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Archive for June, 2006

Sequential Lineups: The Jury Is Still Out

[ 0 ] June 6, 2006 |

A few months ago, I posted on reports of a new study purporting to show that sequential lineups, in which a witness is shown one possible suspect after another without knowing how many are coming, are not more accurate in the field than conventional simultaneous lineups (the kind we’re all familiar with from movies and TV). This was a surprising result; studies of simulated lineups have consistently shown the reverse. And it was a useless result — looking at the details of the study showed that the researchers had no way of determining the accuracy of the witness IDs, and that they were comparing blind sequential lineups to simultaneous lineups conducted by law officers who knew who the real suspects were. Under those circumstances, if there’s any prompting at all, conscious or unconscious, by the police, witnesses are going to be more successful in identifying the actual suspects in the simultaneous lineups.

An op-ed in today’s Times makes similar criticisms of the study — if you’re interested in this sort of thing, it’s worth reading.


Stab in the Brain

[ 1 ] June 6, 2006 |

Julia: “Shorter Glenn Reynolds: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to object to it.”

Say this for the man: he continues to provide real innovations in ludicrous “stab-in-the-back” tautologies. It really takes a truly special combination of willing partisan hackery and a total lack of shame; a pretty rare find, when you think about it.

Finals Blogging!

[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

As we have been doing throughout the playoffs, Paterno Family Professor of Literature at Penn State, distinguished author, and colleague of Dee Dee Ramone Michael Berube and I will discuss the Stanley Cup finals. Because of my trip we’re a little late, so I will start with a preview as I would have written it before the game (reaching the opposite conclusion from Michael), Michael will discuss game 1, and then I will respond with some comments.

Scott’s preview: As the great Bill James said about the ’89 Orioles, it’s fun to believe in Cinderella, but you’ve got to believe in midnight too. The NHL playoffs have served as a demonstration of that principle. Some teams comparable to the poorly regarded, fairly low-seeded Oil have come out of nowhere to make the finals against a well-regarded high seed. And the kicker is that they’ve pretty much all gotten annihilated: the Capitals in ’98, the Panthers in ’96, the North Stars in ’91, and the Canucks in ’82. Harold Snepts’ famous overtime giveaway to Mike Bossy in the latter pretty much summarized these series, which have been about as dramatic as a Presidential election in Utah. So the Hurricanes have a lot of history on their side, which is why you should probably listen to Michael, who likes the Hurricanes in 6. (Not to mention that I mentioned Mike Commodore as a reason not to pick Carolina, and he not only provided steady defense but scored some big goals.) And there’s certainly a lot to like. Starting with the sublime Staal they’re stacked up front–fast, savvy, great hands. I’ve been a fan of Brind’ Amour for a long time–I saw him play a lot during the Olympic previews in ’88, and he really seems to smell what may be his last chance at a cup (incredible faceoff man, too), and Weight (who I desperately wanted the Flames to acquire earlier this year) has also seemed to shave five year of his legs to better showcase his amazing passing touch. Actually, Michael recently pointed out the similarities between this year’s series and the previous one, and the Hurricanes are a lot like the Lightning last year: terrific speed and talent up front, a sufficiently functional and mobile defense, and talented (if erratic) goaltending.

And yet, without meaning to be stubborn, I think the Oilers will manage to avoid the seemingly inevitable pumpkinization. Actually, I think the historical analogies are null, because the Oilers aren’t really an 8 seed. One Cinderella team I didn’t mention was the ’04 Flames, who fought the Lightning to a tough 7-game series. While they were nominally a #6 seed, with Kiprusoff in net the Flames were about as good as any team in the league, and while the previous teams I mentioned generally crawled back into the muck from which they came they were 100-point team the next year although their offense went into the tank. The Oilers are like that, but if anything more so. Between their brutally tough division, Pronger’s slow adjustment to the new league, and the bush-league goaltending they suffered through before acquiring Rolason, the Oilers are a far better team than their regular season record reflects. I certainly don’t see the mismatch on paper you would get if you compared, say, the 81-82 Canucks and 81-2 Islanders. Like Anaheim, the Hurricanes have the single best forward, but as you go through the rosters things look better for the Oilers (although a lot depends on whether you prefer wily, somewhat past-peak veterans or young, pre-peak speed burners; I can certainly see a case for the former in the playoffs.) The ‘Canes have the edge, but it’s far from huge. And unlike Anaheim, the Hurricanes don’t have any Niedermayer to stack up against Pronger; indeed, I don’t think the ‘Canes have a single defenseman who would start in Edmonton’s top 4. Carolina’s goaltending has more upside but isn’t as steady. Ultimately, this may be the difference between a burly stay-at-home defenseman rather than the flashy, high-scoring forward like Michael making the picks, but I think the Oilers are better positioned to take advantage of Carolina’s merely OK defense than the Flames were with respect to the Lightning in ’04. It should be a close series, but I see the first Canadian cup in more than a decade. Oilers in 6.

