I've just discovered @ap_org, which seems to feel as strongly as I do that reposing our country's security in a took no more proven utility than a dowser has got to be a bad idea. Even if it elicits a few true confessions, the value is outweighed by the harm--
It makes us more stupid; it establishes that the government can not only withhold information from us in the name of NATSEC (which we all agree is the right thing to do, in some cases) but actively lie in a way that indulges magical habits of thinking, making the government--
--on the whole less credible and less ostensibly competent, making people more stupid (because they have to pretend to believe in this nonsense to keep their jobs), and often returning results that prevent qualified people from taking important jobs--
News organs would do readers a valuable service if, whenever they report that someone has taken or proposes to take a polygraph, they reminded readers (or explained to them) that polygraphs are voodoo. It's junk science. A polygraph is no more reliable than a pack of tarot cards.
Papers that report that Mike Pence has offered to take a polygraph or that Christine Blasey has taken one without explaining that polygraphs do not work are wasting an opportunity to enlighten their readers. It's their choice, but it's an irresponsible one.
If you promulgate the idea that there's a machine that can tell the difference between truth and falsehood, you shouldn't be so surprised to find yourself living in a culture so hostile to science that kids go unvaccinated and measles breaks out in the First World.
This is muddying the issue. Chirac took responsibility for Vel d'hiv in '95 (53 years after). Macron for Audin in '18 (61 years after). ICC didn't exist until 2002, and had nothing to do with Macron's statement, which was clearly a function of time, not the ICC.
If in 2069 the United States "takes responsibility" for "the Bush torture," it will be an equivalent gesture. The ICC did not compel Macron's recognition, the deaths of anyone powerful enough to object did.
Yes, it is. But if we're not prepared to take the risk of military intervention otherwise, we need to be explicit about what will and won't get a reaction out of us--for many reasons. I would say, "Go ahead and kill the terrorists, but killing no more civilians than we would."
"And we know what 'a reasonable number of civilians' looks like. We kill them by accident all the time. But we're not *aiming* at them. We'll know if you're aiming at them. Oh, and at the end of it, Assad has to go. He can go to Moscow, but he's got to go."
If we had any sense at all, we'd say, "We understand your concerns about terrorists. Let us have the honor of killing them. We'll do it more carefully. Then we can let the 2.5 million civilians decide how they want to govern themselves, okay?"
"Congress has been purposefully left out of the executive order drafting process, the official said, because the administration wants to preempt legislation being considered in the House and Senate that addresses similar issues." reut.rs/2NxRxVL
Why, that's just what Americans conservatives have always said they wanted! Law made by secret and unaccountable agencies in the Executive branch, with the duly-elected legislative branch reduced to irrelevance. Congratulations, conservatives! It's all been worth it!
We conservatives always said, "The Constitution just got it wrong about the separation of powers. We need to concentrate them all in the executive branch and just ... what do we need a legislature for, anyway?" Right? That's the essence of a conservative worldview.
The European Parliament needs to start condemning Orban for the right reasons. foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/11/in-… This is very wise. But in urging us not to conflate cultural liberalism with democracy,
@DaliborRohac adds to the linguistic confusion. We need to stop conflating the words "liberal" and "left-wing," or at least clarify which meaning we're using, and we need to stop conflating "democracy" with "liberalism."
It's more than a geographic distinction, i.e., that Americans tend to use the word "liberal" to mean "left wing." The conflated usage reflects a deep confusion about what we really consider the essence of a liberal democracy.
I also don't get the first sentence. (When was it a model ally? Apart from in our fantasies.) But apart from that, it's a good overview of the situation. And it rightly stresses that the deep issue is the estrangement of the Turkish public--
and to a lesser extent the US public, though I don't think the US public thinks about it much. And you also rightly say that this estrangement is not insane. I hadn't realized that Pence's former Chief of Staff is now lobbying for the Gülenists.
