Links, 10/4/10

There’s a Medieval numerology thing where 4 is actually 10, because of 1+2+3+4. I learned this in Machiavelli class, but wasn’t quite sure what it meant. Hmm, there’s a project for later.

  • “Gates Fears Wider Gap Between Country and Military” (nytimes; h/t Josh. Use bugmenot if it prompts you for access) – no, I don’t endorse Secretary Gates’ last comment in the article. The problem he points to is real enough, though, and I vaguely remember reading somewhere about how this breaks down in terms of partisanship. That’s self-evident from the states producing soldiers.
  • Megan McArdle, “Hand the Taxpayer a Receipt” – this thing should be distributed to every American.
  • “Condoleezza Rice on German Unification” (h/t aldaily.com) – I thought this was an awesome read. The interview – I think – shows how policy makers are forced to view the world differently. We, the electorate, can sometimes be far more ideological. They have to literally think about the actions and reactions of the actors they work with directly. I wonder if “campaign mode” is sometimes an escape from all the things described in the interview.
  • John Avlon, “Left-Wing Crazies Take Their Turn” – from the article: While the DJ played “Everyday People” and high-school students step-danced on the stage at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, I saw a red flag waving above the crowd, crowned by a gold hammer and sickle. I tracked down the young man holding it, an 18-year-old named Adrian, a self-described Marxist-Leninist from Buffalo, who seemed to be stoned. I asked him what reaction he’d been getting to the flag. “People love it—I’m getting a very positive reaction,” he said. But was he concerned about offending people, given that communists murdered more than 60 million people in the 20th century? “No, not really,” he said. His colleague named Dez broke in: “I feel more upset about the millions of people murdered by the American system and the claim of democracy,” he said. “No colored person has ever seen democracy,” Dez offered.
  • A picture of an older Audrey Hepburn. Her smile never changed.

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