Michael, after Game 1: The Canes should consider themselves extremely fortunate. They probably don’t; some of them might even be grousing about those two strange penalties they were assessed for “body checking” in the first period. But those penalties didn’t lead to goals. Aaron Ward’s hideous clearing pass did. Yes, I know, the official scoring sheet says that Fernando Pisani scored after Jaroslav Spacek took a shot from the point. But who put the puck right on Spacek’s stick? Ward did. So that’s an assist right there– and it was followed by a goal, when Ethan Moreau’s shot went off Ward’s hip with 3-1/2 minutes left in the second period to give Edmonton a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead. In between, Chris Pronger scored on a penalty shot that was called after Niclas Wallin closed his hand over the puck in his own goal crease. So two goals on Ward’s ledger, one on Wallin’s.

Not to pick on Ward and Wallin, mind you– the entire defensive corps was shaky. The reason Carolina won tonight, despite all the breakdowns on D, is that Cam Ward made three utterly insane saves on Oilers down low, the last one on Shawn Horcoff with three seconds remaining. Rod Brind’amour, meanwhile, scored two of the easiest goals he could possibly have asked for, one on a rebound in the crease with an empty net (making it 3-1 and giving the Canes some life at the end of the second), one on a terrible miscue between backup G Ty Conklin and captain Jason Smith behind the net with a mere thirty seconds on the clock.

There will be more of this wild stuff, to be sure. I can’t wait. But for now, some general observations: one, Carolina dodged a bullet. The Oilers have gotten this far largely because they’ve played so well on the road, and in the last two series they’ve been Shark- and Duck-killers in the Shark tank and the Duck pond. Two, about team names. For the rest of the series I will persist in calling Carolina the “Whalers.” In so doing, of course, I honor their noble Hartford heritage. But I also mark the fact that this first-ever World Hockey Association series is also the first-ever Moby Dick series, in which whalers face off against oilers. Three, OLN play-by-play man Mike Emrick must go. I can’t stand it anymore. There will be a scramble in front of the net, or a brilliant steal and a two-on-one the other way, and Emrick will be nattering on about how a defenseman’s father once gave stuffed potatoes to his son’s high school team before their big conference final in 1985. This will prompt John Davidson to reminisce about how the Edmonton director of player personnel played against that defensemen’s father in the 1984 Winter Olympics before moving on to the International League where he met the young Dwayne Roloson, and . . . and between them, Emrick and Davidson almost missed Ales Hemsky’s stunning goal to tie the game at 4 with six and a half minutes left. It was a power play goal, but neither Emrick nor Davidson mentioned– or, likely, realized– that Staal had gotten a two-minute minor and that there were, indeed, more Oilers than Hurricanes on the ice at the time.

Scott and I stand ready to replace Emrick and Davidson. Scott is a brilliant analyst, and I talk quickly. You can reach us at this blog.

Scott adds: That was an amazing game, wasn’t it? (While I have some affection for JD, I can’t disagree about the broadcasting tonight; it sounded like particularly sentimental baseball announcers in the 7th inning of a 14-0 game in April, as if there was a a lot of dead time that needed filling with random anecdotes rather than the rollercoaster ride that was actually happening.) As Michael says, the first half of the game went according to my script: a shaky, mistake-prone Carolina defense under siege against the speedy Oilers forwards, and the ‘Canes scorers unable to mount a consistent attack against the formidable Oiler D. (And a defenseman scoring on a penalty shot!) And then the game turned on a dime: the Oilers looking callow and disoriented, the ‘Canes combining the speed of youth with the playmaking and sniping ability of veterans (Ray Whitney has always been incredibly underrated, hasn’t he?) An short-handed goal to complete the comeback. And then the potentially series-changing idiotic penalty taken by Staal, after which the Oilers’ PP finally clicked. And then, of course, the series-changing moment, with the injury to Rolason. Sometimes a young goaltender will come in and play over his head, but the hapless Conklin immediately spit out the bit with bad puckhandling (while Ward made an incredible save with 3 seconds left.) If he doesn’t play–and if I understand he won’t–the series I think is effectively over; we’re back to the Oilers being a legitimate #8 seed, and we know how that usually goes. (I’m rooting for Carolina–rivalry trumps patriotism for me–but I would hate to see them win like this.) Even if he plays, you have to be impressed with the ‘Canes comeback, although both teams have showed remarkable resilience. Let’s just hope we get a couple more games like this. If this can’t get some more people in Carolina away from the circling cars, nothing will…