Yes, it is. It's remarkable how eager people are to believe this kid doesn't exist. I don't know, for sure, that he does. I haven't seen him with my own eyes. Perhaps he's a clever digital invention or some kind of al Qaeda front. But I do know, for sure--
that there are many real Syrians who *are* what he appears to be. I've met enough of them to be damned sure there's such a thing as a "terrified Syrian teenager who's been pushed into Idlib and is now facing death." So it is perfectly plausible that he's just what he seems.
The only thing about him that doesn't add up is that the regime hasn't killed him yet. See: nybooks.com/contributors/m…. The regime targets anyone who might be able to get the word out about its abominations. He's now well known, so I'm surprised he's still alive.
I mean, I looked closely at the Constitution and I do not see, "create an unelected, unaccountable, second-track presidency" as a Constitutional remedy for an incapacitated president. I challenge anyone to find me the place in the Constitution where it says this is okay.
I find it strange that everyone's first reaction is to try to guess who it is. Mine--and I would have thought everyone's--is to scream, "Who the fuck elected *you*?"
Yes, you're right. Merkel has been fatally weak in standing up to Orbán, and the cancer is metastasizing. She's also been fatally weak with Erdoğan. She could have said, forthrightly, "The alternative to accepting refugees is paying off Erdoğan to keep them in Turkey--
"That will enable Erdoğan to blackmail us. It will show we care not one bit about the rights and well-being of millions of Turks. We'll sacrifice all hope of helping a decent democracy emerging in Turkey." She should have resigned before doing that.
She's been fatally weak with Russia, for similar reasons--and less often remarked, but true, she's been fatally weak with Russia because she was fatally weak with the German left.
WaPo's review of Woodward suggests that the White House is exactly the way everyone else describes it, right? Everyone around him understands there's no President, just this surreal situation with an Orangutan roaming the Oval Office and no one allowed to do anything about it.
I do regret, though, that everyone just kind of shook their heads and said, "Nope, we can't let an Orangutan make that kind of decision" when he said this:
I can't say I find this sentiment unsympathetic, either.
But there is another argument--not a craven one, and one with which I agree, in fact--that it's just too late for military involvement at this stage. It risks direct superpower conflict. This doesn't mean, however, that we need to behave as if we're basically okay with it.
There are many instruments short of direct military confrontation that can and should be used to prevent civilians in Idlib from being slaughtered--including creating a *real* humanitarian corridor for them: to the West, including the US.
Sure. They'll be handsomely inspired by the fate of Syrian democracy activists who thought, "Enough. The people want the fall of the regime." Then what? Maybe they'll get advice from those same people, who are now leading Syria's democratically-elected government? Oh wait--
They've all been bombed to smithereens, or starved or tortured to death, or they're languishing in refugee camps, or wandering the world in maddened exile. (Well, not the world. I exaggerate. They're not even allowed to darken the doorstep of the United States.)
So I'm just not really sure why anyone thinks Iranians *can* topple the regime and bring democracy and freedom to the region. I was speaking to one of those very Syrian exiles the other evening. He said, "What else could people who lived under a regime like that do?
The author of this article is correct: After this weekend, anyone who buys the AfD line that they've got nothing to do with Nazis is a fool--and anyone who sells that line is worse than a fool. spiegel.de/politik/deutsc…
Björn Höcke marched right through the center of Chemnitz, carrying a white rose and trailed by a passel of Nazis. (For those who don't know, that is vomitous desecration. This is what the White Rose means: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose.)
There's something comforting about calling them "neo-Nazis," or "the far-right." It suggests they're not quite as sinister as real Nazis. But both are euphemisms. If you do this in Germany, you know damned well what you are: a Nazi.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the campaign over the weekend. When I woke up and saw that, I was thrilled. And astonished, actually. I am now a fanatical devotee of Twitter Analytics: I would *never* have guessed that the key was yogurt and weather reports.
So today I have a special 36-hour UK weather forecast (for the 7 percent of my followers who live in the UK).
And today's featured yogurt comes from a farm in the Pays de Caux in the heart of the Normandy countryside.
