TAINTED

The New England dynasty claims look as if they were based on long-term cheating after all:

Bill Belichick has been illegally taping opponents’ defensive signals since he became the New England Patriots’ coach in 2000, according to Sen. Arlen Specter, who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told him that during a meeting Wednesday.

That rush to destroy the tapes always looked suspicious, didn’t it? Although, I can’t say that I regard this as being even a remotely legitimate action item for the U.S. Congress. Even so, Patriot-haters, you may start your engines….

Derb on love

A strange column, but in the end, an eminently reasonable perspective:

I think we should all start out hoping for the best, but keep in mind that hope can be a terrible liar. If the best doesn’t show up, we should “settle”— as St. Paul said, it is better to marry than to burn — and then make the best we can of it. Love, like other kinds of happiness, has a way of showing up when you least expect it, as a by-product of something else you are doing. If that something else is the building of a family and the raising of children with someone you have settled for, take the deal: you won’t find many better ones.

I think it’s a pity that no one has ever done an empirical, scientific study tracking the long-term results of those who insist on pursuing the time-tested romantic ideal of True Love versus those who “settle” for mere compatibility. I strongly suspect that it’s the latter group whose relationships not only have the greater success over time, but are happier as well.

One choice is always the negation of a thousand other possibilities. This is what the economists call opportunity cost and it exists no matter what choice you make. To “choose love” is not the same as “choosing to love”, and most human beings are lovable, in some way or another, should one make the choice to give them a chance.

Strategy is transitive

11 straight. That’s how many times the Alliance has crushed the Horde since a Finnish leader demonstrated that with a battleground leader staying in one place and calling out directions, we could win despite being outleveled and battling hard core twinks with immunity potions and whatnot. I added my own spin by working out the correct order of procedure, so far 453-0 is the most lopsided win I’ve commanded.

What’s interesting is that I was only involved in four of those victories, but four or five guys who fought in the earlier battles grasped the strategy and have been remorselessly cramming it down Frostwolf throats. However, on the most recent occasion, we found ourselves saddled with a lousy leader who had no idea what he was doing, so people were running wildly all over the place getting themselves killed and we were down 350-240 before the guy finally acceded to some extremely imperative demands to hand over the battleground leadership to me. (I’d been trying to give orders, to little avail except for holding Stonehearth for a while, then preserving the northern bunkers.) To be honest, I didn’t see how we could possibly pull it out since we were behind by more than 100 reinforcements, we’d lost Stonehearth, Snowfall and didn’t have Iceblood, but I pulled everyone in the north back and sacrified Stonehearth and the surrounding bunkers in order to protect the base and Stormpike, ordered everyone in the south to leave the towers alone and concentrate on defending Iceblood, which one of our paladins managed to steal as the Horde rushed north to take advantage of our retreat.

Fortunately, people were desperate enough to listen now, and as I hoped, the Horde split up and wasted time with the bunkers near Stonehearth, allowing us to hold both the northern and southern strongpoints. They dashed themselves to pieces against our barely sufficient northern line while our southern forces first held Iceblood and then, methodically this time, pushed south to take out one tower after another. When the Horde got desperate and rushed south, I led the northern forces on a hard push down to Stonehearth, which we took, robbing them of the ability to hit our southern forces safely from behind. Once that was accomplished, it was just easy slaughter before killing Galve for a surprisingly big 178-0 comeback victory for the Alliance.

Frankly, I’m still shocked. But very, very pleased.

Ann Coulter is right

In some ways, McCrazy is even less conservative than the Lizard Queen. There is nothing conservative, nothing at all, about the idea of bringing the Imperial World Democratic Revolution to the Middle East for 100 years. If you liked the performance of Bush the Younger, then you’ll love John McCrazy:

During the 1990s, when most Republican politicians were against nation-building and extravagant interventionism – perhaps in reaction to the Clinton administration’s taste for both – McCain, in the words of John Judis, sought “to differentiate his views from those of other Republican presidential aspirants and from the growing isolationism of House Republicans” from “within a larger ideological framework. That ideological framework was neoconservatism.”

The Weekly Standard became McCain’s Pravda, and he began consulting regularly with Bill Kristol, who soon became a close adviser. Neocons Marshall Wittmann and Daniel McKivergan – two close friends of Kristol’s – were hired by McCain, and the former became one of his top advisers during the presidential campaign. The neocons, having destroyed the presidency of George W. Bush, have already found another willing host, and they are primed and ready for another go.

The thing that I find interesting is that although I left the Republican party in 1990, I still maintained some lingering emotional ties to it and tended to find a degree of satisfaction in Democratic electoral defeats even though I wasn’t voting for any of the Republicans on offer. But the current presidency and the rise of the neocons managed to sever those ties entirely. I have no interest in thinking about how to save the Republican party, assuming that can even be done at this point, let it crash and burn along with the lethal ideological parasites that infest its brain.

Unfortunately, even the probable Republican crash-and-burn will likely not suffice, for as Justin Raimondo points out, the unconscionable neocons, like rats, won’t hesitate to leave the ship they sank in favor of boarding the next.

If and when the Democrats take the White House, you can bet your bottom dollar the neocons will have some kind of presence, whether it’s in the form of a few mid-level bureaucrats placed in sensitive positions or in top spots close to President Hillary or Obama. They’re already crawling all over the DLC, and they’ll find their way into a Democratic White House via the interstices between pure politics and policy wonkery.

It should be interesting watching the Left go berserk as it gets betrayed in much the same manner that Bush betrayed conservatives. And at the behest of much the same crew.

A cybersymposium

If you’re at all interested in writing, or even simply better understanding the various forms of genre fiction, you will not want to miss the OC’s lecture on Advanced Scribbling 301 being conducted at his blog:

Comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin. Both depend on timing; both depend on setting the reader up for the emotional payoff; both deliver the ending with a twist. Twist it one way and it’s comedy: man slips on a banana peel, falls down, and loses his dignity. Twist it the other way and it’s tragedy: man slips on a banana peel, falls down, fractures his skull on the sidewalk and dies. Twist it a notch past tragedy and it’s horror: man slips on a banana peel, falls down, is impaled on a picket fence, and as he’s dying the psycho killer who placed the banana peel there in the first place emerges from the shadows to lick his dripping blood.

Me, I’m not so much of a fan of dripping blood. I went for comedy.

But, here’s another heretical little secret for you. Science fiction writers like to gas on about how SF is “the literature of ideas.” The more honest statement is that SF is the sanctimonious member of the horror, comedy, and adventure family. In short fiction especially, it is far more about setting the reader up for the emotional spike than it is about exploring any breathtaking new frontiers of speculative thought, and it’s far more acceptable to end the story with an ironic twist or a disquieting ambiguity.