Re: Syria

1

It's a fascinating time (what with the crossword thread and all) for nytimes.com's domain registration to be hacked in a way that points to Syrian interests (whether "loyalists" or "rebels" I am not clear, though the former seems more likely). Other sites may be affected as well.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 2:58 PM
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I wonder about those Kosovars' perspective on intervention. If they were just little kids, how good a first-hand understanding of what happened might they have? Most of the reports I've read from people who were politically engaged on the left in the Balkans at the time are pretty staunchly anti-NATO intervention.

I would question as well how close this situation maps onto the Balkan debacle.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:06 PM
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I once had some Serb chew my ear off complaining about that. Given that we were in Ohio at the time, I figure maybe his rage at the US was not as strong as he was saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:11 PM
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If they were just little kids, how good a first-hand understanding of what happened might they have?

No idea. But I assume that's the party line they're getting from their parents, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:14 PM
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I have an opinion: fuck no we shouldn't get involved in Syria, and if I ever develop a smidgen of doubt, all I need to do is scan down this list of signatories to know that it's a horrible idea.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:14 PM
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All that list says to me is that I am wildly uninformed about who anyone is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:16 PM
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I'm convinced -- I forget by whom -- that the US wants both sides to lose. And so I can't help but think that if we intervene it will be an effort, at least in part, to prolong the fighting so that both (as if this shit sandwich has only only two slices) sides will ultimately lose a very ugly war of attrition. But in the meantime, maybe the US stops more massacres from happening? Regardless, 5 is incredibly persuasive.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:23 PM
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George Packer ...waxes near poetic.

James Fallows wrote a little about Kosovo this week.

I got opinions, but I need poetry. Maybe I'll read Heartbreak House.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:25 PM
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Holy Shit ...is that a hippie newspaper?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:28 PM
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Yglesias has been kicking some ass on this issue. If Max Boot is for something, I'm pretty sure I'm against it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:28 PM
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I am as suspicious of evidence necessitating military action far from home as I am of argument stated in a glib question and answer format. Even when Berkeley did it, it made me suspicious.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:29 PM
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You know Arch Puddington, Heebie -- he was the Jello spokesman before Bill Cosby.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:29 PM
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He wears a yellow raincoat and hangs out in London?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:32 PM
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what do you people have against jigglers?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:34 PM
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Lee Smith, long known for his imposing pitching speed, is now trying out a curveball.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:35 PM
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My last doubts were dispelled when I heard David Brooks explain on NPR that if we had gone into Syria earlier we could now more credibly threaten war with Egypt.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:37 PM
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It is noteworthy how pointedly the link in 5 refers to Iran. " The world--including Iran, North Korea, and other potential aggressors who seek or possess weapons of mass of destruction--is now watching to see how you respond. . . . It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us--one that will certainly embolden Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable."

The bit about "accelerat[ing] efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria's armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail" makes me want to SIT DOWN CALMLY and WAIT FOR MY BLOOD PRESSURE TO DROP.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:38 PM
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10: It's funny; I pretty much never find Yglesias worth reading anymore, but when it comes to "making stupid ideas sound obviously stupid", he's hard to beat sometimes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:40 PM
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Have I mentioned that David Brooks is speaking at Heebie U in the near future?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:41 PM
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Well shit, sorry, the Packer was in the OP. My face is so red.

I did go looking for the chart of "who hates who in the Middle East" but can't remember where I read it today.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:45 PM
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oh I forgot to be suspicious about the kosavar children too. it's not fair, heebie, I want to like what you write.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:51 PM
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It's absolute madness, and that someone in Syria might be better off if we do it isn't even close to sufficient reason to even consider it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:55 PM
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I'm kind of surprised how many of the pro-intervention arguments I've encountered explicitly conflate the destructive power of chemical weapons and nuclear weapons.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:56 PM
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Also, when I read that Biden described the use of chemical weapons as "heinous", I imagine him saying it in a Bill & Ted voice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 3:58 PM
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24: send them to the iron maiden.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:03 PM
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10: what is the intervention ratio on the x axis in the 2nd yglesias link?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:03 PM
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Good lord, the argument in 16 is a special kind of crazy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:08 PM
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I take it that it represents foreign military intervention, from no intervention on the left to lots of intervention on the right. The terminology is a bit odd.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:08 PM
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To be clear, I'm not saying that we should get involved. I'm just saying that it's gut-wrenching to know people are getting slaughtered, and that they desperately want something to change. I get that our intervention will not improve things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:09 PM
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5 gets it right. I'm pretty strongly of the view that every single bad problem in the whole world is not our problem, and especially not a problem for our military. OTOH I doubt much happens except that we blow up a few targets, maybe a chemical weapons strorage place of we think we know where that is, and then move on. Of course that's horrible for the people who get bombed and may cause the not really that awesome seeming "free" Syrian army to overcompensate and kill even more people but hey humanitarian intervention hrrm and I guess we're unlikely to get into a ground war, so that's nice.

I still don't really see why "not our problem" isn't the right response when Syrians want to kill other Syrians.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:12 PM
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I know our military has developed crazy-awesome super-powers and all, but isn't it kind of a dangerous proposition to bomb chemical weapons caches?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:15 PM
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2 Kosovar Albanians pretty overwhelmingly supported US intervention. Same goes for Iraqi Kurds. Even a pretty large chunk of the Iraqi Shia population thought US intervention was a good idea. I suspect if the US lobbed missiles at Israel most Palestinians would cheer. Such support is relevant, but definitely not in itself enough to make intervention a good idea.

All that said I'm ok with a minor bombing campaign as a way of discouraging fuure chemical weapon attacks. And I don't buy the 'CW's are no worse than bombs' argument. They're a lot more effective at mass killing in areas with a concentrated population.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:26 PM
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Not for the bombers.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:26 PM
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31: We will find even more evidence against that evil Assad!

Eleven years after Colin Powell at the UN, and people respond to "Look at the gassed children" with anything but rocks, torches, and pitchforks. So easy it goes beyond boring.

They would be laughing their asses off at you, but you aren't even that interesting anymore

More Miley!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:33 PM
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Harmer says he's not particularly worried about chemical collateral damage; the worst of the weapons, like sarin, are stored in "binary" format, with their chemical pre-cursors in separate units. "These weapons are more difficult to use than people realize; damaging them in place may vent chemicals to the atmosphere, but it is not like nuclear radiation -- chemical weapons will dissipate" relatively quickly, said Harmer. "There may be some collateral damage [in a strike destroying such weapons], but far less than use of chemical weapons" by the Assad regime. From this article in FP. I am so totally not reassured.

Watching this civil war has been just heartbreaking and awful and horrible, but I simply cannot see what our getting militarily involved would help. Our only tools here are bombs and guns, and Syria needs a lot less of that sort of thing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:40 PM
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Tag fail.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:41 PM
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Of course we know where the chemical weapons are, they're in the region of Damascus, to the north, east, west, south somewhat.
I was in Greece when we started bombing Serbia. Not many people there were positively inclined towards Americans.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:42 PM
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28: I figured that much out. I just wondered what the ratio part was foreigners to rebels or what?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:45 PM
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The Onion has it. (I remember thinking, "Kosovo analogy? It's reached the marketing stage.")


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:48 PM
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No promises that the thing will be limited are credible. In fact, I'd say they are incredible: as soon as they fail to bring Assad down, all the proponents will double down, arguing that now our credibility really is on the line. So we need to strike again, this time harder. And then again.

This isn't the Sudanese aspirin plant (or whatever it was).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:49 PM
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The folks in the OP that Heebie talked to.... There's one heck of a selection bias problem going on there.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:51 PM
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Juan Cole ...is gingerly comin' onboard.

Fucking Joe From Lowell shows up in comments.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:52 PM
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The people that want this are settling on chemical weapons because it's the one issue they think people can agree on. They will not stop agitating until we're all the way in, and then it'll be a test of will[power.

They're really that crazed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:53 PM
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Joe From Lowell is the greatest, by which I mean the worst, by which I mean the greatest. It's a very tough field, but he has the maximally annoying internet commenter arguing style of all time (non crazy person division). It's just so maximally annoying! I admire his tricks, particularly the sillful deployment of the contemptuous rhetorical question. I've tried to learn from him.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:56 PM
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5, 16, and 22 get it right. When you find yourself on the side of any of those people, it is time to pause and reflect. And turn around.

As far as I can tell one actual question is whether bombing now will somehow dissuade future leaders from using chemical weapons. I don't have any thoughtful opinion on that topic, but I can't imagine how you'd prove that it will.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 4:58 PM
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Not to mention, if the US wants to spend $XB on a foreign adventure with humanitarian aims, I can think of a lot better uses for the money.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:00 PM
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I've always wanted the international convention against chemical weapons to stand (and I'd be more tempted to see their use as a casus belli if I hadn't lived through the fucking run-up to Iraq), but I've been thinking about it particularly today and finding it hard to delineate rationally why that particular way to suffer and die is more horrible than others.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:01 PM
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44: Are you familiar with the work of Brett Bellmore?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:03 PM
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47: I dunno, the WWI fiction I've read suggests it's pretty darn horrific. The trouble is that I can't wrap my mind around how bombing people/plants/weapons depots is going to lessen their use.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:07 PM
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Yes, but it's the one-sentence-paragraph annoying masterworks of Joe From Lowell (combined with the rhetorical questions) that really take it to the next level.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:08 PM
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So you think Brett Bellmore is the most annoying commenter ever? OK.

Brett Bellmore could not, and does not, write like this.

Thus, he is not as annoying as Joe From Lowell. Can you understand that? Maybe you can't.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:08 PM
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Why should we intervene in Syria?

Maybe you all remember a little something called World War I.

The people who lived through that war thought it was bad enough to wipe out chemical weapons forever.

But you people would just ignore their use in Syria because it's all Obama's fault for being a militarist. Got it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:13 PM
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Perhaps of interest: Robert Farley at LGM has some thoughts on Syria.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:17 PM
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53: "The administration seems to be struggling to escape a trap of its own making."

God, this is an absolutely perfect one-sentence summary of the Obama presidency.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:23 PM
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51 and 52 are magnificent (emblems of time well spent).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:32 PM
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7: I'm convinced -- I forget by whom -- that the US wants both sides to lose.

Edward Luttwak, maybe, though he argues that the US *should* want both sides to lose, not that it does.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:41 PM
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7, 56,: Drezner

Gruesome Test of Realpolitik

Why Obama is Arming the Rebels

To your humble blogger, this is simply the next iteration of the unspoken, brutally realpolitik policy towards Syria that's been going on for the past two years. To recap, the goal of that policy is to ensnare Iran and Hezbollah into a protracted, resource-draining civil war, with as minimal costs as possible. This is exactly what the last two years have accomplished.... at an appalling toll in lives lost.

This policy doesn't require any course correction... so long as rebels are holding their own or winning. A faltering Assad simply forces Iran et al into doubling down and committing even more resources. A faltering rebel movement, on the other hand, does require some external support, lest the Iranians actually win the conflict. In a related matter, arming the rebels also prevents relations with U.S. allies in the region from fraying any further.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:56 PM
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I have to agree with 55 re: 51 and 52.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 5:56 PM
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This is one of those issues where the desire to be informed often leads to time wasted and more tortured reasoning than is called for. I no longer trust our sources of information regarding the promulgation of foreign weapons. Barring an actual invasion of an ally, I would not support any war.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:06 PM
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I no longer trust our sources of information regarding the promulgation of foreign weapons

This times a hundred. I know a bunch of people were killed recently (and that way way way way more were killed before them) and don't look to have been blown apart, but that's all I know. But I do know that the American government has EXACTLY ZERO credibility left on such matters.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:21 PM
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56: many, many folks think that, not just Crazy Uncle Ed.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:30 PM
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US motivation for intervention is a power grab, not humanitarian. Maybe a poorly-planned power grab to damage Iran and perhaps make a continued Russin Naval base impossible or weaker.

