditional IT folks are more resistant to DevOps principles than people with developer backgrounds. So I feel like when IT people exhibit skepticism, having “come to Jesus” myself from the same heresy, I should be the one to preach to them the DevOps gospel.

I’m curious if anyone out there has worked in this area. My current focus is doing a large, legacy database system as Immutable Infrastructure. Or at least Semi-Immutable Infrastructure if you’re a real purist (which I am not).

I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week

Kavanaugh was really the “safe” pick for Trump. The Dems are running a real risk of galvanizing him beyond what he would have been if they had treated him no different than the GOP treated Sotomayor or Kagan.

I just went back and looked at my high school yearbook, and I can find multiple things I would never want spun in the court of public opinion in this political climate.

I was the exact opposite of a wild child. I was so tame I think I disappointed my mother.

Based on what I heard today, Kavanaugh was probably a harder drinker than I was at 18, but maybe not at 21. The most I could be accused of at 18 is raiding mom’s wine supply in the fridge, or sneaking a beer from dad’s stash. I didn’t attend wild booze parties in high school. By my early 20s I might have done some questionably legal things that involved young men, too much alcohol, flammable gases, fresh produce, and a large body of water. And for this I would never be able to serve on the Supreme Court today, by current standards.

I watched the spectacle today, and it was a disgrace. If the Dems wanted an FBI investigation they could have brought up the allegations when they became aware of them. But they didn’t. They held them until it was politically useful as a delaying tactic… and they kept pushing for the delay.

I agree completely with Glenn Reynolds: “Had he received a normal confirmation, I suspect Kavanaugh would have been a bit of an establishment squish. I rather doubt that he’ll be that now.

Ollie North Has Graduated from Angry Dana School With Flying Colors

New video from NRA defending Kavanaugh:

The commenters at Instapundit love it, which should show you I don’t really know crap about populist propigandizin’. But I’ll still throw in my $0.02.

At least it’s related to the gun issue, since getting Kavanaugh on the court will make or break the 2nd Amendment. This is the most important battle we’re going to have with our opposition. It might not be the most intense (I expect that will be the fight to replace Ginsburg or Breyer) but this will give us a much stronger 5th vote on gun cases. I don’t want to roll the dice with another pick of Trump’s. I’ve been saying to Bitter all week: “Can we hold a vote now? Why do they keep falling for these delaying tactics. Just hold the damned vote.” Also, this should be the last confirmation hearing ever. They are three ring circuses. This is one area I’m OK agreeing to now, because I don’t really feel like I’d be giving anything up not holding them for Dem nominees either. It’ll be better for everyone.

Anyway, my issue with this latest ad is that you could replace Ollie with Dana and the writing and delivery still work. I’ve heard Ollie North speak off the cuff. I know he’s capable of humor. I’d go even farther and suggest he’s actually a good and engaging speaker. It’s like NRA’s PR firm has two or three chords they know how to play, and somehow they’ve made a band out of it. Can they message around an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and quirkiness? If they could pull that off, it’ll humanize the person delivering the lines. It’ll make the message stronger.

Maybe the issue is you hear the songs for the first time and you like them. It’s only when you listen to the whole album you realize the band only knows three chords. But maybe that’s enough?

Wilson Out at Defense Distributed

The company is being taken over by Paloma Heindorff. This is very good news, because Defense Distributed continuing to exist as an entity will preserve the lawsuits that are at the heart of this whole matter. This is a huge issue for me because it touches on both the hacker, maker and gun subcultures. We have a right to tinker! There certainly is some right to be able to make and modify arms as well. But most importantly, we certainly have a right to share information, and CAD drawings are nothing but information.

The free exchange of information and ideas is the basis of a free society, and being told we can’t because some people like our Governor and Attorney General deem said information “dangerous” is a more dangerous a road to travel than any they imagine they can try to avoid.

I don’t understand all the people who think this is a setup. Why is it so hard to believe that a self-described crypto anarchist young man likes himself some hookers, frequented a site where it’s known you can find that kind of action, and either intentionally or accidentally solicited a girl who was underage? This is a known risk with soliciting prostitutes, especially in states where age-of-consent is a strict liability crime. Wilson certainly won’t be the first guy to get in trouble under these kinds of circumstances. Based on the evidence the police claim to have, I would not want to be in Wilson’s shoes.

