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Gosling's Big Book O' Political Advice- (HOPEFULLY) FINAL DRAFT

GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, ProbablyWatertown, WIRegistered User regular
edited August 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
By popular request, knowing pretty much intuitively that there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to stick this in an existing thread and then ever hope to get the thread back on topic.

UPDATED OP:

If you've been following the political threads, you may have seen me quote from 'Gosling's Big Book O' Political Advice' at some point. Or several points. At the urging of several formers, I've been working for some months on turning the concept into a book.

The entries have been divided into chapters, in the following order:

States
Presidency
Downballot (defined as any non-Presidential office)
Legislating
Debate
Domestic Issues
Foreign Issues
Campaigning
Gaffes
Career-Killers
Ethics
Partisanship
Volunteering and Job-Seeking
Voters
Media
Misc. (anything that didn't fit anywhere else)
Philosophy (entries I figured would best be used to close the book out)

The intro's not my strong suit, but it serves the purpose. The aim in the ordering of entries was to create as much of a flow as possible; a single train of thought. (The train inevitably derails a bit when it comes time to deal with the leftover entries in each chapter that didn't really fit anywhere in the flow. I stuck them in the middle of each chapter where I figured they disrupt flow the least.)

That all established, this is the document.
It will be up for a little bit while we work out trying to get a publisher in line. Ask for access and I'll grant it. If you have notes on an entry, feel free to say so, but do not copy/paste the entire entry. Post the number only, then leave your comments. (If you had previously been given access, you'll have to request it again.)

Gosling on
I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I didn't see a 'publish'.

    EDIT: Hang on, found it. Try it now.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Man, I'm gonna be all over this when I get home. My work sucks because they block Google Docs.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You probably want to throw a copyright notice on there

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You probably want to throw a copyright notice on there
    Just 'copyright 2009, my name'?

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    so far I is a'giggling <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
  • Armored GorillaArmored Gorilla Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Cannot access at work! Nards, there go my plans to run Heroic Nexus tonight ...

    "I'm a mad god. The Mad God, actually. It's a family title. Gets passed down from me to myself every few thousand years."
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think we need a Scranton reference in Pennsylvania, but maybe that's just Joe Biden. I am enjoying this.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh, just a heads-up on #63, in Foreign Issues. I don't say the verboten-on-these-boards word. I do reference it, though.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    #17 is awesomesauce.

    I would buy this book.

    Twice.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'd possibly suggest a corollary to #43 (reprinted here):
    Spoiler:

    Because there is also a chance that they will also call Homeland Security to track you down and drag you back (see: 2003 redistricting).

    camo_sig2.png
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    #244 is good:
    The Presidential inauguration will cost a buttload of money. You will catch hell for it regardless of how efficiently or inefficiently you spend the money, or where the money actually comes from. Nobody cares a week after it happens and nobody will care again until the next inauguration.

    People bitched about the inauguration and Barbara Boxer made a stink about how she was going to investigate how people with tickets got turned away and all that. Haven't heard much about it since. It was one hell of a party though.

    steam_sig.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I disagree with #431 unless we consider nation re-building as not nation building. As the Marshall Plan worked out pretty well for Europe generally and West Germany especially. Also Japan.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Also I suggest you change this:
    #463 (Palin's Principle): What you don't vet, someone else will.

    to this:
    #463 (The Palin Principle): What you don't vet, someone else will.

    as it makes more sense that way.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    i got an "oops link appears to be broken message"

    but that might just be my work...

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I disagree with #431 unless we consider nation re-building as not nation building. As the Marshall Plan worked out pretty well for Europe generally and West Germany especially. Also Japan.
    True. I'll make that distinction. Revised entry:
    #431: Nation-building. It doesn't work. If not in the short-term, in the long-term. (Nation building is different from nation re-building. ‘Building’ is something like Iran, Panama or Iraq, where the building is the point of the exercise. ‘Re-building’ is Japan, Germany, or South Korea, where it’s more of a case of ‘well, war’s over, now what?’)

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think I'd rewrite the Montana entry as:

    "Montana really doesn't like government getting involved. That's why the gun nuts move to shacks here, there wasn't an open container law until 2005, and banning smoking in restaurants and bars was a multiyear fiasco. Woe be to the politician that forgets this."

