All posts by James O'Keefe

Latest update of Modern Naval 1/2400 ship pictures

Finally got around to updating my cache of modern naval 1/2400 scale miniatures. Here are few select images:

GHQ Zumwalt-class Destroyer (Painted by rriggles):

GHQ Zumwalt-class Destroyer (Painted by rriggles)

Picked up this PFC C-in-C Tarawa from ebay. It is missing a few parts that I hope to get from PFC C-in-C. Picture by Noble Knight.

PFC C-in-C Tarawa. Picture by Noble Knight.

Superior Tarawa-class LHA (Painted by gak8346)

Superior Tarawa-class LHA (Painted by gak8346)

Superior Garcia-class Frigate (Painted by gak8346)

Superior Garcia-class Frigate (Painted by gak8346)

Superior Knox-class Frigate (Painted by gak8346)

Superior Knox-class Frigate (Painted by gak8346)

Viking Forge Cyclone-class patrol craft (Painted by rriggles)

Viking Forge Cyclone-class patrol craft (Painted by rriggles)

Updated 1/2400 Post-WW2 Naval Miniatures Pictures

I updated my collection of 1/2400 scale post-WW2 naval miniatures pictures including those people posted at the GHQ Models forum or The Miniatures Page Naval Forum:

PRC CV Liaoning (GHQ)

PRC DDG Taizhou (GHQ)

US CVN Nimitz (GHQ)

PRC FAC Houbei/Type 022 (Shapeways)

Posted by gak8346 on ebay:

US Coast Guard Bear Cutter (Viking Forge)

US Coast Guard Reliance Cutter (Viking Forge)

Or from Odin Arts & Collectables pictures of PFC C-in-C miniatures (thanks ww2navyguy!):

US BB New Jersey

US CGN Virginia

US DDG Arleigh Burke Flight I

US LHA Tarawa

I would very much like to see the Tarawa back in stock, but Randy at PFC C-in-C says it isn’t likely. If you are interested in helping to get enough buyers to convince him, please email me.

Counting the days to Chelsea Manning’s freedom

Originally posted at the Massachusetts Pirate Party blog.

I learned recently from Susan McLucas, a long-time local activist for Chelsea Manning, that president Obama commuted Chelsea’s sentence. She will be released from prison on May 17th. I think I speak for most, if not all, Pirates that we are very happy and relieved that Chelsea will be free in four months.

Thanks to everyone who kept up their support for her and indeed increased it. I personally appreciate the effort of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, Evan Greer, Fight for the Future, Susan McLucas, Veterans for Peace, Pirate Parties and their supporters world-wide, the EFF, ACLU and the millions of people who advocated for her freedom.

Chelsea emerging from prison on May 17th will be a glorious day. However, our support for her must not end on that day. She will continue to need our help from those engaging in character assassination whether trolls or politicians. After so many years in prison and solitary confinement, being a free again will come with its own challenges.

So savor this day and the days ahead, for this one act relied on the support of so many and yet again proves that we are more powerful together.

Solidarity forever.

Vote Aaron James for State Representative

On election day, November 8th, in the next ward over, the Pirate Party is running Aaron James for the 27th Middlesex State Representative district. He is continuing the tradition started by fellow Pirate, Noelani Kamelamela, in 2014.

If you have time this weekend to help flyer or time on election day to stand out or poll watch, please email his campaign or contact them at their Facebook page.

If you are in the neighborhood join us on election night to celebrate.

Thanks!

Visualizing Clinton Emails As A Means of Investigating the Future

The the MIT Media Lab Macro Connections group created a data visualization tool for the Clinton/Podesta/DNC emails that Wikileaks made available.  It is well worth a look. Thanks to Saul for bringing this research to my attention.

Cesar A. Hidalgo, the professor on the project, wrote about what he learned from it.  A few quotes stood out for me:

These emails are relevant because Clinton was a person in charge of doing a security job, and anyone working on a security job, is not supposed to communicate using an unsecured or unauthorized channel. This should be obvious, since each extra channel of communication increases the vulnerability of the system by increasing the probability that messages are intercepted. So the reason why Clinton’s emails are a big deal is because a person in charge of security should not be using an unsecure channel, and those who argue from that perspective have a valid point. The fact that the emails were hacked and exposed validates that point.

Which gets to the point we (the Pirate Party) made when the Podesta emails first came out, since, in a sense, we are all in charge of our own security:

As a Pirate, I found professor Hidalgo’s statement that his motivation for this effort “comes from my support for a society where people have direct access to relevant sources of information through well-designed data visualization tools” aligns well with my own philosophy. We cannot know what our government and our representatives are doing in our name without access to the information they have, presented in a way that people can intelligently make their own assessments of it.

In thinking about how we increase people’s power over our government, I found this statement interesting as well:

So what I got from reading some of Clinton’s email is another piece of evidence confirming my intuition that political systems scale poorly. The most influential actors on them are spending a substantial fraction of their mental capacity thinking about how to communicate, and do not have the bandwidth needed to deal with many incoming messages (the unresponded emails). This is not surprising considering the large number of people they interact with (although this dataset is rather small, I send 8k emails a year and receive 30k. In this dataset Clinton is sending only 2k emails a year).

