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In the beginning was the plan. And then came the assumptions. And the assumptions were without form. And the plan was without substance. And darkness was upon the face of the workers. And they spoke among themselves saying, "It is a crock of shit and it stinketh." And the workers went unto their supervisors and said, "It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof." And the supervisor went unto their managers and said, "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it." And the managers went unto their directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength." And the directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another, "It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong." And the directors went unto the vice presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth and is very powerful." And the vice presidents went unto the president, saying unto him, "The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the company, with powerful effects." And the president looked upon the plan and saw that it was good. And the plan became policy. This is how shit happens.
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One of George's historical raw materials is the Wars of the Roses, which exterminated the high nobility of England. (The dragons are because it's a fantasy, so it's gotta have dragons. (per Phyllis Eisenstein))
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I was under the impression that most of the last several Administrations changed the way "unemployment" is calculated. Are those apples to oranges to pineapples comparisons compensated for in that graph? (I've just bookmarked "U6". )
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One key word in your column here is wrong. When you talk about “eight years of drift and incompetence”, you’e wrong. It wasn’t drift. With the exception of “privatizing” Social Security (and thank God they failed!), the Cheney-Bush Administration accomplished what they set out to.
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SNAFU Principle: Because subordinates tend to tell superiors what they want to hear, the higher up any hierarchical ladder you go, the more distorted the picture becomes. The person with the most authority in the system will likely be the most ignorant. Technology can't "fix" what is implicit in hierarchy to begin with.
Decades later, the F.B.I. finally admitted having suborned the perjury which convicted her. She was never guilty of anything. (According to my father, who was in the China-Burma-India theater, the "demoralizing" broadcasts were morale-boosting humor, and some of the later bombing raids over Tokyo parachuted supplies of new 45's so that G.I.s in remote locations could get current music.) For the rest of her life, she worked in her family's store in Chicago, where many people were acquainted, but no one, ever, to my knowledge, made an untoward remark.