Monday, September 10, 2007

Get me a left-handed monkeywrench, would you?

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain

This topic has been talked about on a number of blogs in the last couple of days, including here, so I’m not going to go into it in too much detail, other than to say that if the laymen’s paraphrasing by the press is an accurate description of what scientists are actually saying, then I think that the conclusions of this study may be flawed, particularly this statement:

“Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.”

If that’s the case, shouldn’t Democrats be supporting the Global War on Terrorism? Or at least not raising so much fuss about it? There was nothing tolerant in the liberal bashing of General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s (Crocker, heh heh, how appropriate is that name?) anticipated report on the state of the Iraqi troop surge. If this study of neural wiring is correct, I would think that Democrats would welcome the vague ambiguity of the Petraeus status report. If the study is correct, the liberals should be grinning ear to ear and high-fiving the hell out of each other over the announcement that we have no idea how long it will be before we can significantly reduce troop strength in Iraq. Liberals should be overjoyed with the fact that the location of Osama bin Laden remains a mystery, because what would the world be without a little mystery, eh?

Okay, before one of you liberals accuses me of something, I am cherry picking just one sentence out of the report, but at least I’m being specific in my sarcasm. And I just want to say, as a neither a liberal or a conservative myself, I for one am looking forward to the Patraeus report. I think it will be a highly entertaining bit of fiction.


  1. Hm. I'm thinking this is a highly polished piece of poo, at least in my own case.

    I am very conversative in terms of my schedule and having things remain "predictable." I like structure, I do.

    However, I am politically liberal. Liberal in the traditional sense, I mean, not in the "left-wing nutbag, right-wing conspiracy" sense.

    And I can't wait for Patraeus' report, either. Did you catch the Frontline report on the surge? If not, you can find it here. Very enlightening. I find that the journalists over at Frontline haven't forgotten what it means to be journalist, BTW.

  2. I think the research was on dealing with ambiguity in the decision process. So a decision or position is made or taken but how the information is process to arrive there is what they're studying. So it's not that liberals can tolerate wishy-washy indeterminancy in a decision, it's that we're open to it while making the decision.

    And I have to agree with Janiece, Frontline is exceptionally good at what they do. And for the most part (going on Jim's last post) you never even see the reporters during the program (I can only think of two shows that I have seen the actual reporter on Frontline).

  3. Heh, heh. I'm watching it unfold on TV right now. I think I could have written Pretraeus' report damn near verbatim.

    Oooh! Look at that, Pretraeus just finished and the cops are dragging out a couple of screaming protesters. The chairman looks a tad peeved.

    Now Crocker is talking, looking a lot like a man making a last statement before the firing squad. He looks more than a little nervous, wonder why?

  4. By the way, I agree with the assessment of Frontline.

  5. Jeebus, Crocker is sure an impressive speaker isn't he? I think I saw the chairman making a paper airplane. I don't know, his hands are under the table, maybe he's playing his PSP.

    Don't these people practice their speeches first? Is it just me, or does it sounds like Crocker doesn't believe the bullshit he's spewing either?

    I want a status report, dammit. I want to know specifically what's been done, numbers, stats, names. what remains to be done, in detail. Again, numbers, names, dates. I don't want to hear the phrase 'de-baathification' again, no sound bullshit, Crocker.

  6. Jim, take a deep breath. "In with the good, out with the bad." Then watch "Endgame" on the Frontline website. It will answer most of your questions. Unfortunately.

  7. that should have been: "no sound bite bullshit..."

    I'm finding Crocker's speech painful. I'm a pretty experienced public speaker myself and I detest this kind of vague, read from the cue-card speaking. In my professional opinion, Crocker either doesn't believe what he's saying, or he doesn't know the subject well enough. To be fair, he may just be very nervous, he looks like he's going to break into flop sweat any minute.

    Oddly he just thanked Congress for "appropriate civilian force in Iraqi" and funding.

  8. Janiece, I have and I know most of the answers. I want to hear it from the Head of Mission and the Commanding General.

  9. Janiece, I have and I know most of the answers. I want to hear it from the Head of Mission and the Commanding General.

    You're a big, retired dreamer, and I find your naiveté most endearing.

    What you're suggesting actually constitutes accountability, and we can't have that, now can we?

    *scoffs knowingly, then becomes depressed*

  10. You're a big, retired dreamer, and I find your naiveté most endearing.

    Yeah, see? That's why chicks dig me.

    Crocker is doing better with the question and answer session, at least he sounds like he knows his subject - instead of sounding like some bizarre Dan Quayle clone.

  11. Yeah, see? That's why chicks dig me.

    Not so much. It's more like a "poor baby, he has no grasp on reality" kind of endearing, as opposed to "hey, this guy's really naive, hubba, hubba" kind of thing.

    You see, unlike the current leadership in charge of our fair country, I try to be clear and concise in my communications, so as to avoid any confusion about my position. Or my "stance." Or anything.

  12. It's more like a "poor baby, he has no grasp on reality" kind of endearing

    Hey, whatever works. The important thing is that the chicks dig me, I'm all over the sympathy vote.

  13. I'm with Jim, whatever works as long as the chicks dig me. :)

  14. Steve, I predict that Janiece is about to unleash the snark hound. Duck, old buddy, duck now. Senior Chiefs can be very dangerous when stirred to action, but remember they can be distracted by donuts - especially the ones with little sprinkles on top...

  15. Bite your tongue. I am not distracted by sprinkle-topped donuts. I am distracted by Bismarcks. Big, chocolately Bismarcks with gooey, ooey pudding in the center.


    *drool, drool*

    Or beer!

  16. Beer and jelly donuts, I have a few sea stories that begin that way.

  17. Not jelly donuts...Bismarcks with eclair-like pudding in them. Must be chocolate. Must be pudding. Accept no substitutions.

    And beer!

  18. Must be chocolate. Must be pudding. Accept no substitutions

    Well, at least the lady has standards. That's something, anyway. Strangely enough, now I want a Bismark. Must avoid chocolate for a while though, chocolate can call the Migraine dragon back from the depths, and that's just plain old double plus ungood. This, of course, sucks beyond all descriptions of suckatude, because I am a chocolate freak (meaning a freak for chocolate, not some kind of freakish zombie made from animated chocolate. Just so we're clear.)

  19. Now I know what kind of provisions to send up to the LL Bathroom, mon capitan. Exxxxcellent.

    I move that we make a chocolate statue of the Emperor and call it good. Then he can be both kinds of chocolate freaks. (I am too, by the way. If you ever make a chocolate statue of me, make it dark chocolate and send it my way. It would keep me happy for... oh, several weeks at least.)

    Condolences, by the way, Jim, on having to temper your chocolate intake.

  20. Anne, I like milk chocolate better than dark chocolate, but I'm not turning down either one.

    There's a candy shop in one of the malls in Anchorage that makes hand-made malt balls in both milk and dark chocolate. When I'm there, I usually buy a pound of each. They're expensive, but damn are they worth it. They don't last long either, and if the trip back to Palmer was any longer, none of them would make it home.

  21. Heh. Divide and conquer. You take the milk chocolates, I'll take the dark and between us both, we'll clean out the chocolate shop. My current favorite is dark chocolate covered almonds. Mmmm...

  22. Chocolate Almonds sounds most excellent, but I'd have to say next to the malt balls, chocolate covered kona coffee beans are my favorite. Two vices, one convenient package.


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