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The shards---can cut asunder or assemble.

A recent column by The Denver Post's Mike Littwin concerns Americans' attitudes toward Islam and commences with the statistic 18% of Americans believe the current President is a Muslim. He makes a point a Gallup poll says 37% of Americans believe a house can be haunted.

"Stopping right there," as some folks will bellow, it reminds me of certain election and reelection strategies that sadly have been honed. One can say in those cases "at least" a minority opinion is being expressed. But what about the ploys by Karl Rove and predecessors such as Lee Atwater to gather just enough of these splinters to make a bat, to hit the game winners for their candidates. Oh, all in a day's work, said with easy breath and drooping eyes. There were a pair of such neocons at a Christmas party I attended in 2003, the year before "that" election some of us thought was going to strain the debris, 1988 being another horror, and they oh so calmly deflected everything several of us threw their way. Deflected, or was it absorbed, or was it like urine on a cockroach? Get wound up enough and they play the long-ago bully at the school reunion: It's a game, what does it matter, I sort of admire(d) you, and the ultimate, as expressed by the likes of Debra Saunders, "We won. You lost. Go away."

Yes, you win. Get the correct combination of superstition, fear, hatred, and one issue obsessions, and you get the simple majority, the check in the "W" column, and when inevitably the results come up short, and often they do for any team, we the ultracons will point to the gypsies, the "them" at the edge of town, who commit willful sabotage. More rational groups and movements may perform fact finding, however messy, but this is because we said so, because we won.

Neocons not academic? Not so fast. Good school subjects like math and statistics, applied just so, trump a whole lot of history. And as a student of concatenation, as evidenced by this blog, I kneel before the masters. Unwillingly, with bloodied knuckles I did not proffer but were held out with force by laughing, happy collaborators.

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