The people against Assad are Sunnis who dislike the US also, and separately Kurds. Turkey has a say in what happens with Kurds. So there is no local ally for the US. That means that there is not much to be done. So I thinkthat no, sadly, US stays out, because there is no effective way to help.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:32 PM
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So I thinkthat no, sadly, US stays out, because there is no effective way to help

Bomb... everybody?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:35 PM
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Thing is, you can't be a big imperial power unless yo follow through on your threats. We are only on season two of Breaking Bad (no spoilers!) but Walter White has already realized that you can't be a drug kingpin unless you are willing to rub out people who steel from you.

Not intervening would start us down a slippery slope that ends with not having military bases all over the world and not having the ability to tell everyone else what to do.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:47 PM
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As far as I can tell one actual question is whether bombing now will somehow dissuade future leaders from using chemical weapons. I don't have any thoughtful opinion on that topic, but I can't imagine how you'd prove that it will.

The argument is: the U.S. won't bomb you for using chemical weapons unless you're not a U.S. ally and there aren't any other reasons, persuasive to the current U.S. regime, for the U.S. not to bomb you. So you takes your chances, and some kind of righteous U.S.ian punishment for your nerve gas mortar attacks on those pesky rebels is probably the least of your worries at this point.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:48 PM
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I mean it's even worse than that. There's no statute that says the U.S. will bomb your ass if you use chemical weapons. There's no executive order that says it. Obama said chemical weapons use by Syria in its civil war was a "red line" or whatever. That's all. No deterrent implied against other regimes.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:50 PM
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59,60: Yeah, I don't think people are even listening anymore.

Drezner's latest post is about CNN having more Miley coverage than Syria. He's wrong. Why bother, anybody paying attention to Kerry, gonna tune in O's Big Speech?

After the last few months with the NSA stuff (and years under Bush) we have learned things:

1) They're probably lying
2) If we catch them lying, makes no difference
3) They're gonna do what they want if they can. They wanna war, they're gonna war

Felt something like this after 1969 and Cambodia.

Mission accomplished


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:51 PM
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You can't erase a red line.

Try it. Won't go anywhere.

You need a new piece of paper.

Or maybe a different color marker, to draw over it. Sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:51 PM
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White-out makes this really cool tape now. It's like White-out tape, or maybe a dispenser of a thick line of whiteness. Try that.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:57 PM
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US motivation for intervention is a power grab,

I dunno. Back before I understood how much malice there was in the world, and in the US, I used to say things like, "Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity." Nonetheless, Apo is certainly correct in 60.

But wow, this just looks dumb as shit, and not motivated by anything in particular beyond a warmongering culture and cluelessness.

LW, you propose that there is no effective way to help, but I'd go beyond that and say there's no effective way to do anything. Moreover, I think the actual plan is to accomplish nothing beyond satisfying the American political interests that demand action.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:58 PM
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a dispenser of a thick line of whiteness

Man that is a really unfortunate euphism for US bombing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 6:59 PM
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I join in the admiration of 51 and 52.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:00 PM
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I love white out tape.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:00 PM
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people do really need to watch that Miley thing. someone deserves credit for a work of art.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:01 PM
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one actual question is whether bombing now will somehow dissuade future leaders from using chemical weapons.

What Bave said in 65.

(And I was going to mention something about past precedents, but was afraid of sounding like a certain annoying commenter from Lowell. Not that I could pull it off the way Halford does.)


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:06 PM
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"Blurred Lines" -- not if you really used a dispenser of a thick line of whiteness.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:07 PM
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Hey, I typed "euphism" earlier! That's not a word!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:09 PM
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I hadn't heard that Miley song until the VMA controversy, and I think it's a pretty great song, and the video is great. A party anthem that's empty and sad. More emphasis on the "can't stop" than the "won't stop." Madonna should retire with her $125m income last year and let Lady Gaga and Miley compete to reveal to us the true Pop Suññatā and Anattā


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:14 PM
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let Lady Gaga and Miley compete to reveal to us the true Pop Suññatā and Anattā

As prophesied in the Baghavadgaya!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 7:19 PM
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Another thread killed!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:07 PM
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See, I think Syria (and Iran) have orchestrated a situation where we send over some cruise missles and knock down some buildings. I'm not sure what their plan is.

How about this, though, for rank speculation: get us in, have Hezb shoot some missiles at Israel, get Israel to do something (anything, or nothing -- which is still sufficient if they'll got collateral damage corpses to show on TV). This drives a wedge between the rebels and their Saudi and Qatari backers, as both rush to leave their de facto alliance with Israel.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:14 PM
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Iran beat the crap out of us in Iraq because they had superior knowledge of the ground, better relationships with all the players (most of which were Iranian clients of one kind or another) and an interest in the outcome we could never hope to match.

And we're going to go up against those same advantages in Syria -- without approval from the UN, NATO, or Congress -- to defend the credibility of the President? In a political situation where military defeat is a victory for the principal domestic proponents of the war.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:19 PM
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And we're going to go up against those same advantages in Syria -- without approval from the UN, NATO, or Congress -- to defend the credibility of the President?

It's like you're not even watching Breaking Bad (see #64, but NO SPOILERS!)

Well, what does David Brooks have to say on the matter at hand? If Brooks is for it, I'm against it, has been my infallible guide for the past decade or so. God love Brooks, but his (mis-) judgment has yet to prove me wrong.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:43 PM
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Israel has already launched strikes on Syria, and the FSA section of the opposition cheered, while the jihadis made some noises but mostly didn't seem to care. Right now the jihadis are preemptively denouncing US airstrikes and are expecting that the US will lob a few missiles their way while they're in the neighbourhood. The Qataris and Saudis aren't exactly best of friends these days, and the Saudis seem to have a decent relationship with the Israelis based on mutual hostility to Iran.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:47 PM
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16 to 83.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:51 PM
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I hadn't heard that Miley song until the VMA controversy, and I think it's a pretty great song, and the video is great. A party anthem that's empty and sad. More emphasis on the "can't stop" than the "won't stop."

I agree (though I had seen the video before). I think it actually says something important about the pervasive hopelessness that underlies the experience of being a young person these days.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 8:56 PM
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The song sounds like... a generic song. With the generic voice that has replaced female singers' actual voices.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:10 PM
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The whole creeping over Miley Cyrus thing weirds me out. Usually when people are creeping over someone growing up (Natalie Portman, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Emma Watson) it's someone who's very hot and who obviously everyone finds attractive but felt bad about it because they were too young. But it seems to me that Miley Cyrus isolates out the people who are actually enjoying it for the creepiness factor alone. That is, she's not that hot, but apparently lots of people are into just the fact that she's young and was a virginal child star. I was weirded out by this before the VMA, but the VMA also captures it because that performance is just perverty without any sexiness.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:14 PM
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I feel like 88 makes a whole bunch of assumptions that probably aren't warranted, but I don't know enough about the subject to be sure.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:17 PM
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my enjoyment, and any conceivable enjoyment of the vma display, has very little to do with getting an erection.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:24 PM
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See, text gets it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:26 PM
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I'm not sure if I had the same audio as everyone else. The voice isn't always audible, sometimes cracks, and is not that usual. The visuals are purposefully unsexy, appalling and hilarious.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:27 PM
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teo, you were always my favorite.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:28 PM
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Aw, thanks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:29 PM
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The music video for the song gives a better sense, I think, of the aesthetic she's going for than the VMA performance does.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:31 PM
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Well right, the VMA thing is a total trainwreck and so is somewhat compelling to watch.

But say the fact that Miley Cyrus is #1 on Maxim's Hot 100 says there's actually a large cultural phenomenon of people into her.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:38 PM
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But say the fact that Miley Cyrus is #1 on Maxim's Hot 100 says there's actually a large cultural phenomenon of people into her.

Well, sure, but the fact that there are older dudes perving on her because of her age isn't particularly relevant to her music and self-presentation, which clearly aren't aimed at them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:42 PM
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Really? I'd assumed a bunch of the self-presentation was explicitly a decision to cash in on former Disney star growing up sex appeal.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:45 PM
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Really? I'd assumed a bunch of the self-presentation was explicitly a decision to cash in on former Disney star growing up sex appeal.

But it isn't sexy! It instead appears to be deliberately weird and offputting, or at least in strong contrast to the image of female sexuality that appeals to the older dudes who make most of the decisions about how young women are portrayed in popular media.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:48 PM
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I haven't watched the video, any of the videos, or heard the song, but I have read this.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:48 PM
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I don't give much of a shit about the VMA thing but I kept thinking she has tardive dyskinesia, a side effect of antipsychotics and something you will see on the subway once in a while. Also the big dancing bears freak me out a little. And she seems kind of charmless. And her dad sang "Achey Breaky Heart." And that Robin Thicke song gets stuck in my head. And Syria.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:51 PM
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It agree its not sexy, but it is porny which makes me think its not deliberately unsexy.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 9:55 PM
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100: That's a good post. Whatever Cyrus is trying to do with this shtick, there's clearly a lot of problematic racial baggage in it.

102: Well, it's sort of porny, I guess, but it still doesn't seem like the sort of porn that's intended to appeal to middle-aged white guys. Again, the music video is a better illustration than the VMA performance of what she appears to be going for. The imagery is heavily sexualized, and she's scantily clad and gyrating at times (so, sure, porny), but the type of sexuality she's expressing is very aggressive and sort of weird and pervy in its own right. That is, she's portraying herself as a sexual subject rather than a sexual object. Maybe that's intended to appeal to the male gaze, but it doesn't seem like the kind of image of young women's sexuality that that gaze tends to prefer. I mean, maybe she is trying to appeal to men that way and just failing, but if so she's going about it in a very bizarre way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:07 PM
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I wish to show people what was objectionable about the "Blurred Lines" video they had had her chase Robin Thicke in his underwear around the stage wearing a strap-on singing "you know you want it!" but maybe I just wish that anyway. Also he would have to make lots of dumb "who me?" faces and meow at the camera and suffer for thousands of years under the patriarchy to really get the point across but...it would have been a nice gesture.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:23 PM
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101: What do you see on the subway that causes tardive dyskinesia?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:24 PM
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I just watched the regular rotation video. I liked it. The sense I get from it is very opposed to that which unfoggetarian seems to have gotten. Someone like Britney Spears once appealed to old perverted men by adopting an innocent-but-not-innocent schtick. It appeals to some men, but is creepy because its appeal lies in its offer to be dominated. And it is creepy because it promises a lie. Britney (once - and others) sang about being a good girl in a way which promised she wasn't. Even when singing "I'm not that innocent," Britney was saying, "you think I'm innocent, and it concerns me to the degree that I will protest it -- which means that I am". But she sang it in a deliberately provocative way. It wasn't new, but she made it more lurid.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:24 PM
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The Miley Cyrus video promises no lie. If anything, it feels world weary. She comes out and says exactly who she is and what she does, and says it straightforwardly, without promising anything or looking impressed. And so it didn't make me feel creepy at all.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:26 PM
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In this light, I enjoy the VMA display -- and I don't mean that pejoratively; it is a display -- even more. It's a send up of the sort of thing Britney Spears used to do. But it is, as teo wrote, aggressive and deliberately unsexy. And in choosing Mr. Seaver as her partner in crime, she throws the creepiness in everyone's faces. It makes them uncomfortable because it mocks their business.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:29 PM
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This is definitely not the direction I expected the thread to take.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 10:59 PM
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it zigs


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-27-13 11:05 PM
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If we bombed Syria, the country would stop talking about the VMAs. Just saying...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:31 AM
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I'm not at all sure that's true, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:33 AM
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Fuck it, then we should bomb Russia. Whatever it takes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:50 AM
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Late to the party, but just to point out that bombing Kosovo stopped nothing. The deaths and displacements carried on, augmented by the bombs, until they sent in ground troops and turned the place into a UN colony (which it largely remains after 14 years, although a lot of the admin. has been handed off to the EU). Anybody feel like trying that in Syria? If the American and Brits - nobody else would be fool enough - get involved, all three sides will lose.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:19 AM
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The Miley Cyrus video is so so sad.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:20 AM
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113: Fuck it, then we should bomb Russia. Whatever it takes.

