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October 21st, 2003

the only earth?

war: what is it good for?

On Sunday, I was surprised that Bush was eager to draw parallels between Iraq and the Philippines. Today, Fred Kaplan explains why the comparison is so discomfiting. In case you hadn't noticed, this is not the first faulty analogy1 to take advantage of our sketchy knowledge of world history: Iraq isn't post-World War II Germany (for multiple reasons).

Since this post is mostly about war and history and how we forget important details2, here's a link to Lee Sandlin's massive 1997 essay for the Chicago Reader , "Losing the War." If you aren't into reading, you can listen to an excerpt read on This American Life here.3

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[1] I suppose that the administration will be thrilled to hear that the new SAT will stop testing analogies.

[2] When Sarah Vowell mentioned that she thought that the last perfect presidential candidate ran in 1860, someone later asked who it was.

[3] Speaking of Sarah Vowell -- her story about the Spanish-American War is in here too! And so is David Sedaris's comments about French Freedom Fries.
chair, apartment

settled

For the past few weeks, around ten pm, I feel inspired to become a morning person. I'm unjustifiably tired and feel like I might as well go to sleep and get up early. Alas, why be a morning person when it isn't absolutely necessary.

Other than that. I went to class, worked on homework, and went to see Kill Bill vol. 1 [official site] with Carole. That is some fine stylish fantasy violence! I kept thinking that pirates are just kidding themselves if they think they even stand a chance against ninjas.

If I were the type to buy DVDs, I'd be in line for 28 Days Later [official site], which features four alternate endings. As if two weren't enough.