Kill/Build, the Metaphor - Clouds 'R Us

    Another metaphor for the Romney candidacy popped up: cookies.

    So we have dogs and cookies and basketball and working mothers and polygamy colony and what? (had another better one to add to list, but sick brain dumped it) - oh yes, it was the little Tommy Friedman 7 years old "broken metro elevator, no cell phone signal" metaphor - "3rd party daddy-warbucks-state".

    How about in the age of cloud computing, we use more engaging metaphor:

    "We are Everywhere"

    "The Drones are Coming": The Pentagon has 19,000 drones worldwide - in Pakistan, Yemen, and coming to the US, while the CIA turns into an operational paramilitary organization. Watcher of the Skies indeed.

    "Data Mining": The NSA has all your communication coming and going - Twitter, Facebook, email, Google searches - along with warrantless border confiscations. and if they don't have what they want, a little warrant to get your IP records is easily obtained. (no crime required, we're just keeping you safe)

    "Memory Tube": The Obama administration is stonewalling investigation into torture - these are not the memos you were looking for. I-ay ave-Hay a outh-May ut-Bay I-ay an't-Cay eam-Scray.

    So as a game for our fuzzy cloudy memories, let's fill in those issues we've forgotten - the important ones, like who ate Rover, and the unimportant ones, like what happened to job stimulus during a recession or who's cutting the legs out from Medicare.

    Winner gets an all expenses paid trip to Palookaville. (or local 7-11, whichever cheaper)

    (please label all entries as serious/non-serious/undecided)

    (extended metaphor remembered - see blue above -though I thought non-surveillance-state issues would make the list, seems we've gotten side-tracked.

    Medicare reform anyone?)


    Cool. Has any candidate been asked about these a single time?

    Ron Paul 2012, because he only pretends to be a member of the Party of George W. Bush.

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee: 'Take to streets' over web plans

    World wide web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said it will be necessary to protest "in the streets" against plans to increase internet monitoring.

    Sir Tim told the BBC he was worried there would not be "much control" of the way information was used.

    The government has not published its full proposals but says they simply extend existing rules to cover internet phone services and social media.

    But Sir Tim said the plans were a "slippery slope".

    The Home Office says the proposals are aimed at tackling crime and terrorism and they are expected to be outlined in full in the Queen's Speech in May.

    It is thought that the plan is for internet firms to record details of internet use and be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ "real-time" access to emails, calls and messages.

    I remember an baseball game announcer once commenting as they watched a hitter jog toward first base after hitting into a ground ball out to the infield, that the thing that infuriates managers the most was when hitters don't hustle every time.  One doesn't know when the infielder will uncharacteristically juggle the ball and had the runner been hustling down the baseline, would have been able to beat the throw to first.  The point being that one cannot turn hustle on and off when one needs to.  So one hustles every play, even when 99 out of 100 times, one still gets throw out at first, because there is that 100th time when one gets on base, and that might be the difference between a win and a loss.

    The world of intelligence gathering tends to follow the same dynamic.  One doesn't get to just interrogate only people who deserves to be interrogated and who will yield results.  One doesn't get to just tap those phones one knows ahead of time will provide evidence. 

    This is driven in part because those who deserve to have law enforcement come down on them tend to have this little quirk of trying to avoid getting caught.  They goal is to appear like they are among the innocent.  So sometimes one has to inquire into the going ons of the innocent in order to find the not-so-innocent.

    There is of course the issue that some people are engaged in legal activities and are being harassed by forces within the government because they are, as the saying goes, speaking truth to power.  But that is just part of the story, not the entire story.  Which is what some want to make it. Like trying to make it seem like some grand evil that the occupy movement was being kept under surveillance.  Back to the dynamics of the game, it doesn't matter if 99% of the occupiers were peaceful - it is those 1% that need to be rooted out*.  Just as in the case of the 1% who would bomb abortion clinics or shoot abortion doctors.  Or blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

    (*and it never ceases to amaze me that people who decide to wear masking representing an individual who utilized bombing buildings as a means of protest are surprised that they are going be put surveillance by the government.)

