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November 06, 2005


Almost completely off-topic here, but on the subjects of "polls" and manipulating reality, there is a poll graphic in the Sunday NYTimes magazine (graphic online here) that requires a quick rant. Note the legend: "100%" is a full box, "50%" is a ...quarter box? They reduced the height AND width of the symbol to make respondent differences appear bigger. They are in fact taking the square of the results. Absurdly misleading and totally unnecessary cheat.

What the hell screw is loose over at that paper anyway?

Well heck, if this "creating your own reality" thing is so amazingly successful and "unstoppable," then perhaps we should create our own reality in which Bush isn't president, but rather empties port-a-potties in Texas for a living.

Johnny Gentle, Bush is so scummy that the port-a-potties would be dirtier after he cleaned 'em.

What other defense do they have? Stonewall. My, my. Weak.

The thing about "reality based community" first appeared deep into a long piece by Ron Suskind in The New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004. When I read it I got a chill. Which still persists.

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

We can only pray that the nightmare may soon be coming to an end with a full exposure--in blogs like this-- of the moral bankruptcy at the core of the Bush administration.

The GOP is really getting nervous about Iraq now. Eleanor Clift actually talked about Bush's impeachment in her column today. As a result, we can now behold the hilarious spectacle of GOP drones actually whining that impeachment is anti-democratic and unfair.

The Times article identifies the al Qaeda member who gave misleading information as "Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi." So al Qaeda had a "Mr. Libi" with "bad intelligence." Perhaps our Ibn al-Scooter Libby is really working for al Qaeda to weaken the US.

John Palcewski, yes that was covered extensively. But this is political faith-based advice from Galen. Same ballpark, different team.

It worked really well with social security. Unstoppable.

Hell, I'm not sure what reality is anymore. Consider this direct quote from the Grauniad (UK Guardian):

"Miller is demanding the right to reply to her critics in an opinion piece and a non-disparagement agreement as condition of her departure. OTHERWISE SHE HAS THREATENED TO RETURN TO WORK." (all-caps mine)

Face it - reality just ain't what it used to be.

-- Rick

funny commentary on the Grauniad:

Phill ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2004, 11:25 PM:

The name Gruaniad comes from the time many years ago when the name of the paper was mis-spelt on the top of one of the pages.
John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2004, 12:18 AM:

The New York Smite would never do that.
Andrew Kanaber ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2004, 12:48 AM:

The name Gruaniad comes from the time many years ago when the name of the paper was mis-spelt on the top of one of the pages.

As far as I know they never went that far, it was just what people joked would be next given the quality of their proofreading. I remember they once rendered the prime minister John Major as John Mayor, which suggests that perhaps they do occasionally use spell checkers.
Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2004, 02:17 AM:

John - I think you may have meant to say, "The Monkeys Write would never do that."

I actually believe one of Rich Galen's statements. I assume, too, that Bush probably did NOT know anything about the Plame leak. Kept out of the loop, I'd guess, about Plame, Wilson, and anything else, unless chosen to be told by his "top aides".

In their reality, Bush has Clinton's 57% favorable numbers, and that is why he can bounce back. In their reality, people like Bush's polciies the way they liked Clinton's polciies, and that is why they will bounce back. In their world, lying about sex is much worse than lying about Iraq's ties with al Qaeda or mushroom clouds, and that is why he can bounce back.

At some point, so many people are in the other reality that their message is just falling on deaf ears, no matter how they monopolize the news cycle.

For people who learned at Nixon's knee, there is much that they missed.

It is interesting to see the graphic and observe that even with the distortion, immigrants are more willing to say that schools were better in the country they came from than anything else. The graphics being used may not allow a continuous forming of boxes.

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