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Comments by Sully

On ““A” rarely if ever equals “A” only

And you should tell Colin to consider getting a job with Facebook as a web design consultant.


You really should make friends with Peter Shalen on Facebook. He has an amazingly wide ideological range of friends and almost all play relatively nicely in the sandbox almost all the time.


Just what you would say if you were a stalking horse, a sacrificial lamb, a duck decoy, a tethered goat or a frog fatale.

Gotta run now. The access time on this disposable cell phone card is about to run out.


I can't hang around here long enough to formulate complex responses, fuster. Since his two attempts to lower my resistance and convert me with Scholasticismic overload failed, MacLeod has formulated a plan to have me detained and reformed using a refinement of the Ludovico Technique.

You're the only one I can trust. I think. . .


The bartender, as it happens was not Irish; rather of Perfidious Albionese extraction.


I'm back, but only to share my latest; not that every single one of you deserve it.

A horse trots into a bar,
The Barman asks, “Why the long face?”

Greeting that horse,
The barman, of course,
Hardly a plodder,
Inquired re remorse,
Before serving up gorse,
His usual fodder.

The horse made reply,
Exceedingly wry,
“Why the long face?
I’ve been off the pace,
For many a race,
And thus out of grace.
I fear for my goal,
Of siring a foal.”

Later he said,
With a shake of his head,
“Plus there have been calls,
For changing my stall,
To one far down the hall.
And what even more galls,
Confounds and appalls,
I heard through the wall,
A sly joke about balls,
That didn’t seem funny at all.”

“Don’t worry your head,”
The kind barman said,
“Here, drink up instead,
Relax and kick back, have a ball,
I’ll see that your lead,
In good time to your stall,
By dawn when the vet comes to call."

On “There must be 50 ways to leave your blogger…

@ fuster:

But, if the library passes the Sodom and Gomorrah rule, which is also CK's rule, we'll be frustrated and left with cold hands and untoasted marshmallows because we can't burn it.


@ CK MacLeod:

it is entirely possible for a believer to affirm the holiness, perfection, beauty, instructiveness, etc., of the Koran and for that believer to mean nothing ill toward you or your family or your community or your belief system or your nation.

That is both beautifully constructed and at the same time both perfectly true and entirely meaningless to me in the context of whether I should fear him and consider him an enemy. The fact that it is obviously meaningful to you and relevent to whether you should fear him and consider him an enemy is what I meant by saying that we inhabit different logical universes.

When someone says "A" I take him at his word. When someone says "A" you look for a reason he may really mean "B".


@ CK MacLeod:

Actually, I subscribed to this thread specifically to give you a chance to respond directly if you wanted to.

As to the question at hand, I consider myself an Islamist-ophobe and I consider an Islamist to be anyone who believes that the Koran is the literal word of God. If that or its logical extensions are philosophical crimes in your understanding, I'm guilty as charged.


Just so you know Colin, I have returned several times to look around over the past 15 days because for a considerable time I genuinely liked you, and because I so much enjoyed this site, which is one of the best I've ever encountered on the net for discussion by a small to mid sized group.

The first time I returned was a few hours after I broke off discussion because you again went down a road you had travelled once before, namely making a patently false and insulting statement and then refusing to retract when called on it; instead covering yourself in a blizzard of sophistry. In the particular case you baldly asserted that I hold all Muslim lives to be worthless, the very worst sort of calumny.

When I returned that first time I was amazed to note that you seemed to believe I had left because offended by your use of "effin." Frankly that struck me as so close to flat out delusional that I discounted it. But then I read on through the following discussion you had with fuster re WW2. That discussion confirmed my belief that you've moved so far in the direction of angels on the head of a pin type quasi-logical nitpicking that it's impossible for me to imagine a discussion of anything significant on which we disagree that won't end in me purposely phrasing things in ways calculated to enrage you, and you getting frankly nasty when what you consider to be logic in your current state of mind fails to carry the day and cause me to bow down to your preternatural rhetorical powers and go on to worship at the shrine of your righteousness.

I returned again this evening out of nostalgia to look around, and I paged down to this post, which amazed me. But, as a further check I went back on the Wall and reviewed our entire last exchange, my discussion with fuster that preceeded it, and your discussion with fuster that followed it, feeling you deserved that consideration. I came again to the same conclusion.

There was no misunderstanding, and I didn't "storm" out. I simply recognized that we inhabit universes that have different laws of logic at this point in our lives.

On “Barbarism and its Discontents

@ fuster:

That's a very important fact. I already had you classified as a very exotic entity; but this puts you in a whole new light.

I shall certainly mention to people that I've encountered a lifelong New Yorker who has never eaten a Big Mac, nor a fast food hamburger or cheesburger I assume.


@ fuster

One nice thing about that research building, which also housed a lab specializing in the dispersal of aerosol agents, was its position at the end of campus near the McDonalds we shared with our redneck neighbors to the west and our pre-community organized neighbors to the south. The fact that a couple of Chicago cop cars were always, and I mean always, patrolling around that building, and more on warm evenings when one imagined hearing the boom of drums, the whetting of assegais and the duelling of banjos near the source of the all important Big Macs in those days when campus cafeterias were still primitive was very reassuring.


Doing anything with "nuclear fuel" except making a dirty bomb at the cost of a whole lot of nasty radiation casualties on one's own side, requires industrial effort on so large a scale as to be impossible to hide. And it's probable that even extracting and concentrating the "good stuff" to make a dirty bomb would be detectable by drones taking air samples near a crude industrial effort.