Praise the Lord and pass the empty symbolism

[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

Or fail to pass.

Reuter’s Andy Sullivan provides some MSM liberal media bias (in this case, read “informative reporting”) on the looming “traditional marriage” amendment:

Opponents said the measure was a transparent attempt to shore up support among social conservatives before November’s congressional election, in a similar manner to the 2004 presidential campaign, when Congress should be dealing with issues like high gasoline prices and the war in Iraq

It turns out that banning gay marriage will work wonders for our society’s ills.

Several religious leaders joined Allard to argue that the ban is needed to counteract an array of social ills, from rising divorce rates to out-of-wedlock births. “Americans want our laws to send a positive message to our children,” said Matt Daniels, founder of the Alliance for Marriage Foundation.

I’ve also heard it will help cure cancer, reduce the trade deficit, and end corruption in congress. After all, legal gay marriage in Massachusetts is a well-known contributory cause of all of these problems.

Reuter’s provides us with a nice shot of the pins worn by supporters of “traditional marriage”:

Apparently, the designers rejected this image as a bit too traditional:


Now, I’m not saying that you’d have to be a moron to view a party that waits nearly two years after the last campaign in which it made gay marriage an issue to schedule a hopeless, symbolic vote on the issue as defending the interests of Conservative Christians…. Actually, I am. Maybe this time they’ll wake up and smell the cheap alcohol and hookers.

See, I can be just as shrill as the next liberal blogger!


[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

I hate Christopher Hitchens for dragging me out of my blogging vacation.

I can agree with the first point he makes in his effort to blame Haditha on dirty liberals. While awful things will always happen in war, the policies pursued by military organizations can increase or decrease the incidence of Haditha-like occurences. Policies pursued during Vietnam made massacres more likely than they are today, and the US military should be commended for changing its procedures over time.

But then there’s the rest.

First, Christopher tries again to explain why he thinks the Vietnam War was a criminal enterprise and Iraq is hunky dory:

In My Lai the United States was fighting the Vietcong. A recent article about the captured diary of a slain female Vietnamese militant (now a best seller in Vietnam) makes it plain that we were vainly attempting to defeat a peoples’ army with a high morale and exalted standards. I, for one, will not have them insulted by any comparison to the forces of Zarqawi, the Fedayeen Saddam, and the criminal underworld now arrayed against us.

Riiiiggggghhhttt. This is one of those comments that makes you wonder whether the author is stupid or just lying. My bet is the latter with Hitch. While it’s true, of course, that the Viet Cong operated a a very high level of skill and was reasonably popular among some sectors of the South Vietnamese populace, it’s also true that they didn’t shy away from using brutal tactics when appropriate. They pursued a campaign of assassination across South Vietnam, executing ideologically suspect landowners, but also many of the civilian professionals who make life work. The Viet Cong also commonly used violence against peasants who were suspected of supporting or working with government and US forces. The Viet Cong rarely used suicide attacks, but as Mia Bloom has shown, that has more to do with the recent spread of the tactic than with the quality of the organization. The point is that no insurgency has clean hands, and if you think that insurgencies can be distinguished between viscious “terrorists” and high minded people’s warriors, then you’re a freaking moron.

It gets worse:

There is no respectable way of having this both ways. Those who say that the rioters in Baghdad in the early days should have been put down more forcefully are accepting the chance that a mob might have had to be fired on to protect the National Museum. Those who now wish there had been more troops are also demanding that there should have been more targets and thus more body bags. The lawyers at Centcom who refused to give permission to strike Mullah Omar’s fleeing convoy in Afghanistan—lest it by any chance be the wrong convoy of SUVs speeding from Kabul to Kandahar under cover of night—are partly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Afghan teachers and international aid workers who have since been murdered by those who were allowed to get away.

