Friday, November 12, 2004

Think like a terrorist

(via Kos)

Terror Strategy 101: A quiz

Question 1: What is the first and biggest obstacle between you and victory?

If you answered "People on the other side of my issue," go sit in the corner. That answer is completely wrong. If you assume terrorists think that way, everything they do will seem like total insanity.

The first and biggest obstacle to your victory is that the vast majority of the people who sympathize with your issue are not violent extremists. They may agree with you in principle. They may even sound like violent extremists late at night over their beverage of choice. But when the hammer comes down, they won't be there. There are weeds in the garden and final exams coming up and deadlines at the office. Good luck with that car bombing. Call me next time, maybe things will have settled down by then.

Most people, most of the time, just want to get along. They'll accept a little inconvenience, ignore a few insults, and smile at people they hate if it allows them to get on with their lives. Most people on both sides of your issue just wish the issue would go away. If you're not careful, those apathetic majorities will get together and craft a compromise. And where's your revolution then?

So your first goal as a violent extremist is not to kill your enemies, but to radicalize the apathetic majority on your side of the issue. If everyone becomes a violent extremist, then you (as one of the early violent extremists) are a leader of consequence. Conversely, if a reasonable compromise is worked out, you are a nuisance.

Question 2: In radicalizing your sympathizers, who is your best ally?

No points awarded for "the media" or "sympathetic foreign governments". In radicalizing your apathetic sympathizers, you have no better ally than the violent extremists on the other side . Only they can convince your people that compromise is impossible. Only they can raise your countrymen's level of fear and despair to the point that large numbers are willing to take up arms and follow your lead. A few blown up apartment buildings and dead schoolchildren will get you more recruits than the best revolutionary tracts ever written.

Go read the rest. It's a great primer on the hazards of extremism on all sides, and why the current Bu$h policies on fighting the WOT are doomed to fail.

Red County, Blue State

So how about a little rundown from a very red county in northwest Oregon....

Yamhill County has 41628 registered voters, of which 40794 voted. 98% turnout.

40417 Votes were cast for president....22823 were cast for GW Bu$h. 56% of votes cast

Down ticket candidates went mostly democratic at the national level(US Sen-Wyden, US house - Wu,) and split at the local/state level

Measures went pretty much hard right. The SAIF issue was the only one I voted with the majority on. It's a bad time to be gay in OR, but I guess as a rural landowner I should be happy. Until the chicken processing plant goes in down the road.

The bright spot is even in a very conservative area, Bush just eked out a win. If we can get close here, we can take the presidency. We just need more mobilization, so talk to your neighbors, especially the freaky ones.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Bush's first flipflop of term II

Let's see here....Bu$h gets himself re-elected based on a large number of religious fundamentalists voting against their own interests and for 'morality'. He runs on a platform of steadfast, unswerving leadership, and the only economic stand he takes is 'make the tax cuts permanent.'

Upon re-election, he claims this 'mandate' means that he has the perogative to reform and simplify the tax system. This is the exact opposite of what he promised to can't make something permanent if you are going to reform it.

It's time for congress to grow a spine on this one.

Purple America

Via Brad Delong...let's look at just what color each county in the nation is.

Thanks to Robert Vandebei of Princeton

Not so red after all.

Here come the casualties

from Knight Ridder

The number of dead and wounded from the expected battle to retake insurgent-controlled Fallujah probably will reach levels not seen since Vietnam, a senior surgeon at the Marine camp outside Fallujah said Thursday.

Navy Cmdr. Lach Noyes said the hospital here is preparing to handle 25 severely injured soldiers a day, not counting walking wounded and the dead. The hospital has added two operating rooms, doubled its supplies, added a mortuary and stocked up on blood reserves. Doctors have set up a system of ambulance vehicles that will rush to the camp's gate to receive the dead and wounded so units can return to battle quickly.

Are the red states still going to think Bu$h knows what he's doing when these start to roll in?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What now?

Now that the election is over (and margins, among others, has doubts....), and the pundits are doing their pundit thing trying to make sense of it all, we also have to figure out where to go from here. How the hell did a chimp with name recognition grab 51% of the vote?

In myself, I find the lighthearted outrage that kept me through the last 4 years has turned to a cold fury, as well as a resolve to not let this stand. While we got beat, it was because we were late in learning that being right just isn't good enough. We also have to convince people that we are right. We started down that road, but still have some ways to take it.

I'll let the brighter lights in the blogosphere come up with action plans and soul-searching....there's definitely some good thoughts out there. Me, I'm going to be doing my part to make sure that this administration and worldview are held accountable for every thing that they do wrong. All of us have to make sure that there is no honeymoon, no grace period, nothing that lets these guys off of the hook. It's not like we don't have anything to work with.

I'm back, and I'm pissed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

After a long delay...I'm back at it with this. LA Times reports on Dean's presence in the campaign, and compares it to Perot & McCarthy, and delves nicely into Bush's and his families weakness on National Security, Defense, and economics. Read it.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Follow up...

Referring the below post, why is it that so many media outlets mention "Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank" or some variation theron? How often does the neocon American Enterprise Institute get mentioned as 'conservative' in chatterland?


Hey I'm back for more, and just in time, too. It would seem that the recently passed tax cut had a minor detail dropped at the last minute. Apparently, families making less than $26k per year are cut out of the $400 per kid checks that Bush is trying to spread around as walking around money for voters. Of course, the administration denies being involved in such a brutal strategy, but it has also been reported that VP Cheney was involved with shepherding this thing through at all stages. This makes it pretty unlikely that the Powers that Be didn't know what was happening with this one.

So it begs the question...such a poll- and perception-savvy administration wouldn't seem to be so blatant in targeting the poor. Could it be that the neocons have finally overstepped? Or do they more cynically see the poor as either non-voters or prone to the democratic camp?

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Have you registered to unseat the new Caesar?

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Support the troops...bring them home

While the Republican Dogs of War snarl and bite at anything that smacks of not supporting our rush to war as unpatriotic, perhaps we should look over the record. Which Republicans didn't support a previous war, and which actually moved to cut troop pay mid-action?