Our modern political world is one where a few need to interact with many, so they have no time for deep relationships — they physically cannot. So what we are left is with a world of first impressions and public opinion, where the choice of words matter enormously, and becomes central to the job. Yet, the chronic lack of time that comes from having a system where few people govern many, and that leads people to strategize every word is not Clinton’s fault. It is just a bug that affects all modern political systems, which are Ancient Greek democracies that were not designed to deal with hundreds of millions of people.

In my mind the solution to this issue is to setup systems so that people are able to make more decisions about government. Not faulty marketplace democracy with its one dollar one vote, but true democracy of one person one vote. Proportional representation instead of winner take all elections. Sadly, I find many adherents of the two old political parties don’t get this. We have a long road to travel until we get there, but we will.

Rock Against the TPP Concert – Boston (10/7/2016)

I went to the Boston Rock Against the TPP Concert last Friday at Spontaneous Celebrations. It was organized by Fight for the Future and a host of groups including the Massachusetts Pirate Party. Two more are coming up.

Here are some of the pictures I took:
10/7/2016 Boston Rock Against the TPP Concert

I showed up late, so I didn’t get pictures of every band, but I did record some of the performances. Here are some of them:

Bell’s Roar

Foundation Movement (Sadly they are all out of focus)

Taina Asili y La Band Rebelde

Evan Greer

Mirah

Eroc of Foundation Movement

Debo band

The Finale (Get Up, Stand Up)

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

On September 30th, I attended the Tanya Donelly concert at ONCE Somerville. Starting were Hilken Mancini and Chris Toppin formerly of Fuzzy. I want to thank ONCE owner, JJ Gonson, for being completely and totally cool about people bringing in a D-SLR camera with a big lens. She is one of a kind and you should check out the concerts and food at ONCE.

Tanya Donelly played with various friends whose names I don’t remember.  I took many pictures (below) and recorded two videos. All images and videos are CC BY-SA 3.0, so do whatever you want to do with them, but I appreciate being attributed.

Send Me Your Next Nightmare

and another one from the Swan Song series, that I couldn’t find on the album set for the life of me. If you know it, please share.

The pictures:

Hilken Mancini
Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Chris Toppin
Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly
Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Friends
Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

The photo album you can look through
Tanya Donelly 9/30/2016 ONCE Somerville Concert

Lush Concert Videos

I attended Lush’s Boston concert at the Royale Boston.  They remain one of my ten favorite bands and a band that I had never seen in concert before. It was a fantastic show. Tamaryn was the opening act.

Based off a photograph of a playlist someone else took, the playlist was:

  1. Breeze
  2. Kiss Chase
  3. Hypocrite
  4. Love Life
  5. Thoughtforms
  6. Light from a Dead Star
  7. Undertow
  8. Lit Up
  9. Scarlet
  10. Etheriel
  11. Nothing Natural
  12. For Love
  13. Out of Control
  14. Ladykillers
  15. Downer
  16. Sweetness and Light

Which should have been enough, but they were willing to play a first encore which I recorded:

  1. Lost Boy
  2. Desire Lines
  3. Leaves Me Cold

And a second encore with only the song Monochrome:

I recorded parts of other songs, but I only recorded these four completely. I posted two of them on Twitter:

The pictures I took left much to be desired, but I cannot expect much from an iPhone 5s, even from being near the front side. I missed my D-SLR.

Here are pictures of Tamaryn I posted to Twitter. The are impressionistic.

I think I managed the right mix of dancing, singing to the music, taking pictures, recording video and holding my wife who was kind enough to attend it with me.

Save us from Libertarians helping us make better decisions

I was reading the latest Naked Capitalism daily links roundup when I came across a Washington Post review of a book by Jason Brennan entitled Against Democracy. It is everything you would expect from a Libertarian enamored with Plato’s Republic.

Our present government is more republic than direct democracy; more ancient Rome than ancient Athens.  No matter to the author, the wrong people get a meager bit of input into electing our representatives. Most people don’t understand the big issues of the day or are biased by emotion.  We need Vulcans who can vote rationally and dispassionately.

Never mind that we have such people, men really, who vote in unaccountable courts setup by trade agreements and have a tendency to vote in favor of the rich and powerful, especially in favor of corporations. Courts that our present administration wants to expand with agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Brennan wants to replace the feeble democracy we have with election by the knowledgeable.  He even suggests that we have a test to determine who could enter this elite club.  What could go wrong?

To his credit, Ilya Somin, the Washington Post reviewer, a Professor of Law at George Mason University who writes books that extoll “Why Smaller Government is Smarter”, does point out some of the obvious problems with Brennan’s thesis while maintaining that Against Democracy is a “powerful challenge to the conventional wisdom about democracy”.

Yet, Somin and Brennan, as should be expected based on their ideology, leave out the money primary that limits our choice in most elections to those candidates which are acceptable to the 1%.  With the Citizens United ruling allowing the rich (some not even US Citizens or permanent residents) to influence elections in secret, why even bother to limit the franchise to only the capitalist class’ best and brightest?

The president and congress are overwhelmingly made up of millionaires with college degrees.  Government policy from taxes to regulating markets to labor policy have gone the way Libertarians wanted.  Yet, the economy has bumped along rather poorly for most since the 1970s, income inequality has increased dramatically and the effects of global warming continue apace and are becoming blindingly obvious.

Limiting the vote to knowledgable citizens is just a recipe for rule by those with property and would result in us enduring more Libertarian failures.