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Force Ratios

Wednesday night's ABC magazine program on Ruby Ridge was a great example of
what TV can be but so rarely is.  Lots of chopper shots of Ruby Ridge.  Lots
of hand held camera recreations and interviews with the Weavers and the
sniper (face obscured because he has something to hide), etc.

But the most interesting thing that this emphasized for me was the sort of
modern information warfare issues as highlighted in the recent Economist
Survey.  Info war is war by other means (a little shooting, communications,
publicity, and litigation) and look what happened at Ruby Ridge.  The Feds
deployed 400 "troopies", some armored personnel carriers, copters, executive
jets, Hummers, and other hardware.  On the other side were 3 adults and 4
children with some 14 personal weapons.

The result.  One Fed and two Weavers dead.  A $3.1 million legal settlement,
and continuing problems for the Feds.  That smells like a bad defeat to me.
They couldn't even kill 7 people with a 57 to 1 force ratio.  

In addition, the operation and the various investigations must have cost the
Feds millions more.  (What *do* the Fibbies have to pay for those Ninja
Hoods?)  And they lost.

That suggests that the ability of The Great Enemy to overcome the sort of
directed human activity of the frictionless markets we are building will be
quite limited.


"Your Honor, the Defense will rest without calling any witnesses.  No
witnesses we could put on the stand could do as good a job setting forth the
Defense case as the Government's witnesses have already done." -- Gerry
Spence at the conclusion of the Government's case in US vs. Weaver.