I am pretty lukewarm about Beto, but his stock just went up significantly in my eyes.
Newly minted US presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke says he was a member of Cult of the Dead Cow, one of the most legendary hacking groups in cyber-history. And multiple folks within the US-based crew, most active in the 1980s and 1990s, have confirmed that O'Rourke, during his adolescence in El Paso, Texas, was one of their …
I agree, I didn't think that he had much of a chance but now I'd have to say that he's in the running. The best thing about him is that he's not another old fart running for office. I was taught when I was younger that age = experience and wisdom but now that I'm older I realise that age == stupidity in the political world.
Age can go either way for wisdom. Some are like the proverbial mule who was in everyone of Frederick the Great's campaigns. He still has the military knowledge of a mule. Some actually learn from their experience and can give good advice. Now with Congress critters they get stupider with age very rapidly so even those that had an IQ somewhere north of single digits drop rapidly into the single digit range.
"'Do not let me hear of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly' - T S Eliot, in his sixties.
I'm older than he was then and I tend to agree. I wouldn't put myself in charge of anything."
I'm torn: I was probably in my thirties when I decided that I had no business being anybody's role model. Now that I'm in my sixties, my opinion has only solidified.
Was I preternaturally wise back then, or has age only ossified a young man's follies...?
I'M SO CONFUSED!!
but now that I'm older I realise that age == stupidity in the political world.
Perhaps in a few years you'll realise that grouping people by how long they've been on the planet makes little sense. Age doesn't = stupid, there are plenty very clever and wise older people. Just as there are plenty young and stupid people. There's little use in grouping by age when it comes to intellectual capacity and ability to look at problems from differing perspectives.
Political parties should be banned as being inherently undemocratic. The party selection process favours only those people that are ruthless and essentially psychopathic. Anyone should be able to stand in an election, and voters decide based on what each individual says. Voting based on party is lazy.
Be wary of Beto. During the primaries last year he made Medicare for all and refusing corporate donations his two biggest selling points. As soon as he got the nomination he dropped both of them like a hot stone. He's a conniving politician like the rest. The media and Democratic establishment have just anointed him the chosen one because he plays into their 90s vision of the electorate, willing to elect anyone with a good haircut who toes the company line.
Funny, he still espouses a single payer medical insurance as far as I can tell. He disagreed with some other proposals put forward by others for medical cover, but still thinks we need single payer and a drastically revised medical care in this country, for the benefit of we the recipients, not for the insurance companies.
As I understand it, the problem with the US "medicare for all" situation is that it's perceived as "compulsary medical insurance which many low age earners can't afford to have taken out of their pay packet"
How much of that is FUD I don't know, but It's certainly been put that way to me on a number of occasions.
The thing that's never mentioned is how those same low wage earners can afford medical expenses if they're not insured and the apparent answer in the USA is "They can't" - this is like the 1850s UK Liberal party view of the world where the poor were expected to die quietly (At the same time, London alone had a murder rate of at least 30/day and the rich cowered behind 12 foot walls topped with broken glass. I think I prefer the current situation and would prefer not to go back to the "good old days", thanks)
It's complete FUD. MFA as proposed in actual, existing, legislation that's on file for everyone to read, will make health care a right without premiums, deductibles or co-pays for the services it covers (which will be much broader than the current Medicare program for the elderly). People will not have to carry insurance because providers will be entitled to payment for treating anyone who comes through their door. Of course they'll be regulation and oversight. The big different with the UK will be that it will remain mostly a privately owned system -- providers won't be on the government payroll, just those cutting the checks. Sort of like the police (without the mad rush to privatize public services that has been part of the conservative program in the UK).
You are confusing Medicare with Medicaid. Medicare is quasi-government health care for pensioners. Medicaid is the program for the indigent. Medicaid definitely fits your description of "compulsary medical insurance which many low age earners can't afford to have taken out of their pay packet".
My own opinion is that we probably won't see an NHS-like system for the same reason we'll never see a simplified Federal tax code: because it takes power out of the hands of the politicians and those who stuff the politicians' pockets.
