Meaningless Swagger
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Feb. 28 2002 12:10 PM


Dear Margaret,


Another suicide attack in Israel. It shows the weakness of a "get-tough" policy. How do you deter someone from killing themselves by threatening to kill them?

This is Sharon's conundrum. What he has, the willingness to be brutal, is absolutely worthless.

I keep thinking of the Long Parliament and the voice demanding, "Go, you have stayed too long."

Sharon won the premiership by leading a grand entourage to the Temple Mount. For all these months since September 2000, he has shown that swagger is not as good at ending an intifada as it is at starting one.

I saw all this with the humility that anyone merits when speaking of the Mideast. Talk about trying to square a circle.

By the way, my ultimate solution to Northern Ireland is a two-step: 1) have the six counties unify with the Republic in a new all-Ireland confederation; 2) have Ireland join the British Commonwealth of Nations. This would give Ireland full sovereignty over a united island. It would give the Unionists a residual British identity.

I'm smarter when it comes to the Old Country, Maggie.



Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nicolas Sarkozy, Thrice Married, Says Gay Marriage Humiliates the Family

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 5:33 PM The Politics of Stigma Why are lighter-skinned Latinos and Asians more likely to vote Republican?
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 5:45 PM The University of California Corrects “Injustice” by Making Its Rich Chancellors Even Richer
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.