You are so consistently independent and reasonable I have a hard time believing this is on the internet. Where's the regurgitation of conventional wisdom? Where's the wild-eyed ranting along partisan lines? Don't you get how this is supposed to be done?
Two quotes from your comment: What has gone unnoticed by the bloggers and punditry is the stand up of the IA forces and their hard work at making them non-sectarian in nature. The IA has an integrated mix of Arabs, Kurds, Yezidis, Turkomen and Shia, Sunni, Yezidi, Alawite, Christian (RC and Syriac)... This is, perhaps, the most integrated and diverse force in the ME and is now being sent to get Sadrâ€™s JaM
and: The fundamental unit in Iraq is blood ties via tribe, and that only gets watered down with 3-5 generations of city dwelling.
Precisely why so may of us are skeptical that the Iraqi Army, let alone the National Police, is for real. Armies either work for a government, or become the government. Iraq lacks a government to employ and direct this army of theirs. So, unless the Iraqi government steps up, and quickly, the likelihood is that the army will disintegrate under stress at some future point, or else will become the government. Neither of those last two possibilities feels like victory to me.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 25.11.2007 @ 15:31
Can't we tell the truth about the encounter between Europeans and Native Americans without wearing a hair shirt?
My wife asked me to explain to my kids the origin of Thanksgiving. I explained that some Englishmen, who had an unpopular religion, wanted to be able to practice their faith -- and of course forbid those with other faiths from practicing theirs. I said they weren't a terribly capable bunch at first, and that they were saved from starvation by the Indians. There followed a period of European expansion during with the Pilgrims bought a lot of Indian land, and stole a bit as well. The natives had been weakened severely by European diseases.
My son's as much Russian Jew as he is English, and my daughter's Chinese. None of us felt we had to atone for the actions of the Pilgrims. Or the Indians, for that matter. Even my English/German wife felt no need to apologize. No one emerges from history with clean hands.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 22.11.2007 @ 23:34
Ditto the above comment. You should be charging.
My conclusion is that we should kick this can into the next administration. This president has no credibility. I don't see how he could clear the evidentiary hurdle. I'll listen to what the next POTUS has to say on the subject, see what arguments he or she can produce.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 20.11.2007 @ 15:28
I think you're off-base. CNN screwed up the ticket distribution, Hillary's people exploited the opening. So what? You'd prefer a president who didn't know how to exploit opportunity?
As for CNN being in the tank for Hillary, nah. No case can be made for that on the basis of this debate. Blitzer's always been an idiot.
CNN's alleged pro-Clinton bias is at best a minnow beside the whale of Fox's overt advocacy of Giuliani. Sean Hannity appeared at a Giuliani fundraiser, Giuliani has recieved more airtime on Fox than any other GOP candidate, and NewsCorp is accused by Judith Regan of having tried to silence her so at to protect Rudy. Where's the CNN equivalents? Blitzer misses a follow-up on licenses? Come on. Blitzer never fails to miss a follow-up.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 18.11.2007 @ 08:04
Nuance creates openings for attack ads. The majority of voters see only the attacks. So, no nuance.
Yes, it's a stupid game. If people paid attention, the game would change. And as long as the game is played this way, few will pay attention. A nice little downward spiral.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 16.11.2007 @ 16:52
This is my line of work, selling fantasy to children. (150 books so far, under 11 different pseudonyms.) I don't see anything troubling in this film.
All movies by their nature can be seen to limit pure imagination by providing specific images that replace the book-generated images in kid's heads. But then, books, too, replace a kid's self-generated ideas with something I write while sitting on my porch smoking cigars and mainlining coffee.
Imagination isn't a fixed, limited commodity. If I put one idea in a kid's head, and Phillip Pullman puts one, and Disney and Pixar toss in some more ideas, some more images, the kid's head isn't full. It's not as if he loses the capacity to either absorb more ideas and images, or generate some of his own. Rather the contray.
A pretty good example would be the phenomenon of fan fiction. Things my wife and I wrote years ago still generate fanfic -- tens of thousands of stories and scripts. The kids took ideas we gave them and spun them out, using their own imaginations. There have been hundreds of thousands of fanfic pieces spun off Harry. Each of those is an act of imagination.
Nothing you or I or Disney or anyone else can do, can limit the imaginations of children. Whatever you give them -- book, movie, comic -- will just be a jumping off point for them.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 15.11.2007 @ 21:06
The Venetian is pretty nice. Bizarre, but nice. And of course the Four Seasons and the Ritz are likely to be pretty solid.
But on the point in question, I've linked to this piece because I love the idea of bloggers taking their revenge on lousy establishments like the Tropicana.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 12.11.2007 @ 21:20
Fred Thompson's campaign is about Fred Thompson playing the role of Fred Thompson. It's all about small "c" character -- character in the script sense of the word.
He's an actor who has made certain choices (as they say in the acting biz) about the character he plays -- avuncular, laconic, lacquered with faux gravitas.
Until and unless some director can pull him aside and convince him that the character he plays should show some passion, Fred's message will remain "vote for the guy playing the guy a scriptwriter thinks you'd want to vote for." Problem is that Thompson is a very one-dimensional actor. I doubt he can play passionate.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.11.2007 @ 12:05
Let me see if I can sneak a "well done" in here before the Forces of Ron arrive to excoriate you.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 1.11.2007 @ 06:34
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