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Let’s Talk About RULE ZERO

August 22, 2014

I saw the headline in the Daily Mail the other day, and I skipped it.  Then I thought about it.  Okay, I’ll make a comment.  Here’s the headline:

‘Horrified’ Dating Naked contestant sues VH1 after network failed to blur out her crotch before episode aired

 So, let’s unpack this a bit…

  • There’s a show called “Dating Naked” on television.
  • Contestants actually agree to be taped for some period of time naked with people they really don’t know
  • This video is edited and then shown on the above-mentioned show
  • Contestants are then “horrified” that they might actually be shown naked

I’m sure there are plenty of people who would state that there’s a rule one involved here: make sure you get to screen the video before you might be shown naked.

I’m all for RULE ZERO.  Don’t ever let someone take a picture or video of you naked.  Ever.

Here’s one of the best lines from the article:

Ms Nizewitz also told the Post that the incident ruined a ‘budding relationship.’ She said the man she was dating never called her again after the show aired.

‘He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,’ Nizewitz said.

So you don’t think that agreeing to appear naked on a show might not have turned said person off in the first place?

And lest you think that this is a one-off stupid, there’s always the headline about the upcoming show about people having sex in a box and then talking about it.  No, I won’t link to that one.

And people wonder why I keep moving farther back in the woods…

A Simple Thought Exercise

August 21, 2014

What would happen if you read this?  Especially if you hadn’t heard it on the news at all?

A man accused of shooting to death two men in Seattle on June 1 and a man in New Jersey later that month was charged Wednesday with gunning down a 30-year-old in the Skyway area in April — all, he allegedly told police, as “vengeance” for Palestinean actions in the Israel.

Yankiel Shimuel Rosenbaum, 40, is quoted in charging documents as saying that he they were “just kills” and that he was “just doing my small part” as a self-styled Israeli Nationalist.

I mean, geez, this would be all over the papers.  We’d be seeing it as aggression of the most loathsome type.  But how come we don’t think that when the crazy is Islamic?

So just to be clear, we’re talking Ali Muhammad Brown, a self-styled jihadi.  Sure, he’s really just a bug-bleep crazy, but he’s using his religion as a crutch to knock off four innocent people across the nation. We justify serial killers for a lot less, I suppose, and go nuts analyzing what society could have possibly raised such a monster.  But there’s no question here, at least by the majors.  Do I think Islam is responsible?  No. I think the crazy is responsible for his own actions.  The same is true for the jerk in the bad hoodie who took out a war reporter in Iraq… although he’s hanging with a bunch of peeps there.

But shouldn’t we at least question what motivates a person to commit acts like this?

Not Much Is Private Anymore

August 13, 2014

I was out camping for a week or so, and it’s interesting to come back and see what news is new and what’s not.  Yazidis being threatened with religious extinction, and it’s a human suffering story (and not a religious persecution one)?  Sure.  Poor black kid gets shot and a city riots?  Hey, I’m from Cincinnati, I’ve seen this one.

Ah, but there’s a new twist these days.

In a press release posted to Pastebin on Sunday, “Anonymous Operation Ferguson” said that the global collective was outraged at the events in Ferguson and demanded new legislation setting strict guidelines for police conduct in the US. The group also threatened to take down the websites of authorities in the town if they “abuse, harass or harm in any way protestors in Ferguson”.

The hackers appeared to make good on the threat on Tuesday, taking down the website of City Hall as well as phone lines and email systems in a flood of traffic that “just kept coming”, the St Louis Post-Dispatchreported.

Global cyber-warfare is going to local politics.  This doesn’t surprise me… if I’d had more time, I was going to post pretty much the same thing yesterday… that some hacker would be able to figure out the name of the police officer and release it for the department, even if the department wouldn’t.

I’m typically of the belief that justice works slowly, and creakily, and it’s usually right even if people aren’t happy.  Remember, pinning both your well-being and your happiness on any branch of government is a losing proposition.  But many people think that mob justice is a much better option.  I wonder how they’d react if they knew that their sentiments were based on eye-for-eye rationale from the Old Testament…?

Anyway, I’ll wait to see what justice the system works before I even start to make a comment on the situation in particular.  But don’t expect the rest of the world to do that, and I think that the globally-flat nature of the cyber-world will enable a lot of people to step in where they couldn’t in the past.  It’s not good or bad, it just is.  But the results are going to be pretty random for a while.

Ennui or Interest?

August 4, 2014

There’s been a fair amount of whispers these days that the Republicans’ best chance for 2016 might be Mitt Romney.  As Hot Air notes, the Washington Post brought that to light this weekend.

“Democrats don’t want to be associated with Barack Obama right now, but Republicans are dying to be associated with Mitt Romney,” said Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney confidant who chaired his national finance council. He added: “Candidates, campaigns and donors in competitive races are calling saying, ‘Can we get Mitt here?’ They say, ‘We’ve looked at the polling, and Mitt Romney moves the needle for us.’ That’s somewhat unexpected for someone who lost the election.”