    Of course there are going to be jerks and worse within the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  There has been abuse of power.  And then some.  But as another saying goes, one shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Now if one just want to shut the federal government altogether, then there is that.  But if one is going to accept there is some kind of federal government, then there is going to be the need for an intelligence agency of some sort.  And if it is going to be effective, it is going to have to at times and in certain circumstances disregard the privacy of individuals, some of which may end up being innocent of any wrongdoing.

    The question becomes just where is the line drawn.  Just as the police can conduct a search and seizure, just not an illegal search and seizure, and just what constitutes an illegal one is still be debated, and will continue to be debated as long as the Republic continues.

    And everybody draws the line a little different.  And rightly or wrongly, most of the public tend to disregard the grand principles and stick to the particulars, hence the outrage over what seems to be an obvious killer or molester going free because of a "technicality." Moreover, a good portion of the public put a large value on what one may call law and order perspective.

    One hears often about how people were sooo upset when Bush did this, but keep quiet now that it is Obama.  But the reality was that most people didn't get too bent out of shape when Bush did it either.  As the blogger Kevin Gosztola points out himself, Obama "voted for this immunity [for the telecommunication companies] in the FAA in 2008, when he was running for president."  And it didn't do him much harm at all.  I would posit that for many of those who would say if asked the immunity shouldn't be given to them, didn't lose any sleep over the issue or when the immunity was given.

    Gallup did a nice review of the polls in 2006 inquiring into whether people approved of Bush's wiretapping practices after 9/11. 

    The data suggest four conclusions:

    • Although it is impossible to determine the precise effect of different question wording on the measurement of public opinion about wiretapping, it appears polls that reference "the National Security Agency" or "the government" may elicit a higher positive response than those that reference the Bush administration by name.
    • Regardless of wording, the preponderance of the most recent polling evidence on wiretapping shows at least a plurality, if not a small majority, of Americans favor or approve of the program.
    • Regardless of wording, it appears that attitudes on this issue are fairly well-grounded, with variation in the percentage approving of wiretapping varying across a range of less than 10 percentage points.
    • All of this suggests that if the wiretapping program were put to a national referendum, it would be close, that the results might well depend on just how the issue was phrased and framed in the referendum wording, but with the probability that it would be a positive vote.

    Given that Bush's own approval ratings were much lower than this, there were a chunk of people who disapproved of Bush but were approving  of his wiretapping.

    So maybe if one is looking for a winning metaphor, one is going to have to look elsewhere than expressing outrage over the surveillance state.  There are just too many people who think that Poitras being detained over 40 times is just the price - the hustle of the intelligence biz - we have to pay to keep us all safe - besides they would say, she hasn't been "disappeared."  She is out there giving interviews and still making her films. 

    You know, I've heard people argue before that it's worth putting one innocent man in jail if means that nine guilty ones don't go free, on an implied (and unproven) axiom that the justice system gets it wrong abut 10% of the time. However, this is the first time that I think I've seen someone argue that it's worth targeting 99 innocent people if it means that one guilty person isn't missed!

    Maybe you might want to rethink that one?

    Or maybe this is just Beckett-style satire…

    In case it's not, I leave you with this quote (reputedly) from Ben Franklin: "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both"

    Our security services could play Johnny Hustle to catch bad guys, rather than Larry Lazy and just dragnet the whole society looking for something.

    Or worse - they set up punks with informers, trying to get them to say something, anything - and then bust them and act like they've saved the Western World.

    It used to be "better 10 guilty go free than 1 innocent is locked up". Now we don't care.

    Your whole comment sounds little different from Chinese justifications - just keeping society safe for the masses.

    Maybe Poitras is out there making her films, but others aren't. Not everyone will go to the ACLU for help doing their job, not everyone has no money or family worries to let them ignore government harassment.

    But I agree - most people don't care - they'd rather talk Mitt Romney's dog than how the Democratic president is backing unlimited full cavity searches for detentions.

    Because when I wake up sore, spread-legged and hog-tied, it'll make all the difference to find a thank you note and a mint on my pillow.

    Guess that's a metaphor - the "Minty Society" - fetid corpse but fresh breath.

    And in another fully-American metaphor: "Going Fishing": Obama's top counterterrorism officer praises Sanford, FL New York City police for their valiant efforts in profiling blacks wearing hoodies Arabs being Arabs to cut down on brown people coming from 7-11 brown people going to buy kebabs suspicious congregation of the dark elements of society, thwarting potential acts of vandalism terrorism to which they failed to investigate fully failed to actually spot despite help from Imams succeeded valiantly despite all the outrage. Americans sleep with the fishes safer tonight.

