Dover and Just Wars

Mark Benjamin of Salon points out that former Vice President Dick Cheney and retired Gen. Tommy Franks just aren't that bright. Benjamin didn't put it that starkly himself, but that's the inescapable conclusion. He recently spoke with Bob Garfield of NPR's On the Media about what Franks called the "Dover effect" (see "The True Cost [Read More...]

Band of outlaws

“To abolish God!” said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. “We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions [Read More...]


On Monday in London, appearing at a press conference with President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown endorsed Bush’s strategy for the ongoing occupation of Iraq. And Brown did so using one of Bush’s signature absurdities. Here is Brown from the official transcript: Can I just say that in Iraq there is a [Read More...]

A third possibility

“Attempts to confront or wake up patients during the events frequently lengthens the parasomnia episode and may induce resistance or violence from the patient.”– WebMD’s emedicine entry on Somnambulism In comments for the previous entry, Doctor Science points us to an insightful post from Kit Whitfield (aka Praline) that suggests a possible third explanation for [Read More...]

Look at their shoes

Matthew Yglesias recommends Jeffrey Record’s monograph, “Appeasement Reconsidered: Investigating the Mythology of the 1930s.” I realize no one is going to read that and think, “Ooooh, a monograph! How exciting!” But if you’ve got a crazy uncle/co-worker/president who makes a habit of invoking Neville Chamberlain to dismiss any hesitation to invade Iraq/bomb Iran/annihilate Fredonia, then [Read More...]

Bombing the prize

National Public Radio’s Morning Edition presented an interesting report today on the U.S. Army’s internal debate: “Army Focus on Counterinsurgency Debated Within.” NPR’s Guy Raz interviewed a series of leading military strategists to provide a useful description of this focus on counterinsurgency: The counterinsurgency doctrine emphasizes the use of minimal force, with the intent of [Read More...]

All She Wants to Do Is Dance

Here’s NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston this morning, describing a beloved woman, a fixture of her community who’s been driving children to school for 28 years: She is so popular her nickname is “Dollar;” she says that is because everyone is chasing her to drive their children. [She] is a big woman — both tall and round. [Read More...]

Repost: Torturing the cat

The following was originally posted on May 20, 2003 on my old Blogspot site. The permanent links to those archives have gotten bloggered, and since I’d like to be able to link to this post in the future, I’m reposting it here. – – – – – – – – – – – - “The [Read More...]