"The thing that's never mentioned is how those same low wage earners can afford medical expenses if they're not insured and the apparent answer in the USA is "They can't""
This is correct. There is a small backstop in that if you're in dire need of medical care, hospitals can't turn you away because you can't pay them. However, this results in terrible care for the patient, at a (monetary and other) cost to society that is orders of magnitude higher than is necessary.
This is a strong argument for single payer -- in the end, it would result in better outcomes for less cost to taxpayers than what our current "system" results in.
For some others we at least have actual legislation they've introduced in this session of Congress.
Beto's proposal appears to be still at the "thinking about it" stage.
Does not inspire confidence in anything but the assessment of others up-thread that he's probably just another con man. He ticks off a bunch of traditional liberal boxes in his record, but there are votes in there that don't bode well. Sort of looks like a Rubio on the centrist left.
My real concern is that he's going make us techies look bad, but at least he doesn't have a grey beard.
I'm wary of all politicians, Beto included.
That said, I have no real opinion of him right now, and I don't think one is required yet. I'll wait until we get closer to the primaries when we have a better idea of who is still in the running by then.
However, this news does give him extra points.
"willing to elect anyone with a good haircut who toes the company line."
Yes, if that really is him in the photo, then he's gone for the standard "look". Business shirt, open neck, no tie and sleeves rolled up. Just like they all do when they want to show they just like the "common people". With his pedigree of punk and hacking, I'd think he might try just a little harder to not look quite so much like a cookie cutter establishment pol.
Meh, he's still a DEMO[C,N}RAT and deserves to lose whatever election he runs in, particularly if it's against Trump.
Also read the Reuters article, and it seems he likely engaged in LONG DISTANCE PHONE FRAUD back in the 80's as a teenager. Since we're now vetting politicians (and supreme court justices) based on ACTIONS TAKEN WHILE A TEENAGER (whether actual or alleged only), I think this is pretty significant.
From what I read, he was probably more of a 'Script Kiddie' than a REAL hacker anyway. Real hackers solve unsolvable problems through unconventional means, not necessarily breaking into things nor acting like a counter-culture wannabe. You usually find them doing kernel-level stuff, devices, file systems, and network security.
If you refuse to vote for somebody just because of that, you deserve all you get.
Don't forget, your Lord God Trump used to be a Democrat when it suited him. I'm sure you'll remember that during the election nominations, he threatened to run as an independent if the Republicans didn't choose him.
Loyal Republican he is not, so spare us your partisian bullshit when your hero is a 2-bit grifter.
O'Rourke is all style and no substance. He orignally ran with a progressive agenda, and said he'd refuse corporate donations... That went out of the window after the primaries.
He also voted for TPP, and has voted with Trump 30% of the time. One example, he voted with republicans to undermine the consumer financial protection bureau, and has voted twice to weaken Obamacare.
He's a republican in democrat clothes pretending to be a progressive.
Here's a good breakdown of his record: https://youtu.be/lF93q-kmoRY
In your mind it couldn't possibly have anything to do with Ted Cruz being universally hated, even by senators in his own party?
If Beto had run against a "generic" conservative republican instead of Cruz, he wouldn't have come as close. Winning in Texas is going to be a tough ask for any democrat, but the small handed orange traitor is doing his best to drive women and independents away so who knows by 2020?
Americans don't think electronic voting machines are a good idea, electronic voting machine companies, the politicians they've bought and people who want to control elections think they're a good idea.
The sane states are using paper ballots, counted electronically. Still room for hanky-panky, but the paper trail of original, voter-marked ballots makes it harder (see NC-09)
Yes, the only thing missing from the states that are doing it right and using paper ballots that are optically read is not mandating random recount of a small number of precincts (with a statistician deciding the value of "small", not politicians or appointees) with a full recount mandated if the it differs from the machine count by enough (with a statistician also responsible for the value of "enough")
I have nothing but pejoratives to describe people who actually use "identity politics" to cast their votes. Voting because someone has a particular sex, race, religion, whatever, is all the same kind of [insert profanity here]. Or, voting AGAINST based on the same [lack of] reason. It's worse than a single-issue voter.
Seriously, does ANYBODY look at POLICIES any more? Gotta use THINK instead of FEEL...
Seriously, does ANYBODY look at POLICIES any more? Gotta use THINK instead of FEEL...
