Sunday, January 16, 2005

Political ramblings ahead... (With update!)

First off, something decidedly apolitical...

What do you do if you're a lonely college dropout who just bought a bad CP/M clone and repackaged it, but still can't get a date?

Also: Those who know me might know my obsession with game design and related stuff. One of the things i'm big on is the Rock-Paper-Scissors game theory. Some people have objected to use of that sort of balance mechanism on the grounds of "There are only three choices! What if i want more options???"

Well, other than re-thinking what constitutes a choice (in other words, "Where is the R-P-S located within your game system?") you can add more choices. "But how?" Never fear, someone has invented a new game to give you up to five choices! I'm sure you can fill in more following the pattern if you want.

Speaking of which, placeholder note:

Winter's Two Rules of Game Balance
Rule A: Let nothing be so useful it is the 'standard' answer to every situation (or most of them)
Rule B: Let nothing be so powerful that is completely dominates situations in which it is useful.


Anyway, on to the politics...

All Hail the King of Liars!

I'm sure you can guess who it is.

Bill Oh Really accused Senator Kennedy of lying, but had to lie about what Kennedy actually said to do it.

That, in the business, is called hypocrisy.

Speaking of which, i heard this speech of Kennedy's. Many Republicans (and Republican plants/sympathizers within the Democratic Party) have been railing against the evil Democrats about how they want to increase the number of abortions, etc. This isn't new. However, when confronted with that they say "Well why don't the Democrats ever just say 'Hey, we want to reduce abortions but the way to do it isn't by banning it but by using other methods...'? No Democrats ever say that, therefore we can conclude that Democrats want to increase abortions as if they didn't they would say otherwise." Besides the logical contortions that sort of argument requires it's also totally untrue. Kennedy said what Democrats supposedly never say in his speech, as well as a number of other (similar, for our purposes here) arguments. So the next time someone says that to me i'm not even going to bother arguing the logic, but instead i'm going to say something like "Maybe if you listened to something other than Republican talking points you'd have heard what you're looking for..."

Also according to Mr. Oh Really: if you're poor it's because you're lazy and/or deserving of poverty.

Yeah.

And let's not leave Ann Coulter out of this! She's getting even nastier. Maybe someone should talk to her with a baseball bat some time.

The brothers aren't big on queer theory.


Maybe someone should inform Ann that Martin Luther King (remember that guy? Entirely coincidental, but entirely appropriate, that i'd mention him today... i've been writing this particular post for about a week now) once said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Maybe someone should tell her that he was pro-GLBT rights. His wife could if you could get Coulter to sit down and shut up for a minute.

But no, Coulter just sees a way to pit minority group 1 against minority group 2 so that the Republican Party can go to either groups (or more likely both) and use the old "the enemy of my enemy..." line on them.

Phone-jamming the Democratic Party during elections: A "few bad apples", or systematic corruption?

Let's not pretend we didn't know about the disasters that have occurred under Bush's watch, and no: i'm not meaning tsunamis of any variety.

The search for WMD in Iraq was recently called off. There were no WMD in Iraq. The CIA recently released a study stating that Iraq has supplanted Afghanistan as the global training grounds for international terrorists.

So instead of WMD we have sick prisoner abuse at the hands of Americans in a country full of terrorists that were not there until the USA started fucking around in that region.

Great. Hey, Red Staters, you wanna know why the rest of the world thinks the US sucks? Go re-read the last two paragrahs.

A lot of people ask stuff like "Why didn't the German citizens speak out against/know about the horrible crimes committed by their government?"

Well, for starters: they weren't "horrible crimes". See, the government implemented programs to improve Germany. For instance: Jews were a threat to Germany's financial, racial, and moral well-being, or so the government said. By removing the general public from direct interaction with concentration camp prisoners, or whatever, the people weren't forced to confront what was going on. The government could maintain plausible deniability (i wonder if, when faced with charges about this or that the Nazi apologists would all wave the charges off with "It's just the work of a few bad apples...") and the citizens knew better than to investigate matters themselves.

I know it's pretty overdone to compare stuff to Nazi Germany, but some times the comparisons just fit. I'm not saying, of course, that Abu Ghraib was our Auschwitz. Not to belittle the sufferring there, but emotional torture and abuse that took place there isn't even comparable to the death of six million+ at the death camps and the sufferring of millions more. No, the point of comparison is in the culture of intentional ignorance which permits horrors and abuse because nobody steps up to say "Enough!"

Of course, someone did do that at Abu Ghraib. Or at least, someone blew the whistle (to borrow the overused expression).

Anyway, away from that death spiral of a topic...

You know all that talk about not changing your values but instead changing your presentation of them? It really works. (As i alluded to at the bottom of this post.) Admittedly, that was an open situation which someone walked into. But that sort of situation exists all over--you have to look and be ready for it. Without the right sort of approach to capitalize--to relate it to the Democratic Party's values, if you will--it doesn't matter what sort of situation or oppoertunity you have.

Random filler:

"Rathergate", again...

"No Facts" Novak is at it again, also.

...You know, i do feel kinda bad about using the "No Facts" and "Oh Really" monikers so much. Sorta makes me feel like a dirty hypocrite. But i suppose i'm able to sleep at night anway...

I had something else i was going to talk about, but i can't remember what it was now. Ah well, i'll edit it in if i remember.

(Edit)

Duh, i was gonna talk about Nixon!

One of the things i've noticed about the Republican/Right Wing establishment is the very curious way in which it treats the Nixon scandal. Very few of the Republican propagandists and whatever (technically i've heard none, but i'll give them the benefit of the doubt) treat Nixon's criminal activity as an ethical or moral failure on the part of him or his administration. Instead, whenever they talk about Nixon and whenever the Republican establishment talks about Nixon (especially when it thinks nobody is listening) the situation is almost always considered not Nixon's failure but rather rather as a successful smear operation by the Democrats.

The sort of talk i'm thinking especially is when Republicans suggest that they "want to do to [insert Democrat of your choice] what the Democrats did to Nixon". The idea that Nixon's downfall wasn't, essentially, a plot or political coup by the Democrats seems to never even be considered. Rather, the talk focuses on how to leverage scandals (real or imagined) of political opponents and turn them into hard political power. Occassionally it turns into how to evade fates similar to Nixon's.

That, of course, is from what i've seen and i may be wrong.

But it does seem curious to me.

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