nancylebov: (green leaves)
This was on facebook. I'm reposting it here because I definitely want to be able to find it again, and also because I think I should be doing more on DW/LJ.

*****

Al Lock posted in response to my question:

Nancy Lebovitz "I've asked elsewhere about whether presidents with military experience make better military decisions, and never gotten an answer."

I'll give you an answer from a historian's point of view (not everyone may agree with me, but still...).

George Washington had more military experience than the 4 Presidents who followed him combined... and yet, only he had to deploy military forces to deal with rebellion.

Ulysses S. Grant arguably made some of the worst military decisions in US history in how he dealt with the Sioux. He was very, very experienced in military matters, but I'd say that pretty much all the Presidents who followed him made better military decisions regarding the various tribes.

Dwight Eisenhower was probably the most educated and experienced General to ever reside in the White House. He is also responsible for the massive increase in the various intelligence agencies and their activities worldwide.

JFK had military experience - combat - and took us to the brink of nuclear war, as well as getting us into Vietnam.

LBJ had very limited military experience (the story about his Silver Star is enlightening) - made horrible decisions throughout Vietnam.

Jimmy Carter was a Navy Commander. Submariner. Worst CinC in my service era.

Ronald Reagan made movies while he was in the military. Important stuff, but not really combat or even overseas duty. Best CinC in my service era.

GWH Bush was a naval aviator. Shot down at the Battle of Midway. Honestly? Middle of the road.

Bill Clinton had no experience and made some absolutely horrible decisions early - but he did learn from them.

Being President is its own skill set. I don't think military service has as much to do with being good or bad (even as related to military decisions) as the right mindset to challenge assumptions and make smart, balanced decisions.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
The usual discussion of stigma against fat people is about what it costs them, and that's reasonable because it costs them a lot.

However, there's another side-- what stigma against fat people costs everyone. I've read a lot from women who put off their ambitions for both work and love until they lose weight, which may never happen. It wouldn't surprise me if the same pattern (starting at higher fat %s) occurs for men, it's just that I haven't heard about it.

How much accomplishment and love haven't happened because of people who don't try until they think their bodies would be approved of? And they aren't hallucinating the prejudice-- how many fat people get turned down just because they're fat?

So, to Trump, because everything seems to get related to Trump. Unless I'm missing something, Republicans are more willing to accept fat candidates than Democrats are. Is it possible that Democrats are throwing away more talent than they can afford to? (I'm not extremely sure of the premise here-- let me know about if there are fat Democratic politicians which would contradict my theory.)
nancylebov: (green leaves)
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8


Animal Farm was

View Answers

anti-communist
2 (25.0%)

anti-capitalist
0 (0.0%)

Both
6 (75.0%)

other (explain in comments)
0 (0.0%)

I just want to see the results
0 (0.0%)



Any thoughts about what, if anything, Animal Farm proves about fiction with a very high proportion of message?

This poll has also been posted to my livejournal.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
Overview of searches, imprisonment, and electronic equipment seizures at the borders, which seem to be targeted at people who aren't keeping their heads down enough-- a student of Islamic studies, a programmer associated with defending Bradley Manning, a woman who's made a film about anti-US insurgents in Iraq and another about radicals in Yemen. Admittedly, sometimes apparently random people get harassed, too.

"Courts have long held that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches do not apply at the border" -- I had no idea this was doctrine, but I suppose it explains a lot of what's going on.

An editorial about the above: Laptop seizures have a chilling effect

A number of cities are installing audio surveillance on buses. Are you feeling safer now?

"Cities that have installed the systems or have taken steps to procure them include San Francisco, California; Eugene, Oregon; Traverse City, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore Maryland; Hartford, Connecticut; and Athens, Georgia."
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
As bad things go, what Foley did was only fair-to-middling bad. As a result of it, political careers will be ended and elections will probably be affected. There might be criminal charges.

At the same time, the US government has been torturing people, sometimes to death. It's quite plausible that this is still going on, what with all those prisoners being held in secret. A law has been passed making it legal to hold prisoners indefinitely in secret. This has not had nearly as much political effect as the Foley scandal, and the legitimizing of torture doesn't seem to be a big issue in the upcoming election.

