Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is Paranoia A Job Requirement? A news fugue.

Apparently, Vice President Dick Cheney is wigging out. That's a technical term.... I don't agree with the portrayal of the President as stupid or puppet-like, though: I think that's tactically unsound (leads to underestimation and also makes it hard to bring around fence-sitters) as well as unlikely to be true (I think, if we ever get a look at the inner workings of this administration, we're going to find him very engaged, very much a willing participant in the process, if a bit isolated from reality). That said, I don't think, when all is said and done, we're going to be looking back fondly on anyone in this administration.

Speaking of wigging out, Iowa's Congressional Delegation could use a little "time-out".... Given the prevalence of immigrants, including illegal ones, in agriculture and meatpacking, you'd expect a little more balance....

Speaking of balance, I was thinking about looking at a certain "Centrist" project closely, but then I ran into the line "Without both the yin and the yang, there is no middle." [sound of teeth grinding] How to begin? Well, let's start with the mundane observation that, in a yin-yang system, there are times when there is only one or the other, and there is no particular virtue to the middle, which is really just a stopping point in the cycle moving from one extreme to another. I Ching is not a useful guide to modern political values. Politics is not a natural process: it is a social process in which we participate actively. Let's move on. (No, not that MoveOn: I finally removed myself from their mailing list entirely when they offered prizes for signature gatherers on an online petition.... ugh.)

Pop Quiz: You're retiring from government. Some people take home office supplies, sure. But what would you do, after retirement, with 30,500 government buckets?

Pop Quiz: Under what circumstances would you consider attacking schoolchildren guarded by soldiers of your own army?

Finally, High standards produce good results: ergonomics and sensory adaptation research for military and disability purposes. It might be worth noting that the military has a long-term interest in certain kinds of adaptations and disabilities, which are present in many veterans, so there's even less of a disjunction there than you think. In other disability news, Google has added audio verification to Blogger comments and blog creation (so I can take that petition off the sidebar! Yay!), and there's rumors that Apple is working on audio-tagging for music/sound files which would make iPods considerably more blind-friendly (also safer to use while doing something visual, like driving or walking).

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