Truth, meet advertising

by Henry Farrell on December 2, 2007

Isn’t it just enough that the _National Review Online_ seems to have published dodgy reporting on massive (and apparently entirely imaginary) Hezbollah invasions of chunks of Beirut, without the source of said reportage being the “co-author”: of _The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design_ ? ? Sweet.

175 days and still counting

by Ingrid Robeyns on December 2, 2007

So, for anyone who wants to know, “the Belgian crisis”: has arrived at a new absolute low. The coalition negotiations have been broken off. The negotiating Flemish and Francophone parties could not agree on the core issue – whether or not to openly debate in the next years the shift of certain governmental responsibilities from the federal to the regional levels. And I really don’t know what solutions are still available now. Almost all parties seem to impose non-negotiable demands or taboos that together make any coalition impossible. New elections? Not sure whether they would be constitutional – recall that the constitutional court has ruled that the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde is currently holding unconstitutional elections, and that problem has not been solved either. To be continued.

Retrieved from the memory hole

by John Q on December 2, 2007

The NY Times says that Iraq is the third most corrupt country in the word after the failed states of Somalia and Myanmar (Burma). The article gives plenty of examples at all levels, but is striking in the way it represents US forces as dismayed, but largely helpless, onlookers.

It’s time, obviously, to dive into the memory hole, and point out that the looting that started the downward spiral was a matter of deliberate Coalition policy. As this report in the London Times stated in April 2003

The British view is that the sight of local youths dismantling the offices and barracks of a regime they used to fear shows they have confidence that Saddam Hussain’s henchmen will not be returning to these towns in southern Iraq.

One senior British officer said: “We believe this sends a powerful message that the old guard is truly finished.”

This report focuses on the British but the US and Australian governments were at least as culpable

[click to continue…]

Choice and Social Structure

by Kieran Healy on December 2, 2007

A rich post over at Scatterplot.

bq. I spent a lot of those years exhausted and angry. We continued to have only part-time child care. Some nights I put the children to bed crying because I knew they were better off crying alone in bed than interacting with an angry sleep-deprived mother. I was furious that I had to make constrained choices and could not have the life I wanted. When he was home, my spouse was “superdad,” who did a lot of the work and played a lot with the children, so there was a big hole when he was gone. He was aware of how much he did when he was around, but not of what it was like when he was not around. I wanted him to confront the consequences of the work-home choice he was making and feel just as bad as I did. In retrospect, I probably should have used more paid child care and household help, as the children would probably have been better off with a saner mother, but I did not want to concede defeat to the constraints in my life. I preferred feeling angry to adjusting.

I haven’t said “Read the whole thing” in a while. This one’s worth it.