Real and Unreal

by Kieran Healy on August 28, 2003

David Adesnik doesn’t believe there’s much in the way of Iraqi resistance outside the “Sunni Triangle.” Tacitus disagrees and gives a list of U.S. fatalities. David rebuts him, saying

bq. Tacitus most definitely has a good eye for detail, but are ten or so fatalities supposed to persuade me that there is real resistance outside the Sunni Triangle?

Well, it’d probably convince the hell out of me if I’d been one of the soldiers killed. Except it wouldn’t matter, because I’d be dead.

This is kind of a cheap riposte from me, and the two may have already resolved their differences about the substantive issue. But it’s worth policing the armchair generalship if only because tossing around phrases like “Are ten or so fatalities supposed to persuade me” is not a good habit for a responsible Oxblogger to have. It’s a bit like that Economist article that Daniel picked on recently for casually making a distinction between hunger and “mere uncertainty about where the next meal was coming from.”

Give children the right to vote?

by Micah on August 28, 2003

I’m taking a course on election law, and the professor mentioned a proposal today that I hadn’t heard about before. He said there’s a movement in Germany to propose a constitutional amendment that would give children the right to vote from birth. I thought he was pulling our leg at first, but listen to this segment on “NPR”: The idea is that parents (or principal care givers) would act as proxies for children by voting on their behalf. According to proponents, this would have two benefits. First, it would give politicians greater reason to care about family and children’s issues. Second, in an effort to correct for Germany’s declining birth rate and rapidly aging population, it would give people greater incentive to have more children. (A quick search turns up some other proposals of this kind floating around, from the “sophomoric”: to the “more considered”:,3858,4599961-107865,00.html (by Gillian Thomas at “Demos”: to the “academic manifesto”: (by Duncan Lindsey at UCLA.)

[click to continue…]