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    Spoiler:
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think I'd rewrite the Montana entry as:

    "Montana really doesn't like government getting involved. That's why the gun nuts move to shacks here, there wasn't an open container law until 2005, and banning smoking in restaurants and bars was a multiyear fiasco. Woe be to the politician that forgets this."
    No, actually, the Montana entry is meant to focus on being pro-gun rather than being anti-government. The gun-nuts-in-shacks part was more a punchline than a point.

    EDIT: I did credit Godwin. I even labeled it 'Godwin's Law'.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You need to credit Godwin for Godwin's Law.

    Also, we need one for Sessions' other silliness.

    Something like: Never claim you don't know a corrupt public figure when there are photos of the two of you together.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    Some general thoughts, after getting about halfway through it:

    - You need a lot more to make this a book, unless it's one of those cheesy little books with one sentence per page. I read half of what you have in 30 minutes. Books people can complete in an hour tend not to go far.

    - The writing is inconsistent - sometimes it's more folksy, sometimes more formal. If you do actually plan to do something with this, pick a tone and stick with it. Me, I like the dry wit established in the more formal tone, but that's just one dude.

    - Depending on your goals, you may want to cull some of the more partisan stuff (swipes at Bush, the law on global warming, etc). Mocking certain universally-agreed-to-be-ridiculous people or events is cool, and there are plenty of folks of all political persuasions that you can mock. But if you want to steer clear of being a "Big Book of Political Advice For Liberal People", you'll want to watch this. And I say this as one who agrees with most of your swipes.

    - Some of your rules require a paragraph of explanation before they make sense. This isn't bad in itself, but it makes the list somewhat inconsistent. One tack would be to cull any points that require hefty explanation before they even begin to make sense. The other would be to devote a paragraph of explanation to each item. Personally, I'd prefer the former, but it's not my baby.

    I still think this is definitely something I could read and enjoy. Getting any publisher to take you seriously will be an uphill climb, but with the right book and the right sales pitch, who knows?

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I love the ones you attribute to a specific person. I demand more linking of failures to rules!

    Edit: I also agree with eljeffe, but I say you can trash whoever you want as long as you trash Dems and repubs equally. (or liberals/conservatives if you will)

    2nd edit: actually maybe have a 1line rule at the top of each page and then the person or people who violated said rule and smell of failure as a result. I also like dry wit.

  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Jeebus, Gos. You need to make sure that if you do book-form this, you get what's due to you. It's gold, man.

    Beware it being stolen, I imagine it working it's way to Kos or similar and you not getting any credit.

    BNsig.jpg
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    To continue w/ElJeffe's points:
    To make it a book, my suggestion would be to have some explanation or examples for most of the rules (spend no more than a page on any given rule). The rules should still make some sense without an explanation, though.

    To do this for all 500+ rules would be ridiculous, but having that many would allow for a lot of flexibility (Either pages of rules without explanation and/or culling some).

    camo_sig2.png
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh, one for video games:
    If you're a state legislator, and you're thinking about writing a law regulating video games, one word of advice - DON'T. The industry's trade group has a pack of lawyers on call, and they have a perfect record when it comes to getting such laws quashed on First Amendment grounds.
    Corollary: If you ignore the above advice and do persist in pushing such regulation, don't be surprised when people suggest you personally pay the fines and lawyers' fees that the inevitable lawsuit will assess against the state.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Like I said. I know the thing's not ready. Doesn't have enough content yet. It's 15,000 words. That's not enough.

    EDIT: AngelHedgie, see #480 in Domestic Issues.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Some general thoughts, after getting about halfway through it:

    - You need a lot more to make this a book, unless it's one of those cheesy little books with one sentence per page. I read half of what you have in 30 minutes. Books people can complete in an hour tend not to go far.

    - The writing is inconsistent - sometimes it's more folksy, sometimes more formal. If you do actually plan to do something with this, pick a tone and stick with it. Me, I like the dry wit established in the more formal tone, but that's just one dude.

    - Depending on your goals, you may want to cull some of the more partisan stuff (swipes at Bush, the law on global warming, etc). Mocking certain universally-agreed-to-be-ridiculous people or events is cool, and there are plenty of folks of all political persuasions that you can mock. But if you want to steer clear of being a "Big Book of Political Advice For Liberal People", you'll want to watch this. And I say this as one who agrees with most of your swipes.