Russia bombing the US should do it, then. And the humanitarian grounds for it are at least as good as those for bombing Syria.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:21 AM
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114 makes an excellent and obvious point. Plus, shit nearly went quite bad.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/02/balkans3


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:24 AM
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And, if you want to merge the VMA/music and Kosovo topics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Blunt#Military_service

His unit was given the assignment of securing the Pristina International Airport in advance of the 30,000-strong peacekeeping force; however the Russian army had moved in and taken control of the airport before his unit's arrival. Blunt refused to carry out this order.[

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:36 AM
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That is a highly deceptive link. It wasn't James Blunt that prevented World War 3 by disobeying Clark's order, it was Michael Jackson.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:58 AM
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Just think, if Jackson hadn't, millions would have perished under the mushroom clouds, but the brutalised survivors staggering through the smouldering, radioactive aftermath would never have heard that bloody awful "You're Beautiful" song. The end of western civilisation would be a small price to pay.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:16 AM
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Moonwalking, not staggering, Alex. But otherwise a valid point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:24 AM
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If the NATO interference in Kosovo was so successful, why aren't those Kosovars living there? Bet you could find plenty of Vietnamese in the US as well convinced more and better American support would've been a good thing.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:43 AM
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Maybe they're studying in the US. And it's also not really necessary to postulate a failed intervention in 1999 to explain why lots of young people in 2013 might have chosen to live somewhere that doesn't have $7000 a year GDP per capita, 40% unemployment and an economy that's shrinking at 3.8% a year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:18 AM
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84 -- OK, so what's Syria's motive here? Unthinkingly grabbing some CW shells that happen to be lying around because they'd be able to kill a bunch of kids isn't a likely explanation. That leaves you with (a) they wanted to show we wouldn't intervene [ie call the bluff] or (b) they want us to intervene, at least weakly.

I don't usually default this way, but I think the use of CW at this time actually is about us.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:51 AM
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||
I think smarmy grammar memes are finally killing off the last of my prescriptivism.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:11 AM
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125: By God, let's not let Syria push us around!

We'll show them who's boss, and not bomb!

Bertram has a post on ME refugee hypocrisy. I linked to a chart from Ajay. Thanks bud.

Japan yeah! Saudi Arabia hsssss.

Still a lot of discussion on who chemicalled the lil' babies. Russia called a conference, US cancelled. NSA couldn't hack the Australian DNS servers?

Doesn't matter. Assad gassing folks is fact now. Friday night, I bet, things go boom.

Started Arditi, Politics on the Edge of Liberalism

Freud's oxymoron allows us to visualise the symptom as the site for a play between the foreign and the internal. I use it to develop the notion of internal periphery, one that is designed to capture the peculiar status of an outside that belongs, but not properly so. This is because it is a region where the distinction between inside and outside is a matter of dispute and cannot be thought outside a polemic. To speak of politics on the edges of liberalism is to speak of the internal periphery of liberalism.

The most visible sense of this polemic revolves around the non-recognition of interiority. For example, when mainstream politics refuses to contemplate, say, populism as part of the democratic setting or - to use Ranciere's characterization of politics - when there is a part that does not count as such, when a subject of enunciation is not
considered to be visible or audible within the existing order.

Fuck yes, we need psychoanalysis to understand Empire.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:42 AM
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Unthinkingly grabbing some CW shells

After quickly rejecting the idea that "CW" referred to the TV network, I spent a minute wondering what a "conventional wisdom shell" is before I understood this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:56 AM
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Oh, good--I've been waiting for a Syria thread. Let's take as background assumptions all of the arguments given above for why US military action in Syria is stupid, almost certainly ineffective, morally wrong, etc. I completely agree with all that. Given that: what is the appropriate response to the government-sanctioned use of chemical weapons? (59/60 notwithstanding, that's probably what occurred here.)

This is a genuine question: "do nothing" seems like the best response I've got, but it's pretty unsatisfactory. I guess my answer would be something closer to: "Open yourself to refugees; provide humanitarian assistance however possible; be prepared to prosecute guilty parties in international courts if they ever happen to be brought to justice". But in practice, that sounds an awful lot like "do nothing."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:00 AM
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129 is the comment I've felt too dumb to ask, (if that's not insulting). My close colleague is from one of the towns that just got gassed, and I didn't bring that up originally in favor of the Kosovo example, because their ordeal is over and further removed, but basically I keep wondering what the non-helpless answer is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:06 AM
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Supposing you did find the answer to 129, what would you then do with it?

(59/60 notwithstanding, that's probably what occurred here.)

Why would you want to approach this issue with 59/60 notwithstanding, even as an hypothetical? It's essentially the whole thing.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:11 AM
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The visuals are purposefully unsexy, appalling and hilarious.

Yeah, this. I read so much the next day to the effect of "but it wasn't sexy at all." Which, yeah, that was the point. It was a parody of sexy. I'm pretty sure the intended effect was absurdity, not titillation. The tongue thing? C'mon. She's an adult who owns mirrors, surely she knows it looked ridiculous. And now she's laughing all the way to the bank.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:18 AM
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Why would you want to approach this issue with 59/60 notwithstanding, even as an hypothetical?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assert that my colleague is correct when he says his hometown has been gassed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:20 AM
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"Open yourself to refugees" is nothing like "do nothing". If the US, Canada, the major EU countries, Australia and NZ opened themselves to refugees, it would be a huge thing; also, it would take appreciable effort and cost money. Chris B's post at CT points out that at the moment there are upward of a million people either displaced within Syria where the infrastructure is foobar, or crowded into Jordan, which is tiny and poor*. Giving them somewhere to go, paying for them to have enough food, housing and medial care while they get their lives together would require a major effort by the western powers- actually a lot more work than sending a few missiles at Damascus- and would not be cheap.

But I don't see anybody discussing it as an option, do you? If you want to be perfectly cynical, a really serious effort in that direction might even make us some friends in Western Asia. That would be a change.

*Ajay's table of who is actually contributing to helping those people is very telling, but it's clearly nothing like sufficient.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:23 AM
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There's a much bigger constituency for condemnation than for a military strike. Putting together a broad coalition of condemnation isn't nothing. And neither is developing conclusive evidence and confronting the Russians with it (assuming that conclusive evidence can be developed).

Talking about military action was always a mistake, and it's too bad the president made it with that red line stuff.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:26 AM
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"foobar"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:27 AM
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133: I don't doubt his hometown was gassed, either. It's more about the US and its allies in the ME using the event as a pretext for doing what they clearly want to do anyway, for reasons entirely unrelated to the use of chemical weapons.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:29 AM
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Putting together a broad coalition of condemnation isn't nothing.

Disagree!


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:31 AM
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136: Fucked Overly Ontologically Beyond All Recognition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:31 AM
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Why would you want to approach this issue with 59/60 notwithstanding, even as an hypothetical? It's essentially the whole thing.

What does it mean to say it's "essentially the whole thing"? Do you mean that if it was in fact a government-sanctioned chemical attack, you're in favor of war? Or what?

I'm willing to take it as an assumption for purposes of discussion precisely because it's not the whole thing, at least for me. I can assume there was a chemical attack and I still don't have any damn idea what we should do--my best response is approximately "nothing". I'm wondering if anyone else has a better idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:32 AM
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neither is developing conclusive evidence

We still haven't heard anything from the UN weapons inspectors yet, right? It's certainly possible that the Syrian government used nerve gas, but it's also possible that regular explosives blew up a chemical plant or something. The Union Carbide accident in Bhopal killed thousands of people and injured over half a million. Nobody should just take Washington's word on what happened, especially in what is starting to look unsettlingly like a proxy war between Israel and Iran.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:35 AM
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"Open yourself to refugees" is nothing like "do nothing".

Of course I know this. "Do nothing" is meant to be short for "do nothing that is intended to deter future chemical attacks." Not literally "do nothing."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:36 AM
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I hope 139 becomes my new mental tic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:38 AM
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Ajay's table of who is actually contributing to helping those people is very telling, but it's clearly nothing like sufficient.

The total, incidentally, is 46% of what UNHCR reckons it needs this year. So it's behind (given that we're more like 65% through the year) but not massively behind. The US is just embarrassingly far ahead of everyone else here, though. Europe is way behind even if you count in individual countries' contributions as well as funds from the EU as a whole - about $83m compared with $228m from the US (France and Britain are particularly bad. The two countries put together are giving about the same as the Netherlands.) Well done the US.

Obama really should be making more noise about this but probably it's political suicide for US politicians to say "Look how much money we're giving the UN to look after Muslims!"

Heebie: FUBAR.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:39 AM
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oh, heebie

Pat Lang's Place

The evidence points to the Rebels...

"According to sources, the Russian delegation presented the documents during a UNSC meeting Friday. During the meeting, the Americans did not file any documents that contradict the Russian documents, given that the US satellites have come to similar conclusions: the opposition had fired the chemical rockets.

This comes as the Syrian representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari returned quickly from Damascus to New York on to provide the evidences that support the Russian stance.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:40 AM
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140: The "essentially the whole thing" here is the self-interest of the political and military leadership of the US, Saudi Arabia, et al. Their interest in this is the whole reason this is an urgent world story at all, rather than a niche interest most of us wouldn't even hear about, like say the Iraqis gassing the Iranians and Kurds in the 80s.

So if there's war, it will ultimately be decided on the basis of those interests, not whether chemical weapons were used. And if refugees are taken in in large numbers in rich, Western countries, it will ultimately be because there are political constituencies in those countries in favour of taking them in that are more powerful than those constituencies in favour of keeping them out, not whatever the right thing is on humanitarian grounds.

But by all means thrash out the right answer if you like, but as I said earlier, I don't understand what you intend to do with it once you find it...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:44 AM
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Heebie: FUBAR.

Ajay: Wait, what?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:46 AM
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145 is speculation I've heard since day 1, and the only rebuttal I've heard is "no one would be so low as to use chemical weapons against people on their own side merely as subterfuge", which is not entirely persuasive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:47 AM
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I can't tell what the joke in 136 and 147 is supposed to be. I can't possibly believe that heebie is unfamiliar with the term "FUBAR".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:48 AM
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149 was me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:48 AM
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145 isn't really evidence, it's a comment on a marginally reliable site linking to a not very reliable at all site.
But, yes, it's a possibility. And perfectly possible that a) it was used by one rebel faction on another or b) they missed and hit the wrong people.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:51 AM
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150: You just had a little SNAFU.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:54 AM
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SNAFOO.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:55 AM
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Funnily enough, "snafu" and "foobar" don't trigger my spellcheck but "snafoo" and "fubar" do. As does "spellcheck" but I like compounding words.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:58 AM
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Funnily enough, "snafu" and "foobar" don't trigger my spellcheck but "snafoo" and "fubar" do.

The fact that "snafu" doesn't trigger spellcheck but "snafoo" does isn't funny at all.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:59 AM
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Right. I was just checking out all of the parallel constructions. I was mostly surprised that "foobar" wasn't tagged as a misspelling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:01 AM
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No real time to comment today but what about the (seemingly well-informed) speculation going around that it was the result of a partially detonated fuel-air/thermobaric device? Has conclusive evidence been found of sarin or other nerve agents? If so I'm not seeing it (not that I have time now to go looking for it but you'd figure it would be all over the news).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:03 AM
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I can't possibly believe that heebie is unfamiliar with the term "FUBAR".

