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Monthly Archives: August 2002

Play Ball

August 30th, 2002 - 10:45 am

No baseball strike. Not this year, anyway.

But please understand I’m still wary of both the owners and the players.

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War By Numbers

August 30th, 2002 - 10:36 am

Asia Times has more numbers to back up this post.

Oh, and the numbers back up something I argued on this site way back in February.

And March.

And April.

And July.

And just two weeks ago.

VodkaPundit: Confidently standing by his baseless predictions since Day One.

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Less Than a Year

August 30th, 2002 - 12:15 am


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August 30th, 2002 - 12:14 am

Read this from the Financial Times:

Jonathan Eyal, an analyst with the Royal United Services Institute in London, says: “The Pentagon has spent the last 10 years trying to reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy. Unlike the last Gulf war, it can now take weeks rather than months.”

Just how many weeks is a tougher question. RUSI believes a substantial force could be assembled in little more than two weeks because of the amount of equipment already on the ground and the ability to bring in more by air or sea.

Ships pre-packed with tanks and other heavy equipment could have already left the Diego Garcia naval base in the Indian Ocean. Given that air strikes would probably last at least two weeks before ground troops were sent in, analysts believe the two phases could be carried out simultaneously.

“If they wanted to start a war they could start it next week,” concludes Mr Eyal.

Most of that is army equipment, pre-positioned in Kuwait, Saudi, and Diego Garcia. We have (I have to tread lightly here) other items from another service mothballed in another country fairly close by. Technically, the stuff belongs to them, but with the understanding that it

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Lion and the Lamb

August 30th, 2002 - 12:10 am

David Ignatius on our course in the Middle East:

What the Bush administration needs to do now is fashion a strategy for the Middle East in which its strike against Iraq won’t seem crazy, but part of a sensible plan for a new and stable order in the Middle East. That shouldn’t be impossible; the status quo, after all, is a mess — and has been for decades.

That’s the problem with those who argue for caution and inaction. They’re defending a status quo that’s rotten — one that has left the Arab world perpetually unstable, and one in which U.S. interests seem constantly at risk. A new order would benefit everyone, most of all the Arabs.

You read much the same thing on this site two days ago. Ignatius is right

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August 30th, 2002 - 12:04 am

Say hello to the new guy, Major Rumblings.

Anyone with an A-10 on his blog is OK by me

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August 30th, 2002 - 12:04 am

Mike Hendrix finally has Cold Fury up and running again.

Now get to work, Mike.

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Friday Recipe

August 30th, 2002 - 12:02 am

This week

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Better Late Than Never

August 29th, 2002 - 11:46 am

Oops! The Mad Swede has the new Smarter Harper’s Index up, and I only noticed just now.

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Mo’ Money

August 29th, 2002 - 11:42 am

As expected, the EU economic recovery is in the toilet. Why was that the expected result? Because on the Continent, risk-taking rarely pays and strict labor laws prevent corporations from capitalizing on even the good times.

What does that mean for us?

First, the ECB (European Central Bank) will have to cut interest rates. That should weaken the euro against the dollar.

Weak corporate profits have already weakened European stock markets, which could (should?) lead to an influx of capital to US equities. That will do two things: Weaken the euro further, and prop up the Dow and NASDAQ.

Stronger share prices could help reduce those deflationary risks we spoke of yesterday.

But the news isn’t all good. The US economy exports a lot more goods than it ever used to, and that makes a big part of our economy more subject to fluctuations overseas. A weaker euro plus weaker European demand could mean stalled job creation in a sector that’s already hurting.

Unemployed workers buy less, hurting aggregate demand. Profitless companies depress equity valuations. Both could increase deflationary pressure.

I don’t mean to be a scare-mongerer here. Truth is, the stock market is still, by historical standards, overpriced, not undervalued. Unemployment is higher than we’d like, but still very low for a recessionary or slow-growth economy. Interest rates are low enough to allow the government to deficit spend for a while to prop up aggregate demand.

But we are facing unsusual risks. Keep a sharp eye on housing prices.

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Behind the Times

August 29th, 2002 - 11:24 am

The New York Times sniffs out a story the blogosphere finished with months ago.

The Saudi government has spent millions of dollars on well-connected lobbyists and national television advertisements since Sept. 11 in a drive to improve its image among Americans and is poised to spend more as the anniversary of the events approaches

Nice work, guys! We’ll try to make sure you’re a little less behind the times from now on.

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Good If True

August 29th, 2002 - 11:16 am

Two stories nabbed off Drudge make for my kind of war.

U.S. General Tells Israelis War Will Start By Late November

White House Likely to Seek Approval From Congress On Invation Of Iraq

Legally, President Bush has every right to order action against Hussein. He is in violation of the 1991 ceasefire, of multiple UN resolutions, and present a clear and present danger to the security and interests of the United States.


But this is still a democratic republic, and while this invasion will prove easier than many fear, the occupation will require many years, many soldiers, and many billions of dollars. And the President lacks the moral authority to commit those kinds of resources without some kind of permission.

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August 29th, 2002 - 10:51 am

Al Haig says we have credibility problems to overcome in the Gulf. He’s right, of course.

Good point — especially used to argue in favor of toppling Saddam. But the best parts of the piece are his not-so-veiled insults of James Baker and Brent Scowcroft.