I agree with you there. Just a few minutes ago, I was reading a post from someone who wouldn't vote for a Democrat. I was thinking when I read it, "Gee Bob, don't you look at POLICIES? Gotta use THINK instead of FEEL..."
"I agree with you there. Just a few minutes ago, I was reading a post from someone who wouldn't vote for a Democrat. I was thinking when I read it, "Gee Bob, don't you look at POLICIES? Gotta use THINK instead of FEEL..."
Bob would vote for a Goat if it was standing against a Dem. Screw policies. Colour is all important whether it be Blue, Red or Orange!
"Bob would vote for a Goat"
Of course he would. Strangely, he's already voted for an ass. Daft thing is, Bob WOULDN'T have voted for Trump when he was a Democrat, despite being exactly the same person then and now. Well, to be honest Trump probably wasn't senile before he switched parties. Coincidence? You decide ...
(Apologies to any donkeys and other Democratic symbols I have offended.)
Trump was calling for the execution of the Central Park 5 back when he claimed to be a democrat (and to this day he still believes they were guilty even though they were exonerated by DNA evidence) so his views didn't line up with the views of democrats back then anymore than his views line up with republicans now (i.e. tariffs, negotiating with Kim Jung Un as an equal, etc. were anathema to the party until Trump came along and the ones without principles looked the other way)
Trump became a republican because the "angry conservative" types Fox News and right wing web sites have bred were going to be more receptive to his divisive messaging. If he thought he could have fared better as a democrat he would have run as that, and have been nominating liberals to the court. He doesn't give a shit about judges, or any conservative principles beyond "what helps me personally". It is stunning that conservatives like bombastic bob don't see that, or if they do they simply don't care.
Unfortunately for him federal judges are appointed for life, so they have no reason to be "loyal" to the president who appointed them once they are on the bench. Especially on the Supreme Court, since they can't go any higher. If he loses in 2020 and resigns the day before with a deal from Pence to pardon him, I'll bet Pence doesn't do it. He may be an ass kisser, but I don't think he will want to go down in history as the man who pardoned the biggest criminal ever to sit in the oval office. Even if he gets pardoned, the state of New York will have enough to put him to prison for life, and his criminal spawn for a good portion of theirs. Shouldn't have become president if you didn't want people to start looking into your decades of criminal behavior, Donny boy.
As if the bipartisan McCain-Feingold isn't how the government was handed over to anyone with the bucks. McCain was always a traitor and a loser, given too much credit.
What insight! So much corruption enabling - a true American Hero for supporting the MIC by losing lots of planes. With friends like that...
A man who never saw a war he didn't like. How good for all the cannon fodder, foreign and domestic. What a guy.
Really? Identity politics - which needs to know what victim groups(s) you are a member of (using racism, sexism and all other isms), is the divisive one for most of the people I know.
I'd prefer Martin Luther King's vision - judge someone by the content of their character.
Thing is, there's not simpleton drop-down list for that, you need to be able to think critically, and have some judgement.
Obviously too tricky for the "progressives" who still pay attention to those isms while projecting that others are worse. This is not what I find as far as facts on the ground to.
"... he'd just leave El Reg forever..."
Unlikely. This is the sort that just thrives on attention, like the five-year old who's learned his first swear-word from his elder sibling and knows it gets a reaction.
The best we can hope for here is some kind of Eadon-esque meltdown where trolling eventually spills over into the realms of libel - and a similar end result. Openly admitting to staying in order to troll people seems like a good start down this road though.
>he's celtic in a region that doesn't vote for celts....
The history of immigration to the border region isn't just "whites north, others south". A lot of Europeans moved to northern Mexico (the 'banda' music that you find in the western border area is derived from German 'oompah' polka style introduced by immigrants from Germany, for example).
So its quite possible that an O'Rourke could have been Mexican.
Incidentally, one of the major Indian nations that straddles the border in Arizona is called the Tohono O'odham. I don't think they're from Ireland, though.
I never really thought of 'Cult of the Dead Cow' with any kind of favorable opinion. Nor their members. It seems to have spawned some of what you see in the 'War Games' movie from the 80's though, or the 'Hackers' movie from the 90's. The truth is far less glamorous...
