It's great that General Riper found a way to defeat the blue forces. Big deal—I can score 25 goals a game on EA Sports NHL 2000, if I send Peter Forsberg behind the net to dish off to a Joe Sakic slapshot. My point is that the strategic goal of the war games isn't using a trick to beat the computer's logic, it's addressing the dozen or two dozen most likely scenarios foreseen by the planners, think tankers and political leaders.
It's really important to remember the Army's prime operational maxim: No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Ewing some, you lose some: In the Sports Nut Fray discussion of Hugo Lindgren's "why Ewing never won a championship," there were the usual debates (Ewing vs. other centers, why Pat Riley didn't play Hubert Davis in Game 7 of the 1994 finals, etc.) and one post that seemed to cut through the hoo-hah. As Brian Disco Snell explained here, in an era of 30-team leagues, old rules no longer apply:
Mathematically, then, it is a plain fact that more and more star players will simply be unable to win championships during their careers. Therefore, to judge players of the '90s and '00s by the same "how many titles did he win" standard by which we discuss the players of the '60s is probably not appropriate. And to describe a lack of championships as a "curse" is really just a simplistic illusion that any star player is capable of winning the title, if only his character is good.
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2002
This land is the land of ours: Avi Schick's Jurisprudence piece pointed to "Blaine amendments" in state constitutions as a major roadblock for school vouchers proponents. In the Jurisprudence Fray, Meriadoc asked the logical follow-up questions: Does Ohio have a Blaine amendment? Does the Supreme Court's decision upholding Cleveland's voucher program trump it? Schick's short answers here are yes and no. The most interesting part of the answer only confirms the importance ofstate court rulings to the future of school vouchers:
[T]he Ohio Supreme Court rejected the lower courts' finding that Ohio's "Blaine Amendment" was coextensive with the Establishment Clause. (This would have provided an easy way out for the court, because it had already decided that the program didn't violate
the Establishment Clause) …
[Instead] the court found that state funds don't flow to private schools because the voucher checks are sent to parents and then signed over to the school. (The Florida court rejected that same argument as "elevating form over substance.")
Schick provides text from the Ohio Constitution and the Ohio Supreme Court opinion in the full post … 7:25 p.m.
Inspectors, gadgets: Ballot Box is atwitter as it weighs Saddam's likely "conditions" and Saletan's increasinglyhawkish rhetoric. (Saletan has been a common presence in the Ballot Box Fray of late. The funniest thread began here. Last week, Saletan's harshest rebuttal came here. His posts have a salutary effect on the place.) The best threads began with Keep a ClearEye's counterfactual post here—what if there are inspections but no weapons of mass destruction?—JackD's post here, and Realist's here:
Why assume that Hussein's inspections offer is merely clever deceitfulness masquerading as a concession? Isn't it more likely that Hussein is looking for middle ground that would allow him to save face, his rule, and ultimately keep his country at peace?
He wants to negotiate. Bush doesn't. Bush's tough guy strategy may backfire because he makes his adversary look more reasonable than he is by refusing to talk things over.
In the mood for a complete review of U.S. foreign policy? Check out David Garver's superb long post here and the thread that follows.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself.
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.