Monday, August 14, 2006

oves osama - and hugs terrrorists

* FP:
Winners: Cosmetics companies: Traveling airline passengers have to discard everything from lip gloss to hair gel. Don't think those items won't be replaced.
* beeb:
"A congressional panel in America Brazil has recommended that 72 deputies and senators be expelled for taking bribes."

* FP:
"The row over whether the American government had the British foreign secretary sacked is back in the news. What reignited the debate was an article in The Spectator by Irwin Stelzer that reported that the "Bush team worried about the problems a British foreign minister faced when he depended for office on an electorate with a heavy Muslim component — something Secretary of State Rice noticed on her visit to Jack Straw's constituency. Straw is now custodian at the House of Commons."

Yesterday, Jack Straw's former press spokesman took to the pages of the Guardian to discuss this claim. The article is worth reading for one of the most unintentionally hilarious statements I've seen in a while, "I've never quite understood the neoconservative worldview, except that its evidential base is their own prejudice". But what's really interesting about it is that while accepting the general premise, he argues that Condi would never have stuck the knife into her travel partner."
* FP:
"The whole Wisdom of Crowds kick has made online betting exchanges the new "in" thing. The NYT's John Tierney was so impressed by the fact that one of the exchanges called each of the 50 states correctly in 2004 that he fretted he was inaugurating his column "just as the job is being outsourced." But a great piece on the invaluable points out one of the dangers of betting on world events: How do you decide what actually happened?

Obviously, if you're gambling on something clear-cut like who will be the next French president, it is fairly simple. But when you start wagering on more subjective matters, things get complicated - and fast. As the article points out, Trade Sports is refusing to pay people who bet that North Korea would test a missile by the end of July 2006 because the betting contract stipulated that the Pentagon would have to verify it. The Pentagon hasn't done so, even though the White House has. "
heh. as some of you know, i have some experience in the gambling industry. tradesports was running contracts re the death/capture of zarqawi (and obl) - and i was sorely tempted to get involved - i would have made squillions - but the problem was always how you would 'know' the answer.

* the new improved Teemu (superteemu):
"Few years ago I was involved in drug policy disputes, and got used to attacks by pro-harsher-senteces folks. Their most used line was "Needle exchange? So you just want us to surrender [at this fight against drugs]?"

Both this argument and "Israel has right to defend itself" got their rhetorical power from the same idea - ie. the alternatives are either a) to fight (harder), or b) to surrender to invading enemy horde, and helplessly watch as they pillage our land, rape our women and massacre our people. Perfect example of logical fallacy of false choice.

But it's difficult to just tear the thing apart, as people get so jumped up and defensive due to powerful imagery of supposed "surrender" - "remember what happened in Germany! You're in favor of that, eh?".

Sooo, I doubt that any right-to-defender feels in any way ashamed. Sure, the outcome could have been better - but at least they're alive. Think of the alternative...
teeemu obviously loves osama - and hugs terrrorists, BEFORE BREAKFAST!

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