Also this is correct.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:05 AM
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Then I'm back to not understanding what the joke in 136 and 147 is supposed to be.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:19 AM
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I understood 136 to be wondering why it wasn't spelled "fubar", but spellcheck agrees with chris.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:21 AM
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But now I just don't know what to believe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:22 AM
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157. MSF sent around an alert about atropine, don't think that's consistentwith 157.

Here is what we know: three hospitals in Syria's Damascus governorate that are supplied by Doctors Without Borders reported to us that they received approximately 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms such as convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress, in less than three hours on the morning of Wednesday, August 21.

These patients were treated using Doctors Without Borders-supplied atropine, a drug used to treat neurotoxic symptoms. So far 355 of those patients reportedly displaying neurotoxic symptoms have died.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:26 AM
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Right, in 136 I was wondering about the spelling, since it's an acronym. And then since Ajay explained it to me, I was having fun stringing him along in 147. That's all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:26 AM
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what about the (seemingly well-informed) speculation going around that it was the result of a partially detonated fuel-air/thermobaric device?

MSF was reporting that its hospitals saw hundreds of patients with symptoms of exposure to an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor - eg, nerve agent.
Ethylene oxide (FAE fuel) is an irritant but not an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It would produce some of the symptoms that MSF reported (like difficulty breathing and nausea) but not others (it wouldn't cause pinpoint pupils, excessive salivation or blurred vision). Plus, the patients responded to treatment with atropine, which is the classic antidote for nerve agent exposure.

Plus, ethylene oxide is a lighter-than-air gas. Dispersing a lighter-than-air toxin in the open air isn't a great way to kill and injure people, and they're reporting 3600 injured and 355 dead in one incident, which is a huge amount for just one unexploded FAE.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:28 AM
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I guess you think discussions of chemical weapon attacks are a good time to make unfunny jokes.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:29 AM
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Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because it was avoiding the chemical weapons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:31 AM
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How many chemical weapons does it take to change a lightbulb?

Everybody's dead!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:33 AM
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I thought foobar was some old-school programming thing, separate from FUBAR, the military acronym. But both actually valid spellings. Snafoo, on the other hand, no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:34 AM
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157, 162: Yeah, that's MSF's story. Latest I heard was that MSF concluded it wasn't Sarin.

Robert Fisk has evidence, three Hezbollah soldiers in the hospital

FDL threads are full of links. I got links, i got arguments, i got stories, whatever.

Bombs are gonna fly, pick a side, ain't no good guys

The only reason, really, for people like us to argue evidence is for our own self-image. Sleep better at night if it's all Assad's fault?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:34 AM
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Here's an angle on the MC thing: http://tressiemc.com/2013/08/27/when-your-brown-body-is-a-white-wonderland/


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:35 AM
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This is my shit, people say over and over and over I'm against war! She's against war! We're so totally hate war!

and then

...but the Huns bayoneted the little Belgium babies! It's true.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:39 AM
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"Is that for sharing?"

"No. Mustard gas."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:39 AM
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Latest I heard was that MSF concluded it wasn't Sarin.

No, that's not true. MSF's position is that it doesn't know what caused the symptoms but they're consistent with neurotoxin exposure. If it was nerve agent, it probably was sarin, because that's what the Syrians have. It's also a non-persistent agent which makes it better for use in this context than their other option, mustard. You can strike an area and then move in shortly afterwards without worrying too much about contamination.

As for the three Hezbollah guys in hospital... accidents will happen. That's consistent with one side or other using them. Maybe they were hit by the rebels; maybe they were caught by wind drift or a dropshort from their own side; maybe they were handling CW and made a mistake. Or maybe it's rubbish.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:40 AM
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Substantively on Syria, I'm figuring that at this point I don't know that anything I'm reading is even approximately true (that is, something like 164 is valid if based on accurate reporting. I have no idea how to assure myself that the reporting is accurate without months for everything to settle out). Which means I'm opposed to us doing anything military on general principles, but I have almost no specific thoughts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:40 AM
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what is the appropriate response to the government-sanctioned use of chemical weapons?

Show more leadership on the issue of dismantling weapons of mass destruction in general. Wikipedia informs me that the US has done a good job of eliminating its most of its chemical weapons stockpiles, starting in 1997. Nevertheless, we still have a huge nuclear arsenal, and maintains a first-strike nuclear strategy. Hand wringing about other people's use of chemical weapons looks pretty hypocritical when you reserve the right for yourself to nuke your enemies.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:41 AM
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Or, although it kills me to say it, pretty much what Bob said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:41 AM
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at the moment there are upward of a million people either displaced within Syria where the infrastructure is foobar

I suppose he might have meant "metasyntactic variables) in computer programming or computer-related documentation".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:41 AM
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Incidentally, Charlie Pierce's series of selective quotes from James Madison are often on point, but last night's was a doozy.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:42 AM
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Foobar was the archetypal placeholder word in
computer programming a couple decades ago. I guess since there's more computer programmers online nowadays than ex-military men of Kurt Vonnegut's generation, it has now come to mean "FUBAR" as well, though it doesn't make sense as an acronym.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:43 AM
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I'm with LB on this one. No way should we be intervening. We didn't intervene in any of the other proven or suspected cases since 1945 when chemical weapons were used. Why change now?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:44 AM
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178: that was the same James Madison who decided to declare war on the entire British Empire and got his house burned down as a result? 1812 James Madison should have listened to 1795 James Madison.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:45 AM
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181. And this is the same Barack Obama who was given the Nobel Peace Prize for saying that he'd pull his troops out of Afghanistan when he got around to it or something. Can we begin to see a pattern here?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:49 AM
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178: that was the same James Madison who decided to declare war on the entire British Empire and got his house burned down as a result?

One of the major reasons people in Madison's party wanted war with the British was that the British were already involved in a war, in the interests of which they were abducting US sailors and blockading US ports, right?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:51 AM
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So this is both the nerve gas and the Miley Cyrus thread? I have to say, I don't see the problem. She's just being frankly sexually aggressive and she's not a good enough dancer/subtle enough singer to be artfully coy about it, so she's straightforwardly lewd. If you go to clubs on a Friday night you can see plenty of drunk 20 year old girls in this phase of life. (At least you could when I was younger). If someone was a true traditionalist and wanted to decry young female singers flaunting their sexuality in general, then sure, you can criticize the performance for that, but on what grounds are Madonna/Katy Perry/Lady Gaga/Britney ok and this is somehow so horrible? Relatively less talented or something? Or (as someone said above) is casting herself as the crude sexual subject the problem?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:51 AM
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146: like say the Iraqis gassing the Iranians and Kurds in the 80s.

Not sure if you were aware of this recent revelation:

The U.S. knew about, and in one case helped, Iraq's chemical weapons attacks against Iran in the 1980's, according to recently declassified CIA documents obtained by Foreign Policy. Their detailed timeline, also constructed with the aid of interviews with former foreign intelligence officials, indicates that the U.S. secretly had evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks in 1983. The evidence, FP writes, is "tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:53 AM
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185 is unsettling.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:02 AM
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185: I learned about this just before or after the 2nd Iraq war; I'm not sure what's new here...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:03 AM
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If someone was a true traditionalist and wanted to decry young female singers flaunting their sexuality in general, then sure, you can criticize the performance for that, but on what grounds are Madonna/Katy Perry/Lady Gaga/Britney ok and this is somehow so horrible? Relatively less talented or something?

I guess it's that this is not completely packaged and slick, therefore it looks embarrassing and laughable. It's 90% packaged and slick, but incompetence still shows through.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:04 AM
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NYT down again?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:05 AM
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I don't particularly see the problem (beyond crude and pointless).
But: Lady Gaga is not OK. Madonna writes her own music or exerts control to get what she wants written rather than what someone else wants.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:06 AM
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Jammies' cousin just decried it on general "our five year olds will grow up to be slutty slut slutbags!" grounds. I think she'd be happy to apply that to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:06 AM
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Before this week I'd never heard the work twerking and I had some vague notion that there was a person named Miley Cyrus but didn't know who it was. Fuck you, internet.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:08 AM
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187: Presumably the very specific CIA documents that were just released.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:09 AM
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182:
And this is the same Barack Obama who was given the Nobel Peace Prize for saying that he'd pull his troops out of Afghanistan when he got around to it or something.

actually, that's not at all why they awarded him the Prize.

179.
hasn't always been a pair of placeholders ? "foo" and "bar". and "foo" works better than "fu", in that role.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:14 AM
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Richard Seymour ...ex-SWP and proud of it, brings to the Miley Cyrus conflict a discussion of appropriation of blackness and commodification of black female butts.

I am not inclined to moralise about 'commodification', but there is a sense - one sense anyway - in which the inevitable attempt to turn a profit from a developing cultural form tends to have hypostatising effects, which arrest and freeze its development, assigning its fluid elements fixed meanings.

I watched 2/3 of the Miley VMA thing. Like Chris y, it made me very sad.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:14 AM
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Yeah, I think 188 has it exactly right. It's an aesthetic/incompetence problem. Simulating sex has always been a big part of dance but when there's no art to it then it just looks crass.

191 might be true too I guess, but that is a general cultural conservative point.

For whatever its worth, I think Lady Gaga is fantastically talented. Madonna is pretty good. The rest are boring.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:17 AM
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Sad because it looked to me that whatever Cyrus was trying to do was way beyond her talents or confidence.

Or sad because I didn't understand it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:18 AM
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184 et seq. Cyrus is certainly a better singer than Perry or Spears, and arguably no worse than Madonna or Lady G. What I was trying to suggest (semi-sarcastically) in 115 is that a very charitable reading of the song and the video would interpret it as a grim commentary on the inescapably futility of popular kulcher. Trite and unoriginal for sure, but a bit different from your average pop video.

Alternatively it's just an average pop video. Who cares, after all?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:19 AM
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Well, I was confused enough to wonder if the apparent incompetence was part of the act, think nobody could be that awkward and bad. I still wonder.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:21 AM
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Lady Gaga is not OK. Madonna writes her own music

I'm pretty sure Lady Gaga either wrote or co-wrote all of her songs. As far as actual musical talent, Madonna is not remotely in LG's league. (NB: I'm not a fan of either one's music.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:23 AM
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Did Madonna not write her songs? (Genuine question; I have not idea. But I would have assumed she did, at least early on.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:33 AM
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Lady Gaga has a huge voice and doesn't lip synch. She isn't the most subtle singer but she's clearly the class of the whole bunch vocally. And in most other ways too. Here she is live .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:36 AM
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184: I don't think there's any difference whatsoever. This is the ten thousandth of these hand-wringing episodes, and everyone you mentioned had their turn.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:38 AM
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Gaga generally has writing credit on most of her songs. But it has been standard in dance/pop, since at least the time of Madonna, to give the the singer part of the songwriting credit--apparently along with anyone else who was hanging around the studio at the time.

Gaga strikes me as the most talented all around artist in this genre, and it wouldn't surprise me if she makes very substantial contributions to her songs.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:40 AM
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Glancing through allmusic.com, Madonna has co-writing or writing credits on nearly everything from the 90s on, and a lot of the 80s stuff but not so many of the big hits (Borderline, Holiday, Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Love Don't Live Here Anymore).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:42 AM
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See, isn't this more fun than nerve gas?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:45 AM
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Since the Beatles, we have all been taking writing your own songs as a sign of authenticity. For a long time, now, I've been really dubious of this practice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:46 AM
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Well, I was confused enough to wonder if the apparent incompetence was part of the act, think nobody could be that awkward and bad. I still wonder.

This seems to be the Text/Teofilo argument earlier in the thread, that this is trying to discomfit us in a Die Antwoord Jr. sort of way. I would rather just say that music videos have been filled with nonsensical crap forever. Was Master P's gold-plated tank in the high school gym an intentional self-parody? Who knows.

Like the maxim about malice, we shouldn't attribute to subversiveness what could be attributed to incompetence.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:47 AM
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Ogged???


