The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Scott Adams on the Comey firing

I was waiting with bated breath to see how Scott Adams would spin last night's Watergate moment into yet another example of the masterful persuasion techniques of President Trump. Like Baghdad Bob standing on the hotel roof, he did not disappoint:

Democrats and the Opposition Media reflexively oppose almost everything President Trump does. This time he gave them something they wanted, badly, but not for the reason they wanted. That’s a trigger. It forces anti-Trumpers to act angry in public that he did the thing they wanted him to do. And they are.

Trump cleverly addressed the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation by putting the following line in the Comey firing letter: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

That one odd sentence caused every media outlet to display the quote and talk about it, over and over. And when you focus on something, no matter the reason, it rises in importance in your mind. President Trump, the Master Persuader, made all of us think about the “not under investigation” part over, and over, and over.

Except, Democrats didn't want Comey fired. We were pissed off at him, sure, and had a lot of criticism for him, sure. But all of that was subordinate to the institutional integrity of the FBI.

Later Adams invents "the media" "turning on" Comey after the firing. I don't know what media he's seeing, but in the MSM (New York TimesWashington Post, etc.) I'm seeing the opposite.

Adams' credibility on Trump suffers every time he spins his "master persuader" crap, but I still read his blog for entertainment value. I am curious, however, when Adams will stop pointing out cognitive dissonance in everyone else and recognize it in himself. Even if Trump has unusually powerful persuasion skills, he can still be incompetent and unfit for office. And Occam's Razor suggests, given the evidence so far, that Comey's firing was less about persuasion and more about Trump being an amateur.

We'll see. Adams did predict Trump's win, after all. Let's see what he thinks after more of Trump's corruption, incompetence, and destruction of American institutions comes to light.

Cracked nails it on defense spending

Cracked did a great video last November that everyone who hasn't paid attention to U.S. defense spending needs to watch:

But hey, without the largest military in the world (times ten), we can't be New Rome, can we?

I especially liked his comparison of the JSF to Star Wars. Just watch.

Meetings all day

All of these articles look interesting, and I hope I get to read them:

Oh, fun! Another meeting!

Understanding music graphically

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has created brilliant listening guides for audiences:

Hannah Chan-Hartley is the managing editor and musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). She oversees the production of the orchestra’s various printed programmes, from designing layouts and writing and editing content, to the creation of its intriguing ‘listening guides’ with graphic designer Gareth Fowler.

A deft mix of text and graphics, the guides can be read while listening to the performance, their layout visualising the thematic progression of the music, indicating the keys in use, what instruments feature and, using morse code-like notation, their duration.

Check out the graphics themselves on the Creative Review or percussionist Chester Englander's Twitter feed.

That said, since childhood I've really enjoyed Peter Schickele's approach:

The Holy Bible (abridged)

Zach Weinersmith has abridged the Bible "Beyond the Point of Usefulness." And he has given this work a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC license, which lets me post it right here for you (281 k, PDF). Enjoy.

Excerpts:

Genesis: God made everything, but humans keep screwing it up; some Jews move to Egypt, which seemed like a good idea at the time.

Amos: Amos becomes, like, the 14,000th prophet to note that Israel is making God mad and when you make God mad things go bad.

Acts: Finding the market for Jewish converts to be quite limited, the apostles branch out to gentiles. In the process, Steve gets killed, but it’s okay because it gets Paul to convert. Paul does a great job, until the Romans get mad.

Seriously, download the book and you'll have read the entire Bible in 15 minutes.