Red Flag is Back in PA

NRA is alerting members on PA bill HB2227. This is the “Red Flag” bill that the GOP has started loving so much.

Under House Bill 2227, a law-abiding gun owner could lose their right to own or possess a firearm and then have the burden placed on them to prove the false nature of the petition in order to have their firearms returned.  This legislation does nothing to improve public safety, and allows for an extremely broad definition of who can petition to remove someone’s Second Amendment rights.

I know other groups are also opposing HB 2060. This basically mirrors federal law on PFAs, which is probably why NRA isn’t opposing it. If you want to throw opposition to HB 2060 into your letters, it couldn’t hurt. It’s not like I think gun control works worth a damn.

Cody Wilson Caught

At this point, there is nothing that looks remotely defensible about Cody Wilson’s actions after he (reportedly) paid a minor for sex if the details in this story are correct.

At home, police say that he got on a plane to Taiwan at some point after he was tipped off by a friend of the minor that she was cooperating with a police investigation into the incident. Even if the trip was pre-planned, this seems like an unwise choice to make the trip if you’ve got any chance at defending yourself.

But now we learn that he checked in to one hotel and promptly left, decided to rent a studio for 6 months, but then didn’t show to get the keys when he realized that he was wanted in Taiwan, too. (We may not have an extradition treaty with them, but that doesn’t mean they are under obligation to let you roam free. A country with no treaty can still arrest you and turn you over to the US, it’s just a matter of whether they want to do so or not.) They eventually found him in a totally different hotel.

The report indicates that his passport was cancelled, so Taiwan could pick him up on immigration charges once he was found. He can now be deported to the U.S.

None of this will look good during a trial. Depending on the details of the encounter with the girl he is accused of soliciting, he could have potentially mounted somewhat of a defense that she lied about her age repeatedly. If he could prove it or raise a reasonable doubt that he actually knew her age, then there’d be a chance at a plea bargain or maybe an easier sentence. But fleeing to a foreign country with no extradition treaty and going so far as to rent an apartment? Yeah, that’s not going to go over well and will probably kill his chances at being released in advance of the trial since he’s now a demonstrated flight risk.

Cameron Kasky Leaves “March for our Lives” Board

He hasn’t done a 180 on the issue, but it looks like he’s capable of humility, which is a personality trait that will serve a person well their whole life and career. That’s my big issue with Hogg: I doubt you can tell that kid anything. At 17 he already knows everything he needs to know, and you’re just a dumb adult who won’t accept his truth. I can pretty much guarantee he’ll be the same at 40.

When it comes to politics and other social topics my position is increasingly becoming, “There are no easy answers, and if you think there are, you’ve either been duped by someone, or you’re a fool who doesn’t think things through.” What bothers me on social media is not that people overshare their political opinions… it’s that the people who tend to overshare their political opinions only see things in only black and white, and have generally closed their minds that The Truth might not be so cut and dry, or might not exist at all.

It’s never as simple as “we’re right, they’re wrong” and it definitely isn’t as simple as “we’re good, and they’re evil!”

It’s not that I don’t believe in right and wrong, and good and evil: I’ve spent more than a decade defending gun rights and trying to convince people I’m right about this. But when you start talking to real people you quickly realize there’s a lot of nuance, and none of this is as easy as you think.

Through the gun rights issue, I’ve discovered I’m a poor grassroots organizer. I tried it, but I think I suck at it. I’ve come to understand that my personality and intellectual traits are better suited to logistical support than leading troops in the field. The best organizers are actually people who believe, 100%, that they are engaged in an epic struggle between good and evil, but who are more concerned about getting a team moving forward than they are about their own self-aggrandizement. The types of people who are good at organizing will tend to struggle with that balance. Certainly most great generals have. I think Hogg will flame out, if he hasn’t already, because he trends too much toward self-aggrandizement.

Cameron Kasky is starting a new podcast “Cameron Knows Nothing.” It’s a good title. If I were starting another blog now, I might have to borrow it. I’d like to tell the kid that it’ll get better with age, but if you’re the kind of person who looks around and sees shades of grey, I’m afraid that’s only going to get worse with age.

Wilson on the Lam?

Seems Cody Wilson has fled to Taiwan. Hey bud, thanks for opening up this whole can of worms and leaving the gun community holding the bag. I appreciate it. I’d say careful who you hitch your wagon to, but often when people warn of that they are working on an understanding that you can help that. Sometimes someone hitches his wagon to you, and I think that was the case here. Then your only choices are to stop pulling, or keep pulling and try to make the best of a bad situation. In politics, if you do the former, you lose. The latter is usually what ends up happening.