For a party without a consensus leader — nor a popular elder statesman like Democratic former president Bill Clinton — Romney is stepping forward in both red and blue states to fill that role for the GOP.

This isn’t exactly saying the same thing as saying he’s going to run, but I think the weary nation turns lonely eyes to him in some fashion.  That’s fine at one level.  Gov. Romney is a sharp man with solid ideas that play well will a large constituency, and that means a lot when considering him for a future presidency.  He’s also a savvy businessman, who rarely makes the same mistakes twice, and a Romney campaign would develop a significantly better ground operation the second time around.

But with that said, I never got the impression — especially in the post-campaign retrospectives — that Gov. Romney was particularly interested in the actual presidency, other than, “Well, if nobody else wants it that bad…” sort of way.  The press seemed to think that the base was not very enthusiastic about his candidacy, when it seems to me that it was more the other way around.  He wasn’t excited enough to excite the base.  Contrast that with John McCain four years before, who definitely wanted the presidency, but was not a favorite of the base.

I’m not a Republican, and I usually spend more time bemoaning the run-up to an election than I do watching it, but I’d expect that the next Republican candidate will have to be someone who obviously wants the position and can motivate a strong base to pull the reluctant partisans along for the ride.  Unless he’s changed in the last two years, I’m not sure that Mitt Romney fills that.  I guess we’ll see how he does winning hard votes in the midterms and what the base thinks.

People Don’t Like Each Other. Yawn.

July 31, 2014

Noah Rothman and Hot Air has a post today detailing the media reaction to new Lois Lerner e-mails that have come out.  These e-mails provide her pretty clear opinion of conservative causes.  Perhaps the media is shocked that she doesn’t appear to like them, but I’m not all that surprised.  It’s not that I know Ms. Lerner… it’s more that I know people.  We’re a strange breed, we have opinions, and some of them are pretty strong.

I have to admit, one of the things I’ve been noticing in politics lately is an assumption that you must hate what you don’t agree with.  There’s a lot of stuff I disagree with, and I’ll say that I don’t hate it… but then again I’m a strange bird.  I see friends on both sides of the spectrum that really don’t like certain topics or the opinions people have on them.  We’re fallen, and that creates extremes like this.

So… I’m not shocked when I see a person who takes an extreme position against other people who disagree with (in this case) her.

What I do object to, though, is that person participating in the use of one of the larger, and certainly one of the most feared, government agencies against what she doesn’t like.  In technology, I have to work against fierce competition.  Anyone who’s worked with me long enough knows that I’m pretty militant when it comes to my opinions on some of my competitors.  But I recognize their value and I stay above-board in my efforts to win business.  I see many others doing the same thing, and I’m fine with rivalry and competition.

I’m not fine with unfair business practices, and I’m certainly not fine with using an unfair leverage against a weaker opponent.  The fact that this is not the subject of media examination of Ms. Lerner and the IRS is getting to the point of disturbing.

 

For Once, I Said It Simpler

July 29, 2014
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A caught this opinion by Adam Hachschild on WWI… you’ll see a lot of articles on this for the next couple years.  He does a great job of explaining why the Great War was so deadly.  But I have to admit, I say it a lot more simply when I teach my strategy classes.

The reason that WWI was so deadly is that lethal technology advanced significantly, while battle strategy did not.

This could be the first time in a long time that I said something more simply than someone else.

You could argue that the Civil War in the US was similar, but not really.  There were huge advances in that time: the Minie ball, the cartridge, the cannon… but they were still nascent.  It was only when battle tactics of the mid 1800’s met the trench, barbed wire, and the machine gun that things got really catastrophic.

But Will It Involve Explosions?

July 29, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve read any Phillip K. Dick.  I do remember The Man in the High Castle from my late teens, but I’m somewhat fuzzy on the story, other than the main plot and a couple details that seemed odd to me as a teen reader.  But from a general perspective, his books are easy to make into movies because of the vividness of the stories.

Now with that said, if they decide to make a story about Nazis running the US after they conquered it during the war, would it just look like a fantasy about what happens with a heavily right-leaning government in place?  And how much would that miss the point of the actual story?

Let’s put aside that Fascism as an ideology leans left, since it abandons corporations for government control.  Go read Jonah Goldberg for that.  But beyond that, how many people actually study history enough to understand the effect that Fascism had on the societies in which it thrived?  This would turn more into a story about how shadowy characters rule the world in a rigid police state.  While that’s true to the book, the subtleties of the resistance and the spies in it would probably become more of an anti-hero plot, if it didn’t get changed at all.

My point is not that you can’t make the movie.  It’s more that making the movie in today’s society would probably just miss the point of the book from what I remember of it.  That’s not a bad thing (says the English Minor), since stories take a life of their own based on the perspective of the times they’re made.  If you want a great example of that, go read John Carpenter’s Who Goes There? and then watch both versions of The Thing.  So I’d be interested in what the movie would look like.

It just wouldn’t look much like the story, I’d bet.

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