Brian O'Connell

on war, politics, and stuff - go to the new blog

Current Archive Hits Blogroll Links Email
Style Reset
Oldest Next Prev Latest

06/09/2002 - 06/16/2002
06/16/2002 - 06/23/2002
06/23/2002 - 06/30/2002
06/30/2002 - 07/07/2002
07/07/2002 - 07/14/2002
07/14/2002 - 07/21/2002
09/15/2002 - 09/22/2002
09/22/2002 - 09/29/2002
10/06/2002 - 10/13/2002
10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002
10/20/2002 - 10/27/2002
12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003
01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003
01/12/2003 - 01/19/2003
01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003
01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003
02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003
06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003
06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003
07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003
07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003
07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003
08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003
08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003
08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003
08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003
09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003
11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003
11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003
12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003
12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003
12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004
01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004
03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004

Response to Prominent Americans (Not in Our Name)

Complexity and Universal Truth

From Multiculturalism to Anti-Americanism in Six Easy Steps

Andrew Sullivan

A Nickel's Worth of Free Advice

Armed and Dangerous

Asymmetrical Information

Beauty of Gray

Belmont Club

Bjørn Stærk blog


Cinderella Bloggerfeller

Cold Fury




Dr. Weevil

Eject! Eject! Eject!



it comes in pints?


Little Green Footballs

LILEKS (James)

Man Without Qualities

Matt Welch

Michael J. Totten

My Two Cents

Natalie Solent

Oliver Willis


Public Nuisance

Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing

Shadow of the Hegemon

Steven Chapman

The CounterRevolutionary

The Machinery of Night


The Truth Laid Bear

Tim Blair

Twisted Spinster

USS Clueless


Winds of Change.NET


BBC Etc.

Links to other stories available from the BBC's Saddam sons 'dead' page:

Saddam sons 'dead'
UK: Deaths a 'relief' for Iraqis
US cheers 'good' Iraq news

Nice, that last one. But how about:

'President' Bush welcomes 'news'
Iraqi 'council' issues decree
WMD documents 'found'

That last one also works as WMD 'documents' found or 'WMD' documents found. Or I could just go all out with 'WMD' 'documents' 'found'.

Here's some BBC headlines for the BBC:

BBC 'loses' credibility
'Reporter' Gilligan sacked
License 'fees' struck down

Hmm. The previous post was about question marks; this one's about quotes. I am becoming the blogger grammarian! Not as good as the Kwisatch Haderach, I suppose, but I'll take it.


Mr. President, we need to know?

In my continuing role as the blogger grammarian, I'd just like to point out that Howard Dean's 16 Questions aren't questions at all but declarative statements with question marks tacked onto the ends. Here's an example:

14) Mr. President, we need to know why your Administration had no plan to build the peace in post-war Iraq and seems to be resisting calls to include NATO, the United Nations and our allies in the stabilization and reconstruction effort?

Now if Howard Dean doesn't know the difference between a question and a statement, how does he expect the American public to have confidence that he can blah blah blah.

But seriously, what's with the question marks? I guess he wanted to go with "16 Questions" rather than "16 Declarative Statments" or "16 things we need to know" but 16 actual questions in a row come off as whiny. Why'd you do this? Why'd you do that? See what I mean? 16 declarative "Mr. President, we need to know"'s seem more authoratative. But then they aren't really questions. So just tack on question marks and voila! 16 Questions.

Yes, I know this is nitpicky.


...Damned if You Don't

MSNBC is reporting on the growing Calls for U.S. mission in Liberia:

"We’re dying here,” screamed some in the crowd, as two American servicemen in camouflage watched from behind bulletproof glass.

One man held up a hastily scrawled sign: “Today G. Bush kill Liberia people.”

There's no doubt that the situation in Liberia is awful, and people are getting killed.

But this situation, when seen together with the situation in Iraq, shows the futility of the US trying to win the hearts of the global community, if there is such a thing. We're criticized for getting involved in Iraq where some say we shouldn't, and criticized for not getting involved in Liberia where some say we should. Often these are the same people.

Having as much power as the US has guarantees that the US will be criticized for how we use it or how we don't use it.

What may be as bad, and may even be the driver of the constant criticism, is the attitude of the press. When Bush says he wants to overthrow the Iraqi government, the press, looking for conflict, focuses their attention on those who strongly disagree. When Bush declines to send troops to Liberia, so far, the press again focuses on those who strongly disagree.

This isn't even about liberal or conservative slant. It's the philosophy of journalism: focus on the conflict, air all sides of any disagreement. The editorial decision to promote dissenting views, even when held by a small minority, can give the impression that the US is always on the wrong side of any decision it makes.

The main dialogue, as we get it from mainstream news, is the government says this and those that strongly disagree, say that. What may be lost is what the majority thinks about any given policy. I'm not sure this is the best way to conduct a democracy or a debate on foreign policy.


Turn and Face the Strange

ForNow, in comments to this post of mine, calls the format cool, but "forbidding". I can see that. Those buttons on the right seem to be multiplying like rabbits. So, in what is optimistically a clarifying measure, I've color-coded the buttons. Navigation of posts is now in green; meta-navigation (if you'll allow) is red; and the usual blog features like the blogroll and the link to the current page remain blue. I'm not happy with the black type on red over there. I may change it.

I do see that as simple as I've tried to make this, it is a bit much to learn just to read a single blog which was never all that popular in the first place. Ahem. On the other hand, it isn't that difficult either. If this format or the like were widely adopted, the 5 minutes it takes to learn its basic functions, and get comfortable with them, I hope, is nothing.

Anyway, I thank ForNow for the comment.

One thing this format does, it occurs to me, is to do away with the necessity for the MovableType feature of listing all the recent posts in the sidebar for easy access. Here, the posts and the list of posts are one and the same- the stack.

Powered By Blogger TM

Amazon Honor System

Click Here to Pay Learn More

Comments by YACCS

This week's background by
The Big Waste of Space.

© 2002-2004
Brian O'Connell,
for what it's worth.