Friday, August 31, 2012

New mainstream media stylebook definition of "a lie": a Republican national candidate accurately and precisely describing an embarrassing fact or narrative of events which casts a Democratic national candidate in a negative light.

Also, based on the report on the radio on the drive in this morning?  "independent fact-checkers" should now be taken to read "captive re-tweeters of in-house Democratic campaign talking points".  It's very strange - the convention coverage on NPR in the evening isn't especially over-the-top aside from E.J. Dionne - but the morning news is pure Mouth of Sauron, Democratic party propaganda plain and simple.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I went to the Romney victory centre in State College this evening, to make a few calls and watch the convention on their C-Span link.  The calls didn't go so great - they're still knocking the bugs out of the hookup for the phone survey system, and I'm just terrible at the scripted phone calling system.  I'm just not a salesman, and I'm  not good at scripts.  More interestingly, there was a journalism professor who thought it meet to send her students into the victory centre to pester the volunteers on convention week & find the less well-coached, well-prepared volunteers in order to harass them into silly arguments.

After the phone system crashed in early-days bug teething - typical for this time of year - I heard the professor baiting the least-prepared and most-voluble volunteer into all sorts of silly statements.  He's young, and unprepared, and pugnacious, and silly as all hell.  So I intervened.  I made the argument for limited government, Hayekian or even Burkean limitations upon government policy swagger, and quoted A Man for All Seasons, which the professora either had never heard of, or was willing to let me go toddling over the edge of the precipice.  Admittedly, I let myself riff randomly on my old, personal theory about Obama being a physical and moral coward, but towards the end, I managed to touch on the idea that the democrats are too fond of absolutist abuse of "Imperial Presidency" renunciation of small-R republican checks and balances, talking about the Obama administration abuse of executive orders in re: the workfare cancellation and the DREAM Act enactment via executive order.  Since I had a copy of Remini's third volume of his long-ass Andrew Jackson biography, I talked about his tendency towards direct-democracy pretensions and how that turned into a species of tyranny despite his claims to constitutionality and adherence to classic Jeffersonian limited-government constitutional piety.

I \dunno if I changed any minds there.  Most of her students had already left by that point, the only one listening was the young girl who had interviewed me earlier, whom I hadn't given really any thing of value.  The hard-shell ideologue who had baited the youngblood fool into jabbering about gay marriage and birth out of wedlock seems to have left long before I started debating her professor.  Which is a shame, because these were all journalism students, except for the professor, and really, somebody should have burned into their psyche the understanding that baiting some random young fool into a response you were looking for is in no way a valid goal for honest, objective journalists.  The idea is to bring forth the basic ideas of the organization under investigation, not to torment the young and foolish until they provide a hook for  your partisan distortion of what you think they're about.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

We defy augury; there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come:  the readiness is all.

That damnable neurological experiment showing a gap between impulse and decision which was used to suggest that conscious will was an illusion, an artifact of will rather than the thing itself - another group has come forward with further experimentation and evidence suggesting that the predestinates were mistaking a sort of wilful carrying wave of varying intensity for the act of choice itself.  That further suggests what laymen have long known - certain people have a property of faster, more decisive action, and that quality of rapid, sharp decision is both dependent on state of mind, and an exhaustible resource, which after long periods of use, leaves an otherwise agile and forceful mind flacid and incapable of further emotional and mental effort.

Of course, I, wanting evidence of free will, am more likely to accept this presentation as it re-establishes a predicate which I find palatable.  But should I reject a finding because it squares with my prejudgment?