Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » December 2004 » Gem o'the day:

[« And having been referred to Retrocrush....] [Thought for the Day: »]

12/19/2004: Gem o'the day:

goes to Sister Novena for this observation (a reaction to news stories reporting that almost half the U.S. population approves of the government curtailing the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans):

So now we know... half of the citizenry of the United States is willing to suspend the constitution for some Americans; thus, half of US citizens are fundamentally anti-American. And it ain't the half that usually gets that label thrown at it.
Being myself a member of the half that usually gets that label thrown at it, I wholeheartedly concur.

Len on 12.19.04 @ 02:11 PM CST


Replies: 5 comments

on Monday, December 20th, 2004 at 11:23 AM CST, mike hollihan said

Fear not so much, Len. This is yet another case of reporters being statistically ignorant and researchers being over-reaching and muddy.

If you dig into the actual data (I think it was http://www.powerlineblog.com that did this), and not just the conclusions, you see that there were a series of questions asked. Each question proposed a specific action: registration, deportation, restrictng movement, etc. The *highest* approval rating any *specific* action got was only 29% -- not even a third of Americans. The researchers apparently went a step further and amalgamated the answers, divining some root group that favored all the specifics taken together. No data in the report is given to support how this was done, hence it can likely be safely discounted.

Reporters being statistically ignorant and in a hurry, they don't look at this stuff closely, but report the press release breathlessly. Taking Statistics in college (and paying attention!) was one of the smartest things I ever did for my adult life.

Again, fear not so much!

on Monday, December 20th, 2004 at 5:06 PM CST, Len Cleavelin said

I'm glad you phrased that as "fear not so much"; while your news is a bit of welcome relief, the fact that 29% of the population is in favor of such restrictions is still a bit disquieting. But not as disquieting as almost half.

Oh, and I'm fessing up that I edited your comment a little; you made a small typo in the URL to powerlineblog.com, which I took the liberty of fixing (doesn't affect your content at all). Hope you don't mind....

on Monday, December 20th, 2004 at 11:04 PM CST, mike hollihan said

You TOUCHED my writing?!?!?! You put your Commie, liberal, pinko, Mike Moore-loving, Democratic hands on MY words? How dare you!!

Pistols at dawn, sir.


on Tuesday, December 21st, 2004 at 10:45 AM CST, Len Cleavelin said

Channeling Harlan Ellison again, are we?


on Tuesday, December 21st, 2004 at 10:55 AM CST, mike hollihan said


I actually wrote a Star Trek fanfic story once positing that Odo (the shapeshifter cop on Deep Space 9) was insane, in the style of Ellison. On the surface, he was the Odo we know, but underneath he was a ravening madman convinced that Major Kira was his personal torturer. It was titled, "I Have No Tears and I Must Cry." It's not a bad approximation of Ellison's style. Go to the Trekiverse archives some time. http://www.trekiverse.net

New Comment

December 2004

Archives of Blogger site

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
Boing Boing
Crooked Timber
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Letters of Marque
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Political Animal
Positive Liberty
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

Rocky Top Brigade Sampler

A New Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Cardinals Countdowns:
Days until pitchers and catchers report:
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until first Grapefruit League game (3/3/05; @ NYM):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Opening Day (4/5/05; @ HOU):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Home Opener (4/8/05; vs. PHI):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums
template by linear