Don't forget, O'Rourke seems to have acknowledged how he STOLE PHONE TIME to access BBSs via long distance calls, as reported in the Reuters article linked from this one.
"Like thousands of others, though, he said he pilfered long-distance service 'so I wouldn’t run up the phone bill.'"
I guess _some_ of what cDc did might be considered "cool" - BackOrifice, the Tor version of the Firefox browser, stuff to scan for steganography, etc. - but O'Rourke's involvement was probably more "social" than actual learning/coding. Yeah, I'm challenging the validity of his "skillz".
And the idea that most hackers are really libertarians, and not socialists, leaves me to wonder why he plays this "both sides of the fence" game, unless he's trying to SOCIAL ENGINEER EVERYBODY into voting for him...
And, THAT would make him DISINGENUOUS, DISHONEST. Well, POLITICIAN at least.
Of course he's a dishonest thief, he used to steal phone service and video games. Back then phone companies were paying through the nose to provide LD (yes, really, been in the industry more than 30 years now), and thieves like him ran up the costs which made LD service more expensive for the rest of us.
He "STOLE PHONE TIME"? Eh, Steve Jobs SOLD BLUE BOXES. (See, my caps lock sticks, too!) It gives me hope that there may be a politician who's more conversant with technology than merely being able to make 4 AM tweets on his phone. He doesn't need to be current, but at least will know what a supermarket scanner is, and what the Internet is. Guess I need to find out more about him.
"I never really thought of 'Cult of the Dead Cow' with any kind of favorable opinion"
It's not so much that I view the cDc as some kind of virtuous group. It's that his involvement with them indicates that he has some measure of tech literacy and (more importantly) the tricky issues around tech. Also, that he owned up to his cDc past speaks well of him.
Of course, just being a member of a hacking group in your youth doesn't really indicate whether or not you'd be a good president. At this point, however, I'm not even looking for a "good" president. I'm just looking for one that won't be gleefully destroying the nation.
Ultimately what makes someone a good politician to vote for is their ideas, policy suggestions and ethics. Not whether they share a similar hobby.
Remember how we used to think brain surgeons had to be very smart people? And then Ben Carson went into politics?
... in the coming election my option is either Senile Trump or a skiddie, I'd have to vote for the skiddie.
Fortunately, the skiddie hasn't got a chance in hell of getting the nomination.
That's not to say that I'm impressed with any of the other Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring. Useless lot, all of 'em. Better than Senile Trump, yes, but that is a rather low bar. Hopefully somebody with clues and a backbone will step forward.
No one thought Trump had a hope in hell of becoming President, including Trump himself and Melania who reportedly burst into tears when she heard the worst, so your opinion as to the skiddie doesn't really fly very high.
You may not like Trump, for which I applaud you, but you are obviously a Republican who doesn't really like any Democrat, and if you're hoping for someone with clues, backbone, and character to emerge from the current Republican bloc then you may be in for a bit of a wait. Good luck. I mean that most sincerely.
Trump had exposure through various LCD television programs. He had recognition with the GreatUnwashed. Beto doesn't, and won't, have that kind of exposure. Combine that little detail with the huge crowd that is running, and I'd place his chances of drawing the Dem nomination at somewhere lower than Gavin Newsom, who (probably) won't be running this time around.
I am not now, and I never have been, registered Republican. I am a registered Democrat (at the moment), and just calling it as I see it. The current crop of hopefuls are all fucking useless; hopefully somebody worthwhile will step up.
 Subject to change according to the issues and the needs of me & mine.
So, any human, then? Don't know of one not diagnosed with mental problems that don't care about me and mine.
As a conservative, watch Tulsi Gabbard, the only anti-war candidate - being suppressed by her own party (no doubt the MICC in general). I'd probable vote for her myself, but - you'll see the corruption on both sides of the aisle if you pay attention to how they smear and attempt to destroy her.
Despite a perfect record of intervening at great cost in blood and treasure to create failed states worse off than before (including us!) - even the libs insist we must intervene in all states with dictators (would that include our own?).
What a circus, you can't make this stuff up. I feel sorry for the Onion as reality has overtaken them.
I am looking at his presidential aspirations web site and I can't find a single thing about his policy proposals. Or views for that matter.