La Ferme du Manège is for true yogurt connoisseurs.
They're "in love" with their cows, whom they raise in verdant pastures. They're "a team of ten who live for perfection in yogurt." "110 dairy cows," they explain, "offer us the quality milk we need to produce our yogurts daily. Everything depends on them! So we are very caring."
Have any of you ever gone to the "analytics" section of Twitter and looked at the socioeconomic profile of your followers? (I suppose probably all of you have and as usual I was the last person on earth to realize this was even possible.)
I was surprised: Why do I exhibit such a fascination over people who are interested in the weather? Or is it that everyone is interested, above all, in the weather, so everyone finds that this is the top-ranked category? What happens when you ask?
And why would my followers be so heavily weighted toward people interested in science, tech, space, astronomy, and our national parks? I mean, I guess I'm interested in all those things, but don't really talk about them that much, do I?
Al-Ikhbariya (state-run Syrian TV) blames electrical short circuit.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it was likely an Israeli missile strike, cites "official in the regional alliance backing Damascus" who agrees Israeli missiles from across the Golan Heights did it.
Sputnik says the blasts were caused by Syrian anti-aircraft systems destroying the missiles (which were, they say, targeting the military base at Mazzeh) and causing them to go off course to a munitions dump.
Yes. And as the Founders studied the causes of the collapse of the Roman republic, future Founders will study us, and try to fix the defects that caused our demise. Mind you, we're not dead yet. I'm just saying that even if this is as bad as many of us fear in our worst moments--
It's not the end of the story. We've made enough of an impact on civilization, we've spread so many of these ideas, we've proven so clearly that such a country can exist--humanity will keep trying to do it. But yes, it could be a long dark age until the next attempt.
So it would be much better if we just got our shit together.
I agree with you about the enduring value of these ideas, @BretStephensNYT. I'm not as sure as you are that they will endure in America. But I'm certain that because America existed, America will endure. nytimes.com/2018/08/31/opi…
Whatever happens now, we've already made our point: a country based on these ideas can exist. It's not a Utopian fantasy. The US, for all its imperfections, was overall an astonishing success.
You're right that billions of people around the world now aspire to these ideals, even if many no longer believe that Americans themselves do.
So whatever happens to America now, even if we succumb to every last one of our corrupt and authoritarian impulses;
Paste has published images and photos from Yemen, writing, "Despite their propensity to offend viewer sensibilities, these scenes are necessary for American audiences. Images have a unique power to humanize brutality—pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/… via @pastemagazine 1/
"to connect terms like “civilian casualties” and “collateral” to faces across the globe belonging to people who, as it turns out, look an awful lot like us," they write. "Footage can sway public opinion--2/
"and catalyze policy change by delivering us from our detachment and laying bare our egocentrism." Unfortunately, I don't think this is so. I suspect we've become gravely desensitized to images like these.
Dear Senator @timkaine, I'm glad you supported the Sanders-Lee-Murphy proposal. Senator @MarkWarner, I wonder if you can explain your June 13 vote to me; I don't understand it. Congressman @GerryConnolly, I vote in your district, but don't know where you stand on this.
I'd be grateful if your offices kept me updated about how you're voting on any bill relevant to ending this carnage, which as far as I can see is not only a humanitarian catastrophe but a strategic disaster for the United States.
I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but so far I've heard no argument that makes any sense to me. (You can see my good faith efforts to find a solid counter- argument here:
H. R. 5515 was passed Congress by Congress on Aug 4, 2018. It specifies that within 120 days, (See section 1274) The Secretary of Defense must provide a review of our policy in Yemen.This must be complete by November 4 (more or less) govtrack.us/congress/bills…
The review is to determine whether the Armed Forces or coalition partners of the United States violated Federal law or Department of Defense policy while conducting operations there. Matters to be included:
1) Whether the Armed Forces interrogated Yemeni citizens in prisons within Yemen or provided questions to any United States coalition partner for use in such interrogations, and whether such interrogations or actions were consistent with United States law and policy.