Timing and spacing

I saw Donald H. Rumsfeld give a press conference a few weeks ago. He struck me as a very clever man, an excellent speaker, capable of bending questions and answers to his unspoken aims.

Aside from an intense desire to bathe and be clean again, what struck me about what he said was one point. He was asked when Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction would be found.

His reply started "I have a lot of faith in the American people" and went on about how hard they are looking (so hard they don't want the UN back to help). Stripping out the emotive appeal to national pride, all I can translate this as is "if we wait long enough the people will forget about that little issue and accept the way things are now. You're going to look stupid bleating about that after we've stalled you for a year or so".

So there is a right time and a place for bringing up such matters, for making your voice heard. And quite often, calm waiting for the approved process to be followed is not it. Sometimes screaming and making a fuss is the logical choice.

One of the principles of magic is to make sure the effect is seen as far away in time and space from where the sleight actually occurred.