Sure. If you believe that stationing troops outside the National Museum in order to intimidate potential looters would have been a good idea, then you’re basically just calling for more Hadithas. The point of having more troops, and in general for having a police presence, is that the situation is rendered more peaceful by the plausible threat of state violence. When a football team hires extra security for the playoffs, it is in order to render a disturbance less, not more, likely. Thus, it’s entirely consistent to argue that there were too few troops to keep order, and to suggest that the troops there were not employed correctly, and at the same time to decry further Hadithas.

I also love the non-sequiter about Centcom lawyers; it nicely demonstrates that Hitch has so swallowed the neocon kool aid that he can no longer make a meaningful distinction between military officers following rules of engagement and Ward Churchill.

Resuming vacation now.

Bad News Waiting

[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

Gee, you spend a weekend on the road (insight: gambling on horse races is much more profitable when you actually purchase the racing form. Who knew? It’s always nice to make a profit at the Bellagio Sportsbook that doesn’t rely solely on the value of the free drinks…) and you come back to find that Ted Barlow is abandoning the blogosphere. We’ve always had a special affection for Ted because he was the first Big-time Blogger (TM) to link to something we wrote, but he’s always been a marvelous writer, and he will be sorely missed. Henry convieniently links to some of Ted’s greatest hits. I’d like to add a couple of my favorites: “Since the Beginning of Time Liberals have Yearned to Destroy the Sun” and his untitled reminiscing about the short-lived MSNBC show “Andrea Dworkin is Making Sense.” He will be much missed, and we wish him well.

(By the way, although I didn’t know this at the time of her premature death, I think it should be noted for the record that Dworkin opposed and correctly predicted the counterproductive results of the Canadian government’s attempt to criminalize pornography in formally feminist terms.)

Democracy and terrorism

[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

The 17 men were mainly of South Asian descent and most were in their teens or early 20’s. One of the men was 30 years old and the oldest was 43 years old, police officials said. None of them had any known affiliation with Al Qaeda.

“They represent the broad strata of our society,” Mr. McDonell said. “Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed.

Thus the New York Times story on the Canadian arrests of suspected terrorists reminds us of something that should have been obvious after the July 2005 London bombings. Democracy is not a panacea for terrorism.

Consider just some of the plethora of cases of indigenous–and quasi-indigenous–terrorism in liberal democracies: the Red Brigade in Italy, the ETA in Spain, the Red Army Faction in Germany, Algerian terrorism in France, American anarchists, and a variety of more recent home-grown American terrorist organizations.

So what of the neoconservative grand strategy of using Iraq as a beachhead to expand democracy throughout the Middle East?

At the most basic level, the notion that democratizing Iraq might lead to a domino effect throughout the region stems from a flawed analogy with the revolutions of 1989. Eastern Europe was part of the Soviet “outer empire.” Communism, at least in the form it took after the Soviet occupations following World War II, was an ideology of imperial control; liberal and social democracy, in contrast, were anti-imperial ideologies. The occupation of Iraq,i f anything, risks creating a situation rather different: liberal democracy becomes the ideology of imperial domination.

But even if we grant some causal power to the demonstration effects offered by a stable and democratic Iraqi regime — and there might be some — what does the mounting evidence concerning democracies and terrorism say about the underlying wager that democratization would reduce the threat of terrorism to the United States and other western powers?

Democracy may not end terrorism, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have ameliorative effects.

As Charles Tilly argues in The Politics of Collective Violence, high-capacity democratic regimes (strong democracies with the capacity to provide public order) expand the zone of permissible peaceful political dissent while more effectively policing violent political contention. Low-capacity democratic regimes are, for their part, likely to see more violent contentious politics (such as terrorist activity) than high-capacity authoritarian regimes, but we should expect them to fare somewhat better than low-capacity autocracies. Democracy doesn’t solve terrorism, but it does provide more channels through which resistance to state policies can be focused into normal political activity or into less violent forms of non-routine politics (protests and so forth). Democratization, in other words, does tend to reduce terrorism, particularly when it is accompanied by a relatively strong set of state institutions.

