Michael Kinsley: “[A]n illegitimate tactic used in a legitimate cause, as part of a conflict with legitimate and illegitimate tactics and aspirations on both sides, is different from an illegitimate tactic used for purposes that are utterly crazed and malevolent.”
"The War on Terror Flounders" by Nicholas D. Kristof
Is there any explanation other than inertia to account for the United States' maintaining 47,000 troops in Japan, despite the lack of any threat there except perhaps from extraterrestrials, yet refusing to provide a few thousand troops to keep the swamp drained in Afghanistan?"
Joe Klein: “This rather sour ideology [populism] did have one fleeting moment of high-mindedness a hundred years ago. The Populist Party promoted several programs—the progressive income tax, a central banking system with control over the money supply, antitrust regulation—to provide needed controls over an emerging national economy. These were embraced by Theodore Roosevelt's Republicans and implemented by Woodrow Wilson's Democrats. But the pure strain of populism has always been a bit too harsh, and too easily hijacked by demagogues, to be very successful politically.”
Noam Chomsky: “Three short steps in [a] led in by three alphabetically consecutive consonants [k,l,m], occlusive, liquid, labial, respectively (that is, progressing from posterior to anterior buccal cavity), act as a ladder, rising to the highest note in the English register [u], which slides in on us over the glistening parquet of the soft sibilant [z], puckering up the mouth in gentle mockery of itself.”
Janette Ramsey: “As I progressed into junior high and high school, I was enthralled with the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. I was 100 percent convinced the United States of America was a fantastic place, and I was lucky enough to be an American!”
George F. Will: “"Today many people say that the Arabs and their European echoes would be mollified if Israel would change its behavior. People who say that do not understand the centrality of anti-Semitism in the current crisis. This crisis has become the second -- and final?
Find your library MeFi thread: “Books remain my first love -- and the library remains a way for me to test-drive new authors before shelling out $30 for a mediocre hard-cover. The stacks in my college library were also the scene of an unsolved murder -- someone jumped a female graduate student (in the 1960s, I believe), stabbed her, and left. Her body was discovered after a few days. So research always had that extra kick.”
William Saletan: “Israel and its critics can't agree which facts to find. The mystery of the Jenin investigation—namely, why a country with nothing to hide would resist a search for truth—dissolves when you realize how much of the battle for public opinion takes place not between truth and falsehood, but between one truth and another. To control the answer, you must control the question. That's the game Israel is playing-and its opponent, the United Nations, is winning.”
Edward W. Said: “Phrases such as 'plucking out the terrorist network,' 'destroying the terrorist infrastructure' and 'attacking terrorist nests' (note the total dehumanization involved) are repeated so often and so unthinkingly that they have given Israel the right to destroy Palestinian civil life, with a shocking degree of sheer wanton destruction, killing, humiliation and vandalism.”
"In the ruins of the future" by Don DeLilo
That's funny. I just read the actual Harper's Magazine version, and checked to see if there was an online version. Yep. Except the Guardian graphic misleadingly labels it as fiction. Whatever. It's a good piece reflecting on the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, written about a month after the attack.
Zoe Heller: “If anything, modern men are overly demanding about the CVs of their potential female companions. No one seems to want an honest-to-goodness tootsie any more. Or a pretty homemaker. They're all looking for scuba enthusiasts with snazzy jobs at brokerage firms.”
Jim Holt: “Defenders of the doctrine of double effect appeal to Kant's categorical imperative: A person is always to be treated as an end, never merely as a means. And treating people as a means—to send a message, to create wider panic, to demoralize the enemy nation they are a part of—is precisely what the perpetrator of an act of terror does.”
The article cites an book review (which I haven't yet read) by Michael Ignatieff, someone I've been coming across a lot lately.