Monthly Archives: July 2005

An Early Strategy for Defeating Hillary

Reading Jacob Weisburg’s But Why Can’t Hillary Win? article in Slate provoked some thoughts. The article argues that Hillary can’t win because she lacks likability: “As hard as she tries, Hillary has little facility for connecting with ordinary folk, for making them feel that she understands, identifies, and is at some level one of them.”

If she clinches the nomination, this is less of an issue. If the electorate is about as evenly divided as last time, Hillary will win a key demographic that could put her over the top: People who will vote for her only because she’s a woman. I believe the best time to beat Hillary is in the primaries.

What we, the anti-Hillary crowd, don’t want to do is emulate the Deaniacs. We don’t won’t to be obnoxious anti-Hillaryites. This could push people over to her column. If she truly lacks likability, she should self-destruct in the early primaries. Kids, reading is good for you. I recently read Sneaking into the Flying Circus: How the Media Turn Our Presidential Campaigns into Freak Shows. If she can’t connect with the voters well, then she should lose in New Hampshire and Iowa… she won’t be able to perform well in that context.

Alright, here come the caveats. First off, from the article itself: “Whatever she may be like in private, her public persona is calculating, clenched, relentless—and a little robotic.” Maybe she is more likable in private, that could help, or at least not hurt, her in the early going. Maybe they’ll like her at the house parties, who knows? I’m banking on her totally bombing in that stage of the race.

The second caveat involves the structure of the primaries themselves. Last year there was a front-loaded primary. Kerry had the race clinched after winning the first two states. No, no, he had it clinched after winning Iowa. Momentum counted for a lot. (Momentum, not Joe-mentum.) Depending on how the primaries are structured, Hillary could recover if she doesn’t win in the beginning.

Still, I think the best strategy in the beginning is not to go all out with Hillary attacks. Don’t make her the favorite going in. It’s best not to give her any attention at all. Throw support to a better Democratic candidate, and let the momentum meme carry him through the rest of the primary. It’s best if Hillary’s campaign dies with a whimper… if people, especially the press, wonder, why did we even think she had a chance this year? Negative press may backfire; no press is always deadly.

I know it’s way too early to be thinking about this, but I really don’t want Hillary to be president. We can do much better for a first woman president.

Next Website

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve begun work on my next website, and it’s going to be very cutting edge. Perhaps it’ll work. Perhaps it won’t. I’m willing to take the risk to try something new. The content of this site will mostly be comprised of things taken off However, a good portion of what is on will not be on the site. Think of it not so much as my old site redesigned, but my old site reincarnated. A new mind, and body, but the same soul. I have a name for it, but the name will remain secret because I haven’t registered it yet. I’m really excited, and I hope I complete it before I move to college.

Cutting the Deficit in Half

Hey Bush, remember when you were debating John Kerry? Remember how both of you said you had plans to cut the deficit in half?

Does anyone remember how I said I didn’t believe either of them would cut the deficit in half?

Yeah, well, Bush, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt with Iraq and our faulty intelligence, but on this issue, I still think you’re a liar.

Oh well, it’s not like reducing the deficit is any kind of big issue or anything, especially not to fiscal conservatives…

Rule of 150 and Forensics

What I’ve read really does apply to real life! I was talking to Alaena today and she mentioned how forensics had gotten more clique-ish. Something clicked in my head. I asked her how many people were in it. She told me around 200, but before there was around 100.

When I read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, I came upon the Rule of 150. Apparently, when a group size becomes over 150, humans have a harder time interacting with people. The group breaks down. This website explains the Rule of 150 better than I can.

Ain’t it obvious? This was a real life application of the Rule of 150. What I’m really excited about is that something I read came in handy. I wonder how I’ll be able to apply all the other wonderful books I’ve read.

Are humans inherently good or evil?

Are humans inherently good or evil? No. Let’s break it down. Are humans inherently good? Yes. Are humans inherently evil? Yes. All humans are both inherently good and evil.

Does it make sense any other way? If we were all inherently good, then why is there evil in the world? Why is there suffering? Why do some people choose to harm others? Why do some people choose to act selfishly?

The same applies if we are all inherently evil. If we are, then why do have tendencies to do good? Why do morals and ethics exist in every society? Why are there some people who choose good, like Gandhi?

I can only conclude that to be human is to be simultaneously inherently good and evil.

The story doesn’t end there. That means to be good, one must continually fight the evil within himself. It takes effort to be good; it takes suffering to be good. However, the most important thing is that to be good, it requires one to choose good.

The Modern Mythocracy

I just picked up Why America’s Top Pundits Are Wrong from a bookstore in SF. I’ve only read the introduction, but so far it looks interesting.

The phrase in this entry’s title, the modern mythocracy, came to me when reading the book. The introduction posits that pundits are modern day mythmakers. It coins the term punditocracy. I, for one, find that mythocracy rolls more easily off the tongue. Also, I’ve such a penchant for alliterative phrases… it sounds so great with modern. Anyway, the modern mythocracy seems like a theme for future weblog entries.

By the way, tune in tomorrow for my favorite alliterative phrase I’ve come up with.

The Reasonable Right

Just thought of that phrase, the “Reasonable Right”. Is it catchy? I like it. That’s one meme I’d like to spread. I knew there was a better phrase than the condescending “Raging RINOs – Republicans / Independents Not Overdosed (on the Party Kool Aid)”.

Hm… as if calling those who disagree with me unreasonable is not condescending. Well, at least it’s less snarky.

Oh, and one point I’d like to make. “Reasonable Right” is not meant to be a club name. It’s kind of a catch-all different people can use to refer to themselves when they think people they normally agree with are overreacting.

About Framing and the Democrats’ Woes

Lloyd told me about a piece of news he’d found out about via Sullivan, and then, I chanced upon this entry, which refers to this great piece, The Framing Wars.

