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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:17)


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  • After Karzai: Afghanistan votes for a New President amid Security Threats
    • What actual public threats did the Taliban issue? It's taken for granted in pretty much all the Western coverage that the Taliban has threatened violence on election day, but the apparent lack of violence yesterday means either the Taliban hadn't really made threats specifically around election day and the Western press was just assuming there would be violence, or the Taliban failed miserably to follow up on threats it made.

      Obviously there was the murder of the AP photographer on Friday, the Taverna attack in January, and a couple of other isolated incidents, but those hardly amount to a big campaign to kill people trying to vote.

  • Top Five Differences between Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and Miley Cyrus
    • Jeb Lund had the aptest summation of this whole brouhaha that I've yet seen: "The fun paradox at work is that you can't have a slavish devotion to the market and then cry foul when a rational actor makes a market decision in what they presume is their best interest. Rational actor theory is always amusing to hear from religious conservatives—you can't find a worse example of it than Jesus—but it's especially so here. Because it's hard to avoid the sense that a lot of this outrage stems from people who style themselves as market players being told, summarily, that the market power of gay consumers is simply more important than they are."

  • Dr. Strangelove in Afghanistan: an Advice Column for the Praetorian Surveillance State
    • So, uh...where's the article? All that loads for me is the title, a partial blurb* and the one comment above. There's no apparent link to the full thing.

      *"By Tom Engelhardt Col. Manners Answers Your Questions on the Etiquette of War, Nuclear Threats, and Surveillance By Colonel Manners (with a helping hand from Tom Engelhardt) [Editor’s Note: Many publications have…"

  • Iran, UNSC talks have the effect of Averting War
    • Lord, I just realized I typed "justification...using to justify." Chalk it up to a long day.

    • Thanks for the explanation. This raises a question for me, though: What justification is the USG using to justify sanctions? If it's so self-evident that Iran is not enriching uranium to weaponizable levels, and that Iran has every right to a civilian nuclear program, and that sanctions against Iran are extraordinarily unlikely to accomplish what they're meant to accomplish, what is the argument from the US side other than outright denial of reality? Is there a good case to be made for the other side? Or is the Obama administration just plugging its ears, squeezing its eyes shut and yelling, "LALALALALALA AXIS OF EVIL"?

      Of course, they hate our freedoms and they want to kill Israel and military industrial complex and so on, but the hawkishness on the part of the USG still seems unjustifiable. I know a lot of bright people at State -- admittedly none who work on Iran, but some who work on Af/Pak, and they have similar problems of perception -- and I just don't understand how they see this issue so differently from Professor Cole.

      True of a lot of issues, I guess.

  • Wagging the Dog with Iran's Maxwell Smart

      ALso, note that disqualifier #1 was not enough to stop people from believing GWB would be a good president. Why should it stop people from believing this guy could hatch a nefarious plot? The lesson, as always, is that our leaders are unscrupulous, our media sucks up shamelessly to those leaders, and our compatriots are completely #(%@ idiotic.


  • Amanda Knox and Troy Davis
    • It's almost too obvious to point out, but comparing Knox's chances in Georgia to Davis's doesn't hold up given their respective race and sex. If nothing else, she'd have been much, much less likely to get the death penalty in the first place than Davis was.

  • Earthquake/Tsunami reminds us of Futility of War

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