Friday, December 30, 2016

Thompson & Trump

FLG thought this was worth posting a link to, but Hunter S Thompson is very high on the FLG clickbait list:
 Most people read Hell’s Angels for the lurid stories of sex and drugs. But that misses the point entirely. What’s truly shocking about reading the book today is how well Thompson foresaw the retaliatory, right-wing politics that now goes by the name of Trumpism.


Not in the article, which is entirely focused on how Thompson supposedly predicted the inevitability of reactionary brute force politics of cast-off white males unable to cope with a changing world,  but another interesting connection between Thompson and Trump, and one that FLG has been trying to form into a coherent post, is the use of hyperbole and exaggeration to make a point.   Doesn't this seem entirely Trumpian:
People really believed that Muskie was eating Ibocaine. I never said he was. I said there was a rumor in Milwaukee that he was. Which was true. And I started the rumor in Milwaukee. If you read it carefully I'm a very accurate journalist.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Snowman Sex




A 64 year-old was rushed into Centre hospitalier de l’Universit√© Laval at the weekend with a most unusual medical complaint. He had frostbite of the P*NIS after getting drunk and trying to have s*x with a SNOWMAN.


Link

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quote of the day

Matt Levine:

Legally, conceptually, this is all pretty easy stuff. Insiders who corruptly misuse corporate information to benefit themselves and their buddies are guilty of insider trading. Investment analysts who diligently research companies, including by calling up the companies and asking them questions, are not. There are some gray areas, but in most practical cases you can tell which is which. But prosecutors, jurors and even some judges can't quite believe it. They want insider trading law to be about fairness, to vindicate the idea that "the system should not be rigged," and to punish fat-cat hedge fund managers who get more access to companies than the average investor. That's not what the law is, really, but because the law doesn't match up very well with the average person's intuitions, it will always feel a bit unstable. Even if it never really changes that much.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Not Some Democratic Plot To Undermine Trump

The Russians really did hack the DNC and release the emails.   FLG has zero doubt about that.    Why they didn't isn't so objectively obvious.  FLG thinks the intention was multifaceted.

1) They're still pissed about learning how badly they were hacked from Snowden.   2) They view our public stance on cyber as hypocritical, since we hacked the shit out of them (See Point 1), and also likely developed and launched the first ever kinetic cyber weapon in conjunction with the Israelis.  (An aside:  FLG is convinced, in the future, Stuxnet will be viewed with a similar level of geopolitical import as Fat Man and Little Boy.)  If we can do it, then why not them?   3) They wanted to undermine the credibility of our election generally, and the way in which the DNC machine had thrown in for Hillary does speak to insiders putting their fingers on the scale.  4)  They'd prefer a President Trump.

It requires a response, but FLG agrees with Bob Gates that the best response is probably not a cyber one.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ouch!

WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ: 
It kills me to think that there are going to be people walking around who believe that Socrates was an essayist because a self-important ignoramus named D’Agata told them so. Honestly, can’t we do better than this?


H/T

Really?

FLG has seen a few people argue on Facebook, in the same breath, mind you, that the Electoral College was created as a safety valve on the people's choice AND that they should elect the Hillary because she won the popular vote.   These people aren't otherwise idiots.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Has It All Finally Gone Too Far On Campus?

FLG found this fascinating.   The director of the School of Social Work at a university in Toronto walked out of a talk being given by a black female speaker, and he was subsequently accused of committing a "violent act" of pretty much every -ism.   Protests, calls for his dismissal, etc, etc.  He stepped down as director, but is still at the school, which seems to be a problem for the protestors.

But here's the fascinating thing.   If you were to ask FLG what part of the faculty at any university is the most liberal, well, the School of Social Work would be pretty much at the tippy-top of that list. And here's how that faculty, the ones that have been teaching them about all this stuff they are upset about and protesting, looked when getting protested themselves:


Is that the look of shock and horror or even resignation that they've mind fucked their students and are appalled at what they've created?    FLG can only hope.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Back to Tocqueville

After reading this blog post by Ramesh Ponnuru:
One thing that surprised me about our panel, though, was how little they dwelt on political correctness and how much they talked about another threat to the liberal arts: the tendency to view higher education purely in terms of its economic benefits. “Our age is an age of the celebration and valorization of wealth, power, influence, status, prestige," George said. "Those things are not bad in themselves, but they easily and all too often become the competition for leading an examined life.”
FLG thought of a passage from Tocqueville that he often references:
It is evident that in democratic communities the interest of individuals as well as the security of the commonwealth demands that the education of the greater number should be scientific, commercial, and industrial rather than literary. [...] A few excellent universities would do more towards the attainment of this object than a multitude of bad grammar-schools, where superfluous matters, badly learned, stand in the way of sound instruction in necessary studies.

This Talk By Jacob Levy

...keeps popping back into FLG's head recently...

Is FLG The Only One Who

...thinks that Trump's call to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen might have actually been savvy genius?  

Think about it.   Right now is the least risky time to call.  Or rather there is complete plausible deniability.     He's not actually in office, so it's not an official-official call from the President.   Also, the State Department can look at the Chinese, shrug and say with a straight-face, Sorry, he's new at this.    He literally has zero foreign policy experience.

So, he gets to show some support to Taiwan, but has a get out of jail free card of sorts.  Call now, shrug and apology.    Call a year from now.   Big issue.


 
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