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:49 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Gaga is not talented-- she is. But she misuses her talent by putting out awful junk, worse for listening or looking at than the work of all the rest put together (except MC, who is also bad).

Katy Perry's pop songs sound happy, make me smile on the first few listens if I'm open to pop music. Plus, easy on the eyes.

Madonna is kind of interesting to me for having remained a headliner/mogul and also staying camera-attractive for decades in a business that ordinarily discards people very quickly. She's changed styles a bunch of times without misstepping.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:52 AM
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Lady Gaga got her start as a songwriter (for Britney Spears among others) so it seems that she would have some role in her own songs.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:53 AM
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On the Miley Cyrus sub thread, I do think the recent shtick is a brilliant deconstruction of pop-culture sexy, but I don´t think she´s in on her art directors' joke. I think she´s trying to do it on the reals. And the awkward failure of the attempt has its own kind of tragic beauty: http://gawker.com/in-defense-of-miley-cyrus-1202000866


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:58 AM
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Lady Gaga's voice is fantastic but she'd be better off writing fewer of her songs (though songwriting credit/actually writing the songs don't always match up meaningfully). But in this genre self-presentation is important as either voice or songwriting, and I'm willing to give Madonna "genius" status for being the first and best to recognize that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:02 AM
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Ah, 212 makes sense to me. It's a bit hard to tell what she's going for since she's such a poor performer.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:06 AM
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It would be funny if this is just what kids think is sexy these days, and we're just a bunch of old fogeys.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:09 AM
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There must be a Yahoo Serious joke in all this Syria/Cyrus business, but I can't think of it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:10 AM
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But in this genre self-presentation is important as either voice or songwriting, and I'm willing to give Madonna "genius" status for being the first and best to recognize that.

This reminds me of a quote that I apparently can't remember quite right -- it goes something like "how can you say she never accomplished anything? she lowered the standards for a whole generation."
in the original polish version I'm sure it's "he".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:12 AM
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215. I have bad news. Lots of kids find the dubstep wobble noise to be sexy-- this thing


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:18 AM
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You know what was depressing? Reading the bios of all the CNN website people (spurred by that Onion piece). Only a couple had gone to very selective colleges. Most of them just seemed to be strivers who'd managed to catapult from the obscurity of local news or early days news websites into being the big cheese. I really should have done something with my life.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:19 AM
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217. Looking at the billboard top 100 for 1980, I see Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John, and Pat Benatar.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:26 AM
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Lots of kids find the dubstep wobble noise to be sexy-- this thing

This term, "sexy", as used here is an unrelated homonym of the more familiar word which means erotically stimulating?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:28 AM
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Also, I'm happy to defend Miley Cyrus' presentation, which was exactly what you're supposed to do at the VMAs,but I disagree with Bave/Teo that that's a good pop song. It is basically one of her Disney-era preteen anthems unconvincingly sexualized and party-fied. That makes it interesting I guess but I think it's non-sexiness is a failure (mostly in trying to combine a worst-band-ever-Fun-like anthem with some sexxy time vibes) and not intentional.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:33 AM
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But in this genre self-presentation is important as either voice or songwriting, and I'm willing to give Madonna "genius" status for being the first and best to recognize that.

I don't think Madonna can take credit for the idea that image is important in popular music.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:33 AM
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ou know what was depressing? Reading the bios of all the CNN website people (spurred by that Onion piece). Only a couple had gone to very selective colleges. Most of them just seemed to be strivers who'd managed to catapult from the obscurity of local news or early days news websites into being the big cheese.

Why exactly is this depressing? Isn't this a counterexample to all the NYT Well-Connectedness Bitching?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:35 AM
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not intentional.

Is this a good time to talk about the death of the author/auteur?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:35 AM
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224. Because a more democratic process should give a melange of digby and Gawker with sustained investigative reporting, not Lou Dobbs, a weather chick, and a dim editor who says "thanks for the pageviews." That's why.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:38 AM
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I don't think we're actually stupid enough to drop bombs on people based on specious and self-interested claims anymore.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:47 AM
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Anymore? When did this wonderful change take place?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:08 AM
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Well, that's all right then.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:09 AM
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Ok, I finally watched the Miley video. I was expecting something way more awkward and horrible. She comes across as totally in control and in on the joke. The song is meh, but the dancing with the styrofoam hand is a completely awesome fuck you to the patriarchy. Team Miley.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:29 AM
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The racism accusation is legitimate, though. Why on earth are the back-up dancers only black people?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:30 AM
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I haven't been around clubs or music videos in a while, so maybe this is already old hat, but I was most intrigued by the foam finger/simulating masturbation-thing. I'm willing to bet that my young teenage years would have been healthier and more fun in a number of ways if I had gotten the message that masturbation was something girls/women did, too.

Parents of teen girls: do you think your daughters know this?

tldr: make love, not war.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:31 AM
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232.2: We may have mentioned it somewhere.


Posted by: Opinionated The Entire Internet | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:37 AM
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if I had gotten the message that masturbation was something girls/women did, too.

[Insert overly explicit pedagogy from Unitarian sex class here].


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:39 AM
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234:2 yeah, CCD left that part out.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:41 AM
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I'm willing to bet that my young teenage years would have been healthier and more fun in a number of ways if I had gotten the message that masturbation was something girls/women did, too.

Millennials missed out on Madonna and the Divinyls.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:52 AM
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And Cyndi Lauper.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:56 AM
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And Prince.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:57 AM
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||

The dictionary definition of concern-trolling.

Mr. Wilkins, what gains do you think you can make as a result of this march that will outweigh the risks you take?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:58 AM
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232.2: The word "masturbation" gets used in the best sex/body guide for kids ages 7 and up, as does "abortion," but I don't think either is in the version for ages 4 and up. I think I'm generally pretty good at talking about this stuff, and am finding it much more difficult to have to read it as a bedtime story. I only insert my wording occasionally and only to make it a little more trans-positive and to play down the idea that all adoptions happen to babies whose parents make an adoption plan.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:04 AM
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And the Buzzcocks. I'd bet there's a Bessie Smith song on the topic.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:07 AM
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236-238: I may also just have been clueless. I knew the Divinyls, but didn't really get the point of the song.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:15 AM
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Go 230. I thought the song was boring but the dancing was fun and energetic, if amateurish.

John McWhorter with a dismissive take on the whole Miley is racist! thing.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:18 AM
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240: looked at the preview for the younger kids' book, and it looks great. I love that "whale" and "sailboat" are labeled in the drawings, too.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:24 AM
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I need a clever retort for every time someone comments on the fact that almost 1-year old girl has 3 older boys with statements like:
"She's not going to date until she's 20!"
"She'll be well protected!"
"Her boyfriends better look out!"
Happened again at the dentist today when the 3 boys went in for cleaning (well, 3 year old refused to let them do anything buy brush his teeth then count them.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:49 AM
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3 older boys s/b 3 older brothers


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:49 AM
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I still haven't watched the Miley Cyrus thing, but this might be of interest. (Or it might have been linked already, in which case I apologize.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:54 AM
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As far as actual musical talent, Madonna is not remotely in LG's league.

Yep. I don't like much of her music but she's an actual musician. I'd point to the SNL thing where she plays piano and sings while sitting in a giant fucking gyroscope and also to one thing she has that Madonna demonstrably does not: musical versatility. To wit: LG's pretty charming "The Lady is a Tramp" which I feel like I linked here once, vs. Madonna's pathetic fling at Evita, singing in the same tremulous, poorly supported voice she uses for everything else, and with no evident knowledge of the musical theater idiom.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:54 AM
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"Her boyfriends better look out!"
"We expect she'll just assume all the SP children date girls."
(Also, something about growing up with that many boys putting her off men altogether?)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 11:55 AM
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And Cyndi Lauper.

Far superior to the other names mentioned in this thread. I want to say unquestionably more talented than the rest in singing and song-writing but I guess that's OTT.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:02 PM
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A lot of people seem to be in the "Lady Gaga is talented but I don't like her music" camp. Not me. I think a lot of the songs on The Fame Monster were brilliant. (Bad Romance, Alejandro, Paparazzi, Paper Gangster.) The follow ups haven't impressed me as much, but Applause is pretty good. May the rest of the new album will be up to her standards.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:05 PM
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251: She's working in a genre that doesn't appeal to me, is all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:06 PM
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I find the Lady Gaga 'meta' stuff that's she's created around herself mildly irritating and the music much less clever and interesting than I think she'd like us to believe. I do like a couple of the songs fine enough, I suppose.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:16 PM
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I like Lady Gaga songs just fine, but I also like Katy Perry songs just fine. Neither is a Cyndi Lauper, but what can you do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:19 PM
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Generally speaking I'm in the, "Lady Gaga is talented but I don't like her music" camp.

However, I liked this performance and thought that it takes her schtick into an interesting place -- a surprising, compelling performance which is different from her usual style but also distinctly Gaga.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:38 PM
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253: Self quoting, but I still think she's the less interesting Roisin Murphy.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:45 PM
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245 is so familiar. Except I was the youngest girl, and my brothers could not have given less of a shit about my purity.

Also it's the flip side of the shit we get about Hokey Pokey:
"Surrounded by girls! Crowded bathrooms/stick up for himself/poor guy!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:46 PM
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Link in 255 convinces me someone should put on Cabaret with LG! (Ok, Sally Bowles is supposed to be a moderately untalented singer, and sometimes they cast it that way, but LG would be ecole de Minelli.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 12:55 PM
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215 won.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:00 PM
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re: 253

Yeah, I think it was oudemia that said she wears Roisin Murphy like a suit. There was a period where she was dressing near identically to Murphy circa 2 or 3 years before.

This is one of the best pop songs of recent years, imho. Amazing it wasn't a huge hit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlFjf1pWk2c

The album she did with Matthew Herbert is also great, although less immediately catchy.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:14 PM
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This "Roisin Murphy" person seems interesting.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:20 PM
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re: 261

You might be familiar with her band Moloko? From before she was a solo artist?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwmoMaB6VWc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DBG_uDp8Qc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl8mpAvTm_Y



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:26 PM
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Do you like her tight sweater? See how it fits her body.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:29 PM
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re: 263

I bought that, on cassette. Bloody hell. 1995!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:30 PM
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I'm familiar with confusing the two bands Moloko and Mogwai, back when I used to read lots of record reviews of British bands but hardly ever heard any of the albums.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:36 PM
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Murphy, the evidence from the UN music inspectors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z06gUeqUpeo


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:56 PM
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I literally danced in the streets in pissing rain on a demonstration to that.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 1:57 PM
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Truly, the worst kind of rain.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:03 PM
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Says the man who has never been in a bloody diarrheaic rain.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:15 PM
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I have a dream that one day every day will be scatology day on Unfogged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:17 PM
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269 I may have told this story before, but on a teenage trip to Bulgaria, my mom got a very bad stomach bug. The bathroom on her hall had a sign saying out of order, but she was desperate and it looked fine. Then came the screams and curses from below.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 2:38 PM
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Madonna is clearly way way more important/interesting/better than Gaga. Madonna was a strong artist, whereas Gaga is fundamentally a mannerist.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:02 PM
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272: The screams started when she flushed or when she was still just poooooooping?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:04 PM
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Not sure, but I just hope the plumbers weren't facing upwards.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:12 PM
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273: Like Raphael is way better than El Greco?

208: This [Cyrus = inteniontally incompetent] seems to be the Text/Teofilo argument earlier in the thread, that this is trying to discomfit us in a Die Antwoord Jr. sort of way.

Nope. smearcase at 104 got me thinking about the sexualization or social signification of physical grace, attractiveness, physical control, poise, rhythm, etc

Cause Japan!

She says patriarchy as if grace is totally gendered but I can instantly point to myriad examples of male grace, poise, and control. And not gay. Gunshooters, swordsmen, samurai, nobility, high finance...no clod hopping at Jackson Hole


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 3:50 PM
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276.1 --- Well, yes, in as much as El Greco is not as important to the narrative western art history as Raphael is. Certainly, in the way Giotto is greater than Fra Angelico.