Already in our current world terrorists can steal mediocre stuff for making a dirty bomb from any number of hospitals and industrial operations that use isotopes. Or they can just take their conventional bomb to such a location and thus magnify its effect, at least psychologically. For instance, I'm sure it's gone now - at least I hope it's gone now; but IIT had a research reactor in a high floor of a research center back in the 1970s about five miles south of Chicago's Loop. Even then, before Chernobyl, I thought that insane.


An interesting and useful appearing review.

I find myself dazzled by the fact that the discussion went so quickly from the threat (or not) of nuclear winter, attendant as it would be to 3 or 4 billion deaths from the nuclear war and global economic disruption regardless of the climate issue, to the threat (or not) of Michael Vick's rehabilitation to public morals.

On “Howzbout we surge ourselves right on out of that Hellhole?

It seems to me that a slight tweak of the Start Treaty terms re permitted warhead disposal methodology would open the way for solution of both problems in a very economical fashion.

On “How Stux’d up are Iran’s nukes? 2 years looks like… at least…

“This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”

Now if only there were a way to follow stuxnet up with something subtle that causes an incident like a premature fissile explosion, or a way to poison fissile material with something that will result it's being unusable. Oh, wait, perhaps there are ways.

I imagine Iran is independently verifying every published and or stolen unpublished physical constant associated with nuclear weapons construction and assembly to several decimal places, and rechecking the backgrounds of every technician who will have access to their fissile material and process plans and specifications at and for every stage of the project. Just as I suppose there may be people who are fabricating or have fabricated disinformation touching on the reliability of Iranian technicians and scientists.

Even paranoids can't be paranoid enough.

On “Weimar Istanbul

Ve'll come and behead you, We'll come. . .

Interesting article; but Berlinski has clearly decided to live dangerously. Not that the risk is going to stop me from getting to Istanbul to see Sancta Sophia and other stuff before Turkey enters its dark years or decades.

On “The real threat of resource war is over water, starting in the Middle East

It's raining here and the pond is full, so we have all the water we need. I'm prepared to sell at 50 cents a cubic meter, shipping and handling not included.

On “Re: Puppetry

As it happens I had occasion to look up this poem earlier today when I was too lazy to compose one to serve as a monkey wrench thrown into a facebook discussion by my nephews and nieces. It's not completely off point.

The Hippopotamus

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

Ogden Nash

On “Four scenarios that could spell the end of the United States – soon

@ CK MacLeod:

The author projects on current trends

Projecting on current trends we ought to shut down the space program because the bamboo in my yard will reach the moon in twenty or thirty years, and Mars fifty or so years after that.

Which is my point. We observed the result of wistful trend projecting by those of a central planning mindset in the case of Japan and here we are ten years after Japan was supposed to overtake us economically.

China builds a few windmills and just the same sort of idiot as McCoy focuses on that, forgets the two coal powered power plants they're building a week, and projects that they will own the renewable energy industry. China builds a supercomputer and sets a speed record and McCoy projects that their info science industry will build better cyber war weapons than one that produces a myriad of new tech products each year.

whether it will be a nice place to live for most of its citizens, or in other respects the same America we thought it was, is another question.

That, of course, depends on the threat level. If worst comes to worst we can always elect a new Woodrow Wilson and bring back the sort of progressive laws he (and I presume McCoy) liked and got passed to make sure we all pull our oars as needed without a lot of whining.


@ narciso:

Fallows has tendered the possibility that China could bring about a Gottedammerung, because of our dependence on it.

I love that meme. We have the goods China has sold us and China has a trillion slips of paper that are worth what our laws say they are worth. We feed ourselves and have food to sell; plus we have internal or next door sources of energy to keep our whole population at a living standard better than that of 99% of China's population even in the event of another Great Depression and the complete shutdown of global trade. It would hurt us a lot to simply devalue the dollar and shut down trade; but it would kill China and most of the rest of the world.

So who is in charge if push really comes to shove?


This idiot Salon writer is probably one of the Americans who thinks China already has a stronger economy than the U.S.

He reminds me of James Fallon's idiotic writings about the coming Japanese economic dominance back when the theoretical monetary value of Japan as real estate had surpassed the monetary value of the U.S.

I do give him credit for pinpointing the beginning of the end of U.S. dominance as the date of the beginning of the Iraq invasion. There is something to be said for griding one's political axe in the open early in one's thesis.

If you haven't done so you should read a sample of the comments on his article. The existence of Americans who look forward to and positively relish the idea of a world dominated by an authoritarian China is very interesting.

On “Wikileaks: Anti-Imperialist in the American Interest

The State Department cables are kid stuff. If Assange ever gets close to the records of Saudi cash transfers to American politicians he'll be a dead man in two shakes of a drone's tail.

To be fair and balanced, of course, it must be noted that Winston Churchill's views on the middle east may well have been, uh, influenced by Bernard Baruch's, uh, tangible expressions of enduring friendship in the 1930s; so one may well wonder if current day Israelis and their allies and agents of influence are completely innocent of, uh, relationship building efforts with politicians.

On “Hanging out in the sacrifice zone

@ bob:

I'm feeling gracious and generous. Everybody else eligible should collect until it is impossible for whoever ends up with custody of my body to hide from the feds the fact that I am no longer eligible to collect.


@ fuster:

That's covered under article 1:28

. . . fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.


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