Scripting News for 11/5/2006

My parents are trying to find an artist who did beautiful sculptures of people, in 2003, using nothing but soda cans, around Stillersee Lake near Zermatt. Can you help? 

Highly recommended: Why We Fight. A mostly Republican documentary that has a ring of truth. Begins with Eisenhower’s farewell address. I learned a new word from this movie: blowback. “The effect caused by recirculation into the source country of disinformation previously planted abroad by that country’s intelligence service in an effort to mislead the government of another country.” That might be a bit confusing. An example. Suppose the CIA does something nasty to another country, but it’s a secret, so we don’t know about it. Then the other country retalliates. We wonder why they hate us. The President explains, saying they’re evil. Sound familiar? 

Ooops, looks like the Republicans are up to their dirty tricks again. Losers! 

Todd Cochrane recommends using a powerline adapter to bridge LANs over electric circuits. I may try this approach, wifi is proving a very slow way to move files between computers in the house, even though it’s perfect for Internet access. 

Via email, Ralph Hempel recommends using a low power FM transmitter to play audio around the house from a desktop computer. For what it’s worth, the Airport Express method works fine from here.  

Scott Rosenberg: “The fact that Saddam Hussein’s verdict has emerged immediately preceding U.S. elections can be safely ascribed to Bush’s desperate need to show some results from the Iraq fiasco.” 

Betsy Devine has an amazing picture of a leaflet that Republicans are putting on the windshields of cars parked at Boston-area churches this, the last Sunday before we vote. “Stop the Democrats from weakening America,” they say. She’s encouraging others to take similar pictures and post them on the web. This is a really good idea.  


12 responses to this post.

  1. Another great and similar project: Boing Boing: Video the Vote The idea is to post this on youtube and then the world will know!


  2. Iran is a great example of blowback at work. American’s think the problem with Iran started because of the hostage crisis. Very few people know that the CIA helped depose their democratic government in the 50s in favor of a dictator that we kept propped up until they managed to drive out American influence as part of the Islamic Revolution in ’79.


  3. Posted by Bob Boynton on November 5, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    You should give up on the color printer and install wires to your computers. When you want to download podcasts and video blogs wifi is not going to be satisfactory — at least not for another generation or two.


  4. Dave – America needs your help in yet another way. Take a look at Josh Marshall’s posts [] about the Republican identity theft he’s calling “robo-calling” – spoofing the Democratic candidate’s campaign and allegedly making repeat calls to annoy voters in close districts, so the Repubs look good by comparison. They’re trying to steal the election again. Call them on it, and ask your readers to report any such calls they get.


  5. Posted by Chris Judson on November 5, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    Don’t you think it’s too easy of target (re: Republicans calling repeatedly)? Don’t get me wrong: I’m not happy with ’em either. But you have one report of this happening (probably from some over-eager Republican volunteers) and it’s not verified.
    _And_ when you hear about Democrats doing the same slippy stuff, will you call’em on it too?
    My beef here in Indiana (ah, a Red state) is that both parties are just a bit too eager without any meaningful dialogue (or unconferencing…wow, that’d be kinda cool).
    I’m not even asking for fairplay; I just thought you’d call ’em as you really see them.


  6. Chris, a couple of comments:

    1. The Democrats don’t do this kind of dirty BS.

    2. Eurther, ‘m with Andrew Sullivan, this isn’t an election, it’s more of an intervention, to save our country and the Constitution. We’re in deep trouble because we don’t have a working Congress, and we desperately need one, now. There’s no time to waste.


  7. Blowback has another, more general, yet related meaning – the unintended consequences of actions. It comes from WWI when one side would release poison gas at the other side, only to have it blow back on them when the wind shifted.

    Clhalmers Johnson, a rogue Brahmin if there ever was one, wrote a book about US foreign policy called “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire”


  8. Posted by Chris Judson on November 6, 2006 at 5:41 am

    Come on, Dave (I’m sure you’ve never heard that beginning before):

    I am a native Californian (grew up in Santa Rosa) and I have a good helping of social consciousness in me (actually spent some of my growing up years on the Russian River…well, in Monte Rio).

    And so, as I’ve been in Indiana for 20 years now, I’ve learned to view things in tension. As much as one party is painted a certain way, the other probably is doing the same thing (Note: it is interesting that the current media structure and attitude will not report much of the “dirty tricks” of the Democratic party…just making a generalization).

    To say that the Democratic party is the good party isn’t saying a whole lot. (Although, I am partial to Obama and I want to believe him…I really do _and_ I did find Falwell’s comment…well, anything he says…silly… such as “not going to discourage any evangelicals I know from voting” because “[w]e lived through Bill Clinton, and this situation with Foley is minuscule in comparison.”

    Now, if you are talking of the lesser evil, then “yes” to the Democratic party. I, along with others though, would like to vote _for_ a candidate not merely _against_ a party.


  9. Posted by Jake on November 6, 2006 at 7:31 am

    Because Democrats are good and Republicans are bad. They’re obviously opposites.


  10. Come on Chris (as you’ll see in a minute, you totally earned that)…

    I didn’t say the Democratic party is the good party, and I don’t believe it. I’ll be writing something about that in a few minutes on Scripting News.

    I find it’s a good idea before hitting Submit, to re-read my comments and try to pretend the person I’m responding to (if it is a response to someone) is reading it. Then I check my assumptions. Sometimes I screw up, we’re all human. But…

    There’s nothing more frustrating and time-wasting to have to spit out some words that someone put in your mouth, ones that you don’t even agree with. That’s what the Republicans do, and you just did it to me (not saying you’re a Republican, btw, what an insult that would be).

    I’ve been watching them long enough to believe that it’s a playbook. The Democrats are too earnest, but I think if they want to really win they’re going to have to learn to play dirty. But right now they don’t do it.

    And to be fair, some Republicans don’t, but there aren’t many of them.


  11. People often see the views of others as a personal insult. This is especially true if a real truth happens to be involved that the offended person harbors personal animosity towards. In fact, that’s why humanity is so war-like. Animosity ALWAYS serves the “bad” side of the individal ego — the side that likes to see itself as the center of it’s own little universe.

    I’ve observed that people who are trying to make a wrong into a right, for
    example those who try to justify abortion, have to warp their view of
    reality completely backwards, and end up seeing wrong as right and right as wrong. These are often the people who despise George Bush. There were once German citizens who did precisely the same thing, justifying the eradication of Jews as a morally-acceptable thing to do.

    The true purpose of a debate is to arrive at the truth, not to see who can shout talking points and personal insults the loudest.

    I think the Democrats in Congress are going to have a feeding frenzy dragging Bush and everyone associated with him through the mud once they assume control of Congress in January. This is likely to have unpredictable repercussions. For example, the terrorists will be emboldened since their allies in this country will have assumed power. We will end up with additional terrorist attacks on our own soil. Another unpredictable repercussion is that the far political right will start to come to life the way it did when Clinton was President, only worse.

    From an economic standpoint, the American economy is at it’s pinnacle. It’s all downhill from here. Enjoy it while it’s this good because it will likely never be this good ever again.


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