    Waiting for the "We Are Omar" protests and t-shirts.

    While you are waiting for that, let me interest you in the "not a towelhead..."T shirt line.

    Remember the sikh who got shot just after 9/11--he needed the "not a towelhead, Sikh from Punjab"

    And the brazilian guy that got gunned down by the brits?  He needed "not a towelhead,  guy from Brazil"

    I myself have been roughed up at the airport and need the "not a towelhead, jew from Brooklyn" version.

    As far as "I am Omar..." no thanks.

    Like the song says, "You got your troubles (Omar,) I've got mine"

    The less towelhead profiling, the less collateral damage.

    Or even as Atheist implies, those Jews from Brooklyn might be up to no good as well - gotta run 'em all through the wringer. Take all youse guys downtown and sort it out there.

    Well it is plain dispiriting when our local bigots betray their profound ignorance by turning their homicidal racist rage on some poor bastard with a turban, conflating any old cloth, as it were.


    Indeed, putting at risk those with merely a modest kippa--a napkin, a towel, it's all the same..

    Hmmm... you think sanitary napkins might be next? The War against Women (tm) continues unabated.

    Nothing so deep-I just like the idea of jews being tiny towelheads.  A cloth is merely symbolic, and Yahweh can't stand the sight of human hair.


    Drives him to spitting and smiting.

    Shit, I can't throw out a simple comment without running into one of your past posts.

    You got something on trepanation or Lyme's Disease?

    I can go on at bitter length about Lyme disease--it made my 4 year jolt in Connecticut extra special primo shitty, cause I couldn't even go out into my own hay field.

    The good news, never got it.


    Thanks, Trope. I needed that.

    Dude comes on and justifies every action by every tyrannical state, ever. Because there's always some "bad guy" out there whose capture and death can justify intrusive/disgusting/violent actions against the innocent.

    "The CIA: Charlie Hustling Our Way to Peace & Safety"

    Bad country, Bad Lieutenant: Harvey Keitel for President

    "Memories light the corners of my mind..." These are the people safeguarding our freedoms. People just like you and me. Looking out for our best interests.

    "Memories may be beautiful and yet

    what's too painful to remember

    we simply choose to forget."

    When you got a problem, you call the wolf...

    Well, this may be the Year of the Pussy

    - from contraception to Colombian prostitutes to Thomas Friedman, pussy trumps any other topic - drones, unemployment, illegal mortgage foreclosures...

    Now that Santorum's out, wonder if the Game-On Girls wish they had saved it for marriage - or at least a real contender.

    So if you're thinkin' bout it, don't drop trou too quick - unless it's the Taliban (skip to 1:26 for the fun part)

    Of course sex screening for the secret service will rise in importance - while not abstinence yet, certainly near-monogamous attitudes will be promoted first - no more "checking out" female candidates (query: will the commander-in-chief codpiece be affected?)

    And don't forget to give us those Facebook passwords - loose uh "lips" sink ships.


    PS - the Alyona Show is getting pretty hard hitting, as well as RT in general

    Don't know bout no loose "lips", but they're putting everyone on the box.

    It's funny how the same government that fights tooth and nail to keep exculpatory polygraphs out of the jury's sight relies upon them and their reliability whenever disambiguation is required...

    Let me get this straight:

    It isn't okay to take John Derbyshire to task for his overt racism, it isn't okay to write a blog about how the cops treated my son, the white kid much better than they did Treyvon Martin, and of course how great the Albertson's shop keeper are,  it isn't okay to write about the war on women, because according to you there isn't one,  but you, the Bob Somerby acolyte, whose criticism is needed everywhere, in order that the people you don't like should know what are appropriate and inappropriate topics of which to blog,  but you feel perfectly good writing about The Year of the Pussy.

    This is why criticism from you is always taken as a medal of honor.



    1) Derbyshire - did I even comment? do I even care? have to remind me. Oh nevermind, looked it up myself - white men as "Klan crackers" - hardehar har. 