In it, I found this to be quite funny:

“I can describe, and I’ve always been able to describe, what Republicans stand for in eight words, and the eight words are lower taxes, less government, strong defense and family values,” Dorgan, who runs the Democratic Policy Committee in the Senate, told me recently. “We Democrats, if you ask us about one piece of that, we can meander for 5 or 10 minutes in order to describe who we are and what we stand for. And frankly, it just doesn’t compete very well. I’m not talking about the policies. I’m talking about the language.”

Maybe there’s something wrong besides language, perhaps.

Well, the author of the article sums it up better than I ever could, in the concluding paragraph:

“What all these middling generalities suggest, perhaps, is that Democrats are still unwilling to put their more concrete convictions about the country into words, either because they don’t know what those convictions are or because they lack confidence in the notion that voters can be persuaded to embrace them. Either way, this is where the power of language meets its outer limit. The right words can frame an argument, but they will never stand in its place.”

Job 42.3-42.6

“… Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”


Manufactured Harry Potter Outrage

I heard on some news radio program a debate, if one could call it that, between some idiot who thinks that Harry Potter is preparing kids for the End of Times or whatever, and a normal person (I am calling him this because I don’t remember at all who he was). I have to say, the idiot should not have been given air time, and the normal person should not have wasted his breath. I wonder if the idiot actually believes what he’s saying? Even if he does, you know everyone in the news media knows that normal people don’t take them seriously. It’s a manufactured non-debate to promote Harry Potter because we’ve got no other newsworthy items (apparently, 7/7 is already stale).

As for what I think about the relationship between Harry Potter and Satanism: If you even acknowledge that there is a “debate,” the idiot has won.

Life is not a gift Post-it

I write down little snippet thingies that come to my mind on Post-Its. Often, it doesn’t even reflect my belief. It just sounds interesting, so I write it down. Here’s something I wrote yesterday:

“They say life is a gift, a blessing, but it is a curse, and you best treat it as such.”

The Situation Advertisements

I heard an advertisement for The Situation with Tucker Carlson on the radio. It featured a guy with “News ADD.” As if the common man should be afflicted by this! As if this is something to be proud of?! Oh woe, what has our society come to? Can the news only be digested in 10 second segments? Does it become stale before you can finish uttering the headline? Has no one the attention span to care?

Nay, if you actually know something, you’re boring. The American people want conflict/drama — bold declarations, not debate. You can’t afford to be convinced of anything in this country anymore. If you aren’t perfectly right from the beginning, you’re a flip flopper, you’re a horrible person with no convictions, no morals, no backbone. The Americans value the truth. They just won’t pay/vote for it.

Well, fuck your societal pseudo-disease.

The Yellow Light Conspiracy

I’m the last person to be a conspiracy-mongerer. Well, unless you count my sarcastic conspiracies, but this one is far from sarcastic, I tell you.

On all lights where they put cameras, they decrease the time of the yellow light. They put a camera up, and make the yellow light shorter, so the city can make more money. It’s true! I’m sure of it! Don’t even bother trying to run the yellow light. You won’t make it.

And so, the camera intersections are more dangerous because of this.

That leaves two things to do. One: Get the crash statistics on intersections with cameras versus intersections without cameras. Two: Time the yellow lights. I wonder if there’s a law about how long they’re supposed to be. If they aren’t as long as they’re supposed to be, can the city be sued?

Queer Eye Gimmicks

I meant to write this long ago and forgot about it during vacation:

Can anyone tell me what’s up with the latest episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Boston Red Sox. Quintuplets. Why does each show need a gimmick? You’ve already got a gimmick: Five queer guys giving fashion advice to a straight guy. The show’s good enough as it is. It doesn’t need additional gimmicks to keep it fresh.

back on the weblogging track, perhaps

My goodness! Last time I went on vacation to Las Vegas, I had a gigantic comment spam problem. I couldn’t do anything about it except turn off commenting. I had to wait until I got back to install the new version of Movable Type.

Well, this time, it works the first day I’m on vacation, and then my weblog goes kaboom. For some reason, it’s saying nothing is configured for this website. I play around, find out the files are all still there. The weblog is still there when I access it as a subdomain, but everything after June 6 is deleted. Interesting, that was the time I made my server change. But why did it wait until now to stop working?

I wanted to delete the domain and then do the add-on thing again, but I decided to postpone it until after vacation because I was afraid I’d lose all my e-mails.

When I get back, I do that. For some reason, all the files and e-mails are all intact, as if nothing had ever happened. Of course, my problem still exists, as if I had done nothing.

So, I’m disgusted. I wake up the next morning, and somehow, everything is magically fixed. And by everything, I mean the address is working and all the entries after June 6 are still missing.

Luckily, I’m an intelligent bastard. When I first found out my website wasn’t working, I went to Google and found the June archives and old index cached. I copied all my entries.

I start copying them in, and I’m about 5-6 entries in, when I get an Internal 500 whatever error. If any of you are using Movable Type, you may notice a little news update on that. It has something to do with an error or something in cPanel, which my webhost has provided for me.

I was going to send an e-mail to my webhost, but I figured it’d be too much work, and I really wanted to play Black and White, which I’d just recently rediscovered.

After I made it to the fourth island, which is really the first one again, I decided to try this weblog thing again. (That’s a lie. First, I finished Book 7 of The Brothers Karamazov.) Maybe it would magically fix itself.

Lo and behold, all the entries that were lost, I’ve now inputed. And now, this entry explaining all that has occured. I did lose one comment, however.

Yet, the little news headline said the 500 error problem was intermittent. Maybe it’ll attack again. I’ll send an e-mail to my webhost tomorrow.

For now, I’m back on the weblogging track, perhaps.