Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts of the day

I finally(!) added my footnotes to Regime Change in Iraq from Clinton to Bush.

A Taiwanese New Zealand PhD candidate illustrates the thick links in the bridge between Clinton and Bush in the War on Terror.

A classic line from Aliens: Game over, man. Game over! Pvt Hudson bonus.

Gateway movies for separating from modern society: The Matrix (red pill vs blue pill) and Idiocracy. There's also this, this, The End of Men, and Boys on the Side. (Note: Hanna Rosin is a Stuy grad, which makes me both proud and depressed.)

The MGTOW-like Hikikomori trend (over-20-year-old college-degreed middle-class men who have gone off track, given up, and checked out) is a sign that modern Western civilization is crumbling at the foundation. It ain't just happening in Japan.

I debate a Jeremy Lin fan on whether Lin would have been better off as a Knick.

I agree with this assessment of UN Ambassador Susan Rice regarding her obfuscations of the Rwanda genocide and the Benghazi attack. She is going to be our next Secretary of State?! Add: More from Shmuley Boteach. Reminder: According to a PBS documentary, Susan Rice was instrumental in the Clinton administration's avoidance of the Rwanda genocide.

Republicans are puzzling over why they don't have more Asian American support. My advice to the GOP: Reaching out to and sitting down with us would be a good first step. My advice to us: Let's find out what the GOP has to offer us. Add: John Yoo says he'll write a book on the issue. My comment to Yoo. Yoo recommends Korean American pundit TheSophist, who has a better take. A more liberal take.

WND article American Independence Party strikes at my fear of a tribalizing, balkanizing, disassembling America. On the surface, the Left seems like better protection for Asian Americans, but their politics are divisively tribal and redistributionist. The Right seems to favor an increasingly out-of-date status quo, but they at least invoke a common American sense and identity. We need a race-neutral common social-cultural touchstone for all Americans. I nominate the military, but while the military is a race-neutral inclusive American identity, it is also alien to most Americans.

Recommending solutions to pundits, including political bloggers, is a low return-on-investment activity because by and large they're about the polemic, not activism. They're talkers, not walkers. There are exceptions, though.

Debate takes place in a medium that's removed from reality. Too much debate distorts the understanding of policy issues. Conflations and generalizations remove the nuances, uncertainties, complexities, and unknowns that exist in real life. Advocates are compelled to commit to streamlined, polarized, and inflexible positions prematurely. Positions that emerge from debates often fit poorly with the real conditions. Related is this social-studies finding (h/t) that rather than follow the law-school inquisitorial ideal of 'following the facts where they take us', most people instead follow the adversarial path of fitting facts into identity-based groupthink templates. A current example is Democrats loyally parroting the party line in support of Susan Rice for Secretary of State when any principled humanitarian liberal should oppose her nomination.

Interesting post by neo-neocon about the historic habit of forgetting disasters.

The Petraeus scandal shows that sending e-mails from an anonymous Gmail account is a basically effective way to cover on-line tracks, but it's not foolproof since "meta-data", like IP addresses that identify physical location, is attached to the e-mails. The content within the e-mail account also is not encrypted. Andrew Leonard of Salon.com says, "She could have covered her tracks with any one of myriad commercially available Virtual Private Network programs or, if she was looking for some heavy-duty protection, she could have downloaded the Tor Project’s anonymizing browser." Other programs: Lastpass, YubiKey, Truecrypt, dropbox, 1password, keylogger.

The prize for the November 28 Powerball lottery is 500 550 million dollars. Tickets cost 2 dollars each though and "the odds of winning the jackpot are just one in 175,000,000." Update: The winning numbers are 5 16 22 23 29 6. Sadly, my ticket:
174,999,999 in 175,000,000 ticket

Nice 27-minute tribute video to the 2007 Giants post-season and Superbowl XLII win. They were underdogs with no margin for error throughout and just kept making plays. The Giants D line was overwhelming and relentless.

Doubled-speed sepia-toned Simpsons classic Homer's Enemy featuring Frank Grimes.

Fun-looking risque websites: theCHIVE.com and NS4W.org.

John Cleese at Crack.com writes insightful lists. The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor hit home. I especially identify with "#2. You Become an Obsessive Bean-Counter" and "#1. You Only Spend with the Short Term in Mind".

I should consider this license to my blog. Some of my content has intellectual proprietary value. I should find out whether a "license" covers the function of a copyright. Discovered at interesting mom/lawyer blog andTHEN (moved here).

Eric

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