Friday, August 23, 2013

Quote of the week

“I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey changey stuff,’ she was right; there was nothing there. And it was understood by the people who run the political system, and so it’s no great secret that the US electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza… it’s sort of a marketing affair.” — Noam Chomsky

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quote of the week

"Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid." Bono

Monday, August 12, 2013

Some rules of life

Reality is negotiable. Dogma isn’t.

Never underestimate the power of doublethink.

The meta-rule: The rules are written, interpreted, and enforced in such a way that whatever you do or say is wrong.

The rule of political and economic terms: Any political or economic term has one of only two possible meanings, which are “whatever I like” and “whatever I don’t like.”

The first rule of religion: The Word of God, when correctly interpreted, always agrees with whatever the person interpreting it wanted to believe anyway.

Corollary to the first rule of religion: All of those thou-shalt-nots are for other people.

The second rule of religion: Believers are saved by the blood of Jesus, or their deity of choice, from ever having the burden of proof.

The third rule of religion: When someone asks rhetorically, “Doesn’t the Bible say…?”, the answer is almost always no.

Queen Carlotta’s Law: In certain belief systems, Queen Carlotta has proclaimed every day as backwards day.

Corollary to Poe’s Law: Some belief systems are so far removed from reality that no matter how carefully you represent what they actually teach, someone will accuse you of setting up a straw man.

Corollary to Godwin’s Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving slavery approaches 1.

There will never be Peak Derp. Nor will there ever be Peak Lie

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What went wrong at The Washington Post

Now that Jeff Bezos is to buy The Washington Post, people are talking about the failure of The Post's business model, from content delivery to left-wing bias on its opinion pages to right-wing bias on its opinion pages to parochialism. I believe that such criticisms miss the point.

When I read or watch news reporting, I want the confidence that I have learned enough about the subject to form an informed opinion. I often do not get that confidence from The Washington Post because too often, either bias or sloppiness becomes evident. When an article is an opinion column thinly disguised as news reporting, when it gives undue weight to one side or just shills for one side, when it presents questionable assumptions as unquestionable truths, or when it simply contains obvious errors of fact, I look elsewhere for information. I am less concerned with bias on the opinion pages, which are, after all, opinion pages.

Name that teabagger.

Which right-winger said the following?
I believe that our housing system should operate where there’s a limited government role, and private lending should be the backbone of the housing market.
Only a Randroid teathuglican would use "limited government" and "private" as anything other than swear words, right? Actually, some forms of nanny-statism are losing even Obama's support. The fundamentalists of big government are screaming that he has betrayed them.