(You have to imagine this in the dulcet accents of Kenneth Clark.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:08 PM
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teofilo at 103 also

Those two comments got me thinking

Graceful poise vs awkward excitement is thematic to japanese culture, and is not at all, in either direction, correlated to authenticity or sincerity.

Rashomon is a classic partly because of the signifying physicalities of Mori and Mifune.

Obviously it has gendered and patriarchal aspects. People move slowly in Japanese media. People who are secure in their place and purpose.

Also thinking about David Byrne's performance style.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:09 PM
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Certainly, in the way Giotto is greater than Fra Angelico.

[Cracks knuckles.]

Did someone say something bad about Angelico, who could not paint the Crucifixion but in tears for the suffering of our Lord?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:20 PM
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Reading again, my 276 may have no relation of smearcase's 104.

Mifune (Kurosawa) pushes the awkward excitement as social signifier even further in Seven Samurai.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:39 PM
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This is one of the best pop songs of recent years, imho.

I like that song a lot. I picked up a couple of Róisín Murphy albums after she was mentioned in an Unfogged thread once, and I like them a lot. Right up there with Janelle Monáe in the ranks of musicians I learned about from this blog who coincidentally have accent marks in their names.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:52 PM
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I've never really understood the deal with Raphael. I mean, yeah, dude could paint and draw, but it always seems like he just kind of absorbed what everyone around him was doing and didn't contribute anything that stands out particularly. Keir can flog me for being a philistine.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:56 PM
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My worthless aesthetic opinions, let me show you them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 4:57 PM
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All Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artists are equally great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:08 PM
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Eh I think that's a pretty traditional assessment of Raphael's position. The thing is that being able to draw, paint, and come to a synthesis of the high renaissance manner is pretty much the key marker of a major artist in the west.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:10 PM
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285: Such accomplishment in that sort of thing becomes more impressive when one tries one's hand at it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:14 PM
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286.--Seriously. I am a not very good painter, but I try sometimes, and Raphael could fucking paint like the stuff was an extension of his mind. He's also an astonishingly beautiful colorist.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:19 PM
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All Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artists are equally great.

Oddly, I'm now working closely with a TMNJ artist/producer. I happen to know that she disagrees with you -- from a place of authority.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:19 PM
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I am a not very good painter

This is a big, fat lie.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:19 PM
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You're Michael Bay?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:20 PM
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He's also an astonishingly beautiful colorist.

Personal attractiveness does not excuse bigotry, unless said bigot is really, really hot and nobody who knows you will ever find out.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:22 PM
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289.--- Thanks! (I always forget that I made that stuff public.) I just started dabbling again this summer after a hiatus, and I had forgotten how stubborn the material is, how it can fight against you. Not for the masters, though. Raphael is SO good.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:28 PM
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You had one painting -- a landscape, I'm pretty sure -- that I so wanted. But you sold/gave/something-you-artists-probably-do-that-the-rest-of-us-shouldn't-know-about to someone else. I'm still sad.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:34 PM
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+ it

I've always been a lousy commenter, but I'm plumbing new depths lately.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:35 PM
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being able to draw, paint, and come to a synthesis of the high renaissance manner is pretty much the key marker of a major artist in the west.

Right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:36 PM
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but I'm plumbing new depths lately.

Don't look up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:37 PM
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Sorry! I do still have a lot of paintings cluttering up my room, so if you have any lingering longings for something in specific, we could probably come to [cough] very reasonable terms.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:45 PM
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In other art news:

Staff at Paseo Grill, located in Oklahoma's historic Paseo Arts District, are still making sense of a mysterious concrete block that materialized on their front lawn last Friday. The three-foot-high monument to the fictional deity Azathoth is rough to the touch. It appears as if it has been chipped loose from a base. [...] "This is not something you just drive by and throw out the window," restaurant owner Lesley Rawlinson told The New York Daily News. "Someone had to come and set it down here." [...] After news about the monument spread on KFOR, Rawlinson said she's been getting calls from people who were excited about the find and from people who warned her about its dangers. A bronze plaque attached to one side of the monument bears these puzzling words, "In the Year of Our Lord 2012 Creer Pipi claimed this land for Azathoth."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 5:49 PM
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283: My worthless aesthetic opinions, let me show you them.

I had a really pissy day at work today (I know hard to imagine), and at some point sent a couple of relative innocents an overly brusque e-mail including "my annoyance at X and Y, let me show it to you." And then I felt a little better. (But not as good as when I posted the bloody diarrhea comment during a key vendor meeting.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:13 PM
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Motherfuckers droning on and on, each and every utterance yet another variation of the Nine Billion Things to Say to Prove it was a Good Idea to have you at the meeting.

And then, Profit!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:17 PM
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Let's paint cartoons and phrases on the sides of cruise missiles to be launched at Syria that say things like: "MLK says 'Pow, right in the kisser!!'", "This machine kills people in the general vicinity", "Forward this message to Iran and N. Korea", and "Assad squats to pee."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:25 PM
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"This is good news for Jon McCain." "Your leader is a dick." "23 skidoo." "I love the smell of empire in the morning." "Cable ratings up!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:28 PM
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a TMNJ artist/producer.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Judging
Teenage Mutant iNtuitive Judging
Thinking Mutant iNtuitive Judging



Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:32 PM
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My first concert ever was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show at the World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois (I guess TMNT had a band, too? Or something?).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:46 PM
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Too Much NinJformation.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:49 PM
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297: any landscapes? Like that one I so loved?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:52 PM
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"The Person Flying This is a Nine Inch Nails Fan." "Greetings from Asbury Park." "Smile, you'll be on WikiLeaks in 2017." "There are a lot of good restaurants in the DC area now." "I am the one who knocks."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 6:56 PM
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"This Missile is a Pipe Bomb." "Peace with Honor." "If you can read this you're too close." "Report bad flying to 1-800-GOV-1234." "Don't blame me I voted for Romney." "Be disappointed by someone new."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:01 PM
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281: coincidentally?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:08 PM
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I mean, they're not fun to listen to because of the accent marks, are they?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:11 PM
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"There's an App for This." "Made in 132 Different Congressional Districts." "Stimulus!" "Broken Windows Theory." "Run!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:14 PM
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And so to bed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:16 PM
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My frustrating day at work included a meeting at which the thought bubble above my head was "I am so going to sic the DOJ on you."

It's really remarkable what a difference a federal administration makes. I sometimes feel that I am on a different planet from Scott Lemiuex at LGM (mostly around the Senate, I have to admit).

In other news, I've come up with a solution to the Syria problem: I'm making a $60 donation to Doctors Without Borders. It's my best shot at being able to do something to help. Join me.

(And yes, I realize that MSF/DWB may use my unrestricted donation for a different disaster. I'm fine with that.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:17 PM
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I'd bet there's a Bessie Smith song on the topic.

Why do you think she wanted that pig's foot?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:25 PM
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In other news, I've come up with a solution to the Syria problem: I'm making a $60 donation to Doctors Without Borders. It's my best shot at being able to do something to help. Join me.

I'm not sure that DWB takes its responsibilities to its shareholders seriously, so I think I'll buy a few shares of Raytheon instead.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:26 PM
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314: Voodoo?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:29 PM
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Very sad that 209 sank like a stone; I figured someone here would mention the insane personal from the Iranian guy in LA.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:30 PM
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315: Good thinking. And a taxpayer donation of ony $50M per year can help target these 200,000 children. Please give generously.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:32 PM
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|| Has anyone seen Blue Jasmine? Should I go? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:34 PM
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No kidding, I heard an NPR story about the impending bombing of Syria that made me so sad and angry that I almost pulled over. I really thought that kind of thing -- you know, American foreign policy -- didn't bother me any more. Wrong!

Anyway, in the event, a White House spokesperson insisted that no, we cannot wait for UN inspectors to investigate, because even if we do wait, and even if the inspectors do find what we already KNOW they're going to find, Russia will simply screw us at the back end. It was so reminiscent of the run-up to Iraq that I wanted to punch myself in the face.

Happy I Have a Dream Day! Do you think MLK twerked? I bet J. Edgar Hoover did.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:35 PM
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But great news! I see that my 7AM meeting is cancelled. I celebrated by taking a second Advil PM. Sleep party!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:35 PM
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319: I know two people who really liked it. I cannot get past Alec Baldwin + Woody Allen, but YMMV. Cate Blanchett apparently channels Blanche DuBois to an extraordinary degree.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:35 PM
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And yes, sure, it's my own fault for having listened to NPR. I wanted to hear news about the Rim fire. Instead, I got a rock Iraq Syria. I mean, I know that raging about the media is your beat, JP, but it really is insane how terrible mainstream journalism is at this point. NOBODY EVER LEARNS ANYTHING FROM THEIR MISTAKES!!!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:37 PM
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It's going to be totally hilarious if this Syria thing starts a world war.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:39 PM
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Witt, can't get past the idea of it, or saw it and couldn't get past the actuality of it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:45 PM
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323.last: THEY'RE RUINING THE WHOLE PLAY!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:50 PM
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Can't get past the idea of it. It's a lot easier to patronize artists whose personal behavior was appalling when they're dead and gone and not still profiting from their work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:51 PM
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(I didn't think that seeing Terrence Howard in The Butler was going to bug me, or at least not more than the myriad other issues with the movie, but it did.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:54 PM
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Good God, is no one going to praise Stormcrow for that amazing display? I don't want to have to be the one to give the blow job but "This missile is a pipe bomb" and some of the others are like the best thing ever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:58 PM
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I saw Wild Man Blues. The appalling personal behavior is harder to take when it is really dull and is accompanied with sedate jazz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:58 PM
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The only remaining question about Syria is if we owe dsquared an apology for not believing his claim that the Iraq war was inevitable even with a Gore presidency.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 7:59 PM
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Hey Natilo, Frowner, and other Minnesotans! A totally awesome guy who does amazing work is going to be on MPR tomorrow, and you should listen in.


Posted by: Easily guessed | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:05 PM
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306.--You can get . It's actually better than the description has it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:42 PM
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Hello, fucked-up tags. I used to be better at these.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 8:44 PM
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Oh, it was "Seascape" that I so wanted, wasn't it? That's long gone, yes?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:11 PM
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Do you have a photocopy or something?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:11 PM
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My frustrating day at work included a floridly psychotic schizophrenic whose possessions including every piece of ID that would have enabled him to get any services had been destroyed by corrections.

Blue Jasmine's ok. It's a nothing film around an extraordinary performance. On balance, worth seeing. Certainly more worthwhile than Midnight in Paris.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 9:41 PM
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My day at work today was not actually particularly frustrating compared to other recent days, but that's a high bar. Definitely busy and stressful though. But then after work I had my Yup'ik class, and that was fun.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:19 PM
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Not as much fun as Miley Cyrus twerking, admittedly, but way more fun than bombing Syria.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-13 10:23 PM
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I had my Yup'ik class

It's cheaper than the Wep'ik class, I presume.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:03 AM
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329 seconded.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:04 AM
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I want to put a word in for Madonna. In her original incarnation I didn't like her. I thought "Material Girl" was the kind of moral rot that the Reagan era had led us to. I didn't appreciate her particular genius until the controversy over the video of "Like a Prayer". There was the offensive text -- Madonna makes out with a saint -- the offensive subtext -- Madonna makes out with a black man. It showed that Madonna had perfected the formula for a female artist to manipulate a priggish yet prurient media, one that everyone down to Miley Cyrus is still trying to copy.

Also, "Vogue" is one of the great singles of the last 30 years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:11 AM
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It's a lot easier to patronize artists whose personal behavior was appalling when they're dead and gone and not still profiting from their work.

