OK, Here Is My View

[This is a long response to catchy's Conservatives at the Forvm diary]

I tried to mention this idea once before, yet the snarky and dismissive retort not only served to perfectly illustrate the problem, but also why I've reached the "why bother?" threshold I mentioned in catchy's diary. However, I'll give it a final shot, and see if I can make a constructive illustration of what is discouraging the more active participation of some commentators (I'll bet it isn't just conservatives by the way).

Now let me first state that this idea is based not on any notion of trying to recreate the old site, to make the site more "right" or any kind of affirmative action for conservatives. I live in the bluest of blue of areas, and I'm used to being surrounded, outnumbered and in a minority deemed to 'not get it'. All of the comments about how 'it must be hard to carry water for Bush' or 'it's tough times for conservatives' etc. are, pardon the term, simply dumb and don't even come close to mark. However, those type of comments are symptomatic of the real issue.

Anger and Fear, Hope and Charity, Right and Left

One of our local boys has lately offered a tidy summary of a view that seems to be quite widely held on the left:

"...the tone of the Right has always been anger and fear...that's what they're selling...hope and charity have always been a staple of the Progressives..."

I fear that this view angers me.


But seriously: if the popularity of this view with "progressives" proves anything at all, it is only their startling inability to see themselves as others do.

Consider, for example, the issue of global warming. Who's selling "anger and fear" on that one? Is it the conservatives, who tend to argue that it's probably not going to be that big of a deal, and in any case that advancing technology ought to take care of it? Or is it the liberals, who propound nightmare scenarios and compare those who question them to holocaust-deniers?

The Structure of Human Knowledge

I can write titles like that, I'm deep enough.

Anyway, I didn't make this ‘map of science’, someone else did. The image is currently on display at an exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. It's an interesting image:


The graphic traces the relations between the different branches of science in the following sense: the designers looked at the citations in nearly 1 million scientific papers and then mapped the relations between the field the paper was published in and the fields of its citations.

Someone suggested Lincoln or Truman, I prefer MI5

While others flutter about discussing a nonevent and Ken rolls out the "K-metrics"--they were certainly missed-- a compelling case for a domestic intelligence agency, er MI5, is made here.

That is, an organization dedicated to "after the fact" (er to catch and prosecute) isn't going to fair well in gathering intelligence, particullarly of the domestic type.

Intelligence gathering, when done well, is a mundane and laborious activity (TV will never run a series on the subject). More importantly, when information is acquired you let it go, freely sharing it with your domestic counterparts (no high profile arrests or TV interviews for these fellows or gals) and immediately get back to the mundane tasks which is your job. If you are successful, we shall never hear of you. If you fail, the beatings will begin which is far less painful then the second guessings. They will make movies about it, factually wrong but adding a little "sex" to the mix, well it was what dreams are made of.

Conservatives at the Forvm

I’m concerned about conservative departure. We’ve got plenty of excellent conservative contributors, but there’s been an unfortunate trend of right-leaning departures. Let’s think about how to make the place more congenial for right-leaners in general, especially to keep the ones we’ve got, but also perhaps to attract new ones.

HankP claims he doesn’t care about the ideology of a given poster, just the quality of his/her contribution. I also care about contribution quality, but in addition value ideological diversity. It’s one of the main reasons I come here.

The focus of this site, viz. political and ideological issues, isn’t the type of thing where experiences + culture ought to play as little role as possible. This isn’t a mathematics site, even if we try hard to be rational. Our diversity of experiences + cultural background are a large part of what we bring to the table and what makes the palce interesting.

St Pat's Day Open Thread

NCAA tourney: Buh-bye Duke!

Plame-gate and Gonezales are being well covered here, already.

Any good new movies out there?

And now I am off to buy even more new pieces for my house. Then some green beer.

Valerie Plame was a covert agent

HankP's picture

In opening statements by Rep. Henry Waxman, and confirmed by current CIA Chief Gen. Michael Hayden:


... This hearing is being conducted in open session. This is appropriate, but it is also challenging. Ms. Wilson was a covert employee of the CIA. We cannot discuss all of the details of her CIA employment in open session.

I have met, personally, with General Hayden, the head of the CIA, to discuss what I can and cannot say about Ms. Wilson's service. And I want to thank him for his cooperation and help in guiding us along these lines ...

Jorge Luis Borges, Ein deutsches Requiem.

Borges gives us the story, the title is from a Brahms piece in seven movements

Let's Talk About US Attorneygate Some More!

Up til now, the White House has insisted that the idea for sacking the U.S. Attorneys came from White House Counsel Harriet Miers in February 2005, and that the idea was "immediately rejected" by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Not so fast. According to ABC News, a new document dump will be made as soon as tomorrow (Friday), contradicting both those stories.

O Brave New World, that Hath Such Creatures In't

WaPo covers a fascinating marine biology project.

Every 200 miles, the team pumped 200 liters of seawater through a layered filter system that separated viruses and various kinds of cells by size. Yesterday's analysis covers about one-quarter of the samples -- from Nova Scotia to the Galapagos -- and only the viruses and smallest cells.

Yet DNA analyses on even that limited sample, conducted on an immensely powerful supercomputer designed for the project by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, tallied genetic coding for more than 6 million new proteins, doubling the number already tabulated in the world's genetic databases.

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