(In this light, Iraq sees so much terrorism not because it became less authoritarian after the invasion, but because it became less authoritarian and the state lost much of its ability to police and control private violence.)

But to return to the issue at hand, democratization can ameliorate terrorism, but it cannot solve it. The best regimes for combating terrorism, in many respects, are high-capacity authoritarian ones. But even the most ardent supporters of expanding, for example, electronic surveillance of American citizens recognize that, after a certain point, we’re just not willing to give up the kind of liberties that would “end” the problem of terrorism in the homeland.

So the neoconservatives clearly oversold the gains from democratic enlargement, but they weren’t entirely wrong that, in principle, expanding the number of democracies might be a good thing for the “war on terror.” Where the rubber really hits the road, however, is not at the level of general regime tendencies but at that of the specific conditions found in countries and regions. And here the evidence is quite mixed. For every example of democratic participation moderating extremists, we have examples where it seems that democratic participation merely empowers them (e.g., the current trajectory of Hamas).

In the end, democratic enlargement still doesn’t pass the crucial test: it isn’t worth, in the absence of other compelling strategic concerns, the costs of preventative war. Those who rumble about expanding the Bush doctrine to Iran ought to keep that in mind.

Politics and Food

[ 0 ] June 5, 2006 |

For our daughter’s end of the year school picnic/pot luck I was making up a batch of hummus. As I was squeezing the lemons and limes (hint: for really good hummus, use both lemon and lime) , I asked TheWife whether she thought that the long-haired libruls bringing Middle Eastern food would be perceived by some as a political statement (it wasn’t intended as such, there just tends to be few veggie options at these things, it’s quick to whip up, and we make pretty good hummus). She didn’t think so. “It’s just hummus,” was her sentiment. But I wasn’t so sure.

The political meaning of food is something that I find very interesting. Politicians are always flipping pancakes. “Meat and potatoes” certainly is a loaded term. To call someone a “tofu eater” or a “latte drinker” is hardly subtle in its connotation.

But the act of enjoying the foods of other cultures is what interests me. Uma Narayan, in “Eating Cultures: Incorporation, Identity and Indian Food,” argues that “foreign food” is not really foreign food, but an act of colonization. One frequently hears that “our Chinese food is not real Chinese food, it’s Americanized Chinese food” — the same with our Mexican food , Italian food… The colonizer remakes the food as it suits its own tastes, exoticizes the other culture, and congratulates itself on its ability to incorporate “foreignness”. In the process, it creates a cartoon of the culture it appropriates, a cartoon that dovetails with other means of stereotyping.

A colleague of mine, a historian and African American studies scholar, recently got rather annoyed at a bunch of us who were discussing the new non-traditionally American food offerings in a nearby city. Some of us were giddy at having access to three Indian restaurants, a new Thai restaurant, and a new Ethiopian restaurant in a region where offerings have generally been quite limited. He took the underlying meaning of seeking out these these foods not to be the mere appreciation of spicing options, but as an elitist symbol of social status. To eat “exotic” food was meant to demonstrate a certain sort of cosmopolitan air with the intention of distinguishing yourself from the KFC eaters around you. It was an insult to the common person as being provincial, unworldly, less educated and uncultured.

In light of these arguments from really smart people, I just don’t think I’m sold. I agree that eating the foods of other cultures is in some sense political, but I think it may be so in a positive fashion. There is little that is as universally human as eating and when you enjoy the food of another culture, it must play some role in humanizing that culture.

For example, if you look at white pride literature from the first half of the 20th century, one vilified group is Italians. Now, this is not odd, all major groups of immigrants have their turn in the spotlight of hate and Italians got a double dose because of the Protestant/Catholic tensions added in. But Italians are now “white.” Indeed, you can now even find some Italians amongst the writers of the racial separatist movement without drawing a peep from the Aryans with whom they are aligned. I have no doubt that part of this assimilation is related to the normalization of Italian foods into “American” fare. We no longer think of pizza, pasta, and minestrone as foreign in the same way that we think of pad Thai or chana masala. Mexican food seems to be having a similar integration, where burritos are becoming just another version of “wraps.” This seems like it must be having some implicitly political ramifications.

I am certainly not arguing that masticatory activism will single-handedly change the world, but it strikes me that menus are political documents. Bad foreign policy often requires creating caricatured villains with the face of the Other, representations that would be made more difficult to construct if they were being undermined by lunch.