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Read It and Weep

August 29th, 2002 - 12:10 am

Right Wing News snags an interview with esteemed Arabist Daniel Pipes.

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August 29th, 2002 - 12:07 am

Now and then I get lazy and decide that new material is more effort than I want to expend. So for your reading enjoyment and my need for sleep, I present the best VodkaPundit Celebrity Insults for March, April, and May:

Anne Coulter is a hatchet-faced hatchet-job artist whose main claim to fame is a poorly-written book and a TKO over the fearsome Katie Couric.

Tom Friedman is back to blowing himself.

Are Bloggers saving the world from Peter Jennings?

Andrea Thompson is leaving CNN Headline News. Nice rack, lousy anchor.

Arlen Specter needs to be hit upside the head with a brick with the words “There’s a war on” etched into it.

Richard Holbrooke:

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Smells Like Desperation

August 28th, 2002 - 3:54 pm

MSNBC is promoting Brian William’s nightly newsfest — with a spot on Fox News Channel.


Back when Johnny Carson was providing 20% of NBC’s meager revenues, I remember seeing ads for the new SuperTrain drama — on independent UHF Channel 30. This was before Cosby, Hill Street, and Cheers saved the Peacock’s feathers.

Does anyone see a Cosby, Ted Danson, or Detective Frank coming in to rescue MSNBC?

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New Kid

August 28th, 2002 - 1:33 pm

Robert Prather is touting some new blogroll additions at his News Portal — and at least one of them is both new to me and worth a good look.

Kris Lofgren is a typical left poli sci student, but not in a typically lefty way. Take a look at his blog, The Lofty.

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Way Tardy

August 28th, 2002 - 1:12 pm

Fascinating discussion going on at Jane Galt. Is your average modern Russian materially no more well off than his 1910 counterpart?

Did an entire nation miss out on most of a century of growth?

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Pet Crap

August 28th, 2002 - 12:51 pm

Francis Fukuyama still believes that history, if not ended yet, is certainly readying the Fat Lady for her solo.


In case you

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Basra, Here We Come

August 28th, 2002 - 10:47 am

A Quick and Dirty Guide to city fighting. Jim Dunnigan reports on what the Israelis have learned — and what we can learn from them.

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Size Doesn’t Matter

August 28th, 2002 - 10:19 am

Steven Den Beste tells us what’s really going on at that Earth Summit down in South Africa.

Here’s the short version: “Hey, rich countries: Stop making so much money — it’s evil. Oh, and give us a bunch of it.”

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Jaw, Jaw

August 28th, 2002 - 10:12 am

Diplomats solve problems by talking very slowly, very carefully, and seemingly endlessly. More often than not, talk works.

China agrees to open up their banking system. Mexico won

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All You Need to Know

August 28th, 2002 - 9:22 am


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Dollars Signs and Portents

August 28th, 2002 - 12:12 am

Inflation pretty much sucks.

Oh, it can be fun at first. Sure, prices are going up

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Or Maybe He

August 28th, 2002 - 12:04 am


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Trying Your Patience

August 28th, 2002 - 12:01 am

So. The wall cabinets for the dry bar are built

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Getting Back to Work

August 27th, 2002 - 10:23 pm

Thanks to the mysterious intricacies of Blogger, Matt Traylor lost his old blog. But you can find his new one at www.roverpundit.com.

Update those links.

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August 27th, 2002 - 10:07 am

Head cold and home improvements. The free ice cream cones will be 27% smaller, at least until this evening.

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That Guy from “The Matrix?”

August 23rd, 2002 - 11:25 am

Brian Chapin forwarded this to me from his Realpolitik site.

Lee Harris has the answer to transnational progressivism. He calls it “Neo-Sovereignty,” and it’s certainly worth a look.

In neo-sovereignty, there would be a clearly and concisely defined threshold of violence below which the neo-sovereign power would pay no notice-and this threshold would be drawn precisely at weapons of mass destruction. Anything less than this would simply not be the responsibility of the neo-sovereign power-just as, in the USA, the Federal government does not concern itself with the implementation of the monopoly of force at the state and local levels. And what better choice could history have made than America, a country that has had more experience with the federal form of sovereignty than any other society in man’s history, and which is, in terms of the population, a representative micro-cosmism of the whole world. Then, too, there is the well-known American power to organize the unorganizable. We are simply the best at such things.

The main principle that neo-sovereignty simultaneously modifies and preserves is the right of unlimited self-determination by a nation state or by a people or by a sect. But this is not because this concept is being rejected out of hand-far from it. Rather it is because the advent of mass destruction technologies simply shattered the old concept of self-determination, in the same way that the consequence of pollution requires a radical readjustment of property rights, and a new and dialectically higher concept must be put in its place. And this is what neo-sovereignty achieves.

The essay is rather long, but no longer than it needs to be. Check it out.

That’s much heavier stuff than I usually post here on Fridays, which are usually limited to food, humor, and breasts. So I make it up to you by presenting Brian with the following suggestion: After an essay like that, you need to subtitle your blog, “Kicking Westphalia in the Groin since 2002.”

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Head Start

August 23rd, 2002 - 10:34 am

Suman Palit gives me a very warm welcome home to the blogosphere, but he worries that marriage has ruined my appetite for cheesecake.

Not hardly, Suman. Not hardly.

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