Apparently the girl is 16-years old, and if the investigating detective is to be believed, she looks younger than she is. They say they have video of the two at the hotel, which corroborates the victim’s story.

There are two things about Cody Wilson I have believed: first that he’s a narcissistic egomaniac who thinks the rules that apply to ordinary mortals don’t apply to him, and two that he’s a brilliant showman and provocateur. Sadly, all this fits within my understanding of him, so I’m not liable to believe this was a setup. I think events have caught up with him. There is no escaping this issue. It will come up again, hopefully with a different plaintiff. Maybe DD can hang on without Wilson, but I’m doubtful of that. My impression is that if Wilson remains on the lam, or even if he doesn’t and goes to jail, it will greatly complicate the lawsuit to defend 3D printing and sharing of technical documentation, CAD drawings, and plans. While SAF is also on the lawsuit, DD is at the center of the controversy. SAF’s standing is based on: “SAF members reside in the Defendants’ jurisdictions and seek to receive the computer files that Defense Distributed seeks to publish on the internet via its website.”

Looks Like Cody Wilson Could be Going to Jail

Breaking news, it seems:

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said.

The pair messaged online, then began exchanging text messages.

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

Sanjuro? Really? Even Anthony Weiner came up with better names for his alter egos. If there’s anything that all sides can agree on, it’s that Cody Wilson has more panache than using a name like Sanjuro.

According to the document, Wilson sent the girl images of his penis, and she sent him nude photos of herself.

Why does everyone and their mother send dick pics these days? You know what I’ve never ever done? Send a dick pic. If this is true, he could be screwed on the pictures alone if she was under 18. The age of consent in Texas is 17, and federally the pictures are a problem if she’s under 18.

This is disappointing. There are very serious First and Second Amendment issues at the heart of what Cody Wilson is doing, and this will seriously complicate things. But this issue is bigger than Wilson, and it will come to the front one way or another.

UPDATE: Just as SAF announces they are expanding their lawsuit to include Pennsylvania’s AG and Governor, among other state pols as well.

Good Article on Dana Loesch

From “St. Louis”: “The making of NRA’s Dana Loesch” I would encourage everyone to read it, and maybe read it again. NRA should be very concerned about polling numbers. While I believe there’s an argument to be made that polling increasingly doesn’t work, that’s another post. It concerns me that you can trace movement in public opinion back to the point where Bloomberg really got his act together and started dumping serious money into gun control.You can see the expected spike post-Sandy Hook, but then around 2015 it really starts headed in a direction we don’t want. That also happens to coincide with NRA adopting what I’ve called the Angry Dana Strategy. Anger is only going to get you so far. People eventually tire of anger. I know I’m tired of seeing shit like this.

Look, I get it was a joke that was taken out of context. But what the fuck does diversity or the lack thereof on Tommy the Tank have to do with the Second Amendment, shooting, or gun rights? I’m finding I’m having to ask this question way too often these days. Who thought it was a good idea to do this? What are you smoking? This isn’t just poor judgement on Dana Loesch’s part, it took a team effort to fail this hard. Mockery is a lot more powerful than anger, and I’d cheer NRA shifting away from anger to mockery, but it has to work. You need people who can pull it off. It’s hard to do well. It takes sharp writers and a host that can deliver it.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe any of this is going to change as long as membership holds stable or goes up. Eventually the Angry Dana Strategy won’t hold back the tide of public opinion if Bloomberg can keep it going in his direction, and we’re all going to pay the price for that when the dam eventually breaks. NRA needs to get back to basics and start making grassroots organizing the heart of its strategy. The tools to accomplish that are a lot more powerful today than they were in the 1980s.

We are in the middle of a grand political realignment, and the S.S. Second Amendment is going to get tossed around by the storm along with everything else. When we find a new political equilibrium, I don’t know where the Second Amendment and a host of other cultural issues will be, and neither does anyone else. If Ack-Mac thinks they know, they are kidding themselves. Is NRA being lashed together with sinking ships? I don’t know.

Ack-Mac won’t get NRA through this. What can get them through it is their core membership, sometimes members, and aspirant members. But you have to do something with them. Feeding them a firehose of media isn’t organizing them.

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