My Apology to Santorum, Dobson, and Cornyn

[ 0 ] June 4, 2006 |

I was wrong, they were right. In my post Countering the Slippery Slope Nonsense: Why Gay Marriage Doesn’t Lead to Box Turtle Nuptials, I made light of the frightening possibility that opening the gates to gay marriage might lead down the slippery slope to human/non-human marriage. This line of reasoning has been embraced by James Dobson (whose mind goes to donkeys), Rick Santorum (who prefers dogs), and John Cornyn (for whom box turtles are the great Satan of matrimony). I argued:

Animals may or may not have moral rights, but under our social contract they do not have legal rights. Since animals cannot be held legally responsible and cannot participate in making decisions, they cannot be married. If children do not rise to the standard, then clearly neither do box turtles. As for Dobson’s donkeys, I have known many people who married jackasses, but that is a different question. One might object that Lassie was quite capable of making life or death decisions for little Timmy, so “shouldn’t they be allowed to get married?” I don’t think it is a real concern because while Lassie seemed gentle and caring on screen, everyone knows that off-camera she was just a little bitch.

But now, out of India comes this bit of news. Apparently, a woman living outside of Bhubaneswara has married a cobra. When asked for comment, the father of the bride was quoted as saying,

“He may not look like much, but he will be a great provider for my daughter. The snake expects to make partner next year in the law firm of Gupta, Shyster, and Gupta, LLC.”

While this is a religious, not a civil, union, the fact is that the possibility is apparently more open than I allowed in my treatment of the question. Reverend Dobson, Senator Cornyn, and soon to be ex-Senator Santorum, please accept my sincere apology.


[ 0 ] June 2, 2006 |

Scientists in Canada have made a shocking discovery. As humans age, our ability to get jokes decreases. Fortunately, we don’t find jokes any less funny, but the part of the brain that deals with humour comprehension becomes less acute.

The small study involved 20 healthy older adults with an average age of 73 and 17 younger adults with an average age of 28. In the first of three humour tests, participants were presented with 28 written statements and asked to pick out the humorous ones. One example from the 21 humorous statements was a sign in a tailor shop on Hong Kong: “Please have a fit upstairs”.

The second test presented participants with 16 incomplete jokes and asked them to select the funny punch line from a choice of four endings. One joke began: “The neighbour approached Mr Smith at noon on Sunday and inquired, ‘Say Smith, are you using your lawnmower this afternoon?’ ‘Yes I am,’ Smith replied warily.” And the funny ending was “Fine you won’t be wanting your golf clubs, I’ll just borrow them”, while the other endings were either logical or a non sequitur.

A new team of scientists is working on replicating the result, but this time with funny jokes.

But to show that the Cosmic Comic is still has a hand in the running of this universe, we also got this story this week. Seniors may not be getting jokes, but they are getting something else… The town of The Villages, Florida is a retirement community that “boasts itself as Florida’s friendliest hometown.” Friendly, indeed.

Doctors in The Villages are seeing increased numbers of seniors afflicted with a health problem most associate with the young. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise…Doctors in the age-restricted community are seeing increased numbers of cases of herpes, and the Human Papillomavirus virus, or HPV. While statistics aren’t yet reflecting the trend, one physician at the Women’s Center of The Villages said, even in her years working in Miami, she has never seen so many cases.

Doctor’s office co-pay: $10. Having to explain to your 68 year old daughter why Medicare isn’t covering the rest of the bill: Priceless.

I Don’t Know Whether To File This Under "Check Email Addresses Carefully Before Hitting Send" Or "Don’t Live With Your Siblings As An Adult"

[ 0 ] June 2, 2006 |

But in any case, everyone should read it.

Hanson Watch, Part 537

[ 0 ] June 2, 2006 |

Victor Davis Hanson is the gift that keeps on giving. He articulates a certain strain of neoconservativism so badly as to bring discredit upon many of his more eloquent fellow travelers.

Here’s one of his recent essays (via American Future). I’ve edited it just a bit to see if I could generate an equally poor, but diametrically opposed, argument.

[Because this is a long post — and because LGM doesn’t have an “after the fold” setting — I’ve moved it to the Duck of Minerva. You can read the rest there. Comment here, if so inclined.]

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