    [note: Derbyshire is a Brit. how about insult British culture for producing such Neanderthals?]

    2) kid running out of store / problem of shoplifting costs in US - think you mentioned you told kid he was a bonehead, case solved. Think I said cop was a bonehead - hey, we got a twofer.

    3) war on women? of course there is - every day since creation - I objected? oops, I had the audacity to question whether 20 weeks was long enough to decide whether to abort or not. though you didn't answer - is birth-1 day okay? birth + a few weeks? hate to hold back women's choice.

    [someone answered after me, "If a woman gave birth and chose to let her newborn die, I wouldn't stop her, nor would I want her prosecuted." - well, shut my mouth. Guess I been told, Klan cracker that I am]

    4) Somerby? typically on media & Al Gore/Clinton issues only, only occasionally education

    5) Year of the Pussy - grownup satire - in a year of slut-shaming, where we've moved from abortion to even sex being a burden on society, where Hillary even dancing is considered outrageous, unlike her predecessors Bush & Powell acting up YMCA & what not- while her supposed protection is hooking up with the local pros (if it weren't for the cheap-asses and a $45 tab, we'd never know) - and Republicans belatedly discovering that (white) women bearing & rearing children was work. And then I thought I'd throw in Friedman's whining for humor's sake.

    If this is over the line, I'm happy to return to the Year of the Vagina, though punchline doesn't quite work with Tommy. Newt's request for an "open marriage", sure.

    [I predict now that a gay man will make it to the White House before a woman will]

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party.

    Yeah you were! I saw ya there.

    Hell I nominated you as treasurer.

    And then you said:


    IPODS had not been invented yet.

    But I have a good memory comrade!

    And he used to sing with the Communards, too:

    Why is this so funny?

    I cannot stop laughing!

    And I have not had one drop of ecstasy. hahahahah

    (an out) gay man will make it to the White House

    ​There, fixed it for you...

    How quickly we forget...don't you wanna whine a little about the knuckle dragger thingee?

    As you're the one with the stellar memory, I'll let you moan for me. Thanks. Good chardonnay, BTW.

    Nothing like a fine whine...I am, however, remarkably unsympathetic to the hurt fi-fi's of my compatriot ephemeraistas.

    Thus I am the wrong person to whom to delegate your mooning moaning.


    You can just lay there and sweat a little bit - I'm pretty unparticular that way.

    Mexican polygamy colonies - sounds almost like a medical condition. Of course someone could have noticed that Romney's grandparents weren't polygamists - that it had been banned by then - but that would be tuff worʞ.

    Yes, its' a vewwy sexually silly election cycle. With no sense of irony, Newt proclaims "marriage between a man and a woman is under attack". Which also strikes me odd - have you heard anyone suggesting a law against a man and a woman getting married? Has anyone been shamed for tying the knot? Or is this the War Against Christmas variety, where if you don't blurt out "Jesus Jesus Jesus" continuously during holiday Christmas season like some fevered monk catching up after a day off, you're waging war against the hammered dude himself.

    Personally, I'm attracted to the idea - I've started calling "marriage" a "work program for women", and I thank the Republicans for giving me the inspiration - I'm sure this will catch on like "domestic engineer". "Arbeit Macht Fries", y'all? And welfare is now "sub-minimum wage pay for our offspring-managing undersociety" - everyone's a winner, the GOP gets a blow against minimum wage, mothers get their slaving-over-a-hot-stove stipend, and Junior gets a degree of legitimacy.

    And perhaps we can stop looking at polygamy as a negative in any case - think of it in context of an efficient team-building job training exercise - would we complain that there are too many women in the workplace? So why at home?

    I can't wait to see the party platforms this year. Who needs Stephen Colbert when the scripts keep writing themselves?


    I'm not sure how serious you're being on the polygamy issue, but if you are being serious (and I think you are), then I'm in agreement. As long as we're not talking about child brides being pressured into it, what happens between a man and a woman and a woman (or a woman and a man and a man) is not the government's business.

    Well, at some point we define benefits and contracts - so it is someone's business. If I have 4 wives Muslim style, will my job-provided insurance cover all 5 of us plus offspring plus various grandmothers/grandpas?

    But in terms of "war on marriage", well, everything I know I learned from "Love American Style", being a child of the 60s/70s.

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