I begin to suspect that I am surrounded by crazy people.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
As bad things go, what Foley did was only fair-to-middling bad. As a result of it, political careers will be ended and elections will probably be affected. There might be criminal charges.

At the same time, the US government has been torturing people, sometimes to death. It's quite plausible that this is still going on, what with all those prisoners being held in secret. A law has been passed making it legal to hold prisoners indefinitely in secret. This has not had nearly as much political effect as the Foley scandal, and the legitimizing of torture doesn't seem to be a big issue in the upcoming election.

I begin to suspect that I am surrounded by crazy people.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
Will security guards who think that Real ID is part of the bad guys' plan for the apocalypse be allowed to keep their jobs while not checking ID?
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
These are the Senators who might be convinced to vote to support the filibuster, and if yours is on the list I strongly recommend that you call and nag them to come down on the side of truth, virtue, and silly but useful political processes. If you think it was funny when a senator could filibuster by reading the phone book, now we have virtual filibusters--the mere threat of a filibuster can have its effect, and no one has to talk or listen for hours and hours.

The filibuster is an emergent property of the US Senate not having rules to limit the amount of time spent on debate, and it's valuable because it keeps majorities from completely over-ruling minorities. The particular issue is federal judges (with the Supreme Court likely to be an issue in the forseeable future), but even if you're fond of the current administration, you should consider the possibility that you might want some limits on any future administration you don't like as much.

Susan Collins (ME) - (202) 224-2523
Mike DeWine (OH) - (202) 224-2315
Judd Gregg (NH) - (202) 224-3324
Chuck Hagel (NE) - (202) 224-4224
Dick Lugar (IN) - (202) 224-4814
Lisa Murkowski (AK) - (202) 224-6665
Pat Roberts (KS) - (202) 224-4774
Gordon Smith (OR) - (202) 224-3753
Arlen Specter (PA) - (202) 224-4254
John Sununu (NH) - (202) 224-2841
John Warner (VA) - (202) 224-2023

ETA: It's been confirmed by a call to her office that Olympia Snowe (ME) - (202) 224-5344 has not confirmed her vote to continue the use of the filibuster. Please consider her to be added to the list of people to call.


I called Arlen Spector, and was only on hold for a few minutes.

Wikipedia--recommended, including a section on an inventive high-tech Canadian filibuster.

List of Senators.

This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--d'you think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ---Robert Bolt, _A Man for All Seasons_
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
I'm aware of the current filibuster situation in regards to judicial nominees, and the earlier history of filibusters to block civil rights, but what was happening with it in between?

Can anyone recommend some theoretical work about the function of the filibuster? Or is it simply a sort of informal supermajority requirement for matters where there's a strongly opposed minority?
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mouseworks sees a corelation between voting for Kerry and living near a commercial port.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
By Ed Reid in comments to Assymetrical Information, March 8 (trackback theoretically at http://64.235.242.204/~janeg/cgi-bin/MT/mt-yoohoo.cgi/4561 --the link doesn't seem to work:

I believe that, at a minimum, no legislator should be permitted to vote on any bill he or she has not read in its entirety. I would prefer that no legislator be permitted to vote on any bill before he or she has passed a test regarding the major elements of the bill, including both actual content and projected impact.

We could refer to this as the "No Legislator Left Behind" program. I suspect it would result, if successful, in the passage of many fewer bills, as well as in the simplification of the remaining bills so that the legislators could understand their contents. This would also make it easier for the rest of us, who end up being bound by the provisions of the resulting legislation, to understand the new rules under which we must function.

Scary thought, ain't it! Imagine, for example, the Tax Code written at the same degree of difficulty as the front page of the local newspaper. There used to be (may still be) a piece of software which would analyze the educational attainment level required to understand a section of text. I can only imagine the result it would provide if used to analyze randomly selected sections of the USC or CFR.


You might want to take a look at the article and comments, too--they're a multi-partisan attack on the recent bankruptcy bill.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
By Ed Reid in comments to Assymetrical Information, March 8 (trackback theoretically at http://64.235.242.204/~janeg/cgi-bin/MT/mt-yoohoo.cgi/4561 --the link doesn't seem to work:

I believe that, at a minimum, no legislator should be permitted to vote on any bill he or she has not read in its entirety. I would prefer that no legislator be permitted to vote on any bill before he or she has passed a test regarding the major elements of the bill, including both actual content and projected impact.

