Written by Joe Katzman   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Weekly Mind Food aims to show you what TTPers without a regular column, but with deep expertise in key fields, are paying attention to. We call ourselves TTP's Team B. Note the "Weekly Mind Food" category in the left side-bar now, which will have all our issues. They're Free Access, as are all the linked articles, so feel free to read them at your leisure - and to mail the article's URL to your friends!

In addition to our regulars, we also congratulate TTPers dkemp, edd7, jwrobelski, mrapp, and skye for freelance link suggestions that met the test.

This week's Polis looks at a proposal to Energy-ize the race, then takes the polls apart and shows you what they look like "unskewed", even as we address media credibility and campaign realities. Economos has bad news re: the Fed and food costs, good news re: Alexiev's farming business, and a personal message for you. Techne logos looks at Privacy, Big Data flu predictions, and the possible rebirth of Stradivarius violins. Stratiootika looks at the Middle East, and explains European missile defense plans. Beyond that, imagine being able to hum a song and have your computer "name that tune" Yes, you can! And how about as guy who can give 0 both barrels and a reload over recent events, then uplift you with equal skill? We've got him, too (Hint: his grandfather created the jet engine).

Finally, a request. I've been asked about doing a presentation at the November Rendezvous. I can explain how the US Navy has used the last decade to cripple its own future, or offer a briefing on ballistic missile defense. I'd like to know your preferences, just use the comments and title your comment "Presentation".

To simplify your scans, I've divided the links into sections: Economos (global economy), Techne Logos (tech), Polis (domestic politics), Stratiootika (geopolitics & military), plus 1 Useful Web Resource and 1 Good News This Week item to brighten your week and/or make you better. Enjoy!


A Paul Ryan interview from September 2011, on the excellent Hoover Institution i-show "Uncommon Knowledge" (as good as Charlie Rose, but includes the people Rose won't). The interview is still every bit as relevant. We need to see more of this, and soon we will:

  • Gingrich Bullish On Energy (E&P Magazine, Sept 21/12). jkatzman: More like "HOW WE'RE ABOUT TO USE ENERGY TO CHANGE THIS ELECTION." See this video especially - I'd have posted the video, but it isn't YouTube so TTP can't show it.

  • Winning a Winnable Race (National Review, Sept 21/12). jkatzman: "Romney's key weakness... is that he isn't seen as a champion of middle-class interests.... [It] underlies every other one Romney has..." Now, connect this to what Newt is doing.

  • Making sense of the many polls with conflicting results (Examiner, Sept 21/12). jkatzman: Explains the method and rationale behind a collection of "unskewed" polls at... UnskewedPolls.com. Each poll has a link that explains the deliberate tampering in it, and the correction. Reminder: this will be decided by the Electoral College, so state-by-state matters, too.

  • The Senate Is Up for Grabs (National Review, Sept 21/12). jkatzman: I like this better than the RCP map, because it goes into a bit more depth, and includes some internal GOP figures, which I see as more reliable. It indicates that the national campaign does need fixing, and its allies will have to up their game in response.

  • U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High (Gallup, Sept 21/12). Little & No trust is "only" 60%, because 58% of Democrats trust the media a great deal, or a fair amount. In contrast, little to no trust is 74% for Republicans, AND 69% for Independents. This is a good conversation topic for your friends and acquaintances, esp. if you have iron-clad examples at hand.

  • Emails reveal Justice Dept. regularly enlists Media Matters to spin press (Daily Caller, Sept 18/12). prosenberg: "Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder's top press defender, working with [George Soros'] Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request."

  • Who May Tax and Spend? (Jewish World Review, Sept 12/12). jwrobelski: The real power and responsibility for federal spending lies with Congress. Maybe people should be paying more attention to the Congressional races.

  • Sought: Voters With Real Power (WSJ, Sept 21/12). skye: There is far too much attention on the big horse race which is beyond our control and far too little on those things that each of us CAN control - including our deployment of our own resources, and where we live and work. A Keynesian will win this presidential election. That is absolutely certain. One should carefully consider the inevitable consequences, and execute plans to deal with them.


Techne Logos

  • 16-Year-Old Questioned by FBI Over You Tube Video (InfoWars, Sept 11/12). prosenberg: Watch the video, then try to imagine why the FBI interrogated the 16 year-old kid who made it. And why they're trolling YouTube.

  • Privacy group wants FTC to examine Facebook-Datalogix partnership (Sept 25/12). devry: Facebook is arguably the single most important database about Americans that exists today - an asset that every intelligence organization in the world covets. Facebook is also clearly taking steps to further connect you with your (almost completely electronic) purchasing habits, creating a digital trail that says more about you than you probably realize.

  • How Twitter can protect you from the flu (Sept 12/12). jkatzman: "Adam Sadilek at the University of Rochester analyzed 4.4 million tweets from users in New York City and was able to predict when healthy people would get sick up to eight days in advance, with about 90 percent accuracy." The upside of big data - but Math Flash! In a population of 1 million with a 1% flu incidence and 100% notification, that's 10,000 sick, 9,000 correctly warned, and 100,000 mistakes: 1,000 people surprised by becoming sick, and 99,000 who won't get sick like they were told (and probably think the app saved them).

  • How a Simple Fungus Might Resurrect the Legendary Stradivarius Violin (Gizmodo, Sept 10/12). Cool.

  • PIN [number] analysis (Datagenics). devry: There's about an 10.7% chance that, right now, anyone could walk off with you ATM card and take your cash (and more) at will. If 4 tries are allowed, the odds are about 25%. If you're in that group, you're probably putting everything you have at risk - but it's easy to change.


Here's one from the folks at ESISC (European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center), located in Brussels, Belgium. French DGSE veteran Claude Moniquet offers some thoughts on current events. No French jokes here - the DGSE are a very capable intel organization:

Useful Web Resources

hardcharger suggested adding 1-2 clever web sites each week for bookmarking and use, to help people become smarter Internet users. Good idea.

  • Midomi. jkatzman: If only there was a web site that could listen to me hum a tune, then tell me the song! Wait, you mean there IS one?

Over The Hump: Good News This Week

This is Bill Whittle giving Barry "0" Sotero both barrels and a reload, over his request that Google pull down "The Innocence of Muslims" from its video servers, and over the police-state arrest tactics used against the film-maker. Much deserved, and the bit at the end is priceless (Hat tip to edd7):

This is Bill Whittle in a more inspirational frame of mind, as he discusses the real US space program that's evolving before our eyes:

Eject! Eject! Eject! (Full archive). Bill Whittle writes, too - stuff that goes well beyond the election, and will INSPIRE you. Start with this one, "A Flag on a Hill." And know that a many of his articles are even better... like the Silent America set in E3's right-hand column.

Reader with questions or submissions for next week can email me (thanks to the great scrim service!)

For The Constitution!

Joe Katzman