    - Some of your rules require a paragraph of explanation before they make sense. This isn't bad in itself, but it makes the list somewhat inconsistent. One tack would be to cull any points that require hefty explanation before they even begin to make sense. The other would be to devote a paragraph of explanation to each item. Personally, I'd prefer the former, but it's not my baby.

    I still think this is definitely something I could read and enjoy. Getting any publisher to take you seriously will be an uphill climb, but with the right book and the right sales pitch, who knows?

    I think the ones with an explanation are a good model. Establish the rule in a short sentence that's as dry as possible, then use a paragraph or two to explain the origin of the rule and whatever else you can think of.

    Though really what this should be is a blog. Post two or three a day, build a readership, and then use that as leverage to get published in book form.

    Also, may I suggest a personal pet peeve of mine:

    (Broder's Law) Oftentimes, a columnist based in New York or Washington will make a statement about "what Americans think." This is always a code for "what I think" and usually directly contradicts polling information. They don't care.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    I think I'd rewrite the Montana entry as:

    "Montana really doesn't like government getting involved. That's why the gun nuts move to shacks here, there wasn't an open container law until 2005, and banning smoking in restaurants and bars was a multiyear fiasco. Woe be to the politician that forgets this."
    No, actually, the Montana entry is meant to focus on being pro-gun rather than being anti-government. The gun-nuts-in-shacks part was more a punchline than a point.

    EDIT: I did credit Godwin. I even labeled it 'Godwin's Law'.

    The thing, Gos, is that the two are pretty much joined at the liver like a set of conjoined twins. Besides, I think the fact that it took us till 2005 to actually pass an open container law to be very hilarious, in a dead baby comedy sort of way.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I read the whole thing, and it's interesting. A lot of the people referenced I didn't get, but some I did.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    I think I'd rewrite the Montana entry as:

    "Montana really doesn't like government getting involved. That's why the gun nuts move to shacks here, there wasn't an open container law until 2005, and banning smoking in restaurants and bars was a multiyear fiasco. Woe be to the politician that forgets this."
    No, actually, the Montana entry is meant to focus on being pro-gun rather than being anti-government. The gun-nuts-in-shacks part was more a punchline than a point.

    EDIT: I did credit Godwin. I even labeled it 'Godwin's Law'.

    I still think you should mention something like, "Note: First proposed by Mike Godwin in 1990" just to be fair.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    With regards to #280, remove the reference to the American Revolution as it is a myth (note: Afganistan vs. the Soviets in the 80s is a better example)

    Pretty much every major battle of the American Revolution was fought in the European style. The Americans were not a scrappy little band of guerrilla fighters no matter how much that image got romanticized later.

    They were perpetually under equipped, clothed, fed and armed but they still fought by the general standards of 18th century European warfare and almost universally gave better than they got against the best trained and equipped army in the world.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Some general thoughts, after getting about halfway through it:

    - You need a lot more to make this a book, unless it's one of those cheesy little books with one sentence per page. I read half of what you have in 30 minutes. Books people can complete in an hour tend not to go far.

    - The writing is inconsistent - sometimes it's more folksy, sometimes more formal. If you do actually plan to do something with this, pick a tone and stick with it. Me, I like the dry wit established in the more formal tone, but that's just one dude.

    - Depending on your goals, you may want to cull some of the more partisan stuff (swipes at Bush, the law on global warming, etc). Mocking certain universally-agreed-to-be-ridiculous people or events is cool, and there are plenty of folks of all political persuasions that you can mock. But if you want to steer clear of being a "Big Book of Political Advice For Liberal People", you'll want to watch this. And I say this as one who agrees with most of your swipes.

    - Some of your rules require a paragraph of explanation before they make sense. This isn't bad in itself, but it makes the list somewhat inconsistent. One tack would be to cull any points that require hefty explanation before they even begin to make sense. The other would be to devote a paragraph of explanation to each item. Personally, I'd prefer the former, but it's not my baby.

    I still think this is definitely something I could read and enjoy. Getting any publisher to take you seriously will be an uphill climb, but with the right book and the right sales pitch, who knows?

