Subtlety is not one of my strengths

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Sunday, August 19 2018

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Messed up

PoliticApologies for not posting more regularly.  Honestly, you'd think they were paying me to work or something.

You know what's worse than my workload and environment?  Torture.  Lack of due process.

I'd bet that Jose Padilla is a complete prick.  I'd bet it, except we're talking about someone's life.  (not an easy read, if you have a weak stomach)

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Where are you now Oliver North?


While the news over the weekend might have focused on our success in getting the Iraqi court system (90% funded by the U.S. and staffed by Justice Department lawyers) to convict Saddam, the interesting counterpoint is the fact that Daniel Ortega looks to be on his way to victory in this weekend's presidential elections in Nicaragua. This despite the efforts of the U.S. who is worried about the continued shift of Latin America to the left. To campaign for his opponent, we sent in the best,

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You can go with this, or you can go with that

PoliticBear with me.  As many of you have noted, I've been absent/busy/lazy lately.  But I've been thinking about a few things, and I want to get them down on the site, before I forget.  In particular, there's this startling realization:

Democratic propaganda is about "what" they say, Republican propaganda is about "how" they say it

So, following the "read more", there'll be a bunch of links to illustrate this dichotomy.  But I think the recent success of the Republican machine reflects some of the values of this country's people.  That is, there are a lot of lazy people, a bunch of people with low confidence, and a few incompetents as well...and rather than evaluate the messages themselves, these people evaluate the delivery, and how it makes them feel.  (It's the charismatic on TV vs. radio election issue, blown all out of proportion.)

'cause, frankly (and I'll say it again), there's not a single success you can point to in the WWWWhitehouse, such that they ought to have been re-elected.

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A Couple of Thought Experiments

PoliticI was a bit of a prankster, in my day.
And my high-school physics teacher was a sharp cookie.  He discouraged dangerous pranks by openly talking with me about past pranks, and actually helping me plan some in safer ways.

So one day, he tells me about the "stink bomb" he made, when he was in high school.  I'd like to tell you about that, and also another friend's universal remote.  And then we can talk about airport security, mmmkay?

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Mercy, mercy me. Wish it were just the ecology.

PoliticA few quick hits before I go on vacation, about the "foiled terrorist plot".

  • Seems to me that it was successful.  Oh, not at killing people, no.  But killing people is the work of war.  Terrorism is about how many people you affect.  And look at how many people are affected by having to travel nude while facing only forward.
  • I am relieved that there'll be fewer carry-ons.  I mean, come on, people...some of you looked like you were moving houses, there.
  • I don't think I've ever really wavered in saying that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were dangerous countries.  Yet we considered them allies.  And lo!  Most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.  And most of the folks in this new plot?  Pakistani.  You know...Pakistan, where ObL is "hiding".  Remember when Afghanistan couldn't/wouldn't hand over the 7' tall Yemeni?  Yeah, we bombed 'em.

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Bill Gates for President?

PoliticSee the link.  Discuss, below.
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Part 2: Wherein dbsmall tries to make sense of the Israel/Lebanon conflict

PoliticYou'll recall that I have supported Israel's strikes on Hamas leadership in the past.

Some people who also supported Israel are uncomfortable
with the current attacks in Lebanon (on Hisbollah).  In fact, the linked-to-blog makes a persuasive point:  Lebanon will be less capable of reigning in h1sb0l4h.  Lots of innocents will be killed.  Public opinion will turn against Israel.  Oh ,and cool anecdote from a bar.

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Ann Coulter's Religion --- why the long face?

PoliticAnn Coulter has some clever schtick---be controversial and confrontational and take a side.
It's clever, because she builds in an audience, those who agree with the "side" she takes, and feel happy that their bird's slashing the other.
It's clever, because every time she needs to promote a book, all she needs do is make a few outlandish comments.  Her detractors unwittingly promote her, and her supporters laughsnort at how superior they are to the detractors.

But I'd like to point few things out:

  • Ann Coulter is a plaigiarist.
  • Ann Coulter is a rude liar (yes, yes, this is the snippet where Adam Carolla hangs up on her.)

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Flags, Jerks, and Privacy

PoliticPresented without explanation, for you discusssion:

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Political insight worthy of a freshman poli sci student

PoliticFortunately, I'm old enough to be two of them.

In any case, I frequently wonder how so many people can be wrong about politics.  I mean, let's assume that 50% of the country is "liberal" and 50% is "conservative".  And they're absolutely adamant about their positions.  So 50% of the people must therefore be totally wrong, right?

And then I thought about polynomial politics: