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@Todayswords Is a "ban" on Islam likely to be successful?
2 months, 2 weeks ago on The War Nerd: Boko Haram and the Demon Consensus
I don't think Max was wrong until he tampered with the machine. If he just found a machine that was broken so that it paid out all the time, he wouldn't be wrong to milk it rather than tell the casino management. That's part of the game. Fixing machines is their concern, not his. But when he tampered with it, he did something I'm pretty sure is illegal. I still don't think it was all that wrong, but it probably was a crime of some kind or another.
2 years, 7 months ago on Player Capsules (Plus): Paul Pierce, the Role Model
It's certainly odd what happened to McGrady. Back during the Kobe-Shaq years, I would have said Kobe and McGrady were equals, and that those Lakers teams would have been just as good if not better if McGrady played for them. When the Rockets acquired him to put with Yao, I thought they would be serious contenders. But look at their paths in the years since--Kobe just kept ascending, to near basketball-godhood, while Mcgrady declined into obscurity and washed-up-ness, even though he's actually the younger of the two. Life is inscrutable.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Greatest Game Ever Played: T-Mac Retro Diary
@The_Iron_Webmaster I don't think so, but not because I think very highly of either neocons, Netanyahu, or al-Qaeda. At the start of every war, the leadership of both sides has wanted war, and mostly been positive about winning, or at the very least avoiding defeat. Would you say the leadership groups of the Central Powers and of the Entente felt a common interest in 1914 and so cooperated in going to war? Did Lincoln and Jefferson David feel a common interest in 1861 and hence cooperated in going to war? Yet all of those persons and groups wanted war more than the alternative. Rather, their interests were diametrically opposed but they all felt could only be achieved by war.
2 years, 8 months ago on Conversation @ http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/07/the_maine_thing_you_need_to_know
@goedelite @Granten "any permanent resident in the western hemisphere is as entitled to call himself an American."
So go ahead and call them that. When you meet someone from Peru, call him an American. There's no law that prevents someone from Brazil from saying, "I am an American." The next time a friend from Mexico visits you, introduce him as "my American friend." If you're chatting with people, go ahead and say, "Right now I'm reading an interesting book by American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez." Nobody's stopping you.
2 years, 8 months ago on Conversation @ http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/27/the_dearth_of_strategy
@mhenriday @Granten @goedelite When the German Democratic Republic still existed, and there were 2 German states, did you demand that we refer to its citizens as GDRians, and citizens of the other German state as FRGians? Prior to the unification of Germany, "German" was an umbrella term that encompassed Prussians, Bavarians, Saxons, Thuringians, Austrians, etc. All those groups could be called German, as well as their most specific group-names. Does that mean, mon cher Henri, that Austrians should rightfully become indignant about citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany stealing for themselves the name "German," when Austrians are equally entitled to that name? Ecuador is not the only country through which the equator runs, yet they have presumptuously taken the name Equatorian, when many other peoples would just *love*, I'm sure, to be called by that name themselves. Colombia is a poetic term for the western hemisphere continents, so any resident of those continents ought to be entitled to that names, yet I don't hear many people complaining that Colombians are selfishly taking the name for themselves. Prior to 1947, the Indus region was unequivocally considered "India," so we would expect that today's Pakistanis would be just livid about the name "Indian" being monopolized by citizens of the Republic of India, who should really be called ROIians. Do you always refer to the residents of a certain east Asian peninsula as ROKians and DPRKians, rather than Koreans? You are aware, are you not, that the Republic of South Africa is not the only southern African country, so I would expect you always call the citizens of that polity RSAians? Because otherwise that would be offensive to people from Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, etc., yes? When you do all those things, then I'll believe your embrace of "USian" isn't motivated by some kind of misguided spite.
@mhenriday @Granten @goedelite Somewhere along the way, some people got it into their heads that calling Americans "USians" or "United Statians" was a way to "put them in their place." But why are Latin Americans and Canadians clamoring to be called "Americans," if indeed they are? You don't see Japanese clamoring to be called "Asians," do you? On the contrary, they would rather not be lumped in with group of people with whom they have very little in common besides sharing the same continent, which is absolutely the least significant aspect of any person's identity. Unfortunately, Confucius was wrong--names derive their qualities from the things they describe, not vice verse. Google, e.g., the Euphemism Treadmill. I would not hold out much hope that a change in name would change the things to which those names are applied.
Hey, who's that ruddy-cheeked chap in the photograph? Whoever he is, I certainly wish he was born into a position of unfathomable luxury and that, someday, his wedding is broadcast to hundreds of millions of adoring fans.
2 years, 9 months ago on Conversation @ http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/29/european_defense_post_libya_towards_the_rubicon
"#10. Travelers who rant about acts of fate/God"
I actually like it when someone gets angry. He's red-faced, he's yelling, "This is unacceptable!" He's complaining at the airline employees, but in the end there isn't anything he can do. His loss of composure makes it easier for me to keep mine. If I'm unhappy, I always enjoy the spectacle of someone else being even more unhappy.
2 years, 9 months ago on Conversation @ http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/22/the_top_ten_things_that_make_air_travel_annoying