Insulted by Reality

If facts are against you, you an still win an argument by claiming you are insulted by those facts, and pretending reality is a personal insult to you.

Consider, for instance, Obama-backer Donna Brazile’s respond to Clinton-backer Paul Begalada’s statement that Obama’s coalition of blacks and educated whites is the “Dukakis Coalition”

Here’s the specific remarks. Begala points out that Obama’s coalition has led to Democratic defeats in the past:

If there’s a new democratic party that doesn’t need or want white working-class people and latinos count me out. We cannot win with eggheads and african-americans. That’s the Dukakis coalition which carried 10 states and gave us 4 years of the first George Bush.

And Dona Brazile queues up “you insult…”:

We need to not divide adn polarize the Democratic Party as if the Democratic Party will realy entirely on white blue-collar males. You insult every black blue-collar democrat by saying that. So stop the division, stop trying to split us into these groups.

Obviously, I’m against race-baiting anti-COIN protectionistsI oppose Barack Obama. In a just world, he wouldn’t have a chance of being a major party’s nominee.

We don’t live in that just world, though we may live in one almost as good: the Democratic Party may be retreating into the Dukakis Coalition.

As long as it works as well for the Democratic Party in 2008 as in 1998: good.

Behold! A World Powered by Steam!

Obviously, I’m in favor of any references to steampunk appearing in the New York Times, but the article never mentions “steam” once! The entire alternative-universe vision of steampunk assumes that the electrical industrial revolution never happened, and steam still being the motive power behind the economy. Now, granted, much of the article is interesting:

Steampunk Moves Between Two Worlds – New York Times
She takes her emotional cues from scientists and inventors like Nikola Tesla, magicians like Harry Houdini and soulful spies like Mata Hari, each of whom injected a spirit of enterprise, intrigue and discovery into their age. Contemporary fictional parallels in film include the wildly ingenious scientist played by Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man,” who hopes to save the world by retooling himself as a flame-throwing robot made of unwieldy scrap metal parts.

If steampunk has a mission, it is, in part, to restore a sense of wonder to a technology-jaded world. “Today satellite photos make the planet seem so small,” Mr. Brown lamented. “Where is the adventure it that?” In contrast, steampunk, with its airships, test tubes and time machines, is, he said, “sort of a dream , the way we used to daydream. It’s like part of your childhood’s just bursting forward again.”

But without steam, what’s the point?

An example (I believe) of actual steampunk is The Difference Engine, which describes an Industrial-age Britain in which an actually designed (but not implemented) steam-operated computer sparks a steamcyber revolution.