I see a photo of Beto, a photo of Beto with a little boy wearing a NASA t-shirt, a Shop link, a Jobs link with no jobs listed, and a Donations link. And that's about it.
I expected some minimal information on Beto's concrete policy proposals. What are they? Does anyone know?
I don't think Beto Is Running! is enough. He has never won a single statewide race, let alone a national one.
Disclaimer: I am a registered Democrat, and have been so for many years.
Hmmm, I see nothing. Just a black screen. It's one of those sites that if you have a script blocker enabled then you get nothing. Or perhaps he's flying under the invisible flag and stands for nothing. Vote for King Mob!
Being serious for a bit; the site is obviously written by some back room intern with no real information, or knowledge, to hand. If you really want to know more about him then, as the popular saying goes, Google|Bing|DDG is your friend. There's tons out there about what he stands for, not least of all (gag) face book.
Agree though, if he's serious then he needs a serious web designer. Perhaps the dead cow folk could help out.
This is interesting. It raises O'Rourke above the mundane level of candidate to actual character! It's a claim that doesn't seem to hurt him and is really true and "Authentic", as opposed to candidates claiming to like [select your own cultural icon] as so many candidates do. It elevates him to the same level as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez where attempts to defame her have re-bounded and made her seem even more adorable. Obama had a similar level of personality.
AOC or Beto. Anyone else? Do the republicans have anyone of similar stature? I cannot see any.
I think Sanders has managed to poison his own well. Plenty of Democrat voters hate him for spoiling the 2016 election (whether or to what extent he can reasonably be blamed for that is irrelevant; the minority of voters who are willing to try to evaluate candidates rationally is too small to have much effect). Plenty of others dislike him for failing to rein in his more offensive supporters, or for one or more policy positions, or for some other sin.
He's too thoroughly inscribed to be a viable US candidate at this point, unless he can achieve the level of demagoguery Trump has - and I don't see him doing that. To be honest, I don't see any Democrat candidate winning using Trump's approach. The Democratic Party had masters of populism a century ago, but they let that set of tactics fall fallow.1 Meanwhile, Republicans and Republican sympathizers took them up starting around the time of Carter's election in the '70s, after seeing that in a post-Nixon era the electorate was no longer keen on stiff managerial types. They've dominated a number of media - talk radio, pop policy books - since, and at least achieved a draw in a number of cultural conflicts since.
These days Democrat culture icons generally have to try to occupy the moral high ground - a precipitous position. It's a lot easier to win over your audience shouting from the gutter than it is preaching from the pulpit.
1Not that I think that's a bad thing. Appealing to the baser instincts often succeeds, but there's a limit to the realpolitik I'm going to endorse.
This is approximately as useful a piece of advice as "buy a car which will never need repairs" or "don't get sick".
The idea that any candidate has any chance of getting elected without a campaign filled with "platitudes and slogans" is marvelously naive. As for policies, no president can enforce major policy changes without the cooperation of the other branches; and history has shown it is notoriously difficult to create policy which reliably improves the situation for those not already advantaged, much less predict whether proposed policies will be successful at doing so.
And, of course, some of us are concerned about things outside us and our families. (Yes, you can take the Randian position that altruism is just seeking an intangible psychological or social reward, but even so, it's rather a stretch to say that the bulk of my political choices are intended to improve my life, for example.)
How did that happen!
Really? You don't get it? Look at two things.. his base and at what he does. He tweets, he tosses out whatever is on his mind that will obscure any real issues. Hell, he's still ranting over Clinton and others including McCain. The guy is a good example of applied misdirection.
When you think about it, the alchemists were hackers. I could make a case that the first people trying to make beer/wine/mead taste better were hackers. Same for bread. Same for the folks growing grain ... ThePress maty have perverted the title "hacker" in the minds of the GreatUnwashed, but not all of us have forgotten ...
This round's on me. To hackers past!
I'll drink to that!
Yes, people forget what "hacker" means. A hacker is someone who enjoys figuring out how things work and how to use them in imaginative ways. Whether those things are related to computers or not isn't meaningful. Some of the most legendary TMRC hacks had nothing at all do to with computers or networks.
But, these days, people think "hacker" is synonymous with "computer criminal". That's a linguistic battle that has long been lost, sadly.
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