Sure, she's no saint, but aren't you being just a little unfair to jackmormon here?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:18 AM
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(I guess I am slightly embarrassed to have said several things about Miley Fucking Cyrus and nothing about Syria. It's just...it's so incredibly discouraging and upsetting and so far outside my ability to do anything about it or fully understand the reality of it, what am I going to say?)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:47 AM
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329 gets it right, but while we're giving credit, so does 317 (w.r.t. 209), and for that matter 245/249/257 deserves to get more pickup.

Otherwise, carry on.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:10 AM
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Is it time for Thomas's French Muffins to be served in the Congressional cafeteria?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:49 PM
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On the OP, Cameron just had his arse handed to him on the plan for military action against Syria.

Guardian liveblog here:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2013/aug/29/mps-debate-syria-live-blog

This is a big deal.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:28 PM
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Whoa. Also, from that liveblog, this is a pretty intense and awesome gravestone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:33 PM
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Academics who study these things claiming it's unprecedented. No similar lost vote in a hundred years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:36 PM
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Via twitter:

"Last time Parliament rejected PM's judgement on matter of war and peace was Lord North, who lost a vote of confidence over Yorktown in 1782"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:39 PM
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: "No 10 and the Foreign Office think Miliband is a fucking cunt and a copper-bottomed shit."

So, would America be better off if the Obama administration gave official 'senior not for attribution' quotes about, say, Boehner or McConnell to the Times like the Brits do? And what is a 'copper bottomed shit' anyways?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:41 PM
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Can they force an election now, which I guess maybe Labour would win after the voters decide to send every single Liberal Dem MP into permanent exile on an uninhabited rock off of Tristan Da Cunha? Maybe I'm just projecting my view of how I think British politics should work.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:53 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 5:07 PM
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347: Somehow I'd thought that the Parliamentary vote today was just on whether to proceed with military action in/on/against Syria before the UN inspectors' report was complete and submitted.

Not so, I take it: this is a decision not to engage in any action regardless?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:22 PM
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It would appear so, yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:52 PM
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Related. I was off by 9 miles.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:30 PM
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I was off by 230 miles. I get lost sometimes though.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:38 PM
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I couldn't get the map to blow up enough for me to be precise, so I ended up off by 56 miles. And now I'm enraged and hope that President Obama obliterates Damascus, so I no longer have to be confronted with evidence of my failure. Something something craftsman something tools.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:47 PM
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I couldn't get the map to blow up enough for me to be precise

I believe that's intentional on the part of the mapmakers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:51 PM
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If they'd put countries on that map I would have done better.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:51 PM
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I was off by 111. I blame the fact that I had a hand instead of an arrow pointer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:52 PM
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359: I'm old (and I limp). I can't see things on my monitor unless they're blown up. Like Damascus will be soon! Gallows humor aside, I took a wrong turn in the Golan one time and stumbled across the Syrian border. Oops!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:05 PM
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And now, because I clicked on that map, I'm getting insane posts from "The Israel Project" in my facebook feed. The makers of that map, and their proxy teo, have a lot of answer for.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:12 PM
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Whoops, sorry. I guess I should have realized something like that was likely to happen.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:15 PM
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over half the participants did even worse than me. and as knowing where things are is my greatest weakness, I feel alright about the fact that I am not personally capable of bombing syria by any means.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:16 PM
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It's not happening to me, though, so I'm not sure the link is entirely to blame.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:17 PM
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or it might have been that just over half did better. I saw the number 52 and closed the window.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:20 PM
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I'm not sure the link is entirely to blame.

The Jews always say this sort of thing. I bet you blame Hezbollah.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:20 PM
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on the second go-round I better than halved it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:23 PM
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I bet you blame Hezbollah.

Sure, but I blame them for everything, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:39 PM
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I was off by 57 miles, which may be about how far off I was in selecting where I live.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:44 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:57 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:58 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:58 PM
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I used to be embarrassed at how bad Americans were at geography, until I discovered that most foreigners don't know where Philadelphia is, so fuck 'em.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:23 PM
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Yeah, I suspect most people everywhere are bad at geography. The fact that Americans are is noteworthy mainly because the US is nevertheless constantly fighting wars all over the world.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:29 PM
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This is also fairly strong stuff by recent standards:


Mr Miliband said Britain's relationship with the US "cannot simply be about doing what the American president says he wants you to do".


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:40 PM
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Back when I was in high school and getting zillions of college brochures, a bunch of them were addressed to Geneva, Sweden. And early on freshman year the number of people who asked me if I spoke 'Swiss'...

Europeans on the other hand can be rather confused about America. My Asian ex kept getting asked where she was from. 'No, where are you _really_ from?' She'd reply 'city, state' near mega metropolis x and the question would be repeated.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:47 PM
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My Asian ex kept getting asked where she was from. 'No, where are you _really_ from?' She'd reply 'city, state' near mega metropolis x and the question would be repeated.

I don't think that's a uniquely European thing, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:49 PM
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I am really looking forward to a Wave of Anti British Sentiment sweeping from right to left across the US. Just like with France in 2003 except even funnier.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:51 PM
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Actually Americans also hate the idea of bombing Syria.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:57 PM
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We hate the Brits too, of course, but for different reasons.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:57 PM
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379 Among educated upper middle class background people? The question in the US tended to be 'what's your ethnic background' or something like that.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:58 PM
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383: Yep. Very common, from what I hear.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 11:59 PM
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But I know we have some actual Asian-American commenters who surely know more about this than I do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:00 AM
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378: The correct answer is "I'm an American, motherfucker!" There will be no follow-up questions.

I've heard non-Swiss refer to Swiss German as "Swiss". Let's pretend that's what was happening.

As a kid, I got Sweden and Switzerland mixed up. To be fair, I was also confused about whether Philadelphia was inside Pennsylvania, or the other way around. What makes it extra funny is that Sweden is like the California of Europe, and Switzerland is the Texas.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:22 AM
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A lot of people I meet here think Florida and California share a border, or don't know that California is on the Pacific, etc, etc, so I do think being bad at geography is just universal. (That being said, I suspect they're better at European geography than most Americans are at North American geography.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:34 AM
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As a kid, I got Sweden and Switzerland mixed up.

You aren't the only one.

Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall. ''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.'' Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion. Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:23 AM
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To be fair, he could be getting Sweden mixed up with Iceland...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:29 AM
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That's not really any better, though...

381: oh, I know. But your media is all for it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:50 AM
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And early on freshman year the number of people who asked me if I spoke 'Swiss'...

I hope you replied in Romansch.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:15 AM
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That being said, I suspect they're better at European geography than most Americans are at North American geography.

Not to mention history.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:18 AM
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I was quite pleased to be only 47 miles off (too near the coast) since I deliberately didn't do anything to refresh my memory.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:23 AM
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I was 84 miles in the other direction. However, at that resolution I don't much care. I'd have been closer on a bigger map. I don't know if my "where do you live?" was in Nottingham or Leeds either.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:39 AM
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I was about 150 miles too far south, but I didn't zoom in at all. So I'd guess that was probably near enough margin of error just for the mouse click. Although, fwiw, I think if I'd had a bigger map, I'd still have been out, as I thought Damascus was closer to where Amman [in Jordan] actually is.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:43 AM
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392 is a lie. Philadelphians know two things: 1) that the Declaration of Independence was signed there in 1776, and 2) we're angry drunks that boo Santa Claus at sporting events. They could be from out of town, in which case they could only be expected to know #2.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:05 AM
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I assumed they were from out of town. Also, I hadn't realised you could zoom in on that map thing. I was at the default resolution too.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:08 AM
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Also, I hadn't realised you could zoom in on that map thing.

I didn't either. I tried it from work with zooming and got 9 miles off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:21 AM
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I was about 100 miles north: I remembered that Damascus was very close to the Syrian/Israeli border but apparently I think Israel is a lot bigger than it really is. The big grey blob that I thought was Damascus is actually Homs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:26 AM
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but apparently I think Israel is a lot bigger than it really is

Insert Likud joke here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:29 AM
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In other use of force news: He was invited to attend an "active shooter" training and - using a rubber bullet-loaded pistol - he mistakenly shot a teacher who was confronting a "bad guy."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:30 AM
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Quiz. You are an FBI counterterrorism agent. You see an email from a US soldier to Al-Qaeda's chief English-language propagandist asking "If you're a soldier and you kill lots of other US soldiers, do you count as a shahid?"
Do you:
a. Do nothing
b. Launch a half-arsed investigation and conclude that he's an OK guy and nothing to worry about
c. Actually take any action that might have a chance of stopping him before he shoots 13 people.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/nidal-hasan-anwar-awlaki-emails-fbi-fort-hood


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:50 AM
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Insert Likud joke here.

Actually I was going to insert it in someone else's comment without their permission.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:52 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 6:40 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 6:41 AM
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378: I'm pretty sure I linked this video here before, it never gets old. (And after that video is another of the actors reading the YouTube comments they got on the first video.)

One semi-good thing, I understand from secondhand reports, is that now that the generation that fought in Vietnam is beginning to die off, fewer Asian-American women have to put up with strangers rhapsodizing about how they remind them of the prostitute they once knew.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 6:49 AM
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406.1: I clicked on that link without reading the second paragraph or checking what it was in reply to because I was so certain it was a video of Eagle fans throwing snowballs at Santa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:01 AM
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If you sleep with enough prostitutes, everyone can remind you of some aspect of a prostitute one once knew.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:08 AM
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The eigenhooker.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:10 AM
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406.2: Wow that is creepy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:14 AM
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406: Having the actors read the comments is the greatest idea ever.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:18 AM
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411: Better than eigenvalues? You people are so trivial!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:20 AM
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Eigenvalues are trivial. Also, matrices are narcissistic to think we care about their own values.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:22 AM
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That attitude is so characteristic of you people.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:28 AM
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Q: What did one part of the matrix say to the other on election night?
A: Who's the victor, vector?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:30 AM
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Airplane! called. They want you to do a better job when you steal their jokes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:31 AM
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"Callled" called and says only total fucking losers still use that trope.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:33 AM
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Why is Airplane plural. Also, a film can't use the phone, it can just make money for profit participants.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:34 AM
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Actually 418 last is mostly a lie.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:35 AM
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Halford lied.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:36 AM
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And pandas died.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:36 AM
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417: Texted? Or textled, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:37 AM
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A lot of people I meet here think Florida and California share a border

When I was pretty young and still living in Chicago, I knew that Florida and California were the places to go to see the real beaches (i.e., the ocean, not Lake Michigan). So I assumed they were near each other.

