Maybe you aren't smart enough, maybe you are. Who is to tell? What makes you think that the people making policy decisions are any smarter than you are? They may have different information, they may have access to better information than you. They may have different experiences or skillsets or talents, but don't sell yourself short in this fashion. After all, our collective ignorance blunders on despite our individual shortcomings, and we tend to work things out regardless of the obstacles that seem to loom so large.

Posted by Deskmerc at October 23, 2006 10:28 AM

Funny that you should refer to Peters' "Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States." Every one of the indicators he mentions now applies to the United States under the Bushista NeoCon regime. Perhaps you were operating at a several pay grades higher than you lay claim to when you wrote today's blog without even knowing it.

Posted by PrahaPartizan at October 23, 2006 10:30 AM

Where you come up with that assessment, PrahaPartizan, is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by Sarah at October 23, 2006 10:59 AM

I like that. "Bushista NeoCon regime". Where did this idea that you could label something and make it so by pointing to the label? Chomsky?

Posted by Deskmerc at October 23, 2006 12:57 PM


It sounds like you're retiring from political discourse. Or maybe you're just in a funk today. But if you really want people to just read stuff at Blackfive or Cold Fury instead, don't use the excuse that you're not smart enough to know. Since when did a PhD impress Americans? Hopefully never. All you need is plain common sense here. Also, what's this pay-grade nonsense about? A lot of certified idiots make millions of dollars, and a lot of geniuses fade into obscurity, sometimes self-imposing it. So stop with the "talking at your pay grade" business. I think you should say whatever you want. I would defend your right to do so. Bush probably wouldn't, but I would.

Now, Jacoby on the other hand.. I find it interesting that in all of Jeff Jacoby's trumpeting of past American wars, he forgets one very important one - Vietnam. Or maybe he doesn't forget at all.. Maybe he'd just rather talk about the Ardennes offensive in 1944 because everybody likes World War 2! Right on! We riotously KICKED ASS! Yeah! Well of course we did. But, oh yeah, Vietnam... hmmm... better not talk about that one... it was one of those wars we fought AFTER are leaders became imperialists, and that has no relevance to the current war.. well, not as much as the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 does, right?

Even today, you guys still don't get why Iraq is a mistake. It's not a mistake because we're doing "badly" militarily. If we were fighting a riotous war, we could take 50000 deaths a day and we'd still fight on until the last able-bodied American was dead. Iraq is a mistake because it's not riotous. What we're doing there is for the personal gain of a few, not the many. This ain't 1812 or 1944 or 1991 even. We're on the wrong side of history guys, so let's stop fucking arguing about it and do something to improve ourselves.

Lastly, about the Seven Factors: You can easily find ways in which America, especially conservative America, fails at each of these factors. However, I don't feel that America is a non-competitive state. This leads me to believe that the 7 factors can be applied to any country you want to justify yourself.

Posted by Will at October 23, 2006 04:23 PM