Readers on Slate's predictability

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Oct. 23 2002 3:05 PM

Barry-ing the Lede

The Fray finds Slate's World Series coverage predictable.

(Continued from Page 4)

Does MLB funnel all the chew loving jocks to Anaheim? It sure seems so. At any rate, even if they are, in reality, a bunch of great guys ... with chew in their mouths they look all too familiar to those of us who've known our share of chew-loving jock dorks (usually wannabe jocks who spent their adult lives pumping iron in order to make up for the lack of agility and speed that kept them nervous and chewing forever). OK. So I'm stereotyping. So I'm shallow. So, so, so.

I still don't like the Angels.

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On the more theoretical subject of why the Angels' pitifulness is obscure (when, say, the Cubs' is so prominent), The Slasher offers a notion of the "secondary franchise" here. Will anyone respond? … 11:00 a.m.

82_horizontal_rule

Friday, Oct. 18, 2002

 

Chain-chain-chain: Reaction to Fred Kaplan's critique of U.S. smart bombs was extremely compelling. Military Guy stressed that while the bombs have gotten better, there are plenty of other ways to screw things up ("For an example of incorrectly identifying a target, look no further than the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade"). RuebenJames agreed, and put a human face on the scenario here:

In the context of our high tech wonder weapons, never underestimate the ability of a highly-stressed, sleep-deprived individual to mangle numbers, words, anything. I can just see some poor grunt who's been awake for 36 hours straight punching in a grid coordinate.

But the best post came from Kevin Darnell, Col (select), USAF Military Faculty, US Naval War College here. He not only disputes Kaplan's Gulf War stats, but provides this addendum to the usual "air power is not enough" lesson of the war:

The effort against the communications network was an important part of the campaign, but it was not pursued as the "silver bullet" that the article implies. Instead, Air Force generals took the early plan in September 1990, reshaped it, and relegated it from the main effort to simply one of four phases. The remaining phases aimed at the destruction of Iraqi forces in Kuwait and attacks on the Republican Guard, all as part of the preparation for the eventual land attack. And none of the generals ever believed it would be a cake walk.

This is not to say that some corners of the Air Force did not believe or hope that a decapitation strategy designed to cut off Saddam's communications might not end the war quickly. The point to understand is that our top military leaders are a pragmatic group who don't often place all their eggs in any one basket.

Colonel Darnell stresses that the views expressed are his own. ...

Double Consciousness: Emily Bazelon describes the upcoming battle for Sandra Day O’Connor’s soul between her federalist devil and her feminist angel (reverse the polarity if it suits you). In response, Adam Masin laments the effect her pivotal voice has had on Supreme Court opinions, and foresees this result:

The opinion of the court, written by O'Connor, is announced by 3 Justices, one who writes a concurring opinion which concurs with the result but not the rationale. Three Justices dissent, and two (probably Rehnquist and Scalia in which Thomas joins) write separate dissenting opinions which stress different reasons for dissenting. Three other justices write separate opinions, concurring in part and dissenting in part, but each concurs and dissents to different parts.

Meanwhile, Arrow objects to Bazelon's sky-is-falling anti-federalism here:

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