I also deduced that the US capital must be smack-dab in the middle of the country, just like Springfield is in Illinois.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:45 AM
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We should move the capital somewhere more central. I suggest the St. Louis area. It has plenty of water and cheap land. Maybe the Quad Cities, if you want a bit cooler weather in the summer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:52 AM
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You would leave most of the agencies and such in D.C., but sort of spread the wealth around in terms of government jobs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:56 AM
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||

I've got tons of stuff to post and no free moment to post it. How sad is that?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:56 AM
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I'lllllll post them!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:58 AM
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The capital should go on Progresses around the country, staying a number of days in each state capital equal to the number of congressional representatives which that state elects. Allowing for travel time, recesses and vacations, that should make for one complete circuit roughly every two years, which is rather neat. Good scheduling would ensure that, like the government of British India (which moved en bloc from Delhi to the hill station of Simla at the start of every summer), the capital was never in the wrong place, climatically speaking, at the wrong time of year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:03 AM
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When the capital finally comes to your town, I'm sure it will be anti-climatic.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:05 AM
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Well, given that I live in London, it'll be quite a surprise for everyone.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:06 AM
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I always knew that "ajay" was actually just zombie Lord North posting under a pseudonym.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:09 AM
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Plus, it would give the business of government a kind of circus-comes-to-town romance. Colourful caravans full of lobbyists and budget analysts pulling up in the sleepy streets of Springfield or Boise. Restless teenagers leaving their farms and running off to join the Department of Health and Human Services. "Hail To The Chief" would be replaced with "Everywhere Man".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:09 AM
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Alternatively you could move each department of state, SCOTUS and the two houses of Congress to a different city which could use the investment. Just leave the State Department in Washington, to save the foreign ambassadors relocating. There's an internet now, there's absolutely no reason for the whole damn government to be crowded into one city. (This would have the side effect of more or less disqualifying from office anybody who isn't comfortable using the internet, which would also be a good thing.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:11 AM
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And it would allow the US federal government to garner the two main benefits of the similarly peripatetic mediaeval European court:
1) It spreads the glamour, majesty and romance of the Court equally around your kingdom, so the further off bits don't start feeling neglected and rebellious
2) It allows you not to have to worry about what will happen when the latrines fill up, because by then you'll have left town and it'll be someone else's problem.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:12 AM
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The capital should be a big walking city like in John Carter, stomping around the country leaving a trail of destruction behind it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:12 AM
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435 is what I was thinking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:13 AM
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Or 433, I mean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:14 AM
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435 was in fact about the only part of the UK Monster Raving Loony Party's 1969 manifesto which has not been enacted into law by subsequent non-loony or at least non-Loony governments.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:15 AM
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Congress should do the festival circuit. Boehner-oo!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:16 AM
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The most peculiar thing about this discussion is the revelation that togolosh has actually seen "John Carter". So you're the one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:19 AM
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438. You're right. The capital letter is important there.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:24 AM
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27: Done.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:26 AM
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I think Israel is a lot bigger than it really is.

Antisemite.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:26 AM
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"No, Dougal. Those Jews are very small. But those Jews are very far away."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:28 AM
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I love the ideas from our British correspondents, here. Good stuff.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:28 AM
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A quick bit of calculation shows that the US government would have to move between the capitals of the various states at an average speed of 19.2 miles every day. So you could keep ahead of it on foot, if you were reasonably fit.
Like the Ruum.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:30 AM
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Halford and I both saw John Carter. But not together. Which if you think of it is not very efficient -- two separate showings with one person each.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:31 AM
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Somehow I'd thought that the Parliamentary vote today was just on whether to proceed with military action in/on/against Syria before the UN inspectors' report was complete and submitted.

Not so, I take it: this is a decision not to engage in any action regardless?

The first vote was on a Labour amendment to the motion, which would require the government to wait for the UN inspectors but which certainly did not rule out action. The government managed to win this one, rejecting the amendment and sticking with their text, which basically gave the prime minister the keys to the rocket. (Some Tories now left the chamber, either because they're idiots or because they wanted to dodge the responsibility.)

The second vote was on the motion, as it stood after the attempted amendment. The government lost this vote, and therefore ended up with nothing. From their point of view, the decision to fight like hell against the amendment was a huge blunder.

The prime minister and most of the rest of the political scene seem to have taken it as meaning NO to anything whatsoever.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:40 AM
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Did the parties whip this vote or could MPs vote as they wanted?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:54 AM
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It was a whipped vote, I believe. That's the default - free votes are rare and announced in advance.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:07 AM
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It was whipped - ineptly. Two of the MPs who didn't turn up were whips!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:26 AM
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That's strange. I thought MPs were usually flogging fetishists because of British public schools attendance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:36 AM
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I thought they just really liked The Pogues.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:47 AM
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Fact: Shane McGowan went to the same school as Nick Clegg.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:52 AM
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When I was pretty young and still living in Chicago, I knew that Florida and California were the places to go to see the real beaches (i.e., the ocean, not Lake Michigan). So I assumed they were near each other.

I think it's this, and the Disney thing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:30 AM
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...and the Disney thing.

I thought we'd stopped talking about Miley.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:34 AM
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That may have been me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:35 AM
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It was whipped - ineptly. Two of the MPs who didn't turn up were whips!

Making Cameron look even more incompetent. What a disaster for him & the Conservative party. (I am quite happy with the result.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:47 AM
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And it would allow the US federal government to garner the two main benefits of the similarly peripatetic mediaeval European court:
1) It spreads the glamour, majesty and romance of the Court equally around your kingdom, so the further off bits don't start feeling neglected and rebellious

I think it's good enough to have our national soccer team play all over the place, unlike you guys with your Wembley Stadium. If we need to win, we play in a city without many Central American immigrants. If it's just an exhibition game, we play in a city with a lot of Central American immigrants. Both of those types of city are in great abundance.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:20 AM
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I slipped out early because Labor Day and went to a bar because beer. CNN is playing and I don't think I've seen a Republican woman with that haircut before. Also, it totally looks like bombs are going to fall. I think my habit of reading the news isn't helping me understand America. But maybe nobody does watch CNN except in airports and bars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:47 PM
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So, going to Congress after all. A smarter move than I expected from them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:41 AM
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Sam Knight at the Washington Monthly observes that the drumbeat of war (or not exactly war) is designed to pump up the military budget - a way to argue against sequestration cuts on the Pentagon. To the benefit of military contractors.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:21 PM
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459: I expect that Britain forced the administration's hand. That said, I'm quite relieved, though I don't relish listening to what passes for "debate" on the subject in congress.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:37 PM
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I've just perused a bunch of headlines regarding Syria, and I have to ask:

What do Syrians think? Does anyone know of a place or space where Syrian people are expressing their views?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:38 PM
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I wonder if there are 40 votes in the Senate against getting involved. I can imagine there might be.

Parsi, there are definitely Syrians who want us to shoot at their enemies in the government. And who are disappointed that we haven't done so yet. This isn't one of those civil wars where people would rather be slaughtered than have an ally that helps them win the thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:44 PM
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461: I don't expect Congress to disapprove in the majority in the end, though it would be fascinating if they did. I'd like to call myself too cynical a month from now, but I suspect this is just the sort of papering-over as the AUMF before Iraq.

Obama is actually freaking me out a bit at this point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:44 PM
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Or, you know, 41.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:44 PM
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463.2: I've also heard Syrians interviewed who say they're scared to death at the prospect of bombs raining down in the general vicinity of Syrian government buildings, which they live a mere 3 blocks away from.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:47 PM
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464 -- I'm resisting the urge to ask if you're on drugs. Vote in the fall of 2002 designed more for domestic political purposes, opposition votes for it because they're cowed, and because it's presented to them (dishonestly, as was obvious) as leverage to get the UN to get Iraq to cooperate and avoid bloodshed. Here. after a week of acting like they didn't need Congress or the UN and all but promising war, with the case for war and the alliance in free fall, the admin goes to Congress hoping either (a) to be prevented from doing the thing [that everyone in the Village says has to be done to save face, if for no other reason] and/or (b) pass along responsibility for a policy no one -- no one on earth -- thinks is going to be a success to Congress.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:50 PM
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466 -- Right, it's a civil war. Waged in and around populated areas. There will be winners and losers, and people who die for nothing. Whose opinion do you care about, and whose do you not care about?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:52 PM
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Too bad I don't currently have a congressman to write to. Stupid redistricting. The people down the street have one.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:58 PM
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467.last: and forcing the republicans to either support Obama or get out-hawked on defense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:00 PM
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470: yup. I've been trying very hard not to pay attention to politics lately, but it does seem like sending this to congress is a way of exacerbating the ongoing civil war within the GOP.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:02 PM
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As I think about it, I'll start paying very close attention indeed if McCain and Graham agree to a cage match to the death with Paul and Cruz.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:06 PM
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467: If that's the case, then why have they been saying they don't need to wait for UN inspectors? They seemed like they were in a hurry, at least up until the UK vote.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:14 PM
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473 -- Right, they were in a hurry when everyone was saying they had to do it, and that all right thinking people were on board. Now that that's demonstrably not the case, they're looking for the exits, or an opportunity to share blame. 470 sounds way too much like 11th dimensional chess: while true that causing problems in the Republican caucus is a bonus, we're too far away from the election, and Syria is too unrelated to the actual (neoliberal) priorities of the president to be anything but a transient benefit.

This is retreat. Not carefully planned choreography.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:20 PM
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467: Is there a question there?

the admin goes to Congress hoping either (a) to be prevented from doing the thing

That would be awesome. Obama made a point of saying that he didn't legally need Congressional approval, however; would he proceed with a limited engagement (a la Libya) in the face of a Congressional no vote?

Actually, I don't know what form the Congressional vote is supposed to take.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:26 PM
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474: I am reacting to what happened, rather than what people claimed was going to happen, or claimed they wanted to happen. Who planned what when why, I have no fucking idea, and neither does anybody. I guess if you don't want to give Obama credit for a reasonably good solution to a reasonably stupid impasse he found himself in you can argue that he was forced into it by circumstance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:32 PM
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476 -- I don't think the situation is as opaque as all that, but agree that Obama has gotten about the best solution he could have done, considering the stupid and mostly self-inflicted* impasse he was in. What is ridiculous is a comparison between the Admin decision/push to get an AUMF now to the decision/push to get one in late October 2002.

* The Village, and the security establishment it worships, has been broadly wrong** about foreign/security policy my entire lifetime. (You're all tired of me saying this, I know). They're still wrong.

** Objectively wrong, but not wrong considering only the interests of the people who benefit from the wrong prescriptions.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:44 PM
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477.1.last: oh, no disagreement there at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 2:46 PM
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I have to say I am really wondering now what would have happened if Parliament had blocked Blair from committing troops to Iraq in 2003. At the time I assumed that Bush would have gone ahead regardless. Now, well, though I still think he probably would, I am starting to think again...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:08 PM
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479: is there any evidence to suggest that he wouldn't have gone ahead regardless?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:25 PM
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Don't forget we had Poland on our side.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:32 PM
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Stankonia was willing to drop bombs over Baghdad. Rickity Raow was coming. Africa Bambata and the Zulu Nation. Japan sent some playstations. It was a coalition of the willing!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:38 PM
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It was a coalition of the willing ballroom blitz!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:40 PM
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Don't forget the one Micronesian soldier.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:49 PM
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Lots of soldiers have small nesias, Alex, it's not just the one guy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:50 PM
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We are deadly bufoons.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:53 PM
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Although some of us can probably spell.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:00 PM
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It was a coalition of the willing ballroom blitz!

As compared to Clinton's contingency plan to drop Da Bomb in Iraq.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/clinton-threatens-to-drop-da-bomb-on-iraq,787/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:26 PM
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Adam Serwer has pointed out that the draft resolution sent to Congress is pretty open-ended -- anything the President sees fit to do if it's to "prevent or deter the use or proliferation within, to or from Syria, of any weapons of mass destruction".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:10 PM
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That's very broad. But I wonder if they'll go further & use the very expansive definition of WMD from the US Code? Hand grenades are WMDs.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:32 PM
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2. There really are some companies looking for people to work from home. This phenomenon is known as telecommuting and does provide an opportunity for people with legitimate skills to get paid working from home.

This benefits both the company and the worker because the business does not need to provide a space for you to work from, and as an employee you do not have to get up and drive to work every day.

Many companies now will offer work at home jobs that include an hourly rate and benefits. These benefits can include paid vacation, retirement plan, and health insurance.

One such website or you can visit is Tjobs.com. They match employers looking for workers with employees who are looking for opportunities to telecommute. This works out very well for people who have skills such as sales, customer service, website design, and other categories.

3. Another thing I want to talk about is websites that present themselves as work at home jobs doing data entry, taking paid surveys, and typing at home. Generally these websites are trying to sell you information on how to get involved in this type of work.

There are companies who will pay you for your opinion, or to do data entry and typing. The websites that are selling you the information deserve to be paid because they have taken the time to develop a list of companies for you to contact.

In the future work at home jobs will become more readily available. Until that point you need to be conscious and only deal with reputable companies before spending any of your hard earned money.

To learn more about the top paid survey sites please visit: http://getpaid-survey.com


Posted by: Misu | Link to this comment | 04- 8-15 8:57 PM
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