We could refer to this as the "No Legislator Left Behind" program. I suspect it would result, if successful, in the passage of many fewer bills, as well as in the simplification of the remaining bills so that the legislators could understand their contents. This would also make it easier for the rest of us, who end up being bound by the provisions of the resulting legislation, to understand the new rules under which we must function.

Scary thought, ain't it! Imagine, for example, the Tax Code written at the same degree of difficulty as the front page of the local newspaper. There used to be (may still be) a piece of software which would analyze the educational attainment level required to understand a section of text. I can only imagine the result it would provide if used to analyze randomly selected sections of the USC or CFR.


You might want to take a look at the article and comments, too--they're a multi-partisan attack on the recent bankruptcy bill.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
I've seen the theory a time or two that the Democrats could have won the 2004 election if they'd given up on gun control. However, I think everyone I've seen promoting that theory is against gun control anyway.

So, do those of you who are want gun control and who also would like the Democrats to win think that it could conceivably be worthwhile to give up on gun control, or is gun control a non-negotiable core issue?

On the other side, if Democrats said they were giving up on gun control, would pro-gun-ownership people believe them?
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
I've seen the theory a time or two that the Democrats could have won the 2004 election if they'd given up on gun control. However, I think everyone I've seen promoting that theory is against gun control anyway.

So, do those of you who are want gun control and who also would like the Democrats to win think that it could conceivably be worthwhile to give up on gun control, or is gun control a non-negotiable core issue?

On the other side, if Democrats said they were giving up on gun control, would pro-gun-ownership people believe them?

Two maps

Dec. 5th, 2004 07:53 am
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
A while ago, I asked for 2000 and 2004 purple county maps in the same format--behold the glory of the net: here they are--and not just side by side, but as an animated gif.

This probably isn't news for election junkies, but now I can see that the big red gains were Texas and about halfway north of it and Appalachian. I think the only area that got noticably bluer is the southwest.

Two maps

Dec. 5th, 2004 07:53 am
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
A while ago, I asked for 2000 and 2004 purple county maps in the same format--behold the glory of the net: here they are--and not just side by side, but as an animated gif.

This probably isn't news for election junkies, but now I can see that the big red gains were Texas and about halfway north of it and Appalachian. I think the only area that got noticably bluer is the southwest.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
From Unqualified Offerings:

I oppose both torture and high marginal tax rates. But that doesn't mean I abominate them both in the same degree. Forced to choose between a Party that favors torture and opposes high marginal tax rates, and a Party that opposes torture and favors high marginal tax rates, I'll take the latter, thank you.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
From Unqualified Offerings:

I oppose both torture and high marginal tax rates. But that doesn't mean I abominate them both in the same degree. Forced to choose between a Party that favors torture and opposes high marginal tax rates, and a Party that opposes torture and favors high marginal tax rates, I'll take the latter, thank you.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
Ok, this is a little more about the election.

The day before the election, someone from moveon.org showed up at my door and asked me whether I meant to vote. I can't remember whether she asked who I meant to vote for.

Then she asked me when I intended to vote and said when I did vote, I should check in with one of their volunteers at the site and if I hadn't voted by an hour later, they'd check in with me to see whether I was ok.

As I'm typing this, it does seem rather intrusive, but at the time it didn't bother me since I had a strong intention to vote.

Afterwards, I mentioned it to various people, and no one else had run into the same thing--do people think this is a sensible way of trying to get out the vote, or would it just tend to annoy marginal voters?
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
Ok, this is a little more about the election.

The day before the election, someone from moveon.org showed up at my door and asked me whether I meant to vote. I can't remember whether she asked who I meant to vote for.

Then she asked me when I intended to vote and said when I did vote, I should check in with one of their volunteers at the site and if I hadn't voted by an hour later, they'd check in with me to see whether I was ok.

As I'm typing this, it does seem rather intrusive, but at the time it didn't bother me since I had a strong intention to vote.

Afterwards, I mentioned it to various people, and no one else had run into the same thing--do people think this is a sensible way of trying to get out the vote, or would it just tend to annoy marginal voters?

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