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Sunday: October 31, 2010

Election Prediction

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:32 PM GMT-0500

I predict that the Republican party picks up 88 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate, for a total of 99. I also predict that we will all be slightly disappointed not to have made it an even 100 total.

Tuesday: October 26, 2010

Another Straw in the Wind?

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:37 PM GMT-0500

In a quick search, I have found nothing about this on the web. For the past two or three months, someone has been parking white semi-trailers around the central Shenandoah Valley, with political messages painted on them. They’re not always in the same place, and I’ve seen them in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, mostly along I-81, also on I-64 in Augusta County between Staunton and Waynesboro. With the state of the economy, I suspect it didn’t cost all that much to rent the trailers, assuming they did not already belong to whoever is responsible for the messages.

I wish I had had my camera along the last time I drove from Staunton to Harrisonburg, since I saw three of them, two on I-81 and one on Port Republic Road. Here is a picture taken on the fly by fellow-Stauntonian Andrea Harris of Spleenville a month or two ago:

Here are all of the messages I’ve seen so far. I don’t know if there are five trailers, or more, or if some have been repainted with different messages at different times:

Represent the American People or Go Home!
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Congress: Have You Read Our Constitution?
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Congress: Why All the Arrogance?
You Work For Us
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

– – – – – – – – – – – –

What You Promised While Campaigning
Should Be What You Do When Elected
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Congress: You Have Failed Us
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

If I recall correctly, they originally said “Vote out all incumbents”, without the “most” (which is sometimes written above the “all”, sometimes across it, as in the picture). I wonder which incumbents have since won the author’s support. The most obvious guess would be our local congressman, Bob Goodlatte (R – 6th district), whose positions seem more in tune with the truck messages than most of Congress. I also wonder whether the trucks are the work of (a) one pissed-off voter with money to spend, or (b) one pissed-off businessman with plenty of idle trailers and idle painters and enough money left to pay for paint, or (c) a whole group of pissed-off voters. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it in previous election years, at least on this scale. I do recall a bumper-sticker I saw in Monterey, California in 1966, when Reagan defeated Pat Brown: “If It’s Brown, Flush It”. It made a big impression on my then 13-year-old self, but may have been a one-of-a-kind.

Update: (8:15pm, Halloween)

Here’s the message on the sixth trailer:

America does not need new parties
It needs new candidates
Vote Out All Most Incumbents ✔ote

Saturday: October 2, 2010

Nomen Omen? Apparently Not

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:21 PM GMT-0500

Last week I drove down I-97 from Baltimore to Annapolis and found that part of it is named “Senator John A. Cade Memorial Highway” after a long-time state legislator. Having seen and enjoyed Henry VI, Part 2 at the Blackfriars Playhouse last spring, I wondered whether his friends called him ‘Jack’. Google suggests that they did (examples here and here [PDF]). Of course, Shakespeare’s Jack Cade was not a Republican, or not a Republican in the contemporary American sense, so the coincidence of names is not as appropriate as it might have been.

A Clue Hidden in Plain Sight?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:10 PM GMT-0500

In all the discussion of the Stuxnet worm (here is one recent example) many have noted the bit of code ‘DEADF007’, though they can’t agree whether it means “Dead Fool” or “Dead F***in [Secret Agent] 007” or something else to do with death or deadness or killers. No one I have read has noted that ‘Stux’ is an equally valid transliteration of the Greek name usually spelled ‘Styx’ in English, the Underworld river whose name means ‘Hate’ or ‘Hateful’ or something to do with hatred. That seems a very appropriate name for a destructive worm, and ‘-net’ is a plausible enough suffix, though not the most appropriate imaginable.