    I'd definitely say try to go more Devil's Dictionary with it, but so far :^:

    You do need to come up with a better/more biting title, though. This is less like Safire's Political Dictionary and more Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.

    tea-1.jpg
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh, and as a followup for the "baby-kissing" ones:
    And whatever you do, don't make the baby cry. People will have a field day with the image for years to come.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Also need to re-phrase 406. I thought you meant somehow running a negative campaign that somehow did not use ads.

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    The source code for the extension can be found here.
    Feel free to PM Me with ideas for other extensions that would be useful for PA posters.
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    With regards to #280, remove the reference to the American Revolution as it is a myth (note: Afganistan vs. the Soviets in the 80s is a better example)

    Pretty much every major battle of the American Revolution was fought in the European style. The Americans were not a scrappy little band of guerrilla fighters no matter how much that image got romanticized later.

    They were perpetually under equipped, clothed, fed and armed but they still fought by the general standards of 18th century European warfare and almost universally gave better than they got against the best trained and equipped army in the world.
    A) Noted (though not in the copy I posted).
    B) Taking the 'dry wit over folksy' advice, and I'll work on that.
    C) As for the length of each individual entry, my figuring is that I use whatever length best conveys each entry. It's the same approach taken in the Devil's Dictionary:
    FOOL, n. A person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity. He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscience, omnipotent. He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude and the circle of the sciences. He created patriotism and taught the nations war — founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago. He established monarchical and republican government. He is from everlasting to everlasting — such as creation's dawn beheld he fooleth now. In the morning of time he sang upon primitive hills, and in the noonday of existence headed the procession of being. His grandmotherly hand was warmly tucked-in the set sun of civilization, and in the twilight he prepares Man's evening meal of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers of the universal grave. And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilization.
    ONCE, adv. Enough.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    a 500 page novel is like 500k words right? so maybe aim for 100k?

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh, and as a followup for the "baby-kissing" ones:
    And whatever you do, don't make the baby cry. People will have a field day with the image for years to come.
    If at all possible, I prefer events that actually happened. Otherwise I'd have loaded the thing up with the kind of thing I did early on- 'Never light an aide on fire' and whatnot.

    EDIT: Dunadan, the general consensus for novel length is 50,000 words. I'm not doing a novel here per se, but I know it'll have to be more than 15,000 like I've got now. 500,000 words is, like, the Bible or something along those lines.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    Oh, and as a followup for the "baby-kissing" ones:
    And whatever you do, don't make the baby cry. People will have a field day with the image for years to come.
    If at all possible, I prefer events that actually happened. Otherwise I'd have loaded the thing up with the kind of thing I did early on- 'Never light an aide on fire' and whatnot.

    You're telling me you've never seen the picture of Dubya holding a caterwaling infant?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • KilroyKilroy Lil' Sami :3 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    #17 is awesomesauce.

    I would buy this book.

    Twice.

    Although I do feel bad about the horse. She was young and had a promising career ahead of her.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    Tomanta wrote: »
    To continue w/ElJeffe's points:
    To make it a book, my suggestion would be to have some explanation or examples for most of the rules (spend no more than a page on any given rule). The rules should still make some sense without an explanation, though.

    To do this for all 500+ rules would be ridiculous, but having that many would allow for a lot of flexibility (Either pages of rules without explanation and/or culling some).

    I like this idea. You could expand it to be a more prevalent thing, where you have a half-dozen one-liner rules, then a full page deal with the rule and some commentary on it or explanation of backstory.

    Some further advice:

    Any more stuff you add, do not post it. I would also recommend making this non-public in a short while, after this thread has run its course. Having it stolen is a serious concern, and also some publishers will not publish things that have been made publicly available in large part. Again, if you plan to go anywhere with this.

    If you want feedback, maybe post something soliciting volunteers and send it directly to them. Also, if you want advice on the actual writing (structure, style, etc) versus the content, the WB is a great place to head.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    Oh, and as a followup for the "baby-kissing" ones:
    And whatever you do, don't make the baby cry. People will have a field day with the image for years to come.
    If at all possible, I prefer events that actually happened. Otherwise I'd have loaded the thing up with the kind of thing I did early on- 'Never light an aide on fire' and whatnot.

    You're telling me you've never seen the picture of Dubya holding a caterwaling infant?
    Refresh my memory.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
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